See all of what Australia has to offer with its hidden gems….
This post comes from our Australian contributor, Miann Scanlan!
Growing up in a small Australian coastal town and having an online platform where I share my favourite things daily means I’m constantly torn between trying to retain the unspoken locals code of keeping the “secret spots” secret, and broadcasting their beauty for others to enjoy.
Localism, like it or not, is a huge part of surfing’s culture. I’ve experienced it first-hand in the water, from the intimidating stares from locals when I enter their territory, to the backlash large media houses receive from when they reveal a new break online. It stems from locals trying to retain mystique so as to keep the crowds at bay. While there isn’t much of this earth (on land) left to be discovered by humanity, there are countless hidden coves and stretches of beach where you can’t see a fellow human for miles.
And that’s Australia. The land is vast, population sparse and mother nature puts on a spectacular show day in, day out so it’s next to impossible to not have your camera constantly on your hip, ready to fire away for the ultimate duel with nature. Here are four of Australia’s image capturers by trade, ready to share with you their favourite hidden beaches in Part One of our series. Have you got your passport ready?
Olive Cooke, Model
Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia
Western Australia is underrated. The majority of Australia’s population is on the east coast, which is amazing for us as it means untouched, totally empty, strikingly beautiful beaches. Rottnest Island just off the capital city of Perth is home to probably the softest white sand and the clearest crystal waters you will ever experience in you life. It’s here that I have some of the most amazing memories with my closest girlfriends from back home. We retreat to the island once a year for a weeklong getaway. A week of non-stop laughing, sunshine, nudity, snorkeling, bike riding, cheese-eating and wine-drinking.
Ryan Brabazon, Photographer
Bronte, Sydney, New South Wales
My local beach in Australia is Bronte Beach. At the southern end there lies a man-made ocean pool that stays wind-protected pretty much all year round and is the perfect spot to catch some rays. Bronte is also a pretty consistent surf break. I grew up on the South Coast of Western Australia in Albany, where the beaches are empty and there are no signs telling you where to park, so it took me a while to warm to the crowds (and the parking situation!) when I moved to Sydney. Now, heading down and hanging by Bronte pool, to me, feels as comfortable as riding my BMX bike down and ditching it on the sand in Albany when I was a kid. It is a place I can disappear to. I have recently left Sydney to explore the globe for the next 12 months, but I know I will always have a soft spot for this beautiful part of the world I called home.
Loni Jane, Blogger
Burleigh Headland & Tallebudgera Creek, the Gold Coast, Queensland
I didn’t grow up here…I moved up from Victoria only a few years ago, but my son’s young life began here where we now call home. When I was 40 weeks heavily pregnant with him, Rowdy, I’d walk up and down the beach skimming my feet in water in a calm attempt to “walk him out”. He arrived, and then had his first swim in the ocean here. Now as a toddler, sometimes I arrive home after the beach, collect Rowdy out of the car to find his little precious sandy little hands clenched tight around a shell or a stone that he has kept, which we keep in a special jar for him.
Burleigh beach is literally our front yard, and just around the headland is Tallebudgera Creek, which runs off into the ocean. On a sunny day the water shines and sparkles crystal blue and due to the shallowness it feels like a hidden undiscovered bay nestled in dense Australian bushland. So many cherished memories here with our mummas group, watching all the little ones interact and be in the natural elements running around in the nude, just the way it should be.
Cait Miers, Photographer
Rye Beach, on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
The Back beach at Rye is a wide, open one, which has incredible surf and shows off unbelievable raw barren coastline and earthy cliffs. The red cliffs are an amazing location to shoot or just post up for the day with some friends. On the Front beach there’s a whole stretch of sand from all the way down to Sorrento, which I love, too. I grew up on these beaches as a little kid and I have such a strong emotional connection to them. I remember spending most of my nights after school coming down here eating fish and chips on the beach until dark, watching the sun set.
+Where are your favorite hidden gems? Let us know in the comments!