Explore: Beaches and the Coast

Beaches

Turquoise water lapping on brilliant white sand. Local gems offering everything from coffee and wine to tapas and teriyaki. Meandering walking paths with spectacular views of iconic sunsets. You don’t have to fly to the Greek Islands to find paradise; with 17kms of pristine coastline right on your doorstep in the City of Joondalup, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Relax and unwind

Lazy summer days, chilled out beach BBQs and a paddle in the warm waves – this is the lifestyle WA is envied for the world over. Joondalup’s coastline is loved by locals and visitors for its clean and sandy beaches, plenty of free coastal facilities (including BBQs, toilets and shelters) and the ease of wandering from beach to bistros. Grab some fish and chips from one of the beach-side cafes and enjoy them with a side of sunset for a truly Western Australian experience.

For a leisurely experience, hop aboard a 1.5 hour weekend coastal cruise along the beautiful sunset coast for a fantastic short sightseeing excursion, or depart Hillarys Boat Harbour on a mid-afternoon ferry and travel to world-renowned Rottnest Island. The ferries travelling from Hillarys to Rottnest have been specifically designed to offer a smooth, fast and safe crossing in any conditions.

Nature’s playground

Western Australia is home to one of the longest whale-watching seasons in the world. Departing Hillarys Boat Harbour, you can get to the whale grounds twice as fast as from anywhere else in air-conditioned comfort and experience some of the best opportunities to get close to these gentle ocean giants.

The wildlife-rich waters of Marmion Marine Park offer excellent sheltered snorkelling experiences, getting you close to unique WA fish species, Australian sea lions and dolphins.

Family fun

Hillarys Boat Harbour offers the perfect beach for families with kids. It’s sheltered, easily accessible by pram or wheelchair, there are plenty of public toilets and dining options and there’s even a playground right on the sand. How good is that.

Some of WA’s most beautiful and popular beaches are located within the City, including Mullaloo and Sorrento beaches. For your safety, the iconic Sorrento and Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Clubs provide lifeguard patrols on weekends and public holidays, while midweek lifeguard patrols are provided by the City in conjunction with Surf Life Saving WA.

Sorrento Beach’s surrounding beach enclosure makes it a safe and idyllic spot for a relaxing afternoon of beach fun. Due to the current condition of the beach enclosure and recent storm events the City is unable to guarantee that the enclosure will restrict the entry of marine life, possibly including sharks, into the swimming area. The City advises that, as with all other beaches, you swim at your own risk.

Dog lovers haven’t been left out, with Hillarys Dog Beach offering a dedicated stretch of coastline to exercise your pooch.

Activity and adventure

If you like a little high-seas adrenaline, visit Pinnaroo Point for kite surfing and fishing fun. Surfers and stand-up paddle boarders are regular sights on the City’s coast, making the most of the warm water and waves.

Out of the water, there are beachside walks and cycling trails, where you can take in the stunning coastline and spectacular sunsets along the coastal paths, or drop in to one of the restaurants or cafes along the way.

Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) Sign Program

The City of Joondalup has recently received funding to install 65 Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signs as part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) grants application program.

The Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) program is a coding system designed to improve emergency incident response times of locating the closest beach access points by installing signs with unique numbers at beach access points. Provision of specific location information is vital when emergency services are deployed in the event of shark attacks or other beach emergencies and for reporting shark sightings.

The City encourages beach users to familiarise themselves with sign locations and to take note of the unique code associated with each location. Detailed maps of all sign locations and a Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded below.

Scenarios where users can reference BEN signs unique codes include:

  • When reporting shark sightings (contact Water Police on 9442 8600)
  • When reporting a beach emergency (contact Police on 000)

Note: Where possible, callers should wait at the beach access point until emergency service personnel arrive.

The City also encourages its residents and visitors to download the “Emergency+” app, which is a free app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their Government and industry partners. The app uses GPS functionality in smart phones to callers and provides critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

Top places to visit

You’ll fall in love with the glorious coastline of the City of Joondalup and the locales of Hillarys Boat Harbour and Yellagonga Regional Park.

Here are some favourite destinations to help you discover the charm and natural beauty of our district.

Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour is one of Western Australia’s top award- winning tourist attractions offering a wide appeal of day time and night life entertainment. It is home to AQWA – the Aquarium of WA, boasting the largest aquarium and underwater glass tunnel in Australia.

Hillarys is the perfect place for kids with beautifully groomed public parklands and a sheltered beach easily accessible by pram or wheelchair. Visitors can enjoy leisure and adventure activities such as boat cruises, seasonal whale watching, jet skiing, deep-sea fishing, diving, jet boarding and helicopter flights.

Hillarys is also the perfect place to relax with a great variety of bespoke art and souvenir shops, cocktail bars, fine-dining and family-friendly restaurants.

For more information visit Hillarys Boat Harbour.

Joondalup City Centre

With direct train access from the Perth CBD, Joondalup city centre can be explored by foot or by Urbi Bike.

Take a stroll out of Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City into the laneways of Joondalup city centre and enjoy alfresco cafes and independent retailers. Visit the Joondalup Art Gallery or head to Central Park for a rejuvenating walk through native bushland.

Yellagonga Regional Park

The City of Joondalup is home to Yellagonga Regional Park, often called the Kings Park of the north. The park is best explored from the historic site of Neil Hawkins Park, situated only a short stroll from the Joondalup City Centre.

Yellagonga is Joondalup’s best hidden secret. Nature lovers can walk through the native bushland that surrounds the 16-km circuit around Lake Joondalup, home to long-necked turtles, kangaroos and black cockatoos.

Mullaloo Beach

Mullaloo Beach is a popular swimming and surfing beach, ideal for children of all ages, Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Indian Ocean or laze on the soft white sand. Enjoy a stroll, run or a bike ride on the beach paths that connect Mullaloo to neighbouring beaches along the coast.

Children will enjoy playing in the superb playground facilities and parklands overlooking the beach. Bring along a picnic lunch and settle down under the shady trees for the afternoon or indulge in a feast of fish and chips whilst admiring the stunning Western Australian sunset. Head to Mullaloo North for a great session of surf.

The Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club provides peace of mind with lifeguard patrols on weekends and public holidays, while midweek lifeguard patrols are provided by the City in conjunction with Surf Life Saving WA.

Sorrento Beach

Sorrento Beach offers excellent family swimming and turquoise water laps against pure white sand, making it an idyllic spot for a relaxing afternoon of beach fun. The City of Joondalup in conjunction with the State Government installed a beach enclosure at Sorrento Beach in late 2016.  Please note: Due to the current condition of the beach enclosure and recent storm events the City is unable to guarantee that the enclosure will restrict the entry of marine life, possibly including sharks, into the swimming area. The City advises that, as with all other beaches, you swim at your own risk.

At its November 2020 meeting, Joondalup Council unanimously resolved to remove the Sorrento Beach enclosure due to the compromised integrity of the structure.

Removal of the existing structure is likely to commence on Monday 23 November 2020. Some sections of the beach will not be available for use by the public during this time.

The City will investigate options for the provision of a replacement enclosure. This will enable the City to adequately investigate and plan appropriately to implement a new enclosure, aided by the lessons learnt from the Sorrento Beach enclosure.

Sorrento Beach is located directly south of the bustling Hillarys Boat Harbour which is home to plenty of restaurants and cafes, as well as the Aquarium of Western Australia.

The Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club provides peace of mind with lifeguard patrols on weekends and public holidays, while midweek lifeguard patrols are provided by the City in conjunction with Surf Life Saving WA.

Burns Beach

A family favourite, Burns Beach is a sheltered swimming spot that sits within the wildlife-rich waters of Marmion Marine Park. Walk the coastal path, relax on the white-sand beach, barbecue in the grassed parks, or just sit atop the limestone cliffs and drink in a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset.

Look out for seabirds, dolphins, sea lions, rays and a huge diversity of other species from the lookout points. Interpretive signs along the way provide insights into the native flora, fauna and history of the area.

Dine ocean-side at the café, or try chasing some fish by throwing in a line from the groyne or northern end of the beach.

Pinnaroo Point

Pinnaroo Point is an excellent spot for intermediate and expert kite surfers during the day and a great fishing spot at night.

