In their most recent study, Sydney University’s Coastal Studies Unit declared that Australia has 10,685 beaches. With so many to choose from, you won’t be faltered for not knowing where to begin. Some prefer soft, warm sand beaches, while others want crystal-clear blue waters.
But one thing many people can agree on is nothing more irritating than a beach that is too crowded. Thankfully, with an almost endless number on offer, finding a secluded slice of paradise is easier than you think. So pack your favourite bikini bottoms and matching tops, and head off to these secret hidden gems.
In northern NSW, near Fingal Head, is Dreamtime Beach. Thanks to the eruption of Mount Warning nearly 20 million years ago, this exquisite location is set against the backdrop of black cliffs and unique formations.
Combined with sprawling stretches of pristine white sand and lush foliage, it is easy to mistake it for paradise. There are plenty of accommodation opportunities available, from Kingsclff caravan parks to luxury holiday rentals, ideally suited for anyone hoping to visit.
Kitty Miller Bay
Kitty Miller Bay, located on the southwestern side of Phillip Island and just 90 minutes away from Melbourne, scores massive bonus points for its rugged volcanic landscape and historical shipwreck – the SS Speke, which has been stranded on its rocks since 1906.
This horseshoe-shaped beach is undeniably beautiful, but a strong rip tide makes it better suited for walking rather than swimming. However, high tide proves to be popular for many local surfers who make the journey.
Memory Cove is part of the Lincoln National Park, 50km south of Port Lincoln and a whopping 650km southwest of Adelaide. Access to this wilderness area is by 4WD-only, so come appropriately prepared.
The five campsites found here are located directly on the beach, with breathtaking scenery and plenty of exciting fishing. Because no more than 15 vehicles are allowed at any one time, it will never be too crowded. It is considered one of the most impressive experiences you can have in Australia without a five-star price to navigate.
Golden Beach is approximately 252km from Melbourne, located along the famous Ninety Mile Beach, stretching from Port Albert to Lakes Entrance. While you could find yourself any spot along Ninety Mile Beach, Golden Beach is a worthwhile choice for its great ocean fishing, surfing conditions and native wildlife.
Be prepared to witness countless kangaroos, native birds and perhaps an emu or two along the coastal tracks found here. On the Australia Day long weekend, an annual fishing competition is held, so if you are after seclusion, be sure to plan appropriately.
Garie Beach is a remote coastal valley situated in the Royal National Park, 40km south of Sydney. It is said to derive its name from the aboriginal world for sleepy, and on most days, perfectly lives up to its name. It is an excellent location for hiking and offers prime surfing conditions.
Those hoping to stay for a day or two can book a bed at the basic Garie Beach YHA, which has no electricity, phone, fridge or shower but does come equipped with running water and a drop loo. It’s not for everyone, but if you want to escape from it all for a few days, pack your own toilet paper, food and camping lamp for the ultimate adventure.
The magnificent beachside camping destination, Lime Bay, is part of the Coal Mines Historic Site along the northeastern shore of the Tasman Peninsula, just 25 minutes from Port Arthur.
It is ideal for escaping the crowds of Port Arthur and getting back into nature, exploring the ruins of Saltwater River Convict Sation with a waterfront view of your dreams. The beach is dotted with limestone rocks, perfectly sculptured by the wind, with plenty of fauna and flora to enjoy.
Sunshine Beach is roughly 7km south of Noosa, a pristine environment well worth exploring. It has 15km of sand stretching down to Peregian Beach, the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
It perfectly represents the Australian beach many overseas visitors hope to see and experience, with ideal surf conditions, a dog-friendly beach and, at the right time of year, a brief home to migrating dolphins and whales.
Mungo Beach covers more than 20km on the ocean side of Myall Lakes National Park, roughly 235km north of Sydney. While it is a long distance to travel, lovers of fishing and four-wheel driving will be more than happy to make the trip.
Powerful rip tides and steep drop-offs make this unsuitable for swimming, but nearby lakes will present the perfect opportunity to cool off after a long day. Alternatively, spend the early evening walking along the sandy beaches to enjoy the cool breeze and mesmerising ocean views.
Like many locations in the Australian wilderness, the Cobourg Peninsula, found in the Gaig Gunak Barlu Nation Park, is only accessible by 4WD. It is about 570km northeast of Darwin and is impassible during the wet season, from November to April.
Turtles use the pristine beaches to lay their eggs every year, and the world’s largest remaining herd of banteng (wild cattle) roam the forests behind the high-tide mark. Only 20 permits are issued for the park at any one time, strongly limiting the number of people allowed to set up camp. Stay clear of the water, as saltwater crocodiles call this place home.
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