The south west’s thousand kilometres coastline varies from tranquil bays and bright blue lagoons to limestone cliffs and rugged granite headlands. Best of all, the region is lucky enough to have a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunny days to truly enjoy a day at the beach. If you’re in search of the bustling atmosphere of the European seaside, head to the local town beaches where ice-cream vans and colourful umbrellas await. If you want to search out your little slice of private heaven, it’s never too far away.
Australian beaches are among the best in the world. We hope you enjoy them, but please take a moment to read Surf Life Saving Western Australia information on patrolled and unpatrolled beaches and coastal safety tips to make sure your visit to a South West beach is a safe and enjoyable one.
We suggest swimming at beaches that are patrolled by surf life savers, especially if you are unfamiliar with Australian beaches.
The pristine waters of Geographe Bay is an ideal spot for swimming and playing with its calm and protected waters stretching from Bunbury to Dunsborough. Stretching south from Yallingup to Augusta, the west coast provide protected lagoons and sandy beaches while the big ocean surf rolls further out. The remote south coast of the Great Southern Ocean boast turquoise waters, spectacular beaches and unique rock formations.
Easy access, good for a swim after a day of shopping!
Close to Busselton Jetty, cafés and picnic facilities
Picture-perfect, with brilliant white sand
Tucked in a protected bay with a café on site
Secluded camp spot, great for families who love the outdoors.
Great family holiday spot during summer.
A shallow cove, beautiful for photos and a spot of snorkelling.
Squeaky white sand, beautiful coastal scenery.
Calm waters with areas for BBQs and picnics.
From most high vantage points and headlands along the coast it is possible to spot passing dolphins, seals, sea lions and whales (in season).
Whales can be spotted along the coast from mid May to December. Humpback and Southern Right whales are most common, with rare sightings of Blue Whales on the increase. Whale watching cruises are a great way to get up close and depart daily (weather dependent) during season from Albany, Augusta, Busselton and Dunsborough. Check tour times and availability with a local visitor centre. Best places to spot the whales:
Augusta – mid May to September
Albany – June to October
Dunsborough – September to December
Visit australiassouthwest.com for more on whale watching in the south west. Dolphins
Bunbury is famous for the wild, yet friendly, dolphins that interact with people in Koombana Bay. These gentle creatures visit the shores in front of the Dolphin Discovery Centre regularly throughout the warmer months. Wade into the water, go on a swim tour (Nov-Apr) or an eco cruise to meet these intelligent creatures. Be sure to check out the ‘Digital Dolphinarium’, at the Dolphin Discovery Centre; the first theatre of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Killer whales
A natural phenomenon, which occurs off the coast of Bremer Bay for just two months per year sees up to 100 killer whales congregate, along with a plethora of other wildlife. Every February and March, Bremer Canyon attracts giant squid, sperm whales, masses of sea birds and the largest group of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Expeditions to Bremer Canyon depart from Bremer Bay.
Some of Albany’s most iconic coastline is located here; Natural Bridge has been sculptured by the powerful swells continually crashing into the rocks while nearby, The Gap is a 24 metre drop where the ocean rushes into a large cavern in the rocks.
Sealed walk trails meander around the headland with several lookout platforms.
Beautiful beach 18km north of Augusta, south of the boat ramp, follow the boardwalk.
Choose from two lookouts, Wilson Head and Lions Lookout.
Rotary Lookout over beautiful rock formations, 4km south of Yallingup.
Numerous vantage points along Leeuwin Rd and 360 degree views from the top of the lighthouse.
The twelve wind turbines of Albany’s wind farm dominate the skyline behind Albany and have the capacity to produce 80% of Albany’s electrical needs.
65km east of Bremer Bay, this is an important nursery for Southern Right whales.
There are two large platforms purpose built for parasailing and hang gliding.