I have a confession to make….despite living in Perth, where we boast some of the most beautiful coastline in the world - I really, really don’t like going to the beach.
All that sunburn, seaweed and sand, sand, sand that seems to turn up in cracks and crevices where sand does not belong.
Despite my aversion to the beach, swimming in Perth is a favourite pastime for people of all ages, especially children, so I’ve been on the hunt for places to swim without setting foot on the beach.
Bicton Baths is a beautiful spot for a swim.
The Swan River is a great choice for families to relax with a picnic on a warm afternoon while the kids have a swim. There are plenty of places around the river, including Bicton Baths and Point Walter in Bicton and Deep Water Point in Mount Pleasant, just name just a few. At Point Walter, for example, you’ll find a sandbar and a jetty along with little areas for kids to swim and enjoy all the fun of the water without actually going to the beach.
The sandbar at Point Walter.
If you’re looking for heated indoor and outdoor pools that are open all year round, your local leisure centre is a great choice. Most have indoor heated pools, while others, such as Beatty Park in North Perth, have heated indoor and outdoor pools. You can also find splash pools for bubs and younger kids to sit or play in, and for older kids some have giant water slides for some seriously adventurous fun. Riverton Leisure Centre has an impressive water slide that operates on weekends and in school holidays all year round – perfect if your kids want to swim while you avoid the beach.
Hilary's Boat Harbour is home to the Great Escape adventure park.
Most of Perth’s adventure parks operate during the warmer months only, and are an excellent day out for families. South of the river you’ll find Adventure World in Bibra Lake, while families in the Northern Suburbs can enjoy a day at The Great Escape at Hillary’s Boat Harbour. Hillary’s also has Stillwater Beach (no waves or seaweed here) which has a playground and is overlooked by lots of grassed area in case you want to evade the sand as much as possible.
Once the weather starts to heat up in Perth, you may notice little splash pads popping up and filling with families looking to stay cool. Although not technically places to swim, these splash pads, such as the BHP Biliton Water Park at Elizabeth Quay and the Labyrinth Water Fountain at Forrest Place in Perth or the Cockburn Splash Pad at Cockburn Central, will keep kids busy as they dash in and out of the sporadic water fountains and shoots.
Some Perth parks have little water playgrounds where kids can have a swim or take a dip. Whiteman Park’s mini water playground and Hyde Park’s water playground will keep kids entertained all afternoon.
Perth boasts some enviable places to swim.
If you want a place to swim that’s a bit off the beaten track, check out Serpentine Falls in Serpentine, Wungong Dam in Bedfordale or Lake Leschenaultia, Chidlow’s man-made lake. Not only are these locations stunning, but they are a great location for a picnic lunch, sunset dinner or for just dipping your toes in the water.
So grab the kids, grab your bathers and avoid the sand and seaweed.