Destinations

Tourism Australia ambassador Brad Farmer’s 20 best beaches for 2020

Australia’s best beaches for 2020 have been announced, with a few surprise picks and snubs.

Veteran Australian coastal advocate, author and Tourism Australia beach ambassador Brad Farmer has reimagined what beaches are to modern Australians with this year’s ‘Best Australian Beaches’.

An inland ‘beach’ is among Australia’s best – Wagga Wagga Beach, NSW – as ninth on the list of the nation’s top beaches for the very first time in the list’s history. Fraser Island’s Lake McKenzie also features in 10th place, a place above Rottnest Island’s The Basin.

Surprise pick Cossies Beach, found on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands – an Australian external territory –, also features, retaining its position within the top 20 at 16th place.

Lakes and inland rivers, like Lake Mckenzie, are redefining Australian ‘beaches’ (iStock).

“It’s time we extend the meaning of a beach given there are so many aquatic environments across Australia’s interior,” Farmer said.

This year, the annual list focused on beaches within reach of major airports, encouraging regional dispersal for tourists who, according to surveys, indicate visiting coastal and aquatic places are their main reasons for travelling to Australia.

Bondi Beach and Manly Beach – some of Sydney’s most visited attractions – didn’t make the cut.

They were scrubbed for one of New South Wales’ beach gems, instead: the Tweed Coast’s Cabarita Beach, which took out top spot on the list.

Taking out second place was Queensland’s Currumbin Beach, followed by the tiny secret spot of Minnamurra, NSW, found 90 minutes south of Sydney.

An aerial view of Currumbin Beach, Queensland (iStock)

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said this year’s list once again demonstrated the breadth and depth of Australia’s aquatic and coastal assets.

“As usual, Brad has come up with a cracking list. Beaches are part of our country’s DNA and the beach lifestyle such a fundamental part of the way we enjoy life down under,” she said.

Farmer has been reviewing beaches worldwide for over 35 years and has examined most of the accessible and inaccessible beaches of the nation’s 11,761 coastal beaches.

Farmer sought quirky and lesser-known beach environments that feature estuaries, headlands and abundant nature. In addition, the list features places travellers can experience Australia’s flora and fauna, and engage in activities like fishing and bush walks, in addition to taking a splash.

Here are Australia’s best beaches for 2020, according to Farmer:

  1. Cabarita (NSW)
  2. Currumbin (QLD)
  3. Minnamurra (NSW)
  4. Maria Island (TAS)
  5. Cape Tribulation (QLD)
  6. Brighton Beach (VIC)
  7. Bettys Beach (WA)
  8. South Port Beach (SA)
  9. Wagga Wagga Beach (NSW)
  10. Lake McKenzie (QLD)
  11. The Basin, Rottnest Island (WA)
  12. Fingal Bay (NSW)
  13. Smiths Beach (WA)
  14. Neds Beach, Lord Howe Island (NSW)
  15. Quobba Station Red Bluff (WA)
  16. Cossies Beach (WA)
  17. Lake Tyers Beach (VIC)
  18. Diamond Head (NSW)
  19. Pondalowie Bay (SA)
  20. Killiecrankie Beach, Flinders Island (TAS)

Featured image: Sunrise view of Cabarita Headland, NSW (iStock)

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