Cottesloe Beach

Ride the waves, swim in the clear water or have a picnic on the terraced lawns overlooking the ocean at one of Perth’s best family beaches.

Cottesloe Beach is one of Perth’s best places to spend a hot summer’s day. It has excellent swimming and surfing conditions and clear water. It’s a great beach for families, thanks to its facilities and Surf Life Saving Club. Grab a towel, put on some sunscreen and hit the waves.

Cottesloe became a popular spot to cool off in the late 19th century and its reputation hasn’t changed. The surf is consistent and the water temperature above 70 F (21 C) for most of the year.

For surfing, find the best breaks south of the Arch Monument, with its huge stone Sundial, or paddle a little further out. Swimmers will find that the swells are gentler closer to the iconic Indiana bistro building.

Travelers with younger children should head south to the Groyne. You’ll find a sheltered pocket perfect for a quiet splash. See if you can spot Rottnest Island in the distance and visit the Vlamingh Memorial, named after the Dutch explorer who named the Rottnest.

Bring along a fishing rod and drop a line from the pier for a chance to catch whiting or bream. Rent some snorkeling gear and admire the marine life around the protected Cottesloe Reef system. If you look closely you may even spot weed-like sea dragons among the waving seagrass!

Find shade under a tall Norfolk pine tree or sit back on the grassy lawns and gaze out at the Indian Ocean while you enjoy a picnic. For fresh seafood and snacks, check out Marine Parade along the beach. At sunset, enjoy a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail in a local pub.

If you happen to be in Perth in mid-March, don’t miss the annual Sculpture by the Sea event on this beach.

Cottesloe Beach is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from central Perth. Take public transport or drive there and park for free along Marine Parade. In summer, the beach is patrolled by lifeguards until the early evening. Always swim between the flags, which mark the safest swimming spot.