10 Of The Best Small Beach Towns In Australia

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Discovering Australia’s Charming Small Beach Towns

Australia’s coastline is dotted with serene beach towns that offer some fantastic beaches and a respite from the bustling city life. Among these, some stand out for their unique character and the peaceful surroundings they provide and others are close to more populated area’s and are for the most part overlooked.

Here’s a closer look at some of these hidden gems.

Wooli, NSW

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Wooli Wooli River, Wooli is a quaint beach town that promises an great escape for those loving the quiet beach life. This small town is part of the Clarence Valley and offers a great experience for those seeking tranquility away from the more tourist-heavy destinations.

TIP!! – You pronounce it “wool-I” not wooly like a sheep.

The town itself is surrounded by Yuraygir National Park, featuring some of the most pristine coastal landscapes in New South Wales. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely canoe ride down the Wooli Wooli River or stroll along the secluded beaches that stretch along the town’s coastline. Wooli also hosts an annual oyster festival, celebrating the local produce with fresh seafood and community festivities.

Also popular with fishermen Wooli offers you the chance for more sedate river fishing or the opportunity to head out for some offshore ocean adventures.

The small streets of Wooli New South Wales
The small streets of Wooli New South Wales

Wooli is only small and has a few holiday rentals and a caravan park for RVs, Vans and campers.

Facilities in Wooli

There is a small grocery at the Wooli General Store on the north end of town and a pub and bowls club both with restaurants. There were 2 small cafe’s when we were there however they can be seasonal.

Fuel is also available at the General store however it will be higher prices than you will pay in the larger towns just north or south of Wooli.

Accommodation in Wooli

While it is mostly visited over the summer months don’t discount Wooli in the winter.

Brad, myself and both dogs went down for a week in July and while the weather was pretty cool we loved it. I did some hiking, we walked the beaches with the dogs and cooked up a storm in our rental house.

Dolphins off Wooli main beach
Dolphins off Wooli main beach

Hamelin Bay, Western Australia

Famous for its friendly stingrays that greet visitors in the shallow waters, Hamelin Bay is a serene spot on Western Australia’s south west coastline.

One of the main attractions of Hamelin Bay is its stunning, crystal-clear waters and pristine white sandy beaches, which make it a perfect spot for a variety of water activities. The calm waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, allowing visitors to explore the rich marine life that thrives just off the shore. The bay is particularly famous for its friendly stingrays that often come close to the shore, providing a unique wildlife interaction that is pretty exciting.

Beautiful Hamlin Bay in South West WA
Beautiful Hamlin Bay in South West WA

The surrounding area is a nature lover’s paradise. Located near the Margaret River region, Hamelin Bay is a gateway to exploring some of Western Australia’s most stunning natural landscapes, including nearby forests and coastal walks like the Cape to Cape Track. The area’s natural environment is not only scenic but also hosts diverse flora and fauna, enhancing any hiking or photography excursions.

This area of Western Australia is also known for its amazing wines. WA’s wine is world class and there are many vineyards in and around Margaret River that you can (and should) visit.

Overall, Hamelin Bay offers a tranquil yet adventurous getaway, blending natural beauty with unique wildlife encounters and a touch of history. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventurous exploration, Hamelin Bay provides an experience that is both rewarding and memorable.

Accommodation at Hamlin Bay


There is only a Caravan Park (Holiday park) actually at Hamlin Bay. This keeps it small and very well protected.

Expand your search to Margaret River region if camping is not your thing. Augusta is the closest decent sized town but Margaret River is more well known. I love Augusta so I would look in Augusta.

NB: Margaret River ISN’T a beach town. Prevelly Beach is the surf beach for Margaret River so choosing accom in Margarets won’t be at the beach.

Facilities at Hamlin Bay

There is a small Kiosk that has some grocery essentials, hats, sunscreen, cold drinks and some souvenirs. Margaret River has a Woolworths supermarket which is about 35kms away. This would be the closest decent sized supermarket to Hamlin Bay.

