Louise Scott, executive director of strategy, brand and marketing services for Tourism Western Australia // © 2017 Tourism Western Australia
Feature image (above): Crab Creek in Broome is the epitome of where the red dirt meets the ocean. // © 2017 Getty Images
Travel advisors, take note: If clients are looking to escape the winter blues and experience a long-haul beach getaway, Western Australia (WA) may be just the ticket. We sat down with Louise Scott, executive director of strategy, brand and marketing services for Tourism Western Australia, to learn more about what makes this Down Under region perfect for some fun in the Australian sun.
Why is WA a unique beach destination?
No other destination offers a more diverse, accessible or unique coastline than WA. The waters off our nearly 7,500 miles of coastline and islands are easily some of the most pristine in the world.
West Aussies are also known for hosting world-class events on the beach, including the Margaret River Gourmet Escape annual beach barbecue at Castle Bay Beach and Shinju Matsuri’s long-table dinner on Cable Beach in Broome.
What are some of your favorite beaches in the area?
WA’s coastline is truly extraordinary from top to bottom, from the striking contrast of red earth meeting the turquoise sea in the northwest, to Lucky Bay in the south, where kangaroos spend their days lazing on the white sand.
Closer to the state’s capital of Perth, visitors can easily access the 19 beaches that line the city and are consistently rated some of the best in the world. In Perth, locals are pretty spoiled for choice. From here, an easy ferry ride will take you to the shores of Rottnest Island, which is home to the world’s cutest animal: the adorable quokka.
And some of the beaches closer to the city have been undergoing major transformations, too, including Scarborough and City Beach, where visitors can swim at a clean, unspoiled beach, then have a beverage and meal at a nearby restaurant that offers world-class views of the Indian Ocean.
Turquoise Bay, located in Exmouth in the state’s Coral Coast region, is another favorite of mine. Here, you can literally walk off the beach and witness Ningaloo Reef in all its glory. This region of WA is also where you can swim with the whale sharks that migrate in the waters between March and July, or take part in manta ray swim tours that run year-round at nearby Coral Bay.
How do WA’s beaches stand out from the rest in Australia?
The variation and consistent quality of water clarity and white sand makes WA beaches some of the best in the world. Sustainable development along the coastline has allowed our beaches to retain their natural beauty, especially when compared to many of the overdeveloped and overcrowded beaches found on Australia’s East Coast.
WA is also home to a myriad of marine life and to many world-class breaks that attract top surfers from across the globe.
Describe the best beach itinerary for first-time visitors to WA.
I’d recommend sticking to Perth’s metropolitan coastline on the first day by taking in the popular sites of Cottesloe, City Beach and Mettam’s Pool. Here, clients will find plenty of open spaces to enjoy almost to themselves. A plethora of new cafes, bars and restaurants have opened along the city’s coastline in recent times; breakfast, lunch and dinner needs are covered.
An overnight stay on Rottnest Island is another must-do. The island is a favorite among Perth locals, and with 63 beaches and 20 bays, there’s so much to see and do. Rottnest is a car-free island, so the best mode of transport is cycling. Then, following the return from Rottnest, explore the port city of Fremantle. There is a quirky collection of cafes, bars, restaurants, markets and boutiques alongside a beautiful stretch of coast.
Note: To learn more about WA’s offerings, agents can sign up for monthly webinars offered from now until May 2018.