With summer fast approaching and the sun coming out of hiding, there’s one thing on people’s minds- beach holidays! We’ve rounded up the 10 best beaches from our four favourite holiday destinations – Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America.
1) Singing Sands, Basin Head Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island – Canada
In the summer the water here reaches 21 degrees Celsius, meaning Singing Sands beach offers some of the warmest waters in the northern hemisphere. The supervised beach even has a play area, food, a washroom and shower facilities and its own museum – Basin Head Fisheries Museum. For reasons that can’t be explained, the beach makes a strange swishing sound whenever the wind blows or visitors walk on the sand; Prince Edward Island tourism officials seem to think that it could be because of the texture of the quartz sand. Visit and discover this unique beach for yourself!
2) Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula – New Zealand
Naturally heated mineral water bubbles up from deep within the earth to emerge through golden sand at the appropriately named Hot Water Beach. Near the rocks at the southern end of the beach you can dig your own spa pool in the sand. Dig up to two hours either side of low tide – that's when the tide is low enough to expose the area of sand with hot water underneath. If you have a spade or shovel bring it with you, but if not you can hire one from the local cafes.
From the hot water area, the long sandy beach stretches north and curves east under a headland. Here you'll find sheltered and secluded spots for quiet, sleepy sunbathing. For surfers, Hot Water Beach has good beach breaks in moderate easterly swells, however the presence of strong undertows means this beach can be dangerous for swimming.
3) Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays – Australia
Whitehaven Beach is a pristine, award winning beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Whitehaven Beach stretches over seven kilometres and boasts brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Sink your feet into the sand and wade into the warm waves that gently lap the shore and you'll soon realise why people come here from all over the world.
At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a stunning inlet where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colours. Many people claim Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach are the most beautiful places they've ever seen.
4) Long Beach, Tofino, British Columbia – Canada
Whether you’re storm watching or whale watching, this beach offers all kinds of thrills both in and out of the water. Every spring and summer, twenty-thousand grey whales migrate up the coast making Long Beach a must-visit for any traveller. The beach offers 16.6km of pristine sands, eye-popping scenic views and one of the most beautiful surfing destinations in the world.
5) Castaway Island, Mamanuca Chain – Fiji
Soft, white-sand beaches and easy snorkelling access to the techni-colour hard coral gardens offshore are just two of the things that make the beautiful stretch of shoreline at Castaway Island, a Fijian favourite. Officially named Qalito Island, Castaway Island lies within the 20-island Mamanuca Chain — a volcanic archipelago to the west of Nadi, Fiji’s capital. The four-star resort here is surrounded by rainforest, beaches... and more beaches! A perfect trip for peace and relaxation.
6) Hanauma Bay, Oahu - Hawaii
The beach in the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve, sandwiched between two dormant volcanoes on the southeast tip of Oahu, has become one of the most popular snorkelling beaches in Hawaii. The volcanic crater cove hugged by the beach is teeming with reefs and colourful reef fish – Mother Nature's very own aquarium. Head to the nature reserve's education centre to watch a short video about the bay, then grab some snorkelling equipment and explore these amazing underworld gardens.
7) Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast – Australia
The Gold Coast has its fair share of exceptional beaches, but Burleigh Heads is one of its best. This untouched paradise is clean, unpolluted and pristine, with great surf conditions and plenty of walking tracks to explore. Swimming sections are patrolled by lifeguards, making this a good option for families looking to enjoy the water.
The waves are also a draw card for surfers, and the surrounding parkland area is a popular option for picnickers. Wildlife is also a common sight in the area, with sea eagles, brush turkeys and dolphin pods often spotted. Fragrant pine trees are characteristic of this area and there are often art and craft markets to explore.
8) Pensacola Beach, Florida – America
Anchored at the western tip of Florida, stretching miles along the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola Beach’s mild temperature, sugar-white beaches, and crystal clear waters draw beach lovers, fishing enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico at 1,470 feet, stretching beyond two sand bars. In addition to being a perfect vantage point for some of the most vivid sunsets you’ll ever see, the fishing pier is the perfect place to spot an abundance of marine life – including dolphins, manatees, rays, and sharks.
9) Wasaga Beach, Ontario – Canada
Despite a major fire destroying some of the main street businesses of this beach town, Wasaga Beach has flourished since renovations were completed. This bustling beach city is situated between two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves – the Georgian Bay Littoral and Niagara Escarpment – and is the ultimate hangout spot. Consider attending some of the great events held year-round, including Wasaga Beach fest (June 22-23), Wasaga Beach Short Film Festival (May 21 – October 15) and Wasaga Beach Blues Fest (September 13-15).
10) Piha Beach, West Auckland – New Zealand
The birthplace of Malibu board riding in New Zealand, Piha is the country’s most famous surfing beach as well as one of New Zealand’s best beaches. But it isn’t just a surf beach - rugged cliffs frame the sea, the commanding Lion Rock stands guard and the lush bush of the Waitakere Ranges provide plenty of opportunity for exploration, walking and picnicking.
For more information or holiday inspiration, visit our website here.
By Ella Dunham