Perth is a cosmopolitan city that rivals the nations other big cities in terms of entertainment, art and culture. And then there's the beaches...white sand stretches for miles and slips gently down into the aqua blue Indian Ocean.
Surf-wise, while frustrating for experienced local surfers, the islands and reefs just off the coast from Perth block the majority of swell from arriving onto the beaches of Western Australia's largest city, making for beginner friendly, small surf conditions on most days of the year.
Miles away from the rest of the world, Perth is a clean and friendly city that is buzzing thanks to the mining boom and with sunny blue skies the norm in summer and loads of coastline to explore, this region is definitely worthy of a visit.
Scarborough, Leightons & Mullaloo Beaches
Scarborough & Leightons Beaches
Brighton Beach, Scarborough
Secret Harbour Beach
38 hours drive from Sydney & Melbourne or 30 hours from Adelaide.
The Indian Pacific travels the width of Australia from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide. Transwa operates around Perth & within Western Australia.
Greyhound links from Darwin via Broome. Transwa operates bus services around Perth.
Perth Airport is 30 minutes from the city & is serviced by all domestic & many international airlines.
Perth Airport City Shuttle, Fremantle Airport Shuttle, Perth Airport Connect.
Renting a car or van is the best way to explore & surf Western Australia. Hire a car or campervan.
Where To Sleep
Freemantle, Burns Beach, Karrinyup Waters, Coogee Beach, Woodman Point, Carine Gardens, Quinns Rocks.
Hostels in Perth
Hotels & Holiday Homes in Perth
Between Surf Sessions
What to see & do
Catch the ferry to nearby Rottnest Island, rent & ride a bike (no cars here) to discover sparkling beaches with safe swimming. Keep your eyes open for quokkas (marsupials), dolphins, seals & whales.
The coolest weekend markets, shopping, art, fashion & entertainment can be found around Freemantle & Northbridge. Wonderful Aboriginal art is also displayed here.
On hot days, spend the day at beautiful Cottesloe Beach & go for a swim in the crystal clear waters, relax under a shady tree on the grass lawns & watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
Where to eat & drink
Northbridge, Subiaco, Freemantle & Cottesloe are home to fantastic pubs, bars, restaurants & cafes & are the go to places for great meals & entertainment.
Good restaurants & cafes are also located along the beaches & Swan River.
Surf Spots for Beginners & Kids
Waves for beginners can be found along any one of Perth's beautiful beaches. Popular (and at times very crowded) spots include Trigg, Scarborough Beaches and Cottesloe Beach for swimming, so look north or south of here to escape the crowds. For more info, click on the landmarks on the map below.
Good To Know...
In summer, for smoother surfing conditions, surf early before the persistent south west wind picks up. This wind, known as the Freemantle Doctor normally arrives around noon and makes the surf conditions messy and challenging once it increases in strength by the afternoon. The upside is that this sea breeze provides welcome relief from the very hot air temperatures that often reach 40 Celcius around Perth at this time of year.
Perth is home to a big surfing community and the surfers here enjoy filling their lot at the most consistent, best quality spots when the waves are good. During long flat spells that can last for weeks, the line ups can be packed on the first few days of decent waves. Beginners will find it easier to catch waves and have way more fun by finding a sandbar up or down the beach, away from the more crowded peaks and remember to practise sound surfing etiquette.
Even if the surf is really small, understand that there are many benefits to practising your surfing skills in small waves. Firstly, it's easier to catch your first unbroken (green) waves with out fear of a big wipe out (aim for higher tides when catching green waves as the waves around Perth do tend to dump in shallow water at low tide). Secondly, paddling back out into the line up is less tiring so you will be able to increase your wave count. Often the line up is less crowded too, making it easier to catch waves.
If you're looking for a camping holiday destination by the beach in summer but have your doubts due to being washed out by rain in the past on Australia's East Coast, Perth and South West Australia is a good option for almost guaranteed sunny blue skies during the whole of summer. In the cooler months, when big storm fronts roar in from the south west, rain is common (and are big waves), so bring warm clothes and wet weather gear around winter time.
J P Surf
High Tide Surf
The Surf Boardroom
Brownies Sun & Surf
Fun's Back Surf
Rip Curl Scarborough
Outlaw Surfboards, or ask at a local surf shop.
City Beach Surfriders
Cottesloe Longboard Club
Trigg Junior Boardriders
Wave Walkers Longboarders Club