Whether you are snorkelling on Rottnest island, sunbathing at Cottesloe Beach of surfing at Scarborough Beach, there is nothing quite like Perth’s best beaches.
When choosing a time to hit the beach in Perth, the earlier in the day the better - you’ll be rewarded with calmer waters and gentle to no winds. However, if you do end up staying at the beach into the afternoon then be sure to stay for sunset. Western Australia is lucky enough to have sunsets over the ocean, and with Perth’s clear summer skies, you’ll more than likely be rewarded with a stunning sunset.
Ideal for: Swimming
Facilities: Cafes & restaurants, parking, playground, picnic area, public toilets, outdoor showers.
Perth’s most iconic beach, Cottesloe Beach brings in locals and tourists alike summer after summer. With terraces of green lawn leading down to powdery white sand and plenty of cafes and bars around – all set against the historic Indiana Tea House, it’s no wonder beachgoers have to fight for prime beach towel real estate most weekends.
While the beach is patrolled throughout summer to keep swimmers’ safe, the waves can get quite rough in the afternoon once the winds have picked up, so kids should hang out in the shallows.
Cottesloe is the ideal beach to enjoy a picnic – or get some fish and chips to-go from the local shop as you can enjoy your lunch on the grassy banks under the shade of sky-high palm trees. If you are looking to dine-in there are also plenty of places to grab a bite to eat along Marine Parade, offering ocean views and excellent people-watching perches.
If you are wanting to work up a sweat before enjoying your ocean dip, then the Perth-Peel Coastal Walk is a popular choice for walkers and runners as it offers sweeping views of the beaches below. Linking Port beach to Cottesloe beach and beyond it’s not to be missed.
Every January Cottesloe Beach plays host to the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea exhibition which sees local and international artists display their bigger-than-life artworks along the beach.
Ideal for: Surfing
Facilities: Parking, outdoor showers, public toilets, recreational centre (entry fees apply), local cafes and bars.
Scarborough Beach is a firm favourite among Perth’s younger crowd making it one of Perth’s most popular beaches on weekends and school holidays. Regular swell and great surfing breaks draw in the surfing crowd and long stretches of white sand attract swimmers and sunbathers. In some breezy summer evenings, you may even catch kite surfers making the most of the afternoon winds.
Scarborough Beach now also boasts Scarborough Beach Pool - a geo-thermally heated open-air public pool and world-class recreation facility which is frequented by locals getting in their morning laps and families wanting to avoid rougher ocean swells.
Scarborough beach shows no signs of slowing down even after dark thanks to all of the cafes, restaurants and bars on offer. Public BBQs and ideal sunset-watching spots also attract those looking for a cheap way to spend their evening enjoying Perth’s balmy summer weather.
You will also find an outdoor amphitheatre right on the sand at Scarborough beach which hosts a range of events and festivals throughout summer such as beach volleyball, beach cricket and concerts.
Ideal for: Swimming
Facilities: BBQ facilities, parking, picnic areas, cafes & restaurants, public toilets, outdoor showers.
City beach is the perfect Perth beach with all the amenities you could ever need. Landscaped reactional areas, kid’s playground, toilets, BBQ facilities and outside showers all feature at City Beach. The beach’s purpose-built groynes create great conditions for fishing and shelter the beach from waves, creating ideal sandcastle building conditions – while surfers can enjoy the swell out the back. Backed by shaded grassy areas, there are plenty of places for families to enjoy picnics while kids play on the selection of playgrounds.
Only 15 minutes from Perth city and with 500 meters of white sand to enjoy, City beach really attracts the crowds on Perth’s sunny days.
Ideal for: Snorkelling
Facilities: Cafes & restaurants, public toilets, outdoor showers & picnic areas can be found around the island.
Some of the best beaches in Western Australia are those found on Rottnest Island. With friendly local Quokkas, a laid-back hippie vibe and a no-car policy, there is no better place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Rottnest also boasts top-notch beaches which can be reached via shuttle or bike (which you can easily rent alongside your ferry ticket).
Colourful limestone coral reefs and the warm Leeuwin Current that passes through creates the ideal habitat for tropical fish and sea creatures – don’t forget to bring along your (or hire) snorkelling equipment. Whether you are looking for calm water to set up for the day, reefs to explore or the perfect fishing spot Rottnest’s beaches have everything you need.
Ideal for: Snorkelling
Facilities: Public toilets, parking, outdoor showers.
Nestled between Hillary’s & Trigg Beach, Mettams Pool is a favourite snorkelling spot in Perth. This bay is sheltered from waves by a rock formation that almost creates a ring around the pool. Don’t forget to bring along your snorkelling gear and explore the treasure-trove of amazing marine life that lives in this lovely, protected pool.
You can expect to find a range of weird and delightful wildlife in these calm pools from colourful zebrafish to glistening Garfish – plus you might even be lucky enough to spot octopus, crabs and sea snails hiding amongst the rocks.
The only downside of Mettams Pools is the lack of parking close to the beach. You either have to get their early or park a little further away.
Port & Sandtracks Beach
Ideal for: Swimming
Facilities: Café, parking, outdoor showers, public toilets.
With crystal clear turquoise waters and white sand, Port Beach is much loved by those who live in and around Fremantle. Calm waters make this beach perfect for children – and ideal for sandcastle building. You will also spot Stand Up Paddle Borders and kayakers enjoying the calm, glassy water throughout the day. While this beach is a stellar choice, it is much less crowded than its neighbour Cottesloe and there is barely any competition for a great spot.
It’s worth noting that the carparks can get busy quite early, so if you find yourself stuck for a spot, head a little further south and you’ll come across a sandy road-side carpark called Sandtracks. This local gem is only a short walk away from Port beach with identical swimming conditions.
If you want to bring your furry friend along for a swim, then head a little further up the beach to Leighton Beach which is pooch-friendly. Plenty of free parking and a great beach-side café make this another popular Perth beach.
If you are staying near Fremantle, there is a range of other great beaches to also enjoy. From picturesque Bather’s Beach whose calm waters are ideal for kids, or South Beach with laid back eateries and equally as laid-back locals.
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