The relaxed, down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere combined with the remarkable natural beauty of Western Australia's coastline offers the opportunity for a wonderful holiday excursion: a drive along the magnificent coast, featuring stops at the many beautiful, welcoming beaches of Perth.
The beaches are easily accessible and parking is usually not difficult to find. (Best of all it is also free at most of the beach destinations.) Here are just a few of the options that this sun and surf lover’s paradise has to offer.
Grab a budget car hire and set off on the West Coast Highway to Mettam’s Pool, just under a 20 minute drive from Perth’s city centre.
This unique natural rock ocean pool is cordoned off by a protective reef courtesy of Mother Nature, so, during summer months, the surf is exceptionally tranquil, making it perfect for small children, older folks, or those who just prefer bathing in calm seas. A ramp provides stroller or wheelchair access to the water, and the comfort of shaded gazebos and a grassy area for picnics makes Mettam’s particularly good for family outings. The cool clear waters are wonderful for swimming and the gentle surf is especially suited to those having their first go at snorkeling.
Just down the highway you’ll run into the popular Scarborough Beach, which boasts a long, lovely shoreline that beckons not only sunbathers and swimmers, but also a host of water sport enthusiasts including surfers, bodyboarders and wind surfers to name just a few. There are restrooms and showers available (this is the case at most Perth area beaches), and a host of eateries to visit at lunchtime, or perhaps later for a little late afternoon snack. Like Mettam’s, Scarborough offers grassy spots for picnics and gazebos where you can enjoy your refreshments. Take them to go if you don’t want to miss any more beach time than necessary as you fuel up for more fun in the sand and surf. There are also plenty of accommodations available close to the beach- most offering striking ocean views- and they run the gamut from hostels to fully appointed hotels, so you can find something to fit most any budget. If you’re planning to spend a few days, check The Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre’s schedule to find out about the concerts and special events that are offered throughout the season. Odds are good that something will be happening while you’re passing through. Volleyball enthusiasts should take note that there is a popular tournament, the Slam, held in Scarborough each January.
For a respite from the action and the more crowded bustle that you’ll usually find at Scarborough, head about 15 minutes further south and explore the peaceful beauty of Swanbourne Beach, which, along with it’s main bathing area, offers some clothing optional areas, too.
Just five minutes beyond the quiet Swanbourne beach you’ll encounter what many consider the local’s favorite: Cottesloe Beach. Tree lined streets offer welcome shade for when you’ve had a touch too much of the blazing summer sun, and there are plenty of cafes and eateries to duck into along the beach, too.
Cottesloe's white beach and crystal clear waters are of course the main attraction, but there is also a cycle path that welcomes pedestrians, perfect for when you’re ready to take a stroll or jog and greet the breathtaking ocean views from a different perspective. Sunsets here are truly spectacular, and well worth taking in before wandering over to wet your whistle at one of the lively seaside pubs that can be found scattered all along the beaches of Perth. Chat with the locals, enjoy a cocktail, and toast to your relaxing beach holiday on the friendly western shores!