Tourism Australia has announced its latest campaign: a $40 million push to promote the country’s beautiful coastline to the world at large.
It may seem a ‘been there, done that’ approach to promoting the great southern land, but Tourism Australia claims there’s been a concerning decline in Google searches for “Australian Beaches” – signalling there’s work to be done.
The coastal campaign will include a three-part documentary series narrated by the inimitable David Attenborough, as well as virtual reality material filmed at hot spots such as Rottnest Island in Western Australia and Katherine in the Northern Territory.
Our verdict? It’s sure to be more successful than Tourism Australia’s $180 million campaign in 2006, but that’s not difficult. The ad spot may have launched the career of a young Lara Bingle, but the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign was axed after complaints of profanity by the conservative UK audience.
Attenborough or no Attenborough, we think $40 million is a bit steep, so we’ve compiled our list of Australia’s top 10 beaches – for free.
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, TAS
In case you needed another reason to spend your next long weekend in our southern-most state, Wineglass Bay is it. The flawless crescent of pure-white sands is proof that Tassie has plenty more than food, wine and museums to offer.
Bronte Beach, Sydney, NSW
Despite being in the middle of buzzing Sydney, Bronte Beach deserves its place on this list for its sandstone cliffs, iconic kiosk and swimmable waters. It doesn’t hurt being flanked by Bondi and Coogee beaches, all bound together by the unbeatable Bondi to Coogee walking path.
Johanna Beach, Great Ocean Road, VIC
When it comes to Johanna Beach, the journey is almost as important as the destination. Set along the spectacular Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Johanna’s rugged beauty makes it a popular spot for campers and surfers alike.
Cable Beach, Broome, WA
Camel rides along Cable Beach are an iconic image of Australian tourism, and for good reason. The 22-kilometre stretch of beach near Broome is all white sand, red ochre cliffs and calm, turquoise waters, perfect for swimming.
Lucky Bay, Esperance, WA
This sheltered, pure-white bay beach is postcard-perfect and popular with campers, swimmers and snorkelers alike. Lucky Bay was so-named by Captain Cook, who fortuitously came upon it when his HMS Investigator got caught in a storm. Perhaps ‘Miracle Bay’ would have been more fitting.
Myall Beach, Cape Tribulation, QLD
Set where North Queensland’s tropical rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation is truly the best of land and sea. The particularly beautiful Myall Beach is framed by tropical palms and sheltered mangroves, with a stunning backdrop of Mt Sorrow.
Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, QLD
Stretching along the popular tourist town of Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach boasts mountainous and rainforest backgrounds worthy of an oil painting. Swim and snorkel in the coral sea, or ride bikes from point to point to really get the heart pumping.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW
The results are in: Hyams Beach has the whitest sand in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. A small seaside village, Hyams borders Jervis Bay National Park and Booderee National Park, making it a popular area for hiking and camping – if you can drag yourself away from the water.
Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Prom, VIC
Wilson’s Promontory National Park boasts a number of beautiful beaches, but none match the surreal turquoise waters and crystal-white sands of Squeaky Beach. A thriving spot for surfers and families alike, Squeaky Beach also plays host to huge, rocky boulders, perfect for climbing.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, QLD
Because of images like this, the Whitsundays are on the bucket lists of most Australians. Whitehaven Beach is the longest on the 74 islands, and perhaps Australia’s most photographed. As the tide shifts, the white silica sand and turquoise shades of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking swirl of colours.
Wilson’s Promontory image courtesy of Oscar Hedstrom. All other photos, Getty Images.