Best Beaches in South West Australia

Gotta love the South West of Australia for its long sandy beaches.

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.

Best beaches western australia

From left and clockwise: Lights Beach, Elephant Rocks, Smiths Beach, Hamelin Bay (where you may see Stingrays in the shallows), Hamelin Bay, Little Beach.

Some of the Best Beaches in South West Australia

My favourite beaches of the moment are:-

Meelup Beach – near Dunsborough

Smiths Beach – near Yallingup

Hamelin Bay – near Augusta

Little Beach – near Albany

Elephant Rocks – near Denmark

Lights Beach – near Denmark

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.

Meelup Beach, near Dunsborough

Meelup Beach, near Dunsborough

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.

Meelup Beach, near Dunsborough

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.

Meelup Beach, walk trails near Dunsborough

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?

Wise Wines Restaurant

We had a late lunch at Wise Wines Restaurant with its lovely view over Eagle Bay and it’s European style courtyard and cellar door, it’s a lovely place to breathe in the south west’s gorgeousnous.

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  1. We really do have some beautiful beaches down south, don’t we! An italian friend remarked how amazing it was that sometimes there was no one else on the beach with him. Meelup is a favourite too as some of the bays are beautifully protected but we always have to stop at Yallingup for a view of this wild and fabulous coastline.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jenny. Yallingup is in itself lovely too and a great launching pad for these protected bays – as is the accommodation at Smith’s Beach and Bunker Bay.

  3. Grant says:

    We’re looking forward to exploring some of these beaches (or all of them hopefully) when we arrive in WA as a family early next year, the images and descriptions are definitely helping to whet our appetites for the big move South!

  4. Hey Grant, nice to see you here! I’m so glad that the posts about WA are making you excited for your move South! There’s lots to explore. Can’t wait to welcome you πŸ™‚

  5. I think WA’s beaches are amongst the best in the world! Beautiful white sand and sparkling blue water. Summer is on it’s way and as they say “life is a beach”. A couple of my favourites are Coral Bay and Greens Pool William Bay in Denmark. Last July we spent a blissful long weekend at a hotel at Smith’s Beach – who says you can’t enjoy the beach in winter. It was a perfect weekend. Here is the link to my post about it! –

  6. They sure are πŸ™‚ And summer is … swell!

  7. Janet Scott says:

    My favourite would have to be Little Beach in Two People’s Bay. Didn’t swim though as it was winter, but we were alone on the beach (except for one seagull) and the colour of the water was amazing.

  8. Spectacular! I would love to visit Australia. But I’m forever forgetting summer and winter are opposite in the southern hemisphere….

  9. Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions says:

    Wow! What stunning pictures! I never knew Aussies had it like that; the chance to visit so many totally gorgeous beach areas. When I get to your country, I’m definitely staying at a hotel on a beach!

    Love this post. Love this blog!

  10. Thank you Carlo, so glad you love this post and Zigazag πŸ™‚ Yes, there are plenty of beaches to visit in Australia, and lots of opportunities to stay in hotels overlooking them. Hope you make it over here soon πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Maggie, thanks for reading πŸ™‚ You’ll have to get over here sometime, but coming in your winter is a good bet – and by the way, our weather in SWA is just gorgeous in late Spring, summer and early autumn.

  12. It’s a great place to visit! Hope you can find a good deal on an airline ticket πŸ™‚

  13. My favorite was always Mandalay Bay – always empty – always amazing.

  14. Ahh, Mandalay, even the name is wonderful πŸ™‚

  15. I think I’ve mentioned to you before (on Twitter) how much I fell in total love with the South West of WA and the South East of WA. My most favourite is Lucky Bay and Hellfire Bay at Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance. Wow. Just wow. But I also loved the enormous shore breaks at Yallingup where you’re playing with your life sometimes just diving in! I’ve not seen anything like it. We also loved Hamelin Bay – actually the whole Margaret River region beaches were amazing. Sigh.

  16. Hi Lisa, Yes I remember you mentioning how much you loved this part of the world on Twitter πŸ™‚ I also share your thoughts about Cape Le Grand’s beaches – just incredible. Hope you can come back one day soon πŸ™‚

  17. We are truly lucky to have the beaches we do in WA. People fly all the way around the world to find beaches like this, and we have them in our backyard. I recently spent 3 weeks in between Esperance and Dunsborough, and was blown away again by how beautiful the beaches are, and they just go on and on!

  18. So true Aaron! We have to keep pinching ourselves!!


  1. […] oh my word, just looking at these beaches of South West Australia that Johanna of ZigZagΒ shared with us has me looking at the price of airline […]

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