The best beaches in the world

When it comes to beautiful beaches, Australians are spoilt for choice.

From Bondi to Broome, coastline connoisseurs abound - ready to spruik their local stretch of sand and surf as the best the world has to offer.

But there do exist good beaches outside our shores.

Whether you're a surfer, snorkeller, scene stealer or travelling solo, the following shortlist of some of the globe's best beaches has something for all tastes.

Anse Source d'Argent - La Digue Island, Seychelles.

Literally straight out of a Bacardi advertisement, Anse Source d'Argent is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

Located on the fourth largest of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and sitting just a few degrees south of the equator, this beach is nothing short of postcard perfect.

Jump on your bicycle (there is limited motorised transport on La Digue) and ride through an old coconut plantation to discover pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters, framed by pink granite boulders and lush palm forest.

Sheltered by an offshore coral reef, Anse Source d'Argent is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

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Better yet, you shouldn't have to fight for a spot in the sun as this little gem's remote location means it has yet to become a tourist mecca.

But time is running out.

Supertubes - Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

J-Bay, as it's known, is home to one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world.

Divided up into several sections, the Bay's pre-eminent stretch is Supertubes, a wave which in itself can barrel for around 300 metres or more.

This fast, hollow ride is a gateway to what surfers call "the green room" and in perfect conditions the journey can last for the best part of a kilometre, starting at a section of the point called Boneyards, travelling through Supertubes, down past Impossibles and along Albatross before finishing almost out of sight where the rocks meet the beach.

Things really get pumping in winter, which is also when the Billabong Pro world championship surfing tour event comes to town, so pack a decent wetsuit and your patience.

For the wave-weary, beachcombing will yield plenty of beautiful shells that make for some unique souvenirs.

Petit St Vincent - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Fancy your own private paradise but can't afford an island? Then stay on someone else's.

Petit St Vincent (PSV) is 46 hectares of rolling hills surrounded by three kilometres of white sand beaches - and here's the clincher - only 22 luxury cottages.

The family-owned-and-run boutique resort has been offering travellers a sanctuary from the real world for decades.

Indeed, rooms here are devoid of televisions, phones and even keys. Should you have any requests, simply hoist the yellow flag outside your door and a staff member will be at your service. Hoist the red flag and enjoy zero disruptions.

Outdoor activities abound on this Caribbean hideaway, with excellent snorkelling spots right off the beach and plenty of hammocks to lie around in.

Those who fancy a little more adventure can climb aboard the Jambalaya, a 73ft schooner, or the Jahash, a 28ft speedboat and explore the magnificent nearby reefs.

Hyams Beach - Jervis Bay, Australia.

The whitest sand in the world is closer than you might think. In fact, it's said to be found just three hours south of Sydney at Hyams Beach on Jervis Bay in the pristine Shoalhaven region of New South Wales.

Facing east and looking directly at Point Perpendicular, Hyams is an unpatrolled bay beach.

At the north end of the wide two kilometre shoreline is a rock platform with its own sandy stretch - and a top snorkelling spot.

Marine life abounds here and seals, little penguins, whales and dolphins can all be spotted by the keen observer. There are also regular cruises out into the waters off the Booderee National Park that have high sighting success rates.

But it is rumours of the dazzling sand that really draws crowds. As for whether the talk is true, you'll have to decide for yourself.

Plage de Tahiti - Saint-Tropez, France.

Screen siren Brigitte Bardot put it on the map, then Mick and Bianca Jagger tied the knot there and these days Saint-Tropez is a fully-fledged playground for the rich and famous.

Notoriously decadent Plage de Tahiti occupies the north end of the 5.5 kilometre-long Baie de Pampelonne on the French Riviera and is a haunt long-favoured by exhibitionists who frolic on its shore wearing little or nothing at all.

Rent a chaise lounge, pop on your (designer, darling) sunglasses and get ready for long days and nights playing I-spy amongst the milling throng of real and wannabe celebs.

The place to see and be seen, Plage de Tahiti, is frequented by the likes of Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Bono and the Beckhams.

When the sun dips below the horizon, take to the beachside cafes, restaurants and clubs for a chance to rub shoulders with the stars you spotted earlier.

AAP

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