Spring is upon us once again and as we say goodbye to the biting cold weather it’s time to start planning for the upcoming holidays. Think warm sunshine, toes digging into soft, powdery sands, the salty breeze weaving through your hair, and turquoise waters splashing at your feet.
Australia is blessed with some of the world’s most fabulous beaches, so it can be difficult to choose the best one for your holiday. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of our favourite beach holiday locations around Australia that also offer exceptional accommodation to get you started.
Great Ocean Road
Style: Scenic Drives & Surfing
Distance: 90 Minutes from Melbourne CBD
Attractions: Bay of Islands, 12 Apostles, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, The Otways, Bells Beach, Torquay, Great Ocean Walk
Set off on your grand escapade with a scenic drive along the famous Great Ocean Road. Stretching almost 250 kilometres, the drive takes you along dramatic coastlines and scenery, through lush rainforests, idyllic seaside towns, and world-famous surf spots. The seemingly endless options for activities along the way can be a bit overwhelming.
Best to start with this region’s most famous spot, the 12 Apostles. These rugged limestone formations rising from the ocean are a magnificent sight and a definite must see. Along the way, there are plenty of quaint seaside villages such as Airey’s Inlet or Apollo Bay where you can enjoy a scrumptious seafood lunch. For nature lovers, plan a hike through moss-covered trees at the beautiful Great Otway National Park. A short drive away, spot some cute koalas at the township of Kennet River. If you’re the adventurous type, head to Bells Beach and Torquay to surf one of the world’s best breaks.
Where to stay on the Great Ocean Road
There are a host of gorgeous places to stay along the Great Ocean Road that make the perfect base for a beach holiday. From super-luxe holiday homes in Lorne, to private lodges surrounded by bushland near the 12 Apostles, we’ve found some of the best luxury accommodation on the Great Ocean Road for couples and families.
Style: Laid-back Beach Vibe
Distance: 2 Hours from Brisbane
Attractions: Cape Byron State Conservation Park, Belongil Beach, Tallow Beach, The Farm, Cape Byron Lighthouse, Captain Cook Lookout
From a quiet sleepy town, Byron Bay has developed into a thriving coastal destination. Drenched in sunshine most days, the laid-back town is perfect for beach holidays at any time of the year. The Byron area is noted for its iconic lighthouse, thriving marine wildlife, and numerous outdoor activities. Surfing is a major pastime here as almost all the beaches offer good surf breaks.
Wategos Beach and The Pass are popular among experienced surfers, while the Main Beach is perfect for beginners. It is a patrolled beach, so it’s safe for children. Holidaying with your furry friends? Head to the beaches of Belongil and Tallow. The wide and long shoreline is perfect for dog runs. For somewhere less crowded, Seven Mile Beach is a good option. And when you need a break from the beach scene, visit some of the region’s picturesque towns, savour some local cuisine, and discover some fascinating art & local craft.
Where to stay in Byron Bay
Byron Bay has plenty of gorgeous holiday homes based in the centre of town for those that want to be at the heart of the action. For a more relaxed holiday, check out some of the incredible homes based in the lush hinterland or experience ultimate indulgence at the luxurious Byron at Byron Resort & Spa.
Margaret River Region
Style: Wine, Dine, and Surf
Distance: 3 Hours from Perth
Attractions: Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Yallingup, Geographe Bay, Moses Rock, Bunker Bay, Injidup Beach, Margaret River Mouth, The Box
Western Australia’s Margaret River region has just about everything you need for the perfect beach holiday. World renowned wines and superb artisan food, plus pristine coastlines perfect for water sports. Plan to spend at least a few days to enjoy all the attractions that this wonderful region has on offer.
If you’re here to surf there are 75 breaks in the area’s 130-kilometre stretch, so finding one that fits your level of skill will not be a problem. Popular beaches for surfing include The Box, Margaret River Mouth, Bunker Bay, and Eagle Bay. If surfing is not your thing, you can also take a Jet Boat ride in Dunsborough or stand-up paddleboard in Gnarabup Bay.
If you’d prefer to stay on solid ground, head to one of the world-class wineries nearby where you can enjoy the rolling countryside and vineyard views. And, if you happen to visit between June and December, you can get an incredible view of migrating whales from a number of spots along the coast, or on a whale watching tour.
Where to stay in the South West
We’ve found a collection of private luxury holiday homes across the South West region that promise the perfect beach getaway. Some boast absolute beachfront locations and others are only a short drive away, but all offer the opportunity to rest and relax in comfort while enjoying the delights of this extraordinary region.
East Coast Tas
Style: Quiet Relaxation
Distance: 3 Hours from Hobart
Attractions: Bay of Fires Region, Freycinet National Park, St. Helens, Wineglass Bay, Scamander Beach, Coles Bay, St. Columba Falls
If you’re looking for a more relaxed and quiet Australian beach getaway, the long stretches of white-sand beach, dazzling cobalt blue water, and dramatic shoreline of Tasmania’s East Coast are an irresistible option. Add to that the mild climate, secluded bays, idyllic towns, an abundance of activities for any age, and it’s no wonder why this region is a favourite destination for travellers.
Start your exploration of the East Coast at Bay of Fires. Listed by Lonely Planet as one of the top regions in the world, this spectacular coastline consists of 50 kilometres of stunning beaches interspersed with lagoons, gullies, and pink-hued rocky outcrops.
Beach hop from St. Helens to Eddys Point, then savour some fresh seafood fare at Bicheno for lunch. Make your way to stunning Wineglass Bay and discover some hidden cove to while the day away. Find reliable swells for surfing at Seymour, Scamander, and Four Mile Creek in the Surf Coast. For more family-friendly fun, head to Swansea and take the kids to Kate’s Berry Farm for fresh berries and delicious handmade chocolates.
Where to stay on the East Coast of Tasmania
There are some spectacular holiday homes positioned right along Tasmania’s East Coast. From Binalong Bay & Falmouth down to Rocky Hills & Coles Bay, these self-contained homes are the perfect base to explore the local area or to simply relax and enjoy the stunning surrounds.
Style: Sophisticated Beach Break
Distance: 1 Hour from Cairns
Attractions: Four Mile Beach, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, St. Mary’s by the Sea, Trinity Bay Lookout, Island Point
Slow down and take a long and well-deserved holiday in tropical Port Douglas. This resort town in the north of Queensland is a popular base for visits to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree National Park. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world and is only an hour offshore. Diving and boat tours are aplenty, so scheduling one is a breeze. The Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest in the world, is just a stone’s throw away from Port Douglas and offers hiking, cruises and spotting of native wildlife. Take a 4-wheel-drive tour for something different.
Another of the town’s main attraction is Four Mile Beach. This wide strip of palm-fringed, white-sand shores starts at the end of Macrossan St, which is the main hub for shopping, wining, and dining. The southern end of Four Mile Beach is perfect for kitesurfing especially during winter months when the trade winds blow. Don’t forget to explore the northern end of the beach for rock pools and a secluded spot to sit and relax.
End the day with the quintessential sunset shot at Rex Smeal Park. It’s a hotspot for both locals and tourists and features a large grassy area where the kids can play.
Where to stay in Port Douglas
Port Douglas is a holiday mecca and offers a huge range of accommodation options. We’ve hand-picked the best of the best, including luxurious lodges, rainforest resorts and spectacular private beachfront villas – allowing you to plan the style of holiday that suits you best.