The official Top 10 Aussie Beaches list for 2024

Did you know that Australia wins the prize for the most beaches of any country in the world? We are blessed with over 12,500 beaches, and each year Tourism Australia’s Ambassador and Beach Expert Brad Farmer has the enviable job of selecting the country’s Top 10 Best Beaches. Unsurprisingly, this year’s Top 10 list is exclusively comprised of beaches found in regional Australia!

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1. Squeaky Beach, Victoria

Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park gets its name from the acoustics of compressed quartz and silica sand underfoot – the sand literally squeaks between your toes. This beautiful beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the Gippsland region.

The crashing waves and clear waters of Squeaky Beach stretch for 700 metres and the beach is uniquely recognisable by the striking, coloured granite boulders holding vigil at either end.

Picturesque nature trails and hikes abound amongst abundant stretches of pristine coastline. If you’re lucky you may come across a kangaroo, wombat, or even an emu in this natural haven.

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2. The Farm, NSW

As with many Aussie beaches, it was travelling surfers of the 60’s on the hunt for the perfect wave who uncovered this once hidden beach. The beach could only be accessed via a paddock and entry was granted by throwing a few coins to a kind farmer in exchange for opening his gate. Hence the name, The Farm.

Widely recognised and one of the best surf beaches in NSW, The Farm on the South Coast is a pocket-shaped coastal cove, annexed by two small headlands forming a majestic natural amphitheatre. It is part of the Killalea Regional Park which covers 250 hectares and is home to remnant rainforest, a scenic lagoon and many endangered flora and fauna.

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3. Cockle Creek, Tasmania

This is one for the adventurous at heart! Cockle Creek is quite literally the end of the road. It is the southernmost drivable point of Australia and gateway to the majestic coastal scenery of the Southwest National Park, located in the Hobart and the South region.

The water here can oscillate between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius, so if you like your swims brisk and refreshing, this is the place for you! Watch nesting shorebirds, marvel at the snowcapped mountain peaks and laze by the beach’s edge; as Cockle Creek puts the “wild” back into wilderness.

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4. Madfish Bay, Western Australia

With 12,000kms of coastline (Australia’s longest stretch of coast!), Western Australia presents a quandary every year when selecting a single “best beach” as the locals are so utterly spoilt for choice.

This year’s gem is Madfish Bay, a 20-minute drive from Denmark in Western Australia’s South West along an easy-paced ambling coast road. Madfish Bay is a hidden utopia comprised of a cluster of small beaches separated by natural rock outcroppings in the magnificent William Bay National Park. The secluded and semi-sheltered lagoon is perfect for kids to swim in, or if you’re a more confident swimmer, head to the right of the bay for deeper waters and snorkelling adventures.

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5. Pulu Blan Madar Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The word paradise gets thrown around willy nilly, but honestly, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands must be one of the closest things that Australia has to paradise on earth.

One of this far-flung archipelago’s southernmost islands is Pulu Blan Madar. With a sheltered curved beach and crystal-clear turquoise waters, this idyllic remote outpost is located almost 6 hours by plane from Perth.

The Cocos Keeling Islands are surrounded by one of the largest protected marine sanctuaries in the world, covering 467,054 square kms. Yet another jewel of the northwest to discover and savour.

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6. Cylinder Beach, Queensland

Often cited as one of the Sunshine State’s most beautiful and safe beaches, there’s no disputing that Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island is an exceptional place to visit or reside. With 38kms of coastline you are bound to find your own little spot to swim, relax and play.

Access to the island is via vehicular or passenger ferry, with ferries leaving from Cleveland and arriving at Dunwich. If you’re visiting, be sure to check out the towns on the island, including the local museum.

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7. Lagoon Beach, NSW

World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island boasts impressive, densely forested mountains bordered by picture perfect beaches and a pristine coral reef, and has been likened to the ‘Hawaii’ of Australia. Lagoon Beach is the calmest, largest and most picturesque of the island’s beaches, with the majestic Mt Gower offering striking views on the horizon.

With no mobile phone reception, Lord Howe demands you switch off and immerse yourself in nature. And with visitor numbers limited to 400 at any one time (roughly the population of the residents), it is supremely peaceful and uncrowded.

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8. Long Beach, South Australia

Providing ease of access to the water, Long Beach on South Australia’s Limestone Coast allows you to drive your car right up to the water’s edge of this calm and sheltered beach, making it the perfect spot for families and those with accessibility needs.

The nearby central port of Robe was established in 1847 and was once one of the busiest ports in Australia for wool export. Buzzing cafes, craft beer, Limestone Coast wines and sumptuous fare is on offer regionally.

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Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

9. Cow Bay, Qld

In Tropical North Queensland nestled between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation you’ll find the incredible Cow Bay, on Kuku Yalanji Country. This is the famous stretch of tropical coast where densely rain-forested slopes meet the calm, clear coral shallows of the Great Barrier Reef.

Stroll along the cream coloured sand to take in the exquisite views, but don’t be fooled by the multi-blue-hued waters, because saltwater crocodiles call Tropical North Queensland home.

(Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland)

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10. Casuarina Beach, Northern Territory

Contrary to popular belief, Australia’s Top End really does have some fabulous beaches. Located in the Northern Territory capital of Darwin, Casuarina Beach on Larrakia Country is a long-time favourite beach amongst locals and visitors alike, complimented by a forested backdrop of paperbarks, mangroves and Casuarina shaders.

NT enjoys a completely unique coastal vibe and even has inland beaches worthy of exploration as far south as Alice Springs. And according to Beach Expert Brad Farmer, headlines of croc-infested waters are greatly exaggerated!

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