Hit the road and explore all that summer in Western Australia has to offer. Along the 12,500 kilometres of coastline, you’ll find beaches that are regularly voted among the best in the world, and with good reason. Some of the most stunning World Heritage scenery, once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters and enduring beach holiday memories.
AUSTRALIA’S CORAL COAST
Shell Beach, Francois Peron National Park
782 kms from Perth | 8 hours 20 minutes
Shell beach is located 45 kilometres south-east of Denham in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area of Australia’s Coral Coast. This beautiful snow-white beach is formed from billions of tiny shells up to 10 metres deep and stretching over 70 kilometres!
On a still day, the ocean at Shell Beach transforms into a palette of the most intense greens and blues – and the water is very salty (hypersaline), making it easy to float for those who aren’t strong swimmers – similar to the Dead Sea in Jordan.
▲ Benwenerup, Shoal Cape or Fanny Cove from $11 per night
884 kms from Perth | 10 hours 30 minutes
Steep Point is the most westerly point on mainland Australia, in Australia’s Coral Coast.
Within the proposed Edel Land National Park which extends to just south of False Entrance and encompasses much of Belefin Prong. Limestone cliffs rising 200 metres above the Indian Ocean on the western side of Edel Peninsula are backed by sweeping white sand dunes and secluded beaches on the eastern side.
▲Steep Point and Shelter Bay camping areas from $11 per night
Gnaraloo Homestead, Carnarvon
1,038 kms from Perth | 12 hours
Gnaraloo is located 12 hours drive north of Perth, accessible from Carnarvon. Access to the Gnaraloo Coast is via the Blowholes Road, and the turn off is approximately 20km north of Carnarvon on the North-West Coastal Highway. A 4WD is required to access the site. Find your own piece of heaven on the shores of Gnaraloo Bay, home to the world’s third largest Loggerhead turtle population in the world. With first class surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing beach along the stunning Coral Coast. It also offers exceptional fishing due to its position on the southern tip of the Ningaloo Reef. Gnaraloo has 57km of coastline and offers a plethora of activities to entertain all who visit and an unrivalled setting to experience it in. Pods of dolphins, manta rays, turtles, schools of tuna and whales frequent the ocean near Gnaraloo – so keep a close eye out.
▲ Gnaraloo Homestead or 3 Mile Camp
Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park
1,314 kms from Perth | 14 hours
To get to Turquoise Bay drive 60 kilometres north-west of Exmouth into the Cape Range National Park.
Step into the pristine waters of the aptly named Turquoise Bay near the town of Exmouth and you’re swimming within a few metres of Ningaloo Reef. Known as one of Australia’s best beaches, Turquoise Bay is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon relaxing, swimming and snorkelling.
The white, sandy shores give way to stunning coral reef gardens just metres from the shore. Enter the water at the southern end of the beach and let the current take you over the reef for a fantastic snorkelling experience. Exit the water before you reach the north point of the sandbar.
▲ Tulki Beach, North Mandu, Ningaloo Reef, North Kurrajong and Kurrajong in Cape Range National Park, Mesa or Neds from $11 per night
492 kms from Perth | 5 hours 40 minutes
Horrocks Beach is a popular and picturesque swimming beach in the beautiful seaside town of Horrocks. Enjoy swimming, fishing, beach combing or indulge in a range of water activities. During late spring, visit the specially constructed platform to look out for Humpback whales on their migration south.
You can swim out to the pontoon that is anchored during the summer months. If you are partial to fishing, then be sure to try your luck on the jetty. The bay is surrounded by coral reef where you can take a walk along the reef and neighbouring rock pools during low tide to investigate the diverse marine life.
Alternatively, if relaxing is all you want to do, soak up the sun on the white sandy beach while the children play in the nearby adventure playground.
▲ Horrocks caravan park
1,122 kms from Perth | 12 hours
Coral Bay is an unmissable beach holiday destination, blessed with beach weather for most of the year.
At the southern end of Ningaloo’s 5,000 square kilometres of diverse reef habitats, laid-back Coral Bay lets you explore its wonders at your own pace. You can even stay dry and view the coral gardens from a glass-bottom boat, or just laze on the beach with a book. But there’s plenty of adventure to be found. Just a sandy-footed stroll from the beach, the town itself offers a good choice of accommodation, cafes, shops and restaurants. Book early during peak season to secure your piece of paradise.
It’s one of few places on Earth where you can come face-to-fin with the biggest fish in the ocean – the whale shark. These gentle filter-feeding giants can be found off the coast there from March to July every year.
▲ Peoples caravan park or Bayview caravan park
1,122 kms from Perth | 12 hours
Sandy Cape is located 10 kilometres north of Jurien Bay. It is a recreational beach camp with 100 sites accessible via two wheel drive vehicles and more camping spots are accessible via four wheel drive vehicles only.
