Ahh, Western Australia, how we miss your incredible beaches and sunsets over the ocean.
We said it often during our six months road tripping throughout WA that we believe you have the best beaches in Australia. That’s a big call, considering Australia has over 10,000 beaches and we really are spoilt for choice, but for shear quality and quantity of stunning beaches I think Western Australian beaches just come out on top.
Many of them have that pure white sand for digging your toes into, crystal clear turquoise water perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and if you’ve never seen a sunset over the ocean, WA will blow your mind! Not to mention they are a lot less crowded and developed compared to east coast beaches.
We didn’t visit every beach in the state, and choosing our faves took some thought, but below is a list of our personal favourites.
Please share down below in the comments section any beach we have left off this list that you think should be added.
21 Best Beaches in Western Australia
1. The Basin, Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island is located 18 kilometres off the coast of Perth, and The Basin is my favourite beach on Rotto. A stunning beach, you could be forgiven for thinking you were actually on the Great Barrier Reef. Just off the beach a hole in the platform reef forms a large natural swimming pool.
The Basin is sheltered and very popular with families and great for snorkellers (ideal for novices) due to shallow reefs and gentle swells. Once you’re done swimming in the turquoise water and laying on the soft white sand, walk up to the top of the rocky headland for an incredible view.
2. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Exmouth is a town on the Coral Coast of Western Australia, a 15 hour drive north of Perth and Turquoise Bay is reason enough to visit. You’re swimming within metres of famous Ningaloo Reef, and the “Bay” is brilliant for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing.
Don’t miss the popular drift snorkel, one of the coolest snorkelling experiences you can have. Park at the “drift car park” for direct access and swim out a few metres and let the current carry you north, exiting before the sand bar which is prone to strong currents!
3. Cable Beach, Broome
Cable Beach has it all and ranks in our top three favourite beaches in Australia. Sand dunes that roll down changing from the red soil to light orange, to eventually fade into pure white sand as it reaches the turquoise Indian Ocean.
If you have never viewed an ocean sunset, Cable Beach is the place to be and you can admire the setting sun from the sand, a sunset bar or atop a camel. Perfect for long walks, beach cricket, 4wd tailgating, camel rides, swims and an evening picnic on the fabulous grassed area, Cable Beach is deserving of it’s spot as one of the world’s best beaches!
4. Hamelin Bay, Margaret River
Possibly the most picturesque beach in the Margaret River region. Fine white sand, crystal clear turquoise water, and natural dunes. Great spot for swimming, snorkeling and apparently scuba diving.
But that’s not all, Hamelin Bay is the best place we’ve seen wild stingrays in Australia. They come right into shore and swim around your feet. Just head down towards the boat ramp and you’ll see the crowd gathered. Amazing!
5. Bill’s Bay at Coral Bay
It’s a huge, sweeping bay protected by the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park making it a snorkeling and swimming paradise. The water is crystal clear turquoise blue and large fish swim around your ankles in the shallows and we even got lucky and saw a few rays close to shore.
Swim or snorkel straight offshore and admire the coral, or start snorkeling at the point and let the current carry you back to Bill’s Bay.
6. Elephant Rocks, Denmark
Elephant Rocks is located 15 kilometres from the town of Denmark in William Bay National Park, about a 4.5 hour drive from Perth. Whilst it might seem off the beaten track, it’s a must if you’re in the south-west region of WA.
Take the short walk from the carpark along a coastal track and you’re rewarded with a stunning view out over the Great Southern Ocean. If you’re looking at the rocky outcrop from a particular view point you’ll see that it’s called Elephant Rocks because it resembles a herd of elephants paddling in the shallow waters.
Another magic family beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
7. Little Beach, Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, near Albany
Little Beach, 35 kilometres east of Albany is a beautiful white beach and one of the nicest beaches on the south-west coast. Turquoise water, white sand, and a giant stone against the sea make this beach a must-see in the region.
We didn’t swim on this occasion but enjoyed a lovely beach walk and picnic at the far end, don’t forget your own supplies.
8. Yallingup Beach, Margaret River Region
One for the surfers in the family. Yallingup Beach has powerful surf and our morning ritual usually consisted of grabbing a coffee from the mobile coffee man at Yallingup point car park and watching the surfers ride the waves.
Yallingup is also a favourite spot for snorkelers due to the sheltered swimming lagoon at the southern end of the beach, and there’s a great kid friendly swimming area and a nice long stretch of beach heading north for a walk.
9. Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island
Beneath the Bathurst Point Lighthouse on Rottnest Island lies Pinky Beach, another one of Rottos to die for beaches.
An easy stroll from the main town at Thomson Bay, Pinkies sparkling blue water and white sand makes for a postcard perfect beach. Get here early and take a morning dip and you just might have this beach all to yourself!
10. Cottesloe Beach, Perth
Cottesloe is a beach-side suburb about a 15 minute drive from the city of Perth, famous for its beach, cafes, relaxed lifestyle, and Sunday sessions.