Hillarys Dog Beach and Whitfords Horse Beach

To the south of Pinnaroo Point, visitors can head to Whitfords Horse Beach and Hillarys Dog Beach, a stretch of coastline dedicated to the exercising of horses and dogs. With increased parking, mobile food vendors and a dog washing service, the horse beach and the dog beach make for a great day out for the family and animal enthusiasts.

Coastal hazard maps

Coastal Hazard Maps identify areas that have been identified as potentially subject to coastal hazard risk within a 100 year planning timeframe.

For information on how to interpret coastal hazard maps view the Coastal Hazard Mapping Fact Sheet.

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 1

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 2

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 3

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 4

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 5

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 6

Coastal Hazard Assessment Map 7

You can also view Coastal Hazard Maps using the City’s Online Mapping Service

Caring for beaches

The City’s coastline is a popular destination for the local community, visitors and tourists. Actions you take when visiting the beach or within your own home and garden can impact on the health of your local beach. Ways you can help care for the beach:

When visiting the beach

  • Report any sick or injured marine animals or other wildlife to the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055
  • Do not clear any vegetation and/or remove individual plants such as orchids from coastal areas
  • Abide by the City’s designated dog exercise areas. Hillarys Dog Beach is the only beach where dogs can be exercised off lead. Dogs are permitted on lead along the coastal dual use path from Burns Beach to Marmion Beach. For more information visit places to exercise your dog
  • Stay on pathways and ensure you have clean footwear with no soil or other material when visiting the City’s coastal parklands and reserves to help reduce the risk of spreading plant diseases
  • Remove any litter you find. You could organise or participate in a Clean Up Australia Day event for your local beach
  • Do not drive off-road vehicles along beaches or in the dunes
  • Report suspicious behaviour to the Police on 131 444 or if you see a fire phone 000.

In your home and garden

  • Plant a local native garden. Your garden can act as a stepping stone for important flora and wildlife
  • Be weed wise in your garden – prevent environmental weeds and garden escapees
  • Community groups or schools can apply for funding through the City’s Environmental Development Community Funding to undertake a project, event or activity that helps to protect the City’s beaches
  • Keep domestic cats confined to your property
  • Do not release helium balloons as balloon fragments can be ingested by animals
  • Dispose of waste responsibly – litter can be blown onto beaches and into the sea, causing significant harm and in some cases can be fatal to animals.

 

Learning about beaches

The City is home to an amazing coastline stretching for 17kms between Marmion and Burns Beach including sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, coastal vegetation and the marine environment.

A diversity of marine animals including migratory birds, whales and sea lions live in the waters of the Indian Ocean. Other wildlife like the Echidna, Quenda and many reptile species also occur in the nearby land environment adjacent to the shore. The dune environment within the City includes important vegetation ranging from Spinifex grasslands, to coastal shrublands and upper storey trees such as eucalypts.

To learn more about the City’s coast:

Swimming

A number of swimming beaches are located within the City of Joondalup, with the most popular beaches patrolled regularly by lifeguards, from October to March.

The City’s most popular swimming beaches include:

  • Mullaloo – one of Western Australia’s most visited beaches located next to the Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club and the very popular Tom Simpson Park.
  • Sorrento – Sorrento Beach is great for families and swimmers. Located directly south of Hillarys Boat Harbour, it also has popular cafes and BBQ park areas that surround this highly visited beach.  Please Note: Due to the current condition of the beach enclosure and recent storm events the City is unable to guarantee that the enclosure will restrict the entry of marine life, possibly including sharks, into the swimming area. The City advises that, as with all other beaches, you swim at your own risk. At its November 2020 meeting, Joondalup Council unanimously resolved to remove the Sorrento Beach enclosure due to the compromised integrity of the structure. Removal of the existing structure is likely to commence on Monday 23 November 2020. Some sections of the beach will not be available for use by the public during this time. The City will investigate options for the provision of a replacement enclosure. This will enable the City to adequately investigate and plan appropriately to implement a new enclosure, aided by the lessons learnt from the Sorrento Beach enclosure.
  • Hillarys Boat Harbour – based inside the protected waters of the harbour, this beach provides a safe swimming area for families with young children.
  • Hillarys – is another popular, safe and accessible beach located north of the Hillarys Boat Harbour, with ample parking and picnic facilities.

