Nudey Beach doesn’t live up to its name, but it is the best in the country.
That’s according to the nation’s 101 best beaches list, ranked by researcher Brad Farmer and Tourism Australia.
Just off Queensland’s Cairns on Fitzroy Island, Nudey Beach is a short hike through national park rainforest and edges out onto the Great Barrier Reef.
Hardly surprising then it was named the best of Australia’s 11,761 beaches, edging out Western Australia’s Coral Coast gem Horrocks Beach.
Launching the list from WA’s Cottesloe Beach, ranked 15, Foreign Minister and local beachgoer Julie Bishop said she looked forward to Horrocks making the No.1 spot next year.
Mr Farmer ranked the beaches according to affordability, accessibility and authenticity for a “salt and sand approach”.
Nudey Beach and its white coral-sand is a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns, a $78 return trip for adults. Camping on the island is from $25 a night, while a hotel room at Fitzroy Island Resort costs from $150 a night.
Jeannie Armstrong, director of marketing at the resort, told The New Daily that Nudey Beach was “very much in its natural state”.
“For me, it’s the authenticity and that unfelt nature of it – the fact that it’s not commercial at all. It’s gorgeous,” Ms Armstrong said.
“It’s totally untouched by anybody, really. It’s looked like that for thousands of years.
“It’s spectacular, absolutely spectacular.”
Ms Armstrong said visitors were respectful of the national park, and did not leave rubbish behind on the stretch of beach.
“I think people really do respect it, because they have to earn it to get there.”
The beach researcher
Mr Farmer, who has been writing about beaches for more than 30 years, says he’s visited every accessible beach in the country.
Beaches are worth $103 billion to the economy, with 70 per cent of tourists naming beaches the top reason to visit Australia, he said.
“If Australia wanted to continue with beaches being the greatest generator of pleasure and profit, strict development controls at a federal level must be enshrined to ensure coastal assets are protected at all costs and not left to the states.”
Top 20 best beaches in Australia
- Nudey Beach, Queensland
- Horrocks Beach, Western Australia
- Dreamtime Beach, New South Wales
- Cossies Beach, Cocos Keeling Islands
- Burleigh Heads, Queensland
- Seal Rocks, New South Wales
- Bay of Fires, Tasmania
- Quobba – Red Bluff, Western Australia
- Dolly Beach, Christmas Island
- Second Valley, South Australia
- Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island
- Little Beach, Western Australia
- Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
- Moonee Beach, New South Wales
- Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia
- Agnes Waters, Queensland
- Horseshoe Bay, Queensland
- Kitty Miller Bay, Victoria
- Mindil Beach, Queensland
- Cylinder Beach, Queensland