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Perth's Ocean Beaches

There are more than a dozen suburban ocean beaches to choose from along the Perth section of the Sunset Coast, with wide, long ribbons of sand, broken by sections of small limestone cliffs and inner reefs. These make for some great swimming, body-boarding, surfing, snorkelling and fishing spots. The main leisure and nightlife centres are Cottesloe, Scarborough and Hillarys Boat Harbour; Swanbourne Beach is popular with naturists. In summer it is best to visit the beaches in the morning before the breezes come.
The beaches to the north of Fremantle are surf beaches; those to the south generally have calmer water, being they are relatively sheltered by the offshore islands, and are particularly suited to families with young children.

All of Perth's ocean beaches face west, thus they receive plenty of afternoon sea breezes (be careful of wind burn) and offer the beautiful over-the-ocean sunsets that give the Sunset Coast its name. Picnic dinner on the beach as the sun goes down is always a special experience. All have clean white sand, often backed by sand dunes. The water is clear, clean and great for splashing, body surfing or boogie boarding. Some beaches also cater for kite and wind surfers as well as rock and surf fishermen.
Rips do occur so remember to swim between the flags on beaches patrolled by lifeguards. Most beaches have extensive parking, and many have cafes, shops and shaded picnic facilities. Public transport access is by bus from the city. Cottesloe, Leighton and Port Beach can also be reached by rail on the Perth-Fremantle line.


Ocean beaches - north of Fremantle: Ocean Reef; Mullaloo; Whitfords; Hillarys; Sorrento; Waterman Bay; North Beach; Trigg; Scarborough; Brighton; Dog; Floreat; City Beach; Swanbourne; Cottesloe; Leighton; Port Beach.

Ocean Reef, located within the City of Joondalup, is Perth's most northerly suburban beach. The name was coined by developers in the 1970s from the line of a reef visible several kilometres offshore. Ocean Reef Boat Harbour has been developed into an entertainment centre to help with the overspill from the popular Hillarys Boat Harbour development to the south. A dune walkway and cycle path hugs the coast from south to north, offering access to several small beaches, picnic areas, rest stops, and access paths into the suburb itself.


Hillarys beach and Boat Harbour

Whitfords and Mullaloo Beaches are to the north of Hillarys Boat Harbour and Pinnaroo Point. As with all of Perth's northern beaches, the sand is white and clean and the water crystal clear. Mullaloo has a surf lifesaving club and a hotel with an excellent oceanside bar and restaurant. Both beaches have parking and shaded grassed areas for picnics.

The clean sands of Sorrento Beach are within walking distance the Hillarys Boat Harbour where you can spend the afternoon shopping, sightseeing or relaxing in a cafe. The Aquarium of WA and Rottnest Island Ferry are also at the harbour with world class golf courses, major shopping centres, cinemas, Arena Joondalup and Challenge Stadium sporting facilities, all nearby.


Mettams Pool, North Beach

North Beach is home to a series of small beaches separated by small limestone headlands and reefs. Each of the beaches has its own name. Bennion Beach, just north of Trigg, is the most isolated of these. Mettams Pool and Hamersely Pool are the most popular spots. There is a disabled access fishing platform at North Beach. Marmion Beach and Waterman Beach are to the north. Parking is generally kerbside on West Coast Highway, which runs alongside the coast; shops and cafes occur at regular intervals on the road.


Trigg Island

Trigg has traditionally the most challenging surf on the suburban beaches strip around what remains of Trigg Island, which is a rocky outcrop on the shoreline. Trigg has a small boat ramp, a surf lifesaving club and shop and a good children's play area with slides etc. in Clarko Reserve. This reserve has extensive grassed areas and picnic facilities.


Scarborough Beach

Scarborough is one of Perth's best surf beaches. Scarborough has a wide array of visitor accommodation as well as shops, cafes and a vibrant nightlife. It is a popular spot for wind and kite surfing. Facilities include a surf lifesaving club, good parking and large grassed areas. Beaches within walking distance include Trigg Beach (surfing, fishing) 1.4km north with its island and rock pools, and Brighton Beach to the south where topless beach babes go to work on their suntans.

