The Coast is the area of beach on the west coast of Perth. The area is bounded to the north by Hillarys Boat Harbour and beyond are Perth's outer suburbs. To the south is North Fremantle and to the east, Perth's Northern Suburbs. Notable beaches along this coastal strip include Cottesloe Beach, Swanbourne Beach, City Beach, Scarborough Beach, Trigg Beach and Sorrento Beach. Many of Perth's most affluent suburbs are situated along this coastal strip and there aren't many areas dedicated for tourists except for the Scarborough Beach and Hillarys Boat Harbour areas where there are shops, restaurants and accommodation.
Beaches like Cottesloe and Swanbourne beach are a 15- to 20-minute walk from Cottesloe Train Station which is on the Fremantle line. Leighton Beach can be accessed straight from the North Fremantle train station: it's a 500-m stroll to the beach.
The northern beaches are less accessible by train. Trains heading north along the Joondalup line follow the Mitchell Freeway, which means the train stations aren't within walking distance of the beaches, although many of the stations have public buses that can take you there.
The best way to experience Perth's coastline and beaches is to hire a car (especially beautiful at sunset).
If coming from Fremantle, take Curtin Avenue north and then turn left onto Marine Parade. This will give you access to Cottesloe and Swanbourne Beaches.
If coming from the Northern Suburbs:
- Take West Coast Highway to visit City Beach or Scarborough Beach
- Take West Coast Drive to visit Sorrento Beach and Hillarys Boat Harbour.
- 1 The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA), 91 Southside Dr, Hillarys (next to Hillarys Boat Harbour; take Bus 456 from Greenwood station during daylight hours on weekends), ☏ . 10AM-5PM daily. AQWA features an underwater observatory that takes the shape of a tunnel. You can get up-close with sharks, stingrays and a huge variety of marine life without the slightest chance of getting wet or eaten. Interact with aquatic creatures in the touch pool, and stand amongst one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world. $28, child $16, child under 4 free.
- 2 Mettam's Pool. This naturally formed lagoon is a sheltered spot, perfect for snorkelling and swimming, where you can see marine plants and animals close to shore.
- Sculptures by the Sea. Annual exposition staged in Autumn on the beautiful Cottesloe Beach. The exhibition is featured from the sea wall, all the way along the sand towards North Cottesloe and on the surrounding grassed areas, creating a beautiful sculpture park. Each year, tens of thousands of locals and visitors come down to the coast to admire the works from local and international artists.
- 1 Hillarys Boat Harbour (30-minute car ride from central Perth.). A marina area with restaurants, shopping, live entertainment, and a sheltered beach area when you can swim in the ocean (be warned that the water is full of seaweed).
- 2 The Great Escape. A small water park next to Hillarys Boat Harbour. Includes three water slides, mini golf and trampolines. Also has a cafe and seating area.
- 3 Cottesloe Beach. One of Perth's most famous beaches, and a favourite among locals and tourists alike. A quiet beach with a pleasant footpath along Marine Parade with panoramic views over the Indian Ocean. Watch the sunset whilst sitting on one of many benches and the scores of surfers who are still there in winter months trying to catch waves. There is a shady grassed area as well as sand, and the beach is patrolled. From Fremantle, head about 10 minutes north by car via the Stirling Highway. Or take the train to Cottesloe and catch the "Cott Cat" free shuttle bus, running every 15 minutes each weekend and public holiday throughout summer. The Cott Cat runs in a loop between Cottesloe Train Station and Cottesloe Beach, stopping at North Cottesloe (outside the Ocean Beach Hotel) and Cottesloe Beach (outside Il Lido Cafe). From Cottesloe station, you can head west down Forrest Street for about ten minutes to reach the beach. Another option is to take bus 102 from Williams street or Esplanade station and it has a stop right by Cottesloe beach.
- 4 Swanbourne Beach. The only beach in Perth that permits nude bathing. At other beaches, topless females will not usually get a police fine but will get stared at. The atmosphere at Swanbourne Clothing Optional Beach (about 500 m north of Swanbourne Beach) is friendly and relaxing. It is more of a sunbathing beach than a swimming beach, with a steep sandy descent into water which gets deep quickly. There are no lifeguards or red-and-yellow flags at this beach, and so it is essential to keep a close eye on children near the water. The nude beach is frequented by a variety of sun-seekers of all ages; couples, families, and groups. The easiest way to get there is by car, however there is a train station about 1km away. Alternatively, you can catch the bus 102, which is heading to Cottesloe. The bus will go through some residential areas before reaching Cottesloe coast. As soon as you can see the ocean, get off the bus and Swanbourne beach is right cross the road. Heading north down the beach, you can reach the nude beach.
