7 beaches near Perth: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

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Best beaches near Perth

In Australia, major cities tend to hug the coast, which means that it's never hard to explore some of the best beaches, even from the country's biggest cities. That's just as true in Perth, Western Australia, as it is in many of Australia's other big cities. In fact, the beach is an indelible part of Aussie culture, and spending time at the water's edge is one of the best ways to enjoy Australia like a local. The beachside barbecue is virtually an Australian cliché, but there's a reason for its popularity. And spending Christmas on the beach is a proud Australian tradition, too.

The best beaches in Perth allow you to enjoy the laid-back beach lifestyle of Australia without going far from the city. With the Indian Ocean right on its doorstep, Perth is blessed with some truly incredible beaches. And whether you want a lively and popular beach with tons of nightlife, beach clubs, and amenities or prefer something more unspoiled that gives you an encounter with the Australian backcountry, you won't have to go far from the city to find it here.

Some of these beaches are best reached by car, so you may want to consider hiring a rental car while in the city. However, others can be reached easily by public transport from Perth Station, so you don't have to drive to enjoy some of the best beaches in Perth.

However you choose to get to them, you'll have a much better time on a city beach if you leave your heavy bags behind with a Bounce suitcase storage in Perth. Bounce partners with local businesses in Perth and around the world to provide luggage storage for any size of bag, including equipment like surfboards, so you can make the most of your beach vacation.

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City Beach in Perth

City Beach

The closest beach to central Perth, City Beach is a consistent favorite with locals and travelers alike. This popular beach offers great options for food and things to do and is a wonderful place to watch the sunset and enjoy the beach vibes while staying close to the city.

Travel distance from Perth

Just 12 km from Perth CBD, City Beach can be reached with a drive of only around 10 minutes from the city center. You can also get here by public transport, taking bus route 82 from Cambridge Street to City Beach, a journey which will take around 20 minutes.

Activity recommendations

Watch the sunset: This beach faces west over the ocean and is an incredible place to watch the sunset. Dusk is almost the busiest time at City Beach, as locals gather to see the sun go down and change the color of the water in front of their very eyes. It's a beautiful experience to see for yourself and a great way to connect to nature in Perth's northern suburbs.

Bold Park Aquatic Center: Located in Bold Park, which sits just behind City Beach, this aquatic center is perfect if you want to swim but don't fancy tackling the sea. The aquatic center offers a great swing pool along with lounges and a grassy area to take a break, and there's also a basketball court, so there's plenty to do here.

Cottesloe Beach in Perth

Cottesloe Beach

Just about all the beaches in Perth are beautiful in their own way, but few are as instantly photogenic as Cottesloe Beach. Located just outside the city center, this beautiful beach will make you feel like you're a very long way away from the city.

Travel distance from Perth

Only about 12 km from the center of Perth, Cottesloe Beach can be reached with a drive of around 15 minutes. You can also get here by taking a train from Perth Station to Cottesloe Station and walking to the beach from there.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: With crystal clear waters and soft white sand, Cottesloe Beach is more than just pretty. It's also an excellent location for swimming and is patrolled by the Surf Life Saving Club, so you can swim with confidence. The clear waters also make this a great place for snorkeling, or you can just stretch out on the sand and enjoy the sun and the beautiful scenery on one of the prettiest beaches in Western Australia.

Sculpture by the Sea: If you happen to find yourself in Perth during March, head to Cottesloe Beach to check out this fun event. Sculpture by the Sea brings huge outdoor sculptures to the beach, transforming this already photogenic place into a giant outdoor art gallery.

Scarborough Beach near Perth

Scarborough Beach

Surfing is as much a part of Australian culture as beach barbecues are, and Scarborough Beach is widely known as one of the best beaches in Perth to try this exciting sport. Only a short drive outside the city, Scarborough Beach is the most consistent surf break in the area, and surfers flock here from across Western Australia and beyond to ride the waves.

Travel distance from Perth

Less than 15 km from central Perth, Scarborough Beach is extremely easy to reach with a short drive from the city. You can also get here by taking bus route 990.

Activity recommendations

Surfing: Naturally, surfing is one of the top attractions of this beach. One of the best beaches in Perth to catch a wave, you'll find plenty of businesses here that will rent you equipment or will give you a lesson in surfing. Nearby Trigg Beach also provides some good surfing, so this entire area of Western Australia is great for anyone who wants to give surfing a try.

Scarborough Beach Pool: The reliable surf break here means that the water can often be too rough for swimming, but that's okay. Scarborough Beach Pool provides a place where you can swim in an outdoor pool that's the perfect temperature year-round, and you don't need to worry about bumping into any of Australia's less friendly marine wildlife, either.

