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Best Beaches Down Under

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"I think I'll move to Australia," says Alexander, when things don't go his way in the famous children's story by Judith Viorst. And he may be onto something. But don't wait for a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" to pack up the family, head to Australia, and escape to sun, surf, and marine adventures.
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Mooloolaba QLD 4557, Australia
If you love the sun, sand, and surf, head to the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, specifically to the Aboriginal-named town of Mooloolaba, which I didn’t learn to pronounce correctly until the day we left. At first, my wife and I thought we'd landed...
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No trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. Albeit not for serious divers with better options for seeing the dazzling marine life that earned this area its reputation, a ride out on the FantaSea to Reef World, a...
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Hamilton Island, Whitsundays QLD, Australia
Just a brief 90-minute flight from Brisbane, we landed in the middle of what looked like one of those dreamy tropical island postcards. Hamilton Island, surrounded by the clear blue-green waters of a marine park within the Great Barrier Reef World...
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Australia’s most famous beach has played many roles throughout history. In 1907, a group of local swimmers became the world’s first lifeguards; during World War II, it was fortified by barbed wire and iron stakes; and over the last few...
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For tourists fortunate enough to make it to this part of Eastern Tasmania, they’ll notice that what makes Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park so spectacular is not the beach itself, but the view of it from high atop Mt. Amos. Whether you...
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Margaret River WA 6285, Australia
As a country known for its world-class beaches, perhaps the nicest of them all are rarely visited, or even familiar to the millions of vacationers who descend on the country each year. Margaret River boasts some of the most picturesque scenery in...
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Ningaloo WA 6701, Australia

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is, of course, world famous, but there's some impressive snorkeling and diving on the west coast of the country, too. Not far from Exmouth, Ningaloo Marine Park was named a World Heritage Site in 2011. The protected...

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Bells Beach VIC 3228, Australia
I have always been obsessed with Bells Beach even before it was dramatized in an often overlooked gem of a film called Point Break starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves (don't forget the great cameo appearance by Anthony Kiedis of the RHCP). I...
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Blue Lagoon is a gorgeous, freshwater lagoon on Moreton Island. We brought some snacks, and we all squished up on the picnic rug on the very small and shallow beach. The lagoon is "tea tree" which means although the water is perfectly clear, in...
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104 Marine Parade, Cottesloe WA 6011, Australia

One of Australia's most famous beaches, Cottesloe is a popular place for locals to go jogging, play beach cricket and bask beside the Indian Ocean. The landmark Cottesloe Beach Hotel across the street features the Beach Club, Cott & Co. Fish...