This guest post comes from Rochelle over at Love Family Life Travel. Perth beaches are a passion for her, and below she tells us of her favourite coastal spots around the WA capital.
The beaches in Perth are one of the highlights of the city. There are heaps to choose from. Some are great for kids. Some are great for surfers. Some are great for snorkelling. All are great for sunsets over the Indian Ocean – although I have my favourite for that too!
With so many beaches to choose from, how are you to decide which one you should visit? Never fear! I have created this guide to Perth’s beautiful beaches so that you can work out which is the best option for you and make the most out of your visit to Perth.
How to get there?
The West Coast Highway is a 22km scenic drive which starts at Cottesloe and heads North past many of Perth’s best beaches. These beaches are also the ones that are the closest to Perth, and the ones I have concentrated on here.
All of Perth’s beaches have heaps of free parking although time restrictions apply (generally 2-3 hours). Bus services are available to all the beaches and generally run every twenty minutes or so. If you prefer to travel by train you are limited to Cottesloe beach or Bathers Beach in Fremantle.
Cottesloe beach is great at all times of the day
The green grassy terrace that overlooks the white sand and blue water is the perfect place to plant yourself of an evening to enjoy one of Perth’s incredible sunsets.
If snorkelling is your thing, head there early in the morning, when the water is calm and clear. The north side of the beach has some of the best snorkelling in Perth and you may even spot a leafy sea dragon that calls the area home.
Clancy’s at City Beach
Clancy’s at City Beach serves great food right on the beach. A few other restaurants have popped up recently on the same stretch of sand but you can’t go past Clancy’s for delicious, honest and tasty food. There is a restaurant and a more casual café at the side. Both are good. Clancy’s Big Breakfast is amazing so a great spot for brunch after a morning swim.
City Beach is also great for picnics. It is less busy than the more popular Cottesloe and Scarborough with a couple of great little playgrounds for the kids. If beach volleyball is your thing, then City Beach is the beach for you with a bunch of volleyball nets and competitions here at various times of year.
Sssh. Floreat Beach is where the locals go.
Floreat beach is a secret little gem. It is a beach that is full of locals – many who call it their favourite beach in Perth. We often pass up the glamour of Cottesloe and the busyness of Scarborough for the laid-back family vibe at Floreat.
It has an excellent playground for kids, a large grassed area with free barbeques, a kiosk and café. This beach is our pick for a casual family barbeque on the grass and an icecream from the kiosk after a swim.
Scarborough Beach Developments
Scarborough Beach has recently undergone a redevelopment. It is one of the most built up of the beaches with a large hotel overlooking the water, heaps of restaurants, bars and shops lining the foreshore. The city of Stirling has added heaps of fun and free activities to that with the Snakepit – for skateboarding, scootering and all wheel based activities for kids.
A couple of free basketball courts, a huge rock climbing wall which is protected with a spongy padded floor to keep the kids safe. The huge whale playground is also a hit with kids (although it is closed temporarily while they fix a few little issues).
Scarborough beach plays host to a sunset market every Thursday night through summer. It’s amphitheatre steps which lead down to the beach also hosts all sorts of events, many of which are free.
Watch the Surfers at Trigg
Trigg is great for waves and is a beach for surfers. It is also a great beach to sit on the long wide sandbank and watch the surf. There is a series of limestone rocks on the north side of the beach that look like a stone castle to me. Heaps of fun to have a look around and explore. Just further north of that is a sheltered little bay which is good for swimming.
Trigg also has a dog beach, just a bit further North than where the surfers are. Or you could head to Peasholm Dog Beach which is just south of Scarborough.
Mettams Pool and North Beach
Mettams Pool is another favourite for snorkelling in Perth as the rock pools that are found here are protected by the surrounding reef and are home to a variety of marine wildlife. It is a great area to spot anemones, starfish and abalone.
Fun for the Kids at Hillary’s Boat Harbour
Hillary’s is your best option with toddlers. With the harbour providing protection from the elements, the water is shallow and calm, perfect for young kids. There is a small playground on the beach as well which is perfect for toddlers. There are heaps of food outlets and coffee shops so you can grab some food or a coffee to enjoy while the little ones play.
Coastal Walk and Heritage Trail
There is a 25 km coastal walk and cycle track from Cottesloe all the way to Hillarys Boat Harbour. It is very busy on weekends but you are likely to have it mostly to yourself if you do it midweek. If you have to pick a section to do I would suggest the section from North beach to Hillarys as it has coastal views the whole walk.
There is also a Scarborough-Trigg heritage walk which is 7.3km which explores the coast and the bushland that surrounds the area.
Beaches south of Perth
If you head further South, South Beach at Fremantle is a favourite, playing host to food trucks on Saturday nights through summer. Or Bathers Beach, the tiniest beach in Perth located right next to the harbour in Freo. Rockingham has a couple of great beaches including Shoalwater Bay, which is also where you can catch the ferry over to Penguin island.
Other Beaches around WA
If you are a beach lover in Western Australia there are so many more amazing beaches to check out along WA’s incredible coastline. Dunsborough, in the Margaret River Region would be one of my favourites. Take a drive down Cape Naturaliste Rd and stop at any of the beaches along here and you will not be disappointed.
Rottnest Island is famous for it’s Quokka selfies, but it is home to more than 60 beaches. You can spend a great day riding a bike from one beach to the next.
If you are heading north, stop in at Jurien Bay or any of the coastal towns on Indian Ocean Drive. Jurien has excellent snorkelling along its old decomposed jetty, and the facilities around the local beach are excellent.
Lucky Bay in Esperance on the south coast has been named the beach with the whitest sand in Australia or heading north you can’t go past Coral Bay where you can walk in ankle deep water, before it drops off and becomes the Ningaloo reef.
If you’re heading out of town there are lots of things to do south of Perth, with loads of family-friendly adventures.
I hope I have given you some great ideas on Perth beaches so you can begin to explore the incredible coastline that makes up Perth and the greater WA region. If you are looking for some more ideas of what to do while you are in Perth, check out my blog Love Family Life Travel.
As well as beaches, there are some great picnic spots in Perth, making it an ideal place to head with the family to enjoy the great Aussie outdoors.