AUSTRALIA is world-renowned for its stunning coastline.
From the unbeatable to the unknown, our country has so many beaches it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our beloved stretches of surf and sand are worth a whopping $103 billion to the national economy.
In fact, while Australia may not be the most visited destination in the world, on social media, Tourism Australia holds the title of the world’s most followed national tourism organisation, with 8 million Facebook fans and 2.8 million Instagram followers. And it is all thanks to our picturesque coast.
According to research from Australia’s “leading beach expert” and Tourism Australia ambassador Brad Farmer, who has authored a book on Australia’s beaches, 70 per cent per cent of international tourists cite our beaches as the number one reason to visit Australia, and even a higher number of Aussies (90 per cent) choose to holiday at or near the water.
But if you had to pick your favourite beach, what would it be?
Chances are you’ve probably never heard of the winner of the coveted title of Best Australian Beach for 2018: Nudey Beach, which lies on an island off the coast of Cairns in Far North Queensland.
You’ve also probably never even heard of the runner-up, which was awarded to the little-known Horrocks Beach in Western Australia.
Nudey Beach in far north Queensland has been named Australia's best beach. Source: iStock
When announcing the results with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop today, Mr Farmer said his research shows that the trend is largely being driven by social media, whose users and followers are uncovering and promoting “fresh and unwrapped” beaches.
“Social sharing is now an economic phenomenon, where people are travelling and exploring to experience real difference, either through their fingertips or literally on the road less travelled — something which my 2018 list reflects in buckets — and spades,” Mr Farmer said.
The Best Australian Beach 2018 rankings were ranked using a “Triple-A” criteria: Affordable, Accessible and Authentically Australian.
Between Mr Farmer and co-author Prof Andy Short, every one of Australia’s 11,761 beaches has been visited and carefully examined over two decades. While best beaches are still assessed on traditional criteria of environment, water quality, cleanliness, visual amenity, community connection and social history, facilities and a vast range of other factors, a new assessment needed to come into play in 2018, such as international suitability, beach safety, shark movements, engaging with locals, a beach “one would recommend to a friend” and often just the “wow” factor.
“Brad Farmer’s 101 Best Beaches puts the spotlight on just one per cent of Australia’s beaches but, ultimately, this is a list that celebrates our unique coastal lifestyle and with it every kilometre of the 50,000km which make up our country’s spectacular coastline,” John O’Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia said.
THE TOP 20 BEST AUSTRALIAN BEACHES 2018
1. Nudey Beach (QLD)
2. Horrocks Beach (WA)
3. Dreamtime Beach (NSW)
4. Cossies Beach (Cocos Keeling Islands)
5. Burleigh Heads (QLD)
6. Seal Rocks (NSW)
7. Bay of Fires (TAS)
8. Quobba, Red Bluff (WA)
9. Dolly Beach (Christmas Island)
10. Second Valley (SA)
11. Neds Beach (Lord Howe Island)
12. Little Beach (WA)
13. Wineglass Bay (TAS)
14. Moonee Beach (NSW)
15. Cottesloe Beach (WA)
16. Agnes Waters, 1770 (QLD)
17. Horseshoe Bay (QLD)
18. Kitty Miller Bay (VIC)
19. Mindil Beach (NT)
20. Cylinders (QLD)