Top 5 Australian Beach Resorts
Australia has more than 10,000 beaches, and there are stunning resorts all over the country. Narrowing it down is no easy feat, but after much consideration, here are five of my favourite beach resorts, in the country I now call home:
Noosa National Park (image: Visit Noosa)
Noosa is one of Australia’s most glamorous resorts; known for its upmarket boutiques and fancy restaurants. It’s probably an obvious one to add to the list, but Noosa is really so much more than high-end eateries. For nature lovers, a trip to the Everglades is a must; one of only two such regions in the world and one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems, it includes over 40% of the country’s bird species. Then there’s the beautiful National Park, complete with nearly 10,000 acres of walking trails and beaches, bursting with abundant wildlife. Make sure you head up to Laguna Lookout for magnificent views. The resort also hosts the Noosa Festival of Surfing every March; the world's largest surfing event.
Whale shark in Coral Bay (image: Tourism Western Australia)
For me, Coral Bay has the best beach in Australia. It boasts a stretch of pure white sand, totally underdeveloped and on the doorstep of the most amazing reef. In fact, the Ningaloo Reef is the world's largest fringing reef and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s considered one of the best places to see whale sharks in the world; these enormous fish travel to Ningaloo from March to July every year. You’re also likely to see turtles, reef sharks, manta rays, dolphins and an abundance of fish species. If you’d rather eat the fish that swim with them, then there’s excellent fishing and seafood in this part of the world too. The laid-back little town is the perfect place to unwind, and the weather is great all year round.
Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay (image: Hayley Lewis)
Before moving to Australia I hadn’t heard of Jervis Bay, but the area is incredibly popular with Aussies, and it’s easy to see why. It has gorgeous beaches, including Hyams Beach, which boasts the whitest sand in the world according to the Guinness World Records. And not only are the beaches beautiful, they are also home to some amazing marine life, and Jervis Bay Marine Park is an excellent spot for scuba diving. Between May and November, you can often see migrating humpback and southern right whales from the shore, or even better, from a whale-watching boat.
Jervis Bay is bordered by two gorgeous national parks, great for walks and wildlife, where you can camp on the beaches and watch the sunrise in the morning.
Surfing in the Margaret River region (image: Tourism Western Australia)
Margaret River is a wine region and coastal town, three hours south of Perth. It’s a beautiful area, home to more than 120 wineries as well as some excellent craft breweries. The wine here really is fantastic, and the region produces more than 20% of Australia’s premium wine. There’s also great cheese and chocolate producers here too, in fact there’s plenty of delicious local produce to enjoy.
This article isn’t about wine however; it’s about beach resorts, and Margaret River doesn't disappoint with its gorgeous white sand beaches and incredible surf. You can find some of Australia’s best surfing here, in particular for the more advanced surfer, and there are also great beaches for snorkelling and swimming along the coastline.
Personally, there’s no better place to enjoy a glass of Margaret River wine, (and chocolate and cheese), than on a beautiful beach, watching the sunset. In the south of the region is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. A pretty special spot.
Byron Bay (image: Hayley Lewis)
Last but by no means least is Byron Bay. I don’t think I would ever get bored of this town. It has such an awesome atmosphere, the people are friendly, the food is great, the surf is good and you’re guaranteed to leave feeling more relaxed (well I do anyway!). It’s a popular place, and some of its original hippie charm has helped it evolve into a more stylish scene.
This is a great place to learn to surf, take yoga classes, meditate and enjoy a cocktail or two. I also love the shopping in Byron Bay, with bohemian markets and quirky little shops selling clothes, trinkets and homewares. Australia’s easternmost town is also home to some great festivals, including Bluesfest – a blues and roots festival held every Easter, which has to be the most chilled-out festival I’ve ever been to, with festivalgoers even bringing their own chairs!