Perth: The most isolated capital city in the world.
Whilst this fact is interesting, Perth boasts a lot more than its unique identifier. In fact, with its spectacular landscapes, white sand beaches and its reef teeming with exquisite marine life – Perth could be one of the world’s final frontiers.
Being a local, I am able to unlock these beauties for those who wish to see the wonders that Perth possesses. But be warned: Perths beauty is only truly unravelled by lovers of the outdoors.
As it is currently summer, and the Perth ‘beach season’ – the first spot on my list of “must see’s” is Mettams pool, a natural ocean pool located in Trigg.
Western Australia’s tropical climate allows for the colossal profusion of marine life in our oceans, and Mettams is endowed with some of Perths best snorkelling. Due to a girdle of rocky outcrops and the protection of the reef, Mettams has very calm, crystal waters that allow for high visibility when snorkelling. Its relatively flat water also makes for the perfect place to take young children, especially on days when the more popular beaches are constrained with rougher ocean conditions.
At Mettams Pool, the average snorkeler is contingent to the trove of bream fish, sea fans, starfish, herring, and vibrant coloured reef fish hiding in coral nooks of the reef. Lucky snorkelers may even be witness to the electric Blue Devil fish, stingrays, the odd grey nurse shark and even dolphins!
My friends and I choose to bring blow up pool toys to float on, on the flatter days at Mettams. Other times, when the waves are small – people can be seen surfing, paddle boarding and boogie boarding on the shoreline.
Popular café Yelo is just a 5-minute walk from the beach.
Dubbed “Blackies” by the locals, Blackwall Reach is the adrenaline junkie’s nirvana. Just a ten-minute drive from the bustling and eclectic Fremantle, the daredevils are out to play. Expansive cliffs situated on the Swan River tower 7-12 metres above the water, and plummet 18-25 metres below. It is here that thrill seekers can be found rock climbing, fishing, kayaking, exploring caves, swimming and the reason that the most adventurous flock for and the activity the place is renown for; cliff jumping.
After returning to the site recently, I can say the jumps are fairly clear of rocks and outcrops, and are deep enough to be clear from any potential immersed hazards – although rumour has it a 4WD vehicle is hidden in the waters depths.
For those who aren’t brave enough to jump, the view itself from the cliff tops is breathtaking – stretching across the entirety of the beautiful Swan River, where native vegetation runs along the cliffs, boats are dotted along the waterway and mansions line the opposing side.
A short walk down the road from the cliff tops hosts a park and picnic area. I recommend venturing down here for lunch after spending the morning at the cliffs.
For those with access to a car, Perths CBD is just 50 minutes from the spectacular oasis that is Serpentine Falls. The flowing water hole is a hot-spot amongst teenagers, so getting there in the early morning before the park reaches capacity is crucial during Summer. Whilst there is no actual waterfall in the summer months (but is very impressive during winter), it is home to the best watering hole in Perth. Surrounded by boulders and bushland, the fresh water cascades down the rock face into striking emerald rock pools, and even better yet – it’s open for swimming.
Entrance to the park is a $12 cash fee (per car), and is managed by the Park rangers. Once inside the park, there is a separate car park (approx. 400 metres from the falls) and a picnic area, where native animals including kangaroos frequent the area. The park also hosts access to a hiking trail. The picturesque trail extends for 14 kilometres through the Jarrah forest, and ends at the back at the falls. From this trail, it is possible to relish in ample views of the Swan Coastal Plain, including views of the Swan River.
During peak periods, or times of high bush fire risk – the park rangers may close the entrance to the park. On the unfortunate instance that this happens, I would recommend a trip to Rockingham beach, or to Blackwall Reach for some cliff jumping fun.
Perth – the “Sunset Coast” got its name for the jaw dropping beauty of our sun setting over the ocean in Perths northern suburbs. Scarborough beach, with its expanse of white sand and grassed picnic areas – is one of the prime spots for our glorious sunset views. Average sun setting time is 7.30pm in summer, and often locals and tourists will head down early in the evening for a sunset swim and picnic dinner on the beach. When the sun meets the horizon, and the sea turns to gold – this is where you will find my friends and I on a regular summer night. The water is often choppier in the evenings and surfers come out to play as the sun sets, on windier days, you will find the sky to be outlined with the silhouettes of kite surfers.
Scarborough is home to a variety of people from various backgrounds, with people often playing music, dancing or performing gymnastics on the grassed areas. Just last night, tightrope walkers strung rope between the palm trees and were practicing their stunts as the sun went down.
Scarborough is currently undergoing a $30 million revamp, hosting several beachfront bars and dining areas – with plenty more to come in the future. So if a beach picnic isn’t your style, enjoy $10 Friday ladies night cocktails at The Shack, or venture to the Scarborough Beach Bar or Matisse Beach Club for front-row, balcony views.
Whilst these are just four of Perths local secrets, there are plenty more places and hidden beauties to be seen and explored. If you have any personal favourite Perth locations, comment them below!