Australia in a Campervan – Our List of the Country’s Best Beaches

When people think of Australia, a number of things come immediately to mind: the immensity of the country (7.6 million square kilometres) kangaroos and koalas, breathtaking natural landscapes, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and … beaches!

Yes, indeed, in Australia you will find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Bordered by the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans and the Arafura Sea (stretching across 700,000 km2 bordering Indonesian islands and North Australian reefs), as well as the Timor and Tasman Seas, the coastline of Australia offers 37,000 km of coast boasting many spectacular beaches.

Here is our list of Australia’s Top Ten beaches:

  • Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Islands, QLD: Located on the largest island in the archipelago, Whitehaven Beach is famous for having the purest sand in the world and is widely considered the world’s most beautiful beach. Along its 7km you’ll find blinding white sand composed of 98% silica (which is, incidentally, used to make the lens of the Hubble telescope), lapped by crystal clear waters.

Whitehaven Beach

  • Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW:  A landmark for surfers, backpackers, tourists and swimmers, Bondi Beach is located just seven kilometres east of Sydney’s CBD and is emblematic for Sydney. This beach, one kilometre in length, is also famous for The Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club, the world’s oldest lifesaving club which was founded in 1907 and is the subject and setting for a popular reality TV series.
  • The Pass, Byron Bay, NSW: a special atmosphere surrounds Byron Bay, making this place magical and a little mystical as well as attracting an alternative culture and some of Australia’s most rich and famous people. Famous as a renowned surf spot, Byron is much more. It’s also an excellent place to observe whales between June and November, or walk along the path to Cape Byron which as the most easterly point in Australia, allows you to be the first to see the sunrise on the whole continent. Take a wander through the lush coastal forest nearby or simply enjoy the somewhat different life in this town with its laid-back feel and interesting restaurants and cafes. You’ll definitely come back home feeling refreshed.

Byron Bay

  • Noosa, Sunshine Coast, QLD: the tropical paradise of Noosa has a lot to offer as a relaxing and beautiful place to spend time. In a nutshell, Noosa is a glamourous international seaside resort, with pristine beaches, luxury shops, the famous Noosa National Park and a lush hinterland region with attractions such as the ever-popular Eumundi Markets. Located about 90 minutes by car from Brisbane, it’s popular as a weekend gateway destination.
  • Cable Beach, Broom-WA: 22 kilometres of immaculate white sand bordered by the deep blue sea of the Indian Ocean makes Broome a romantic destination. Sunset on Cable Beach is a spectacular sight. One of the most well-known activities in the region is a camel ride along the beach. Between March and October you can admire the “Staircase to the Moon”, a natural phenomenon caused by the rising full moon shining on Roebuck Bay at low tide to create a stunning optical illusion that is reminiscent of an escalator going to the moon.

Cable Beach

  • Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW: The walk between Greenfield and Hyams Beach is a truly special experience. Hyams Beach has been officially recognised by The Guinness Book of Records as the world whitest beach. It’s unquestionably the most famous beach in the Jervis Bay region, that because of its rich marine life and unspoilt nature is popular with divers and snorkelers as well as fishermen, and also makes it the perfect place to spend quality time with your family.
  • Bells Beach, Torquay, VIC: Located along the picturesque Great Ocean Road, stop at Torquay to breathe the pure air of Bells Beach, the emblematic beach immortalised in the movie Point Break and the cult documentary The Endless Summer. Each year, it’s also home to the world’s longest-running surfing competition – The Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival. Some of the best waves, or breaks, in the world are to be found here and it’s well known among the surfing fraternity as one of the world’s top surfing destinations.

