Top 10 Best Albany Beaches WA 2023

western australia expert disclosure

Want to know the best Albany beaches? Let us help you decide – we’ve visited Albany and the surrounding area for over 20 years.

Along the southern coast of Western Australia, Albany has some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country. Albany’s beaches are amazing whether you’re a sun seeker, a nature enthusiast, or looking for a peaceful escape.

In this blog post, we will take you on a virtual journey from secluded coves to expansive stretches of coastline to unveil the top spots where you can unwind, soak up the sun, and enjoy the ocean. 

Top 10 Albany Beaches

Top 10 Best Albany Beaches WA 2023
Little Beach

1. Little Beach & Waterfall Beach


⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5 Stars
📍 Location: Waychinicup National Park, near Albany
🚘 Driving Time: 40 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: National Park fees apply
🐶 Dogs: Not allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🚻 🎣

This picturesque bay is one of the most photographed beaches in the South West. The contrast of the bright turquoise water, white sand, and giant boulders is mesmerising.

Little Beach, in Little Peoples Bay, is part of Waychinicup National Park. This secluded beach is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking some peace away from the crowds.

Surrounded by granite headlands and lush vegetation, the beach has breathtaking views and a lovely spot for swimming. However, waves can be huge here and deceiving, so take care.

At the northern end of the beach, stairs lead to rocks overlooking Waterfall Beach.

There is only a bush toilet, so bring everything you need, including water.

a white sand beach with calm turquoise ocean on a partly cloudy day
Misery Beach

2. Misery Beach

⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5 Stars
📍 Location: Torndirrup National Park
🚘 Driving Time: 25 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: National Park fees apply
🐶 Dogs: Not allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🤿

Misery Beach in Torndirrup National Park is the most spectacular beach in Albany, possibly even Western Australia. In fact, it recently took the award for the best beach in the country by Tourism Australia for 2022!

The sand is soft and squeaks when walked on. The water is a bright turquoise blue that is stunning against the white sand. This sheltered bay is a great spot to swim or snorkel.

Despite us visiting in the summer school holidays, the beach was surprisingly quiet. It’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of King George Sound and its rugged coast.

I don’t know why it’s called Misery Beach, as it’s the opposite. It could date back to the whaling days when the whales’ blood would be washed up here. Pure misery!

There are no toilets or other amenities at Misery Beach.

a beautiful white sand beach with calm turquoise water
Frenchman Bay

3. Frenchman Bay

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 Stars

📍 Location: Albany
🚘 Driving Time: 20 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🚻 🧺 🚤

Frenchman Bay is located outside Torndirrup National Park but still on the peninsula. It is a sheltered bay with soft sand and clear water.

There’s a boat ramp and a lovely BBQ grassed area with clean toilet facilities. If you are an advanced diver, the HMAS Perth is one of the best wreck dives in Australia and lies beneath the water here.

Check local conditions and be aware of any potential hazards before swimming.

a white sand beach with blue ocean and people swimming and enjoying the beach
Fishermans Beach

4.Whaling Cove & Fisheries Beach

⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5 Stars
📍 Location: Vancouver Peninsula
🚘 Driving Time: 20 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🤿 🚻

On the eastern side of the Vancouver Peninsula, just a short 20-minute drive from Albany lies Whalers Cove and Fisheries Beach.

These beaches are sheltered from strong winds and swell, providing usually calm conditions for swimming and snorkelling.  

The road is sealed, and from the car park, two paths lead down to the beaches.

Be warned, the beach on the left is optional clothing. You can easily climb the gently sloping rock dividing the two beaches.

Fishermans Beach is dog-friendly and has bush toilet facilities.

5.Muttonbird Beach

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
📍 Location: Elleker
🚘 Driving Time: 20 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🏄‍♀️ 🤿 🚻 🧺

Muttonbird Beach is a good surfing beach suitable for all levels, with breaks left and right. It is accessible to four-wheel drives.

Just off the coast is Shelter Island, home to a community of Little Penguins and Flesh-footed Shearwaters.

SCUBA diving enthusiasts may see turtles, stingrays, octopus, and maybe the odd shark!

As with any water-based adventure, it’s crucial to check weather conditions and tides before diving or snorkelling. 

a calm bay with a wooden jetty leading out into the blue ocean with a sandy beach and trres lining the esplanade
Middleton Beach

6.Middleton Beach / Binalup

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
📍 Location: Albany
🚘 Driving Time: 5 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Not allowed
      Patrolled: Yes (in summer)

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ ☕️ 🧺 🛝🚻🚿

Middleton Beach stretches 4.5km up to Emu Point in the north.

This fully accessible beach is the most popular beach for swimming in Albany due to the protection by King George Sound (Mammang-Koort).

