Gotta love the South West of Australia for its long sandy beaches. Some of the best beaches in South West Australia can be accessed if you’re driving along the Cape to Cape road trip.
Forget beach chairs lined up in sardine rows, or multitudes of cars snaking their way down to crowded coves because the South West is still relatively untouched and barring the very peak season of Christmas school holidays, you’re unlikely to have to worry about parking or claiming your spot on the beach.
Think endless stretches of sand. Imagine being alone, often. Ahh some of the best beaches in South West Australia will offer solitude, serenity and serendipity.
Best Beaches in South West Australia
My favourite beaches of the moment are:-
Smiths Beach – near Yallingup – long stretch of sandy beach, great for surfing and spotting dolphins from the beach. Fabulous beachside places to stay. Dine at Lamont’s right by the beach.
Hamelin Bay – near Augusta – spot Stingrays in the shallows. Beautiful long stretch of beach. Swim. Walk along the interpretative boardwalk (part of the Cape to Cape track) and photograph the old jetty and some of the best coastal views.
Little Beach and Two People’s Bay – near Albany – These are two of the prettiest beaches for me in the South West. They are joined by a headland you can walk around. Walk, swim, hike take in the view.
Elephant Rocks – near Denmark – the ghostly elephant rocks are great fun to climb on. Be careful of slippery rocks though. Great swimming beach – popular in summertime.
Lights Beach – near Denmark – wild and bracing. The views, the mist, the scenery are incredible. Not great for swimming though and strong rips and big waves. Beware.
Geographe Bay – near Busselton – the colours in summer are to die for. Lovely long stretch of beach great for swimming. Get on your bike because there’s a lovely cycle path that runs (mostly) alongside the beach from Busselton to Dunsborough.
Meelup Beach – near Dunsborough – go stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. Swim or lie on the grassy slopes and gaze at the view. Have a barbecue. Go for a coastal walk.
Meelup is about 15 minutes drive from Dunsborough and yesterday we’d booked a ‘treat’ lunch at Wise Wine’s Restaurant (on top of the very beautiful Eagle Bay – an aptly named beauty spot) and after driving south had a couple of hours to kill before lunch. So we decided to stop off at the beach.
It was one of those beautiful spring days without a breath of a breeze, not a single fly and barely a cloud in the sky. Meelup was looking gorgeous, the protected bay a tropical blue and several families were out and about some were actually swimming (it was still a little too bracing for me). Others were barbecuing and playing games on the grassy spots under the shady trees.
That’s what I love about Meelup – the diversity is awesome.
The bay is protected and an ideal swimming spot, but having said that, you’re not guaranteed a no-shark experience and we are all a little bit jumpy about sharks in this neck of the woods.
Meelup’s also a poplar spot for yachts and sailing boats to drop anchor with yachties swimming to shore or just relaxing around the boat. And of course there are numerous barbecues and picnic tables under the tall gum trees, as well as some lovely coastal walks that wind through natural bushland and Meelup Park towards Eagle Bay and further on (10kms) to Cape Naturaliste.
Definitely on the bucket list of walks for us before the spring flowers are over. So we need to get cracking before November because wild flower season in the South West if from about mid September to November. If you walk the trails in winter though you might see whales on their migration along the coast and that’s very special too.
One of the things that locals in the know like to do is kayak or picnic on Meelup beach on summer evenings when the full moon rises over the Indian Ocean horizon and although I haven’t done this yet I’m looking forward to taking a picnic or having a barbie and watching this very special phenomena.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to live somewhere else in Australia, but then I think of our beaches and forests and vineyards, and think “Nah. Whatever for?”
What’s your best beach in south west Australia or what’s your favourite in Western Australia?