Two service stations are located at Karridale, one of which is the small general store where you can get a coffee, sandwiches or a hot meal in their café. It has been a while since I’ve been there but their pies are renown for being the best in the area. Karridale is only 6 kilometres from Hamlin Bay and you can also find a Tavern in town which is a great place to watch the footy!

Brad and I have spent time here over the years and while it is way more well known these days than it was when we first started visiting, it hasn’t changed much. Check out this pic from our first visit on our trip around Australia.

Our camp site at Hamlin Bay in the early 90s
Our camp site at Hamlin Bay in the early 90s

Yallingup, WA

While we are in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, my next beach town you might not have heard of is Yallingup. Offering a compelling mix of natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation makes it a must-visit destination. Renowned for its dramatic coastal cliffs, incredible surf breaks, and tranquil forest walks, Yallingup (or Yalls as we called it when we were young) provides an idyllic backdrop for a variety of activities and experiences.

One of the top reasons to visit Yallingup is its world-class surfing conditions. Surfers from around the globe are drawn to spots like Rabbit Hill, Three Bears, and Yallingup Main Break, offering challenges for all seasoned surfers.

Please be aware that this is a popular locals surf break. I personally would not recommend surfing at any of Yallingup beaches unless you are experienced. It’s a competitive break and being unsure won’t get you many rides.

Beyond the surf, Yallingup is surrounded by the lush Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, which invites nature enthusiasts to explore its extensive network of caves and bushwalking trails. The Ngilgi Cave, just a short drive from the town center, is a particular highlight, with its stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, and a rich cultural history connected to the local Wardandi people.

Ngilgi Caves Tours

The town is also part of the renowned Margaret River wine region, making it a prime spot for gastronomes and wine lovers. Visitors can indulge in wine tasting tours that showcase some of the best local produce, including premium wines and gourmet food offerings from nearby farms and vineyards.

Wine Tours Available from Margaret River

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To avoid any crowds at Yallingup it will be necessary to book your holiday outside of school holidays. Particularly Western Australian school holidays as it is a VERY popular place for the South West locals.

Swimming at Yallingup rocks
Look closely and you can see me swimming at one of the stunning beaches in Yallingup.

Bicheno, Tasmania

Bicheno, located on Tasmania’s east coast, is a charming seaside town that offers a perfect mix of natural beauty, wildlife, and relaxation, making it an ideal destination for travellers seeking a peaceful yet engaging getaway.

One of the major attractions in Bicheno is its access to incredible natural environments. The town is situated close to Freycinet National Park, renowned for the stunning Wineglass Bay and its spectacular coastal walks. Do the Foreshore Walk for some great views of the coastline.

Hiking in this region provides amazing views of the beautiful waters and granite peaks that define Tasmania’s east coast. Additionally, Bicheno itself offers some beautiful beaches such as the Redbill Beach, perfect for swimming, surfing, and simply enjoying the sun.

Bicheno is also famous for its wildlife experiences, particularly the Bicheno Penguin Tours, which allow visitors to see fairy penguins return to shore at dusk. This is a fantastic experience and something I’ve done more than once.

East Coast Natureworld only about 7 kilometres north of town offers the chance to see a variety of Australian animals in a natural setting, including Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, and a wide range of bird species.

For those interested in marine life, the Governor Island Marine Reserve is known as a great diving location. Unfortunately there is no longer a dedicated dive centre in Bicheno but if you have all your own gear, you can get tank refills and local advice from the Bicheno Service Centre who does tank fills. It is a cold water dive though so really only suited to experienced divers.

Moreover, Bicheno caters well to foodies, boasting a wide array of local seafood restaurants that serve fresh catch straight from the surrounding waters. The town’s eateries offer a range of dining options, from casual to gourmet, ensuring that there’s something to satisfy every palate.

