‘101 Best Australian Beaches’ is a new book by a Professor from the University of Sydney.
It’s a great advertisement for Australia’s gorgeous coastline, which is a major source of Tourism.
What’s the best way to celebrate Australia’s unspoilt natural beauty on the one hand, while also keeping its tourist gems safe from harm or the effects of change?
“101 Best Australian Beaches” is a new book that might raise the odd question about sustainability in Tourism.
Would you describe yourself as a city person, or would you say your heart will forever be closer to nature?
Your birthplace surely influences how you answer – if you’re like me, you’ll feel something essential is missing from life when you spend long periods away from the sea.
But if it’s a matter of striking the right balance between city life and time spent closer to nature, Australia and New Zealand seem to have much of the world beat. Few other locations can claim the same balance of productive cities and sustaining natural spaces, existing in close proximity. Even in urban centres where the pressures are greatest residents enjoy world-beating levels of living quality, access to green space and to areas of unspoilt, unpolluted coastline. Of course Australia’s enormous diversity of natural wonders helps make this a reality – but it is also due to cultural factors. Urban Australia is planned carefully and access to green areas is a priority; where natural and built environments intersect, the encroachment of city concrete is kept under control. National parks remain intact and are relatively unthreatened.
So who gets the best of this balance? If one beneficiary is the average Aussie, another is the country’s tourist industry because every day, tourism contributes about 95 million dollars Australian to the national economy – or 2.5% of GDP and 35 billion AUD annually. The industry is a major employer, providing work for around 514,000. And while tourism has been hit hard by the global economic recession, Australia’s protected natural wonders have helped the industry stay resilient, giving it the strength to survive the storm.
所以是誰享有最好的環境平衡? 如果澳洲當地人是第一個受益者，第二個受益的就是該國觀光產業了。觀光業每年貢獻給澳洲經濟九千五百萬美元- 或說2.5%的國民生產值及三百五十億澳幣。觀光業是個大雇主，提供約五一萬四千個工作機會。當全球經濟衰退影響觀光產業時，澳洲保護良好的自然美景也幫助該國觀光業抵禦危機，成功度過金融風暴。
The coastline, with plenty of pristine beaches, is one key reason for that. Aussie’s are famously beach-loving, and just as they may appreciate how great these coastal resources are as a means of turning a profit through tourism, they are faced with the task of preserving what might easily be damaged by a dramatic increase in visitors. So can Aussies openly celebrate the beauty of their unspoilt natural resources, blogging busily about their favourite coves, beaches and beauty spots, or should they keep a lid on their local knowledge to prevent an influx of visitors that could threaten the areas they love?
The following article exposes some of the contradictions that arise when trying to celebrate Australia’s unique natural beauty on the one hand, while also keeping its tourist gems safe from harm or the effects of change.
Australia’s beautiful coastline – balancing conservation and tourism
A new book celebrating the wonders of the Australian coastline – 101 Best Australian Beaches – has been put together by two people who really know their subject well.
A professor of marine biology at the University of Sydney, Andy Short has co-authored this ranking of the very best Australian beaches – choosing them for their beauty, their accessibility to the public, and for how well their conservation has been managed. To create this listing of coastline gems Professor Short was joined by Brad Farmer, a well-known writer on Surfing.
雪梨大學的世界知名海灘權威人士Andy Short 教授跟衝浪作家Brad Farmer 共同推出了一本新書“101最佳澳洲海灘”，列出他們心目中最易親近、最吸引人、管理最佳的海岸線區域。
The authors’ selection is based on research and personal experience covering more than 25 years. They have chosen what they believe best represents Australia’s varied stretches of coast, but since they wanted to show both developed and barely touched examples, their pick is wide-ranging. Professor Short has explained that while some coastal gems are “pristine with calm waters”, the authors included far wilder Tasmanian beaches, where swimming might be dangerous but the beauty and energy could be admired from the shore.
「我們拜訪的海灘當中，有許多都充分體現出澳洲海岸線從未開發到已開發的多種樣貌，」Short 教授表示，「有些地方顯得原始而海水平靜，其他像是Tasmania 海岸的地方則有狂野的大浪。我會推薦其他人前往觀看那座海灘的野生力量，但不建議在那裏下水。」
When an incredible eleven thousand, seven hundred and sixty one Australian beaches had to be considered, how did they go about the task? To start with, Professor Short had begun to document the vast coastline in 1986, in order to provide information to lifesaving groups. Thanks to this research and to the surfer’s insight of Brad Farmer, the very best choices could be made – after the pair had travelled by aeroplane and boat and on land to review their list of locations!
