3 February 2024

The Farm named Australia's second-best beach – the only surprise is it's not No. 1

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Surfers heading towards the beach

Surfers heading to Australia’s second-best beach, The Farm, at Killalea. Photo: NPWS.

It’s a favourite spot for many in the Illawarra and now the rest of Australia knows about it – The Farm at Killalea is officially the second-best beach in the country.

The Farm is the only NSW beach in the top 10 of Australia’s Best Beaches for 2024 and was pipped for top spot by Squeaky Beach in Victoria.

Tourism Australia’s annual list of Best Australian Beaches is curated by expert Brad Farmer to highlight to the world the many unique and wonderful beaches around our country.

Australia boasts 11,761 beaches on its mainland and islands, the largest number of beaches of any country in the world.

The list of best beaches is updated each year to highlight different destinations, giving travellers in Australia and abroad new ideas for their next holiday.

READ ALSO Community divided on Killalea plans as consultation reaches final weeks

One of The Farm’s biggest fans is Shellharbour City Mayor Chris Homer, who’s been surfing there since he was 12.

“My relationship with Killalea has been one of absolute fondness and passion over the years,” he said.

“This accolade of our very own [and my personal favourite] local beach out of almost 12,000 beaches will attract national and international headlines and gain the attention of travellers keen to feel the sand between their toes and explore one of Australia’s world-class beaches.

“For a country that bases a lot of its marketing on stunning beaches and the coast, this puts the Farm, Killalea and Shellharbour City at the forefront of why people love Australia. It’s a stunning environment that has broadly touched so many people.

“It’s got world-class surf and when you’re there, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, yet you’re in the middle of a stunning growing city like Shellharbour.”

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is currently developing a vision for the future management and protection of the Shellharbour site, which attracts about 30,000 visitors each year.

READ ALSO Life’s a beach: new exhibition celebrates all things sun, surf and sand

The plan aims to preserve the longevity of the site by honouring its Aboriginal significance, maintaining healthy ecosystems and creating sustainable facilities for the community and visitors.

Key changes include a new visitors’ pavilion, upgraded amenities and improved accessibility.

Whitlam MP Stephen Jones says while it was great that The Farm won silver, in his eyes it should have been No. 1.

“It’s a breathtaking beach, loved by locals and tourists – particularly surfers,” he said.

“Killalea is a significant cultural site for our First Nations peoples. This place highlights our beautiful region not only to Australia but to the rest of the world.”

The Top 10 Best Australian Beaches for 2024:
Squeaky Beach, Victoria
The Farm (Killalea), NSW
Cockle Creek, Tasmania
Madfish Bay, Western Australia
Pulu Blan Madar Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cylinder Beach, Queensland
Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island
Long Beach, South Australia
Cow Bay, Queensland
Casuarina Beach, Northern Territory

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