Whitehaven Beach is considered the second best beach in the world. Picture: Daryl Wright
Whitehaven Beach is considered the second best beach in the world. Picture: Daryl Wright

Beach that beat us as world’s best

IT HAS snow-white sand and bright turquoise waters, it's a stone's throw from the iconic Great Barrier Reef, and it's in an Australian state famous around the world for its perfect weather.

But Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays is only the second-best beach in the world, according to a new global ranking sure to upset its many adoring fans.

The latest annual list of the world's top 100 beaches has just been released by travel website Flight Network.

The list is put together by more than 1200 travel professionals across the world, who have combed through 165 countries across seven continents to determine the best stretches of sand on the planet.

 

What could possibly be better than this? Picture: Daryl Wright
What could possibly be better than this? Picture: Daryl Wright

 

They decided the best beach in the world was Shipwreck Beach on the Greek island of Zakynthos, also known as Zante, in the Ionian Sea.

The beach, which also goes by the name Navagio Beach, is a secluded cove surrounded by dramatic cliffs and features the shipwreck of the freightliner MV Panagiotis on its golden sand.

It scored 10/10 for "sheer untouched beauty", 8/10 for remoteness and 8/10 for sand and water quality.

"Out of a dream, the crystal clear waters lap against this small beach with the bones of an old ship rusting away in the sand," reviewer Erin Miller from the website Upgraded Points said. "It's quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime kind of beach."

 

Yeah, OK, Shipwreck Beach is pretty nice.
Yeah, OK, Shipwreck Beach is pretty nice.

Whitehaven Beach, on the east coast of Whitsunday Island, Queensland, scored 10/10 for beauty, 10/10 for remoteness, and 9/10 for sand and water quality (which, we notice, were higher ratings than the Greek beach got).

Greg Barton, from Reader's Digest, called Whitehaven a "picturesque oasis".

"Whitehaven Beach is an ideal spot for families looking to fully settle into the laid-back, beach lifestyle, as there are gorgeous camping spots and barbecue facilities," he said.

Whitehaven's review also noted it has 292 annual days of sunshine and an average annual temperature of a perfect 27C.

 

Hyams Beach in southeast NSW made the list, thanks to its famous white sand.
Hyams Beach in southeast NSW made the list, thanks to its famous white sand.

 

Hidden Beach in the Philippines, Praia Do Sancho in Brazil and Tulum Beach in Mexico rounded out the top five.

Elsewhere, Blinky Beach on Lord Howe Island came in at number 30, Hyams Beach south of Sydney came 33rd, and WA beaches Cable Beach and Lucky Bay came in 34th and 35th.

Tasmania beauties Wineglass Bay and Binalong Bay came in at 44th and 90th respectively.

TOP 20 BEACHES IN THE WORLD

1. Shipwreck Beach, Greece

2. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia

3. Hidden Beach, Philippines

4. Praia Do Sancho, Brazil

5. Tulum Beach, Mexico

6. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

 

The amazing pink sand at the aptly named Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas.
The amazing pink sand at the aptly named Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas.

 

7. Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica

8. Anse Source D'Argent, Seychelles

9. Maya Bay, Thailand

10. Varadero Beach, Cuba

11. Diani Beach, Kenya

12. Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas

13. Anse Lazio, Seychelles

14. Railay Beach, Thailand

 

Incredibly, a beach in Iceland made the top 20 — the black-sand beach at Reynisdrangar, even though visitors are warned not to swim there due to the strong waves. Picture: iStock
Incredibly, a beach in Iceland made the top 20 — the black-sand beach at Reynisdrangar, even though visitors are warned not to swim there due to the strong waves. Picture: iStock

 

15. Playa Norte, Mexico

16. Noetzie Beach, South Africa

17. Balandra Beach, Mexico

18. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

19. Honokalani Beach, Maui, USA

20. Bavaro Beach, Dominican Republic

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