In summary, Bicheno is a hidden gem in Tasmania, providing a really lovely vacation spot where you can connect with nature, enjoy local wildlife, partake in outdoor activities, and savour fresh local cuisine. It’s a destination that encapsulates the peaceful and pristine nature of Tasmania’s coast, ideal for a restful retreat or an active holiday.

Facilities In Bicheno

Bicheno is home to just over 1000 people so it has almost everything you might need. There is an IGA that is well stocked and prices aren’t too bad. There are multiple fuel stations and quite a bit to see and do.

Accommodation in Bicheno

There are many types of accommodation options in and around Bicheno. You will need a car for this area though as there aren’t really many public transport options for travel between towns in this area. I’ve found that Booking.com has the best options in this area.

Ocean view from the foreshore walk in Bicheno
Ocean view from the foreshore walk in Bicheno

Musselroe Bay, Tasmania

Musselroe Bay in Tasmania is a hidden treasure for anyone seeking a decent level of serenity amidst stunning natural surroundings. Located in the north-eastern tip of Tasmania, this secluded bay offers pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and a truly authentic escape into nature.

The charm of Musselroe Bay lies in its remote beauty and untouched landscapes. The beaches are known for their white sands and crystal-clear waters, providing a perfect backdrop for activities such as swimming, kayaking, and fishing. The bay’s coastal setting is ideal for long, reflective walks or simply relaxing by the sea with a good book.

For wildlife enthusiasts, Musselroe Bay is rich in biodiversity, including numerous bird species that can be observed throughout the year. It is also close to Mount William National Park, where visitors might spot forester kangaroos, wombats, and even the elusive Tasmanian devil. The park’s diverse ecosystems make it a fantastic spot for hiking and wildlife photography.

If you are a seasoned hiker you might consider doing the Musselroe Bay to Policemans Point hike. Its a great hike but it is 35km long and you will need someone to collect you at the other end.

Visiting Musselroe Bay allows for a deep connection with nature and provides a peaceful retreat from the fast pace of modern life. It’s an ideal destination for those looking to unwind in a tranquil, picturesque setting far removed from the typical tourist trails.

Facilities In Musselroe Bay

Be Aware: Musselroe Bay ISN’T really a town. While there are a few homes here and people do live here, there are no services in Musselroe Bay. The closest town is Gladstone which is about 25 km away.

Accommodation in Musselroe Bay

There are sometimes a few AirBnB’s in Musselroe but they will be very basic vacation homes. There are a few campgrounds which you can find more info on Free Camping Tassie’s website. Apart from that there is often no paid accommodation in town but there are some in the area that are pretty great.

If you don’t have camping gear or a caravan, try Icena Farm for the closest accommodation if you want to spend a few days exploring the Musselroe Bay area.

The main beach next to Musselroe Bay boat ramp.
The main beach next to Musselroe Bay boat ramp.

Lakes Entrance, Victoria

Lakes Entrance, Victoria, is exactly as its name suggests, a unique blend of ocean and freshwater environments where the Gippsland Lakes meet the Southern Ocean. This popular scenic town offers a wide range of water-based activities alongside beautiful landscapes.

One of the primary attractions of Lakes Entrance is its access to the Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest network of inland waterways. These lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and cruising. Visitors can rent a boat or join a cruise to explore the tranquil waters, hidden coves, and abundant birdlife.

Fishing is particularly popular, with the lakes and surrounding ocean waters teeming with a variety of species. Many of Australia’s dedicated tuna fishing fleet run out of Lakes Entrance and its fishing history is revered locally. You can expect to catch Salmon, Striped Tuna, Trevally and even Yellowfin in the right conditions.

The Ninety Mile Beach is another highlight of Lakes Entrance. This (you guessed it) 90 mile beach stretches as far as the eye can see, providing a perfect setting for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Despite its name, the beach offers safe swimming spots that are patrolled during the summer, making it ideal for families.

Beyond the water, Lakes Entrance is surrounded by national parks and forests, offering numerous walking trails and bushwalking opportunities. The nearby Buchan Caves Reserve, for example, is a short drive away and features stunning limestone caves that can be explored through guided tours, showcasing spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. At around 55km from Lakes Entrance it is just under an hours drive.

