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Australia's global beach ambassador on what makes a great beach

What tickles your fancy when land meets sea? Brad Farmer recommends choosing your ‘best beach’ discerningly

As a child, a day at the beach was pure bliss and the salty, splashing, bucket and spade days went on to form the greatest of lasting memories. Now, as an adult, each time I go to the beach – anybeach – the ephemeral experience on this thin strip of sand where land meets sea still fascinates and delights me as a celebration of the senses.

I have my favourites of course, many from those carefree, halcyon days as a sun-kissed kid. But are they the “best” beaches of Australia’s honour roll of 11,761 beaches and does it really matter?

Driven by a passion for beaches and surfing rather than by some career design, at 24, I set about writing my first book, a guide to the best Australian surfing beaches, in 1984. It was the first time anyone had documented the best 1,200 of about 3,000 surfable beaches across six wave-lashed states.

While I learned much about beaches and those salty surfers who live the beach life every day, it was not until many years (and thousands of beaches) later that the debate over what constitutes Australia’s very best beaches – the best of the best – had to be put to a definitive rest.

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