News 10 of Perth’s best beaches including the hidden gems

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10 of Perth’s best beaches including the hidden gems

Perth may well be the world’s most isolated city but it’s also home to some of the world’s best beaches – here’s 10 of the best!



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Western Australia’s sun-drenched capital Perth is known as the world’s most isolated city. What’s less known is that the coastal city is home to the best beaches this side of the Equator. Pack your bikinis, board shorts and sunscreen and check out Skyscanner for flights to Perth and its glorious beaches.

With so many choices it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to the ten best. In fact, there are so many Perth beaches that some don’t even have names. At the risk of offending surfers who judge a beach by its surf break or families who crave plentiful car parking, we’ve chosen beaches that mostly have a little something for everyone.

Beachgoers will quickly learn that Perth is cooled in summer by a brisk sea breeze called the Fremantle Doctor. The Doctor generally arrives mid – late morning. If you want to avoid being sand-blasted choose your beach wisely, or alternatively plan to be off the beach by midday and soaking in the view from a beachside café, restaurant or pub.

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1. Scarborough Beach

One of the few beaches to be overshadowed by high-rise buildings, Scarborough Beach is probably one of Perth’s most famous (Cottesloe Beach being the other contender for the title – keep reading!). The shore is lined with hotels, (Rendezvous Hotel is the tower that dominates the photo below) apartments, shops, cafes, restaurants, burger joints, ice-cream kiosks and surf shops. Scarborough takes its street-cred seriously. Turn your back on the shore though and look out to the west and Scarborough is blessed with all the essentials – blue water broken by breakers, white sand and lashings of sunshine.

If you want to escape Scarborough’s crowds walk southwards to Brighton Beach which is every bit as gorgeous but generally has fewer people.

Best for: cool dudes, surfers, people watchers

Scarborough Beach is one of the few beaches with high rise apartments on the dunes

Image credit: Matthew Hamm/ flickr

2. City Beach

Another popular beach thanks to its location smack bang in the middle of Perth’s northern suburbs, City Beach has a little something for everyone. When the swell is up it can be a little boisterous though so families with youngsters should be extra cautious. Beachside there are a couple of terrific restaurant/cafes along with grass parklands and BBQs so it’s a popular spot for early evening gatherings to watch the sunset.

Best for: families, body surfers, beach walkers, sundowners

3. Port Beach

Fremantle’s hipster answer to Scarborough Beach, minus the big surf, Port Beach and nearby Leighton Beach are essentially an unbroken continuous strip of sand all the way to South Cottesloe. It’s a great beach for ocean swimmers, Stand Up Paddle boarders (SUPers) as well as families with young kids as there are rarely breakers at Port thanks to its proximity to Fremantle Harbour to the south. Beach walkers and joggers will love it too. A kiosk will slake parched beachgoers throats while Salt on the Beach Restaurant is definitely worth a visit whether you’re coming straight off the beach or want a leisurely lunch or romantic waterfront dinner.

Best for: everyone (except surfers)

4. Trigg Beach

The undisputed king of Perth’s surf beaches, Trigg Beach can get a little wild for swimmers. The water is best avoided by weak swimmers and children as beach breaking waves, rips and undertows make it challenging even for strong swimmers. Surfers rate it one of Perth’s best, though its popularity mean that waves can get a little crowded. Get there early.

Either way, it’s a beautiful beach to watch the surfers or to get your daily exercise by walking or jogging on the firm beach sand.

Best for: surfers

Surfers, lifesavers & cool dudes hang out at Trigg Beach where there is always surf

Image credit: MichaelSpencer/ flickr

5. Cottesloe Beach

Rivalling Scarborough Beach for Perth’s most popular beach, Cottesloe (or just Cott as the locals call it), has something for everyone. Kids clamber onto the concrete pylon originally used to secure a shark net to, outdoing each other with bombies. Protected by a southern break wall, the iconic art-deco Indiana Teahouse flanked by grassed terraces dominate the foreshore.

