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12,000km of Coast – The Ultimate Beach Guide

Western Australia is a huge and varied state with 12,000km of wild stunning coastline, most of it completely undeveloped.

It’s mind boggling to think that here are some of the most amazing beaches on earth, with no-one on them! You can quite honestly have a beach completely to yourself. Western Australia is so unique in that fact, if this was anywhere else in the world it’d be crammed full of people with high-rise buildings and properties popping up all over the place.

That’s why I love WA, it’s a place of contrasting colours and textures, plants and animals, land and sea. You really won’t find anywhere else like it on Earth. Here’s a look at some of my favourite coastline spots, starting with Cape Leveque in the North, travelling down to the wilderness coastline of the South West.

Cape Leveque: Situated at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula in the North West of Western Australia, it was here that I learnt to catch and cook huge mud crabs on the banks of Hunter’s Creek. After waiting for the tide to go out, myself and indigenous guide Brian Lee took our crab catching poles and hessian sacks to go get some dinner. A truly remarkable experience.

Cable Beach: One of the iconic things to do in Western Australia is a camel ride along the famous Cable Beach as the sun is setting. Rated as one of the top five beaches in the world, it’s a 22km stretch of pure white sand with red ochre cliffs on one side and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean on the other.

Cape Range National Park: Cape Range is a place of rugged limestone ranges, breathtaking deep canyons and 50km of pristine beach. I stayed at Sal Salis, a remote beachside safari camp nestled in the dunes of the park. It’s an incredibly isolated yet stunning location, just metres from the World Heritage Ningaloo Reef. Grab your mask and snorkel for an underwater adventure you’ll never forget, or if visiting between April and June swim with the world’s largest fish, the docile whale shark.

Monkey Mia: Monkey Mia lies in the Shark Bay World Heritage area on the extreme western coast of Australia. In short, World Heritage represents the best the World has to offer! Each morning for 40 years, wild bottlenose dolphins have swum to the shallows of this pristine beach to visit and interact with people. Get up early to feed and learn all about the dolphins in one of the world’s great wildlife experiences.

Francois Peron National Park: Francois Peron National Park is a four-wheel driver’s paradise, with remote camping sites, fishing spots and secret beaches down hidden tracks. It’s situated at the northern tip of the Peron Peninsula in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, and it’s here where I had my most memorable food experience in WA: chiselling fresh oysters from rocks in the Indian Ocean and cooking them over a beach BBQ.

Shipwreck Coast: If you make your way up to Kalbarri on the Coral Coast from Perth (about a 590km drive) make sure you take the Indian Ocean Road. It’s a great introduction to the area with dozens of spectacular lookout spots of the coast and Indian Ocean en-route. You can really imagine the Dutch trading ships circumnavigating the coastline hundreds of years ago.

Abrolhos Islands: 70km off the coast of Geraldton on the Coral Coast lie the Abrolhos Islands. They’re made up of 148 separate islands, with 22 of them home to the thriving rock lobster fisherman and their families for parts of the year. The surrounding coral reef communities form one of Western Australia’s unique marine areas, acting as a meeting place for tropical and temperate sea life. But what I found most interesting are the tales of shipwrecks that have occurred on these beautiful but treacherous reefs over the centuries.

Rottnest Island: Rotto! It’s Perth’s playground and family holiday spot for most people growing up round these parts. 63 beaches, superb snorkelling sites, friendly quokkas and 50km of road to explore by pedal power only (no cars allowed) so go and find your own secluded beach to hang out on. Feeling a bit adventurous? Take a ride on the Rottnest Express speedboat and witness dolphins, seals and (season permitting) humpback whales in their own environment.

Margaret River Prevelly Beach: Margaret River has it all, premium vineyards, top notch wineries, stunning scenery and great beaches with some of the most consistent, spectacular, high-quality surf anywhere on earth. Surfers travel from around the world to take on the world class waves of this renowned region. With over 130km of pristine coastline from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, it’s no wonder the Margaret River Pro surfing event is held here every year. But don’t worry, if you can’t surf just take it all in from one of the many beaches!

The Wilderness Coast: Amongst some of the most tranquil, beautiful spots in the country (like Greens Pool and Boat Harbour) Australia’s South West is where the coastline becomes really wild, untamed and rugged. I love it down here. If you walk the 1,000km Bibbulmun track from Perth down to Albany, the only time you’ll come across the coast is in the shire of Denmark in the South West. Stand atop a cliff and look out into the Southern Ocean, with Antarctica due south, only 1,000km away.