Dolly Beach on Christmas Island.
Dolly Beach on Christmas Island. Gary Bell/

REVEALED: Australia's official best beaches announced

A REMOTE beach named after Australia's Governor-General has won the title of Australia's best.

And Minister for Regional Development and Territories Fiona Nash said two of Australia's little-known Territories had been named in the top 10 in a new ranking of Australia's beaches announced today.

A postcard-perfect strip of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Western Australia, took out the title of Australia's best beach. It had recently been named "Cossies Beach" (pictured below) in honour of Sir Peter Cosgrove and conveniently, "Cossie" is also Aussie slang for a swimming costume.


A NASA image of the Cocos Islands.
A NASA image of the Cocos Islands. CONTRIBUTED

The "101 Best Beaches" list, released today, ranked all 11,761 of Australia's beaches.

Beach Ambassador and expert Brad Farmer researched, compiled and produced the list - just the second time Australia's beaches have been independently ranked.

No Sunshine Coast beach makes the top 20 in Australia, and only Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Region (15) and Tea Tree Bay in Noosa National Park (16) made Queensland's top 20 beaches.

Cossies Beach is near the site of Australia's first wartime victory at sea, where the HMAS Sydney defeated German destroyer Emden on November 9, 1914. The Governor-General unveiled a plaque commemorating the event at the beach in 2014 and was struck by the beauty of the beach.

Mr Farmer named the previously unnamed beach "Cossies" with the permission of the locals.

Minister for Regional Development and Territories Fiona Nash joined Mr Farmer to officially announce the best Australian beaches at Bondi today.

"It's fantastic the Governor-General has been honoured in such a great Australian way," Minister Nash said.

"The top 10 also included Dolly Beach on Christmas Island - like Cocos (Keeling) Islands, another of our little known Australian Territories - which came in at No. 7.

"Both Cocos and Christmas Islands have stunning beaches and huge tourism potential.

"Many Australians don't realise Christmas Island has pristine beaches, amazing rainforest and great diving.

"Beaches and tourism are such great drivers in regional economies and there's huge potential in the Indian Ocean Territories, as well as Norfolk Island, which also made the list of 101.

"I'm sure everyone has a favourite beach on this list and nearly all Australians have great memories of the beach - cricket, surfing or a barbecue with mates.

"There's nothing like the sand between your toes and the crash of the waves.

"Our beaches are the world's best and we have so many more outside of just Sydney and the Gold Coast.

"Two of our Top 10 Beaches are in the Australian Territories and 17 of our Top 20 Australian Beaches are regional. The inclusion of Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands are deserving as unique and beautiful locations.

"It's great to see so many of Australia's top beaches are in rural, regional and remote Australia - get out there and experience them."

Cocos Keeling Islands Tourism Association marketing manager Rik Soderlund said he was "thrilled that our beach was named the best in Australia".

"I wasn't surprised to be perfectly honest. The beaches on our islands are world class and the way nature intended them to be," Mr Soderlund said.

"We look forward to welcoming people to our islands to leave their footprint in the sand on the best beach in Australia."

The Governor-General said he was "very honoured". It is believed to be the first naming of an Australian beach for some years.

Mr Farmer said Cossies Beach was a "little slice of paradise".

"Sir Peter, like me - and even naturalist Charles Darwin - was impressed by its absolute natural beauty. Australia boasts 11,761 beaches and 8,222 islands over a vast and amazing 59,736km of diverse coast," he said.


#1 Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands INDIAN OCEAN

#2 Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island, FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

#3 Moonee Beach, Coffs Coast NEW SOUTH WALES

#4 Turquoise Bay, Coral Coast, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

#5 Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, QUEENSLAND

#6 Maslin Beach, Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

#7 Dolly Beach, Christmas Island, INDIAN OCEAN

#8 Shelly Beach, Nambucca Coast, NEW SOUTH WALES

#9 Boat Harbour Beach, North West Coast, TASMANIA

#10 Apollo Bay, Great Ocean Road, VICTORIA

#11 Horseshoe Bay Beach, Capricorn Coast, QUEENSLAND

#12 Garie Beach, Royal National Park, Sydney, NEW SOUTH WALES

#13 Merewether Beach, Newcastle, NEW SOUTH WALES

#14 Long Beach, Great Keppel Island, Capricorn Coast, QUEENSLAND

#15 Hawks Nest Beach, Myall Coast, NEW SOUTH WALES

#16 Camp Cove, Sydney, NEW SOUTH WALES

#17 Broken Head Beach, Byron Coast, NEW SOUTH WALES

#18 Narrawallee Beach, Shoalhaven Coast, NEW SOUTH WALES

#19 Dynamite Bay, Coral Coast, WESTERN AUSTRALIA



Frangipani Beach, Cape York

Lizard Island, FNQ Offshore

Myall Beach, Daintree National Park

Four Mile, Port Douglas, FNQ

Ellis Beach, North Cairns

Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island, Cairns

The Strand, Townsville CBD

Horseshoe Bay, Bowen

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay  

Long Beach, Great Keppel Island, Yeppoon

Agnes Waters - 1770, Bundaberg Region

Mon Repos, Bundaberg Region

75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Region

Tea Tree Bay, Noosa National Park

Tangalooma, Moreton Island, BNE

Cylinders Beach, North Stradbroke Is,  BNE

Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast

Rainbow Bay, Gold Coast South

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