Australia's Top Ten Hottest Beaches Part 1
Australian beaches and the laid back, surfy culture they are synonymous with are as embedded into our culture as kangaroos and the Outback are. They characterise cities, they determine where loyalties lie and they draw admiration from across the globe. So to try and pick ten that stand out from the rest is a pretty impossible task, and in a lot of cases its down to personal preference. But we've got a list together of Australian beaches that we feel best represent us to the rest of the world. So in no particular order, here are five of Australia's ten hottest beaches:

Gold Coast
The good old Gold Coast has been Australian holiday staple for years. A city of contrasts where the bright lights of tall skyscrapers meet the bright blue of the South Pacific Ocean, it is difficult to pinpoint a particular beach that stands out here. The one that has come to characterise the Gold Coast is the strip of sand at Surfers Paradise which, flanked by the tall buildings of the CBD, is the clashing point of city and surf. Expect backpackers, bikinis and good bodies, and enjoy the laid back holiday vibe and all the modern conveniences the city offers. If its a bit of solitude you're after then hop in your hire car and head north to the quiet waters of Runaway Bay, or south to the surf breaks of Burleigh Heads. Everyone is catered for on the Gold Coast!

Just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Perth, Cottesloe Beach is Perths most famous beach- a fully deserved title. Pristine white sands are complemented by a regular swell, attracting surfers and sunbaskers in equal droves. A large grassy foreshore is perfect for picnics, and in the cooler hours expect lots of joggers, yoga classes and beach cricket teams getting their outdoor kicks. Nearby reefs and rocks lure in fishermen and snorkellers, and there is always a sailboat or two sedately cruising past. Next to the beach is the infamous Cottesloe Beach Hotel, home to the famous weekly 'Sunday Session', a popular social function amongst the younger generations. There is plenty of parking at the beach, but in the summer months it fills up quickly so catching the train is the next best option to driving, as the station is a mere 600 metres away.

Wineglass bay
Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park in Tasmania isnt exactly a secret, with numerous travel magazines voting it in the top ten beaches in the world. Its perfect half moon shape, bordered by a thin strip of pure white sand and filled with the azure blue of the Tasman Sea has graced travel brochures and coffee books the world over, yet when you visit the bay there is a strange feeling that you are the only person within a million miles. Reached by an hours trek after a long drive through the Tasmanian countryside, its isolation means the only sounds to break the silence are those made by the birds and the waves. You are completely surrounded by nature- so sit back and enjoy the fine picture she paints!

Ninety Mile Beach
Stretching along the south eastern-coastline of Victoria, west of Melbourne, this is the third longest uninterrupted beach in the world. Its long sandy dunes seperate the Gippsland Lakes from the ocean, and its a premier unspoilt, natural beach that is ideal for any number of beach activities. There is an absence of rocky outcrops or headlands, meaning that the sand stretches as far as the eye can see. There is also a lack of urban structure along most of its length, so most of the beach has bush on one side and the crashing waves on the other. Its perfect for an isolated stroll many other beach activities such as swimming, surfing or fishing.

Manly Beach
A visit to Sydney would not be complete without checking out the infamous Manly Beach. The most popular way to get there is via a thirty minute ferry cruise across Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay, which is seen by many as the quintessential Sydney outing. Once there you can enjoy the good surfing conditions on the ocean-side beach, or simply chill out with the rest of the tourists and catch a bit of sun on the more serene harbour side beach. A long promenade is popular amongst joggers and cyclists and is lined with restaurants, shops and bars where you can refresh and refuel! Manly offers the perfect suburban beach experience in Australia, rivalled only by its more southerly neighbour, Bondi Beach.

Gavin Wyatt