Beach clubs in Australia: Missing Bali? Here's where to have a beach club experience here

Missing Bali's superlative beach clubs? It may not be Seminyak or Uluwatu but order a margarita, kick back on a cabana and you can almost picture yourself catching a blazing sunset over the Indian Ocean. If we can't get to Bali (or the Amalfi Coast) right now these home grown beach clubs are the next best thing. (See more images of Australia's best beach clubs in the gallery above.)

The Beachcomber Hotel and Resort, Toukley NSW

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The Beachcomber Hotel and Resort, Toukley NSW

Sunset sessions, margarita jugs and waterfront cabanas are on offer at this newly unveiled beach club on the unlikely shores of Toukley on the Central Coast. The coast's 'Queen of the North', The Beachcomber Hotel and Resort (aka "The Beachie") boasts a crisp new blue and white Hamptons' aesthetic by Sydney-based Day Design following its acquisition by the ever-expanding Oscars Hotels.

Guests can arrive by boat and moor it at a private jetty, individual cabanas are offered on grassy lawn rolling down to the water's edge (exclusive hire on weekends) while there's also a play area, in-house petting zoo complete with resident goats and live music sunset sessions with vocalists, DJ's and sax.

Tropical cocktails, spiked fresh coconuts (add your shot of choice) and share plates of tacos, jerk chicken and slow-cooked brisket meanwhile are the order of the day.

Phase one incudes the opening of boutique waterfront guest rooms, two bars (one with faux grass), woodfired pizza oven and rotisserie while namesake space, The Beachie, offers an expansive deck beneath towering gums to enjoy drinks overlooking the water. Upmarket eatery Pelican's with a focus on seasonal produce and seafood opens next. Best bit? No passport or entry fee required. See beachcomberhotelandresort.com.au

The Moseley Beach Club, Adelaide

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The Moseley Beach Club, Adelaide

Channelling Mykonos vibes, the Moseley Beach Club is Australia's first licensed beach front club just north of Adelaide's landmark Glenelg Pier. Spread across 750 square metres of sand, the seasonal beach club comes complete with picket fencing, striped umbrellas, deckchairs, bean bags and picnic tables.

Owned and operated by the Moseley Bar and Kitchen, staff wearing trilby hats and boardies last summer served more than 30,000 beach goers (during Covid-19 restrictions). The Greek style beach club offers front row seats to lapping waves, casual bites, drinks and live music on the sand. After sundown the party continues beneath twinkling marquee lights.

More than 50,000 visitors are expected for sundowners and live music for the beach clubs fifth season which runs until March 27, 2022. There's no entry fee however there's a cost to hire day beds and sun loungers. See themoseley.com.au/the-moseley-beach-club

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Cali Beach Club, Gold Coast QLD

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Cali Beach Club, Gold Coast QLD

The Gold Coast now has its own superlative beach club offering luxe poolside cabanas, multiple dining outlets and bars, sports facilities, an outdoor cinema and even a beach volleyball court.

The new 5000 square metre Cali Beach Club offers patrons both beach vantages and twinkling skyline vistas from its beachfront locale four stories above street level. "Our aim is to deliver a luxury hospitality experience that will surpass anything currently available in Australia," said Matthew Keegan of Artesian Hospitality who operate the rooftop venue.

With the Gold Coast's beaches as a backdrop, four pools, day beds, dance floor, two restaurants and four bars this grown-ups' playground is expected to be the coast's hottest ticket. There's no entry fee (except for events like New Year's Eve) however there's a cost to hire VIP cabanas and day beds. See calibeach.com.au

Kurrawa Beach Club, Broadbeach QLD

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Kurrawa Beach Club

A second pop-up beach club – one where you can feel the sand between your toes – kicked off on the Gold Coast December 4. Expected to be hugely popular for sun drenched cocktails and casual dining overlooking rolling waves, this brand new beach club (on trial this summer) with bean bags, cabanas and sun lounges sits pretty beneath a string of festoon lights. Running until January 30, Kurrawa Beach Club, operated by the Australian Venue company in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast, offers free entry (cabana hire extra). Bookings essential. See kurrawabeachclub.com.au

Watsons Bay Beach Club, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, NSW

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Watsons Bay Beach Club, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Those in search of endless summers, cracking harbour panoramas and afternoons clinking glasses over seafood platters can find it along one of Sydney's most iconic stretches of sand. Wile away an afternoon beneath umbrellas on sundrenched terraces and balconies. Many punters arrive with sandy feet straight from a dip in the bay or from nearby Camp Cove.

On weekends breakfast morphs into an all-day affair complete with classics like the signature chilled seafood platter (Watsons Bay is synonymous with seafood) and (seasonal) bottomless drink offers overlooking bobbing boats. If you simply can't prise yourself away, check in to one of the hotel's 32 light-filled rooms and suites. See watsonsbayhotel.com.au

The Exchange Beach Club, Port Melbourne

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The Exchange Beach Club, Port Melbourne

Kiss lockdown goodbye at one of Melbourne's favourite pop-ups on the sandy shores of Port Melbourne until January 30. The Exchange Hotel's Beach Club returns after a 20 month hiatus with cabanas, day beds, container bar, beachside Pilates and bottomless brunches. Brought to Melbourne by the Australian Venue Company (operators of Queensland's new Kurrawa Beach Club and pubs including the Middle Park Hotel, Duke of Wellington and The Imperial on Bourke) the beach club operates seven days a week, is cash free, pet friendly, free to enter and offers a sustainable focus. See exchangebeachclub.com.au

Amalfi Beach Club, Bondi

Artist impressions of the Amalfi Beach Club proposed for Bondi Beach. Credit: Urban Polo

Artist impressions of the Amalfi Beach Club proposed for Bondi Beach.  Photo: Urban Polo

Bondi's famous sands could soon be home to a controversial Italian style beach club of its own. The proposed Amalfi Club would operate over summer at the southern end of Sydney's most iconic beach with cabanas and day beds for up to 100 people, a casual area for walk-ins and a children's play area. The recently unveiled Mediterranean design includes bay windows, shutters, planter boxes and a peeling stucco render "celebrating Bondi Beach's heritage by paying tribute to our very own Pavilion, also inspired by inter-war Italian architecture," the club's Facebook page states. A development application has not yet being lodged however the proposal faces tough opposition from locals who fear the loss of free beach access for all.

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