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    14 Australian Beaches That Are More Than Just A Pretty Sight

    There’s a beach that looks like a Rainbow Paddle Pop. BRB.

    1. Shell Beach in Shark Bay, Western Australia

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    This 70km stretch of beach on the Coral Coast in Western Australia gets its name from a very obvious feature. The beach isn't actually made up of the usual powdery sand, but tiny shells, up to 10m deep.

    2. Melville Island beach in the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory

    Salty Wings / Via saltywings.com.au

    Melville Island is 80km off the coast of Darwin, and a boat ride early in the morning is well worth the effort. Some people have started calling its shores Rainbow Beach, because at sunrise — when the light is softer — you're treated to a palette of colours that might remind you of a Rainbow Paddle Pop!

    3. Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales

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    Hyams Beach is one of the many spectacular beaches on the shores of Jervis Bay in the Shoalhaven. What makes this one special is that the beach has been heralded as having the whitest sand in the world (although some have contested this claim).

    4. Christmas Island beaches, Western Australia

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    From October to December red crabs migrate to the coast of Christmas Island for mating season. This spectacular phenomenon occurs on many locations on the island, including Dolly Beach, Ethel Beach and Flying Fish Cove.

    5. Bay of Fires, Tasmania

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    Bay of Fires in Tasmania's Mount William National Park was named after the fires built by Aboriginal people on the beaches. Nowadays, the lichen growing on the granite boulders glows — appropriately — bright orange, particularly at sunrise.

    6. Cape Leveque in the Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia

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    At Cape Leveque the famous red soil of the Outback meets the coast. The peninsula is a seven-hour drive from Broome and is a favourite destination for the adventurous.

    7. Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, Queensland

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    Whitehaven Beach is consistently near the top of lists featuring the best beaches in the country. The sand is made of the purest silica — a substance that does not retain heat — in the world. This means that even on a hot day you can walk barefoot on the beach!

    8. Cable Beach, Western Australia

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    Named after a telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in Indonesia, Cable Beach has become a popular destination for one particular activity: riding on camels on the beach, with the backdrop of a spectacular sunset.

    9. Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland

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    At Cape Hillsborough National Park you get to experience two symbols of Australian life — kangaroos and beaches. Don't be too surprised if you spot two roos engaged in a boxing match!

    10. Loch Ard Gorge along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

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    This majestic spot along the Great Ocean Road is close to the Twelve Apostles. The gorge forms a small inlet of water that you can access through established walking trails.

    11. Caves Beach in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales

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    Watching the sunrise from one of the caves on this Lake Macquarie beach is the stuff of dreams. The rock formations are so photogenic that it's not unusual to spot a little wedding party posing for snaps here.

    12. Lake McKenzie inland beach on Fraser Island, Queensland

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    Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland is basically one big beach. So if you find yourself there and haven't become sick of sand, you can go for a hike into the Great Sandy National Park and enjoy...another beach! This one's a little different though: it's freshwater lapping against white sand.

    13. Summerland Bay at Phillip Island Nature Park, Victoria

    Phillip Island Nature Parks / AAP

    It's rare to see penguins in the wild in Australia. So it's not surprising that in the Phillip Island Nature Park this is a big draw. Every night you can witness fairy penguins travelling back ashore after a day in the water. The area is tightly managed to ensure the conservation of these little fellas.

    14. Collins Flat Beach in Sydney Harbour National Park, New South Wales

    Kokkai Ng / Getty Images

    This secluded nook at the edge of the Sydney Harbour National Park features a small waterfall looking out onto the harbour. It's a popular spot for locals on weekends.

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