Confirming what Australians have known all along, TripAdvisor’s 2021 Traveller’s Choice rankings list two Aussie spots among the best beaches in the world – with Queensland’s Whitehaven Beach being crowned the best on the planet.
To really appreciate what you have back home, all you need to do is travel. One of the biggest realisations? How incredible Australian beaches are. And we don’t have to trek for days through jungle to enjoy the best either – some spectacular stretches of sand are within 30 minutes of city centres. We are completely spoiled.
It’s a fact recognised in TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Beaches 2021, with Queensland‘s Whitehaven Beach taking out the top spot.
Users rated the dreamy seven-kilometre stretch of sand an average of five stars. Part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park, its turquoise waters and powder-white sands are what people imagine when picturing paradise.
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It’s another boon for Queensland tourism. Thankfully, Whitehaven Beach can only be reached by boat, seaplane, or helicopter and it’s near the highly protected Great Barrier Reef, meaning this special part of the world is likely to remain just that well into the future.
Obviously, Whitehaven isn’t the only Aussie beach that made the list. Western Australia‘s Turquoise Bay was voted the world’s sixth best, giving us two top 10 spots.
Located along WA’s central coast in Cape Range National Park (not far from Exmouth), Turquoise Bay has similarly white sands and sparkling aqua waters.
It’s close to Ningaloo Reef and known as one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks. But thanks to its 260-kilometre long coral reef (the largest fringing reef on Earth), you can also spot oodles of tropical fish, manta rays, turtles, and even humpback whales.
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Cuba took out second place with Santa Maria Beach, located on Cayo Santa Maria Island. Brazil‘s Baia do Sancho took out the third spot. Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos Islands came in fourth, and Florida’s Saint Pete Beach nabbed fifth best beach in the world.
The final four spots in the top 10 include: Aruba’s Eagle Beach; Spiaggia dei Conigli in Lampedusa, Italy; Hawaii’s Ka’anapali Beach; and Baía dos Golfinhos in Brazil. We see you Brazil, with your own two top 10 best beaches in the world.
“Your last trip to the beach probably feels like a lifetime ago, but with vaccine programs rolling out worldwide, safely making that beach getaway a reality just might be in reach,” said Christine Maguire, Vice President and General Manager, Global Media Business at Tripadvisor. “In fact, a recent Tripadvisor survey revealed that 60 percent of [travellers] are very likely to take a beach trip in 2021.”
But thankfully, us Aussies don’t need to wait for vaccine rollouts to enjoy the best beaches in the world. If you’re keen on going off the beaten track, hit up these nine small beach towns around Australia.
Lead image: Lochlainn Riordan / Unsplash
Sonia feels most at home on the road, with travel her greatest passion. But really, she’s hype about a lot of things: beautiful design, tasty food, wellness, nature, interesting people and women’s issues. The Founding Editor of Junkee’s The Cusp and former Homes Editor at Nine, Sonia prides herself on seeking out authentic experiences with charm and loves sharing a personal rec. Catch her on Instagram @sonnietothetee.