I've learnt a bit about Aussie beaches over the last year. Firstly, I've learnt that googling 'best beach' means little because best has a multitude of meanings - best for swimming, boating, fishing, snorkelling, surfing or beach sports? In Malaysia, best just means clear, clean waters!
Best for surfing for example,makes the beaches unsuitable for my kids who aren't into surfing and are just learning how to swim. Kids aside, I have no love for beaches where the wind is trying to wrest everything away from me. I have had to try and look zen while I keep my hand on my hat lest the wind lift it away, anchor every corner of a beach towel lest I have to chase after it and have every strand of my hair defying gravity.
Enlightenment came to me while we were spending three days away at Port Stephens. We first visited Anna Bay, where the One Mile Beach lies, said to be one of the best beaches in Port Stephens. It certainly has some of the finest sand I've ever seen (the sort that just gets everywhere) but the winds are fierce. I saw people parasailing and keeping my hat on was mission impossible. Upon introspection, I find a brochure indicating what the beach is good for - surfing!
I spoke to a local who told me that it has good strong waves and winds because it faces the Pacific. Go to Shoal Bay, she recommended.So I've learnt that beaches that are sheltered in some way, or for a lagoon are good if we want to escape those wild winds. Shoal Bay is perfect, with calm, crystal clear waters in a sheltered bay.
As good measure, we also visited two other bays, which are more for boating... - Nelson's Bay
and Soldier's Point...