We love our beaches in Perth, and as the weather starts to warm up the beach’s lure is oh-so-tempting.
Sometimes though you can’t get down early enough to beat the pesky sea breeze, or perhaps you’re just not feeling the sand between your toes today – fortunately there are plenty of inland swimming holes, lakes and rivers just begging for exploration.
The best time to go is early-late spring when the winter rains have filled ’em all up:
One of Perth’s most popular day trip spots, Serpentine Falls is only 55kms southeast of the city. Get there soon to see it still flowing, and make sure you get there early to beat the crowds. Gates open at 8.30am with an $11 park fee, and there’s plenty of walking trails to hit before cooling off in the water.
Lane Poole Reserve
A little further out in Dwellingup, Lane Poole Reserve occupies 50,000ha along the Murray River. There’s plenty of space for activities (thinking mountain biking, canoeing, SUPing, bushwalking), and it’s a popular camping spot if you want to make a weekend of it.
Black Diamond Lake
Arguably one of WA’s favourite Instagram spots, its distance from Perth does help to thin out crowds – a little. Epic for a lazy day by the water, it’s still not set up for large crowds so please treat it with respect! Just over two hours away near Collie, make sure to check the water conditions in advance.
If the bright blue water, clay shoreline and selfie crowds of Black Diamond ain’t your thing, Honeymoon Pool is close by and worth it. It’s a small camping spot on the Collie River, drenched in Peppermint Tree shade and very chill.
Wungong Dam is nice and close, just past Armadale. Ideal for a picnic lunch, there’s a nifty little recreation lake at the bottom of the dam for a swim. Model boat enthusiasts also frequent, and if you get there before summer truly sets in wildflowers abound. Check ahead in bushfire season though! Please note that swimming in the dam is illegal but that people can go downstream of the dam wall.
Rocky Pool is another great spot close by. In amidst the Kalamunda Hills, there’s a challenging (but not too hectic) 5km walk filled with wildflowers, wildlife and valley views. The pool isn’t huge, so make sure you share. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous it’s also part of the Bibbulmun Track.
Head to Chidlow, just 50 minutes east of Perth, to find the expansive Lake Leschenaultia. You can hire canoes or just walk off the white sandy beaches and hit the pontoon. Explore on foot via the 3km walking trail, fire up a barbecue or hit Reflections Café right on the water.
Nestled within St John’s Brook in Nannup is Barrabup Pool, a picturesque swimming hole which is a bit less crowded than some of the above-mentioned hot spots. Camping is an option and head there during the right season for some fishing and marronning.
This one’s for those who really can’t be arsed travelling. On the Swan River in Bicton (duh), there’s a 30m+ pool and heated geothermal hydrotherapy pool right next to the popular Bicton Baths. Enjoy spectacular Swan River views and some dolphin spotting while you’re at it.
Injidup Natural Spa
Alright so it is technically on a beach, but you’d be unlucky to find a shark slipping over the rocks into Injidup’s beautiful natural spa. The turbulent ocean rushes in to create a delightful “spa” experience, one that can get pretty crowded. Try pop down early or late on a warm summer’s night.