Australia’s best beaches and islands
This article is slightly biased as everyone has a ‘favourite’ beach and island but at Australian Sky we have chosen those that are the perfect antidote after a few days travelling or at the end of one of our fantastic Aussie Tours. And yes, Australia is more than blessed with stunning islands and beaches, there are a lot.
No beach article would be complete without mentioning Bondi beach in Sydney. You should visit and join the locals for a great atmosphere. For the best beach in the Sydney environ take the lovely ferry ride to Manly and walk the 10 minutes to the other side where the beach is. We love it and it’s a great day or half day out from Sydney.
Possibly our favourite area for fine beaches is within a very leisurely 3-hour drive south of Sydney, in the Jervis Bay region. If you want to enhance your journey take the road through the Royal National Park and stop off at Wattamolla Beach – a real hidden gem. Arriving in the Jervis bay region stay at Huskisson, for a treat try the Paperbark Camp, one of our favourite places to stay anywhere in Australia.
The beaches in and around Huskisson are exceptional, the top accolade just about going to Murrays Beach in the Booderee National Park itself (a few dollars to get in). You cannot get better and we liken it to the Maldives, white sand and turquoise sea (a tad chilly). Close by are Cave Beach, Moona Moona Creek and Huskission beach itself is also amazing. The most famous beach is Hyams, a long stretch of pure white talcom powder sand with an aqua blue ocean. It is beach heaven here.
If self-driving is your desire then the much underrated Sydney to Melbourne drive has that perfect combination of activity and idyllic beaches. At Batemans Bay there are two astonishing beaches, Pebbly beach with its famous tame kangaroo population and Depot Beach, a little known hideaway down a steep forested track. We can even book you a cabin to stay here. Further south is Mollymook beach with its large waves and great fun.
Lakes Entrance has a long sweeping beach that is a gorgeous 90-minute walk and heading down to the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne you will find bay after bay of beautiful spots.
For the really intrepid who venture afar, the most remote and stunning beaches lie between Adelaide and Perth in the Cape Le Grand National Park and in nearby Esperance. If you make it to this ‘off the beaten track’ part of Australia you will be hooked. This is the Maldives in Australia and spellbinding.
If you visit Tasmania you will, for sure visit Freycinet National Park with its beautiful beaches, including the most photogenic of all Wineglass Bay. The walk of the Bay of Fires includes a lot of Freycinet’s empty beaches.
For the vast majority of first time visitors it is Australia’s east coast that awaits. Starting with wild and gorgeous beaches near Forster like Bluey’s Beach and the beautiful Shoal Bay Peninsula region the real gems start to unfold towards Brisbane with no finer example than our favourite spot of Byron Bay, this small beach town has almost legendary status, with a great eclectic mix of people and a real bohemian vibe, the stunning arc beach is a great spot to unwind.
If surfing is your thing or if you would like to learn then try the world famous Main Beach. Further north is one of the worlds great phenomenon’s, the Unesco World Heritage site of Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world surrounded by the sea and yet with to most amazing fresh water lakes inside with pristine white sand and incredible swimming. We love Fraser Island, thrown in whale watching at Hervey bay on the mainland and you have an easy few days to while away.
The east coast is turtle heaven and at Mons repos beach between Nov and Jan you can spot nesting Loggerhead turtles.
We are in the midst of Great Barrier Reef territory now and no visit is complete to Australia without visiting Airlie Beach, the picture perfect resort town and gateway to the immaculate Whitsundays. You must head out one of our favourite day trips to the famous Whitehaven Beach, for a treat take a helicopter ride to get breath-taking perspective of the Coral Sea. Kayaking across the clear aqua waters is also well worth it.
In Port Douglas where we encourage everyone to stay for a few days, relax after a day's adventure on the dreamy sunset beach at Thala Beach Nature Reserve.
Australia has so many islands it is difficult to pin point down to a few as we like them all. There are the top end, luxury hideaways that offer sublime views and hidden bays mixed with incredible food and peaceful surrounds. Look no further than Bedarra Island which offers an unparalleled escape to a blissful island.
Lord Howe Island is real favourite of ours as hardly anyone goes there. It is a unique 3-hour flight from Sydney, hideaway with plenty to see and do from snorkelling the lagoon's calm waters to hand feeding fish and conquering Mount Gower (an all-day hike).
Queensland’s most northerly tropical resort is Lizard Island. The only way to reach the island and its 24 glittering beaches is by charter plane from Cairns. With just 40 suites, it’s entirely possible to picnic on your own beach or to enjoy one of two beachside marquees for a private seven-course degustation dinner with matching wines.
Haggerstone Island, with just four huts channelling a rustic luxury vibe, far-flung is as close to a castaway experience as you can get in Australia while still enjoying creature comforts. This place is extraordinary and is way way up near Cape York.
One of our under-the-radar-gems is Orpheus Island with 30 beaches and only 14 stylish rooms, it is only 10 miles from the outer Barrier Reef with incredible snorkelling.