Western Australia's Misery Beach Has Been Named Australia's Best Beach for 2022
Every Australian state and territory is represented in Tourism Australia's full list of the 20 best beaches for this year, too.
February 01, 2022
Someone else's dream job might just inspire your next dream vacation, after Tourism Australia's Beach Ambassador (how do we apply?) just announced a handy list of the top 20 Australian beaches for 2022. The enviable gig sees beach expert Brad Farmer AM survey the nation's sandy spots and draw upon his almost 40 years of writing about beaches — and this year, he's picked Misery Beach in Albany in Western Australia as his best.
There's obviously a lot to consider when anointing one of the country's 11,761 beaches as the cream of the crop — and naming the next-best 19, too. If you were to do it, or even just to try to pick somewhere to hit up over summer, you might wonder which ones aren't too busy or seaweed-y, which have the whitest sand and bluest water, and where's best for beach cricket. But Farmer's 2022 list heroes "nature-based locations, many quirky spots within easy reach of cities, and also celebrates the significant cultural value of the coast to Australia's First Nations people," according to Tourism Australia's announcement.
Home of the Menang Noongar First Nations peoples, Misery Beach sits 15 minutes south of Albany and five hours southeast of Perth, and is small — sitting in a bay spanning 200 metres. Farmer describes the picturesque place as coming "straight from the pages of a beachscape artist's sketchbook", and that it provides "a dramatic feast for the senses with the look and feel of a perfectly framed filmset". That includes "crystal clear, turquoise water, virgin white sand, bounded by spectacular granite outcrops," and "only a handful of beachcombers, swimmers or kayakers availing themselves of its sublime surrounds", plus "seals, dolphins and returning migratory whales, seeking its calm shelter".
It wasn't always this scenic, however, as the location's moniker makes plain. Farmer explains that Australia's last active whaling station sat nearby until it closed in 1978, "and for decades, this shoreline was often awash with whale offal, staining the beach blood red". Now, thankfully, he says that Misery Beach "belies its grim name".
Misery Beach claimed top position after Cabarita Beach in New South Wales did the honours in 2020, Nudey Beach on Fitzroy island in Far North Queensland did the same in 2018, and Cossies Beach in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, in the Indian Ocean, earned the title in 2017.
Among the 2022 list's highest-ranked spots, Misery Beach is joined by Horseshoe Bay in South West Rocks in New South Wales' mid-north, which took second place; The Spit at the Gold Coast's northern end in third; four-place getter Flaherty's Beach, on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula; and Loch Ard Gorge, in Port Campbell in Victoria, in fifth. The full list of 20 beaches covers every Australian state and territory, including Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean Territories.
Other notable inclusions span Lake Wabby on K'Gari (formerly named Fraser Island), Mots Beach at the mouth of the Snowy River, Murrays Beach in Jervis Bay Territory and Jellybean Pool in the Blue Mountains.
So pack your togs, round up some mates and start ticking these off. We see many road trips in your future — not that anyone ever needs an excuse to head to the beach.
THE TOP 20 BEST AUSTRALIAN BEACHES FOR 2022
1. Misery Beach, Albany (Western Australia)
2. Horseshoe Bay, South West Rocks (New South Wales)
3. The Spit, Gold Coast (Queensland)
4. Flaherty's Beach, Yorke Peninsula (South Australia)
5. Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell (Victoria)
6. The Neck, Bruny Island (Tasmania)
7. Blue Pearl Bay, Whitsundays (Queensland)
8. Depot Beach, South Coast (New South Wales)
9. Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay Territory (Australian Capital Territory/New South Wales)
10. Dundee Beach, Darwin (Northern Territory)
11. Dudley Beach, Newcastle (New South Wales)
12. Thompsons Beach, Cobram (Victoria)
13. Coogee Beach, Perth (Western Australia)
14. Mots Beach, Marlo (Victoria)
15. Alexandria Bay, Noosa (Queensland)
16. Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
17. Lake Wabby, K'Gari (Fraser Island) (Queensland)
18. Congwong Beach, Sydney (New South Wales)
19. Jellybean Pool, Blue Mountains (New South Wales)
20. Ethel Beach, Christmas Island (Indian Ocean Territories)
Top image: @merrwatson.