Who says you have to leave the city to find beach paradise? There are some amazing urban beaches in the world like Waikiki in Honolulu, Ipanema in Rio di Janiero and Sydney’s Bondi. Perth’s got a handful of its own urban beaches that are even better: they’re clean, uncrowded and regularly patrolled by shark-spotting helicopters (as if that’s supposed to comfort anyone!). Oh yeah, and they’re so gorgeous they forever ruin the idea of a beach holiday spent elsewhere.
The beach-going season has well and truly begun, so here’s our pick of Perth’s best:
1. Leighton Beach
Twelve kilometres south west of Perth and just north of Fremantle is gorgeous Leighton Beach. It boasts of superfine white sand, turquoise water and is an excellent spot to watch kite surfers or take the dog for a walk. When you get thirsty, there’s Salt on the Beach or the more casual Beach Bar.
2. Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe Beach is the best known of Perth’s beaches for good reason. It attracts hoards of boogie boarders, runners, swimmers and families. You’ll find volleyball games on the southern end and lifeguards-in-training sprinting to the north. Heaps of restaurants, ice cream parlours, cafes and pubs line the street above. Our pick? The newly refurbished Cottesloe Beach Hotel.
3. City Beach
City Beach, located just 8 kilometres west of Perth, keeps winning awards for being the city’s best. Why? The swimming is safe (almost always), there’s the always great Clancy’s Fish Pub, ample parking and loads of bbq facilities. Surf life saving carnivals happen regularly. Thinking about taking up a new sport? Join the ultimate frisbee group that plays Sunday mornings from 9-11.
4. Scarborough Beach
Another of Perth’s best beaches is Scarborough, beloved for its surf breaks, chilled-out atmosphere and proximity to shops, restaurant, dozens of ice cream joints and awesome cafes like Milk and Paper or Boho Espresso. The Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre plays host to a full calendar of concerts and events and the annual beach volleyball tournament Slam in January
5. Swanbourne Beach
Swanbourne Beach is where to go if you’re looking for an even tan or to compete in the Swanbourne Olympics. Clothing is optional and pride prohibited. Compared to the other beaches, Swanbourne is much less crowded (the jogging nudists are the ones to thank) and boasts one of the best beach cafes in town, The Naked Fig. The views don’t get any better.