We’ve curated a selection of Perth’s best beaches (they are our biggest drawcard after all), although have tried to slip in a few lesser known sandy havens to help you find a little slice of paradise all to yourself. If you want to find out about the rest of the state we ranked Western Australia’s top 50 beaches to work your way through!
We’re pretty sure it’s a legal requirement to mention Cottesloe whenever talking about Perth’s bountiful beaches, but it’s still as iconic as ever. Sneak down during an easterly breeze, late season afternoon for one of those magical sunsets usually reserved for the locals only. Park up for a picnic on the grassy knolls, hit up drinking mainstays the Ocean Beach Hotel or Cottesloe Beach Hotel for a wine/pint, or grab a bite one at one of plenty of top shelf restaurants along the stretch.
Over the years City Beach has developed into a strong rival alongside Cottesloe and Scarborough as Perth’s most popular beach, and fair enough too. It marks the perfect geographical midway point between those two tourist hotspots, and with plenty of shady grassed areas perfect for people watching picnics, it’s the kinda place you can spend all day. With a few new restaurants, a nice boardwalk, huge new surf life saving club and even a couple of waves if the conditions are right, it really is one of Perth’s finest.
Keep going south past Fremantle to the white sandy shores of Cockburn’s Coogee Beach. With a just-the-right-size jetty for jumping off (or fishing), a huge grassed area for picnics, a shore-based shipwreck to snorkel over and set against the gothic backdrop of the abandoned Freo power station, it’s a little southern gem oft-forgotten about along our glorious coast line. Check out our guide to the Omeo Wreck here!
Arguably one of Perth’s most populated beaches, the past couple of years have seen it transform into a true tourism destination, with a revamped foreshore featuring a swimming pool, skate park, huge kid’s playground and a heap of bars and cafés along the strip. The sunset markets on Thursday nights are a winner, and it’s Perth’s go-to for a dirty old Sunday Session. The surf can get descent here, but you’ll find a better wave (along with even more people) a bit further north at Trigg.
One of the many great stops along the northern beaches section of the West Coast Highway, Mettams is one for the snorkelling enthusiasts, and also provides a little bit of shelter if the wind comes in early. With a heap of cafes along that scenic stretch of coast, why not chuck your runners on and go for a wander to find a little secluded hole in the reef all to yourself.
Parakeet Bay (Rottnest Island)
Look, Rottnest Island/Wadjemup is positively bursting with stunning beaches, with somewhere definitely out of the wind no matter which way it’s blowing. But where most tourists get as far up as the Basin, if you keep heading further west you’ll get to the Parakeet and Little Parakeet, perfect if you’re looking for a little privacy with that special someone.
One of the few beaches in Perth you can head to for shelter when the south-westerlies are in, Port Beach also throws up a fun little wave or two if the swell gets up. It might not be as picturesque as some of Perth’s more famous stretches of sand, but for some peace and quiet out of the breeze (or perhaps a spot of salmon fishing if they’re running), pull up at Port.
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds of Scarborough/City Beach there’s a big old stretch of sand between the two, south of Peasholm Dog Beach. Pull into Floreat and head north up the gravel track and you’ll see a number of different access points to find a bit of solitude (or a few sand whiting), and maybe a bit of surf if there’s a heap of swell.
The long, white strip between Cott and Port Beach is arguably Perth’s best pooch-friendly stretch of sand, with stunning, clear blue water and dog spotting for days. Grab a sneaky bite or coffee from the Wooden Wagon in the dog beach area, or pull up a deck chair on the Orange Box’s grassed area near the main carpark.
A mainstay for the Freo massive, South Beach has a pontoon, basketball court and plenty of amenities/shaded grass areas if you’re really looking to settle in for the day. There’s a good chance you’ll find some backpacker types kicking a hacky sack around or strumming the acoustic guitar, but if that’s not your bag just head a little further south to CY O’Connor Beach, or the above-mentioned Coogee.
The Perth mecca of surfing, if the swell is up you’ll find just about every man and his dog at Trigg for a wave. Fortunately it’s a long enough stretch of sand you can usually find a bit of solitude somewhere along the way.