City Beach is generally considered by the locals as Perth's best surf beach. It is a wide ribbon of beach backed by shaded grassed areas with plenty of parking, picnic shelters, a kiosk, children's play facilities and a surf lifesaving club. To the north of the groyne is Floreat Beach, which is generally less crowded in the middle of summer. It has its own surf club and car park.

Swanbourne is also well-known for having the only nudist beach in Perth. The nudist beach is situated on what was once army land and was thus not subject to local council authority. Its status as a nude beach has been protected in recent years by the efforts of regular users. It is immediately north of the officially named Swanbourne Beach. There is a surf lifesaving club and plenty of parking at the main Swanbourne Beach at the end of North Street. Can be accessed by train, alighting at Swanbourne station, but includes a 1.6km walk north along Servetus Street, then left into North Street.


Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe has terraced lawns and a magnificent Indiana Tea House set right on the beach. Here, towering Norfolk pines line a boulevard buzzing with cafes and pubs. It's a great place for early-morning breakfast beside the Indian Ocean, or if you have more time, a refreshing sunset beer at the pub. Cottesloe and North Cottesloe both have surf lifesaving clubs. Access by train, alighting at Cottesloe station and walking 800m along Forrest Street to the beach.

Leighton Beach

Port and Leighton Beaches are quite close to Fremantle Harbour's North Quay wharf facilities but are not affected adversely by them. The sand is still very clean and small waves. Facilities include shelters, toilets and a surf lifesaving club with a few eating establishments close by. Access by train, alighting at Mosman Park, Victoria Street, Leighton or North Fremantle stations.


Ocean beaches - south of Fremantle: South Fremantle; Coogee; Kwinana; Rockingham; Safety Bay; Warnbro

South Beach at South Fremantle is the closest beach to the port city of Fremantle. South of Success Harbour, South Beach has plenty of parking and a grassed area between the groynes. There are views to Garden and Carnac Islands, which shelter the beach from choppy conditions. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.

Coogee is a calm water beach equipped with camp grounds, deluxe units, chalets, family units, motel rooms, and powered caravan sites. There's also walking paths, a newly built jetty and jet ski rentals. Its not as crowded as some of the beaches closer to Perth (it is 22km from the city centre), and perfect for the family. The Coogee Beach Festival, the last of the City of Cockburn's Summer of Fun events, is held on a Sunday every March.

Woodman Point is some 8km south of Fremantle along Cockburn Road. It has an intriguing history and features in Nyoongar creation stories. Behind Jervoise Bay beach is the John Graham Recreation Reserve. Nearby are numerous historic sites from the period when Woodman Point was used as a Quarantine Station and ammunition store. The beach has not been legally approved for skinny dipping but nude bathing occurs here. More info ...

Kwinana Beach is surrounded by heavy industry such as oil and aluminium refineries, and the northern area were these occur is generally closed to the public. The southern section, just north of Rockingham, is quite accessible with calm water to swim in and to watch the big ships come and go. It has a jetty, a boat ramp. Wells Park is a popular place for family picnics and get-togethers.


Rockingham

The Mangles Bay foreshore at Rockingham stretches approximately 4 to 5 kilometres with calm and safe beaches. At Rockingham there are well manicured, shady, grassy lawns with free electric BBQs and great children's playgrounds and a good selection of cafes.

The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park contains the waters of Shoal water Bay, Warnbro Sound and a part of Cockburn Sound off Cape Peron. The park encompasses a diverse marine environment and surrounds a chain of unique limestone islands which are significant in the ecology of a number of bird species. The area is great for boating and swimming and there are good surfing conditions off the western edge of Penguin Island. Tours of the islands, which include visits to seal, sea lion and little penguin colonies, are conducted from Mersey Point. There are numerous clean, calm water beaches on Shoalwater Bay and Safety Bay.


