The East Coast of Australia is one of the most sunkissed stretches of sand on the planet, the home of wave-seeking surfers, beautiful coastal drives and some spectacular wildlife.
It takes 30 hours of continuous driving to cover the whole stretch, though, so it would be a challenge for even the most lightning holidaymakers to see it all. You’ll come accross spectacular views almost at every turn of the dramatic coastal landscape, so it’s important to know the really outstanding spots that will truly make your visit, and that’s exactly what we’ve set out below!
If you’re looking for sand, look no further. This World Heritage Site off the coast not far from Brisbane is actually the largest sand island in the world, and has historical intrigue to match its beautiful beaches. Lodged in the sand where the waves meet the shore is the famous Maheno Shipwreck, its evocative rust colouring speaking of its escapades in World War Two. Two of the main attractions that leave tourists wide-eyed with wonder are the Pinnacles – stunning sandstone cliffs made up of sandy ridges of multiple colours – and the 100 or so hidden freshwater swimming spots which are scattered around the island and are all ringed by their own sandy beach.
If you’ve always dreamed of travelling to Australia’s extremities, Byron Bay will help you on your way, as this is the most easterly point on the mainland. Over the years, it has become known as a haven for surfers, and it is now a prime destination for those looking to catch great waves. There is a wonderfully laid-back, community feel here in Byron and you may well end up joining the many who decide never to go back home! Whale watching, the amazing views from the lighthouse and the legendary day-trip to the hippie village Nimbin are all popular activities here, but it is the surfing that is the real draw here.
Some say The Whitsundays’ Whitehaven Beach is the most pristine stretch of sand in the world. At 98% pure silica, there are certainly few whiter. But this particular beach is on just one of the 74 islands that make up this spectacular collection dotted in amongst the waves of the Coral Sea. Protected from the fiercer elements by the Great Barrier Reef, these are gentle azure shores perfect for snorkelling, sailing and swimming. The majority of the islands are entirely uninhabited, meaning fantastic opportunities for camping at one with nature.