Former nude beach named Australia's best

Nudey Beach in Far North Queensland, once a nude bathing beach, has been named the country's No.1 beach by Australia's beach expert Brad Farmer in the 2018 Australia's top 101 beaches list.

The white coral beach with only a only a small stretch of sand located on Fitzroy Island, some 29 kilometres south of Cairns, scored the top spot out of 11,761 beaches. Western Australia's Horrocks Beach was named Australia's No.2 beach - and is also the country's best mainland beach.

Last year Cossies Beach on Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands was named the country's No.1. Australia's most remote beach dropped back to fourth spot this year behind Dreamtime Beach in NSW, and ahead of Burleigh Heads in Queensland which was named the country's fifth best beach.

This year's ranking was scored according to three criteria - affordability, accessibility and authenticity - and included beaches that have a "yet to be discovered" element which may explain some lesser-known beaches on the list.

Popular tourist beaches or those that cater to a "coffee culture", including Bondi Beach, Whitsundays and Surfers Paradise, failed to make the list against Aussie beaches that offer a more authentic beach experience, with landscape, location and culture being taken into account.

Beaches are the number one reason why tourists visit the country and the number one reason why Australians travel domestically, according to tourism figures. Farmer, a conservationist, has been travelling to and researching Australian beaches for over 30 years. He and his colleague Professor Andy Short, a coastal geomorphologist, have spent the last several months travelling the country to assess beaches for the 2018 Australia's top 101 beaches list.

Farmer and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, announced this year's Australia's best beach list at Cottesloe Beach, which has been named the 15th best beach in the country for 2018.

Australia's top 101 beaches list was launched in 2016.

The 20 best beaches in Australia 2018

1. Nudey Beach (QLD)
2. Horrocks Beach (WA)
3. Dreamtime Beach (NSW)
4. Cossies Beach (CKI)
5. Burleigh Heads (QLD)
6. Seal Rocks (NSW)
7. Bay of Fires (TAS)
8. Quobba - Red Bluff (WA)
9. Dolly Beach (CI)
10. Second Valley (SA)
11. Neds Beach (NSW)
12. Little Beach (WA)
13. Wineglass Bay (TAS)
14. Moonee Beach (NSW)
15. Cottesloe Beach (WA)
16. Agnes Waters - 1770 (QLD)
17. Horseshoe Bay (QLD)
18. Kitty Miller Bay (VIC)
19. Mindil Beach (NT)
20. Cylinders (QLD)