Australia's most underrated seaside towns

There’s nothing quite like the sand between your toes and a dip in the deep blue to make you feel like you’ve found paradise.

Forget about the well-trodden shores of crowded hotspots along the coastline, these seaside gems are about to become your new favourite destinations. 

Pottsville, NSW

This beautiful and oh-so peaceful coastal town isn’t just half an hour from Byron Bay in one direction, it’s also half an hour from Coolangatta airport in the other. This makes for an ultra-convenient escape to a beachside oasis that’s only one simple flight away.

Indulge in long and quiet walks along Pottsville Beach, enjoy fishing near the estuary or take a dip at Hastings Point nestled between Pottsville and Cabarita – the natural pull of the shallow water makes for a fun yet safe experience for the whole family.

When it comes to sampling some home-grown culinary delights, swing by local the bakery for a pie and a milkshake or head two minutes down the road to Corner Stop café. It’s the most popular spot in town for a reason and the perfect spot for a big breakfast after a morning swim.

Lakes Entrance, VIC

When you can claim the biggest and most beautiful expanse of inland waterways in the southern hemisphere as well as a 90-mile stretch of unspoilt golden sand as your own, you know you’re onto a winner.

Lakes Entrance is just like a Mary Poppins handbag – full of surprises. Located in Eastern Victoria, the area is best known for its system of inland water ways, the Gippsland Lakes. It’s also particularly special thanks to the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach, which follows the Tasman Sea shoreline and separates the area from Bass Strait.

Ninety Mile Beach is one of the most natural beaches in the entire world and is perfect for swimming, jetboating, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing (it’s the fishing capital of Australia) and even whale and dolphin spotting if you’re lucky.

Keen on a workout? If you’re after some adrenalin-pumping action, why not take yourself for a bike ride through one of the eight National Parks located nearby. For those seeking time away from the sun, the Griffiths Sea Shell museum has a number of coral exhibits as well as an aquarium, which will keep the kids happy. When it comes to accommodation, you can either plant yourself by the water or tuck yourself away in the mountains. It’s truly mother nature at her very best.

Turquoise Bay, WA

Located just under an hour from Exmouth, it’s safe to say Turquoise Bay lives up to its name. As one of the country’s leading snorkelling spots, this immaculate beach features brilliant blue water, white sand and more tropical fish than a highlight reel from Finding Nemo.

While the beach is open all-year round, it’s located in the National Park so make sure you’ve got cash in hand to buy the pass you’ll need to enter the area. Most important however is the need to be sun safe. There’s little to no shade at the beach and with the sun bearing down it’s extremely easy to get burnt.

Once you’ve slipped, slopped, slapped – wait until high tide and head out with your snorkel gear. Just keep an eye on the currents and do your best to be respectful of the underwater environment while you’re there.

Catherine Hill Bay, NSW

Situated just 130km from Sydney in the hinterland of the Central Coast, Catherine Hill Bay features some of the oldest and most charming collection of buildings between Sydney and Greater Newcastle. It’s home to a stunning coastline, great surfing beach and surrounding hills that add a touch of magic to this otherwise quiet and quaint heritage-listed town.

While there has been more recent development in the area than most locals would like, it’s easy to avoid the modern construction if you enter the town via Middle Camp. This means you also get to enjoy Middle Camp itself, which features rows and rows of early 20th century miner cottages – some of which you can also rent during your stay.

There’s no denying Catherine Hill Bay is a bit of a sleepy town but for a relaxing escape, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. For those ready to get into holiday mode, head straight to the beach for a delicious BBQ alongside the famous pier, jump in the water for a long swim or sit back and enjoy watching the local surfers take on the waves.

For more seaside inspiration, stream new episodes of A Place in the Sun: Home or Away, Sundays at 6.30pm on Lifestyle.

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