Living in Australia’s most famous and popular beach towns will mean forking out a pretty penny for a home, but beachside paradises can still be found on a budget.
For those looking for Byron Bay views with a Bundaberg bank balance, there are plenty of options despite demand in popular areas rocketing during the pandemic, with thousands moving out of urban centres to work from home.
But prospective buyers can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by opting for suburbs just a few kilometres away.
Here are the best areas that boast just as flashy scenery as the big hitters, but for a fraction of the price.
Lennox Head, NSW
Lennox Head is a brilliant alternative to Byron Bay, providing the same laid-back lifestyle for a fraction of the cost (pictured, an aerial view of Lennox Head)
As nearby Byron Bay’s median house prices have surged by 51 per cent over the last year, savvy homebuyers are looking for a town with a similar vibe but without the flashy billionaire types.
For a home in Byron Bay buyers are looking at an all-time high price of $1.96million.
Lennox Head, only 20 minutes south of Byron Bay, has a median price of $1.14 million, rising by 38 per cent over the last year – a fraction of the rise seen as its more famous neighbour.
The town has the same surf lifestyle and laid-back vibes that Byron was famous for years ago.
With less traffic and crowds but with restaurants and bars that rival those Byron has to offer, buyers should consider Lennox Head as a cheaper alternative for a beachside oasis.
Mooloolaba boasts the countries sixth-best beach, and is only 50 kilometres south of the Sunshine Coast (pictured, Mooloolaba beach)
Nearby Noosa is famous for Sunshine Beach, boasting a median house price of $2.2million, increasing by 161.1 per cent in the last five years.
But Mooloolaba, another beautiful suburb on the Sunshine Coast, is only 50km south and boasts a beach rated the sixth-best in the country.
Mooloolaba beach is home to famous restaurants and more than 100 cafes, and is only an hour drive to the nearby city of Brisbane.
The median house price is also half of what Noosa is offering, sitting at $1.075million.
Mooloolaba also has a median house price which is less than half that of nearby Noosa, sitting at $1.075million (pictured, Mooloolaba beach)
For those who don’t want to spend all day at the beach, Daylesford at the foot of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria is a beautiful quaint town which has seen a 42.7 per cent increase in median house prices to $800,000.
But Kingsford, only 10 minutes away is a more affordable option for homes with lovely views of the hillsides and surrounding lands.
Kingston is a tiny town with beautiful views of the nearby hills and land close to the foot of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria (pictured, the Commercial Hotel in Kingston)
For comparison, Kim McQueen of McQueen Real Estate has a two-bedroom cottage listed for between $720,000 and $760,000.
‘But if the same cottage was in Daylesford it could easily be $900,000,’ Ms MsQueen said to Domain.
Mount Pleasant, NSW
Kiama, a beautiful picturesque beach town in the south-coast of NSW has seen an incredible rise, with the median house price increasing 44.1 per cent in the last year to a pricey $1.305million.
Mount Pleasant is a brilliant alternative to the upper market suburb of Kiama, with a much more affordable price tag (pictured, a Mount Pleasant home)
Instead of staying away from the city, why not travel 40 minutes north towards Sydney and find a haven close to the beach, Mount Pleasant.
The median house price in the secluded area is only $900,000 and gives homeowners a very short drive to Wollongong CBD and the picturesque Towradgi Beach.
The suburb is described as a perfect area for new families, with a lovely relaxed feel.
Victor Harbor, SA
The sought-after Fleurieu Peninsula is home to Port Elliot, a famous suburb on the south-coast of the region.
The perfect seaside town’s median price is sitting at $575,000 but homes closer to the waterfront are attracting sums upwards of $2million.
Victor Harbor serves as a brilliant alternative to the seaside town of Port Elliot, boasting small beaches and bike paths and walking tracks for the adventurous types (pictured, a Victor Harbor home)
But a small town only a short drive away might be a better option.
Victor Harbor has a median house price of $475,000 and has seen steady growth over the past years.
Small beaches, outdoor activities including bike riding and walks, and wineries nearby make it a brilliant alternative.
Victor Harbor is still only a short drive from Port Elliot and the famous Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia (pictured, Victor Harbor causeway)
Derby is close to Western Australia’s tourist hub of Broome, which has seen a 33.6 per cent increase to median house prices, landing at $581,000.
But, the town dubbed the Kimberley gateway to Derby has a much more affordable price, at only $264,500.
The town offers brilliant barramundi fishing and is close enough to Broome to visit and still take part in the tourist locations activities, while providing its own as well.
Though the town cannot compete in one aspect, boasting mudflats as opposed to Broome’s beaches the price tag can’t be overlooked.
Derby offers an inland option to Western Australia’s prime tourist town, Broome (pictured, a home in Derby, WA)
For around half the median price of a home in Broome, you can purchase a home in Derby for around $264,500 (pictured, Loch Street in Derby)