DISCOVERING THE Best BEACHES OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
After driving the West Australian Coast ourselves a couple of years ago, we know you will fall in love with the incredible beaches of Western Australia. The turquoise waters of the Coral Coast, the soft white sand of Rottnest Island and, of course, the iconic beaches of Margaret River and the South-West Coast. So today we present what we think are some of the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia
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Map of the most beautiful West Australian Beaches
Rather than try to put these in any order, we are being impartial and listing them from north to south. So let’s get started so you can decide which of these 17 West Australian beaches will make your must see list. FYI, it is ALL of them for us!
Beaches on the Northern Coast of Western Australia
One of the most famous shots of a Western Australian beach is the iconic staircase to the moon view taken at Cable Beach near Broome, in the far north of the state. This part of the country is home to the Kimberley and Coral Coast regions with a variety of spectacular, often almost empty stretches of sand.
Cable Beach is a bucket list destination for many Aussies. Its stunning sunsets are legendary and it’s not the easiest place to get to, adding to its status as a special place.
At 22km long, Cable Beach almost never feels too busy. No matter whether you want to hire paddle boards or lie on the sand with a good book, you will find the perfect patch of sand to do so.
The Yawuru people are the traditional owners on the land surrounding Cable Beach and Broome, known as Nileribanjen.
There is plenty to do at Cable Beach from visiting the Gantheaume Point Lighthouse and Anastasia’s Pool, built for a former light-house keeper’s wife, to hunting down the mysterious the 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints which we hear can be seen at low tide!
We recommend you either book a Camel ride, offered at sunrise or sunset, or sit on the beach and photograph them against the coloured backdrop.
Cable Beach is home to one of Australia’s longest nudist beaches. Over 17km of sand at the northern end of the beach is clothes-optional.
If you have a four-wheel drive, head to the north of the rocks where you can explore the beach a low tide.
Tip: Box jellyfish, also known as stingers, are seen here in the wet season between November and April
Stay: For a special treat book a few days at Cable Beach Resort and Spa or Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat.
Eat: Sunset Bar & Grill is the place to be seen and one of the best spots to watch the sunset go down with a cocktail or two!
Location: Cable beach is 8km from Broome
Turquoise Bay is on the Coral Coast, and one of Western Australia’s best beaches. It was voted number 6 in the world in Trip Advisor 2021 Travellers Choice Awards.
With pure white sand and a beautiful coral reef, you can’t go past a day of swimming and snorkelling over the reef gardens at Turquoise Bay.
A northerly current caused by a break in the outer reef creates a perfect snorkelling opportunity. Enter at the southern end of the bay and enjoy the scenery as the current takes you north over the reef.
A tip for snorkelers; make sure you wear fins! The current is strong, and fins will help you snorkel more safely.
Then once you’ve had enough of swimming and snorkelling, head back to Exmouth and drop in at the Whalebone Brewing Co. The Whalebone Brewing Co. is in the industrial area of Exmouth and offers a unique experience. They offer a range of craft beers (brewed on site) and scrumptious pizzas made from local produce. And with outdoor seating, a play area for the kids, and a firepit, it has its own unique vibe. They also host local and travelling musicians to entertain you. If you like chilli in your drink, try the Spyhop Ginger Beer – It will knock your socks off!
Location: Turquoise Bay is 60kms north-west of Exmouth in the Ningaloo Marine Park. The drive takes a little under an hour.
Where to eat: Whalebone Brewing Co.
Where to stay: 4.5 star Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort for a splurge or RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park
Turquoise Bay and the Ningaloo Reef are stunning and both are must see places in Australia!
Contributed by Cheryl from Live Why Wait
Bottle Bay is in Francois Peron National Park, which is part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Precinct. The nearest town is Denham, about 50 kilometres away, but the drive will take around 75 minutes depending on the condition of the sand track.
Access to Francois Peron National Park is in 4WD only. The track can be both corrugated and soft and sandy, but the effort to get to Bottle Bay is worth it!
If you are looking for one of those iconic Western Australia locations where rust red rock meets brilliant turquoise water, this is it. Ten metre high, deep orange cliffs back onto the beach, making this one of the best looking beaches in Western Australia. A walk along the top of the cliffs gives you superb views of the striking colours.
There is a reef running parallel to the beach, and it is a fun and easy snorkel. Marine life is brilliant here and there is a lot to see, from colourful fish to rays and maybe even sea turtles.
