From the opal shoreline to the weathered outback, there’s no doubt that the best sunsets are found on the west coast.
Just like a sunrise, they are equally fleeting and breathtaking, and we’re lucky enough to enjoy them at a collection of wild and wonderful locations – just like the nine below:
Cottesloe Beach, Perth
When you think of the WA coastline, often the first beach to come to mind is Cottesloe. The famed holiday destination is known for its “endless summer” allure and for gracing postcards with the iconic Indiana Teahouse structure and illustrious Norfolk Island pines. The many bustling restaurants and bars scattered the coastline are the perfect pitstop for a sunset drink or dinner with million-dollar oceanfront views.
And if you want to dodge the crowds, opt for the slightly more low-key south Cottesloe pull-in, Isolators Reef. Located right next door to Cottesloe Beach, “Iso’s” as it’s fondly branded, is an idyllic long board surf joint. It’s a great place to park up and watch the sunset from the boot with a lap full of impeccably battered – or grilled, if you are that way inclined – fish and chips. If the waves are pumping, you’ll be sure to see the devoted locals dancing across the waves as the sun goes down.
Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Exmouth
Exmouth’s 1912-built Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is also one of a small handful of places on the Australian coast where you can observe both sunrise and sunset. Here, you can enjoy the exceptional panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Ningaloo Reef. So, keep your eyes peeled for whales during the migration season. Take your perch on the car bonnet or the comfier picnic rug option, while you watch the sun go down. Don’t forget the nibbles or a picnic dinner, and maybe a couple of cheeky drinks!
Greens Pool, Denmark
You won’t go wrong spending sunset at Denmark’s most popular, bucket-list worthy beach. Perched about 415 kilometres from Perth, within William Bay National Park in WA’s Great Southern region, the perfectly turquoise bay is fringed by a large granite boulder and an expanse of glorious white sand. It’s loved by locals and travellers alike, for its snorkelling, paddle boarding and picnicking.
And for another equally-adored coastal destination, you’ll only need to take a five-minute gander east from Greens Pool. Elephant Rocks is a sheltered cove peppered with soaring granite boulders that resemble a herd of elephants bathing in the shallow waters.
Cape Leveque, Kimberley
Located a 208-kilometre drive north of Broome, at the northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsula, Cape Leveque is hands down one of the finest places to watch the sunset. The destination, also known as Kooljaman, by the native Bardi Aboriginal people, reflects a stark contrast of lush greenery, vibrant red dirt, milky white sand, striking rock cliffs and clear cobalt sea – truly a sight to behold. If you stick around long enough, you’ll notice the colours of the landscape transform with time. The soft morning light covers the cliffs in tones of tangerine, which become harsh and dramatic around midday, while the shadows lengthen with the blood-reds of the afternoon.
Red Bluff, Gascoyne
Set 125 kilometres north of Carnarvon, on the southern tip of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Red Bluff is where the desert meets the sea. The destination is the epitome of a rugged coastline, with verdant shrubbery dotted along the red dirt expanse, coupled with a vibrant sapphire ocean by day and diamond-strewn sky by night.
You can expect mesmerising ocean vistas and abundant marine life and you might even be lucky enough to spy a humpback whale or two during the migration months of May to October. It is here that days are spent surfing, fishing and diving, and the evenings are spent with a beer in hand watching the sun dip into the Indian Ocean – a must for any adventure lover.
Wharton Beach, Esperance
This magnificent beach is an Esperance favourite, and another stunning sunset spot. Located within the Cape Le Grand National Park, on the western side of Duke of Orleans Bay Caravan Park, the continuous rolling waves make Wharton the perfect pull-in for a swim, surf or bodyboard. If you are staying in Esperance, it is definitely worth the 93 kilometre drive for the crystal-clear turquoise water, squeaky white sand and stunning rock formations.
And if you want the inside scoop – climb to the top of The Duke (the big rock framing the bay) to experience the 360-degree views of the ocean and mainland, while watching the sun as it sinks into the ocean. The beach has 4WD access, along with on-road parking for those who don’t feel the urge to be quite so adventurous.
Cable Beach, Broome
It doesn’t get more Australian than a sunset at Broome’s famed Cable Beach. The 22 kilometres of pristine white sand lined by turquoise water is a bucket list destination for traveller’s far and wide. And the auburn and fairy floss tones coupled with the reflections of tourist-carrying camels are a photographer’s dream.
Injidup Natural Spa & Sand Dunes
A short drive south of Yallingup along the breathtaking Caves Road, is Injidup Beach. You have a couple of options here – watch the sunset from the sand, scale the dunes or take a sunset dip in the aptly-named natural spa. The trek to the peak is a slight leg workout, but well wo rth the pain for the almost 360-degree ocean and mainland vistas at the top!
Injidup Natural Spa has become an Instagram sensation over recent years, and can often be a little crowded, especially over vacation periods. Although, if you’re exploring the South West outside the holidays, you might just snag the place to yourself.
Early riser? Check out WA’s best sunrise locations.
Header Image Credit: Troy Mutton