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Down Under, we hear the call of the beach often. But if you’re up for more than just a swim or a stroll, these pristine beach spots along the coast offer mesmerizing views, remote camping, reef snorkeling, horse riding and even cliff walking above the Tasman.

Want to Do More than Swim? Visit these Unexpected Aussie Beaches!

Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park

For: Amazing snorkelling and marine life

Strap your snorkel on and get out there! The waters of Turquoise Bay (not too far from Exmouth) is one of the few points along the Western Australian coast where Ningaloo Reef is just an arm’s reach away.

Tropical fish abound in this bay, as do reef sharks (don’t worry, they’re harmless) and green sea turtles. Just remember to look but don’t touch, and be wary of the current that may carry you out to the ocean side of the reef.

Strap your snorkel on and get out there! The waters of Turquoise Bay (not too far from Exmouth) is one of the few points along the Western Australian coast where Ningaloo Reef is just an arm’s reach away.

Shark Beach, Nielsen Park, Sydney

For: Fantastic skyline views

If it’s a beach with glorious views you’re after, head to Nielsen Park in the eastern Sydney suburb of Vaucluse. This grand picnic spot looks straight onto the Sydney skyline, making for a great backdrop for your swim.

You’ll also find barbeques, picnic tables and toilets in the park, as well as a kiosk.

St. Andrews Ocean Beach, Mornington Peninsula

For: Beautiful horse riding on the beach

While you might love a good swim or surf, there’s no going past a gorgeous horse ride on St. Andrews Ocean Beach in Victoria. Horse lovers can opt for either a 2-hour ride at sunrise, sunset or in the middle of the day, with bush trotting, beach clopping and spectacular peninsula views.

If you’re really up for it, you can also choose a ride that takes you along the beach and then onto the local hot springs for a relaxing end-of-day dip!

St. Andrews Ocean Beach, Mornington Peninsula

Nine Mile Beach, Byfield National Park

For: A wonderfully remote camping trip     

On the coast of Queensland, just a couple of hours’ drive from Rockhampton, lies the beautiful Byfield National Park. And the Nine Mile Beach here is one of the best bush and beach camping destinations in Australia.

There are no facilities, so you’ll need to come fully equipped, along with a 4WD and a camping permit.

Fortescue Bay, Tasman National Park

For: Resplendent cliff hiking adventures

The beach at Fortescue Bay, Tasmania, is worthy of a swim, but it’s the surrounding dolerite columns and towering sea stacks that make this destination one of the most unique in all of Australia.

This beach spot gives way to the stunning (but not for the faint-hearted) Cape Hauy Track, which makes for a magnificent trail with impressive views of the vertical cliffs and the Totem Pole and Candlestick stack formations. Overall, the track is about 4.4km one-way or a 4-hour return trip.

Cape Hauy Track Tasmania

Remember that protecting your trip with travel insurance is essential, even when travelling within Australia and is highly recommended by the Australian government and


Beach product

Waterproof/Polar Fleece Picnic Blanket

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Clear Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Case

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Mesh Beach Tote Bag with Insulated Picnic Cooler


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Turquoise Bay by Robert Young. Cape Hauy Track Tasmania by Bruno Sarlandie.


  1. I need the horse ride along the beach. That is something different now.

    • It’s the dream right! Something incredibly romantic and adventurous about riding a horse across a beautiful beach :)

  2. I’m dying to get to Australia. I really want to check out the coffee scene. Clearly, I need to check out these beautiful beaches too.

    • Hope you have the chance to visit soon! There are many great coffee shops along the beaches here so you can kick back and enjoy the view :)

  3. I’m not much of a swimmer, since I didn’t grow up in Australia, so I love visiting a beach where there is something else to do. I love the idea of the cliff walking and the horse-back riding. I will have to put these beaches on my list for my big Australia trip in a few years. Thanks.

    • Definitely a lot of attractions with Aussie beaches that don’t have to involve the water. We have many sand based activities and sports, and a lot of coastal walks :)

      Have a wonderful trip to Australia! Feel free to touch base if you have any questions in your planning stage :)

  4. I love this! I always prefer the adventures at the beach more than actually swimming. St. Andrews Ocean Beach would be so fun for horseback riding, and I’d love to check out the cliff hiking at Fortescue Bay!

    • Australia beach bucket list right! :D

  5. Turquoise bay looks amazing. Pity it is soooo far from Melbourne, where I normally go!

    • I would definitely recommend a flight if you’re heading from Melbourne to WA – otherwise you could definitely organize an epic roadtrip and make your way around the whole south Aus coast!

  6. Oh my gosh what a list! Pretty easy to see how Turquoise Bay got its name- the colour of that water is incredible! I think the beaches in Whitsundays are my all-time favourites.

    • The beaches in Whitsundays are definitely high up there on any list – if I had to choose a place to retire that would be it!

  7. This is fantastic! I love your description of each beach but I also like that you included what to do on each one. When we travel to beach destinations, I want to know what beach to visit based on activities. Like where to go for the best snorkeling, swimming, deserted beaches, etc. This is a very handy guide. Shark Beach and Turquoise Bay are now at the top of my list!

    • Thanks Mia! The adventurous activities on offer at each beach are definitely what makes them unique :) So glad that you enjoyed the guide!

      Hope you have the chance to visit each!

  8. Ahhhh, this is making me homesick! My wife and I have probably done more than our fair share of traveling around the world but still reckon that Aussie beaches are where it’s at! Thanks for sharing a few newbies with us!

    • I totally agree – after having circled the globe, we really appreciate the quality of a good Aussie beach!

  9. I love this post – I’m going to send it to my family in Australia! I hope to make it back out there one day (armed with this list), but I love the look of Nielsen Park. The colours and the views are so spectacular, I could be there all day!

    • Thanks Samantha! If you have family in Australia you have a great excuse to visit :D Hope you can take in Nielsen Park – really is such a stunning view!

  10. awesome beach…i love it.

    • Thanks Anna :) I’m bias but Australia has the whole beach thing down pat :D

  11. I’m totally checking out some of these beaches when I visit Oz in December. Fortescue Bay in Tasman National Park looks beyond beautiful… but also a little scary.

    • Have an amazing trip to Aus in December Mike! Can absolutely recommend Tasmania, such a stunning part of the country with some really incredible hikes :)

  12. This is perfect for me as I love beaches, mostly for the spectacular views. I am also big sucker for sun rise and sun sets on the beach. Each beach here offers something unique and I would love to do that hike in Fortescue Bay.

    • Right there with you on watching sunrise and sunset over the beach – though it’s usually sunset for me as I’m not a morning person :D!

      The hike at Fortescue Bay is incredible – hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  13. Each beach is tempting me to visit! Each one better than the other. I wonder how long it will take to cover all of them.

    • Some of them are quite far apart, all across Australia, but you could definitely plan out a couple of months to take a cross country tour and include each beach as you make your way from State to State :)

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