Kids and family

Top toddler friendly beaches

Great beaches for bubs (AAP Images)
Great beaches for bubs

While Australian beaches really are the best in the world, sometimes the two-metre surf really isn't the best for your bub, and it tends to make your holiday much less restful. Here's a handful of calm sandy spots around Australia that are suitable for baby's first beach days.

Main Beach, Noosa, Queensland

Main Beach is ideal for little ones, as it faces north. This position creates a softer wave, and if you carry your tot into the water on your hip, the waves will break very gently around you both. Main Beach is also a well-known family holiday destination, so there are plenty of other children making play on the sand. Plus there are some rock pools around the shoreline for the more curious beach babies.

Rainbow Bay, Queensland

Rainbow Bay sits hidden behind the windswept headland of Point Danger on the coast between Coolangatta and the top end of NSW. This picturesque spot is sheltered from fierce winds and hazardous currents, and it's popular with families. Pandanus palms provide some shade on the hill above the beach.

Forrester's Beach, New South Wales

Located just outside Terrigal, Forrester's Beach on the NSW Central Coast is a one-hour drive from Sydney. There's limited access to this beach, so it never becomes too crowded. The gentle swells, shallow water and sheltered rock pools all combine to create the perfect setting for splashing around with an inquisitive toddler.

Horseshoe Bay, South Coast New South Wales

Horseshoe Bay in Bermagui on the NSW South Coast is north-facing and offers some of the safest swimming conditions in the region. Tiny waves lap gently at the shoreline and these crystal clear waters are patrolled throughout summer.

Hampton Beach, Victoria

Just 16km from Melbourne's city centre on Port Phillip Bay is Hampton Beach, a relatively secluded beach set between Brighton and Sandringham. This long sandy beach is calm and quite shallow, making it ideal for paddling tots. Plus there are barbecue and picnic facilities available for public use.

East Gippsland, Victoria

East Gippsland is home to some of Victoria's most scenic stretches of coastline and a number of peaceful beaches, which are suitable for young families. Although Shallow Inlet Beach is not patrolled during summer, the waters here are sheltered and calm. The area plays host to plenty of migratory birdlife, which is an interesting talking point for youngsters.

Henley Beach, South Australia

Henley Beach in Adelaide is abuzz with young families during summer. The surf is relatively gentle, the sand is soft, plus there's a range of vibrant cafés and takeaway spots nearby in the town square if everybody gets hungry.

Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

Just 15 minutes from central Perth and on the way to Fremantle is Cottesloe Beach, which is widely considered Perth's safest beach. The surf here is, for the most part, gentle and without rips, although sensible caution should still be exercised. There's plenty of shade up on the grassy area, plus cafés and kiosks serve mid-afternoon snacks and frosty drinks.

Lauderdale Beach, Tasmania

The southern end of Lauderdale Beach near the airport in Hobart is the locals' top pick for a day out with the little ones. The sheltered conditions and low breeze keep the waves to a minimum, while the tree-fringed sand is a great retreat spot, when the mid-afternoon sun is at its fiercest.

It's important to remember that even if a beach is generally known to be calm and peaceful, conditions can alter quickly. Keeping an eye on the ocean, the sky and the children's activities will help to ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable day at the beach.

All kinds of fun family tours and activities can be booked around the country, using Ninemsn's activities pages.

Got any other toddler-friendly beaches to add to the list?

User comments
Norfolk Island off the east coast of NSW 2 hours by air has the most toddler friendly beach any where its Called Emily beach and got to be the cleanest water and sand gentle flat to rolling waves and the most beautiful.
Trial Bay at South West Rocks is a sheltered beach with very little waves and a very gradual slope into a large expanse of shallow water. The beach is west facing and because it is sheltered from the open sea it generally doesn't get seaweed, blue bottles or other nasties. It also has a great area of sandy beach. It is a wonderful beach for toddlers.
North Avoca has some of the ulimate rock pools. New Zealand Beach is out of the way but great. Forresters Beach is a wild inclusion - the south end may be calm but the rips and deep channel to the north are extremely dangerous - it has long been known as one of the best Big wave locations in Aus and it is not patrolled.
Having grown up in Adelaide, and all of the metropolitan beaches there are beautiful with gentle surf. The most popular is Glenelg where lots of families head in summer. I was surprised when I moved to Melbourne, Sydney and Gold Coast how rough the surf was, and I would not want to take a toddler swimming at Bondi, Gold coast or St Kilda beaches.
Point Road Knight Anglesea Victoria just 90 mins from Melb. This is a beautiful, clean sheltered beach, a family favourite and a popular holiday destination. Anglesea is between Torquay and Lorne and has lots of accommodation but books out months before Xmas etc.
Try Hastings Point, my 2 and a half yr old loves it, she can wander around in the water at low tide without holding onto me.
I have been to all the beaches mentioned on your list, save the one in Tasmania, (to cold to swim there for kids anyway) Tin Can Bay & Hervey Bay are by far, better than the rest, in-fact these 2 Bays are often described as a "mill pond", when you ask people "how's the water look", Remember even a small wave can knock a child over and drag them away. I dont know who compiled your list but they obviously don't get around much.
Collaroy is toddler friendly. Easy close parking, toddler friendly beach pools, rock pools, park and beach all in close proximity. We live there in summer!
The best beach for kids is Normanville South Australia. 1 hr south of Adelaide - its calm ( ask my 12 yr old who is now lookin for waves ) plenty of good clean white sand, not course sand. And the car park is within 50 metres of beach, handy for the trips to car. Give it a go, you will always go back.
st georges basin, southof Nowra and huskisson inlet, green patch near Jervis Bay all are amazingly kid friendly walk out 250m and still be up to their knees. Lovely.