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10 Australian Beaches Every Backpacker Should See

Byron Bay (photo: David Lee)

Byron Bay (photo: David Lee)

[D]id you know Australia has over 10,000 beaches? And its coast is more than 26,000km long?

You get the picture: Australia’s beaches are far and wide.

Campervan hire is one of the most affordable and flexible ways to explore Australia. Drive, sunbake, party, sleep. Repeat at your own pace.

So pack grab a towel and pull on your swimmers, here are 10 Australian beaches every backpacker should see.

1. Hyams Beach, NSW South Coast

At an unassuming seaside village on the southern shores of unspoiled Jervis Bay, around 180km south of Sydney, a Guinness World Record holder lurks near native bushland.

Its name is Hyams. And it’s a beach. In fact, it has the whitest sand in the world. And it’s beautiful.

2. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

East coast Tasmania, around 190km north of Hobart, boasts another heavy hitting Australian beach – Wineglass Bay. It’s been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

Access the secluded beach by bushland track or boat for sapphire-colored waters edged by white sands. Stunning.

Whitehaven Beach (photo: David Lee)

Whitehaven Beach (photo: David Lee)

3. Whitehaven in the Whitsundays, Queensland

The Whitsundays, a cluster of 74 islands, is around 900km north of Brisbane. On the largest island, Whitsunday Island, is the showpiece – Whitehaven Beach.

With too many accolades to list, the beach speaks for itself – uninhabited island, 7km of powdery white sands and aquamarine waters.

Bondi Beach (photo: David Lee)

Bondi Beach (photo: David Lee)

4. Bondi Beach, NSW

When visiting Sydney, you’ll no doubt be hitting up Bondi Beach, a rollicking Pacific Ocean community only 7km from the city. Admire Sydneysiders and backpackers at their most playful.

The beach is wide, bustling, and a hipster’s paradise. Kick back and enjoy Sydney’s famous laid back lifestyle.

Byron Bay (photo: David Lee)

Byron Bay (photo: David Lee)

5. Byron Bay, NSW

Byron Bay, around 165km south of Brisbane, is an original hippie destination.

Although more polished now, Byron is still about feeding your soul. Buy a crystal, get a massage, breathe in that incense, eat vegetarian food, and of course, hit up those golden sands. Add major music festivals.

Surfer's Paradise (photo: David Lee)

Surfer's Paradise (photo: David Lee)

6. Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Surfers Paradise, around 90km south of Brisbane, is at the heart of Australia’s Gold Coast.

Experience iconic Aussie beach culture – red and yellow clad surf rescue dudes watching over a gazillion bronzed beach goers, splayed on endless golden sands, swimming in glittering blue Pacific Ocean surf.

7. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, QLD

Far North Queensland is tropical Australia at its best – the Great Barrier Reef, World Heritage rainforests and gorgeous beaches like Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas, around 70km north of Cairns.

Think long white sands, swaying palm trees, blue and emerald seas. Heaven.

8. Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

Cottesloe Beach, 11km from Perth, is a showcase of how things are done in the world’s most remote city.

Watch locals frolic in the brilliant blue Indian Ocean from the white sands or from the tiered grass lawns, then join them at the pub to soak it up, and drink in the sunset.

9. Bells Beach, Victoria

To check out Bells Beach is to also check out the Great Ocean Road. It’s a win-win.

Below the steep cliffs, golden sands and crashing waves play host to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival – the longest continuous surf competition in the world. Rip it up.

10. St Kilda Beach, Victoria

St Kilda Beach? OK, it’s not amazing, but it does highlight the striking difference between Sydney’s and Melbourne’s beach culture.

If you must compare, think of St Kilda as Melbourne’s Bondi – promenades, rollerbladers, backpackers, bars and music venues aplenty. Oh, and a sandy bay.

Find out more about hiring a campervan to explore Australia, its coast and beaches.


This post was brought to you by Travellers Autobarn.

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Sunday 20th of July 2014

Surprised there is only one WA beach on this list - they have all the best beaches, plus most of them are sunset beaches, unlike the east coast.

My favorite beach is Hellfire Bay, in Cape Le Grand National Park.


Wednesday 9th of July 2014

Whitehaven beach is so beautiful, it really is as perfect as you see in all of the photos. Another great one is the main beach on Moreton Island where the ferries pull in. Its gorgeous with clear water and a ship wreck to boot!

Kamil |

Saturday 5th of July 2014

Amazing! Thank you so much for great trips! I hope I will check them all one day! :-)


Sunday 29th of June 2014

Great photos. Been to Australia several times and would to check out some of those beaches.

Nick Paton

Sunday 29th of June 2014

As a Manly local, Bondi's biggest rival for Sydney's best beach I have to staunchly defend it. Manly has all the appeal of the backpacker and beach culture but a little less chaotic than Bondi.

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