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Published on September 21st, 2011

Australia’s notable beaches – Qantas Magazine

From the remote to the remarkable, from the famous to the well hidden, marine scientist and beach boffin Andrew Short nominates Australia’s most notable stretches of sand.

Selecting “outstanding” Australian beaches is made all the more difficult because not only do we have thousands of them (more than 12,000), but many rate very highly. By world standards, the Australian coast has superb beaches. Why? For a start it has an abundance of clean white-to-yellow golden sand combined with generally clean, clear water, both a product of the continent’s ancient geology and aridity. Then there are the thousands of headlands that shorten a beach to an average of slightly more than 1km and provide often dramatic boundaries and backdrops to the golden sands.

Next there are the waves, endlessly rolling in around the entire southern half of the continent. Surprisingly, the vast majority of the beaches are undeveloped or remote, with half inaccessible by vehicle. Finally, the climate ranges from balmy in the north to more bracing in the south
– so what you see is what you get: beautiful, natural, clean beach systems ranging from the Top End to Tassie, a true ribbon of gold that is the envy of the world.

The 20-odd chosen here are a little more accessible and generally less developed. Most can be visited by car, while a few require 4WD. They represent some of the best of the best. Don’t just fly over or land near them – these Australian beaches should be explored and enjoyed. 

"Hat Head Beach curves for 16km south from Smoky Cape to a tidal creek that flows out hard against the base of the conical, 165m-high Hat Head. The pristine southern corner also houses the small community and offers surf, a camping area, surf club and a sheltered sandy inlet that is perfect for families. The ebb and flow of the creek is popular with swimmers and the circular scenic walk around the head includes secluded pocket beaches. "

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It is a pitty they put a picture of Little Smoky Beach up by mistake – but hey we really have great beaches everywhere around Hat Head, South West Rocks and Arakoon.

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