Gippsland Lakes, Lakes Entrance
Gippsland Lakes, Lakes Entrance

For those interested in local cuisine, Lakes Entrance does not disappoint. The town is renowned for its fresh seafood, which can be enjoyed at various local restaurants or purchased from the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-op to cook at your leisure. The town’s relaxed, coastal vibe is complemented by its friendly local community and array of shops, cafes, and galleries, making it a complete holiday destination.

Facilities In Lakes Entrance

There is everything you will need in Lakes Entrance. Medical Centres, Supermarkets, shopping. and many places to eat and drink.

Accommodation In Lakes Entrance


There is a wide range of accommodation in Lakes Entrance. From holiday homes to caravan and camping parks you should find something to suit your budget and group size.

Lakes Entrance Marina
Lakes Entrance Marina

Lennox Head, NSW

Lennox Head, a cute coastal town in New South Wales, offers an appealing blend of natural beauty and laid-back surf culture, making it an ideal destination for both couples and families. Located just south of Byron Bay, Lennox Head is renowned for its stunning coastal views, excellent surf conditions, and friendly community atmosphere.

One of the major attractions in Lennox Head is the world-famous right-hand point break at Lennox Point, which has become a mecca for surfers from around the globe. The town hosts several surfing competitions throughout the year, attracting both professional and amateur surfers. Even if you’re not a surfer, watching skilled surfers ride the impressive waves can be an exhilarating experience.

Apart from its surf, Lennox Head is also known for its beautiful natural scenery. The town is situated within easy access to the scenic walking trails at Lennox Headland, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the lush hinterland. The walk to the Pat Morton Lookout offers a particularly stunning vista and is a popular spot for whale watching during migration seasons.

Lennox Head New South Wales
The charming village of Lennox Head, New South Wales

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Lake Ainsworth, a freshwater lake located just north of the main beach, offers a tranquil setting perfect for swimming, kayaking, and picnicking. The lake is uniquely framed by tea trees, whose oils infuse the waters, reputedly providing health benefits for skin and hair.

Lennox Head also serves up a vibrant local food scene, with a variety of cafes and restaurants that offer everything from delicious seafood to organic treats. The community markets, held on the second and fifth Sunday of each month, are a great way to experience local produce, crafts, and live music.

Lennox also offers visitors that would like to experience the charm of Byron Bay but don’t want the high visitor numbers that Byron gets the chance to be close enough to drive easily into both Byron and Ballina.

Facilities in Lennox Head

While Lennox is a small community its proximity to Ballina means you have a hospital and medical services close by. Heading north instead of south will put you into Byron Bay which has more spa’s and wellness retreats than you could visit in a few weeks. There is an IGA and two other small grocery shops, a couple of hotels and clubs and a few cafe’s for that morning coffee.

Accommodation in Lennox Head

There are quite a few options for Lennox Head accommodation wise. I’m sure you will be able to find something to suit your budget and style.


Lennox Head main beach.
The pristine Lennox Head main beach.

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She’s always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.

Kalbarri, Western Australia

Kalbarri, Western Australia, is a destination celebrated for its stunning natural landscapes, ranging from coastal cliffs to expansive national parks Situated at the mouth of the Murchison River, Kalbarri was once a holiday town only for the local pasturalists and home to the local cray fishing fleet over the summer season.

Now known for its unique geological formations and vibrant wildflower displays during spring, Kalbarri still has that small town feel but with heaps to see and do.

Kalbarri is very near and dear to my heart. As a young person I spent a few years living in Geraldton which is only a few hours away and we used to head to Kalbarri for surfing trips and New Years Eve every year. At that time Kalbarri had a population of probably 600-700 but would swell to thousands over the new years break. I had some of the best times I’ve ever had in Kalbarri and I will always hold it close.

