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Australia by the Sea

Australia’s beaches are amongst the best in the world. The long, sweeping sandy beaches of the East directly contrast the craggy coastline of the West, whilst the paradisaical archipelagos off the coast offer postcard perfect shorelines, a myriad of marine life and a host of luxurious hotels. Australia expert, Charlotte, kicks off her flip flops on Australia’s best beaches.

A focal point of any vacation to Australia is of course being by the sea. With almost 60,000km of coastline, there are plenty of great beaches to explore Down Under. Following a recent trip to Australia, here is my round-up of some of the best coastal destinations.

Hamilton Island

This little island out in the Whitsundays is a fantastic option for guests looking to experience the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. With snorkeling, diving and helicopter trips aplenty, there are numerous ways to explore this diverse marine landscape.

There are a variety of properties to choose from for your stay on Hamilton, however, for those looking to really spoil themselves, look no further than Qualia. This beautiful property is part of the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection and offers superb service, incredibly spacious rooms, and spectacular views out to the Whitsundays. I fell in love with the property during a recent stay here and it was certainly a real struggle to leave. The views when you enter the main reception area are phenomenal – blues on blues on blues.

As well as taking full advantage of the hotel’s infinity pool and on-site paddle boarding and yoga classes, I also took part in a few of the hotel’s signature experiences. A real highlight was their ‘Talk and Taste’ experience with one of Qualia’s sommeliers, who educated me and other guests on pairing sake and sashimi – something I wasn’t expecting during my stay in Australia, but hugely enjoyed nonetheless.

During your time at Qualia, you are also provided with a complimentary buggy, allowing you to explore the rest of the island at leisure – James Bond style. It is enormous fun and gives you flexibility to dine at other restaurants on the island. Although, saying this, Qualia has a fantastic choice of casual or fine dining restaurants onsite, which are worth taking advantage of.

Kangaroo Island

If you are looking to combine famous native wildlife with rugged coastlines, then make sure you head to Kangaroo Island. During my recent stay there, I saw everything from seals to echidnas, kangaroos to koalas and wallabies to wallaroos. There is a superb collection of properties on the island, including the 5 star Southern Ocean Lodge, which boasts panoramic views across the ocean. You can only fly to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide, however, with a brand new domestic airport, it shouldn’t be long until the island is opened up to the likes of Melbourne or Sydney.

East Coast

For those wanting to soak up the boho vibes of Byron Bay, but not wanting to be in and amongst the hustle and bustle, book yourself in for a stay at Halcyon House, a former 1950s motel turned luxury boutique hotel. The property is just a 45-minute drive north of Byron Bay and 20-minute drive south of Coolangatta; and sits right by Cabarita Beach, just a 30 second walk from the property. The property has been loving designed by interior designer Anna Spiro, with fun furnishings and bright colors – ensure you spend an afternoon in the new Halcyon Spa.

Sydney

When you think of a vacation to Australia, most people will instinctively think of Sydney with its famous Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the beaches of Bondi and Manly. However, if you venture just two hours north of the city, you hit a fantastic collection of much quieter beaches along the Central Coast. A stay at Pretty Beach House in the Bouddi Peninsula is a must. With just four pavilions, the service here is personalized to each guest, and you truly feel away from the crowds. I took a 30-minute bush walk from the property which led down to Tallow Beach, which I quite literally had to myself – unheard of for those who usually vacation in the Mediterranean.

Make sure you get out on the water during your stay here. Pretty Beach House can arrange fishing charters for guests wanting to catch their dinner, or spend the day exploring hidden coves along the coast where you can snorkel, swim or simply relax. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales!

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