Bells Beach

  • Surfers Point, Margaret River, WA: Margaret River is a paradise for food and nature lovers. The region produces less than 1% of Australia’s wine, but more than 15% is Grand Cru quality. Evans & Tate, Fermoy Estate, Flinders Bay and Flying Fish Cove are some of the first class vineyards in the region. It’s also a natural paradise surrounded by caves, white sand beaches, hiking paths and world-class surfing points. Catching waves in “Marg” is the goal of surfers the world over. So come and experience the ultimate surfing safari in this region!
  • Cape Range, Turquoise Bay, WA: Turquoise Bay in the Cape Range National Park, close to the beautiful Ningaloo barrier reef has one of the most beautiful, perfect beaches in Western Australia. The most popular activity is snorkelling. With its white sand and crystal clear waters, you are sure to see plenty of colourful fish and coral. Some inhabitants of the reef are parrotfish, scissortail sergeants, spangled emperor, blue damselfish, moon wrasse, butterfly fish, reef sharks and green sea turtles.
  • Wineglass Bay, TAS: Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet peninsula in Tasmania is part of one of the most beautiful regions in the country. It’s an ideal place for fishing, sailing, hiking in the outdoors, kayaking, climbing or relaxing. You can also spot wildlife such as as White-bellied Sea Eagles, quolls, wallabies, wombats and Tasmanian Devils.

Wineglass Bay

So now it’s up to you to hit the road in your motorhome to discover some of these stunning places, and make your own list! When you do, please leave your comments below.

Diving and snorkelling in Far North Queensland

Firstly it’s important to know some facts about the Great Barrier Reef before packing your flippers:

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  • Largest reef in the world
  • 2900 separate reefs
  • 900 islands
  • 2 million tourists annually
  • stretches from Bundaberg to Cape York along 2600 km (344,400 km2)
  • Biggest living organism in the world
  • Visible from Space
  • Formed around 18,000 years ago during the last ice age
  • World heritage listed by UNESCO since 1981

To enjoy your trip to the maximum, we advise you to go between May and September. July and August are the best months because of the mild temperatures and the whale migration season. October to May is stinger season so avoid this time.

Underwater the marine life offers a huge variety of possible encounters: six of the world’s seven turtle species live here. It’s also the habitat of Nemo (the Clown Fish), blue sea-stars, the Napoleon fish is found here, as well as fish of many different colours, a variety of corals, and during whale migration season most probably you’ll see whales. The must-have item is an underwater camera like a GoPro which you can buy for around $299 or hire for your time on the reef.

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To get to the reef there are several possibilities: boat, plane or helicopter ̶ it’s up to you! Cairns is one of the best launching platforms. The offers here are numerous and lots of companies depart from Cairns. Port Douglas is also a good spot to reach Agincourt Ribbon Reef offering huge diversity. This place is a mecca for scuba divers and considered one of the most beautiful places to view coral reefs in the world. Catch a sailing boat at Airlie Beach to the Whitsundays, from Townsville for Magnetic Island or Town of 1770 to get to Lady Musgrave Island which is a deserted island, protected, and allows a maximum of 40 campers at any one time. As you can read there are lots of ways to explore the reefs of Far North Queensland.

Practical considerations

Getting there:

Brisbane – Cairns: 1700 km

Sydney – Cairns: 2700 km (via Brisbane)

Cairns – Port Douglas: 65 km

Cairns – Airlie Beach: 625 km

Accommodation (campground):

BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort, 23 – 51 Anderson Road – Woree, 4870, 0740546644

South-east Queensland is also a good place where you’re sure to have some great marine encounters. For example, 80 km (75 minutes) from Brisbane you’ve got beautiful Moreton Island: here you have a good chance of encountering kangaroos, koalas and many bird species. Moreton Bay itself is overflowing with rich marine life: turtles, dolphins, dugongs and small sharks. Old boats have been deliberately sunk to create habitat for fish and a good spot for diving and snorkelling. Numerous activities are available on the island: kayaking, quad biking, catamaran sailing, sand surfing or feeding dolphins; there is a resort there too if you plan to stay overnight.

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So now you know now what you’ve got to do: get in your campervan, head up to Brisbane and  Far North Queensland, go on board one of the boats and be amazed by this natural wonder that runs along the eastern coastline of Australia.