Summer is in the air. The weather is warming, the sun is sticking around longer, and the beaches are beckoning. In anticipation of the season ahead, we’ve partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia to highlight the importance of surf safety.
Australia is fringed by some of the best beaches on earth; and while they are extremely enticing, many can be dangerous. Stay safe this summer, listen to surf lifesavers and always swim between the red and yellow flags.
To help inspire a safe and enjoyable sun-kissed summer at the beach, we’ve put together a state rundown of some our favourite patrolled beaches.
Queensland | Rainbow Bay
Fringed by pine and pandanus trees, and laden with soft white sand and sparkling blue-green water, Rainbow Bay is a picture-perfect Gold Coast setting. Just south of Coolangatta, straddling the New South Wales boarder, the north-facing beach is protected by the historic Point Danger and is home to sheltered conditions ideal for swimming. Surf lifesavers patrol the beach year-round from the iconic Rainbow Bay Surf Club.
Rainbow Bay is located just 4km south of Gold Coast Airport. Flights to Gold Coast: Virgin Australia operates flights to the Gold Coast daily from Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch. Gold Coast South Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of southern Gold Coast holiday packages, from $349.
New South Wales | Scotts Head
At the southern end of Nambucca Shire, enhanced by peaceful surrounds, an abundance of flora and fauna, and a close-knit local community, Scotts Head beach is a popular Mid-north Coast summer holiday destination. Favoured by families, Scotts hosts calm protected waters, gentle waves, and an array of marine life – specifically dolphins and migratory whales. The beach is patrolled daily during the summer holidays and on weekends and public holidays from October to Easter.
Scotts Head is located an hour south of Coffs Harbour Airport. Flights to Coffs Harbour: Virgin Australia operates flights to Coast Harbour daily from Sydney. Coffs Coast Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Coffs Coast holiday packages, from $398.
Victoria | Bells Beach
Located near Torquay, in the stunning Great Ocean Road region, Bells Beach is Australia’s most celebrated surfing beach – home to large winter and autumn swells that peel into a famous right-hand break. Throughout the summer months Bells also provides a great setting for swimmers; a natural amphitheatre shadowed by towering cliffs and patrolled by surf lifesavers.
Flights to Melbourne: Virgin Australia operates flights to Melbourne daily from all state capitals and major regional ports like Gold Coast and Newcastle. Great Ocean Road Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Great Ocean Road holiday packages, from $400.
Tasmania | Boat Harbour Beach
Located on the north-west coast of Tasmania, nuzzled between a dramatic hinterland and the Bass Strait, Boat Harbour Beach is as picturesque as it is historical – steeped in Indigenous and European heritage. Home to some of the cleanest air and clearest water on earth, the semi-circular sandy beach has long been a favourite holiday secret for Tasmanians in the know. The beach is home to the Boat Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, whose lifesaving members patrol throughout the summer months
Boat Harbour Beach is located just over two hours west-north-west of Launceston Airport. Flights to Launceston: Virgin Australia operates flights to Launceston from Melbourne and Sydney. Tasmania Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Tasmanian holiday packages, from $376.
South Australia | Glenelg
Known locally as The Bay, the Adelaide beachside suburb of Glenelg is celebrated for hosting one of South Australia’s premier swimming beaches. Located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, Glenelg beach is famous for its long-reaching jetty, café littered promenade, sandy costal stretch and clean and safe waters – perfect for swimming. Glenelg is patrolled midweek from December to April and on weekends from November through to April.
Glenelg is located just under 9km south-east of Adelaide Airport. Flights to Adelaide: Virgin Australia operates flights to Adelaide from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. Adelaide Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Adelaide holiday packages, from $388.
Western Australia | Cable Beach
Stretching for 22km, with the purest of white sand – washed clean everyday by massive tides that ebb and flow into Broome – Cable Beach is one of the world’s most stunning beach landscapes. The Indian Ocean’s aqua blue waters lap against Broome’s bright red-orange cliffs, in a magnificent display of unspoilt natural wonder. Cable Beach fosters ideal conditions for swimming, with Broome Surf Life Saving Club patrolling designated areas marked by red and yellow flags.
Cable Beach is located just under 7km north-west of Broome Airport. Flights to Broome: Virgin Australia operates flights to Broome from Perth. Broome Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Broome holiday packages, from $747.
Northern Territory | Nightcliff
Protected by a ‘stinger net’ and patrolled by Darwin Surf Life Saving Club, Nightcliff beach is one of the Northern Territory’s safest swimming environments. A 300m sandy stretch, flanked by claystone rock platforms and the Beagle Gulf, Nightcliff Beach is a picturesque holiday destination, most famous for hosting the Nightcliff Markets.
