Hosting the most expensive city in the southern hemisphere and being far enough away from the rest of Australia that trips to Indonesia can come at a cheaper price, there are a few reasons one might shy away from Australia’s gentle, giant state.
However, maybe the fact that less people visit the west coast should be the very reason that you do, as it’s one of the reasons its beaches stay pristine and preserved.
Unlike the bustling beaches of Bondi and the Gold Coast, Western Australia’s beaches are relatively deserted.
Take a walk down the coastline of even the busiest beach and you’ll find a strip of sand and sea just for you. Here are a few of our top WA beaches…
This strip of beach is the postcard perfect representation of the pristine coastline that Australia proudly boasts. Outside the town of Exmouth, in the Cape Range National Park, its clear, calm, turquoise waters are what make this aptly named beach so perfect for relaxing in both the sand and the sea.
This spot is a sanctuary in the Ningaloo Marine Park and is a popular spot for diving and snorkelling.
If you’re entering from the south end of the beach, try your hand at drift snorkelling and let the current slowly take you from south to north over the corals and reefs.
Ningaloo Reef’s main barrier is about 100m off the shore, so there’s a huge range in what marine life you might spot, including more than 500 species of fish and, if you’re lucky, turtles and reef sharks.
A short drive outside of Broome, Cable beach is a 22km pallet of white sand, red ochre cliffs, and turquoise water, set against the backdrop of explosive pink and orange sunsets.
The waves roll onto the sand as lazily as you’ll drag yourself into the water to bob about before slinking back onto shore and taking a nap in the sun.
As beautiful as it is to travel the beach by foot, it’s a unique experience to see it from the back of a camel.
Further along the south end of the beach, at Gautheaume Point, when the tide is low you can see 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints.
Cottesloe is one of the most popular beaches in Perth and, from budgies to budgie smugglers, is a great place to take in the natural sights of the West.
There are plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining by the water, as well as water sports and surfing.
Rarely can you find a hostel right on the beach with ocean views, but here if you stay at the cheap and cheerful Ocean Beach Backpackers (oceanbeachbackpackers.com.au), you can roll from your bed to the sea bed in minutes from just $29 per night. Swim, bathe, drink, sleep and repeat.
Greens Pool and Elephant Cove
Greens Pool is a pristine, natural swimming pool where off-shore granite boulders encircle the bay. This provides complete shelter from wind and waves, making the water perfectly tranquil and calm.
A scenic five-minute walk from Greens Pool is Elephant Cove, a rectangular shaped bay cut deep into the land, which gets its name from the granite boulders dotted throughout the water that look like, you guessed it, elephants.
A short drive outside the town of Denmark, whether you’re swimming between the shadows of the awe-inspiring elephants, or jumping from rocks into the middle of Greens pool, these twin beaches are the perfect swimming spots.
Some 24km from the town of Denham is Monkey Mia, a place that offers a little something more than your typical Aussie beach.
Monkey Mia is one of the most reliable places for dolphin interaction in the world, and the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily rather than seasonally.
It’s a marine reserve with an area of the beach having been sectioned off for interaction, though a small fee must be paid to enter the reserve. At the discretion of the guides, select visitors are able to feed the dolphins when they come to shore.
Monkey Mia offers plenty of recreational facilities beyond dolphin-spotting that make it a getaway rather than a day trip to one of WA’s most interesting beaches.