New Zealand pips Australia to title of world’s best beach

Piha Beach has been dubbed the best in the world, according to a leading travel agency.

Piha Beach has been dubbed the best in the world, according to a leading travel agency. Photo: Getty

Australia is known for its beaches, but we’ve just lost top spot on a list of the best in the world to one of our near neighbours.

When travel booking site Enjoy Travel, released its 2024 list of the best beaches in the world, it was a New Zealand beach that took out the crown.

Piha Beach, on the North Island west of Auckland, was the winner.

“Famed for its black sands, foamy white waves and formidable Lion Rock, it’s one of the most beautiful spots in the country,” wrote Enjoy Travel.

“While it’s not one for leisurely dips in the sea (the waves are notoriously rough), the views epitomise the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s coastline.

“Behind the beach is a small coastal village, much loved by surfers and fisherfolk, as well as tourists in the know.”

Enjoy Travel says the point of its list is to “ignite” wanderlust and inspire would-be travellers.

Its top 50 comes via aggregated scores from social media and contributions from the agency’s in-house editorial team. Special awards, unique features and settings are also taken into account.

Stokes Bay, a popular swimming, surf beach on the North coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia, ones of the best beaches in the world

Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island was Australia’s top-ranked beach. Photo: Getty

Australia’s best beaches

Australia might hate losing out to New Zealand but our own top beach wasn’t too far behind.

Stokes Bay Beach, a secluded strip of sand on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, took second place on the list.

It’s not the first time Stokes Bay Beach has been recognised – last year beach expert Brad Farmer also chose it as his top beach in a campaign for Tourism Australia.

Of course, on Kangaroo Island, voted as one of the top regions in the world to visit this year by Lonely Planet, it’s not hard to find a stunning beach.

But Stokes Bay, with its shimmering rock pools, cliffside location and sparkling turquoise waters, is by far one of the most beautiful,” Enjoy Travel said.

“Getting here is half the fun too; the beach is accessible via a hidden rock tunnel.

“For those seeking adventures, the rolling waves provide ample opportunities for good surf, while the giant protected rock pool provides a safe shallow area for little ones to swim and snorkel.”

Stokes Bay wasn’t the only Australian representative on Enjoy Travel’s list.

Cable Beach, in Western Australia’s Kimberly region, just missed out on the top 10, slotting in at 12th.

It might be difficult to reach Cable Beach, Enjoy Travel warned, but its “brilliant blue waters and endless sandy stretches” make it worthwhile.

With an influx of cruise lines, it will be easier to get to the remote stretch of coast this year, the booking company said.

“There are hundreds of beautiful beaches to explore, but Cable Beach is the best. Take a ride on the camel train or hop on a boat trip as the sun sinks below the horizon for the best views,” Enjoy Travel said.

pictured is Cable Beach in WA

Western Australia’s Cable Beach also got a mention. Photo: Getty

The best beaches in the world

The top 10 of Enjoy Travel’s 50 best beaches list proves there are beautiful coastlines all over the world. From Europe to South America, to Asia, pretty well every continent is represented:

  1. Piha Beach, New Zealand

  2. Stokes Bay Beach, Australia

  3. Moon Bay, Slovenia

  4. White Beach, Port Barton, Philippines

  5. Laomei Beach, Taiwan

  6. Cabo San Juan Beach, Colombia

  7. Grand Anse Beach, Granada

  8. Le Morne Beach, Mauritius

  9. Rock Islands Beaches, Palau

  10. Jalousie Beach, St Lucia.

The full list of the best beaches to visit in 2024 can be found here.

Topics: New Zealand
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