One of the standout attractions in Kalbarri is the Kalbarri National Park. This expansive park features dramatic gorges, like the iconic Nature’s Window, a natural rock arch that frames the river views perfectly for a spectacular photo opportunity. The park’s rugged terrain is ideal for hiking, with trails suitable for all fitness levels.

This self drive tour plan will enable you to see everything you need to and take the stress out of planning your day.

The Kalbarri Skywalk is another must-visit attraction. Opened recently, these two sky-high platforms extend out over the edge of the gorge, providing breathtaking views over the river and the surrounding bushland. This is an excellent spot for those looking to soak in the natural beauty of the area with minimal effort.

Kalbarri’s coastline is just as impressive as its inland features. The coastal cliffs offer spectacular ocean views, particularly at sunset. The area is also known for its abundant marine life; in season, visitors may spot humpback whales migrating along the coast. The beaches around Kalbarri are great for swimming, surfing, and fishing, making it a perfect coastal retreat. Jake’s is the local surfing spot and some great quality waves can be found here at the right time of the year.

Swell rolling in at Jake's in Kalbarri
Swell rolling in at Jake’s in Kalbarri

Kalbarri Ocean and River Cruises

Get out on the water in Kalbarri on a great sunset boat tour, or a cruise along the stunning cliffs. Alternatively do a morning cruise up the Murchison River and learn all about the flora and fauna of the area. You can see heaps of wildlife and birdlife such as ospreys, pelicans, WA’s famous black swans & kangaroos.

If you are an ocean lover like myself you can get out into the rock pools and snorkel the amazing blue holes in the reef. Alternatively try this cray boat pot pull tour which is a few hours out on a 50 foot fishing boat, baiting and pulling pots for local crayfish (Western Rock Lobsters). You even get a great crayfish meal cooked for you by the on boat cook.

Pot Alley is a great spot for sunset views and there is a path down to a beautiful cove where you can swim and cool off in the summer months.

Facilities in Kalbarri

Kalbarri is a fully self contained small town. There are supermarkets, medical services, fuel, restaurants and cafe’s and even a brewery. You won’t have any trouble finding what you need in Kalbarri.

Accommodation in Kalbarri

From camping to luxe accommodations, Kalbarri has a wide range on offer. You won’t have trouble finding accommodation, however be aware that (like almost everywhere in Australia) Kalbarri is very busy over the Christmas & New Year summer period.


TIP!! If you are driving to and from Kalbarri, don’t miss the pink lake at Port Gregory on the way to or from Perth. Its about 45 mins south of Kalbarri so even great for a morning trip.

Kalbarri Skywalk showcasing the very unique landscape of the area
Kalbarri Skywalk showcasing the very unique landscape of the area

Woodgate, Queensland

Woodgate, Queensland, is a tranquil and picturesque coastal village that offers an idyllic retreat for nature lovers and those seeking a quiet beach getaway. Within easy driving distance of both Bundaberg and Maryborough, Woodgate boasts pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and a laid-back, friendly atmosphere that makes visitors feel right at home.

One of the biggest draws to Woodgate is its spectacular 16-kilometer stretch of white sandy beach. This expansive shoreline is perfect for long beach walks, sunbathing, and swimming in the clear, calm waters. The beach is also relatively uncrowded, providing a sense of solitude and privacy that can be hard to find in more tourist-heavy destinations.

Beyond the beach, Woodgate is surrounded by the Burrum Coast National Park, a protected area that offers excellent opportunities for wildlife watching and nature walks. The park is home to a diverse array of bird species, kangaroos and other native wildlife. You can see kangaroo’s often even on the beach, providing unique wildlife encounters that add to the charm of the visit.

Woodgate also serves as a fantastic base for exploring the broader region, including nearby attractions such as the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, and the charming historical towns of Childers and Bundaberg. These locations offer a range of activities and experiences, from tasting locally produced rum to witnessing the miraculous turtle hatching on Mon Repos beach.

