Whichever city you choose for an Australian holiday, there will be a buzzing metropolitan beach or a secluded cove within easy reach. Therein lies the reason as to why everyone around the world associates Down Under with the beach.
If you're looking for a beach break this summer, we recommend the following coastal spots. These not only offer quality sun, sand and surf, but also keep you close to all the inner-city action.
1. Grange Beach, Adelaide
This is the quietest of Adelaide’s city beaches – but with ample free parking, a great little waterfront cafe, a decent pub and a fish-and-chip shop nearby, there’s a lot to like. The ocean is usually pretty flat and somewhat tame, but on the positive side there’s plenty of shade beneath the old wooden jetty and a very active life-saving club. After a few hours on the beach, retreat to the Grange Hotel for a cold Coopers Pale Ale – there’s a lovely ocean view from the veranda.
2. Greenmount Beach, near Brisbane
This is a fine example of a Gold Coast beach, extending from a broad sweep of sand around a rocky point to the smaller Rainbow Bay and the spectacular surf action of Snapper Rocks. The Tweed Heads & Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club – established in 1911 and the oldest in Queensland – is at one end.
3. Mission Beach, near Cairns
Popular – but rarely crowded because of its distance from the Bruce Highway (16 kilometres) and its length (10 kilometres) – Mission Beach in tropical north Queensland is great for swimming and surfing. Start at Clump Point and wander south. The best places to swim are in the stinger enclosures at Mission Beach and South Mission Beach or at patrolled Wongaling.
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4. Nightcliff, Darwin
There’s no better place to enjoy the Darwin coastline, and it’s especially great at sunset. The path meanders for 6.5 kilometres along the foreshore past playgrounds, exercise stations, the Nightcliff Pool and top-notch picnic and barbecue spots.
At sunset, follow the Rapid Creek Bridge across to the Casuarina Coastal Reserve, with its red cliffs and sandy beach. Swimming is not recommended – though some locals do – but fishing is popular.
5. Half Moon Bay, Melbourne
This metropolitan Melbourne beach is set snugly in a secluded cove. The water gets deep quickly, making it ideal for swimming laps.
If you’re not a good swimmer, stick to the shallower southern stretch, where you can also buy fantastic fish and chips. Peering above the water is rusty, old HMVS Cerberus, one of the world’s last monitor warships. Stay until dusk to watch the sun sink beyond it.
6. Cottesloe Beach, Perth
This is undoubtedly Perth’s poster girl. Soft, pale sands meet turquoise waters so transparent you can feel disorientated. It’s incredibly popular but somehow that doesn’t detract from the charm.
Lined by Norfolk pines where noisy parrots cluster at sunset, Cottesloe is the city’s most popular picnic spot (the fish and chippery, Amberjack’s, does a roaring trade). Swim between the flags if you’re not confident.
7. Bondi Beach, Sydney
Ah, Bondi, the queen of Sydney beaches. Take a stroll along the promenade, grab an ice cream, find a spot on the sand and stretch out.
This ocean beach is as beautiful as the people who flock to it, often wearing little more than their SPF 50+. Swim at the north end and park yourself up on the grassy hill, with its view of the entire beach.
If you have children, the kids’ pool at the north end is for you. At the south end you will find Bondi Icebergs Club, home to one of the best-known ocean lap pools in the city. The sea is not as rough as at many ocean beaches but always swim between the flags.
This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.