Beach Vacations to Perth, Australia

The Basin beach on Rottnest Island, Perth, Australia
The Basin, one of the many beaches on Rottnest Island, Perth (Pat Ong/Flickr)

Perth Beach Travel Tips

  • The best beach months in Perth are during summer in the Southern Hemisphere, from December through March, with February usually being the hottest month of the year.
  • Be aware that local winds out of the southwest, called the "Fremantle Doctor," can blow up to 20 knots in the afternoons in Perth, especially in summer. Plan the bulk of your beach time for the mornings.
  • The most popular beach for nude sunbathing near Perth is Swanbourne. It's a family-friendly naturist spot, but be careful swimming here as the water is deep and there are no lifeguards.
  • Above all, always put on strong sunblock. Perth's proximity to Antarctica's ozone hole increases the risk of skin cancer.

Said to be one of the remotest cities in the world and closer to Singapore than to Sydney, Western Australia's Perth is both urbane and mellow. With a population of 1.5 million (over three-quarters of Western Australia's inhabitants) and built on mineral wealth, the city enjoys a perfect setting along the Swan River and Indian Ocean. Emphasis is on the outdoors in this area, with a coastline of excellent beaches in an almost continuous line from Cottesloe in the south to Quinns Rocks in the north, including a popular section called the Sunset Coast. The temperate year-round Mediterranean climate means plenty of beach days, and Perth is said to enjoy more hours of sunshine than any other major Australian city.

The city center is about 12 miles upriver from the Indian Ocean, on the north bank of a broad reach of the Swan River, and virtually the entire river and seafront is open to the public for strolling, biking, picnicking, or sunbathing. The Central Business District (CBD) has some 19th-century heritage buildings, while the Northbridge District is home to a number of cool museums and nightclubs. Scarborough and Cottesloe are two popular and happening western suburbs with gorgeous beaches, and the adjoining coastal town of Fremantle is full of Victorian warehouses, hotels, and working docks. Fremantle (affectionately dubbed "Freo") is popular with Perth residents as a weekend beach getaway with cafes and shops. Rottnest Island, just off the coast, has been a mellow getaway for Perth residents for generations. Visit during the summer to bask in the warmth and easy-going nature of the place, and you'll see why Perth is one of the most celebrated cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Published: 25 Jun 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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