Overall, Woodgate’s combination of natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and serene environment makes it an excellent choice for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle and immerse themselves in Australia’s stunning coastal landscape. Whether you’re a family, a couple, or a solo traveler, Woodgate has something to offer everyone.

Facilities In Woodgate

There is a bowls club and pub in Woodgate so you can get a nice meal. There is a small grocer and a general store, however larger supermarkets would be in Childers which is approximately 40km away. Bundaberg is about 50km away and Maryborough is almost 100km. There is a hospital at Childers.

Accommodation in Woodgate

Woodgate does have a holiday park for camping and caravans, however most of the accommodation in Woodgate is holiday homes.


The wide sandy bay at Woodgate Queensland.
The wide sandy bay at Woodgate Queensland.

Palm Cove, Queensland

Palm Cove, Queensland is a picturesque beachside village just north of Cairns. This beautiful spot is known for its quaint village feel, upscale resorts, and access to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, making it a premier destination for both relaxation and adventure.

The allure of Palm Cove lies in its beautiful palm-lined beach, where the towering paperbark trees provide a natural, shady haven perfect for leisurely days spent by the sea. The beach itself isn’t one of Australia’s best (I have to be honest with you) but the village itself is gorgeous and the beach is still lovely. It doesn’t have the white sand that the Whitsundays are known for and it is very tidal but there is almost always swimming nets out so you can enjoy the warm tropical water whenever you like.

The jetty at Palm Cove is a popular spot for fishing and also serves as a picturesque setting for a sunset stroll.

The beach at Palm Cove in Cairns
The beach at Palm Cove in Cairns looking out to Double Island and Scout Hat

Palm Cove is also renowned for its spa services, with several resorts offering world-class spa treatments that harness both modern techniques and traditional Indigenous healing practices. These spas make Palm Cove a go-to destination for those seeking a restorative getaway focused on health and wellness.

We lived in Palm Cove for 12 years and to be perfectly honest, while I love life on the Gold Coast, I do miss Palm Cove often. Its a small village tucked away off the highway and is in my personal opinion the best that Cairns has to offer.

For dining, Palm Cove does not disappoint. The village is lined with a variety of restaurants and cafes that offer everything from casual beachfront meals to fine dining experiences. Many of these establishments feature alfresco dining with views of the Coral Sea, enhancing the dining experience with spectacular vistas. Try the Reef House for dinner (one of my personal faves) or Choc Dee Thai for some amazing Asian food.

Vivo is my favourite breakfast place in Palm Cove. They serve Nasi Goreng for breakfast which is just to die for.

Moreover, Palm Cove’s location makes it an excellent base for exploring nearby attractions. It is a short drive from Cairns, giving easy access to the city’s amenities and airport, and is well-positioned for trips to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, offering endless opportunities for day tours and excursions.

These are just a few tours that you can do directly from Palm Cove. Of course there are many many more available from Cairns or Port Douglas.

Facilities In Palm Cove

There is a small grocery on the esplanade but it is very small. There is however a Coles at Clifton Beach about 4km away. There are more restaurants and cafe’s than you can poke a stick at so you won’t have trouble with somewhere to eat. There is a pharmacy and a doctor in the village and more at Clifton Beach.

There is also a Golf Course at the Novotel.

Accommodation in Palm Cove

There is so much accommodation in Palm Cove you will be able to find something for sure. At the very northern end there is a caravan park with just a small road between it and the beach. There are holiday homes, apartments, hotels and resorts. The list is endless.


The lovely shopping area at Palm Cove
The lovely shopping area at Palm Cove

Conclusion: Best Unknown Small Beach Towns In Australia

Each of these towns provides a unique slice of Australia’s diverse coastal landscape, offering peaceful retreats, adventurous activities, and amazing natural beauty. Whether you’re a surfer, nature enthusiast, or just looking to relax by the sea, these small beach towns cater to all desires and promise unforgettable experiences.

Some are more focused on eating and relaxing while some are all about getting back to nature. That’s Australia though, we are as diverse in our communities as we are in our landscapes.