Welcome to Australia’s best beach (which you’ve probably never heard of)


Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keling) Island. Photo: Rick Soderlund

It’s official: Australia’s best beach is …drum roll… probably nowhere you’ve ever been.

This week past saw a chat with beach expert Brad Farmer, who has ventured across Australia, boardies on, notebook in hand, to find our best beach. His new book lists the top 101 beaches in Australia.

He reckons he’s visited about 4000 of Australia’s 11,000-plus beaches, and the best beach is the newly named Cossies Beach on the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, about 4.5 hours north-west of Perth. The island group is on the extreme fringe of our marine waters, and better known for border patrols than beach patrols.
Farmer’s research isn’t driven by hotel companies, website stats or private equity funds, he says. He worked with Tourism Australia, which says the value of our beaches to the economy need to be appreciated, and capitalised upon.
Also in the top 10 best beaches are strips on another distant outpost, Christmas Island. Some people will roll their eyes that the Gold Coast is underrepresented, or that Bondi should be top o’ list. But I think it’s refreshing that we explore past the everyday.
As Brad told me,”Australia is one of the last countries you can actually go and explore. Go a little further, open your eyes, explore.”
It’s a motto to live by.

Click here to read the full story, which appeared in Fairfax Media’s Traveller website.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

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