Eight of Australia's best beaches for sunsets, surfing and white sand

Australia boasts an impressive collection of more than 10,000 beaches, surpassing any other country on the planet.

With such a vast selection to explore, we have carefully curated a handful of the spot’s most exquisite shores.

So, whether you crave pristine white sands and picturesque waves, or vibrant food markets complemented by the radiant hues of an Australian sunset, there’s bound to be a beach that takes your fancy.

Below are eight to add to your bucket list…

Mindil Beach

Darwin, Northern Territory

The NT has almost 11,000km/6,800 miles of pristine, unspoiled coastline, much of it remote from cities and towns. But one of the loveliest is near Darwin, NT’s capital.

Mindil Beach is best known for its sunset markets, which run between April and October.

There are more than 200 stalls selling everything from food to arts and crafts, accompanied by live entertainment.

Popular bites include barramundi, kangaroo or crocodile, but it’s the spicy Malaysian soup, laksa, that Mindil’s best known for.

Grab a bowl and find a spot to sit and watch the spectacular sunset.

Find out more here.

Whitehaven Beach

Whitsundays, Queensland

Made up of 98% pure silica, the sand at this unbelievably beautiful beach, located within the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands, is as soft and white as talcum powder, contrasting with the crystal-clear turquoise water.

You can head here on a leisurely cruise around the Whitsundays, or base yourself at Hamilton Island, just a 30 minute boat trip away.

Situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach is protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park; it’s also been voted the world’s top eco-friendly beach, and the cleanest in Queensland, so no littering!

Find out more here.

Bondi Beach

Sydney, New South Wales

Despite Sydney being home to more than 100 coastal and harbourfront beaches, Bondi is one of the most famous in the world, and for good reason.

Only around 20 minutes from downtown, it’s perfect for surfing, swimming, and, of course, seeing and being seen.

Take a dip in the azure blue ocean pool at Icebergs (icebergs.com.au), then bask on the golden stretch of sand.

Break up the day with a flat white at one of the many beachfront cafes, or even browse the designer boutiques.

As the sun sinks, it’s time to get the portable barbie out and crack open a few tinnies.

And look out for dolphins – they occasionally pop up to say g’day.

find out more here.

Bells Beach

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Surf’s always up at Bells Beach, located on Victoria’s southern coast by the Great Ocean Road, around 60 miles from Melbourne.

It’s renowned for its Easter weekend festivities, when the Rip Curl Pro Surfing competition takes place, and some of the world’s best surfers come to hang ten, enjoy the breaks, and catch some clean waves.

Not a surfer? Hike to the cliffs, which provide a dramatic backdrop to the beach, and offer a great vantage point for observing the action.

Find out more here.

Dolphin Beach

Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

An easy road trip from the vineyard city of Adelaide, the Yorke Peninsula is home to some of the country’s best beaches – many of which you can often have to yourself.

At the southern tip of the Peninsula, in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, you’ll find Dolphin Beach: an unspoilt, 800m-long stretch of shimmering sand and calm turquoise waters surrounded by dramatic cliffs.

It’s so-named for a reason – you can often spot dolphins frolicking in the waves, while on land you can even find kangaroos soaking up the rays.

The picturesque bay is protected from the elements and one of the safest spots in the area to take a dip.

Find out more here.

Wineglass Bay

Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Not just stunning when you’re on it, one of Tasmania’s most celebrated views is of this curving white stretch of sand itself.

Best seen from aboard a Wineglass Bay Cruise (wineglassbaycruises.com.au), you’ll sail around the tip of the Freycinent Peninsula within which the National Park is set, often with dolphins for company.

If you really want to earn that view, climb to the summit of Mount Amos, one of the peaks of the nearby Hazard mountains

It’s a short but steep hike, but once you get to the top it’s utterly worth it.

An easier trail is up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout, then you can descend the gentle granite slope to the beach.

Find out more here.

Lucky Bay

Esperance, Western Australia

This beach can actually claim to be the best in the world; it was voted number one in the list of the World’s Top 50 Beaches.

Esperance is a 90-minute flight from Perth, and Lucky Bay is another 45 minutes’ drive away – but you’ll be glad you made the journey.

Paddle out into the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, take a scenic flight over bubblegum-pink Lake Hillier or follow the bushwalking tracks of Cape Le Grand National Park.

Even an afternoon spent soaking up the sun’s rays can come with a wildlife encounter, thanks to Lucky Bay’s inquisitive kangaroos, which roam the shores.

We’d call that very lucky, indeed.

Find out more here.

Squeaky Beach

Gippsland, Victoria

This bonzer beach gets its name from the pure white quartz sand, which is so fine and rounded that it literally squeaks underfoot.

It’s the most-photographed beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park, three hours southeast of Melbourne, with dramatic granite boulders stretching right down to the water’s edge.

At the beach’s northern end, these boulders create a maze of passages to explore; visit at dusk to watch the rocks’ changing colours at sunset.

Find out more here.

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