Mid West beach named in Australia’s top two

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Adam PoulsenMidwest Times

One of the Mid West region’s little-known gems, Horrocks Beach, has been named in Australia’s top two beaches, with Queensland’s Nudey Beach taking first place.

The official list of Australia’s top 101 beaches was announced at Cottesloe beach this morning by Tourism Australia beach ambassador, Brad Farmer, and Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.

Despite coming second overall, Horrocks – located about 73km north-west of Geraldton – was listed the number one mainland beach in the country.

“Horrocks beach is, in my opinion, the most complete beach environment I’ve come across in Australia,” Mr Farmer said.

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“It has a smorgasboard of activities and engagements for all ages.”

Mr Farmer said tourists were looking for what he called the “triple A” experience: authentic, accessible and affordable.

He said Horrocks Beach embodied all of those qualities.

“The locals are authentic, it has caravan parks and cottages – which makes it incredibly affordable – and it is accessible just off the highway.

“It’s just plain down-to-earth Aussie with zero pretensions.”

Mr Farmer has explored and studied Australia’s beaches for more than 30 years and co-wrote the book 101 Best Australian Beaches.

Between him and co-author Professor Andrew Short, the pair have visited every one of Australia’s 11,761 beaches.

He said while Horrocks’ new-found exposure would undoubtedly draw more tourists to the sleepy village, the response from locals had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

“Most people who live in a little enclave of paradise want to keep it all to themselves and are very protective – but they are not disappointed or jealous that it’s been named, they’re actually justly proud,” he said.

Mr Farmer described Horrocks as a “rough diamond”, a place to reconnect with the real Australia and meet humble, down to earth people.

“That is the experience that has been lost in Margaret River or Broome, where the destination becomes a very neatly packaged tourism experience,” he said.

Mr Farmer said along with Horrocks, the entire Mid West region was an overlooked tourism goldmine.

“Putting Horrocks and the Mid West on the map is potentially a game-changer and I think a serious wake-up call for people in government and decision makers in the Mid West to review and recalibrate their strategic plans to engage economic development through tourism,” he said.

Horrocks was among 19 WA beaches, including three in the Mid West, included in the list of Australia’s best beaches.

Also included were Green Head’s Dynamite Bay and Kalbarri Beach.

Mid West Development Commission CEO Todd West said he was thrilled to see the Mid West well represented on the list.

“As a community we have always known that we have some of Australia’s most stunning beaches, however this announcement says it all,” he said.

“It comes at a time when tourism in this region is at a tipping point, and we are taking it to the global stage.

“The Mid West region’s reefs, islands, beaches and land based natural wonders are signature experiences and will be a drawcard for millions of visitors over the coming years.”

The 101 Best Australian Beaches list, which is self-funded by Mr Farmer, is now updated annually and posted online at www.101bestbeaches.com.

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