I grew up in Brisbane which meant a childhood of summers at beautiful east coast beaches all the way from up north to NSW. Australian’s aren’t afraid of a road trip if at the end we get a good view, icy beer and a cool place to plonk our bodies in some water. I love the western coast of Australia, its jaw-droppingly aqua bodies of water don’t leave much to be desired EXCEPT what the east coast can provide. What do our beaches have that the western coast doesn’t? Warmer water, less sharks. Nuff said. These are my top five swimming spots on the east coast that you may not have explored.
1. Agnes Water
This was my first experience with glamping and I still think of it often. We glamped for five days about one hundred meters from the beautiful Agnes Water beach. It’s not a quick drive from Brisbane at around 6 hours each way but well worth it. It was quiet, serene and utterly relaxing. Don’t head here if you’re after a tonne of Byron style cafes and nightlife. We found a local farm that sold produce (you order your lettuce and they RUN into the field to yank it out- it’s THAT fresh) and a local butcher for BBQ’s each day. Bliss. The beach is fairly protected so it’s not rough, but has just the right amount of kick to the waves. Did I mention bliss?
Currimundi isn’t exactly super quiet but it can be at certain points of the week. I lived at the Sunshine Coast for a little over a year and fell in love with this place. If you have kids it’s perfect on the weekends. Heaps of families set up their shade for the day and make a day of it. You have the surf beach and the quiet, shallows of the lake to float in. More often than not the lake is crystal clear and perfect for stand up paddle boarding, floating or even laps depending on the tide.
When we lived up there, we got into a habit of heading down to Currimundi on a Sunday at dusk with a beer in hand. It was the most beautiful way to end our weekend. It was quiet, warm and delicious. It’s less than an hour from Brisbane so you can just make a day of it!
3. Tweed Heads
I don’t know why but I’ve never been a big fan of the Gold Coast. This is an argument my partner and I always have. He likes south, I like north. I won’t lie – I usually win. HOWEVER, I do love me some Tweed Heads. TH is a little further south than the touristy parts of the Gold Coast so is quiet enough to properly enjoy the view and have a relaxing swim without elbowing Bob, Sue and Terry on your way out to the waves.
About four hours south of Brisbane, Yamba holds a special place in my heart going back to my childhood holidays there. The beautiful thing about it is that it’s still pretty close to the way it was 20 years ago. It’s quiet, lacking in your typical high-rises, it has a few nice cafes, it’s still pretty affordable and it’s daggy. That’s the way we like it, right? The beach itself is beautiful and clear and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see some whales and sea life too.
Lastly, but DEFINITELY not least Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast NSW. It’s more of an area than just a beach. It’s full of aqua lagoons, crystal beaches and lakes. Perfect for families with some quieter, calmer water options and tonnes of fun activities. I love the Sapphire Coast and this is definitely not one to miss! This one is quite a road trip from Brisbane or Sydney so try and make at least a week out of it.