Remote beach in Indian Ocean ranked Australia's best

Cossies Beach on Australia's relatively unknown Cocos (Keeling) Islands Image copyright Rik Soderlund
Image caption Cossies Beach on Australia's relatively unknown Cocos (Keeling) Islands

A remote island territory in the Indian Ocean has been named home to Australia's best beach.

Cossies Beach in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, about 1560km (969 miles) from mainland Australia, was rated number one by researcher Brad Farmer.

It was named after Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and inspired by the colloquial term for a swimming costume.

Mr Farmer spent five months compiling a list of the country's finest beaches.

The rankings were sorted in consultation with the University of Sydney's coastal studies unit and were backed by Tourism Australia.

Charles Darwin, who visited the Cocos Islands in 1836, described it as a "brilliant expanse" in "shallow, clear and still water" and "under the blue vault of heaven".

Image copyright Rik Soderlund
Image caption Researcher Brad Farmer described it as "the holy grail of beaches"

It had a similar effect on Mr Farmer, who has been researching and reviewing beaches since 1985.

"I felt honestly as though I'd finally found the holy grail of beaches in Australia," he told the BBC.

"The finest white powder of any beach in Australia combined with the visual splendour of coconut trees and aqua waters is unique to Australia."

He said it may come as a surprise that the winning beach was closer to Indonesia than mainland Australia.

"I admit it's a long haul to those remote Indian Ocean islands," he said.

"Interestingly the majority of the population are Malay - so it's not your typical Australian beach."

His rankings aimed to shine a light on previously unknown costal expanses.

"I think this list, particularly including these refreshing new locations, will shake up and challenge Australians and international tourists to go beyond what are the branded, overexposed 'usual suspects'," he said.

Australia's top 10 beaches

  1. Cossies Beach, Cocos Islands
  2. Nudey Beach, Queensland
  3. Moonee Beach, New South Wales
  4. Turquoise Bay, Western Australia
  5. Burleigh Heads, Queensland
  6. Maslin Beach, South Australia
  7. Dolly Beach, Christmas Island
  8. Shelly Beach, New South Wales
  9. Boat Harbour Beach, Tasmania
  10. Apollo Bay, Victoria

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