Now don’t get us wrong: we love to surf as much as the next person. But sometimes, there’s an urge to take a gentler trip into the ocean, to simply float, unbuffeted by the waves, and let your troubles wash away. Happily, the best place to do just that is under three hours from Sydney; for a relaxing float, one should head to Jimmys Beach in Hawks Nest, NSW. It’s just been crowned as the Australian beach with the calmest waters after a study from HawaiianIslands.com – and if you’ve ever looked at a picture of Hawaii, you’ll know they know their beaches.
The study looked at over 1.5 million TripAdvisor reviews of the world’s best beaches, searching for the key term of “calm waters”. The percentage of visitors mentioning the calmness of the sea was used to make the final judgements, and with over 12% of all guests praising the still waters, Jimmys Beach came out on top for Australia.
Jimmys Beach, NSW
Tucked away from the open waves in a tranquil stretch of Port Stephens Bay, the 5km-long Jimmys Beach is sheltered from the currents of the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, as a southwest-facing beach, it gets protection from the summer winds that blow from the northeast, resulting in superbly calm waters. Swimming here is a must; kids of all ages can paddle happily with little chance of a wave knocking them off balance, and snorkeling is a popular activity with the clarity and calmness of the waters.
It’s not the only NSW beach to make the list of calmest Australian beaches; though Western Australia beaches dominated the rest of the top 5, Lagoon Beach on the spectacular Lord Howe Island ranked seventh. Closer to home, Shelly Beach in Manly was the only beach in Sydney to crack the list; its sheltered location was good enough to place ninth. Still, if you want to experience the calmest waters in Australia, plan a trip up to Hawks Nest.