We've Uncovered 19 of Australia's Best Secret Beaches

Posted by Megan Osborne on Friday, September 22, 2017

From secret to hard to find, all the way to only accessible via walking or 4WD tracks; here are some of Australia’s favourite hidden beaches.

We recently rounded up a list of Australia’s best beaches, and from the rock pool we pulled the most well known, populated and sought after sandy shores. Everyone knows the beach bods hit Bondi, and the surfers head for Paradise, but where should the explorer head?

If you’re someone who’d rather trek through overgrown shrub to discover a deserted silent sanctuary, or follow the directions of locals and trust that if you keep going down that unmarked dirt road, a turquoise oasis awaits; then these practically untouched strands will make your next beach getaway complete.

Let us lead you off the beachen track.

Forrest Caves, Phillip Island, Victoria

forrest caves victoria beach

Image: David Hannah for Visit Victoria

Forrest Caves beach appears only for the adventurous, or more specifically, those that visit at low tide. Explore the sea caves after checking out the sand and fun at Phillip Island's adjoining Surf Beach, and immerse yourself in a secluded and mesmerising space of geological erosion. Heads up: It’s not safe to attempt a cave discovery during high tide.

Stokes Bay Beach, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

stokes bay kangaroo island south australia

Image: Paul Torcello for South Australian Tourism Commission, Waves and Wildlife, Paul’s Place, Stokes Bay, North Coast Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Access to Stokes Bay Beach on Kangaroo Island is about as magically mysterious as it gets. Upon arrival one might feel the urge to turn around after glimpsing the crashing waves and landscape dominated by rocks. But don’t turn back too soon. In order to reach the stunning stretch of soft sand, you must traverse through a gap in the mass of rocks. Through a short tunnel—don’t worry, there are directions—you will arrive at the small and intimate shoreline.

Alexandria Bay, Noosa, Queensland

alexandria bay queensland

Image: Peter Lik for Tourism and Events Queensland

Surrounded by verdant greenery and an absolutely stunning cerulean stretch of water, the smooth sand at Alexandria Bay in Noosa should be top of the list for your Sunshine Coast getaway. It’s sparsely populated, probably because you have to walk a fair way through the Noosa National Park to get there, but when you arrive it all becomes worth it. Beach bunnies could happily spend the entire day here as they catch some gentle waves or splash in the shallows.

Twilight Bay, Esperance, Western Australia

twilight bay esperance western australia

Image: Tourism Western Australia

Esperance is famed for white sand beaches and crystal clear salt water, both of which can be found at Twilight Bay, and not just when the sun sets. This vibrant corner of coastal Western Australia is a great spot for a family dip, with gentle waters perfect for swimming.

Wonboyn Beach Disaster Bay, Wonboyn, New South Wales

disaster bay wonboyn

Image: Sorrel Wilby for Tourism Australia

Disaster Bay may be widespread knowledge, but Wonboyn Beach is an—attempted—well-kept secret. Head here for almost total seclusion, and a seemingly never ending curving coastline that sits alongside weathered coastal bushland. Beginner swimmers watch out for rips, but if it’s a quiet walk along the beach you’re after, this is your place.

Rainbow Beach, Rainbow Beach, Queensland

rainbow beach queensland

Image: David Moore for Tourism and Events Queensland

Rainbow Beach is Fraser Island’s gorgeous gal next door. Steep sand dunes descend down to azure swells. Spend your time lounging on the sifting golden escarpments, or go for a wander and explore the Cooloola National Park.

Salmon Holes, Albany, Western Australia

salmon holes albany western australia

Image: Tourism Western Australia

Taking after its name, Salmon Holes is a top-notch location to try your hand at reeling in some salty dinner, but it’s also a great place to explore via foot. Located in the Torndirrup National Park near Albany, you can reach this wild seafront spot via stairs descending from a lookout. Tip: Not a recommended beach for swimming. Take note of caution warnings.

Cactus Beach, Penong, South Australia

cactus beach south australia

Image: Greg Snell for South Australian Tourism Commission

Some claim that this secluded spot in South Australia is one of Australia’s best surf beaches. Cactus Beach in Penong stares the Great Australian Bight right in the chompers as does its avid surfing visitors. If you didn’t bring a board, the views or crashing aqua waves are still worth a walk up and down the shore. Hint: Pack insect repellent for the midges.

Elephant Rocks, Denmark, Western Australia

elephant rocks esperance western australia

Image: Tourism Western Australia

Usually passed over for the popular Green’s Pool, Elephant Rocks and Elephant Cove are a ten minute walk away from the high-traffic beach, via a rock-framed staircase. Set in the William Bay National Park, this adventure-seekers beach gets its name from a series of rocks that mimic a huddle of grey and copper streaked stone elephants, when viewed from the lookout.

