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 only a 15-20 minute walk from Cottesloe Train Station which is situated on the Fremantle line.
The northern beaches are less accessible by train. Trains heading north along the Joondalup line unfortunately 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.
Arguably 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.
- 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, which is located outside Perth Station - look on the screens to find the bus.
- 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, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 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 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), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A 4-star hotel. Has a lagoon style pool and game rooms.