Nightcliff is located just over 5km north-west of Darwin Airport. Flights to Darwin: Virgin Australia operates flights to Darwin from Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Darwin Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Darwin holiday packages, from $629.
Make the most of your summer at the beach, remember to:
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags
- Read the safety signs
- Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
- Swim with a friend
- Stay calm and attract attention if you need help
For more information about Australia’s patrolled beaches visit Surf Life Saving Australia’s website www.sls.com.au.
Iconic and patriotic, Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country tugs on the heart strings. The lyrical poem highlights Australia beyond the reaches of popular tourist cities; instead favouring off-kilter terrains and untold landscapes.
Big, bountiful and utterly beautiful Australia teems with awe-inspiring settings. Discover the true essence of this bronzed, wide-sweeping land with a trip off the beaten track.
New South Wales, Northern Rivers
“God’s Country”, “the Rainbow Region” and “Summerland”, are just a few of the monikers assigned to New South Wales’ Northern Rivers. Brimming with lush rainforests, quaint villages, imposing headlands and a pristine coastline, the Northern Rivers district is emblematic of utopia.
Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay is the region’s most distinguished township, fostering New Age philosophy, raw creative energy and ideals of escapism. A short drive south, the small surfing town of Lennox Head hosts one of the world’s best right-hand point breaks and a unique tea tree-stained freshwater lake. A few minutes into the hinterland, the Alstonville-Dunoon plateau is home to patches of ancient rainforests like Victoria Park and Booyong Reserve, and the cascading waterfalls of Dalwood Falls and Minyon Falls. While on the fringes of the Tweed Shire, imposing former volcano, Mount Warning witnesses mainland Australia’s first rays of sun each morning.
Long days, almost-perfect weather, never-ending beaches, first-rate accommodation and delicious food, the Northern Rivers has elements to impress even the most discerning city slicker. But beware… many who come for a weekend, often stay for a lifetime.
For more information about what to do and see, and where to shop and eat, in the Northern Rivers, view our Byron Bay destination guide.
Go off the beaten track and discover the Northern Rivers by car. Our car hire partners have cars to suit all terrains and adventures.
Victoria, Hepburn Shire
From the ocean to the country, rural Victoria is loaded with natural splendours. Hugging the bight of Bass Straight, The Great Ocean Road is heralded as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Rich red earth is met underneath bright blue skies in the Sunraysia district – one of Australia’s most prominent wine regions. While Australia’s longest river, the Murray snakes along the state’s boarder, supporting a variety of unique river life unseen anywhere on earth.
Just an hour and a half’s drive north west of Melbourne, the shire of Hepburn particularly provides for sensorial holiday experiences. Home to Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs, famous for their relaxing properties, Hepburn Shire – specifically the villages of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs – promotes holistic health and traditions of healing. Explore the areas mystical appeal… Bath in or drink from the waters of one of the region’s mineral springs. Picnic under the period rotunda at Kyneton Mineral Springs Reserve. Hike through bushland at Mount Macedon. Or get caught up in the mystery of the infamous Hanging Rock.
Unconventional, but full of unique and natural wonder – alongside acclaimed restaurants and cafes, farmers markets, roadside stalls and cellar doors – Hepburn Shire is an inspiring region, well worth venturing off the beaten track to visit.
Hepburn Shire is located 90 minutes from Tullamarine airport…
Go off the beaten track and discover the Hepburn Shire by car. Our car hire partners have cars to suit all terrains and adventures.
Western Australia, The Kimberley
There are few regions more quintessentially Australian than The Kimberley. Located in in the northern throes of Western Australia, the area is one of the remotest, wildest and most beautiful expanses on earth.
The desert meets the sea – in the form of famous 22 kilometre white-sand Cable Beach – at The Kimberley’s southern gateway, Broome. To the south of Cable Beach, Gantheaume Point’s red cliffs preserve dinosaur footprints. Spanning from Broome to Kununurra, Gibb River Road dissects some of the earth’s most rugged terrain, with access to spectacular wildlife and stunning gorges. While World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park boasts The Kimberley’s most renowned star, the Bungle Bungle range – the ultimate Outback playground.
Home to ancient rock formations, gushing waterfalls, expansive lakes and stunning beaches, The Kimberley is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas, and hosts ample opportunity to indulge in a truly off-the-beaten-track adventure.
For more information about what to do and see, and where to shop and eat, in The Kimberley, view our Broome and Kununurra destination guides.