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Revealed: definitive list of Australia’s top beaches for 2020

Move over Queensland, this state has six of Australia’s best 20 beaches for 2020, including the nation's top beach and the first inland beach...

When you have 11,761 beaches to choose from, picking Australia’s top beaches is a tough task. But if someone’s going to do it, it should be Tourism Australia’s beach ambassador and veteran coastal advocate Brad Farmer AM. 


Farmer has been reviewing beaches for 35 years and has apparently visited most of the country’s accessible and inaccessible beaches. So, which beaches are the pick of the very big bunch for 2020, according to this Aussie author? 


Cabarita Beach (Image @imagesfromupthere)


New South Wales beaches, led by the country’s number one beach for next year, Tweed Coast’s Cabarita Beach, filled six of the top 20 places on the list, followed by Western Australian and Queensland shorelines (four and three beaches respectively). 


Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania were represented in the top 20 by two beaches each, while Cocos-Keeling Islands’ Cossies Beach also made the cut. 


Perhaps most interestingly, an first inland beach was included on the list for the first time, with NSW’s Wagga Beach taking out ninth place in the official Top 20 index. 


Wagga Beach (Image Visit Wagga)


“From today the number of beaches just increased,” Mr Farmer said, in explaining the Murrumbidgee River beach’s inclusion.   


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


The inclusion of inland beaches follows the recognition of such shorelines in Canada, USA and Europe.


According to Farmer, beaches were assessed on criteria such as environment, accessibility, safety, water quality, cleanliness, visual amenity and social history, like how Aussies engaged with the beach.


Currumbin Beach (Image @_harrrryy_)


“As usual, Brad has come up with a cracking list,” Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said.


Beaches are part of our country’s DNA and the beach lifestyle such a fundamental part of the way we enjoy life down under.


“Whether it's a morning surf, nippers with the kids, a cold beer in the local RSL, a game of beach cricket or a family beach barbie, these are the things which make the Australian way of life unique and such a big part of the reason why millions of international visitors find Australia such an appealing destination to visit.” 


Brighton Beach (Image Unsplash)



1. Cabarita (NSW)

2. Currumbin (Q)

3. Minnamurra (NSW)

4. Maria Island (TAS)

5. Cape Tribulation (Q)

6. Brighton Beach (VIC)

7. Bettys Beach (WA)

8. South Port Beach (SA)

9. Wagga Wagga Beach (NSW)

10. Lake McKenzie (Q)

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 (IOT)

17. Lake Tyers Beach (VIC)

18. Diamond Head (NSW)

19. Pondalowie Bay (SA)

20. Killiecrankie Beach, Flinders Island (TAS)


What do you think of this list? Which other beaches would you include?







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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 13 December 2019

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