Surprising winner of Australia’s Best Beach revealed

The winner of Tourism Australia's Best Australian Beaches campaign has been announced, with a surprising candidate taking out the top spot.

The top 20 list, which features locations from each Australian state, was created in a collaboration between Tourism Australia and renowned Ethical Advocate and beach expert Brad Farmer.

The coastal locations were chosen with attributes including nature, accessibility to cities, and cultural value to Australia’s First Nations people in mind, according to Tourism Australia’s announcement.

Taking out the top spot is Western Australia’s Misery Beach, five hours south-east of Perth, and home to the Menang Noongar First Nations peoples.

White sand, trees and clear water at Misery Beach. Source: Tourism Australia/Merr Watson
The iconic location is rarely swarming with tourists despite its picturesque appearance. Source: Tourism Australia/Merr Watson

While boasting crystal clear water, bright white sand and picturesque natural surroundings, the location wasn’t always renowned as an ideal travel destination.

A former whaling station, the now scenic coastline was once known to be covered in whale blubber and blood-stained sand.

“Misery Beach belies its grim name… Australia’s last active whaling station nearby closed in 1978 and its historical past of slaughtering the giant Sperm Whale now seems a distant memory,” the Tourism Australia brochure says.

With its bloody history now several decades in the area’s past, Misery Beach’s top spot on the Best Australian Beaches campaign aims to attract tourists to the now pristine location.

Two people walk through crystal clear water at Flaherty's Beach in South Australia. Source: Tourism Australia/via @_roamingaus_
Flaherty's Beach in South Australia took out second place. Source: Tourism Australia/via @_roamingaus_

“The 2022 list covers every state and territory, with a selection of our most spectacular beaches that will inspire and excite holiday makers all over Australia and the world,” Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said.

“As Australia continues its successful re-opening, we’re going to see a surge in tourists that will support jobs and businesses.

“My message to the world, is to start planning your next holiday to Australia and to include as many of our top 20 beaches on your itinerary as you can fit in.”

Top beaches chosen from 12,000 locations

Tourism Australia’s announcement features 20 carefully selected candidates, out of a potential 12,000 locations, Brad Farmer told his Twitter followers.

Mr Farmer's extensive experience with Australia's beaches was commended by Tourism Australia as they partnered with him to compile the top 20 list.

“Brad has explored the coastline right around Australia, checked out the islands off the coast and again looked inland to produce yet another exceptional list of beaches,” Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said.

“We have the best beaches in the world right here in our own backyard, which is why they are part of the Australian way of life and why 70 per cent of international visitors enjoy a coastal experience when they visit Australia.”

Top 20 Best Aussie Beaches revealed

New South Wales took out the most spots on the top 20 list boasting six spots, with Queensland coming in second place, taking out four spots on the list.

Here is Tourism Australia's Top 20 Best Australian Beaches of 2022:

  1. Misery Beach, Western Australia.

  2. Horseshoe Bay, New South Wales.

  3. The Spit, Queensland.

  4. Flaherty's Beach, South Australia.

  5. Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria.

  6. The Neck, Tasmania.

  7. Blue Pearl Bay, Queensland.

  8. Depot Beach, New South Wales.

  9. Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay Territory.

  10. Dundee Beach, Northern Territory.

  11. Dudley Beach, New South Wales.

  12. Thompsons Beach, Victoria.

  13. Coogee Beach, Western Australia.

  14. Mots Beach, Victoria.

  15. Alexandria Bay, Queensland.

  16. Emu Bay, South Australia.

  17. Lake Wabby, Queensland.

  18. Congwong Beach, New South Wales.

  19. Jellybean Pool, New South Wales.

  20. Ethel Beach, Christmas Island.

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