4 mins

9 best beaches for celebrating Australia Day

The guys from Tourism Australia reveal the beaches in Oz where, to borrow the local lingo, it's really going off this Australia Day

Cottesloe Beach (Micheal Spencer)

1. Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

Set the world record for the number of inflatable thongs in the water at one time in the Haviana Australia Day Thong Challenge. It was broken at Cottesloe Beach last year – 2,088 people in the sea! By participating, you’ll be showing your support for young Surf Life Saving Australia Nippers.

Not in Perth? Don’t fear – the Australia Day Thong Challenge is held at a number of beaches across the country including Bondi Beach in Sydney, Torquay Beach in Victoria, Glenelg Beach in South Australia and Moololaba Beach in Queensland.

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2. Bondi Beach, Sydney

There’s nothing more quintessentially Australian than spending Australia Day on Bondi Beach.  If the Haviana Australia Day Thong Challenge doesn’t tickle your fancy, a bite to eat and a crisp wine overlooking the dazzling ocean at Bondi Icebergs might do the trick – but get in early!  There are plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants to choose from along the beach if you’re up for an afternoon tipple.  You can’t go past the bucket of prawns and a beer combo at Bondi’s new Bucket List Bar & Eatery.  Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

3. Hermit Bay, Sydney

Escape the crowds and enjoy a Champagne and seafood picnic on this hidden harbour beach with sparkling views towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Get there in time to see the trademark Sydney ferries race around Shark Island as they compete for line honours in the Annual Australia Day Ferrython.  Access via Neilsen Park in Sydney’s exclusive Eastern suburb of Vaucluse. 

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4. Hayman Island, Queensland

Celebrate Australia Day in style with a scrumptious barbeque as a guest at Hayman in the Whitsundays. The barbeque will serve up fresh seafood and other delicious dishes around Hayman’s stunning pool and will follow with a game of cricket on the beach.  The Australia Day Hayman Pool Barbeque is priced at A$55 (approx £36).

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5. St Kilda Beach, Victoria

The funky beachside suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne is the perfect place to let your hair down this Australia Day. Catch the tram from Melbourne and soak up the buzz on Fitzroy Street and Acland Streets – there are plenty of cafes and bars to choose from. For a taste of a true Aussie tradition, head to the St Kilda Bowls Club for an afternoon of barefoot bowls or visit the former bank turned pub, The Branch, for a dose of the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown – it wouldn’t be Australia Day without the Hottest 100.

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6. Kingston Beach, Tasmania

Celebrate Australia Day with the locals at ‘A Day on the Beach’ at Kingston Beach, outside of Hobart. Start off with the ‘Big Community Breakfast’ before challenging yourself to a game of ‘Tug-of-war’. There’s also sandcastle competitions, live music, inflatable thong races, surf lifesaving races, Tasmanian Air Adventures scenic flights and beach cricket. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dig in to an Aussie snag at the Big Aussie BBQ and take a splash in the pristine waters that surround Kingston Beach.

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7. Glenelg, South Australia

There’s nothing more Aussie than a Ute Muster so if you’re a radical truck fanatic don’t miss the annual ‘AustraliaDay @ the Bay’ Ute Muster in Adelaide’s charming beachside suburb of Glenelg. Start the day at 7.00am with a BBQ breakfast on the beach and stay for the official Citizenship ceremony and Australia Day Awards which commence at 9.15am. If you’re in Adelaide for a few days, make sure you come back to Glenelg to go swimming with the wild dolphins.

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8. Mindil Beach, Northern Territory

Mindil Beach in Darwin has been rated one of Australia’s101 Best Beaches. In January, it’s wet season in the Northern Territory and very hot. Stay cool over lunch in one of Darwin’s fine restaurants, try Char Restaurant or Ocean Fresh, and take come cold beers to Mindil Beach in the late afternoon to enjoy the tropical sunset.

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Visit AustraliaFor more information about Australia and its spectacular beaches, visit Australia's official tourist site at www.australia.com.

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