‘Outrageous’: World’s best beach shambles
WELL, this is outrageous. And embarrassing. Outrageously embarrassing.
Travel bible TripAdvisor has just released its 2018 list of the world's best beaches, as voted by travellers. And it's bad news for anyone who thought Australia's glorious stretches of sand were second to none. Apparently, they're second to a lot.
Meanwhile, we've got Queensland reeling that its world-famous beaches have lost to old rival NSW, and over in the other states, people are wondering why the hell their favourite spots didn't make the cut.
Let's work through this, outrage by outrage.
Firstly, not a single Aussie beach has made the top 10 on TripAdvisor's famous list.
The top spot went to Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the next four spots went to beaches in Brazil, Cuba, Aruba and the Cayman Islands.
Look, those are some pretty impressive parts of the world - we can see why they made the cut.
What is less easy to understand is how a beach from Britain ranked higher than one of our own.
Bournemouth Beach, on England's southern coast, came in at 14 - two spots ahead of the first Aussie beach on the list, Manly Beach, at 16.
Never heard of Bournemouth Beach? This is it:
Manly Beach, on Sydney's northern beaches, is therefore the best beach in Australia, according to Trip Advisor travellers.
So now, let's leave the rest of the world to one side as we hone in on TripAdvisor's list of just Australia's best beaches.
Manly Beach, in first place, topples Queensland's Whitehaven Beach after four years at number one.
This is huge. And Queenslanders are not happy.
"I think it's absolutely outrageous," Tourism and Events Queensland board member Paul Donovan told the Courier Mail.
"I can't believe anyone in their right mind would have voted for Manly - and I used to live there."
People on social media have also had a hard time believing Manly is deserving of the top spot.
"Backpackers sleeping in their cars in the backstreets, washing their undies in the street ... no thanks," one person wrote on Facebook.
"Manly no ... too many people. ... Sunshine Coast beaches are best," another said.
Someone else said: "You're kidding me ... they should have gone to the Whitsundays."
And another Facebook user wrote: "Are these voters fairdinkum, did they fly in & out of Sydney Australia in 1 day? They obviously didn't go to Queensland or WA? Blind Freddy could tell you there are better beaches. OMG."
NSW and Queensland beaches dominate the top five. Following Manly Beach is Queensland's Surfers Paradise Beach in second spot, Whitehaven Beach in third and Noosa Main Beach in fourth. Sydney's Bondi Beach comes in at fifth place.
It seems many people want to know why Australia's other great and worthy beaches - especially those in Western Australia - have been snubbed. And with scenes like this, from WA's Little Beach, it's a good question.
"Try WA beaches. Obviously those who voted haven't travelled!" a Facebook user said.
It's not the first time TripAdvisor's annual Travellers' Choice Awards list has left people scratching their heads.
In 2013, Australians suffered the indignity of having a beach from Wales - WALES - declared better than every Aussie beach, with the exception of one. (news.com.au later visited the Welsh beach in question, Rhossili Bay, and concluded it was quite nice, actually.)
The "world's best" list is based the quantity and quality of reviews left on the TripAdvisor website, which means it naturally tends to favour the bigger, more obvious destinations that attract a lot of travellers, and therefore a lot of traveller reviews - while overlooking just-as-worthy, lesser-known gems.
But if you're feeling miffed your favourite local beach didn't make the cut, Facebook user Audrey Byrne has some good perspective.
"Thank goodness for that - now those of us who have fantastic, quiet, beaches won't have to put up with an influx of tourist sheep who follow rather than lead."
Top 10 beaches (Australia)
1. Manly Beach - Sydney, NSW
2. Surfers Paradise Beach - Surfers Paradise, QLD
3. Whitehaven Beach - Whitsunday Island, QLD
4. Noosa Main Beach - Noosa, QLD
5. Bondi Beach - Sydney, NSW
6. Four Mile Beach - Port Douglas, QLD
7. Cable Beach - Broome, WA
8. Mooloolaba Beach - Mooloolaba, QLD
9. Burleigh Heads Beach - Burleigh Heads, QLD
10. Turquoise Bay - Exmouth, WA
Top 20 beaches (World)
1. Grace Bay - Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
2. Baia do Sancho - Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
3. Varadero Beach - Varadero, Cuba
4. Eagle Beach - Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
5. Seven Mile Beach - Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands
6. La Concha Beach - San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
7. Clearwater Beach - Clearwater, Florida
8. Seven Mile Beach - Negril, Jamaica
9. Bavaro Beach - Bavaro, Dominican Republic
10. Playa Norte - Isla Mujeres, Mexico
11. Elafonissi Beach - Greece
12. Falesia Beach - Portugal
13. Fig Tree Bay - Cyprus
14. Bournemouth Beach - UK
15. Anse Lazio - Seychelles
16. Manly Beach - Australia
17. Santa Monica State Beach - Cape Verde
18. Agonda Beach - India
19. Kleopatra Beach - Turkey
20. Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay - Galapagos Islands