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Western Australia has one of the most amazing coastlines in the world. Many areas have soft white sand, transparent water (who said Tahiti had the only piece of paradise), and the best part: many beaches are secluded giving you the sense that this is YOUR piece of Paradise right here on Earth!
So what makes a great beach:
- Has Parking
- Fairly Private
- Soft Sand
- Clear Water
- Gradual gradient with shallow area for paddling
- BONUS POINTS: Has Toilets/BBQ/Picnic Area
No. 5 Whitford Beach
Just north of Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Whitford has a gradual gradient with clear water. It is accessible, and while it is not entirely private, it has parking. There are no toilets/BBQ/Picnic Area, so this beach does not get bonus points however one can launch a kayak from the beach.
No. 4 Marmion Beach
This beach can be found just past the Marmion Angler Club as you travel to Hillary’s Boat Harbor. It is accessable, has parking, and has a bench to where you can watch the sun set (possible have a picnic)*bonus and also has soft sand. When the water is calm it offers a great paddling spot, however during windy and rough conditions the waves will be rough, so take out the bogie board! The gradient varies according to the waves that sometimes create a little ‘deepish dip’ which shallows out again. It is No. 4 mostly because it is fairly private.
No. 3 Yanchep Lagoon
Why I love this beach? It has it’s own rock type pool in which you can swim AND a paddle area perfect for little kids. It is accessible but not entirely private as others seem to love this beach too. (However – it also depends when you visit because some days are a lot quieter)
It has soft white sand and with a rock pool section allows explorers to look at marine life – UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL! The bonus feature is that there is a cafe which means you don’t need a picnic basket. There are changing rooms/toilets and showers which is always perfect after a day on a sandy beach.
No. 2 Iluka Beach
I cannot believe I am writing about my little secret spot. This spot is known by the locals so if you are travelling through Perth you will definitely miss this one. BUT – now that you know about it – you should put it on your list of places to see.
Iluka Beach is a Marine reserve. It has two gazebos on the beach where you can either leave you things or camp out for the day. Because it has mostly rocks and coral, it forms a series of natural ‘sea auqariums’ which means you can wade to waist deep with a mask and see an array of fish. There are stingrays that visit infrequently! This would be a real treat if you are observer marine life for the day!
The wind can blow in this area making it pretty choppy, so in this event you may wish to use any one of the rock paddle paddle pools which is about 3 foot deep at most. You will find these “pools” on the left of the beach as you descend down the stairs.
HOW TO GET HERE: If you are driving along the West Coast Road you will find it will turn into Whitford Ave. There is a parking lot at the intersection of Whitford Ave and Shenton Ave. It will be a small parking lot which can hold about 12 cars at the most. Take the brown paved pathway that leads all the way to the beach. You know you are there when you see the wooden stairs…get your camera ready.
BEST TIME OF DAY TO GO: Early morning up until 11 am ish! I am not entirely sure of winter conditions, but will update this later this year.
OTHER FEATURES: It has a shower at the top of the stairs….but NO toilets. There may be toilets further up the road heading north.
No. 1 Cervantes Beach
Yup, it made number 1. Who would think? Cervantes Beach/Beaches has amazing soft sand. Look Out Point has shallow water which allows for great swimming. When it is windy, you can Kite Surf or Wind Surf and possibly visit the ‘secret island’ #slightjealous
The main beach by the jetty has sheltered areas where you can spend most the day and not all of it in the sun. The swimming area has a marginal gradient which means you can wade in for a while for the water to hardly go over your mid-thigh! (I am 6 foot 1….so that might give you an idea how deep the ‘deep end is’)
Of course it gets deeper, however you would need to swim MUCH further out in the bay. I spotted some dolphins swimming in this area TWICE. Sorry – forgot the camera. There are also sting rays that come to the shallow end near the end of the day for a little feed and play. I swam with some keeping enough distance for them to leave when they wanted. Some came right up to me – it did raise the heart beat but it was also THE most amazing experience EVER!
INFORMATION about STINGRAYS: Stingrays are naturally curious creatures. You can swim with them HOWEVER, if they feel threatened they will curl their tail and a barb will show. In this case….get well out of their way!
HOW TO GET THERE: You can take the Indian Ocean Drive or the Brand Highway from Perth. The latter will add time to your driving. There are road signs all the way to Cervantes
BEST TIME TO GO: I found Cervantes had two GREAT times to swim. Early morning was normally quieter and late afternoons. HOWEVER, it was also flick of a coin. The locals say that it is a windy town, however with shallow water means swim whether windy or NOT!
