TripAdvisor has rated Australia’s best beaches. But do you agree?
The number one beach in Australia was in Sydney. And no, it’s NOT Bondi.
Out of Australia’s top 10 beaches, half are in Queensland. New South Wales and WA have two beaches each. Mindil Beach in Darwin, Northern Territory rounds up the top 10.
“Australians love the sun and the surf, and every beach on this year’s list has something for everyone—from sunbathing to sunset walks, swimming, surfing, and even camel trains,” Janice Lee Fang, Communications Director for TripAdvisor in Asia Pacific says.
“Now is the perfect time to tap this award-winning list of traveller-favourite beaches, before summer comes to an end.”
How did they decide?
TripAdvisor used traveller reviews and ratings for beaches gathered over a 12-month period as the basis for the ranking. Don’t agree? Blame the tourists.
Here are the top 10 Australian beaches according to TripAdvisor.
10. Mindl Beach, Darwin, NT
Best known for its vivid, breathtaking sunsets and nightlife, Mindil Beach is a tropical paradise located close to Darwin. After dark, travellers can enjoy displays of fire twirling, acrobatics, dance and live local music.
“Make sure you arrive at least half an hour before sunset so you can take in the beauty of the sun setting over the ocean,” one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
This beach as crocodiles and stingers, travellers should advised to swim ‘between the flags’ during dry season months from June through September when lifeguards are on standby, and wear protective swimwear as stings have occurred in all months of the year. Also during dry season, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market that’s a step away from the beach, bustles with activity every Thursday and Sunday evenings—featuring a wide selection of food, handicrafts and aboriginal goods.
9. Cable Beach, Broome, WA
Cable beach’s 22 kilometres of impeccable white sand sweeps alongside the Indian Ocean. The beach was named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889.
A TripAdvisor reviewer recommends visiting during low tide to “experience a sense of openness and freshness.”
Cable Beach is famous for dazzling ocean sunsets and camel trains: “a must for Broome is the sunset camel ride. You will not be disappointed unless you forget to take your camera.”
Travellers should note that the beach can be closed intermittently if rangers spot crocodiles or Irukandji jellyfish.
8. Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast, QLD
Burleigh Heads Beach is at the southern end of the Gold Coast. Know simply as ‘Burleigh’ to locals, this beach preserves ecological integrity with its sheer beauty and authentic local beach culture.
For spectacular coastal sights, travellers recommend heading to the majestic Burleigh Heads National Park nearby to view the beach from elevated grounds.
“Great surf clubs at each end of Burleigh’s fabulous beach, both flagged with swim areas and lifeguards… Burleigh has a gorgeous oceanfront promenade and many parks to enjoy,” a TripAdvisor user commented.
7. Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Main Beach faces north and is protected by the headland. The water here is consistently warm and calm throughout the year.
This beach is a great option for families and beginner surfers as lifeguards patrol daily.
“The waters were crystal clear, even with storms that blew in and out very quickly. It’s so warm that even a bit of rain doesn’t dampen your enthusiasm,” a TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
Even better, Noosa Main Beach is a walk away from the famous Hastings Street shopping, accommodation, restaurants and bars.
6. Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW
Bondi came in at number six, despite its reputation as Australia’s most famous beach.
Bondi is a short train and bus ride from Sydney’s CBD. It has great surf, a long stretch of golden sand, glitzy bars and cafes to scenic walking trails. Surfers can expect reliable waves and travellers describe the sand as “a soft powder”.
“Bondi Beach is a must-visit when you come to Sydney… It sits surrounded by beautiful, ancient rock formations, like nothing you have ever seen.”
5. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, QLD
From the air, Whitehaven beach’s swirls of turquoise, blue and green water wrapping around 98 per cent pure white silica is awe-inspiring.
Whitehaven is also famous for an abundance of marine life. Turtles and dolphins often visit shallows of the beach. If you can’t get up in the air, you can get a great view of this beach from the nearby Tongue Point at the Hill Inlet lookout, or time your visit for low tide to experience the spectacular fusion of colours in the surrounding area.
“There are so many photographs of Whitehaven beach but it is not until you stand on the beach yourself that you really appreciate nature at its best!” a TripAdvisor review wrote.
4. Mooloolaba Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD
A favourite among families, Mooloolaba Beach is one of the safest of Sunshine Coast beaches. It has near-perfect and safe water conditions all year round.
Once you’ve had enough sand, wander across the road to any one of the numerous retail shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, and hotels.
“This is the perfect family beach; a sweeping crescent of beach from the surf beach around to calmer waters on the spit,” A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
3. Turquoise Bay Exmouth, WA
As its name suggests, Turquoise Bay is one of Western Australia’s most beautiful beaches. Expect turquoise water and squeaky white sand beach. Turquoise Bay is the highlight of Exmouth’s Cape Range National Park. From here you can head out to snorkel on Ningaloo Reef
“There is so much wildlife in it, plus a slow current that takes you across the entire bay, so that while snorkelling you don’t have to do much. Just perfect!” a TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
2. Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast QLD
At the heart of Queensland’s Gold Coast, Surfer’s Paradise Beach is the most well-known of the Gold Coast beaches.
Accommodation, shopping, dining, nightlife are all within walking distance.
“When you’re visiting ‘the Goldy’ it would just be plain wrong not to take a walk on Surfer’s Paradise Beach, a real Aussie icon,” a TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
Lifeguards are also on standby to ensure the safety of beach-goers all year round.
AND THE WINNER IS…
1. Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW
For the second consecutive year, Manly Beach has taken top honours for the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Beaches in Australia.
Manly was one of the first beaches to allow daylight swimming and surfing in 1903. It pioneered the local surf and beach culture. From Queenscliff to North Steyne and South Steyne, the beach curves for two kilometres along the sea.
“With the added advantage of both harbour and surf beaches, Manly is unique. There is no end of possibilities… swim, eat, relax, enjoy the walk to Fairy Bower,” a TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
Travel allows you to get outside your bubble. It makes you realise there are other ways to do things, and that’s OK. Plus, I am a huge fan of skiing and for the best powder – you need to head overseas.