For a city beach, Cottesloe is one of the better one’s. Because of its crystal clear water it’s a popular place for swimming and snorkeling. Perth sure knows how to put on a sunset show and Cotts is the place to be with take away fish & chips and a cold bevvy.
11. Meelup Bay, Margaret River Region
Family friendly Meelup Bay is another picturesque beach in the Margaret River region. Our kids happily played in the sand here and enjoyed a swim in the calm waters whilst mum and dad kicked back on the grass and read a book.
For the adventurous there’s kayaks for hire which seemed like a popular activity with plenty of local folks out on the water.
12. Sandy Bay, Exmouth
Endless white sand, crystal clear water, dark blue skies and the shallow waters of Sandy Bay made it an excellent beach for our kids, and apparently it’s a popular place for kite surfers when the wind is right.
There’s a picnic table with shade overlooking the beach for a lunch break or brekky, or just as good is grabbing a spot on the sand (there’s plenty of space).
13. Little Salmon Bay, Rottnest Island
One of the most popular bays on Rottnest Island and another favourite spot for families. Sheltered and calm, Little Salmon Bay is one of the best snorkelling sites around Rotto suitable for young kids and beginner snorkellers – rich in fish life with some of the best coral reefs on the island.
Even if you’re not into snorkeling, you can still take in the beauty with just a swim or relax on the sand.
14. Lucky Bay, Esperance
Cape Le Grand National Park is home to Lucky Bay, a 45 minute drive from the town of Esperance. You’ve probably seen photos of Lucky Bay, that famous beach with kangaroos hopping about and who can’t resist lazing on the sand here.
Besides kangaroos, Lucky Bay is undoubtedly pretty and open to four wheel driving, although the sand is that compacted you could drive almost any car on the beach.
Whilst I wrote in a previous post that I wouldn’t hurry back to Esperance, it’s hard to keep Lucky Bay off the list of best beaches in WA.
15. Town Beach, Broome
Town Beach in Broome is nowhere near as popular as Cable Beach, but come here at high tide and you’ll get a pretty picture, the full turquoise colour picture – you won’t see a more divine breakfast view then this in WA.
But do return at low tide as well as the tide goes so far out you can walk out on the squelchy mud flats, and on really low tides you can walk a kilometre out to the wreckage of the World War II flying boats, sunk during the bombing by the Japanese.
Town Beach also plays host to the natural phenomena called Staircase to the Moon. As the moon rises above the mud flats shining its light upon it so it looks like stairs leading up to it.
16. Prevelly & River Mouth, Margaret River
The closest beach to the town of Margaret River, Prevelly is famous around the surfing world as being home to the pro surfing event held every April at Surfers Point. That’s one sporting event I’d like to witness. The coastline is stunning here as you drive down into Prevelly.
But our family favourite is the kid friendly River Mouth, just around the bend. The shallow and calm water makes it a top spot for the kids to have a paddle on their boogie boards and a swim. And it seemed a popular spot with the locals for stand up paddle boarding and kayaking.
17. Green Pools, Denmark
A few hundred metres walk around the headland from Elephant Rocks is Greens Pool, another picturesque swimming area definitely worth a visit when in Denmark.
Not quite as pretty as Elephant Rocks, but still a lovely sheltered area to swim, snorkel and relax.
18. Little Parakeet Bay, Rottnest Island
On the northern side of Rottnest, Little Parakeet Bay is a secluded cove ideal for swimming and snorkeling, especially for young kids like ours learning to snorkel due to the shallow and clear water.
It’s a little gem and was relatively quiet when we visited late in the afternoon, and the bay is littered with jagged rock formations which make a lovely backdrop.
19. Waterfall Beach, Albany
Keep walking over the headland from the before mentioned Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve and you’ll come to Waterfall Beach, and it’s totally worth the short climb.
In season, a small waterfall winds its way to the ocean through a rock crevasse. As for the beach, it’s stunning. The water once again is that beautiful turquoise, and the bay is much more sheltered from the wind and waves than Little Beach.
Secluded and private. Don’t forget to pack supplies.
20. Twilight Beach, Esperance
Drive west out of Esperance and 7km along the Great Ocean Drive will bring you to Twilight Beach, the most popular swimming and surfing beach in the Esperance area. I preferred it to Lucky Bay, definitely easier to access.
The calm, pristine waters of Twilight makes for an idyllic spot for swimming and snorkelling. As the beach curves to the southwest it becomes increasingly protected by two offshore rocks. This beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers during the summer months making it ideal for families.
21. Shell Beach
Not a beach to swim at or lay around on, but Shell Beach is interesting in that the actual beach you see here has been created by millions of tiny shells and is worth a look if you are doing the World Heritage Drive in the Shark Bay region.
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What do you think are the best beaches in Western Australia? Which beach from this list would you most like to visit? Have we left your favourite off the list?