In a country surrounded by thousands of gorgeous beaches, to single out ten beaches is a high honour. Not all beaches are built the same way, and that can only mean good things if you consider yourself a "beach person." Australians enjoy one of the widest variety of beach types available.
Each beach on this list is known for its own special attributes, whether as a great beach for surfing or swimming, for its remoteness or beauty, or even for its close access to wildlife.
If you travel 86 kilometres SW of Melbourne, you'll come across one of Australia's premier beaches for surfing. It's the site of the world's oldest surfing competition, the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival.
The epic swells that Bells is known for - which makes it so attractive to surfers from all around the world - also means that it's not the beach where you want to go to swimming.
Western Australia may be less densely populated than the eastern coast, but the beaches are some of the most stunning in the world. Cottelsloe Beach is only 15 minutes from Perth, but once you arrive you'll imagine you stepped inside a postcard complete with white sand beaches stretching out and majestic Norfolk Pines. This beach is the full package: swimming, surfing, and outstanding sunsets.
This beach, located in Queensland, could possibly be the most idyllic beach paradise you'll come across. The tropical rainforest surrounding it only adds to the air of remoteness and seclusion you'll feel when you visit. The saltwater crocodiles and cassowaries are also quite fond of Cape Tribulation, as well. It's a good idea to mind any warning signs you might come across.
A popular spot, also in Queensland. There is plenty of good surfing to be had at The Point, while swimmers can enjoy themselves on the main beach. Noosa is an upscale resort town with an abundance of excellent restaurants and designer boutiques, should you want to relax after a hard day at the beach. Incidentally, if clothing optional beaches are your thing, Alexandria Bay in Noosa National Park is just a short bit away.
You'll get plenty of sunshine at Clarkes Beach, located in Byron Bay, New South Wales. If you have ever been curious about dolphins and care to get up close and personal with them, you can join one of the sea kayaking trips that departs from the area. You may even be fortunate enough to catch sight of a whale.
Turquoise waters hugging a long, curving stretch of white sand beach is what you'll find when you visit Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia. If you've ever been hesitant to get into the water because you find the temperature too chilly for your liking, you'll be thrilled to know that Cable Beach water has the reputation for having "bathwater" type temperatures.
You'll find this much-photographed, clam-shaped beach in Tasmania, located about two hours from Launceston. Although it remains relatively isolated, there is plenty to do. Snorkelling and kayaking are popular, but if you prefer to stay on the shore, you can explore the rock pools. A short hike away, you'll find ample opportunity to take in the rich diversity of Tasmanian wildlife.
Aptly named for its length, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island, Queensland is a popular, scenic spot for four wheel driving. Owing to the Tiger sharks and dangerous currents, you'll want to skip swimming in the ocean. Popular attractions to see along the way are the Maheno Wreck, Lake Wabby, and Eli Creek, where you can go swimming.
World-renowned for its white sand beaches where the grains of sand are so fine that it feels like a soft carpet under your foot. The bonus is that regardless of the temperature, the sand will not get hot under your feet. Whitehaven Beach, a 7km stretch of perfection on Whitsunday Island, Queensland may be the most photographed beach in Australia. It's a popular destination for cruise and tour operators, departing from nearby Airlie Beach.
In Western Australia, approximately 180km east of Albany is where you'll find one of the favourite places for Southern Right Whales to calve. From July to October you'll be able to catch sight of mother whales and their babies relaxing in the calm waters mere metres from the shoreline.
Although this list of 10 top beaches is a fantastic way to get started exploring the vast variety and beauty of Australian beaches, there are thousands more you can explore. Tell us, what's your favourite Aussie beach?
Will Norquay works at Stayz. He loves backpacking through Australia and beyond. Apart from swimming, he likes learning new languages and getting to know other cultures.