The road into the camp is 5 kilometres of sealed road and 2 kilometres of compacted limestone gravel. As well as the campsite there is parking for day visitors, barbecue facilities, picnic areas, walkways and some of the most stunning beaches in the region.
▲ Sandy Cape Recreation Park has eco-toilets and non potable water – you must bring your own drinking water. There are no powered sites or showers available.
AUSTRALIA’S NORTH WEST
2,222 kms from Perth| 23 hours
With 22 kilometres of pristine white sand edged by the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, Broome’s Cable Beach attracts visitors from around Australia and the world. This white sandy beach offers many great beach activities. Lay down your towel or hire a deckchair and umbrella, and be lulled into relaxation as the waters gently lap the shoreline.
If you are feeling active, try your hand at swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing (when the swell is up), a beach stroll along the flat sands, or just relax and soak up some sunshine. For a spectacular ocean sunset, Cable Beach will not disappoint.
▲Cable Beach caravan park
AUSTRALIA’S GOLDEN OUTBACK
Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park
777 kms from Perth | 8 hours 30 minutes
Australia’s whitest beach, Lucky Bay, is also one of Western Australia’s most idyllic; the biggest jewel in a string of stunning beaches along the coast of Cape Le Grand National Park and Esperance. Its squeaky-clean sand, turquoise water, perfect swimming conditions and breathtaking views of the Recherche Archipelago regularly put it at the top of Australia’s best beach list. Even the kangaroos can’t resist lazing on the sand here.
The bay stretches for five kilometres and with no crowds to battle, you’re guaranteed to find your own slice of paradise to relax or cast a fishing line. Venture beyond the beach and you’ll find some excellent walking tracks, many offering sweeping views of the wildlife-rich Recherche Archipelago. Be sure to keep an eye out for migrating whales between July and October.
▲The caravan and camp grounds in the national park offer picnic areas, solar-heated showers and toilets, ideal for spending a night or two under a star-filled sky and strolling along the moonlit bay, bookings are online only through Parks and Wildlife Service.
Duke of Orleans – Wharton Beach
777 kms from Perth | 8 hours 30 minutes
Duke of Orleans Bay is considered to be among the most picturesque and uncrowded coastal wilderness playgrounds in Australia. It’s affectionately known as ‘The Duke’ by its most regular visitors from Esperance and Kalgoorlie, who come to enjoy family holidays fishing, surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, four-wheel driving and generally kicking back.
Nestled on a peninsula, between Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid national parks, Duke of Orleans Bay is just over an hour’s drive east from Esperance and can be accessed via the sealed Orleans Bay Road. However, many of the secluded bays on the peninsula are accessible by four wheel drive only.
Plan your visit between October and December, and you’ll also see the peninsula and national parks at their most colourful, with a dazzling variety of wildflower blooms.
▲The caravan park is your only overnight option at The Duke, but you do have a choice of cabins, park homes, powered or unpowered sites.
547 kms from Perth | 6 hours
Escape to a the southern coastal town of Hopetoun, where the dramatic untouched coastline and magnificent Fitzgerald River National Park invite you to trek, swim, fish and explore one of the most bio-diverse landscapes in the world.
Flanked by 200 kilometres of pristine coastline, Hopetoun boasts a string of stunning beaches where you can swim, surf and fish. Spend a lazy afternoon on Barrens Beach, swimming, snorkelling and exploring the rock pools. Visit the blow holes and cave at East Mylies. Or take the ocean drive from Hopetoun to East Mount Barren Lookout, enjoying the breathtaking coastal scenery and vistas along the way.
▲With so much to experience, you’ll want to extend your stay. Camp with kookaburras in the beautiful bush setting of Fitzgerald River National Park, or choose from a range of accommodation options in Hopetoun, including a hotel, motel, caravan park, chalets and holiday cottages.
AUSTRALIA’S SOUTH WEST
487 kms from Perth | 5 hours 30 minutes
Watch one of the greatest shows on Earth as southern right whales come close to shore to calve in the winter. Whilst in summer Orcas come to feast and frolic. Marvel at a flora diversity hotspot. Swim, surf, fish, or grab your bushwalking boots or four wheel drive and explore Bremer Bay and Fitzgerald River National Park.
Bremer Bay is rich in heritage, as well as nature. It was named by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe in honour of Sir James Gordon Bremer, Captain of the Tamar, which sailed into Bremer in 1848.
For a taste of history visit Wellstead Museum, the original settlement in the region. Built in 1850, it’s now home to a host of interesting artefacts and antiques. Or stay at Quaalup Homestead Wilderness Retreat in the national park – a heritage-listed homestead built in 1858.