Port Beach near Perth

Port Beach

Located in Fremantle, Port Beach offers a variety of things to do without going far from the city. A great place to watch the sunset, its easy access from the center of town makes it one of the most popular beaches in Perth and, therefore, one of the more crowded ones on a sunny day. Still, there's a reason for its popularity. After all, this is one of the best beaches in the area.

Travel distance from Perth

Around 16 km from the city, you can reach Port Beach with a drive of about 20 minutes. It doesn't take much longer to take the train from Perth Station to North Fremantle Station, so you can easily visit one of the best Perth beaches without driving.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling: Many of Perth's best beaches are blessed with remarkable water clarity, and this is definitely one of them. Port Beach is a great beach for snorkeling, with gentle waves, clear water, and a variety of colorful fish species calling the area home. Bring your own snorkeling equipment with you or pick some up from a local surf shop and explore the world beneath the waves on this lovely beach.

Walking: This scenic beach is a great place to just take a walk over the soft sand. With views out over the turquoise water to Rottnest Island, it's the perfect place to take a break in nature and enjoy a more natural side of Australia. Don't forget your camera to capture the magnificent views, especially toward the end of the day when the sunset paints the sky and the sea in the bright colors of dusk.

Beaches near Perth

Leighton Beach

Located right next to Port Beach, Leighton Beach offers the same incredible views and laid-back atmosphere as its neighbor. The dazzling white sand and turquoise water make this beach feel like a little taste of the Caribbean, and it is justifiably popular with locals and travelers alike.

Travel distance from Perth

Just like Port Beach, Leighton Beach is easily reached from the city with a drive of about 20 minutes or an equally quick train ride.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The white sand slopes gently into the clear water here, and lifeguards are on patrol, making this an excellent place for swimming, especially for families. On any sunny day, you'll see the sand here packed with families enjoying the water, and there's no reason not to join them. Bring a beach chair and umbrella with you and spend all day enjoying this tropical-feeling paradise.

Leighton Battery: Located on a hill behind the beach, this historic gun emplacement is a great place to visit not just for a dose of local history, but also for incredible views. Built during World War II to defend against the possibility of a Japanese attack, this complex is full of tunnels and shelters designed to protect Perth Harbour from the enemy. Now, it's a wonderful place to go for a walk, learn more about the region's history, and stretch your legs in these beautiful surroundings.

Bathers Beach

Bathers Beach was the first beach in Australia to receive a liquor license, so this is a great place to come for a lively atmosphere that lasts well into the night. Although the beach isn't particularly huge, the Bathers Beach House restaurant and bar make this one of the most popular beaches in the city, so it's a great place to eat, drink, and be merry.

Travel distance from Perth

Also located in Fremantle to the south of the city, Bathers Beach can be reached in around 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by train from Perth to Fremantle Station.

Activity recommendations

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour: One of the top tourist destinations in Perth is located right next to this beach. Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbor provides a laid-back atmosphere where you can watch the boats come in and sample their daily catch in any of the dozens of local restaurants. But it can also be a lively place for entertainment, with street performers, shows, and regular events taking place here.

WA Shipwrecks Museum: Located in a historic building dating back to the 1850s, this museum commemorates shipping on the coast of Western Australia and explores the many shipwrecks that have happened along the coast here. It's a fantastic place to explore and get a break from the sun while learning more about life and death on the coast.

Coogee Beach near Perth

Coogee Beach

Given the enormous coastline of this continent-sized country, it takes a lot to be nominated as one of the 15 best beaches in Australia. However, beautiful Coogee Beach has earned that honor. Close to Fremantle, Coogee Beach offers four km of sand and turquoise ocean, along with incredible snorkeling, diving, and other beach activities.

Travel distance from Perth

Located to the south of Perth in the coastal town of Coogee, this beach takes around 25 minutes to reach by car.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling and diving: This gorgeous white sand beach is known for its water clarity, which makes it an incredible place for snorkeling and diving. Home to the Coogee Maritime Trail, an underwater circuit that takes you past the wreck of a 1905 ship, this is easily one of the top places to swim in Australia. There's also incredible wildlife, including dolphins that frequently visit the beach.

Woodman Point Recreation Reserve: Located just behind the beach itself, this reserve offers miles of hiking trails through beautiful woodland where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the natural environment of this unspoiled location.

Conclusion

Like most Australian cities, Perth is blessed with some truly incredible beaches. And if you're exploring Perth on a budget, these beaches make great places to have a fun day without spending a lot of money.

There are so many beaches in Western Australia that a list like this can only hope to scratch the surface. All of these beaches are accessible for easy day trips from Perth, but if you're willing to travel a little further, you can find even more incredible beaches to make excellent destinations for weekend trips from the city. Just remember to leave your heavy bags behind at a Perth luggage storage so you're not weighed down while you explore.

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