The winner of our best beach is not where you’d think

One of Australia’s most popular attractions, Bondi Beach, has been snubbed in a “best of” list for 2020, with Tourism Australia suggesting we should head out west to Wagga Wagga or to Byron Bay’s neighbouring beach in Cabarita instead.

Every year, Tourism Australia beach ambassador Brad Farmer AM puts together a list of Australia’s best beaches from coast to coast.

From the pristine waters of Kings Beach to the hustle and bustle in Bondi – which both failed to crack to top 20 this year around – the list of best beach locations features other popular spots right across the country.

Cabarita Beach has been named Australia’s best.Source:Supplied

But this year, the list rejected some of our most famous Sunshine Coast beaches, and not a single Sydney spot made the cut.

Instead, for the first time, an inland “beach” has been recognised among Australia’s best.

Historic Wagga Beach, which sits around five hours southwest of Sydney, has come in at #9 position in the official top 20 beaches for 2020, announced today by Mr Farmer, a veteran Australian coastal advocate and author who has been reviewing beaches worldwide for more than 35 years.

Tourism Australia beach ambassador Brad Farmer says we need to think of beaches outside of what we have on the coast. Picture: Jackie CooperSource:Supplied

Wagga Wagga beach in NSW has made the Top 10 in Australia. Picture: Jackie CooperSource:Supplied

Mr Farmer acknowledged his decision may be considered controversial but hopes more visitors begin to recognise that great beaches can be found inland and not strictly along Australia’s coastline.

“It’s time we extend the meaning of a beach given there are so many aquatic environments across Australia’s interior,” he said in a statement, noting he has had first-hand experience of most of our 11,761 coastal beaches

“These water spaces which often rely on rain and flow are significant as they socially connect rural and remote communities in often dusty and dry, drought conditions.”

Brighton Beach in Victoria came in at #5 on the list.Source:istock

The laid-back surf town of Cabarita on the NSW Tweed Coast has won the coveted title of best Australian beach for 2020. The runner-up is Currumbin Beach in Queensland, and in third place is the tiny, secret spot of Minnamurra, 90 minutes south of Sydney.

Lake McKenzie, a pristine perched lake on Queensland’s Fraser Island, rounded out the top 10.

Cossies Beach on Cocos (Keeling) Islands has come in at number 16 on the list. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Cossies Beach on the far-flung Cocos (Keeling) Islands retained its place within the top 20 at #16, just one spot behind WA’s iconic Quobba Station, which made headlines this year as the remote holiday choice for Hollywood stars Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth.

The top-20 Australian beaches:

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 (IOT)

17. Lake Tyers Beach (VIC)

18. Diamond Head (NSW)

19. Pondalowie Bay (SA)

20. Killiecrankie Beach, Flinders Island (TAS)

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