Lonely Planet has been a popular 'go to' resource for world travellers since the birth of their very first guide book in 1973. Each year, Lonely Planet release their top 50 best beaches in the world as voted by their globe trotting online community. Their 2016 list of 50 Beaches That Will Blow Your Mind (read here) not only gave us a serious case of wanderlust, but left us feeling pretty damn proud to be living in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, the list included 12 beaches from the Pacific Region, spanning across Western Australia, Sydney, New Zealand's Coromandel Coast, Philippines, Maldives, Thailand and more.
So let's take a look at 12 of the Best Beaches in the Pacific as voted by the Lonely Planet.
Best Beaches in The Pacific
Agonda Beach, Goa, India
Goa became a popular beach hideaway in the 1970s following the evolvement of the Hippie Hashish Trail - an overland route spanning across Europe, through to Kashmir, Afghanistan and Nepal. When the selling of Marijuana become illegal in Kathmandu, travellers began to make their way through India, following stories of paradise, freedom and drugs on the shores of Goa. Today, Goa has become a popular tourist mecca but the Lonely Planet refer to Agonda as "relatively quiet and isolated."
White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
"6km of super soft sand and aqua waters." Sounds like paradise right? Located on the island of Boracay, White Beach has fast become a much sought after travel destination. The beach looks just like a postcard and although regularly frequented by travellers, the beach is so long that you are bound to find your own private slice of beachy goodness.
Koh Kood, Trat Province, Thailand
For any of us that have had the pleasure of island hopping in Thailand, it's a known fact that the country is full of mind blowing beaches that look just like the postcards! However with so many touristy beaches in Thailand, Lonely Planet placed this little touch of paradise in their Top 50 list because "there's no shortage of choice when it comes to beautiful beaches and tropical islands in Thailand, but it is rare to find one that retains some of that illusive undiscovered vibe." Take us there NOW!
Wayag Beach, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia
"I think I may have died and gone to diving heaven." Wayag Beach is hidden on a small island within the Raja Ampat archipelago. The towering limestone formations and beautiful atolls not only make for Instagram heaven, but provide a ground for world class snorkeling and deep sea diving.
Nalaguraidhoo Beach, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
You've seen the photos right? The bungalows sitting upon your very own private beach front jacuzzi. Well yes... this is it! The Maldives consist of a string of islands in the Indian Ocean that are well known for the coastline's aqua waters, white sands and pure bliss. Wanderlust much?
Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
To conclude this list with a BANG - we welcome you to Matira Beach. The Lonely Planet described Matira Beach as "the ruler of them all. It's phenomenal. Sublime. It's the South Pacific of your dreams."
Best Beaches in Australia
Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia
When you picture Australia, you picture beaches and an epic surf coast. Bell's Beach is home to the iconic Rip Curl Surf Pro Competition which attracts the world's greatest surfers year on year. Nestled along the Great Ocean Road, Bell's Beach sits within towering cliff faces and is reachable by a stairway "to paradise..." as we like to call it!
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach needs no introduction! There's no surprise that one of Australia's most envisioned beaches made Lonely Planet's Top 50 list, described in the list as "Aussie as a Meat Pie." Nestled east of Sydney's CBD, Bondi Beach has some pretty epic views and of our favourite free things to do in Sydney is to take a stroll along the Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach coastal walk - warning: it will make you want to quit your job and move to Australia!
Monkey Mia, Western Australia
"This is the Dolphin Beach right?" Yes. Yes it is! Monkey Mia is located a few hours north of Perth and sits within a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site. Each day there are a number of Bottle Nose Dolphins that frequent the beaches shores. Not only that, but visiting any beach north of Perth in Western Australia really leaves you feeling like you are in the middle of nowhere.
Tallows Beach, Byron Bay, Australia
We cannot get ENOUGH of Tallows Beach! You will be surprised by the amount of surfing beaches in Byron Bay and there's no doubt that Byron Bay really is one of the happiest places on Earth (proof: here). As you venture to the top of the Byron Bay Lighthouse you will be rewarded with views from the most easterly point in Australia. To your right you will spot Tallows Beach - a popular local hot spot and as described by Lonely Planet... "the vibe is laid waaaaaay back."
Squeaky Beach, Wilson's Promontory, Victoria, Australia
Well, well, well... surprised? Another Aussie beach has made the list and more surprisingly - a beach from the southern state of Victoria! Wilson's Promontory is one of our favourite underrated destinations in Australia. "The Prom" - as the locals call it, is a 32km national park at the very southern tip of mainland Australia. Many of the beautiful beaches are only accessible by foot. Squeaky Beach however is one of the easily accessible and well known beaches in the Prom. Don't be surprised to pass by a Wombat, Kangaroo or Wallaby whilst venturing down to the "squeaky shores." Why squeaky? The sand is SO pure that it squeaks as you walk upon it.
Best Beaches in New Zealand
Hot Water Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand
This is one of the many reasons why New Zealand is the best place on earth! New Zealand is well known for its volcanic and geothermal wonders. Nestled in Mercury Bay along the north island's Coromandel Peninsula, sits Hot Water Beach. The beach sits upon underground hot springs that can heat the ocean's water to temperatures as hot as 64°C. The best way to experience them? Dig yourself a little hole by the beach and wait for the warm waves to turn your sand hole into a bubbling outdoor jacuzzi!
Source: Traveller || "Lonely Planet's Best Beaches"