Safety Bay

Warnbro is a delightful beach to the south of Rockingham and Point Peron on Warnbro Sound. It is approximately 30 minutes by car from Perth.  The yellow sand is quite fine but clean and forms dunes behind the beach. The beach shelves very gently and does not usually have large waves so the swimming is safe for all the family. A nude section of the beach is some 900m long and has been clearly marked with signposts. More info ...

Perth's River Beaches

Perth has a very busy river life, and features riverside cafes, some wonderful picnic spots and waterside walks, as well as the homes of the rich and famous. Whilst not totally pollution free, the Swan River's beaches are generally quite safe with clean sand, and many have shaded play areas for children and picnic and barbecue facilities.
The Swan River also provides some scenic and rewarding fishing, from battling black bream to giant estuarine mulloway.
The Swan River has some of the most scenic windsurfing spots available anywhere, which are excellent for beginners (waste-deep water in large areas, warm, dependable winds which are light in the morning and get stronger in the afternoon). When the sea-breeze gets up over thirty knots, Perth's hardened wave sailors head for the river.

Swan River beaches - above Perth: East Perth; Banks Reserve (Mt. Lawley); Bardon Park (Maylands); Bayswater; Bassendean


Walter's Brook, Banks Reserve, Mt. Lawley

The closest river beaches to the Perth central business district along the Swan River foreshore are at East Perth. They can be found on a pleasant foreshore loop walk that crosses the Swan River at The Causeway and the Windan Bridge (Graham Farmer Freeway). Picturesque Banks Reserve in Mt. Lawley is a short walk north of the bridge. Walter's Brook, named by Capt. Stirling after his elder brother, still flows into the Swan River at this reserve.


Claughton Reserve, Bayswater

Bayswater and Bassendean have a number of river beaches. It is here that entertainer Rolf Harris trained as a boy with hopes of becoming an Olympic swimming champion. Sandy Beach Reserve includes both open grassed areas and tree shaded areas. It is a popular spot in summer, and is the location of several local events such as the Valentines Day Rock Concert. Point Reserve overlooks a fork in the Swan River making it one of the most picturesque spots in the area. It is a shady place in summer it is suitable for fishing, picnics, and play. Pickering Park features a jetty and joins the Heritage Trail and Cycle path.
Success Hill Reserve provides both open grassed areas and tree shaded areas. It is a popular spot in summer where the Heritage Trail and Cycle Path begins. Success Hill is the location of local events such as carols by candlelight. All the above parks have picnic, barbecue and playground facilities.

Redcliffe's Garvey Park is a major riverside reserve that contains significant areas of remnant foreshore vegetation and extensive re vegetation areas. A walk trail allows walkers to travel the 500 metres from Coolgardie Avenue to the Swan River foreshore along the stream and through the natural vegetation.


Swan River near Garratt Road Bridge

At Belmont near the Garratt Road Bridge, countless local children learnt to swim in the Swan River from the 1930s. It became popular for competitive swimming in the 1960s with the construction of two jetties forming an Olympic-sized pool close to where the bridge crosses the Swan. Garratt Road Bridge is Western Australia’s longest timber traffic bridge and possibly the longest ever built in the State.

Swan River beaches - between Perth and Fremantle (south)


Perth and Perth Water from South Perth

South Perth Foreshore stretches alongside the southern side of Perth Water between the Narrows Bridge and The Causeway. A ribbon of beach extends either side of the Coode Street jetty where the ferries from Barrack Street jetty berth. The foreshore is the best place to see and photograph the city skyline, and the surrounding parklands are great for a picnic, with plenty of parking.


Como foreshore

Como Beach stretches alongside the Kwinana Freeway to the north of where the Canning River enters the Swan. There is a dedicated swimming area alongside the Como Jetty. Good for windsurfing.

Deep Water Point is on the Canning River in Mount Pleasant. It is a popular spot for water skiing and jet skiing and the car park is often full of trailers and cars using the boat ramp. There is a fenced in playground with good simple children's play equipment.

