One estimate puts the number of beaches in Australia at just over 11,000 â more than anywhere else on the planet. Nearly all the country's population lives within reach of the beach, so the competition is pretty fierce to see which is best!
This is Australia's most famous beach by a mile. It's the quintessential surf, sand and sun paradise, a magnet for sunlovers, surfers and lifesavers. Best of all, it's only minutes by car away from Sydney's CBD. Just back from the beach itself is a strip of cafes where you can watch the action, including celeb-spotting, and check out the skills of passing skateboarders.
This is (mainland) Australia's most easterly point and home to a wonderful annual music festival. However, for 51 weeks of the year it's a tranquil if popular beach resort with a lovely laid-back alternative feel to it. Plenty of live music, good dining and other attractions such as the nearby rainforest or a trip out to the Cape Byron lighthouse complete the experience.
In southern WA, this is the aptly named mecca for anyone into surfing. It's a supreme naturally created surf generator with an international reputation, especially among more experienced surfers (it's not really for beginners). Away from the surf itself, the area inland â Margaret River â is a famous destination for gastronomes, with a massive network of tiny vineyards producing nearly 20 percent of Australia's premium wines, and good food to go with it.
This is Australia's third longest stretch of uninterrupted sand. Facing south into what can sometimes be rough and windy weather, this beach can also seduce you with calm, hot and clear conditions for walking or horse riding along its length. There is also a fascinating network of ponds of water trapped behind the dunes at the back of the beach, filled to the brim with interesting marine life.
Nowadays synonymous with dolphins, Monkey Mia is located on a stretch of coast that is a World Heritage site. It's a paradise for anyone who loves nature and wildlife.
The dolphins first turned up in the mid-1960s; today, a pod swims in the clear and shallow waters of the bay every single day of the year â and sometimes several times a day. They remain wild but allow tourists to interact with them. The waters are calm and warm. Further up the coast there is good water-skiing.