Sometimes red sediment from the cliffs can make the water a little cloudy, but if you snorkel away from the cliffs, the visibility improves.
This is a remote location, so bring your supplies for the day. Nearby Cape Peron has toilets, a sheltered picnic area and another spectacular clifftop walk.
Tip: For a relaxing end to your day, stop at Cape Peron Homestead at the entrance to the National Park for a soak in the artesian hot tub.
Location: Bottle Bay is 880km north of Perth
Where to stay: There is a campground at Bottle Bay and two more nearby. Alternatively, head to Denham or Monkey Mia.
Suggested by Natalie of Curious Campers
Keep an eye out for Shell Beach on your way to Bottle Bay. Approximately 94km before Bottle Bay, it is one of the few beaches in the world composed entirely of shells.
Best Beaches near Perth
Perth undisputedly has the best beaches of any capital city in Australia. With 19 beaches lining the coast along the city, you will want to try to see at least a handful on any visit to the west coast.
Salmon Bay Rottnest Island
Salmon Bay and the smaller Little Salmon Bay are some of the most beautiful beaches on Rottnest Island and most likely all of Australia. Found in the south-east of the island, this area is known for its pristine white sand, crystal-clear blue waters and sheltered bay.
Salmon Beach is a brilliant place to snorkel. There are also hiking trails if you prefer exploring on land. Just wear sturdy shoes to avoid having encounters with the local snakes.
Rottnest Island is quite small, and the best way to explore it is by bike. There are also buses that traverse the island, but you’ll be far less flexible that way.
To cycle from the port of Rottnest Island to Salmon Bay, it takes around 30 minutes, although you’ll most likely take longer since you’ll want to stop and take pictures of the quokkas.
These small animals are native to the island and friendly, which means they’ve become a major tourist attraction. Just avoid disturbing them too much and never touch them. Keep these tips for finding and interacting with quokkas in mind to make sure they’re not affected negatively by tourism.
Contributed by Victoria from My Australia Trip
Location: Rottnest Island is off the coast of Fremantle. Ferries and tours to the island depart from Perth or Fremantle daily.
Where to stay: Discovery Rottnest Island has gorgeous glamping tents right on the beach.
Where to eat: Isola Bar e Cibo offers a little of Italy on the island. It’s hard to beat a spritz by the bay, the view is fantastic!
Scarborough Beach is a 20-minute drive from the Perth city centre and has an award-winning foreshore overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean. For those who want to swim at beautiful Beach, it’s patrolled 365 days of the year. But as beautiful as it looks, it can also be very dangerous with big rips and ever-changing ocean conditions.
So, my tip as a local (Scarborough is my home); The lifeguards know their stuff and set the red and yellow swim flags in the safest place each day. So, if you’re going for a swim, make sure you swim between the flags and STAY SAFE!
With an amphitheatre overlooking the beach, playgrounds and activities for the kids, and a world-class swimming pool, this beautiful beach has something for everyone. The Esplanade is the jewel in the crown of this popular Perth Beach, with 750m of the most amazing things to do and see and with ample bars, restaurants, and cafes, you’ve got everything you need.
One bar to check out is ‘The Lookout’. It’s on the first floor with unobstructed views of the ocean, has indoor and outdoor seating, cabanas, booths, and a bowling alley (Yes, a Bowling Alley!). This is a great place for a casual meal and a fun game of ten-pin bowling (kids welcome) and they have a meal deal most days.
This stunning beach is a ‘Must See’ when in Perth, so pop it in your itinerary and enjoy all it offers.
Location: 20 mins from central Perth. Catch the 990 bus from Perth Busport.
Where to stay: Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough is right across the road from the beach!
Where to eat: La Capannina Italian with a view
City Beach, Perth
If you are looking for a great beach close to the city centre in Perth, this Beach is a perfect choice! Located just 11km from the CBD, you can pack all your beach essentials and be on a beautiful Perth beach in just 20 minutes.
The 500m long stretch of white sand is popular with families and those who want to enjoy a great day by the Indian Ocean. And it regularly appears in the Perth best beach lists, thanks to the great facilities and safe swimming.
Two purpose-built groynes have been created to block large waves from the main swimming area, providing calm waters for young kids or inexperienced swimmers. This makes it fantastic for visiting with kids, along with the fact that surf lifesavers are on patrol!
