Lonely Planet Writer

Survey reveals Australia's best beaches for value breaks

Sea, sand  and savings all rolled into one. That’s what Australia’s beaches have to offer holidaymakers, according to latest figures from the Ray Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey.

London Arch (Formally London Bridge), Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia.
London Arch (Formally London Bridge), Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia. Image by Stoneography/Getty Images

And while the average cost of a night’s domestic holiday is Au$151 per person, many of the country’s best-known beach locations are much cheaper than that. The new data actually lists the most affordable coastal locations on a state-by-state basis right across Australia. It even unearths a string of places that are cheaper than the average holiday destination.

These include the Great Barrier Reef’s Magnetic Island, Victoria’s Great Ocean Road district and the unspoilt Far North Coast of NSW. However, emerging top of the list in terms of cost is Fraser Island, the world Heritage-listed amenity in Queensland. With phenomenal beaches all around, the paradise island also boasts freshwater lakes as well as oodles of rainforest. And for less than $100 a night ($94 to be exact), visitors can  stay right in the middle of such natural riches.

Australia's Magnetic Island, view of Alma Bay.
Australia’s Magnetic Island, view of Alma Bay. Image by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

There is also the choice for tourists to visit the island and return via nearby Hervey Bay/Maryborough, another one of the province’s affordable coastal destinations. Magnetic Island, which is located further north, is also enticing financially, coming in at just $132 a night per person. The best value destination in South Australia is the Yorke Peninsula, south-east of Adelaide, with a per person cost of $102 a night.  The most expensive place along the South Australian coastal region is Kangaroo Island at $161 pp per night which is still comparatively cheap.

Seventy Five Mile Beach, Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island, World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia.
Seventy Five Mile Beach, Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island, World Heritage Area, Queensland, Australia.

Other areas offering real affordability include Tasmania’s Bay of Fires at $113 and the Dongara/Geraldton/Kilbarri area of Western Australia comes in five dollars cheaper, according to the survey. The Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research, Norman Morris,  explained that with 60,000 kilometres of coastline, including its islands, Australia has a beach for every type of holidaymaker. And the beauty of it all was that people could enjoy their breaks for a lot less money than one might expect, he added.