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Why Australia’s best beach is still a mystery

By Mark Beale

It’s rated the best beach in Australia and the fifth best in the world, but scientists can’t explain it.

While the myth might be that the so-called ‘real’ Australia can be found deep in our country’s interior, in the heart of this wide brown land, the reality is that, for most Australians, our own hearts lie with the coast.

It’s where the vast majority of us live (more than 85 per cent, in fact) and it’s where we head when we’re looking to escape on a short break or a long, lazy summer holiday.

So it’s not surprising that so many of us have a strong connection with our nation’s beaches.

For me, that connection is with Gippsland’s Ninety Mile Beach, stretching from Port Albert to the place I spent my childhood summer holidays, Lakes Entrance.

Long days were spent lying on the beach with my parents and sister, occasionally playing beach cricket, fishing or attempting to ride the waves on a surf-mat (boogie boards were not yet common).

But which beach is Australia’s best? It’s a difficult question, drawing on so many factors (personal connection not the least).

According to TripAdvisor, the world’s biggest travel website, one Australian beach sits above all others – Whitehaven, on Whitsunday Island off the Queensland coast.

No only is it Australia’s No.1 beach, according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards, but it’s the fifth best beach in the world.

So what is all the fuss about? On a visit to the Whitsundays I had the opportunity to find out.
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