We’re blessed with plenty of postcard-worthy beach towns in Australia. But, often, you get stuck in a routine of visiting the same beach every summer, time and time again.
Byron Bay, Portsea, Fremantle, Noosa: it can be tempting to never deviate from the destinations you know and love, but there are some lesser-known, perhaps even more beautiful, beach towns that you should add to your bucket list this summer. Here are five to consider.[related_articles]37798,37776,37731,37136[/related_articles] [listicle]
Normanville, South Australia
Normanville has everything a good ol’ fashioned Australian beach town should – a cracking beach, dirt cheap fish ‘n’ chips (with plenty of chicken salt), and a humble pub. In fact, Normanville is home to one of the oldest pubs in the state, which is affectionately known as “The Normy”.
Normanville will make city-dwelling coffee snobs feel at ease thanks to One Little Sister cafe, which pumps out Melbourne-worthy coffee and a damn good breaky seven days a week. Another added bonus is the fact Normanville is just a hop, skip and quick drive away from the the rolling, vine covered hills of the McLaren Vale wine region.
Image: Rhys Moult / Flickr
Cabarita, New South Wales
Surfer’s Paradise and Byron Bay get plenty of attention and a tonne of visitors each summer, but the hidden gems between these two iconic destinations rarely do. Cabarita is the diamond in the… Well, row of diamonds. The little town hugs a huge headland that juts into the ocean with amazing beaches reaching out in both directions. There’s also a tiny little secluded beach in between the rocks where you can find refuge on a windy day.
The sleepy, surfie town has had a facelift in recent years with the opening of Halcyon House, a boutique hotel which is arguably the most ‘grammable destination on the coast and home to the award-winning restaurant Paper Daisy.
Image: Halycon House
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Tassie isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking of beach towns, which is exactly why you should go there. It’s quiet, uncrowded, and off-the-beaten-track. It takes about two hours to get to Bruny Island from Hobart, including a short ferry ride. Once you disembark, it’s impossible not to feel totally relaxed and detached from the hustle and bustle of reality.
On the island, you’re treated to secluded crystal clear beaches, surf breaks to yourself and incredible wilderness to explore. It doesn’t hurt that some of Tasmania’s best food producers call the island home, including Bruny Island Cheese Co. and Get Shucked Oyster Farm.
Point Lookout, Stradbroke Island, Qld
The sunshine state’s mainland has more amazing beaches than you can poke a surfboard at, so people rarely make the trek over to Stradbroke Island (or “Straddie”, as the locals call it). Located only half an hour away by ferry from Brisbane’s south, this magical island paradise feels like it’s a million miles away.
Point Lookout, which is located on the island’s north-east, boasts a tiny population so to say the vibe is chilled would be an understatement, even among beach towns. A night out here looks like grabbing a fresh bucket of prawns from Fins ‘n’ Fries and perching yourself above Cylinder Beach to watch the sunset, or enjoying a chicken schnitzel at the Straddie Pub.
Image: Author’s own
Port Fairy, Vic
The Great Ocean Road is one of the country’s most famed attractions, but the town situated near the end of it, Port Fairy, rarely gets a mention. But, back in 2012, Port Fairy did get its 15 minutes of fame when it was announced as the world’s most liveable town – not a bad accolade for a little Aussie outpost.
It’s easy to understand why. This cute-as-a-button fishing village is on the banks of the Moyne River where it meets the Southern Ocean. It comes alive in summer thanks to the Moyneyana festival which runs from Christmas Eve to Australia Day and includes activities like daily yoga classes, cellar door wine tastings, night snorkelling tours, farmers’ markets and live African drumming gigs.
Image: Ed Dunens / Flickr[/listicle]
(Lead image: Author’s own)
Hannah is Sydney-based food and travel writer who has contributed to publications including Broadsheet, The Urban List and GRAM Magazine. She travels at every opportunity she gets and is passionate about living like a like local everywhere she goes. Her goal in life is to visit every country in the world and so far she is over 50. You can help her keep count by visiting her blog Tales & Trails or by following her on Instagram and Facebook.