There are two playgrounds, toilets, shower and BBQ facilities. There is also a boardwalk linking City Beach to nearby Floreat Beach. The grass areas behind the beach are ideal for enjoying a picnic in the shade.
It gets busy at City Beach, so if you plan to spend the day there, arrive early to find yourself a great spot near the water or in the shade before the crowds arrive, but there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy!
Location: 20 mins by bus (82) from Perth Busport
Where to eat: Clancy’s Fish Bar for an affordable fish and chip feast, or Odyssea City Beach both offer local cuisine and seafood, with beautiful beachfront views
From Holly Connors at Four Around The World
Beaches in the South of Western Australia
From Bunbury to Margaret River and down the coast to Albany, there are some stunning beaches waiting to be discovered. There is also wine, plenty of wine and some fantastic forests to explore.
Meelup Beach in Geographe Bay
Within Geographe Bay in Western Australia’s Southwest region, you’ll find one of the state’s best beaches. Meelup Beach. Sitting in a protected bay, Meelup is home to bright white sands and crystal-clear turquoise water, making it a popular spot for families to spend long summer days.
The bay protects it from harsh surf and strong winds, so it’s an excellent location for water activities. Ocean kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and snorkelling suit these calm waters perfectly, and you can rent equipment right on the beach.
Stunning bushland lines the beach. Hikers can enjoy the coastal trails where they can take in sweeping ocean views and spot native flora like banksia, jarrah and spring-time wildflowers. There are plenty of shaded grassy areas nearby, perfect for picnics. Plenty of BBQs, picnic tables, public toilets, and beach showers are also located nearby.
Where to eat: At the end of a long day soaking up the sunshine, take the 10-minute drive to Eagle Bay Brewing Co. Sit back and relax over a grazing board and craft beers, while admiring the sweeping views of rolling farmland, bushland and the Indian Ocean. This spot fills up fast, so be sure to book ahead and request an outdoor table to catch those stunning views.
Where to stay: Pullman Bunker Bay Resort is one of several resorts near Meelup Beach. Budget travellers should consider the Dunsborough Beach house YHA.
Location: 250km south of Perth and 6km from Dunsborough
By Nadia Cuthbertson of Perth Weekend
Gnarabup / Prevelly Beach
No trip to Margaret River is complete without a visit to Gnarabup Beach, the main beach for Prevelly. Strolling the 1.6km beach at sunrise is the perfect way to being a day in the region.
The 1.6km beach offers good swimming conditions because of a 500m offshore reef. You will often see professional surfers out beyond the reef surfer the breaks. Head just 5 mins north to Surfers Point to watch more of the action.
Where to eat: White Elephant Beach Cafe is a brilliant spot for breakfast
Where to stay: Margarets Beach Resort offers self-catering apartment and is within walking distance of the beach and a great base for exploring the region.
Location: 10 minutes from Margaret River Town Centre,
Hamelin Bay Beach
The first thing you hear about Hamelin Bay is that it is a favourite place for dozens of friendly, 2m-wide stingrays, that visit the beach daily almost as if to greet the visitors. There is an observation deck overlooking the beach, but you will want to head straight down to the sand to meet the rays.
Hamelin Bay is named after French Explorer Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, who explored the area in 1801.
The Cape to Cape track passes Hamelin Bay, so make sure you leave some time for a detour if you are doing the walk. Between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, there are many shipwrecks in the area, more than a dozen are named, these provide plenty to keep snorkelers and divers busy.
Tip: Spotting the stingrays at Hamelin Bay is not too hard. They keep very civilised hours, arrive after 9am till mid morning for the best viewing conditions.
Location: three and a half hours south of Perth and 35 minutes south of Margaret River
Where to stay: You can camp right by the beach or book the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park, Augusta is less than 20km south and offers a couple of motels and holiday homes.
Where to eat: Pop into nearby by Hamelin Bay Wines for lunch and a tasting, alternatively Karridale Tavern
Beaches in the South West of Western Australia
The beaches in the south-west corner of WA are the stuff of dreams with squeaky white sand, water a shade of blue you won’t believe is real and hardly a soul to spoil the view. If you are doing a lap of Australia, don’t rush this part of the country!
Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks
One of the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia, Greens Pool in William Bay National Park and the nearby Elephant Rocks formation should be on your list of must see beaches in southern WA.
The crystal clear and shallow waters make this beach popular with families. There are plenty of rock pools to explore and the lack of waves means the beach is crawling with kids in summer.
