Our Favorite South West Australian Beaches

Madfish Bay - SW AustraliaIt’s no secret that Len and I love spending time on beaches. In all the countries on our trip with beaches, we never fail to add them to our itinerary list. A beach says a lot about the country and its people and we think it’s a good way to see how the locals enjoy their free time. What we always hope for is an idyllic peaceful place where we can hang out with books or use the ocean as our pool. When we think of Australia we can’t help associating beaches with all dangerous creatures and the Jaws theme song pops up in mind but also with pictures of beautiful blue green paradises. We can say that Aussie beaches did not disappoint even though Len finally understood why most beach photos he saw of Australia had more people on the beach than in the water. It was not the threat of sharks that kept people out the water but the cold water!

Since we were in Australia for only a couple of weeks, we chose the South West region to explore as it offers a lot to see and do without long hours in the car. We started in Perth and Fremantle which was a great mix of city live and laid back days strolling down streets lined with heritage buildings.

Cottesloe was definitely the most popular beach in Perth and we visited during their annual beach art festival – Sculpture by the Sea, which added lots of fun and color to the beach. Even though we were definitely not alone, it did not feel overcrowded and the further you stroll away the quieter it gets. The vibe is laid back and fun and you need to see it to get a feel of Perth living.

Cottesloe Beach - Perth

Cottesloe Beach – The iconic Perth Beach

Cottesloe Beach - Perth

Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach

For short dips in the water we went to South Beach which is an easy (free) CAT bus ride from Freemantle. It’s a quiet beach where we found a nice mix of Freo locals and backpackers. To top it off, we rounded up the day with fish and chips at the Freemantle Fishing Boat harbor.

South  Beach - Fremantle

South Beach – Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Fremantle

Made famous by tons of tv shows, the Aussie lifeguards are for me as Australian as a kangaroo. On our visit to Scarborough, the Australian Surf Life Saving Championship was on and we were awed at the strength of these lifeguards and seeing them battle the rough sea.

Scarborough Beach - Perth

Tough boys and girls at Scarborough Beach – Australian Surf Life Saving Championship

With our Lucky campervan, we drove down towards the Margaret River Region and found so many stunning beaches along the way with their own charms and vibes but we do have several favorites. We started at the small town Yallingup through to Margaret River down to Denmark before heading to the Southern Forests and then back to Perth.

Margaret River had beaches that are the dreams of surfers. It can get very rough here so we left the water to the surfers and were happy with a picnic overlooking the beach.

Margaret River Mouth - SW Australia

Margaret River Mouth Beach

Hamelin Bay had manta rays that swim right up to the beach and by following a short trail which was shared by kangaroos and snakes, we found ourselves on the deserted beach of Cosy Corner.

Hamelin Bay - SW Australia

Hamelin Bay Beach – Historic pier remains and manta rays

Cosy Corner - SW Australia

Cosy Corner Beach – A little piece of paradise

Around the town of Denmark, Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks and Madfish Bay were our top picks of beaches and coves. The boulders surrounding the beach shelters the cove from the sea resulting in calm shallow water perfect for swimming and snorkeling (with a wet suit).

Greens Pool - SW Australia

Greens Pool – Lovely secluded cove

Elephant Rocks - SW Australia

Elephant Rocks – Easy to see how it got its name

Madfish Bay - SW Australia

Madfish Bay – yet another stunning beach

And this is just the south western coast of Australia. Having seen lots of beaches around the world, we were impressed by the sheer beauty and emptiness of the beaches here. We will be back for more one day.

Check out our Rottnest Island post for more gorgeous beaches.

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