Researcher Brad Farmer spent 5 months putting together a list of Australia’s best beaches. Consulting with the University of Sydney’s coastal studies unit, and backed by Tourism Australia, the winning beach is actually nearly 1,000 miles away from mainland Australia itself in the Indian Ocean. The winner? Cossies (as in swimming costumes) Beach in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands which is closer to Indonesia that Australia, but is an Australian territory.

“I felt honestly as though I’d finally found the holy grail of beaches in Australia,” Farmer told the BBC “The finest white powder of any beach in Australia combined with the visual splendour of coconut trees and aqua waters is unique to Australia.”

I think this list, particularly including these refreshing new locations, will shake up and challenge Australians and international tourists to go beyond what are the branded, overexposed ‘usual suspects,” he added.

The top 10 beaches on the list are as follows:

 1 – Cossies Beach, Cocos Islands

2 – Nudey Beach, QLD

3 – Moonee Beach, NSW

4 – Turquoise Bay, WA

5 – Burleigh Heads, QLD

6 – Maslin Beach, SA

7 – Dolly Beach, Christmas Island

8 – Shelly Beach, NSW

9 – Boast Harbour Beach, TAS

10 – Apollo Bay, VIC