For the first time, South Australia has claimed the coveted ‘Best Australian Beach’ title, with Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island judged the overall winner for 2023. Located on Kangaroo Island’s north coast, Stokes Bay is family friendly and features a tidal swimming pool perfect for wading and snorkelling.
The list of ‘Best Australian Beaches 2023’ has been curated by beach expert Brad Farmer AM for Tourism Australia. Mr Farmer, who for over four decades has researched and visited firsthand most of Australia’s accessible beaches, describes Stokes Bay as “uniquely Australian and a new national treasure”.
Mr Farmer, who is an Australian coastal veteran and one of Tourism Australia’s Friends of Australia, also found a place on this year’s list for at least one beach in each state, the Northern Territory and an Australian external territory.
Located in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Little Bondi (Baringura), which is a much lesser-known sandy location than its famous Sydney namesake, came in at 7th on the ‘Top 10’ list. Christmas Island’s Flying Fish Cove secured 9th place.
Also making the list of Best Beaches for 2023 are locations which acknowledge the significant cultural value of the coast to our First Nations peoples, several nature-based locations and some quirky spots within easy reach of major Australian cities.
Mr Farmer’s list of ‘Best Beaches’ always attract national and international headlines and Tourism Australia is hoping this latest publication will also gain the attention of international travellers keen to explore Australia’s world class beaches.
“It’s summer again and international travellers who are returning to Australia are keen to get some sand between their toes and holiday on the world’s most diverse and magnificent selection of beaches,” Mr Farmer said.
“Australia really is just one big beach and there are simply so many surprises to be discovered in our own sandy backyard.”
Federal Minister for Trade and Tourism and Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon. Don Farrell said: “Australia boasts the world’s best coastline and many international travellers, who are returning to our shores in growing numbers, want to explore the idyllic beaches we have to offer. Every beach on the 2023 list is not just among the best in Australia, but the best in the world. As a proud South Australian, I’m thrilled to see Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island named the ‘Best Australian Beach’ for 2023.”
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said: “There is no doubt Australia is globally renowned for its beaches and they are a major reason international travellers visit. With about 12,000 beaches to explore across our country, including many of the best in the world, it is not easy to name a ‘Top 10’ and we once again thank Brad for doing just that.”
Beaches are not only the greatest source of recreation for Australians but are one of the greatest generators of sustainable income into the future, providing they are well managed and protected within a national framework.
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. Mr Farmer admits that social media has become a “total gamechanger” for the exposure of new beaches and in planning fresh holiday destinations.
Australia has the largest number of beaches of any country in the world. Our coastal culture helps define our national identity and remains our main tourism drawcard, domestically and internationally.