Friendly Beaches, Freycinet, Tasmania

friendly beaches freycinet tasmania

Image: Graham Michael Freeman for Friendly Beaches Lodge, Great Walks of Australia

Due to the bright hue of the sand at Friendly Beaches in Freycinet, the brilliant turquoise tone of the water is beyond enticing. And yet, upon arrival at Freycinet National Park, most visitors are diverted to Wineglass Bay, meaning that Friendly Beaches remains mostly unpopulated. The wild beauty of Friendly Beaches is easily accessible by walking track, and is so remote that you’ll need to pack your own snacks.

Agnes Water Main Beach, Agnes Water, Queensland

agnes water queensland

Image: Rob Richardson for Tourism and Events Queensland

Explore the wild coastline between Cairns and Brisbane, and make a worthy stop at Agnes Water Main Beach. South of the Great Barrier Reef, Agnes Water is an iconic beachside town, and the beach is suitable for swimming, surfing, fishing and even diving. Surf Lifesavers patrol this sandy stretch, making this golden beach great for any coastal agenda.

Shark Beach, Nielson Park, Vaucluse, Sydney, New South Wales

shark beach new south wales

Image: Destination NSW

Perhaps the locals labelled this stretch of seaside Shark Bay with the intention of scaring off the hoards, who ended up claiming Bondi and Manly instead. Who knows, but we do know that aside from not actually being a shark sighting spot, its bright sand strand is great for swimming and sports a spectacular Sydney Harbour view.

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, Victoria

kitty miller bay phillip island victoria beach

Image: Kitty Miller Bay, Visit Victoria

On the south-western coastline of much loved family holiday destination, Phillip Island, lies Kitty Miller Bay. The secluded cove sits at the base of an extinct volcano, and this beach is rugged and windswept, like the rest of this getaway location, but also great for experienced surfers. At low tide keep an eye out for the shipwrecked remains of the SS Speke. Rips and sharks might scare away casual swimmers.

Thistle Cove, Cape Le Grand, Western Australia

thistle cove cape le grand western australia

Image: Tourism Western Australia

Thistle Cove should really be called Whistle Cove, due to the element-sculpted rock formations that have been known to emit high pitched sounds in the right wind conditions. Part of Cape Le Grand National Park, Thistle Cove’s long and varying stretch of shore makes us understand what makes the beaches in Western Australia some of the best in Australia.

Kawana Beach, Minyama, Queensland

kawana beach queensland

Image: Peter Lik for Tourism and Events Queensland

Enjoy a sea-nic day at the beach at one of the Sunshine Coast’s longest shorelines. There’s enough surf at Kawana Beach to catch a wave on a surf or body board, but also fantastic conditions and areas that are patrolled for swimmers, too. Mostly unheard of except for those who live nearby, Kawana is an unspoilt beauty. Hungry beach goers can stop at the surf club for a bite before heading to Point Cartwright and casting a line for a fishy kind of bite.

King Island, Tasmania

king island beach tasmania

Image: Graham Freeman for Tourism Australia

There are miles of sandy coastline on King Island in Tasmania, with secluded and almost completely deserted stretches to walk along while taking in some spectacularly salty views. Visit Seal Rocks for one heck of a lookout, or watch penguins nest at shore at Grassy Harbour. Besides, where there’s golf, cheese and beautiful beaches, what more could a traveller ask for?

Bynoe Harbour, Bynoe, Northern Territory

bynoe harbour northern territory

Image: Cameron Ernst for Virgin Australia

Mostly a fisherman’s friend, Bynoe Harbour is across from Darwin Harbour, and comprises of numerous islands and reefs, with a relatively untouched environment lined with mangroves. The unspoiled beaches abut clear waters, and the creeks, inlets and estuaries are filled with crabs and varied fish species. But as is common on the topside of Australia, watch out for crocs.

Thirteenth Beach, Barwon Heads, Victoria

thirteenth beach barwon heads victoria

Image: Ewen Bell for Visit Victoria

What would a list of some of Australia’s best secret beaches be without a trip down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria? Thirteenth Beach in Barwon Heads is popular with surfers of all levels, even if the hoards tend to head to nearby Queenscliff, LorneTorquay and Bells Beach. But this expanse of sand and diverse surfing conditions is well worth a visit, and long enough—4.5kms to be specific—to go for a decent wander.

Cape Hillsborough Beach, Mackay, Queensland

cape hillsborough beach mackay

Image: Aaron Spence for Tourism and Events Queensland

You’ll have to share this stretch of undulating sand and waves with some kangaroos and wallabies, particularly if you decide on an early morning dip. Recommended to keep your distance and to not feed them, the roos still make for some great photography subjects, and what an unforgettable getaway experience! How many people can say they hung out at the beach with a bunch of adorable hopping marsupials? You, just as soon as you head to Cape Hillsborough Beach in Mackay, Queensland.