Waylen Bay is a small embayment from Point Dundas to Point Heathcote, located in the suburb of Applecross. The bay is fringed by a wide ribbon of clean sand. Good for windsurfing.

Melville Beach at Applecross is a popular spot for windsurfers. Windsurfer hire is available with lessons for those who require them.


Attadale Nature Reserve

Attadale's riverfront offers river beaches and excellent cycle paths stretching from Troy Park through Attadale Nature Reserve. Since the 1950’s Attadale has evolved into one of Perth’s most desirable residential areas offering increasingly up market homes and gardens in wide leafy streets, many of which have dramatic views of the City.


Pt. Walter sandbar

Point Walter comprises a golf course and a popular family riverside beach with many recreational facilities, cycle paths etc. Point Walter Reserve has plenty of trees providing shade from the sun as well as safe swimming and excellent fishing. Public barbecue facilities are available as well as a cafe and kiosk. A sandbar that snakes out into the river provides a great walk. It offers some of the best views to the City of the Perth Skyline. Next door to Point Walter is the Blackwall Reach Reserve, a picturesque area of natural bush ideal for cyclists and walkers.

The historic Bicton Baths, on Blackwall Reach, were built in 1926 by the Melville Swimming Club. The baths are built on one of a number of small beaches on the foreshore alongside Blackwall Reach Parade near the reach's high cliffs.

John Tonkin Reserve at East Fremantle is a large riverside park on the lower reaches of the Swan River. There is a modern style boat themed playground, shady trees, picnic tables and BBQs. You can take a swim here, or sit and watch the boats go up and down the river. There is a boat ramp here and lots of water traffic as there are a number of yacht clubs very nearby. Zephyr Cafe and Kiosk provides the coffee, snacks and takeaways.

Swan River beaches - between Perth and Fremantle (north)


Matilda Bay Reserve

Matilda Bay Reserve, on Pt. Currie at at Crawley, offers both shelter and views across the Swan River, making it a very popular site for picnics. Its many grassed areas, BBQ facilities, boat ramps, children's play areas and safe river beach make it an ideal place to relax in the outdoors.

Nedlands Pier was once home to The Nedlands Baths. Officially opened in 1909 by WA's first premier, Sir John Forrest, The Nedlands Baths became the focal point for thousands of visitors to the Nedlands Foreshore, and made it one of Perth's most popular river beaches.


Nedlands foreshore

Dalkeith and its sister suburb of Peppermint Grove share the beautiful Freshwater Bay shoreline of the Swan River, are widely regarded as two of Perth’s dress-circle suburbs. Dalkeith has a special peninsula position on the Swan River with access to boat ramps, boating clubs and other water recreational activities. The homes of Perth's rich and famous line the foreshore on Jutland Parade; the ribbon of beach here is accessed from Iris Avenue. The western shore of Dalkeith on Freshwater Bay can be accessed from Point Resolution Reserve and Bishop Road. The Claremont foreshore can be accessed from Anne Herbert Park and Chester Road.


Peppermint Grove

Peppermint Grove Foreshore Reserve is a very picturesque grassed area. It is frequented by dolphins, black swans and pelicans, with a backdrop of yachts and boats. An ideal picnic location, it offers good swimming and boat hire facilities.


Pt. Roe

Mosman Bay, to the south of Freshwater Bay has a ribbon of beach near Butler Hump. Facilities include the Cabe Dodd ampitheatre, toilets, picnic and barbecues. A small ribbon of beach, accessed from Chidley Way, encircles Chidley Point. Below the site of the former Sugar Refinery at Pt. Roe is another isolated strip of beach. This beach is part of the reserve on Colonial Gardens.

North Fremantle's only river beach is at the end of Johnanna Street beside the Gilbert Fraser Reserve. A walkway from the beach passes south over a small sand island and under Stirling Bridge to the south extremity of the beach at the end of Burns Street.

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