Feature by Fleur Bainger 7 of Perth's Best Local Beaches

Cottesloe Beach may be Perth’s poster girl, but there’s more to the city’s coastline than one sandy curve. 

Published August 2018

Find out where the locals linger, and join them at these quiet bays and secret coves. 

With a metropolitan coastline stretching some 123 kilometres, Perth has no shortage of grade-A beaches. Western Australia’s long, wide, clean stretches live up to their reputation as some of the world’s most eye-catching. What’s more, the fringing Indian Ocean has a glass-like clarity that means you can gaze at your toes even when you can no longer touch the bottom. Cottesloe, City Beach and Scarborough are the headline acts, but sun-kissed locals often escape to secret spots for their daily dip. Here’s where you can find them.


1. Bathers Beach

It’s surprising how overlooked this gem is, given it’s in the heart of bustling Fremantle. Squirrelled away between the historic Roundhouse (WA’s oldest public building) and the boardwalks of the Fishing Boat Harbour, Bathers Beach is a small yet heavenly hideaway. Plonk down in one of the deckchairs in front of Bathers Beach House and raise a glass with your feet still in the sand.


2. Vera View Beach

North of Cottesloe Beach, opposite the road sign for Vera View Parade (tucked between Grant and North streets) is a freshwater shower and a set of stairs: trot down them and join the genetically blessed bods who frequent this very local beach. Crystalline water laps a flat reef beside a mini bay with submerged rocks, luring snorkellers. Overjoyed dogs are allowed off-leash here, making for one happy scene.


3. Fays Bay, Rottnest
Fays is our under-the-radar pick of Rottnest Island’s 63 picture-perfect beaches. Book-ended by mottled, climbable rock where holidaymakers perch to fish, this fan-shaped, bijou bay is often blissfully free of people. Walk over its limestone entrance (which aids its seclusion) to the dunes and flat sand below.


4. Bennion Beach
Between popular Trigg beach and Mettams Pool slots a secret bay of grainy, caramel-hued sand and eroded rock formations. Throw your towel down beside one and you get the impression you’ve found your own private haven. Doggies are free to roam here, too.


5. Leighton Beach
Stretching out in front of the relaxed Bib and Tucker restaurant (co-owned by former Olympic medallist, Eamon Sullivan) is the blindingly white, 1.5km-long expanse of Leighton Beach. Families adore the flat terrain, ultra-gentle waves and clear blue water, while kitesurfers flock here when the afternoon wind howls.


6. South Beach
Few travellers venture south of Fremantle, and it’s their loss. South Beach is edged by an excellent café, often joined by food trucks and a summer sunset market. It gets better: there’s a grassy park for picnics and a sunset market. It gets better: there's a grassy park for picnics and a playground shaded by Norfolk pines. Beyond a gentle dune, the pale, sheltered, sandy beach fronts the Indian Ocean.


7. Floreat Beach
This beach is well-loved despite its dumpy waves, yet the sandy playground and free-use, turf-rimmed barbeques to the left of The Kiosk cafe remain a local secret. Friends cluster around sizzling sausages while seagulls hover in hope as children slip down slides. A viewing platform grants horizon-bending ocean views.