Just south of Tweed Heads in northern NSW, not far from Fingal Head, just follow the walking track that leads through the Fingal Headland Reserve from the end of Lighthouse Parade, or walk north from the Surf Lifesaving Club at Kingscliff.
With a dramatic backdrop of black cliffs and unique formations such as the Giant’s Causeway out in the bay, Combined with stretches of fine white sand and lush green foliage, it’s pretty close to paradise. There are plenty of accommodation options, from Kingscliff caravan parks to luxury holiday rentals such as Dreamtime Beach House.
For more information on the area, head to www.tweed.nsw.gov.au
Not far from Manly, Store Beach can only be accessed by water.
Hire a kayak at Manly Wharf – it will take you about 20 minutes to paddle to the beach. Just ask the kindly kayak keepers which way to point your nose.
There’s hardly ever anyone there on weekdays and it’s a breeding ground for little penguins. Bliss out in the sun before heading back. You’ll feel like you’ve done your exercise for the day, too.
Call Manly Kayak Centre on 0412 622 662 or visit manlykayakcentre.com.au
Sunshine Beach is about 7km south of Noosa, along David Low Way near Sunshine Beach Noosa Heads National Park, so it’s a pristine environment well worth exploring.
With 15km of sand stretching all the way down to Peregian Beach, there’s always somewhere to get away from the madding crowds.
It’s one of those quintessentially Australian beaches that overseas guests go all open-mouthed about, because it looks like it’s endless.
It’s also got great surf and is dog friendly, and at the right time of year you’re bound to spot a few dolphins and whales.
For more information about the area, go to visitsunshinecoast.com.au
Agnes Water is Queensland’s northernmost surf beach, about 485km north of Brisbane and halfway between Bundaberg and Gladstone. While it’s no secret to locals, many out-of-towners have no idea this region is sitting here just waiting to be explored.
What’s not to love about a pristine beach fringed by casuarinas and a ‘town’ (comprising a supermarket, couple of cafes, bakery, pharmacy, petrol station and not much else) that oozes laid-back charm.
Apart from Agnes Water’s main beach, there are loads of beaches nearby with hardly a soul on them. Because many are in the national park and only accessible by 4WD, you may find the only footprints on the sand are yours.
It also makes a great starting point for a Barrier Reef visit and is great for diving, fishing and sailing.
Go to agneswater.net
for more information.
Golden Beach is near Sale and around 252km from Melbourne, it’s one of the amazing holiday spots along Ninety Mile Beach – which is, of course, 90 miles of golden sand and surf that stretches almost the entire length of Gippsland from Port Albert, near Yarram, north to Lakes Entrance.
You could find a spot to yourself anywhere along Ninety Mile Beach, but we rate Golden Beach for its great ocean fishing, surfing and wildlife. Be prepared to see heaps of kangaroos, native birds and even emus and echidnas – the reputed recluses of the animal kingdom – from the coastal tracks around here.
There’s a huge fishing competition here on the Australia Day long weekend, when the secret gets out, so it’s best to come at another time to appreciate its seclusion.
For information about Ninety Mile Beach National Park, go to parkweb.vic.gov.au
For more general information and accommodation options, go to visitvictoria.com
Killarney Beach is near Port Fairy, around 380km west of Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road.
The offshore reef makes this a nice calm spot for kids, and there’s a camping reserve right behind the dunes. It’s also great for fishing.
For caravan and camping options, go to portfairycaravanparks.com
Memory Cove which is part of Lincoln National Park, is 50km south of Port Lincoln and 650km south-west of Adelaide. Access to Memory Cove Wilderness Area is 4WD-only.
The five campsites are right on the beach, the scenery is seriously stunning, the fishing excellent, and with no more than 15 vehicles allowed in at any one time, it’s never going to be crowded.
This is truly one of the most elite experiences you can have in Australia, but without the five-star prices. It’s just $8.50 for park entry per car, a $6 camping fee per car, and $16 per vehicle per night.
You need to pick up a key from the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre, 3 Adelaide Place, Port Lincoln to gain entry to Memory Cove.
Phone ahead to check availability: (08) 8688 3111; environment.sa.gov.au/parks
Maslin Beach is on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, and you can get there via the Southern Expressway.
In 1975 the southern section of beach was declared Australia’s first official nude beach, but there’s plenty of room left over if you prefer swimming in Speedos.
Grab a snorkel and check out the leafy sea dragons (an actual creature, not a euphemism) or take a walk along the picturesque cliffs that flank the beach.
You get a great view of the sunset from up there. Once you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, you can head off to sample what the McLaren Vale wineries have to offer.
Head to southaustralia.com
for more ideas on what to do and see.
Lucky Bay is in the Cape Le Grand National Park, 50km south-east of Esperance by sealed road.
Breathtaking scenery, beachside camping and a fantastic 15km coastal walking trail from Le Grand Beach to Rossiter Bay along the edge of Cape Le Grand.
You’ll find Lucky Bay at about the halfway point. You’ll also find southern grey kangaroos sunning themselves on the beach, If the bay is overrun with fisherman, head around the point to Thistle Cove, where you’re unlikely to find a soul.
For more information on the region and to book the caravan or camping grounds, go to visitesperance.com
Point Ann is in the western section of Fitzgerald River National Park, 180km north-east of Albany. Best access is via Bremer Bay; from the east, the best access is via Hopetoun or the Hamersley Drive from the South Coast Highway.
It’s one of just two places in Australia (the other is Head of Bight in South Australia) where southern right whales come to calve in large numbers. There are two whale-watching platforms and best time to go to make use of it is June through to October.
For more information on the Albany region, go to albanytourist.com.au.
For more information about Fitzgerald River National Park, click on the park finder tab at dec.wa.gov.au
Happy Holidays and Stay Safe!