Squeaky beach in Victoria has been declared the best in Australia, diverging from the renowned sands of Bondi, the surf haven of Bells, or the pristine stretches near the Great Barrier Reef. Situated near the southernmost point of mainland Australia in Wilson’s Promontory, this beach earned the top spot on Tourism Australia’s annual list, marking the first time a Victorian beach has claimed this distinction. The Farm, also known as Killalea beach, in Shellharbour, New South Wales, secured the second position, with Tasmania’s Cockle Creek, the southernmost Australian beach, taking third place.
Brad Farmer, a coastal veteran and former beach ambassador, faced the challenging task of selecting the final 10 from a pool of 11,761 Australian beaches. David Beirman, an adjunct fellow in tourism and management at the University of Technology of Sydney, acknowledged the difficulty of the selection process given Australia’s abundance of diverse beaches. Factors such as accessibility, cleanliness, wildlife, safety, and beauty played a role in the judging.
According to Farmer, the Tourism Australia list serves as an opportunity to spotlight lesser-known destinations that may not be widely recognized but are home to some of the best beaches globally. Madfish Bay in Western Australia secured the fourth spot, while Pulu Blan Madar island in Cocos Islands, surrounded by a marine sanctuary and part of Australia’s most remote territory, claimed the fifth position.
The list aims to feature at least one beach from each state, the Northern Territory, and an Australian external territory. The federal tourism minister, Don Farrell, emphasized that Australia’s beaches are the best globally, and Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia’s managing director, noted the significant role that the aquatic environment plays in attracting visitors to the country.
Farmer emphasized that Australian beaches are more than just places to lay a towel and get wet, asserting that the coasts have the potential to become a sustainable resource for generations to come. Last year’s top spot was held by Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, while Misery Beach in Western Australia claimed the title in 2022.