Tourism Australia reveals our top 10 beaches and you might never have heard of the winner – Travel Weekly


Tourism Australia has a ‘beach ambassador’? It’s one of the ‘tough jobs’ and the man in charge has just cast his vote on the best beach in the country!

Maybe it’s the iconic Bondi Beach? No, it didn’t get a look in, neither did other so called stand outs like the ever white sands of the Whitsundays or the clean waterways around Jervis Bay.

Brad Farmer is Tourism Australia’s beach ambassador and in 2023 he has awarded Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island the number one position, the first time a South Australian beach has won the award.

Farmer, a conservationist and advocate for the protection of coastlines, was also involved in the curation of nearly 40 global ‘surfing reserves’ and joked it was, “a tough job, someone’s got to do it” when speaking on ABC radio Adelaide with Deb Tribe.

“South Australia’s been the bridesmaid — it’s underrated and it’s overlooked so often,” he continued.

“The New York Times last week called Kangaroo Island the seventh-best place to visit in the world, and the ‘zoo without fences’, so it’s got a lot more to offer.”

Tracks on the beach at Rainbow Beach. (iStock – rbulthuis)

Boomerang Beach on NSW’s mid north coast cam in second and rounding out the podium was Rainbow Beach on Queensland’s Cooloola coast (not to be confused with Coolangatta’s Rainbow Bay!)

The only Sydney beach to make the top 10 (just) was Balmoral which took the final spot, Farmer stating there were a number of reasons for it’s inclusion.

“If you look at it [Balmoral] visually, there’s a promenade of Moreton Bay figs, some cool rock bridges, the largest, safest shark enclosure in Sydney Harbour, and, because it’s right near the Heads, you get a good quality of water.”

Balmoral Beach on the north side of Sydney Harbour. (iStock – Patricia Mado)

Given the thousands of kilometres of coastline that surrounds Australia, there’s no doubt the list would have taken more work than many would think, Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia, managing director said.

“With about 12,000 beaches to explore across our country, including many of the best in the world, it is not easy to name a top 10,” Harrison said.

Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell told the SMH the list helped showcase lesser-known locations to international travellers who are “returning to our shores in growing numbers”, and “want to explore the idyllic beaches we have to offer.”


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