Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to find those hidden gems – and with a bit of exploring, you’ll be richly rewarded by the sparkling waters of the Aquarium.
What is it?
In between Smiths Beach and Canal Rocks, the Aquarium is a small lagoon protected by large granite outcrops. While Smiths Beach is famous for its surf breaks, the Aquarium’s calm, crystal-clear waters makes it a favourite for snorkellers and swimmers.
Where is it?
Set amongst the pristine Yallingup coastline, you’ll find the Aquarium by following the Canal Rocks Road until you find a small carpark, before you hit the descent to Canal Rocks. From the carpark, it’s a 1.3km walk to get to the Aquarium – to the right of what looks like a gravel lookout spot is a small trail, which you can follow down to the beach. You can also take a more direct route that goes more steeply down the cliff, but it’s not quite as safe so we wouldn’t really recommend it. About 3 hours’ drive from Perth, the Aquarium is on Wardandi Noongar boodja.
What to do?
Come on in, the water’s fine! After that scramble to get onto the beach, you’ll probably be nice and warm – cool off with a relaxing float in the water, then get your snorkel on and start exploring. With heaps of rock pools, you can spend hours looking for crabs and critters on the rocks – or just float the day away.
What not to do:
As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles: meaning don’t leave any rubbish out there, don’t disturb any wildlife and try your best to look after the surrounding area. Make sure you also adhere to any fire restrictions or bans that might be in place.
The Aquarium runs parallel to the coast, so be aware that the south end is more exposed to the swell. There are also drop offs in certain areas where it can suddenly become much deeper, so always swim in areas according to your ability level.
There isn’t any running water at the Aquarium, so remember to bring plenty of drinking water with you – especially if you plan to spend a while there. There also aren’t any toilets – so plan accordingly, especially if you’re bringing the kids.
Header image: Shutterstock / Merindadesigns