Just about every town on the coast claims to have the “best beach in the country” but now there’s an official ranking for us all to argue over. Tourism Australia and conservationist/beach expert Brad Farmer have laid down the gauntlet and declared what they believe are the actual best 10 beaches in Australia.
Considering there are thousands of sandy spots dotted around the country’s coastlines, whittling it down to a mere top 10 is not an enviable task. It also means there’s a pretty high chance your local dip absolutely didn’t make the cut, so prepare your arguments accordingly.
The top beach in Australia — according to the experts — is found at Stokes Bay on Karta Pintingga country (Kangaroo Island) in South Australia. Considering the place was absolutely decimated by bushfires barely three years ago, it’s a huge moment to be considered the best spot for a little dip in the country.
Farmer said Stokes Bay was picked for being family-friendly and a gorgeous place to wade out and snorkel around with its “aquarium-like atmosphere”.
Australia has nearly 12,000 beaches, more than any other country. Most are in pristine condition. Stokes Bay on #SouthAustralia #KangarooIsland @kangarooisland voted #1 best beach in Australia Woohoo. What a great beach, great Island. pic.twitter.com/y2DABUQQJp
— 💧Vamos Wednesday (@Wednesday__Legs) January 27, 2023
Makes sense when it looks like this. Bloody hell.
It’s also the first time a South Australian beach has taken out the top spot so congrats to you lot over there in glorious Adelaide.
Boomerang Beach on Worimi country in NSW’s north coast, which is about a three-hour drive north of Sydney, came in a narrow second for the best sand-swept swimming spots of 2023.
Boomerang Beach 🏖 pic.twitter.com/lEkHJV2BZk
— Sulli (@SulloAU) October 3, 2022
Look as someone who grew up three hours south of Sydney I’m extremely biased in saying that our beaches are just as good if not better. This is south coast erasure (but also happy for you lot up near Forster, I bet it’s bonkers in the summer holidays for you too).
For all you Sydneysiders worried about whether any of the city’s finest made the cut, you’ll be pleased to know one (1) has snuck its way into the 10th spot.
None other than Balmoral Beach on Gadigal, Borogegal and Cammeraygal land managed to get a look in this year amongst all the white sands and tropical shorelines. Its super popular tidal pool helped it get a leg up and — despite not being technically part of Balmoral — Farmer gave a shoutout to unofficial nudie beach Obelisk Beach, too. Just in case you wanted to know.
Peep the full top 10 list of best beaches in Australia below and start planning your beachy bucket list road trip already.
- Stokes Bay, Karta Pintingga Country / Kangaroo Island SA
- Boomerang Beach, Worimi Country NSW
- Rainbow Beach, Butchulla Country Qld
- Apollo Bay, Gulidjan Gadubanud Country / Great Ocean Road Vic
- Adventure Bay, Lunnawannalonna / Bruny Island Tas
- Hamelin Bay, Wardandi Noongar Country WA
- Little Bondi Beach, Yolgnu Country / East Arnhem Land NT
- British Admiral Beach, Erobin / King Island Tas
- Flying Fish Cove, Kiritimati / Christmas Island
- Balmoral Beach, Gadigal, Borogegal and Cammeraygal Lands NSW