Way out in Western Australia there sure is enough coast line to go around – over 20,000km worth, in fact, if you include the islands offshore. It makes sense that Western Australian beaches featured loud and proud several times on Brad Farmer’s famous 101 Best Beaches count. So what is everyone on about? White sand? Crystal clear water? Coral and sealife? See for yourself with these top five Western Australian beaches to visit with your family.
Cable Beach, Broome
Up north in the Kimberley, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is this stunning 22 kilometre stretch of white sand, red cliffs and brilliant blue ocean with a history built on the pearl industry. Calm waves make for great swimming, but you might want to try something a little different and go for a camel ride along the sand! At one end of Cable Beach, you’ll find the remnants of the prehistoric inhabitants who once kicked back and enjoyed a good sunbake near Broome – Gantheaume Point boasts fossilized dinosaur footprints older than 100 million years, as well as a lighthouse from which you can wave at any whales or dolphins passing by. While you are there, soak up the rich local culture of the Rubibi people of Minyirr Park coastal reserve and check out Broome itself.
Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Snorkelling doesn’t get any better than this. And Turquoise Bay isn’t so called for nothing! The clear, inviting waters make for a great launching point to drift out and explore the diversity of coral and sealife just off the Ningaloo Reef. Experts suggest you enter the water at the southern end of the beach and let the current take you to the north – strong swimmers are more suited to this idyllic haven and we suggest you check current information with locals before you jump in, or better yet, tag along on a snorkel tour. You can fly to Exmouth from Perth and then drive the 60 odd kilometres south to the bay.
Monkey Mia is not, in fact, known for swinging, banana-eating inhabitants, but rather for a mammal of a different kind. At this popular tourist destination on the Coral Coast, you can meet and greet majestic dolphins up close! The wild bottlenose dolphins swim into Monkey Mia Beach for daily feeding, which is a magical and interactive experience to be involved in. Keep the beautiful Shell Beach on your radar and take a tour with local Indigenous guides in the Shark Bay Heritage Area to discover its rich history.
Cottesloe Beach, Perth
A popular with Perth locals (you can even catch public transport from the city centre), Cottesloe Beach hosts Sculpture by the Sea in March every year. It also has a great cycle trail that follows the coast to Hillarys, and plenty of open grassy spaces and playgrounds for picnics. Foodies will love the array of terrace cafes, especially the famous Indiana Teahouse overlooking the patrolled section of the beach.