One of the best features of being in the Margaret River area is being able to go to a beach, any time of the day or night, any day of the year. If your interest is just sitting on the sand and watching the waves, or taking advantage of Margaret River’s world class surfing locations, or a day out with the family for some swimming, snorkeling, or paddle boarding, or enjoying a romantic waterfront evening under the stars, you’ll find your beach paradise right here.
It’s not hard to see how Mother Nature must have kissed this region with a bounty of beautiful, breath taking beaches. Whether you visit one, or more, of our area’s more than 300 beaches, during your time here, you’ll be planning a return trip before you ever leave.
If you have small children with you, please remember never to leave them unattended because the water is constantly changing, from calm to choppy, and there may not be lifeguards at all of the beaches. As a way of introduction to our local beaches, we recommend the following two very popular locations.
Meelup Beach, Dunsborough
This is one of the most popular beaches for tourists and local residents. There is something at Meelup Beach for everyone. There is swimming in the clear water, relaxing on the white sands, and exploring the fish life while snorkeling. The calm waters at this beach are ideal for young children or adults just learning to snorkel.
If you need some time away from the hot sun, the beach is surrounded by a grassy park with lots of shade from tall Jarrah trees. There are picnic tables spaced throughout the park under the trees where you can enjoy a takeaway lunch or dinner, or you can bring the fixings to cook a meal on one of the barbecue tables placed around the park. The beach area has changing rooms, showers, and restroom facilities.
Evenings at the Meelup Beach can be just as great as during the daytime. Because of its ideal configuration, the beach and the park are sheltered from the normal strong winds experienced at other beaches during the warm weather. After a day in the water or on the sands, you can relax with an evening meal, a glass of wine, and watch the sun set over the water. If you are visiting during the time of a full moon, Meelup Beach is one of the few spots in Western Australia where you can see the moon rise up over the ocean and cast its reflection on the flowing water. In fact, when translated into the local Aborigine language, Meelup means Place of the Moon Rising. A truly spectacular way to end your evening at the beach.
Driving Directions to 208 Meelup Beach Road, Naturaliste from Forest Rise, 231 Yelverton Road
Travel west on Bussell Highway/State Route 10 to Marybrook Rd in Carbunup River. Turn right on Marybrook Rd and follow Chain Avenue and Caves Road to Cape Naturaliste Rd, then turn right at Meelup Beach Rd. The distance is approximately 28.6 km and will take about 30 minutes to get there.
Gnarabup Beach, Prevelly
This beach is among the top 5 beaches in Margaret River, and it has the longest stretch of beach coastline in the area. It is located just outside of Prevelly, a small coastal town slightly north of the centre of Margaret River. Gnarabup Beach is Prevelly’s favorite swimming location for tourists and local residents. The waters are quite calm and softly flow onto the sandy shore. However, while the waves are smaller than elsewhere in Prevelly, the shallow water does drop off steeply into the ocean. Young children must never go into the water without an adult.
There is an outlying large reef that breaks up the swells before they reach the shore. Surfers enjoy riding these swells as they head towards the beach, and then swim back to the reef for another ride into shore. Another great adventure at Gnarabup Beach is the chance to see migrating whales come up for air on their annual return to their feeding waters in the Antarctica.
In addition to swimming and surfing, there is a public boat launch with access to the Indian Ocean, and a beachfront café adjacent to the boat launch that is open daily for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages. There are dune trails for leisurely strolls along the pristine white sands of the beach. At the northern end of the Gnarabup Beach coastline, it meets up with and merges into the Prevelly Beach area. There are public showers and restrooms available next to the car park.
Other enjoyable attractions at Gnarabup Beach include scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, paddling boards, fishing, and bird-watching. A fantastic beach with an activity for everyone, young and mature.
Driving Directions to Gnarabup Road, Prevelly from Forest Rise, 231 Yelverton Road
Follow State Route 10 south to Wallcliffe Rd, then continue on Wallcliffe Rd to Gnarabup Rd. The distance is approximately 39.2 km and will take about 35 minutes to get there.