An Auckland beach has been named one of the best in the world, beating famous sandy spots in Australia, Brazil and beyond.

Karekare Beach on Auckland's west coast took second place in a list of the 25 best beaches in the world chosen by Passport Magazine, a gay travel publication.

The picturesque black sand beach was famously featured in Jane Campion's The Piano and was the only Kiwi beach named on the list.

"Karekare might be a movie star, but it wears its fame and beauty effortlessly," judges wrote.

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"Adding to the drama is the jaggedness of the coast, the fine dark sand, the rough-hewn peaks, the alluring Karekare Falls just moments away, and, most of all, the overpowering elements, the impression of being out at the edge of the world."

The top spot was taken by L'Espiguette Beach, Aigues-Mortes in the French Riviera, while Panama's Bocas Del Toro came in third.

L'Espiguette Beach, Aigues-Mortes in the French Riviera. Photo / Getty Images
L'Espiguette Beach, Aigues-Mortes in the French Riviera. Photo / Getty Images