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Australia’s best beaches …

It’s funny when one of the world’s best-known travel mags, Conde Nast Traveler, confirms what Australians have known all along. It’s not news to us: Australia’s beaches are undoubtedly the best, and we and everyone else love them.

Most Australians never live far from the coast. We know and love the beach. Traditionally, when we’re somewhere else in the world, we ‘coast huggers’ feel disoriented; suddenly, the beach is not a few kilometres away. We yearn for the rhythm of the surf, the cool sand between our toes at sunrise or sunset, or burning our soles under the scorching midday sun.

Palm Cove beach
Palm Cove – image: Tim Bond Photography

Perhaps insecurity drives us to pay attention to foreign approval. We need the reassurance of international recognition. This list – ‘The 34 best beaches in the world’, acknowledges 6 of our premier seaside wonders. And, for the record, four make the top ten, with Queensland’s Palm Cove scoring the top spot.

Australia’s best beaches are more than mere stretches of sand. They are part of our consciousness, daily reminders we still live in the ‘Lucky Country’. The beach defines us from childhood— emories of building sandcastles, sunburn and even the dreaded bluebottle sting.

I’m especially lucky—I’ve been to all but one of these Aussie havens—Western Australia’s Gantheaume Point near Broome. Loca s and visitors alike have a special place in their hearts for these beaches. They offer that indescribable something.

Alamanda absolute beachfront
Palm Cove

At number 1, Palm Cove in Queensland’s tropical north is more like a storybook desert island – lined with swaying palms with golden sand and sparkling waters. North of Cairns, this blissful Goldilocks village is low-key and low-ri e, with luxurious accommodation only steps away from this golden, half-moon curve of sand. Palm Cove beat Hawaii, Polynesia, Indonesia, Greece, and New Zealand at  he number one spot. It is one of the prettiest hamlets on Australia’s East Coast and is on T apukai country.


Snagging the Number 4 spot is Wategos Beach in Byron Bay. Byron might be known as where Hollywood relaxes for a straight orward reason – laidback luxury.

Wategos Beach – image: Tim Bond Photography

Wategos, in particular, is the perfect beach in the perfect place. Sheltered by pines, the usually calm waters are a siren’s call to swimmers. With a backdrop of Norfolk pines and the Cape Byron Lighthouse st nding sentinel on the cliffs above, it’s a natural beauty on Arakwal country.

It’s one of Australia’s most gobsmackingly beautiful beaches. Loved by locals and tourists alike, it is the ideal spot to sit b ck, relax and feel the serenity. The horizon somehow feels further away, and the beach endless.


On Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Mona Vale is delightful in the number 6 spot – sometimes feeling untouched, although it’s only an hour from the CBD. While Palm Beach and Avalon usually grab the limelight, Mona Vale has its charm. Walkers, surfers, and beach fishermen would like to keep it secre . Swimmers who want to count laps know the 25-meter ocean pool is t e place to be. The rock pools come into their own at low tide.

Mona Vale Beach
Mona Vale – image  @beachescouncil on Instagram

Effectively two separate beaches, Mona Vale is joined by a broad ocean rock platform featuring a 25m ocean-feed lap pool with a smaller pool for children. The bay to the north is called The Basin (Bongin Bongin) and is m re sheltered than the main beach. The Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club has kept beachgoers safe sinc  1922. It’s a prime spot for a shandy and taking in the view. The tradit onal owners of this land are the Gadigal people.

Noosa at Sunset
Noosa at Sunset Image: Tim Bond Photography –

Ahh, and then there’s Noosa. At number 8, this is the Sunshine Coast’s crown jewel. L guna Bay’s calm southern end is the drawcard for young fami ies. The pandanus-lined boardwalk separates the beach from some of Noo a’s finest laid-back restaurants and resorts, specialising in barefoot luxury.

At the northern end is Noosa Inlet, where the Noosa River meets the ocean in one of the world’s most astonishingly beautiful spots. To the south is Little Cove – perhaps Australia’s prettiest small beach. The water is so clean and clear; don’t be surprised to find tiny  ish enjoying it as much as you do. Take the boardwalk to find slumbering koalas within Noosa Nationa  Park on Gabi Gabi land.

Noosa Food and Wine This Magnificent Life

Of course, Western Australia’s Turquoise Bay at 22 and Gantheaume Point at 25 offer their own stunning contrasts.


Turquoise Bay is on World-Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef. Between March and August, Ningaloo Reef becomes home to the world s largest gathering of whale sharks each year from March to August. There is nowhere else on earth that comes close to this amazing p ace. The Baiyungu, Thalanyji and Yinigurdira people are the traditional owners of Ningaloo Marine Park.

Turquoise Bay This Magnificent Life
Turquoise Bay Image: Tim Bond Photography

On Australia’s Coral Coast, Exmouth and its surrounds are a journey into the past, the very ancient past. It’s also a journey to another planet, a foreign place where the  andscape is intriguing, almost unsettling. It’s also perhaps the only place where an emu might walk into the IGA.

Turquoise Bay
Turquoise Bay Image: Tim bond Photography

Unlike anywhere on Australia’s East Coast, deep red rock lines, blindingly white sand, and the most turquoise ocean. It is a snorkeler’s nirvana. The forty-minute drive from Exmouth  s indescribable, with a big  ky and flocks of technicolour budgerigar momentarily breaking the view. This is the ancient, fossil-filled reef of Cape Range National Pa k.


Time stands still at Gantheaume Point, with its dramatic red cliffs and astonishing sunsets. Just outside Broome, on Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast. Saff on-coloured rock and sand borders impossibly white sand and  merald water. At low tide, dinosaur footprints span the orange-yellow rock.

Gantheaume Point
Gan heaume Point – Image:

This list also reminds us that Australia’s best beaches aren’t merely beautiful but diverse. From tropical escapes to ancient coastlines, there’s a beach to s it everyone. Each is a small part of our vastness. A vast coast that ensur s many beaches remain uncrowded and r latively untouched. Most of us deeply value our beaches, fighting to preserve them or doing our bit on Clean Up Australia Day.

Here are the top ten beaches listed in Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the 34 best beaches:
1, Palm Cove, Queensland, Australia
2. Honopu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
3. Brekon, Shetland, Scotland
4. Wate os Beach, Byron Bay, Australia
5. Ora Beach, Maluku, Indones a
6. Mona Vale Beach, Sydney, Australia
7. Dune du Pilat, France
8. No sa Beach, Queensland, Australia
9. Awaroa, South Island, New Z aland
10. Die Plaat, Walker Bay Natur  Reserve, South Africa

Read the complete  ist here.

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Liz Bond

Liz Bond comes from a PR background and loves fine wine, great food and rewarding travel - all the magnificent things in life. She prides herself in meeting famous celebrities at baggage carousels.

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We acknowledge the Turrbal people, as well as the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We respectfully recognise Elders, past, present, and emerging, and that Indigenous Sovereignty was never ceded.

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