Snorkelers will find plenty of fish swimming around the rocks, see if you can spot the very blue, southern blue devil.
Looking much like a herd of elephants making their way to the Great Southern Ocean, these granite boulders are just a 10-minute walk from Greens Pool. You will find a staircase lead down to Elephant Cove so that you can walk among the steep boulders and feel the magic of this place.
Local tip: Be sure to turn back from the beach and check out Tower Rocks on the hill. It looked very much like something from Lord of the Ring to us!
Location: 15 km west of Denmark and 75km west of Albany. It’s a short walk from the car park to either location.
Where to stay: William Bay Cottages makes a great base for exploring the beaches in the area.
Where to eat: Pop into Bartholomews Meadery for honey, ice cream. If you are after something a little stronger, try Monkey Rock Winery & Cider.
There are many reasons Lucky Bay deserves a spot on the list of the best beaches in Western Australia. Named Australia’s whitest beach, Lucky Bay is on the south coast of the state in Cape Le Grand National Park.
Despite being far from everything, Lucky Bay is a popular destination. And you quickly understand why when you see the postcard-perfect photos of wild kangaroos posing on the fine white sand beach in front of turquoise water. You’ll get these stunning views just a few steps from the car park at Lucky Beach.
Just a 5 minute drive away, you will find Thistle Cove and a formation known as Whistling Rocks. If you feel like walking, it’s a 35 minute walk from Lucky Bay, with fantastic views across the rocky headland.The track is the easiest section of the 15km Le Grand National Park Coastal Trail, which is made up of grade 3 to grade 5 tracks. There’s also a lookout on the beach accessible by 4WD.
There are two places named Lucky Bay in Western Australia. The other is on the north coast near.
But a visit here is not only about staying on the beach with cute kangaroos: there are many other things to do in Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand National Park.
Location: Lucky Bay is 62km east of Esperance on sealed roads. It takes about nine hours to drive from Perth.
Where to stay: The only option to stay at Lucky Bay overnight is to camp, and it’s worth it. Lucky Bay is home to one of the most scenic campgrounds you’ll ever find. Plus, kangaroos are more active at dusk and dawn.
Where to eat: There’s only one option to buy food at Lucky Bay: the Lucky Bean Café – a van offering a selection of coffees, juices, muffins, snacks, and ice creams in the pristine national park.
Suggest by Eloise from MyFavouriteEscapes.com
Little Beach Albany
Little Beach is one of the must-see stops on a South West WA road trip. This beach has become iconic thanks to the unusually shaped rocks in the centre of the beach. Located within the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, about 30 kilometres east of the coastal port city of Albany, this is one of the most stunning beaches in Western Australia.
Besides the interesting rocks in the middle of the beach, this beach is also known for its brilliant white sand and turquoise blue water. The best way to capture this beach is from above with a drone if you have one, but you can still get some great photographs from the rocks overlooking the beach.
Whilst it can be quite windy in this area, particularly in summer, Little Beach is tucked away and more sheltered than the surrounding bays.
While most visitors will stick to this beach, make sure you explore the surrounding area. If you walk to the very end of the Beach, there is a short uphill hike that takes you to another hidden picturesque beach, Waterfall Beach. I guarantee you, Waterfall beach is worth the walk!
There are minimal facilities here, just one long drop toilet and no shops within sight.
Where to eat: A popular spot in town is the Parisian-inspired bar, Liberte. Serving up delicious food and even better cocktails.
Where to stay: Most visitors stay in nearby Albany, a 40 minute drive south of Little Beach, we chose Emu Point Motel for our last visit.
Where: Little Beach is in Nanarup, about 35km north of Albany. Albany is approx a 5-hour drive southeast from Perth.
Contributed by Tess Moone from Tess Somewhere
Want more WA Beaches?
We had to end this somewhere, but it was hard. There are many more beaches in Western Australia that could have easily made our list.
Here are just a few of suggestions we got when we asked our Facebook community for their favourite beach in Western Australia.
- Leighton Beach in Fremantle
- Twilight Beach at Twilight Bay near Esperance
- Pinky Beach on Rottnest island
- Smiths Beach near Yallingup along the Cape to Cape walk
- Sandy Bay near Exmouth
- Wharton beach, also in Cape Le Grand National Park
- The Duke of Orleans Bay (with the Orleans Bay caravan park is a favourite)
Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local.