Misery Beach: Australia’s best beach in 2022

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(CNN) — It was as soon as flooded with blood, linked to convicts, synonymous with slaughter and haunted by pirates.

But now, Distress Seaside is the shock winner of the official “Australia’s Most effective Beach” award for 2022.

Flanked by a big rock face and lapped by tranquil waters, this breathtaking seaside has extensive drop it sinister previous as a whaling station and hideaway for escaped convicts who looted ships together the south coastline of Western Australia (WA).

Small acknowledged even in WA, Misery Beach claimed the title ahead of its renowned tropical counterparts like Blue Pearl Bay in Queensland.

Awarded just about every yr by Tourism Australia, it truly is a massive offer in a region that statements to have additional shorelines than any other in the entire world — somewhere in the vary of 12,000. The most recent checklist of Australia’s leading 20 seashores, introduced in early February, consists of spots in just about every one of the country’s states and territories.
Misery Beach, Australia's 'best beach' for 2022.

Distress Beach front, Australia’s ‘best beach’ for 2022.

Frances Andrijich Pictures

Misery Beach is in a remote locale 400 kilometers (nearly 250 miles) south of WA’s money, Perth, close to the rather oceanside heart of Albany. This town of 38,000 people today is so isolated it has not had a single circumstance of Covid-19 throughout the overall pandemic, in accordance to Albany’s mayor, Dennis Wellington.

That absence of Covid-19 is partly due to the reality WA has been shut to overseas travelers for practically two a long time now, and has also been strict in permitting tourism from other Australian states. Even now, as the national governing administration prepares to reopen Australia to international vacationers, the big condition continues to be shut to most non-condition citizens.

But Wellington states Albany experienced been hugely common with domestic website visitors for the duration of the pandemic, and hopes the Distress Seashore award will make the region a better attract for international vacationers in the foreseeable future.

“Misery Seashore is a pretty secluded spot, it feels so tucked away from the relaxation of the entire world, and I consider that’ll enchantment to heaps of abroad holidaymakers who’ve been caught in pandemic lockdowns and actually just want some place and nature,” he tells CNN Journey. “I think the special historical past of Distress Beach and Albany will also fascinate loads of website visitors.”

Waters stained by demise

Albany turned WA’s very first European settlement in 1826 and, like many of the Australian colonies set up by the British from the late 1700s onwards, it was mostly developed by convicts. These criminals, generally British and Irish, had been shipped to Australia and compelled into labor at places like Albany.

But some escaped, in accordance to Sue Lefroy, neighborhood background coordinator for the Metropolis of Albany. These desperate gentlemen fled to the forests and seashores bordering Albany and normally resorted to crime to endure, even piracy.

“There were being some unsavory people functioning in the waters close to Albany,” Lefroy suggests of the 1800s.

It was in that Wild West setting that Australia’s very first pirate emerged in 1826. American John Anderson arrived on a whaling vessel that docked in King George Seem, the crystalline entire body of drinking water that hugs Misery Seashore, in accordance to Esperance Bay Historical Culture president Beverly Drabik.

Anderson descended into piracy after he was blamed for killing a person in a brawl in Albany and fled the settlement, states Drabik. He led a pirate gang of escaped convicts that expended yrs raiding vessels along the south coastline of WA, which was a vital shipping and delivery route for the British.

These same waters in close proximity to Albany also became stained by loss of life, Lefroy points out.

King George Seem was property to whaling functions from the 1840s, and in the early 1900s this brutal action began future to Misery Seaside. Its tranquil waters would frequently be inundated with the blood of slaughtered whales, she says.

That horror might have specified this seashore its exceptional name.

The Albany Historic Whaling Station contains a blue whale skeleton.

The Albany Historic Whaling Station consists of a blue whale skeleton.

Ronan O’Connell

“There is not truly an formal record of how Distress Seashore was named, but there are two universities of assumed on that,” Lefroy states.

“When whalers approached the beach by boat, the way the sunshine would strike the beach’s rock encounter in the afternoons created it seem like a frowning confront. The other college of thought is that the distress title referred to the killing of whales that took place all around there, and the (blood crimson) colour of the drinking water and the awful smell from that action.”

Distress Seashore deserved its grim moniker up till the 1970s, when whaling ceased there.

It was the last whaling publish in all of Australia just before it was shut in 1978.

Currently, site visitors can look at archival footage inside of transformed whale oil tanks, discover the Cheynes IV (the world’s only preserved Whalechaser ship), see a massive blue whale skeleton and admire a huge marine animal art selection.

Alongside that station, to its west, is the stunning Cheyne Seaside, an additional of the innumerable majestic strips of sand in this untamed nook of WA.

The pandemic has only designed Albany and its surrounds an even more appealing location, in accordance to Catrin Allsop, CEO of Australia’s South West, the tourism physique that manages this area.

“Misery Seashore matches the monthly bill for the kind of desired destination travellers are seeking for given that the pandemic — a secluded and uncooked all-natural landscape exactly where you will often uncover the seashore all to on your own,” Allsop states.

She provides they hope the worldwide publicity attained by Misery Beach’s the latest award would also direct a lot more holidaymakers to close by points of interest like Albany’s present day National Anzac Centre as nicely as the previous whaling station.

Opened in 2014, the award-winning facility is a fashionable war museum that employs multimedia, interactive engineering and historical artifacts to pay tribute to the a lot more than 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders who remaining Albany in 1914, certain for the Fantastic War.​