The surf’s up, the hot weather’s arrived and Australia’s top beach towns are waiting to welcome you for a holiday. From Queensland’s endless stretches of sand to Western Australia’s aqua waters, here’s a look at everyone’s favourites.
With a coastline that stretches more than 30,000 km, it’s not hard to find inspiration for a beach holiday in Australia. As most of the population lives near the coast, you can easily access a slice of paradise for your break, in laid-back towns with resorts, restaurants and family-friendly attractions.
Noosa’s Hastings Street serves up a splash of glamour with chic boutiques, award-winning restaurants and fabulous resorts. But it’s not all about fashionable jetsetters, with the national park, stunning clifftop coastal walks, lush hinterland and sheltered beaches offering families prime spots to indulge in nature and fun in the sun.
Byron Bay, New South Wales
The hippy town of Byron Bay has long since lost its small town feel. In its place, however is the vibrant buzz of trendy restaurants, cutting-edge boutiques and a thriving arts scene. At any time of day, you’ll find great surf at one of the spectacular beaches, as well as an excuse to do nothing but laze in the sun. Indulge in massages and holistic therapies, chat to the locals at the famous Beach Hotel and take a drive up to the lighthouse for panoramic views.
Sorrento oozes elegant English appeal, with lawns, jetties and heritage buildings on a backdrop of glittering sea.
Sorrento oozes elegant English appeal, with lawns, jetties and heritage buildings on a backdrop of glittering sea. It’s located on the Mornington Peninsula and there’s much to do in the surrounding area. Go gallery hopping or traverse the Sorrento-Portsea Artist’s Trail. Shop, dine and people-watch along the boulevard and have an afternoon drink on the hill, at the iconic Portsea Hotel.
Famous as one of the best places in the country to see humpback whales, Jervis Bay is nature-lover’s central. With a hinterland National Park, wildlife such as kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and rare birds are abundant. Bays, lagoons and creeks are sheer perfection, for swimming, fishing, boating and kayaking. Off the water, you’ll enjoy art galleries, wine bars and local produce markets close to a wide range of accommodation options.
Busselton, Western Australia
If you’d love to combine your beach break with winery tours, Busselton is the gateway to the Margaret River wine region. With the Busselton Jetty highlighting white sand, calm waters and shady grassed areas, it’s the quintessential beach town for family breaks. Visit the Underwater Observatory to get up-close and personal with marine life, make use of wide bike paths and head to the cosmopolitan main street for restaurant, cafes, pubs and shops.
Get ready to slip, slop, slap and take advantage of Australia’s top beach towns, during the sizzling summer this year.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.