▲ Bremer Bay caravan park or Bremer Bay Beaches Resort Tourist Park
Greens Pool, Denmark
440 kms from Perth | 5 hours
One of Mother Nature’s most inviting swimming pools, Greens Pool is among Western Australia’s most iconic beaches. A picture postcard of clear emerald waters, pure white sand and sculpted rocks that shelter the bay from the swell beyond, it’s a top spot for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
A short scenic drive west of Denmark, passing forests of tall timber giants, brings you to this serene setting in William Bay National Park. Sit and drink in the scenery, explore the rock pools, snorkel, dive, or take a short stroll over the headland to Elephant Rocks, where nature has shaped huge boulders into giant elephant-like sculptures bathing in the clear waters.
▲ BIG4 Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park
299 kms from Perth | 3 hours 30 minutes
Contos is remote beach in the Margaret River Region of Australia’s South West.
Unlike some other remote coastal access spots, Contos is accessible to all vehicles. A walking trail loop that begins at Contos car park takes in a vivid section of the Cape to Cape track: swimming in summer is a pleasure, but hiking in the cooler months is equally as connective to the landscape. A small point break attracts surfers less fixated on high performance waves. Rock pools for exploring and rock formations for clambering offers kids at least as much entertainment as the traditional bucket and spade.
▲ Contos campground, bookings are online only through Parks and Wildlife Service.
310 kms from Perth | 3 hours 20 minutes
Hamelin Bay on the southwest coast is a serene open sandy bay, famous for the abundance of stingrays which frequent the bay. Snorkel around the bay to enjoy a personal interaction with these remarkable sting rays and see them close up in their natural habitat. Measuring up to two metres across, the friendly stingrays will swim around you. They can also be seen close to the shore feeding off the scraps left by fishermen.
Beach fishing is popular in the bay, and there is also a boat launching ramp if you want to explore the open ocean or many waterways of Augusta. If time permits continue your journey into Augusta and visit the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.
▲ Hamelin Bay or Boranup from $11 per night
259 kms from Perth | 3 hours
Smiths Beach near Yallingup on the south west coast is where the locals go for summer holidays and is the ideal place to watch spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
Sheltered areas offer great conditions for family swimming, while further along, surf breaks are popular for boogy boarders and surfers. The wide expanse of white sand at Smiths Beach is perfect for beach combing and walking. Entire days can be spent relaxing in the sunshine, taking a refreshing dip in the sea, and unwinding from the pressures of every day.
▲ Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
261 kms from Perth | 3 hours
Sheltered and pristine, Bunker Bay entices with pure white sand and gentle lapping waves perfect for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. Located within the famous Margaret River Wine Region, the bay is protected by the rocky outcrops of Cape Naturaliste and is one of the few north-facing beaches in Western Australia. It is ideal for families wanting a relaxing day at the beach, as well as divers and snorkelers who enjoy amazing marine life just offshore.
▲ Yallingup Beach Holiday Park or Camp Grace
255 kms from Perth | 3 hours
Meelup Beach is about a ten minute drive from Dunsborough, it is an ideal spot for a family holiday as the protected bay offers fantastic swimming conditions. This calm bay is a popular place for yachts and sailing boats to drop anchor and enjoy an afternoon of swimming and relaxing. Barbecues and picnic tables sit under leafy gum trees on large grassy areas, making it the perfect spot for a picnic all year round.
Meelup is surrounded by beautiful natural bush land – take one of the coastal walk trails that wind through Meelup Park. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views over the ocean and colourful wildflowers during spring. In late winter and spring whales are often spotted on their migration along the coast.
▲Yallingup Beach Holiday Park or Camp Grace
470 kms from Perth | 5 hours
Cheynes Beach is a protected cove situated only 68 kilometres east of Albany, with accessible beaches stretching for kilometres with aqua blue waters and sparkling white sands.
There are a variety of activities from excellent fishing, boating, water sports and bush walking. Stand Up Paddle Board hire is available from the office. Experience amazing land-based whale watching in winter and spring! No cruise necessary. Cheynes is home to rare endangered birds, wildflowers and native fauna. The area is surrounded by Waychinicup National Park which contains a beautiful inlet and unique rock formations.
▲ Waychinicup Campsite (4WD accessible only) or Cheynes Beach Caravan Park
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
449 kms from Perth | 5 hours
You’ll find unspoilt coastal scenery and a beautiful beach perfect for swimming at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve near Albany.
The reserve is famous for its small colony of rare and endangered noisy scrub birds. These birds were believed to have been extinct until they were rediscovered at Two Peoples Bay in the 1960s. You can learn more about the birds and the program in place to protect them at the Interpretive Centre.
Take a stroll along the clean white sand of Little Beach and enjoy a scenic view over rolling hills and small granite outcrops. There are some excellent bushwalking tracks including the Two Peoples Bay Heritage Trail which is a one hour hike over the headland and along the beach. Barbecue and toilet facilities are available near the carpark.
▲ Two Peoples Bay Caravan Park or head into Albany for more alternatives