Australia's 5 Best Budget Beach Destinations

It’s no secret that Australia offers up some pretty spectacular beaches in every state – with the obvious exception of the land-locked Australian Capital Territory!

For anyone wanting to escape the city and find solace in the coastal suburbs and ocean views, there are endless options. From luxury resorts to unpowered camping sites, there’s something to suit your holiday style. But, these are our picks for a brilliant beachside holiday on a budget.

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Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Surfer on beach
Andrew Watson/Getty Images

If you’re looking for a holiday that has the perfect balance of action and relaxation then Surfer’s Paradise in the Gold Coast, about an hour south of Brisbane, should be your go-to holiday destination. Home to Australia’s biggest theme parks and some incredible swimming and surfing beaches, you’ll be free to do as much – or as little – as you like.

You’re spoilt for choice for accommodation, but for those looking to save a pretty penny, check out the Surfers Chateau Beachside Resort. With prices from $90 a night, this beachfront accommodation has gorgeous ocean views, is minutes from the beach and a stone’s throw from the famous Wednesday and Friday Markets.

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Daydream Island, Queensland

Aerial view of Daydream Island, Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia

When the world around you is simply too chaotic, it’s easy to find yourself daydreaming about a secluded island getaway that’s free from stress and obligation. Thankfully a place like that exists, and it’s very aptly named. Daydream Island is a member of the Whitsunday Island archipelago, an hour and a half flight from Brisbane.

This tiny island is only 1 kilometer long and 400 meters wide at its widest point and is the perfect place for those looking for a completely relaxing holiday. Lounge on the beach, go snorkeling or book yourself in for a full treatment at the resort spa.

Rooms at Daydream Island Resort can get a little pricey during peak season, but the resort offers regular specials, including one night free, or free dining, which can cut hundreds of dollars off your holiday budget.​

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Byron Bay, New South Wales

Ana Alarcon / TripSavvuy 

Known for its laid-back, hippie atmosphere and its incredible surfing beaches, Byron Bay is certainly a hot spot for tourists in Australia. Arty-types, coffee lovers and die-heart surfers grace the streets of Byron Bay’s city center, and you’ll have a hard time avoiding the Byron bug of relaxing and enjoying the moment.

Bargain hunters are well catered for in Byron Bay, with countless self-contained apartments or holiday houses for rent during the year. If you’re looking for a place to stay with a few mates, split the cost of a house that’s a short walk from the beach, for under $100 a night.

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One Mile Beach, New South Wales

Waves breaking over rock formations at One Mile Beach, Forster.
Dallas Stribley/Getty Images

Situated in Port Stevens, about two and a half hours from Sydney is One Mile Beach – a stretch of beach that is perfect for swimming, beach fishing and just relaxing on the sand. On rainy days, drive into Port Stevens for beachside shopping, or catch a movie and grab dinner with an ocean view.

When you’re booking a beachside holiday, ideally you’d like to be able to walk from your cabin right out on to the sand. At Active Holiday Parks One Mile Beach, you can! Choose from a 2-bedroom budget cabin, right up to a deluxe 3-bedroom cabin that would easily fit the whole family.

Active Holiday Parks offer accommodation deals, with midweek specials and one free night offers that could cut the cost of your holiday, so make sure to check the website before booking.

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Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

People swimming at Cottesloe Beach with Indiana Teahouse in the background.
Orien Harvey/Getty Images

20 minutes from the capital city of Perth sits Cottesloe Beach, one of the many stunning beaches in Western Australia. Ranked number 7 in Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Australian Beaches, its proximity to the city makes it a prime tourist destination.

For a beachside vacation that won’t leave your back pocket feeling too light, book a room at the Ocean Beach Hotel and walk from the front door right onto the sand. A sea view room will cost you as little as $120 a night, or stay at the Ocean Beach Backpackers for as little as $22.50 a night for a week.