Local Surf Clubs within the City of Joondalup include:

  • Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club
  • Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club.

The City also manages Craigie Leisure Centre which is a great place for lap swimming and recreational swimming, with energy efficient water temperature control.

Disability access beaches

Beach wheelchairs

The City of Joondalup has three beach wheelchairs provide access to the beach for children and adults with disability. The chairs are easily pushed over the sand to the water’s edge.

The wheelchairs are presently located at Mullaloo Beach, Sorrento Beach and Hillarys Boat Harbour Beach and are free to use, but require booking through Community Development on 9400 4226 or via email.

The City thanks Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club and Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club for their valuable support for this important service.

Access matting

There are presently two locations within the City of Joondalup that feature access matting that allow anyone with difficulty navigating sand to reach the water:

  • Hillarys Beach, Hillarys Boat Harbour (managed by the Department of Transport).
  • Mullaloo Beach, Mullaloo (managed by the Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club).

Accessible beach parking and toilets

There is ACROD parking and designated accessible toilets at the following beaches:

  • Iluka Foreshore
  • Ocean Reef Beach
  • Mullaloo Beach
  • Hillarys Beach Park
  • Pinnaroo Point
  • Hillarys Beach
  • Marmion Beach
  • Sorrento Beach

Changing places facility

The City also has installed an accredited Changing Places facility at Sorrento Beach which is accessible through the Master Locksmith Association Key system. Please visit the Changing Places article for more information.

Management of beaches

The City undertakes a number of activities to manage its beaches including weed control, fencing, installing access ways, paths and signage, feral animal control, fire management, waste management, sand stabilisation and sand drift management and revegetation.

Site specific plans are being developed for key environmentally significant coastal areas that have high biodiversity values, ecological connectivity and regional importance. These plans guide on-ground management actions such as:

  • Marmion Coastal Foreshore Reserve Management Plan
  • Sorrento Coastal Foreshore Reserve Management Plan                                                                                                                            
  • Hillarys-Kallaroo Coastal Foreshore Reserve Management Plan
  • Mullaloo Coastal Foreshore Management Plan
  • Ocean Reef Foreshore Reserve Management Plan.

The City recognises that future climate changes and potential sea level rise may impact on the City’s beaches and coastal areas. The City has assessed potential future coastal hazards and is identifying ways to address those hazards.

Beach safety

Beach patrols

Sorrento, Hillarys and Mullaloo beaches are the most visited within the City. The Sorrento and Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Clubs provide lifeguard patrols on weekends and public holidays, while midweek lifeguard patrols are provided by the City in conjunction with Surf Life Saving WA. For more information and to view the beach patrol times visit:

Shark safety

Keep informed of the latest reported sighting and tagged shark detection information by checking the Shark Activity Map or follow the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed. The Shark Activity Map provides beach users with ‘real time’ information on reported sightings and tagged shark detections, as well as access to Surf Life Saving WA’s twitter feed and current alerts and warnings issued by the Department of Fisheries.

Remember the map shows available information – not all sharks are tagged, or sightings reported so make sure you swim between the flags and follow the shark safety tips.

Help others be informed by reporting shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.

Beach facilities

The beaches within the City have many facilities for residents and tourists of all ages. Several are opposite parklands, with facilities such as barbeques, play equipment, toilets and adequate parking.

Maps of City of Joondalup beaches

*Managed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Beachside parklands

The most popular and picturesque beachside parklands containing ample family facilities are those at:

  • Hillarys Beach (Hillarys Beach Park)
  • Mullaloo Beach (Tom Simpson Park)
  • Beaumaris Beach (Iluka Foreshore)

Beach patrols and safety

View information relating to location and times of beachside patrols and beach safety procedures.

Beach activities and accessibility

View information on beach inclusion and accessibility services provided by the City.

Beach hire

If you are interested in hiring a beach foreshore for a special occasion, please contact the City’s Community Facilities Bookings Office on 9400 4268 or via email.