Two remote island territories off Western Australia have been listed as having two of the top 10 beaches in the country.
Newly-named Cossie’s Beach in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands has been ranked number one in Australia, while Dolly Beach on Christmas Island came in seventh.
Australia’s top 10 beaches
- Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean
- Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island, QLD
- Moonee Beach, Coffs Coast, NSW
- Turquoise Bay, Coral Coast, WA
- Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, QLD
- Maslin Beach, Adelaide, SA
- Dolly Beach, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean
- Shelly Beach, Nambucca Coast, NSW
- Boat Harbour Beach, North West Coast, TAS
- Apollo Bay, Great Ocean Road, VIC
Cossie’s Beach was officially named today in honour of Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, after he visited the beach in 2014 to commemorate the 100-year battle of the German and Australian Royal Australian Navy.
The rankings were announced by researcher Brad Farmer and Federal Minister for Territories Fiona Nash.
Exmouth’s Turquoise Bay also featured in the top 10, ranking fourth.
The number one ranking was the result of researcher Brad Farmer spending five months travelling the country’s coastlines and consulting with University of Sydney’s director of coastal studies unit Professor Andy Short.
Mr Farmer described the seventh-placed beach, Christmas Island’s Dolly Beach, as a “rough diamond”.
“I think the image most people have of Christmas Island has often been one of tragedy and controversy,” he said.
“It’s mostly been known as an asylum refuge area for many years and it’s been quite controversial.”
But he is optimistic about the island’s future, in particular the opportunities that lie in eco-tourism.
“Those two areas had been off the radar somewhat politically if you like and out of reach of Australian tourists,” he said.
“The flights haven’t been regular, there’s been issues obviously with Christmas Island, with asylum seekers,” he said.
“I think it’s come time in 2016 for those two locations to shine, they have regular flights now, they’re accommodating tourists who have an interest in marine aquatic, natural and coastal assets.”
Dolly Beach is one of the prettiest and most secluded beaches on Christmas island. With shallow rock pools and a sandy beach surrounded by overhanging coconut palms, it’s deserted much of the time. Marine turtles nest here throughout the year and it’s a popular spot for camping among the locals.
A photo posted by Quickbeds (@quickbeds) on
Mr Farmer said it may come as a surprise that the winning coastline was closer to Indonesia than Australia’s mainland.
“I think it will come as a shock to most people around Australia because 99 per cent of people haven’t heard of it, it’s quite unique,” he said.
“It’s Tahiti, Fiji, Great Barrier Reef rolled into one, it ticks all the boxes and then some.”
Marketing manager for the Cocos Keeling Islands Tourism Association, Rik Soderlund, said he hoped the listing would boost tourism for the region.
“Previously it was just referred to as Direction Island or D.I. to the locals,” Mr Soderlund said.
“We’re fortunate we’ve got a limited capacity so we’re never going to be overrun with tourists.
“So it gives people the opportunity, to find a stretch of beach where theirs will be the only footprints in the sand.”