One thing that all Perthians will agree on is that Perth is home to some of the best beaches in the world. It’s a tough gig growing up in Perth, simply because beaches elsewhere will always seem a little lacklustre and disappointing in comparison to what’s on offer in your own backyard. It’s also always a bit of a shock to realise that the dazzling sunset over the Indian Ocean is not, in fact, the norm.
Today we’re tackling the mightily difficult task of ranking Perth’s top beaches – although, let’s face it: you really can’t go wrong, wherever you end up.
#7 Hillarys Boat Harbour Beach
Hillarys Boat Harbour is a family-friendly destination with the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk, the Aquarium and the Water Park all in close proximity. The boardwalk is full of quaint stores and eateries and worth a leisurely wander through with ice-cream in hand, before admiring the million-dollar yachts lined up in the jetty.
The beach itself is perfectly calm and ideal for less confident and younger swimmers to splash and play around in. An air of kitsch and nostalgia mingles with the smell of sea salt, and it’s the type of place that you’ll reminisce about as you get older.
#6 Trigg Beach South
If you’re on the hunt for some decent and consistent foamy waves, then head on over to Trigg Beach, which is a must-visit destination for surfers and body boarders. Swimming, however, can be treacherous as you’ll have to continually avoid being battered by surfers and dumped by powerful waves, so you may just want to observe all of the action from the sand dunes and soak up some Vitamin D instead.
#5 Scarborough Beach
Scarborough Beach takes home the award for glitziest beach with Miami-esque kind of vibes, so it’s fittingly home to
some Baywatch babes one of Perth’s major lifesaving clubs. The vast white beach stretches on into the distance with impressive apartment blocks and hotels dominating the foreshore. Here you’re guaranteed to bump into bronzed bodies aplenty – not that anyone is complaining. Once you’ve dried off from a dip in the ocean, wander past the grassed picnic areas and head to the Sandbar for a bite to eat or the Matisse Beach Club where you can pre-book a poolside cabana to enjoy cocktails with your entourage.
#4 South Beach
Mention Fremantle and you’ll get a long spiel about the vibrant arts and culture community and the thriving live music scene. However, Freo – being a port city – can also count its coastline of sublime beaches as one of its star attractions. Enjoy a Sunday sesh at the Bathers Beach House, snorkel down at friendly-family Port Beach and walk your four-legged furry friends at Leighton Beach. Our pick of the bunch, though, is the pristine South Beach, which is parallel to the South Terrace hub and which boasts superb views of Rottnest Island. There is also a pumping South Beach Sunset Market, which occurs during the summer months on Saturday evenings with plenty of delicious food vendors and entertainment.
#3 Cottesloe Beach
Gasp! Cottesloe, or Cott as it’s known to the locals, isn’t number one!? Sorry to disappoint. Saying that, Cottesloe is Perth’s most well known beach and is constantly bustling with sun-kissed locals and hordes of paler tourists angling for a tan and a glimpse of the iconic Indiana Tea House on the foreshore (a popular image captured on picturesque souvenir postcards). Catch the headline act everyday at sunset as the glittering sun dips dramatically over the Indian Ocean before moving on over the road to the perpetually buzzing boulevard full of pubs and bars.
#2 The Basin at Rottnest
Not in the mood to compete for towel and beach umbrella space? Or perhaps you’re in need of some secluded island R&R with only you, the sand and the sea? Well then catch a ferry over to car-free Rottnest Island and head to the Basin where you can revel in your own little slice of idyllic paradise. The Basin is a pocket of calm, warm turquoise water carved out of a platform reef making it an ideal spot for swimmers and novice snorkelers. The natural luminosity of the water will have you tagging your Instagram photos with #nofilter in no time.
#1 City Beach
For many, it seems inconceivable to think that there are pristine beaches located just outside of the city-centre but that is precisely why City Beach is our number one pick. The convenient location and the crystal-blue waters cement City Beach as a popular drawcard for inner-city dwellers. The opening of Odyssea on the beachfront, a sophisticated but relaxed restaurant serving up a modern Australian menu, has further catapulted the beach’s coolness factor. Conversely, find a grassy knoll to settle into and listen in on the live tunes echoing from the open patio of Clancy’s Fish Pub. Happy days.
(Lead image: Felisa Tan/Flickr)
Check out Qantas flights to Perth here or use the fare finder below.