“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul” – Robert Wyland
If there’s one thing that I know for sure, it’s that I cannot survive as a normal human, without being close to water – in the form of rivers, oceans, or lakes. Water is my lifeline, my go-to, my answer when I’m lost, and my inspiration to keep dreaming. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived in remote areas for long periods of time before, miles away from any ocean, but over time I began to feel as if the passion in me had drained away, and I craved the sensation of “floating” more wildly than anything before.
In all honesty, being surrounded by crashing waves, soft sand between your toes, and the feeling of salt landing on your skin in the breeze, is what I consider a perfect day. That being said, I decided to piece together a little recap of five AMAZING beaches that I was ever so lucky to visit around the world in 2016.
- Hyam’s Beach, New South Wales – Australia
Dubbed “The Whitest Sand in the World”, there is no question as to why this is at the top of my list. Living in South-East Queensland, I am extremely privileged to be surrounded by countless notable beaches. Venture further down the Australian coast-line however (I’m talking, way way down), 3 hours South of Sydney to be exact, and you’ll find yourself at a remarkable beach in the Jervis Bay area. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia.
Hyam’s is an unpatrolled beach, stretching along a 2km coastline, but offers so much more than just a pretty spot to relax at. The water is crystal-clear, the sand is soft, fluffy and white, and the views are magnificent out to Point Perpendicular. Dolphins are common in the area and sightings are a nice treat at sunrise or sunset. There’s also a beautiful rock-cliff, and as the waves are quite calm in this area, it’s still a reasonably safe place to have a quick dip, or a little snorkel.
Word of advice – visit Hyam’s as SOON as possible.
- Kaanapali Beach, Maui – Hawaii
When visiting Maui at the end of last year, we stayed at Paki Maui Resort (www.astonpakimaui.com) in a beautiful ocean-view room. What an ideal spot! Kaanapali Beach is located on the Northwest side of Maui and is a complete winner for me. There were obviously countless other incredible beaches around the island, but this stood out for so many reasons.
With almost 5km of clear waters, this is a snorkeler’s dream! Directly outside of Paki Maui Resort, you’ll find a wave break where the turtles float on through in the afternoon, and an area that’s shallow enough to hang out in and watch them. The beautiful array of fish and other sea life will also keep you entertained for quite some time.
Sunset’s are the main reason however, that I fell madly in love with Kaanapali Beach. The view out over the ocean at dusk was magical. It’s the perfect spot to grab a cocktail, a chair and sit back in awe of everything that Hawaii stands for.
- Mae Nam Beach, Koh Samui – Thailand
Thailand is such an exotic place, and is home to many shorelines that will have you gasp at the first sight. One in particular that I wanted to draw more attention to, is Mae Nam Beach, located on the island of Koh Samui.
The warm weather in Thailand will have you wanting to just plop yourself down in the ocean and stay there. The sunrises are 100% worth getting up early for and the area is completely safe for a brisk morning walk.
Along Mae Nam, there are also great water-sport activities that you’ll find available in front of most of the resorts. Grab a kayak, some snorkelling gear or a stand-up paddle board and get out on this beautiful water. If you’re not the adventurous type, it’s also the perfect beach to throw down your towel and have a nice tanning session with a good book (try The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight).
There is a huge variety of accommodation in this area, for backpackers, romantic couples and families. Keep an eye on www.hashtaglife.co.uk for my write-up on The Santiburi, which will be released soon.
- Tallebudgera Creek Beach, Queensland – Australia
Another Australian destination, but this time along the Gold Coast stretch. Head on down to Tallebudgera and you will NOT be disappointed! The opportunity to paddleboard, to snorkel and to hang out with a stunning view of Burleigh Heads National Park await you.
There’s usually flagged areas here for the kids to enjoy a nice swim, but the water’s are shallow enough either way, to go exploring when the tide is out. You MUST also keep a keen eye out for dolphins that come down the inlet for a play.
If you’re up for epic views, then take a nice walk along the bridge and up through Burleigh Heads National Park, around to Burleigh. This is one walk I promise you will not regret. Just make sure you take your camera, your hat, and some good walking shoes.
- Kahakuloa Bay, Maui – Hawaii
Last but definitely not least, should be seen as less of a “beach” and more of an adventurous rock climb. Kahakuloa Bay offers incredible views over the ocean, and if you are the type to go exploring, you can find some beautiful deep rock pools to dive on into as well. A short stumble down the cliff will have you feeling as if you are in an entirely different world!
Be sure to take some snorkelling gear (we unfortunately didn’t have ours), and get ready to go swimming with some stunning reef fish. The rocks can be quite sharp though, so be mindful and perhaps invest in some water shoes for this one.
A bit of a hidden gem, and one that you should definitely make a note of if you’ll be exploring Maui any time soon!