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Perth's best beaches

5 min read
Perth’s beaches are some of the best in the world from Leighton to Cottesloe to Scarborough and City Beach in between and most are surprisingly easy to access from Perth city.

Cottesloe Beach 

This is Western Australia’s iconic beach with its curious painted pylon, where buff surf lifesavers patrol the shores and a safety net protects swimmers throughout summer. It’s 18kms from the city centre and you can easily grab your beach towel and lob onto a train from the city, hopping off at Cottesloe Station and taking the 20 minute walk to the beach. Stopping for a cool drink or even lunch at one of the casual cafes along the way turns it into the perfect day trip.     

Leighton Beach 

The train line to Fremantle serves these southern beaches so well and Leighton Beach is another than you can easily reach by rail. The stop you want is North Fremantle and it’s just a few minutes’ walk to the beachside parkland with its free barbecues and shady picnic shelters. Or really spoil yourself with a lunch on the Bib & Tucker balcony, dining on WA’s best produce while overlooking this beautiful beach. Leighton beach is a favourite with families because of its easy access and fairly calm waters. It’s patrolled by our famed bronzed surf lifesavers and on weekend mornings you can watch them train and compete.      

Rottnest Island 

Though about 34kms offshore from Perth, Rottnest Island is surprisingly easy to reach from Perth city and it has the pristine beaches and bays that only an island can deliver. You can board a ferry at Elizabeth Quay that takes you down the Swan River and all the way to island in about 90 minutes. You don’t need any transport at Rottnest to reach the best beaches because many you can walk to, like The Basin with its shallow reef shelf that drops away to deep crystal clear water. 

Scarborough Beach

Scarborough has the best beachfront in Perth for its variety of things to do. It’s a 20 minute drive north of the City and once you land there, you’ll find a super modern skate bowl for the big kids. The ‘littlies’ have a choice of a couple of playgrounds, one with a cute nautical theme and the other with a climbing wall. In this beachfront precinct there’s the ocean front swimming pool and an amphitheater that hosts many events right on the beach edge, including the incredibly popular sunset salsa dancing.    

City Beach 

City Beach is just 10 kms or a 20 minute drive from Perth and like Leighton offers restaurant dining, a kiosk and surf patrols. However, unlike Leighton it has two purpose built groynes that fishers just love and cradle the swimming area, so the water is calm. People love to fire up the foreshore barbecues late on a summer afternoon and watch the sun gently dip into the Indian Ocean in a blaze of oranges and reds and blues. Breathtaking. 

Mosman Park Dog Beach   

This beach is a well-kept secret and rather than attracting the big crowds that nearby Cottesloe does, it’s mostly the locals that come here. Down the long flight of wooden stairs, you’ll find a funky towel and shoes rack and a beautiful bay whose beach is dotted with colourful umbrellas and boisterous dogs of every breed. It is a bonus that this beach gets a ‘body surfable’ wave when the swell is right. Jump off the train at Victoria Street Station to reach this little gem and then hot foot it down Sydney Street for about five minutes until you hit the beach path.