他們搭乘汽車、船和飛機光臨了全澳洲11, 761座海灘。要贏得最佳海灘的名號，一座海灘水裡水外的環境都必須保持乾淨。Short 在開始與Farmer一同挑選最佳海灘之前，自1986年起就在為海浪救生機構記錄海岸線狀況。
Australia’s coastline being absolutely vast, it meant covering thousands of kilometers. Step by step, Professor Short completed a journey from Brisbane to Broome – taking in a trip from Southern Queensland all the way to the north of Western Australia – bobbing along the shoreline in small boats just a few metres long. It’s an incredible sounding adventure – Short had to swim ashore from his boat every time he wanted to check a new beach – but it exposed the Professor to dangers along the way, including regular sightings and a few close encounters with crocodiles.
So how did the presence of this wildest of Australian creatures weigh into the rankings? Well, unlike the average tourist guide, 101 Best Australian Beaches doesn’t disqualify a beach just because it’s sands and waters are full of man-eating crocodiles. Rather, the beaches are recommended in spite of any dangerous indigenous wildlife, the authors simply warning readers about what’s there. That includes a range of sea life – from sea snakes, sharks and stingrays to stonefish – sharing the environments and posing a threat to uncautious visitors. Yet telling us what to beware when enjoying these natural wonderlands above and below the surface also indicates a duty for every visitor to avoid causing harm – a simple message that Australia’s vast shoreline needs us to comprehend a rich diversity of wildlife we may never encounter elsewhere. That may help us minimise our impact as incomers.
What was it like making the final selection? A shared love for the subject matter didn’t make it easier! The authors say that to decide on the top ten very best beaches, each made his own separate list before comparing the selections. But their favourites were quite different, and only one beach was on both lists for a place in the top ten – Crescent Head. This idyllic beauty spot in New South Wales appealed to both authors because of the eclectic mix of people you’d typically find there, enjoying and appreciating the beach.
決定前十名是個大挑戰，Farmer 表示:「做最終決定的時候，我們兩人各帶著一張白紙進到不同的房間裡，有點像在試酒。」唯一一座同時獲兩人肯定能排進前十的海灘是距雪梨430公里遠，位於新南威爾斯州的 Cresent Head 海灘。根據Farmer所言，這座海灘也是全國最平等的。有百萬富翁跟廚房學徒混合著一同享受沙灘。「如果你問一個好萊塢藝術總監哪裡可以畫出完美的沙灘背景，答案肯定會是 Crescent Head。」Farmer 說。
Interestingly – perhaps tellingly – however, both authors declined to mention their own personal favourite beaches. That’s because they share the concerns of fellow Australian beach-lovers who cherish the beaches they know most, wanting to keep visitor numbers down. Short and Farmer agreed about one thing: the priority of protecting their favourite coves from the sudden rise in popularity which would probably occur if these little pieces of paradise were listed in the top 100.
It’s a contradiction that seems inherent to 101 Best Australian Beaches, in that the ideal beauty spots are natural spaces which would be ruined by an influx of people. Yet what could be the point of such a project if not to share some inside knowledge and generate interest, encouraging tourism? One possible answer could be to raise awareness of the need for responsible tourism on the one hand, and for a successful conservation strategy. It’s a familiar issue for many students majoring in the Tourism field, since programs often require that candidates consider issues of sustainability carefully and with an eye to solutions. Under pressure from Australia’s growing popularity – as a continent rich with unspoilt natural wonders – what should be done to manage the conservation efforts? Confronting problems which were never faced properly in other parts of the world, the search for solutions in Australia can benefit from blue-sky thinking, set against a knowledge of complex cultural, ecological and economic factors which come into play.
這是“101最佳澳洲海灘”所面臨的矛盾，理想的自然景點會被突然湧入的人群破壞，但如果不是為了與世人分享獨家知識、促進觀光，又何必發行此書呢? 這個問題的解答之一是將此書的目標訂為同時提升觀光客的責任意識和開啟當地人與外來客的溝通。對主修觀光的學生來說這是一個常見的課題。課程通常會要求學生審慎思考永續經營的課題。身為擁有大量自然景點的國家，澳洲在人口持續增加的壓力下該如何經營環境保育工作? 在思考這個世界上少有國家會面臨的課題時，澳洲研究解決方案的方式包括blue-sky thinking、調查各種文化、生態學、經濟學上的影響關鍵。
A final message comes from Brad Farmer, the passionate surfer. When an interviewer observed that several of the selected beaches are inside or close to the country’s national parks – spaces where development is restricted and carefully monitored -Farmer suggested that this is one thing which makes them especially attractive:
“That’s where Australia has a winning secret because those beaches can never be over commercialised like Malibu, Biarritz or Phuket”.
To co-author then adds:
“The message behind the book is that we shouldn’t destroy what we’ve come to enjoy.”
People: Professor Andy Short (University of Sydney)
Courses: Coastal Environments and Processes (University of Sydney)
Reading more: ‘Beach and Shoreface Morphodynamics’ (edited by Prof Short)