Your top 10 sandy shores

Beaches – we love them. With almost 26,000km of coast to choose from, pinning down the top beach is no mean feat – but you managed it!

Recently, surfer, author and environmentalist, Brad Farmer, picked Cossie’s Beach (on the Cocos Keeling Islands) as the best in Australia and, while we can fully understand why, it is unfortunately difficult to reach.

Thankfully, you were only too happy to share with us the stretches of sand and sea that you considered to be worth the trek.

Did your favourite make the cut?

1. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Located in the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania, Wineglass Bay is one of the most photographed places on the Apple Isle. It’s also one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

Fast facts:

• it’s a three-hour drive from Hobart

• the Freycinet Peninsula has been a national park since 1916

• the view from the lookout across Wineglass Bay is one of Australia’s most well-known photo opportunities.

2. Cable Beach, Western Australia
A picturesque 22-kilometre strip of brilliant white sand, Cable Beach sits on the Indian Ocean coast, six kilometres west of Broome. Ideal for swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing, you can also ride a camel along the beach at sunrise or sunset, or just marvel at the striking contrast between the red ochre cliffs and turquoise waters.

Fast facts:

• it was named after the telegraph cable laid in 1889 between Broome and Java

• king tides are common – there can be up to a 14m difference between high and low tides

• the sunsets over Cable Beach are legendary.

3. Noosa Main Beach, Queensland
One of the few beaches along Australia’s coastline that faces north. With moderate waves aplenty, Noosa Main Beach is safe for swimming all year round.

Fast facts:

• hosts the annual Noosa Festival of Surfing each March

• it’s patrolled 365 days a year by lifesavers

• a great choice for those wanting to swim, paddleboard, learn to surf or just laze around.

4. Burleigh Heads Beach, Queensland
Protected by the point to the south, this north-east facing Gold Coast beach is the perfect place for sun seekers to swim in protected waters or surf around the headland.

Fast facts:

• the southern-most beach in Queensland

• one of the state’s very best locations for sur?ng

• the nearby national park affords wonderful views back over the beach.

5. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
An award-winning beach on Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach has impeccably soft, white sand and warm turquoise water. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colours. Many claim Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach are the most beautiful places they have ever been.

Fast facts:

• Whitehaven Beach is seven kilometres long

• Whitsunday Island is the largest of the 74 islands in the group

• the sand is 98 per cent silica – making it incredibly white, ?ne and heat-resistant.

6. Manly Beach, New South Wales
Situated among the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Manly Beach is an easy ferry ride across

Sydney Harbour. The home of the Australian Open of Surfing, its smooth ocean breaks make it a great spot to try your hand at catching a wave.

Fast facts:

• the first known body-surfing contest took place at the Manly Surf Club carnival in 1908

• it marks the beginning of the ‘Northern Beaches’, which reach up to Palm Beach

• Manly is often said to be “only seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care”.

7. Byron Bay, New South Wales
Sprawling between the headlands of the northern New South Wales coast, Byron Bay’s clean, undeveloped and relatively quiet beaches are protected from southerly winds and offer some of Australia’s favourite surf breaks.

Fast facts:

• attracts every type of beach-goer

• Cape Byron is the most easterly point of Australia’s mainland

• the water temperature averages 26°C during the summer months.

8. Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Not much explanation needed here, Bondi is arguably Australia’s most iconic beach but be prepared to be surrounded by thousands of your closest friends.

Fast facts:

• Australia’s most famous beach

• each year more than two million people visit Bondi Beach

• the four-kilometre Bondi to Bronte coastline walk offers stunning views.

9. Hyams Beach, New South Wales
Hyams Beach is a quaint seaside village on the shores of Jervis Bay, which, according to The Guinness Book of Records, officially has the whitest sand in the world.

Fast facts:

• a three-hour drive south of Sydney

• bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales are often spotted here

• take the ‘bird spotter’s walk’ and see colourful rosellas.

10. Turquoise Bay, Western Australia
One of the best beaches in WA, Turquoise Bay is in the Cape Range National Park near the town of Exmouth. With pristine, turquoise waters, it’s an ideal spot for snorkelling and swimming.

Fast facts:

• a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Perth

• snorkel over and explore Ningaloo Reef

• the reef is home to over 500 different fish species.