With the temperature rarely dropping below 25 degrees all year round, you’re sure to have a summer getaway, no matter the season. This tropical town in Far North Queensland, situated on the coral coast, is a tourist hot spot. With regular trips to the reef, an abundance of hotels to suit every budget and picturesque beaches, it’s hard not to fall in love with Port Douglas. Try the iconic Sunday Market, stay at QT Port Douglas and grab a cocktail by the water at On The Inlet.
Only accessible by water taxi or car ferry, this laid back island boasts stunning beaches and a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for those looking for an escape. The small beach town on the island, Point Lookout, is like the land that time forgot. It’s filled with beach shacks, take away fish and chip shops and friendly locals. Try surf lessons from North Stradbroke Island Surf School, get fresh seafood from The Prawn Shack and have brunch at Into The Blue. It’s the ultimate surf town experience.
Part playground for those who enjoy the finer things in life, part surf village, Noosa is the ultimate beach town. You won’t need a car, as everything you could possibly want is on Hastings Street. Here you’ll find a buzzing restaurant scene, trendy fashion boutiques, bars and the stunning Noosa Main Beach. There is an abundance of accommodation options, ranging from cheap and cheerful for backpackers to waterfront retreats. While you’re there you may even want to try a surf lesson, or buy your own board from the local Noosa Longboards.
Once a sleepy surf town, Cabarita is becoming the go-to for trendy city slickers looking for a getaway. Cabarita boasts picture perfect Cabarita Beach, a selection of popular surfing spots and the stunning Halcyon House, a luxury boutique hotel. Quieter than Byron Bay, Cabarita is following in the footsteps with trendy restaurants and bars. Try Taverna – a new foodie addition to the area.
Arguably Australia’s most well known beach town, Byron Bay will not disappoint. It’s got the boho-luxe-beach vibe, which may pull you in permanently. Many visitors don’t leave, falling in love with the relaxed town. With an abundance of stunning beaches, including The Pass and Wategos, you’re spoilt for choice. It’s a place for surfers, adventurers, nature lovers, shopaholics and foodies. Whether you’re staying at five star Rae’s on Wategos, or Aquarius Backpackers, you can’t visit Byron Bay without trying an iconic Bay Kebab’s kebab. Best eaten after an afternoon session at the Beach Hotel.
Near the tip of Sydney’s northern beaches, Avalon is the ultimate beach community. Only an hour from the madness of Sydney, it has the perfect mix of boho, with all the mod cons. Many Sydneysiders have relocated for a slice of beachside living, but are still able to commute for the rat race. It’s also perfect for a day trip or overnight visit. Newly refurbished The Avalon On The Beach is literally on the beach and offers a casual kiosk and more formal restaurant. Avalon is buzzing with surfies, creatives, entrepreneurs and everyone looking to slow things down.
Lord Howe Island
This remote island is located approximately 600km northeast of Sydney, but is still considered part of New South Wales. It’s isolated, World Heritage listed and simply breathtaking. It really is one of Australia’s east coast best kept secrets. This friendly beachside community has the clearest water you’ll see, amazing snorkelling and a surprisingly big selection of hotel and restaurant options. Magical Ned’s Beach is a must visit for snorkelling, breakfast at The Anchorage is highly recommended and be prepared to cycle your way around the island. In true beach town style, there are no cars!
Tucked away on NSW’s south coast, Hyams Beach is stunning. The white sandy beach meets the bright blue water. It’s easy to think you’re on a tropical island, when really you’re only 3 hours from Sydney’s busy CBD. If you’re not snorkelling in the crystal clear water or lazing on the beach, it’s worth exploring the Jervis Bay surrounds and Jervis Bay National Park. After lots of exploring, rest your head at the cute Hyams Beach Seaside Cottages, painted in the prettiest pastels.