THIS WEEKEND, AUSTRALIA’S number one beach expert, Brad Farmer, announced his ranking of our country’s best beaches.
Brad has spent the past 30 years researching and writing about beaches, and this weekend he and coastal geomorphologist, Professor Andy Short from the University of Sydney, released a book entitled 101 Best Beaches 2017.
Australians are the foremost beach-going nation in the world, but no one is more dedicated to finding the perfect beach than Brad and Andy. Between the two of them, they have seen all 11,761 beaches along Australia’s 60,000km coastline.
When identifying Australia’s best beaches, Brad and Andy looked at a variety of criteria, including a beach’s natural and visual features, the potential to engage with the aquatic environment, and the beach’s sense of rawness and uniqueness.
1Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean
Australia’s best beach for 2017 is also the nation’s most remote. Before Brad uncovered this idyllic, 300m stretch of white sand, it didn’t even have a name. On Saturday 3 December, Brad announced Cossies as Australia’s number one beach, and named it in honour of Sir Peter Cosgrove, Australia’s 26th Governor-General.
Cossies beach can be found on Direction Island, a remote paradise nestled in the Cocos (Keeling) islands, a distant Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. Direction Island is one of 27 islands in a remote atoll, rising out of the Java Trench. Closer to Indonesia than mainland Australia, Cossies beach is certainly not the easiest to reach, but Brad assures us it is well worth the 4.5-hour flight from Perth.
“It is for the aquatic and coastal purist,” said Brad.
Charles Darwin certainly agreed, declaring the beach “heavenly” when he landed The Beagle there in 1836.