It’s a secret no more – the beaches of Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Islands have been named in the Top 10 of Australia’s Best 101 Beaches for 2017.
The small strip of white sand on Direction Island, over on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands has been freshly minted ‘Cossies Beach’ in honour of Sir Peter Cosgrove – and handed the title of Australia’s Best Beach – out of 11,761 contestants.
Our own favourite Dolly Beach (No.1 in our books!) came in at No. 7. So, it’s a secret no more – the beaches of Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Islands have been named in the Top 10 of Australia’s Best 101 Beaches for 2017.
The much-anticipated list, compiled for only the second time in history by Australia’s leading beach expert Brad Farmer, was announced by the Federal Minister for Territories and Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash at iconic Bondi Beach on Saturday.
Farmer, who is endorsed by Tourism Australia as an Aquatic and Coastal Ambassador, and who has been researching beaches since 1985, left no stone (or should that be sandcastle!) unturned in his quest to uncover Australia’s award winning stretches of sand.
Over the past five months, clad in little more than boardies, hat and sunnies, the beach aficionado has “comprehensively assessed thousands of kilometres of coastline around Australia” in what some may describe as the ‘best job in the world’.
While news that one of Christmas Island’s beaches has made the Top 10 list might be a shock for many Australians unaware of the island’s natural wonders, the sought-after gong comes as no surprise to us locals.
“It’s an early Christmas present for us” says Linda Cash, Marketing Manager of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, adding “our island paradise is blessed with some of the most spectacular coastline on the planet.”
“When there are 11,761 (but hey, who’s counting!) beaches in our country, to be named in the Top 10 is a real privilege,” adds Cash who hopes the announcement will shine the spotlight on the island’s natural beauty, which in recent years has been partly overshadowed by the island’s facility for asylum seekers.
One person who clearly needs no convincing is Farmer who when he visited Christmas Island as part of his exhaustive research, wasn’t just blown away with the beauty of the island’s “sublime isolated beaches” but was also enamoured by its wildlife including its “soaring birds” and “diverse marine life”.
According to Farmer, “Christmas Island is one of the world’s best kept secrets whose time to shine as an internationally acclaimed ecotourism destination has arrived.”