A beach bucket list…but not as you know it
We’re spoilt in Australia when it comes to beaches.
And when someone says “let’s hit the beach” you probably think of white sand, rolling waves, bright sunlight and…well, maybe a surfboard.
But as usual at Hammamas we like to share something a little different from the norm. As part of our promise, we’ve been in search of the world’s most interesting beaches and have been discovering that they come in far more different shapes… and colours, than you might first think.
Here’s our wrap up of some unique beach experiences for you to savour before the summer sun sets here in Aus.
See the best wildlife
You don’t need to stay at home in Victoria to see Penguins. Nor do you need to brave the frozen Antarctica to see them in their natural habitat. Near Cape Town in South Africa, over 2,000 endangered African penguins call Boulders Beach home. The boulders create a safe haven from the wind, making for a calm sandy shore. As you can imagine this is a marine protected area so there’s a small fee to enter.
If a dolphin-watching adventure is more up your alley then the world is your oyster (excuse the pun!) Dolphins can be spotted just about anywhere with a coastline. So how about seeing them in the UK?! Head to Cardigan Bay in Cornwall or Scotland’s Moray Firth for your best chances.
Turtles? Easy. At “Turtle Beach”, otherwise known as Laniakea Beach, in Oahu, you’ll get to see them while snorkeling and on the beach itself.
Yes, yes. The Great Barrier Reef. We know and love it. But, we’ve discovered the largest barrier reef outside of Australia. At 185 miles, Ambergris Caye, Belize has tons of opportunities to get up close and personal with eels, rays, and all sorts of brightly colored fish. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the shark-ray alley should be on your bucket list
If you’re planning on making the most of the Australian Autumn sunshine then head to Byron Bay, New South Wales to spot some humpback whales.
Catch the best breaks
Easy Peasey. It’s got to be Bells Beach, in Victoria. It’s the spiritual home of Australian surfing. It also has the creds to back this up. It’s been hosting the country’s oldest and most prestigious event in the surfing world since 1962: Rip Curl Pro. Now a bit of an icon, the powerful swells offer outstanding surf rising up to, and over, five metres against the red clay cliffs.
Colourful sand for your Instagram
Want to surprise your friends with something that will make them do a double take on your feed? You got it! Pink, green, red or black sand beaches might make them think you’ve gone a bit crazy with the filters. Legitimately these these places exist and we’ll tell you why.
Papakōlea Green Sand Beach in Hawaii gets its colour from the mineral olivine, which is formed by lava as it cools in the sea. Want the real thing perhaps? Then head to Grass Beach in French Guiana. There’s a sea shore consisting of grassland in Kourou. Perfect for a lazy sunset stroll and a picnic.
Further along the colour spectrum, the surreal aura of the Pink Sand Beach in the Bahamas is created by washed-up coral remnants, which are ground into tiny pieces by the surf. Then there’s the Red Sand Beach, at Rabida, in the Galapagos was formed due to the oxidization of iron-rich lava deposits. Or head to Pfeiffer Purple Sand Beach in California after it’s rained. The purple sand at this beach is formed when manganese garnet deposits in the surrounding hills erode into the sea and the rain makes the purple colour of the sand even more mesmerizing.
And finally, there’s black sand to see at Vik Beach. Iceland is a land with a lot of volcanic activity, which makes black volcanic beaches common there.
Fake it at an urban beach
Cities don’t come more beach-centric than Rio de Janeiro. With the backdrop of a high-rise skyline the iconic Copacabana and upmarket Ipanema are great places to enjoy a game of footvolley (Google it) or soak in the view over a caipirinha.
If luxury is what you seek then head for the world’s largest artificial, man-made island in Dubai – the Palm Jumeirah. Like it’s name suggests – it’s the shape of a palm tree. Each of the fronds of the Palm Island has its own beach and just a few (well over 1,700) villas to choose from.
No longer seedy, South Beach in Miami is now a popular stomping ground with its palm-studded street. Hire a bike, enjoy rooftop yoga at your hotel or enjoy a swim.
Invisible from outside, this beach is hidden in front of Puerto Vallarta where the Pacific ocean meets the coast of Mexico.
‘Hidden beach’ on the Marieta Islands in Puerto Vallarta is said to be the result of the Mexican government using the uninhabited islands for bombing target practice during World War I.
The beach is completely engulfed by a cave with a massive hole in the roof to let in sunlight. It has long water tunnels which you have to swim through to get to the beach.
It’s also known as “Playa del Amor” in spanish, or “Love Beach”. This is perhaps the world’s most romantic bomb site and probably not too late to surprise your ‘someone special’ for Valentine’s Day!
With love and romantic vibes from the Hammamas team x