Even if you’re not a beachgoer it’s worth paying a visit to Cott for the casual Aussie vibe and beautiful coastline vistas. Across the road the Cottesloe Pub is a must visit for re-hydrating sun-parched lips. Though there are plenty of other choices too – the Cott, like the Teahouse, is an institution!

Best for: everyone

Cottesloe Beach is one of Perth's most popular - get there early to claim your piece of sand!

Image credit: Dani Lurie/ flickr

6. Swanbourne Beach

Swanbourne Beach can be divided into two parts. The family friendly southern beach is every bit as pretty as Cottesloe to the south – perfect for beachwalkers, sunbathers and swimmers.

The northern section is clothes-optional Swanbourne Nude Beach, ‘officially’ one of Perth’s few nudist beaches (Warnbro Beach south of Perth is another). The beach itself is not really on public view (so nudists can do there thing in private) as it’s only accessible by a 300m walk from the carpark. You’ll know you’re there when you see the clothing optional sign. As if the lack of clothed bodies wasn’t a dead giveaway.

Best for: nudists in the northern part, everyone else in the southern part

7. South Beach

Popular with locals as well as holidaymakers bunkered down in Fremantle, South Beach is always calm thanks to its outlying reef as well as Carnac and Garden Islands which form a breakwater. Shaded by ancient coastal trees and pines, extensive grassy areas, children’s playgrounds, BBQ’s and timber gazebos make it a perennial favourite whether day or night. Families often gather here for picnics while the beach itself is very family friendly.

Fremantle’s famous Cappuccino Strip is a few minutes away, for a multitude of dining, shopping and people watching activities.

Best for: everyone (except surfers)

Combine a visit to South Beach with lunch or coffee at Fremantle’s famous Cappuccino Strip. Photo courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

8. Bathers Beach

Hidden away between the rock breakwater of South Head and Challenger Harbour, Bathers Beach is the sort of beach you’d go to if you can’t be bothered going anywhere else. It’s super convenient for cooling off or getting your saltwater fix in between breakfast and lunch or for an early morning ocean swim. Surrounded by all the action of Fremantle, this 300m strip of sand is a city treasure – it’s attractive in an urban arty sort of way that Fremantle excels at.

Sandstone Kidogo Arthouse is a beautifully restored building behind the dunes, boardwalks are dotted with public art and nearby restaurants, cafes and pubs combine to make Bathers Beach the full package.

Best for: everyone (except surfers)

9. Rottnest Island

Perth’s favourite offshore island (truth be known you could count them all on three fingers) is known by everyone simply as Rotto. The Beach Gods blessed this little eruption of limestone emerging from the Indian Ocean with exquisite beaches. Dazzling white sand, gin-clear water, sweeping crescent shaped bays and intimate cosy coves are all here. Favorites are The Basin, Longreach and Geordie Bays along with Thompson Bay, the hub of the island. Hire a bike and head for Salmon Bay and Little Armstrong Bay which are rarely tarnished by others footprints if you get there early.

Rotto has boating, diving, snorkelling, surfing & swimming – it’s a water baby’s paradise!

Best for: everyone

Beachgoers are spoilt for choice on Rotto

Image credit: Abir Anwar/ flickr

10. Hidden Gems

In a city of over one million residents it’s still possible to find a patch of sand far from the madding crowds. Here’s a few for soul searchers and solitary beach walkers.

Sandtrax Beach – north of Fremantle’s northern most breakwater, this is a good spot to avoid the blustery Fremantle Doctor when it’s in full sand-blast swing.

Bailey Beach (near Mettams Pool) – a teeny cove with a reef making it a great snorkelling spot in calm conditions.

Rottnest Island – find an un-named strip of beach sand wedged between limestone outcrops and make it your own.

More Rotto rippers

Image credit: Weli’mi’nakwan/ flickr

Packed your bikinis and boardshorts and ready to hit the surf? Compare the cheapest flights to Perth and find the best Skyscanner hotel deals for your summer beach holiday.