Most of Australia’s wild and pure beaches are prime sunset-seeking spots. But according to global travellers, the five best are all in Western Australia.*
Coral Bay, Western Australia
The sun glows flaming red and orange before sinking into the horizon in Coral Bay
Stepping onto the crescent-shaped, white sandy beach of this remote seaside village on Australia’s west coast feels like stumbling upon paradise. Backed by arid cattle country, it seems remarkable that the azure seas here contain such abundant marine life, including the 260km-long, fringing Ningaloo Reef, which is so close to land that you can strap on a snorkel and swim to it to admire the resplendent coral and shoals of tropical fish. Town life revolves around the beach and – aside from scuba diving, swimming with Manta Rays and sunning yourself on the soft, gleaming sands – one of the best Coral Bay experiences is to head to the dunes for sunset. Buy some fresh fish and chips and perch on the viewing platform to watch the sun glow flaming red and orange before sinking into the horizon. Check into an apartment right by the beach at Ningaloo Reef Resort.
Gnarabup, Western Australia
Gnarabup sunsets turn the sky into a palette of pastels
The sunsets at Gnarabup beach tend to turn the sky into a palette of pastels, reflecting on the calm waters and imbuing the slowly rolling waves with a silky sheen. The best vantage point for this spectacle has to be the White Elephant Beach Cafe, sitting on the large sundeck right on the edge of the sand, looking out onto the old wooden jetty. It’s a popular spot that serves fresh juices, exemplary coffee and food in a laid-back setting (try the pork belly salad with wombok, mint, ginger and sesame soy dressing), so there’s a chance it may be busy. But service is quick and efficient so it shouldn’t be a problem and besides, you can always sit on the sand and watch the waves crash with a bit of cheese and wine. Stay just a short walk from the beach at Studio Tramonto.
Broome, Western Australia
Hopping on the back of a camel for a ride along the sand is a popular way to see the sunset on Broome's 22km-long Cable Beach
Broome – an old pearling town with a long Aboriginal history – is the kind of place you’ll fall head over heels in love with at first sight. It’s spectacular at any time of day, with the white sands of its 22km-long Cable Beach stretching out before you. But when the sun goes down is when it’s at its finest. Hyper hues of red and gold take over the sky but the most vivid colours arrive after the sun has disappeared over the horizon, so don’t fall into the typical tourist trap of leaving right away. You can admire the view with a popular sunset camel ride, or from a beachfront cafe, or the grassy foreshore with a picnic. Or even just while walking along the sand and dipping your toes in the warm sea – the lovely thing about Cable Beach is that it stays relatively quiet even during peak season, so you’ll almost always feel in blissful solitude. Stay in a luxury canvas tent or private villa less than 10 minutes’ walk from Cable Beach at The Billi Resort.
Jurien Bay, Western Australia
Jurien Bay's jetty is a whimsical spot to watch the sunset
The coastal town of Jurien Bay is a vision as the sun is going down. Here, the crystal-clear ocean laps equally pristine white sands, leading up to smooth, rolling sand dunes. Take an evening wander down to the jetty in time for sunset, to watch the sun’s reflection make the shallows glow incandescent orange. It’s astonishing how, even at the busiest time of the year, yours will often be the only track of footprints in the sand here. And for those travellers who visit during spring, native wildflower species cover the area in a carpet of colour. Stay in a cottage just two minutes' walk from the beach at Jurien Bay Tourist Park.
Monkey Mia, Western Australia
Take a sunset sailing and wildlife cruise from Monkey Mia Beach
Most people visit Monkey Mia to meet local bottlenose dolphins, interaction with which is regulated by rangers of the resort’s wildlife reserve (a few lucky visitors are often chosen to hand-feed them a serving of fish). This community of wild dolphins started making regular visits to the bay in the 1960s, interacting with humans and popping back to visit several times a day, and has become one of Australia’s most well-known wildlife experiences. But it’s not just dolphin-spotting that should draw you in. The sunsets here, sinking into the translucent blue waters of the Indian Ocean over dappled, honey-hued sand, are stupendous. Either watch from the beach or take a sunset sailing and wildlife cruise, spotting dolphins and turtles and – sometimes – dugongs and whales. Stay right on the beach at RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort.
**The data scientists at Booking.com dug into internal endorsement data to find the most highly rated destinations for 'sunsets' and 'beach' in Australia, according to global travellers.