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.
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."
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.
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
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
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