The Best Suburbs In Perth To Live Near The Water

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Living in Perth affords us one of life’s great luxuries – being close to our world-famous beaches. People travel from far and wide to experience them, while luckily for many of us it can be just a short trip down the road on any given day of the week.

Likewise is our wonderful Swan River, and it comes as no surprise that Perth has a plethora of great suburbs locating on or close to it – simply put, nothing compares to life by the water.

We’ve teamed up with the to identify some of Perth’s most popular suburbs close to the river and the sea, so if you’re in the market for a new home, check ‘em out below and head to (or click on each suburb heading below) for a more comprehensive breakdown of where you should be looking in 2020.



Floreat is somehow a kind of weirdly hidden secret when it comes to popular Perth suburbs. A short distance from the both the city and iconic Perth beaches like City Beach and its namesake, it’s super popular for families for this reason. Not to mention the excellent local schools, leafy green streets, a great range of sporting activity centres and a pleasing mix of old and new architecture. Its popularity is on the rise with fast median selling days, and one of the quickest median leasing times in the state.

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A little further out from the city, Swanbourne is kinda like Cottesloe’s slightly less well-known sibling. It still maintains that upper middle-class vibe thanks to the older, federation style homes (many of which find themselves copping some modernised renovations) and more prestigious schools. It puts you right on the doorstep of the more chilled Swanbourne beach, or a short walk down to the world-renowned Cottesloe beach. Its proximity to the train station is a big plus and keeps residents a short 15 minute ride to the big smoke.

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South Fremantle

If you’re a regular reader of Perth Is Ok you’ll know South Freo is a suburb on the up-and-up. Whilst it’s still working hard to maintain that laidback Fremantle attitude, it feels like there’s a cruisy new tapas bar or chilled out café opening every week. South Beach is popular amongst people and tourists of all ages, and it’s become a hub for people looking for something a little different to the old cappuccino strip styles of Fremantle proper. Its median sale prices and weekly rents, while on the up, remain more manageable compared to some coastal areas further north.

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Karrinyup is another popular suburb for young families thanks to its proximity to the ocean and the getting-better-by-the-day Mitchell Freeway (southbound). The jewel in its crown is the soon to be renovated shopping centre, making it a lucrative option for young families looking for easy access to retail options. Likewise, the ample amount of greenspace (including the nearby Lake Gwelup Reserve and a couple of great golf courses), variety of school and public transport options and Perth’s premier surf spot Trigg Beach explain its ever-rising popularity.

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Even though it’s one of Perth’s most iconic beaches (especially thanks to the huge foreshore overhaul in recent years), Scarborough remains quite affordable (both in sale and rent) relative to other beachside suburbs. Which seems crazy given the tourist and local haven that is the new beach precinct, along with huge green spaces like Abbett Park providing sports facilities for people of all ages. If the hustle and bustle of the beach precinct is too much, just drop back a few blocks where it’s all chill, coastal suburbia baby.

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Vic Park

The low median sale and weekly rent price of Vic Park have made it a tantalising prospect for young families and professionals for the past few years, and the suburb is changing accordingly. The old car yards of yesteryear have been making way for a vibrant commercial/entertainment strip along Albany Highway, with exciting new bars, restaurants and specialty stores moving in constantly. It’s still a work-in-progress, but its close proximity to the city and huge riverside green spaces suggest it won’t stay that way for long.

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Como’s not-too-close, not-too-far distance from the city has made it a popular suburb for professionals over the years, with expanding families serviced well thanks to four local schools in the area. People chasing a slice of Australian suburbia where you can still see the skyscrapers has made it a popular area in Perth for decades, and the higher sale/rent prices reflect this accordingly. For those who like to keep active, it’s closeness to the Swan and Canning Rivers offers a variety of walking, running, rowing and cycling options.

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Dalkeith is one of Perth’s most affluent suburbs, reflected in the stunning heritage buildings and huge mansions that line the waterfront. It’s not hard to see why it’s a popular choice for the upper middle class set, with the Swan River bounding three sides of it, huge blocks of land and some of the city’s leafiest, greenest streets. It’s well serviced to suit older age brackets, along with successful young families thanks to a bunch of prestigious schools nearby. As such the median sale and weekly rental price are on the higher end for Perth, although uni students bound for UWA might be able to luck into something affordable with a few friends.

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East Fremantle

Working hard to maintain its heritage homes, gardens and streetscapes, East Fremantle has become a popular suburb still close to the main hub of Freo, connected to the city thanks to main roads Stirling and Canning Highway. Bound to the north by the Swan River, it accordingly features some pretty fantastic views, along with excellent walks and river-based activity options. George Street has become a wonderful restaurant and café hub for young professionals heading into the area.

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Similar to what Scarborough is to the beach, Shelley is something of a hidden, more affordable gem when it comes to suburbs close to the river. It’s almost a perfect centre point with the city (north), the hills (east) and Freo (south) all a sub-30-minute drive. Inner-city parks abound, you can go kayaking on the river and its close proximity to Curtin University have made it a popular stomping ground for younger students. Given the range of benefits on offer, Shelley is easily one of Perth’s most affordable suburbs both sale and rent-wise.

Search for places to buy or rent in Shelley.


Note: The suburbs in this article are based on data for suburbs near the beach and Swan River with the fastest selling and leasing times in Perth. Filtered for 28 or more transactions in the 12 months to December 2019.