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Is your local beach considered one of Australia's top 20?

kangaroo joey standing on sandy beach

A little-known Western Australia beach called Misery has taken the title of Australia’s best beach.

Described as ‘picture perfect’, Misery Beach, near Albany in WA, is one of 20 beaches judged to be the country’s best for 2022 by conservationist Brad Farmer AM, an Australian coastal expert and Tourism Australia ‘beach ambassador’.

Mr Farmer has been writing about beaches for almost 40 years and has visited most of Australia’s accessible beaches in his research travels.

This year’s list of winners focuses on nature-based locations, many quirky spots within easy reach of cities, and also celebrates the significant cultural value of the coast to Australia’s First Nations people.

Read: The world’s most crowded beaches

The 2022 list was announced by federal minister for trade, tourism and investment Dan Tehan and Brad Farmer AM.

“With more than 11,000 beaches to choose from, narrowing down the top 20 beaches must be one of the toughest jobs in Australia,” Mr Tehan said.

“The 2022 list covers every state and territory, with a selection of our most spectacular beaches that will inspire and excite holidaymakers all over Australia and the world.”

Tourism Australia’s managing director, Phillipa Harrison, said Mr Farmer had explored the coastline right around Australia, checked out islands off the coast and again looked inland to produce yet another exceptional list of beaches.

“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,” Ms Harrison said.

Mr Farmer set a national precedent in 2020 by ranking Wagga Wagga Beach at number nine, including for the first-time inland river beaches and even lakes on the best beaches list, to recognise the value of water and aquatic experiences to regional and rural Australian communities.

This year’s list is compelling, with their unique cultural connection to First Nations Country and some truly outstanding beaches not often found in internet searches.

Read: World’s most beautiful beaches, according to Instagram

Every state and territory is included in this year’s list, including Christmas Island (Indian Ocean Territories) and K’Gari (formerly named Fraser Island), Mots Beach at the mouth of the Snowy River and Murrays Beach in Jervis Bay Territory.

Here’s a rundown of this year’s top 20 beaches in Australia:

  1. Misery Beach, Albany WA
  2. Horseshoe Bay, South West Rocks, NSW
  3. The Spit, Gold Coast, QLD
  4. Flaherty’s Beach, Yorke Peninsula, SA
  5. Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell, VIC
  6. The Neck, Bruny Island, TAS
  7. Blue Pearl Bay, Whitsundays, QLD
  8. Depot Beach, South Coast, NSW
  9. Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay Territory, ACT/NSW
  10. Dundee Beach, Darwin, NT
  11. Dudley Beach, Newcastle, NSW
  12. Thompsons Beach, Cobram, Rural, VIC
  13. Coogee Beach, Perth, WA
  14. Mots Beach, Marlo, VIC
  15. Alexandria Bay, Noosa, QLD
  16. Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA
  17. Lake Wabby, K’Gari (Fraser Is), QLD
  18. Congwong Beach, Sydney, NSW
  19. Jellybean Pool, Blue Mountains, NSW
  20. Ethel Beach, Christmas Island, IOT

Have you visited any of the top 20 beaches? Which Australian beach is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.

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