The Upside Down Under
Australian Beach lifeguard


It would take 27 years to visit one new Aussie beach every day.

Most of Australia's population lives close to the coastline, in fact 85% of Australia's population live no more than 50km (31 miles) from the ocean. As such, the beach has long occupied a special place in the Australian identity. The Australian coastline is where three of the world's great ocean's meet: the Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans. The beach is also a place where people from all over the world meet, mix and live.  Even though most of our beaches are deserted, we still boast more beaches than any other nation in the world.

The coastline of the Australian mainland stretches more than 30,000 km (18641 miles). With the addition of all the coastal islands this amounts to more than 47,000 km (29,204 miles). The coastal landscape ranges from broad sandy beaches to rocky cliffs and mangrove swamps.

Bondi Beach
Bondi beach is the home of the world’s first Surf Life Saving club (founded over 100 years ago)

A beach can be defined as a stretch of sand longer than 20 metres (65.6 feet)and remaining dry at high tide. Based on this definition, the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney has counted 10,685 beaches in Australia.

Anyway, if' you reckon 27 years might be a bit of a stretch why not just try our top 10 beaches:

  1. Bondi Beach, Sydney
  2. Lizard Island, Queensland
  3. Main Beach, Byron Bay, New South Wales
  4. Mandalay Beach, Walpole, Western Australia
  5. Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
  6. 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island, Queensland
  7. Main Beach, Noosa, Queensland
  8. Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
  9. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
  10. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland


The average number of visitors to Bondi per annum over the past three years was over 2.2 million.    These included day trip visitors who have travelled a “round trip distance of at least 50
kilometres and away from home for at least four hours”.

Bondi Beach is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) long and receives many visitors throughout the year. Surf Life Saving Australia has given different hazard ratings to Bondi Beach in 2004. While the northern end has been rated a gentle 4 (with 10 as the most hazardous), the southern side is rated as a 7 due to a famous rip current known as the "Backpackers' Rip" because of its proximity to the bus stop, the fact that many backpackers and tourists do not realise that the flat, smooth water is a rip, and quite dangerous, and the unwillingness of tourists to walk the length of the beach to safer swimming. The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding. Yellow and red flags define safe swimming areas, and visitors are advised to swim between them.

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach in full swing.

There is an underwater shark net however it does not stretch the entire beach, it is made up of overlapping sections. Many other beaches along the same stretch of the coast have similar shark nets. Pods of whales and dolphins have been sighted in the bay during the months of migration (March–May, September–November). Fairy penguins, while uncommon, are sometimes also seen swimming close to shore or amongst surfers in southern line-up.

Bondi beach is also the setting for the hit reality TV series Bondi Rescue. The Bondi lifeguards perform around five thousand rescues over the summer period. They also deal with other incidents including lost children, shark scares, bluebottle stings, injuries, sexual deviants, drunk beach goers and thieves on the beach. Every once in a while, celebrities also make appearances on their shores. These have included actors/comedians David Hasselhoff and Kelly Slater (stars of the US lifeguards fiction show Baywatch), Hugh Grant, Zac Efron, Rowan Atkinson, Paris Hilton, Russell Crowe, entrepreneur Richard Branson, musician Snoop Dogg, Steve Irwin and daughter Bindi and the Indian Cricket Team. Bondi veterinarian Chris Brown repeatedly appeared on Bondi beach, meeting lifeguards, in his own show Bondi Vet.

Bondi Rescue
Bondi beach is also the setting for the hit reality TV series Bondi Rescue. The Bondi lifeguards perform around five thousand rescues over the summer period.

In 2007 the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot was set at Bondi Beach, with 1,010 women wearing bikinis taking part.

Bondi Beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.


It’s Australia’s number one beach with stunning white sand and beautiful blue water, but ever wondered WHY that sand is so white?

Well maybe not, but it’s a pretty cool story, one that had geologists stumped for a number of years, so here it goes…

That soft brilliant white sand which makes your feet squeak on is made from quartz, and can only be found at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. No other island; out of the 74 islands that are dotted within the Whitsundays have this same kind of sand, making Whitehaven Beach pretty special!

Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach

For such a famous beach, Whitehaven remains something of a mystery to the scientific community. The pristine white beach consists of the purest silica sand in the world - so pure, in fact, that guides claim it was used in the manufacture of glass for the Hubble Telescope (though this is likely a myth).

Nevertheless, the sand is unique - the other beaches in the Whitsundays do not feature such fine, pure sand. Rather, on other beaches you'll find coarser sand featuring broken shells and coral.

So why is Whitehaven's sand so different? It seems no one knows for sure. Geologist theorise that the sand drifted to the island from elsewhere, millions of years ago, eventually becoming trapped by the rocks and headlands of the area. Over time, and ice ages, fresh water leached the impurities from the land, leaving only the pure, fine white sand we see today.


Australia’s longest beach, Coorong Beach (194km - 120 miles) grades from no waves to one of the world’s highest energy beaches. It is a spectacular beach backed by extensive dune north of The Granites, very accessible by 4WD, and with many kilometres of beach camping. However outside of Kings Camp and Kingston SE there are no facilities, apart from the camp sites.

Coorong Beach
Coorong beach is part of Coorong National Park, SA. An isolated beach framed by wild surf on one side and by sand dunes that change colour with the sun on the other.
The Coorong is the common name for Australia’s longest beach, 194 km of continuous sand running from Cape Jaffa to the Murray Mouth, with only three rocks on the entire beach. The beach does not have a single official name, rather each section has local names. The common name Coorong comes from the long salty lagoon that backs about 140 km of the beach, and is the name of the National Park that also occupies 140 km of the beach and dunes. The beach begins at low Cape Jaffa, a sandy promontory form in lee of Margaret Brock Reef.
The reef is named after the barque Margaret Brock which struck the reef in 1852. The first 20 km are devoid of ocean waves owing to extensive offshore reefs, with seagrass covered shallows lying off the steep narrow beach. Only beyond Kingston SE do ocean wave start to reach the beach. They gradually increase in height for the next 80 km until Tea Tree Crossing, beyond which the northern half of the beach is one of the highest energy in Australia. The beach finally terminates at Murray Mouth, the mouth of the Murray River.


Australia’s Best Beaches


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