Which Aussie beach was crowned our best?

Amy Bryant

Topping the Australian beaches for the 4th year running is Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Island. While, Brazil’s Baia do Sancho is crowned #1 in the World!

This year’s awards honoured 343 beaches including the top 25 in the world and local lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, the U.K. and the U.S. Travellers’ Choice award-winning beaches were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveller reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor, gathered over a 12-month period. 

Tourism and Events Queensland’s chief executive Leanne Coddington said Queensland was a dream destination for travellers the world over.

“Queensland is just the place to discover the world’s most pristine beaches, with Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays a must-do experience for visitors,” Coddington said.

Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Beaches in Australia:

Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Island, QLD

For the fourth consecutive year, Whitehaven Beach has been named the #1 Travellers Choice Beach in Australia. The beautiful soft sand beach stretches over seven kilometers and is the largest beach in the Whitsundays. The distinctive contrast between the white sand, blue waters and green headlands make it a must-see and it is easily one of the most photographed beaches in Australia.

“Best beach, purest white sand, and bluest water I have ever seen”, said a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Palm Bungalowsbookable on TripAdvisor from $398/night

Things to do: Explore Whitehaven beach via raft, bookable on TripAdvisor from $149

Surfers Paradise Beach – Surfers Paradise, QLD

Referred to fondly by locals as “a slice of paradise”, Surfers Paradise is known for its clean waters, fine sand and endless waves. It is also a popular spot to catch an “amazing” sunrise and for whale-watching.

A TripAdvisor reviewer commented “Beautiful white sandy beach that goes on forever. It is very clean and well patrolled. Lifeguards keep a good eye and post the conditions and precautions”.

 Highly rated hotel nearby: QT Gold Coast – bookable on TripAdvisor from $254/night

Things to do:  Book beginners’ surfing lessons on TripAdvisor from $60

Noosa Main Beach – Noosa, QLD

Noosa Main Beach is home to one of the best surf locations and is known as a safe and idyllic seaside playground. The beach is also in close proximity to many cafes, bars and restaurants, ideal for travellers in search of a full day of relaxation and food.

“A very nice beach. We really enjoyed the time here with my three kids. We stayed swimming in the ocean for a couple of hours. Waves are very easy for kids. This beach is wonderful” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

 Highly rated hotel nearby: Noosa Sun Motel & Holiday Apartmentsbookable on TripAdvisor from $154/night

Things to do:  Get acquainted with Noosa and the Gold Coast in a small group tour bookable on TripAdvisor from $99

Manly Beach – Sydney, NSW

Manly Beach was the first beach in Australia to allow daylight swimming and surfing back in 1903. Being one of the pioneer beaches for surf and beach culture – what Australia prides itself on – makes it a special place to explore. The ferry service from Circular Quay to Manly is fast and frequent, making it an ideal day trip from the city.

“Great beach easily accessible via ferry from Circular Quay. A short walk from the ferry with tons of shops, bars, and wonderful food options” shared a TripAdvisor traveller.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Quest Manly – bookable on TripAdvisor at $360/night

Things to do:  A cycling tour is one of the best ways to get around Manly, bookable on TripAdvisor from $44

Turquoise Bay – Exmouth, WA

Turquoise Bay is one of Western Australia’s most beautiful beaches, with turquoise waters and white sand. Located within metres of the famous Ningaloo Reef, Turquoise Bay is also the perfect spot for snorkeling amongst colourful coral and an abundance of fish species and sea life.

“A beautiful beach, golden sands, family friendly, and easy snorkeling. Totally unspoilt, it lived up to its name” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Sea Breeze Resort – bookable on TripAdvisor at $214/night

Things to do: Discover Ningaloo Reef’s rich marine life through a snorkeling excursion, bookable on TripAdvisor from $99

Burleigh Heads Beach – Burleigh Heads, QLD

Burleigh offers “fantastic” surfing conditions, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Away from the beach, travellers can also head to the nearby Burleigh Head National Park, known for its many beautiful walking trails and wildlife.

One TripAdvisor reviewer said, “There’s always something happening at Burleigh – surfing, aerobics, walking through the National Park, or just getting a coffee at The Nook and watching the Pacific Ocean roll in”.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Mariner Shores Resort & Beach Club – bookable on TripAdvisor at $236/night

Things to do: Experience Burleigh’s beaches and nature trails  in a day, bookable on TripAdvisor from $135

Cable Beach – Broome, WA

Cable Beach is known for its serenity. With 22 kilometers of clean sand and gentle waters, the beach makes exploring both pleasing and easy. Cable Beach is also popular with tourists for its exquisite sunsets over the Indian Ocean, a must-see for every traveller.

“Lovely place to visit and the place to be for sunsets over the crystal blue waters,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Bali Hai Resort & Spa – bookable on TripAdvisor at $255/night

Things to do: See the sights of Broome and ride into the sunset on camel back, bookable on TripAdvisor from $95

Mooloolaba Beach – Mooloolaba, QLD

Mooloolaba Beach is located in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and the north-facing beach is protected from the prevailing southerlies and south easterlies winds, which ensures near-perfect and safe water conditions all year round.

Reviewers speak of the “sapphire coloured waters” and “pure white sand”. A TripAdvisor reviewer said “A fantastic beach for families – a safe, beautiful location ideal for a great holiday”.

Highly rated hotel nearby: Mantra Mooloolaba Beach Resort – bookable on TripAdvisor at $244/night

Things to do: Fly the scenic route via helicopter over the Sunshine Coast, bookable on TripAdvisor from $145

The Strand – Townsville, QLD

The Strands beachfront offers plenty of recreation and entertainment options for travellers of all ages. This includes tree-lined walkways, safe swimming beaches, beautiful picnic spots, great restaurants and a water park.

“This location has something for everyone, lots of playgrounds, picnic areas, bench for relaxing and spectacular views of the island and ocean” according to a TripAdvisor user.

Highly rated mid-range hotel nearby: Quest Townsville – bookable on TripAdvisor at $179/night

Things to do: Explore Townsville, one of Queensland’s most vibrant cities, and learn about its history, bookable on TripAdvisor from $55

Emily Bay – Norfolk Island

Emily Bay is a beautiful beach of golden sand, clear water and pines. Set amongst the world heritage area of Kingston, the sheltered reefed lagoon is home to a variety of fish and coral reefs. The beach is also family friendly and offers a great day out for family activities and adventures.

One TripAdvisor reviewer dubbed Emily Bay as a “Great swimming spot… this beautiful bay was great for swimming and snorkelling. Also a great place to sit or lie on the grass and read a book…or have a nap”.

Highly rated mid-range hotel nearby: Endeavour Lodge – bookable on TripAdvisor at $348/night

Things to do: Visit Old Kingston Town for a tour of Australia’s historic penal colony settlements


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