- 5 Scarborough Beach. An easy beach to get to by public transport. Catch the Joondalup Line from Platform 1 at either Perth Underground or Elizabeth Quay stations and get off at Glendalough Station, then catch the 990 bus. Alternatively, you can catch the 990 from the Perth Busport, outside Perth Station - look on the screens to find the bus.
- Surf. While the Perth metropolitan area of the Western Australia coast doesn't get the same swells as the famed South West or lesser known North, surfing is still a popular pastime. From late autumn to early spring the ocean comes to life and you should be able to find a wave on Trigg Beach, in Cottesloe or even on Leighton Beach. Keep an eye on the swell maps and when the wind is easterly, go for it! For beginners, summertime waves are the go, and best hit in the morning as the afternoon onshore winds quickly make surfing impossible in summer.
- Scarborough Sunset Markets, 152 The Esplanade, Scarborough (up and around the Amphitheatre and Clock Tower and on the beach just in front). Every Thursday evening in the summer season, and on Saturday afternoons during winter, head to Scarborough and enjoy a stroll through the markets where local producers have their goods on display. DJs provide the music, food trucks are bringing bites from all over the world and there's a licensed area to buy a drink if you didn't bring your own.
- Art stores with local scenic photos, surfwear, women's fashion and shoes, Margaret River Produce including olive oil, dukkah and jams.
Cottesloe, Scarborough, and Hillarys Boat Harbour offer the greatest variety of restaurants.
- Peter's by the Sea, 128 The Esplanade, Scarborough, ☏ . Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Alfresco casual dining that's just across the road from Scarborough Beach. Offers cheap, greasy (but tasty) food such as burgers, kebabs and milkshakes. Also has some retro arcade games for the young (or the young at heart) to play with. Mains: $10-15.
- Sandbar (Zanders), 1 Scarborough Beach Road, Scarborough Beach, ☏ , email@example.com. Wood-fired pizzas, old-school burgers, craft beers, fine wines with an atmosphere reminiscent of Perth’s 1950s beach scene.
- Over Board Cafe, Shop 42, Sorrento Quay Boardwalk, Hillarys Boat Harbour, ☏ . Su-Th 7AM-8PM, F Sa 7AM-9PM. Overlooks the Hillarys Boat Harbour.
- 1 Bib & Tucker, 18 Leighton Beach Boulevard, North Fremantle (beachside above the North Fremantle Surfers Club), ☏ . W-Su 8AM-10PM. Modern Australian fare with a rotisserie and wood-fired oven centre stage, driving the direction of the menu.
- 2 Canteen Pizza, 110 Marine Parade, Cottesloe, ☏ . Pizza and wine with views over the ocean.
- 3 Il Lido, 88 Marine Parade, Cottesloe. An Italian-inspired espresso bar and restaurant. In the mornings you'll find locals queuing up for a coffee and pastry after they've gone for a swim or went for a bike ride. Later in the day, the place transforms to a buzzing restaurant serving modern Italian food.
- 4 Clancy's Fish Bar, 195 Challenger Parade, City Beach. Offering great views over the ocean.
- 5 The Shorehouse, 278 Marine Parade, Swanbourne. A great place to sit on the deck enjoying a cocktail before ordering lunch or dinner.
- Observation Beach Hotel (a.k.a. OBH) Cottesloe Beach. Linked with a local hostel it's a great place to watch the sunset over the West Coast whilst enjoying a drink.
- Bar 120 at Hillarys Boat Harbour
- 1 MRKT Space, 19 Freeman Loop, North Fremantle (at Leighton Beach). Cafe, bar and gourmet market serving good coffee, handcrafted bites, and aperitifs you can indulge in any time of day.
- 2 Mrs Brown, 241 Queen Victoria St, North Fremantle. A local favourite, this wine bar is next to Flipside Burgers. If you ask nicely, they might deliver your order to your table even.
- 1 Hillarys Harbour Resort, 68 Southside Dr (Hillarys), ☏ . A 4-star hotel.
- 2 Indian Ocean Hotel, 27 Hastings St (Scarborough), ☏ . A 3-star hotel.
- 3 Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough, 148 The Esplanade (Scarborough), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A 4-star hotel. Has a lagoon style pool and game rooms.