Australia is the largest island continent in the world, so it figures that beaches form part of our national identity. Whether they’re placid bayside beaches that can be still as glass, or angry swelling shorelines that hint at stories of treacherous coastal drama, Australia has these and everything in-between.
When it comes to beaches, we really do have the lot Down Under, which is why we’re bringing to you a series of Best Beaches. We’ll drop into all the coastline states and territories to share with you our opinion on the ultimate strip of sand and surf for your summer pleasure.
The latest trip in the series takes us out west - Western Australia.
Enjoy, and be sure to let us know which beaches we have missed and why you think they should have been top of our list!
You don't have to go far from the CBD to get to this popular beach. Cottelsloe is only 15 minutes from the city centre and offers a stunning view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean in the evening.
The beach itself is approximately 1.5 km long with clean sand and crystal water. There are some great waves on offer but given the proximity to the city, many people head down for an after work swim or snorkel.
Cottesloe Beach is a great spot for families, The Lonely Planet naming it the world's second best beach for families in 2009. There are large grassed areas to sit on and an array of restaurants to eat at.
Eagle Bay - Dunsborough
Eagle Bay is found in the Margaret River Region and if you can pull yourself away from the vineyards, you will be rewarded with one of the finest beaches in WA.
The long stretch of beach has white sand and crystal waters. You'll find quite a few rock pools and smaller beaches that offer some great snorkeling. The beach is relatively remote with only a small village nearby, which just adds to its appeal.
If you fancy a road trip then Esperance may very well be for you. The town is located in the goldfields region of WA, 720 kilometres south-east of Perth and has some stunning beaches to choose from - Ten Mile Beach, Observatory Beach and West Beach to name a few.
The beaches offer a huge variety of activities including surfing, fishing, snorkeling and just off the coast, the many islands provide some great diving opportunities. Being so far away from Perth, the beaches are remote and quite, perfect for some 'me' time or if you just fancy a relaxing break.
Scarborough Beach is the perfect summer playground - many Perth locals claim it to be the best white sand surf beach in the world!
The water is pristine and offers great surfing conditions at many different locations so you won't be fighting for a wave. There are grassed areas overlooking the beach for you to enjoy a picnic with the family, some quiet time to read or the ideal setting to watch the sunset.
Once you leave the beach you will be spoilt for choice with a busy social scene full of restaurants, cafes, markets, pubs and nightclubs.
Busselton Beach is famous for its 2 km long jetty and long distance triathlon event held annually.
The beach stretches for over 15 km and aside from some pockets of good surf is primarily a place for families to come and enjoy a day out. The low swell and mostly calm conditions lend itself to some great swimming and snorkeling.
There are bike and walking paths adjacent to the beach and many places to enjoy a bite to eat.
Is there a more famous beach in Western Australia?
Only a short trip from Broome, Cable Beach is a 22 km stretch of sand that is known around the world. The most popular way to see the beach is onboard a camel train where you can marvel at the turquoise waters and spectacular sunsets. If you get your timing just right, you can see the natural phenomenon known as the Staircase to the Moon. The natural optical illusion is created when the full moon rises over the mudflats creating the apperance of stairs reachinging to the moon.
You can leave the surfboard at home unless it is cyclone season, when the swell and strong winds whip up some sizable waves. Fishing is popular along the beach and in Broome in general, just keep an eye out for the local wildlife!