With more than 30,000 miles of spectacular coastline, Australia has no shortage of sand and surf combos. But which of the country’s recorded 10,685 beaches are best? From tranquil, white sand coves in the Whitsundays to Western Australia’s rugged, windswept shores, we hand-picked the country’s 10 finest stretches of paradise.

Considered by many to be Australia’s most beautiful beach, the four mile-long Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is deserving of all its accolades. For starters, it boasts the purest sand in the world—98 percent pure silica, so fine and blindingly white it looks like baby powder—fringed by equally dazzling azure-colored water. But it’s more than just easy on the eyes: Whitehaven’s many coves, lagoons, and inlets make it perfect for exploration, and there’s excellent snorkeling at the southern end of the beach. For Whitehaven’s best views, hike up to Tongue Point lookout during low tide, when the sea and sands swirl and shift to create a brilliant mosaic of white, green, and blue.

Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia
Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia

At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a stunning cove where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colors.  As the tide shifts, the white silica sand and turquoise shades of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking view of swirling Whitsunday colors.