Everybody has their own favourite secret beach – Janine Pittaway reveals hers. Just don’t tell anybody else…
The Margaret River region is blessed with approximately 200km of coastline stretching from Busselton to Augusta, so even in the height of summer it’s still possible to discover a patch of white sandy paradise to enjoy without anyone else around.
The beaches you’ll find in the guidebooks such as Meelup, Gnarabup, Smiths Beach and Yallingup are certainly worth a visit, but with just a little more effort you can find some lesser known but equally beautiful spots to stake your claim for a day of swimming, beach combing and relaxing without the crowds.
Above: Find your own little piece of perfection, like Castle Bay.
Some beaches down south are so secret they can only be reached by chopper or boat but the places I’ve selected can be easily reached by car.
These beaches are all great places for swimming, but ask a fisherman, diver or surfer their favourite secret spots and they’re likely to provide an entirely different list.
From Busselton to Cape Naturaliste the water will likely be calm, but from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin expect waves, wind and swell – check the forecast before heading out to find the best spot for the conditions on the day.
Above: Stand Up Paddleboarding at Castle Rock
This beach reveals itself in summer when the tides change and the white sand reappears. The water is a pure turquoise blue, contrasting with the burnt red rocks on the shore, and in-between, there are plenty of places to lie and contemplate life.
(Pictured above, on the Dunsborough side of Meelup)
This could possibly be a contentious pick as a secret beach, given its increasing exposure thanks to it being Margaret River Gourmet Escape’s Gourmet Beach BBQ location. However compared to Meelup, Castle Rock is still a quiet spot on a sunny day with the added bonus of beachside BBQs and an enviro loo.
CONTO SPRINGS BEACH (above)
(18km south west of Margaret River – via Conto Road off Caves Road – follow the signs to Conto Springs)
Above: Torpedo Rocks Beach
(Margaret River – take Redgate Road and turn right onto a gravel track before the main Redgate Beach car park)
This is a pretty remote spot and even in the height of summer you’re likely to have the majority of the beach to yourself with about 2km or so of white sandy beach and crystal clear water. The best part for swimming is the southernmost end. Swim with caution and watch out for big waves.
Above: Cosy Corner Beach
(Access via Cosy Corner Road, near Augusta)
Despite its name, Foul Bay is breathtakingly beautiful and quiet in the height of summer. This 3km long bay comprises several small beaches with some shelter from big waves thanks to a series of reefs. Access is via a gravel road and there is a substantial walk to the beach.
Below: Boodjidup Beach, near Margaret River
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Castle Rock BayGreat For: BBQ,Disabled Access,Fishing & Boating,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Scuba Snorkelling & Diving,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Swimming,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Castle Rock Road, Dunsborough WA
Conto's BeachGreat For: Birdwatching,Fishing & Boating,Free,Mountain Biking & Road Cycling,Photography,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Surfing,Swimming,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Conto's Spring, Conto Road, Margaret River WA
Cosy CornerGreat For: Fishing & Boating,Free,Photography,Scenic Spot,Scuba Snorkelling & Diving,Sunny Day,Swimming
Cosy Corner, Augusta, WA
Foul BayGreat For: Free,Scenic Spot
Foul Bay, Hamelin Bay WA
Point PicquetOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Child Friendly,Free,Photography,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Swimming,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Naturaliste WA 6281