Leighton Beach, near Fremantle, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia
Top 5 beaches in Perth
White, soft, sandy beaches are a trademark in Australia, but those fringing Perth still manage to stand out. Here are the Western Australian capital's favourites.
By Fleur Bainger
Perth is almost unfairly blessed with extraordinary beaches. Transparent blue water with astounding visibility meets sugary sand that seems to stretch on forever. The city enjoys perfect beach-going weather and a population that happily obliges, so grab your towel and join the locals at these exceptional beaches.
It's fair to say that Cottesloe Beach is Perth’s postcard beach. With its feathery soft blonde sand and clear aquamarine ocean, it charms without even trying. A 20-minute drive from the city centre, Cottesloe is at its best in the morning before the winds come in around 10:30am. Marine Parade, which runs parallel to the coast, has numerous cafés and bars that compete for attention. You'll love The Cottesloe Beach Hotel for its summery vibe and white decor made fun with bright colour splashes.
For a distinctly tropical feel, head to Leighton Beach. Bring your sunglasses, because the straight stretch of powdery sand is blindingly white, turning the shallow sea a light shade of azure. Perfect for little swimmers, the beach is patrolled and waves tend to stay small. Locals tend to set up for the day here, bringing sun shades, umbrellas, sunscreen and towels. Others will shake the sand from their feet and stop for lunch at nearby Bib & Tucker for an excellent meal facing the coast.
The most popular of Perth's northern beaches is Mettams Pool. It offers interesting snorkelling, with shallow access to leafy sea grasses and intricately patterned fish, starfish and octopuses. Go on a calm day to make sure you avoid rough seas and riptides, and be sure to always swim between the flags. After a swim, flop down on the finely ground sand and feel a part of the happy local scene. There's wheelchair access, with a concrete ramp that leads to the sand. For the area's best coffee, go to Yelo.
Bathers Beach is the first stretch of urban sand in Australia to be granted a liquor licence, so expect a convivial scene in front of Bathers Beach House. The restaurant, with a café-style deck and sun umbrellas, puts deckchairs on the sand and drinks are allowed, too. Despite being in the heart of Fremantle, the petite, 300m (984ft) long beach has a secluded feel. Given that Bathers Beach is between the Fishing Boat Harbour and an 1830s jail called the Round House, you could spend all day exploring this historic area.
City Beach is the closest beach to Perth's city centre (about 15 minutes by car) and is framed by eateries Odyssea, which has a chic but casual feel, Hamptons, which attracts a fancier crowd, and Rise, a pizzeria. All enjoy fantastic coastal views. Clancy's Fish Pub, which has long enjoyed its perch at the northern end of the beach, serves more mainstream, pub-style fare and is great for families. The beach itself is a lovely stretch, though waves can be powerful at times, and the wind often blows strong at the end of the day.