Clifton Beach, Queensland
Though it’s only a 20-minute drive from Cairns, Clifton Beach is something of a local secret. Connecting the more well-known Palm Cove and Kewarra Beach, this often empty stretch of white sand is gently lapped by the Coral Sea and lined by swaying palm trees. It’s also a practical base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef or heading inland to the Daintree rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands. The buildings here are all low-rise and blend into the tropical greenery; stay at South Pacific B&B for proximity to the beach as well as the jade-green, jungle-like swimming pool.
Point Samson, Western Australia
A small, seaside village, Point Samson sits on the tip of the eponymous peninsula in Western Australia. You can take your pick from a number of beaches here; all peaceful pockets of sand protected by fringing coral reefs. St John’s Creek and Honeymoon Cove provide the most picture-perfect settings, the latter a small, curved cove sheltered by rust-red rock. The village is also known for its fresh seafood, so don’t leave without trying some scallops, prawns and delectable battered bream. Check into Samson Beach Chalets, just a 5-minute walk from the sea.
Vincentia, New South Wales
For crystalline waters, sand so white it doesn’t seem real, and none of the busyness of Bondi, head south of Sydney to the town of Vincentia on the shores of Jervis Bay. It’s a popular getaway for Sydneysiders for good reason; there are multiple beautiful beaches to choose from, whether it’s the calm waters backed by silver gum-trees of Murray’s Beach in Booderee National Park, or the colourful parrot-filled Green Patch beach. You can also go scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding if you fancy a little expedition. Stay at the highly-rated Jervis Bay Waterfront to wake up to glorious ocean views.
Bordered by bushland reserves, the coastal town of Bridport overlooks the sparkling blue waters of Anderson Bay. Whether it's a cooling dip in sparkling clear water, a stroll along the beaches or foreshore walking tracks, or just stretching out, relaxing and building sand castles with the kids, Bridport beaches have it all. Sheltered sandy spots are dotted along the foreshore, with rock pools galore to explore. Spend the night just at This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Enjoy the garden with beach views while staying at Bridairre B&B.
Crescent Head, New South Wales
Apparently the psychology of leaving the Pacific Highway and turning around to head south along the east coast prevents a lot of travellers from discovering the beauty of Crescent Head. As a result, this captivating coastal village is particularly quiet. Surf its renowned waves or sunbathe on picture-perfect sands backed by a headland featuring one of Australia’s most magnificent cliffs. Check into the village’s highly-rated Med Crescent Head.