WAGGA Beach has made history after it was named one of the top 10 best beaches in Australia.
The sandy strip along the Murrumbidgee River took out the ninth spot on the exclusive list of the Top 20 Best Australian Beaches.
It was up there with the likes of Cabarita, Currumbin and Minnamurra beaches, which claimed the top three positions respectively.
It was the first time veteran coastal advocate Brad Farmer included an inland 'beach' to his exclusive list of the country's best - and not without a bit of controversy.
Many critics dismissed Wagga Beach's authentic status, but with 35 years experience behind him it is a decision Mr Farmer said he stands firmly behind.
He said it was about time the meaning of a beach was extended to make way for the many aquatic environments that Australia had to offer.
"These recreational settings are deserving of inclusion because of the value Aussies place on water, both socially and as a precious resource," he said.
"Wagga Beach ticks all the boxes for inclusion in the top 20 list - golden sand, sunshine, water for a dip, shade to cool off."
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said the city has known for a long time that its beach is "an inland paradise", but to be recognised as the ninth best Australian beach will encourage others to come see it for themselves.
To be 400 kilometres from the nearest coastline, but at the centre of a national conversation about beaches is worth celebrating, Cr Conkey said.
"Our inclusion shows visitors that if you take the road less travelled and head into regional areas you can uncover some of our country's hidden gems," he said.
"Wagga Beach on a sunny, summer's day rarely has a patch of sand free as visitors and locals enjoy a splash in the Murrumbidgee River, play beach cricket or rest under the shade of the river red gums."
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The beach will only get better in the future, Cr Conkey said as the local council continues to invest in the precinct's development.
The next stage of the Riverside upgrade is set for the new year with pop-up containers cafes, a water play park and open spaces among the attractions coming to the city's beach.
The national launch of Mr Farmer's Top 20 Best Aussie Beaches will take place from Wagga Beach this morning with a community beach party between 7.45am and 9am to celebrate the big news.