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10 best Aussie beach bars
Wind down after a day of surf and sand at these groovy bars
With thousands of beaches along the coastline, locals and travelers are always searching for that perfect strand.
And as temperatures soar and visits to the beach with friends become more frequent, that perfection often includes a watering hole for a cold one.
Australia must really be the lucky country. Many beaches have bars right next to them.
So you can roll up that towel or sarong and grab a drink, if you'd like. Here are the best 10, from coast to coast.
10. Cottesloe Beach Hotel, West Australia
Sandgropers have a big advantage over those on the eastern seaboard. When they enjoy a sundowner, they see an oceanic sun set.
It ducks behind Rottnest Island before being swallowed by the Indian Ocean’s horizon.
For the last century, locals have been ending beach days at Cottesloe Beach Hotel, alongside Perth’s iconic beach.
There are three lively bars. The Craft Beer Bar accommodates discerning tastes. Upmarket winers and diners go for the Verandah Bar and casual diners the Garden Bar.
If you enjoy the view so much you have a few too many, there are 13 rooms here to rest your drunken head.
Cottesloe Beach Hotel, 104 Marine Parade, Cottesloe, +61 (0)8 9383 1100, www.cottesloebeachhotel.com.au
9. North Bondi Italian, New South Wales
North Bondi is where the beautiful hang: from the gay brigade to young families, you can be whoever you want -- as long as you’re beautiful.
North Bondi Italian has in recent years become a local institution. When the beautiful people are finished being beautiful on the beach, they take a few steps up the hill to the bar.
North Bondi Italian overlooks Bondi Beach and gets the best of a summer sunset (albeit over Bellevue Hill).
It serves a range of wines, cocktails and bottled beer that is the preferred choice of trendsetters.
A DJ spins funky tunes and if you’re hungry, the Italian-style tapas, seafood and fusions are among the city’s best.
It’s cool, it’s hip and it’s (obviously) beautiful.
118-120 Ramsgate Ave., North Bondi, +61 (0)2 9300 4400, www.idrb.com.au/northbondi/
8. Surf Club Kurrawa, Queensland
What started as a club to save lives now attracts 23,000 visitors per month.
It's located on that long stretch of sand that includes many beaches -- Surfers Paradise being but one --called the Gold Coast.
The refurbished bar that overlooks the Pacific Ocean jams it up with live entertainment, bistro food and that oh-so-important selection of beers on tap (remember, this is Queensland).
While the Burleigh Heads pub is also worth a brewski, the Surf Club Karrawa is pretty easy to reach from anywhere on the Goldie.
Surf Club Karrawa, Old Burleigh Head Road, Broadbeach, +61 (0)7 5527 5660, www.surfclubkurrawa.com.au
7. Republica, St Kilda, Victoria
OK, let’s sing it again, Mr. Paul Kelly. “I’ll give you all of Sydney Harbour, all that land and all that water, for that one sweet promenade.”
And who said bays weren’t as beautiful as coastal beaches, anyway?
The hanging seats at Republica have an uninterrupted view of the thin strip of sand, imported palms and piers that are St Kilda Beach.
Sit back, relax and people-watch in plush surroundings.
The contemporary cuisine has produce from the surf and turf, including shared plates and pizzas under $20, in a menu with Asian and Italian regional influences.
That funky and hip vibe on the always-busy promenade is typical of why Melbourne’s so cool.
Occasionally there are waves on the beach, too: when a boat goes past.
Republica, St Kilda Sea Baths, 10-18 Jacka Blvd., St Kilda, +61 (0)3 8598 9055, www.republica.net.au
6. Bacchus Bar, Henley's Beach, South Australia
Named after the Greek God of food, wine and debauchery, you could be in for such a time at this beachfront bar.
Located 10 kilometers west of Adelaide, views of the St. Vincent Gulf from Henley's Beach means there’s also a backdrop to all the fun.
The bistro draws upon the great local meats, seafoods and produce and South Australians don't have to look too far for a good drop of wine, either. An imported wine menu is also there, just in case.
Bacchus Bar, 253 Esplanade, Henley Square, +61 (0)8 8356 2644, www.bacchusbar.com.au
5. Manly Wharf Hotel, New South Wales
Though not set next to Manly Beach, it’s only a five-minute stroll to the harbor side of the peninsula and the ferry wharf.
Locals and folk ferrying home to the southern shore alike pop into the Manly Wharf Hotel for drinks before catching the boat home.
And there is a protected harbor beach by the wharf.
Since being redeveloped in 2002, it’s become a favorite of draught beer drinkers. It’s always busy and big enough to cater to its popularity.
The celebratory ambience on a Friday arvo caters to a range of revelers, which usually continues into the night.
Manly Wharf Hotel, Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, +61 (0)2 9977 1266, www.manlywharfhotel.com.au
4. Turtles Bar, Darwin, Northern Territory
Turtles Bar at The Beachfront Hotel could be a refreshing way to escape the tropical heat.
It also has views of the waterfront at Nightcliff. This is the top of the Top End.
A popular spot for tourists and locals alike, sit out on the deck as the sun goes down over the Arafura Sea. Watch those fishing vessels go out to sea, and celebrate not being on them with a beer in hand and enjoying the live music.
The Beachfront Hotel, 342 Casuarina Drive, Darwin, +61 (0)8 8985 3000, www.mghotels.com.au
3. Apollo Bay Hotel, Victoria
The Apollo Bay Hotel is on one of the world's most scenic drives in the world.
It's just a few revs from the Twelve Apostles and is surrounded by the Otway Rainforest and waterfalls.
But that's only half the story when it comes to Apollo Bay. It hosts the annual Apollo Bay Music Festivaland most weekends varying styles of music will be playing outof the bay's two pubs.
There's something about good live music, beer and the beach that makes a happy love triangle.
Only problem is, it gets a little colder off the Southern Ocean, particularly during winter months. Lucky there's a fireplace.
Apollo Bay Hotel, 95 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay; +61 (0)3 5237 6250, www.apollobayhotel.com.au
2. The Beach Pavilion, Hayman Island, Queensland
You can’t walk to this pub unless you’re on the island.To get there you catch a luxury boat from Hayman Airport or, if you prefer, a sea plane or helicopter.
But this private oasis on the Great Barrier Reef overlooks the sparkling Coral Sea (when it’s sunny).
This bar is part of a five-star resort that is Australia’s most-awarded hotel on Hayman Island.The Beach Pavilion, Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, +61 (0) 7 4940 1838, www.hayman.com.au
1. Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, New South Wales
Byron Bay is the country’s unofficial capital of leftism, alternative living and surfing. In more recent times, the continent’s most easterly point has also become New South Wales’ favorite beach destination.
Whatever your reasons for going, the town accommodates for a post-beach drink. There’s live music at The Railway Hotel, but for that expansive beach view, the beer garden at the Beach Hotel is the place to be.
The pub’s holiday atmosphere overlooks Julian Rocks and the local surf club. Movie memorabilia adorns the walls, big screens pump out sports and surfing action.
Kegs upon kegs of beer flows from the taps, the bistro serves cheerful pub grub in a relaxed environment to a diverse crowd.
Beach Hotel, Bay Street, Byron Bay, +61 (0) 2 6685 6402, www.beachhotel.com.au