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Best beaches: Cable Beach, WA

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Kelly Landry headed to Western Australia to add their best beaches to the Getaway list.

Cottesloe

Just 15 minutes west of Perth, Cottesloe is as much about lifestyle as it is beach. Lined with Norfolk pines and terraced lawns and overlooking the Indian Ocean, people flock there for its village atmosphere and seaside heritage. At the southern end is the beautiful historic beach pavilion.

Cottesloe has plenty of great rock pools and reefs for snorkelling and exploring and regular swells keep body boarders, surfers and swimmers happy.

The perfect day might begin with breakfast at Barchetta, Italian for "small boat". Overhanging the dunes of North Cottesloe, it is a contemporary cafe serving innovative dishes with a modern Italian influence. Turn up in your bathers or best suit and you will be welcome. They open from Monday to Saturday at 6.30am and at 7am on Sundays.

Cottesloe Beach Hotel was opened in 1904 and in 1937 it was given an Art Deco facade. In 1983 it was saved by a local syndicate who bought it and kept it in its original form.

The famous landmark has four bars, a lounge and cafe. There's live entertainment five nights a week, and if you want to stay, it has 13 rooms for accommodation.

In summer months the Cottesloe Beach Hotel runs a free shuttle service between the hotel and railway station.

Cable Beach

Two-thousand kilometres north of Perth is officially Western Australia's finest stretch of sand where Broome meets the Indian Ocean. Twenty-two kilometres long and close to the centre of Broome, Cable Beach is the gateway to the Kimberley. Its aqua water, white sand and bright red-orange dirt inspire photographers from dawn until dusk.

It is named Cable as it was the terminus of the original cable used to send telegrams between Java and Broome. The elegant Court House is a wonderful example of colonial architecture. It has wide verandahs, polished timber floors, iron roof, fans and heavy iron stairs.

The beach has many rock pools and a massive tide washes it clean every day and deposits beautiful shells. Whales and dolphins can be spotted in season.

Accommodation of all sorts is plentiful, but wherever you stay, a camel ride along the beach is recommended.

Meelup Beach, Geographe Bay

Four hours south of Perth and Kelly was in Geographe Bay, a well-known spot for whale watching between September and December. Cape Naturaliste, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and the Geographe Bay coastline can all be admired from the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. Tours tell of the history of the area and there are some ghost stories to be told!

Scuba divers explore the wreck of HMAS Swan, beach fishing is popular, particularly for salmon, and there are great waves for surfing and windsurfing.

Locals in the know directed Kelly to Meelup Beach on the western tip of Geographe Bay. Its pure white sand and gentle waves have made it popular with families for generations. Sailing boats drop anchor in the bay for an afternoon of swimming.

When you're feeling peckish, a visit to the Dunsborough Bakery will take care of that. It has been feeding the hungry for 65 years. Owner Gary Davies says he makes 3000 pies on a busy day! It's not unusual for him to have served three generations of a family, each with stories to tell about past and current enjoyable times in the area.

Gary began a tradition of having well-known visitors sign a cap which is then put on display. There are many familiar and famous names up there.

Don't forget: When you are in the area, you are close to the wonderful Margaret River. It's worth the drive to savour its great wines and food and there is plenty of good accommodation.

Location

Along the Western Australian coast.

Cost

Cottesloe Beach Hotel rooms are $90 for a single, $120 for a twin, $100 for an executive single, $120 for a standard double and $140 for a beachfront double.

For further information

Barchetta
149 Marine Parade
Cottesloe 6011
Ph: (08) 9385 2411
www.barchetta.com.au

Cottesloe Beach Hotel
104 Marine Parade
Cottesloe 6011
Ph: (08) 9383 1100
Fax: (08) 9 385 2482
www.cottesloebeachhotel.com.au

Cape Dive
Shop 2, 222 Naturaliste Terrace
Dunsborough 6281
Ph: (08) 9756 8778
Fax: (08) 9756 8669
www.capedive.com.au
info@capedive.com.au

Dunsborough Bakery
243 Naturaliste Terrace
Dunsborough 6281
Ph: (08) 9755 3137
Fax: (08) 9755 3637
www.dunsboroughbakery.com.au
gary@dunsboroughbakery.com

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