OTHER INFORMATION: Apart from the swim area, there is a park for kids to play in, BBQ’s, tables, toilets/showers AND a cafe!
So – there you have it! The B list! Why the B list and North of the River? Well, Western Australia is AMAZING. I have only seen a small part of its magical coastlines and all of the above is north of the Swan River. The A list can only be made after one sees the whole coast line – which is fair don’t you think?
There are many interesting roads that run off the Indian Ocean Drive. Many of these roads leads to almost little places which don’t see much of visitors. Although some are set expecting a party of invitees, and lay waiting for the big day of celebration.
On route to Kangaroo Point are a few small roads which, for me, always begs for a ‘look-see’. One of these roads lead to some Dunes which can be seen on the left hand side of Indian Ocean Drive when drive up to Cervantes.
With so much to experience, it was park and go! There were no other footprints (other than older prints of a kangaroo) to be seen, so I marched forward to have a look around. It looked like it was once a land filled with shrubs and bushes. Over the years wind blew sand that slowly covered this terrain making it desert like.
We continued our voyage to towards Kangaroo point to find a beach that was mixed with decaying Seaweed and sand. With any decay there is always a smell, and this smell reminded me of a mixture of sulphur with off shore salty wind.
The waters were shallow, enough to paddle in. However, you could easily see underlying seaweed that danced rhythmically in the ocean water.
One of the interesting points I found about this coast line that it allows for 4×4 wheel drives. In fact, there is a route along the beach line that takes one from Cervantes all the way to Lancelin.
Apart from the amazing shoreline, there is an an abundance of flora. My favorite is what I called Wild Figs. There are succulent look, these plants can produce the most scrumptious meal when dry. I can only describe this taste as something similar to the flavor found on Sweet and Sour Pork/Chicken!
There is a sheltered area for those wishing to have a little picnic by the beach. There is a BBQ, however I do not know if it works. So prepare for a picnic instead of cooking your ‘catch’ by the beach.
There are toilet facilities, however they do not have flushing capabilities. They are, what I term, a long drop toilet. However, if you need to go – I don’t think one would question the options.
Of course I could not finish this article with the wonders of what you may find looming in trees or on corners of buildings. So, if you do visit at night – make sure you take a torch because if you feel something crawling up you leg – there probably is! 😉
Cataby is a small town about 1.5 hours north of Perth along Brand Highway. Blink and you have missed a true Aussie Gem.
This town hosts two roadhouses with each having their unique features. The first was a Diner that was open for 25 hours! I know, never knew that there were 25 hours in the day. It could be that times comes to an almost standstill that it probably feels like 25 hours.
The first is a unique stop which allows visitors to sit by an Aviary of native birds. There are shaded picnic benches where you can enjoy coffee/tea and snacks which can be purchased from the restaurant.
With iconic sculptures of kangaroos, begs one to pose for a photo.
My motto – cease the moment while you can!
The food was average. I am not a big fan on oily fries, however they were well received by the kids. The coffee was made through a button machine, which I would normally not invest in, however given with our latest adventures – caffeine was high on the list of priorities.
While the coffee was not outstanding, the venue was very quaint and I thought that I could quite easily stop here again in the not so distant future. However, time was pressing and we were hoping to reach Cervantes before midday….so onward and forward we went.
Well it is 23 September 2013, and one would think: Spring! However, I am thinking that spring could just be a later bloomer because this month has been rain, rain, rain plus wind and cold. For Perth, that is pretty unusual, although I have to say it – we do need the rain!
However, I am hoping that a spring like this brings on a GREAT summer. And of course there are loads of things to do in Summer. After all, Perth is the hub to great turquoise waters and pristine white beaches…..so basically it is – water water everywhere and so much things to do!
So if you are heading towards Perth over the next 4 to 6 months, here is a list of things that you may just want to do.
Hope you enjoy…
It has been a while since I last wrote. To be honest, I am now writing for a major website about travel, places, events, etc. It has been quite liberating writing where many more people can see my work.
One of my latest works is about the Wild Flower Day Trips in and Around Perth. Believe it or not, this time of the year is the year where all those flowers come out to bloom. And, with a flower such as the Kangaroo Paw…it sure gives one inspiration to look out for the unusual and the beautiful.
You can read all about it here: Wild Flower Self Drive Tours.
Western Australia has to be one of the most amazing places I have ever been to. There are so many places that are rugged, wild and off the beaten track.
One a recent camping trip we found a piece of heaven which I am sure many tourist have never experienced. So let me tell this story with pictures instead of words and will end with – where you can find this hidden gem.
And this fabulous place can be found on route to Greenhead!