Here you will find bbqs, toilets, a jetty, playgrounds, picnic area, and several cafes and restaurants.

Albany Surf Life Saving Club also patrols the beach in summer for that added security.

The Ellen Cove Boardwalk runs along the coast and provides stunning views over King George Sound and Middleton Beach. The 6 km one-way trail from Ellen Cove ends in Stirling Terrace Albany. It’s a dual path used by pedestrians and cyclists and hugs Mount Adelaide.

If you are here between June and October, keep a look for humpback and southern right whales that migrate through Albany.

shallow crystal clear water with a green hill in the background
Emu Point

7.Emu Beach & Emu Point

⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 Stars
📍 Location: Albany
🚘 Driving Time: 15 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Only allowed near the marina between Swarbrick St and Hunter St.
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🎣 ☕️ 🧺 🛝🚻

Emu Point Beach is a sheltered beach located just inside the entrance to Oyster Harbour on the northern side of Emu Point. It is ideal for children as it is calm and shallow with a pontoon. There’s also a shaded picnic area, playground, car park, and boat ramp. Emu Point Beach is a beautiful place to kayak and fish, too.

Pelicans are usually around here, waiting for anglers to throw some scraps. But, if you see only one, it will most likely be Percy, who always seems to hang around here.

Look for the Sammy the Seal monument that pays tribute to the beautiful seal tragically killed by a nasty person with a long-bladed instrument on the beach where he usually rested. Read the lovely story of his friendship with Johnathan ‘Captain Kalgan’ Jones.

Just up from Emu Point, Oyster Harbour is fed by the King River and the Kalgan River. It’s a commercial fishing harbour along with oyster and mussel farms.

There are two bridges over the Oyster Harbour estuary, one over the Kalgan River on Nanup Road and the other over King River on Lower King Road. Take this route to drive from Middleton Beach to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.

Emu Beach starts at the southern end of the wall, facing south. It’s a 400m sandy beach that is usually calm. However, beware of a strong current flowing in the deep channel outside the breakwaters.

Neither beach has life-saving patrols, so be careful in the water.

a calm bay with turquoise clear water and rocks with the top of a shipwreck poking up through the ocean
Gull Rock Beach

8.Gull Rock Beach (Ledge Bay)

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 Stars
📍 Location: Gull Rock National Park
🚘 Driving Time: 30 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Not allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏖️ 🏊‍♀️ 🤿

Gull Rock Beach is another stunning coastal destination near Albany, renowned for its natural beauty and another of our favourites.

Located within Gull Rock National Park, this beach gets its name from the nearby Gull Rock, a rocky islet that adds to the area’s spectacular scenery.

Gull Rock Beach has soft, white sands and clear, inviting waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. You can see the remains of the shipwreck Awhine sticking up from the ocean floor.

It’s a short drive from Albany but has a section of unsealed gravel road.

There are no toilets or other amenities at this beach.

9. Nanarup

⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 Stars
📍 Location: Nanarup
🚘 Driving Time: 30 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: Free
🐶 Dogs: Allowed
      Patrolled: No

🏄‍♀️ 🎣 🚻 🧺

Surfers can catch both left and right beach breaks here, and with easy access, it’s a popular spot for riders of all levels. The best winds are typically from the North or North-West. 

Aside from surfing, the beach is great for fishing and four-wheel driving enthusiasts, with easy stairway access. Four-wheel-drive vehicles can access the beach by the Taylor Inlet car park.

While the western side of the beach is off-limits to vehicles, four-wheel drives can take a scenic coastal drive all the way to Two Peoples Bay to the northeast.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, Nanarup Beach has picnic and barbecue facilities, toilets, and a lookout on the eastern side of the beach that provides fantastic whale-watching opportunities during the season.

However, swimming is not advised here due to its highly hazardous conditions.

10. Shelley Beach

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
📍 Location: West Cape Howe National Park
🚘 Driving Time: 40 mins
☀️ Best Time to Visit: Summer
💵 Cost: National Park fees apply
🐶 Dogs: Not allowed
      Patrolled: No

🎣 🚻

Shelley Beach, in West Cape Howe National Park, has a rugged charm, with a picturesque blend of golden sands, towering granite boulders, and crystal-clear waters.

This beach is ideal for beachcombing, fishing, birdwatching, and coastal walks along its unspoiled shoreline. 

golden sand and turquoise water backed by huge granite cliffs at salmon holes is one of the best albany beaches for fishing during salmon run
Salmon Holes

Best Albany Beaches for Fishing

Albany has some of the best fishing beaches in the region. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice looking to cast a line, these beaches offer the perfect combination of natural beauty and excellent fishing conditions.

However, it’s important to be aware of potential dangers, such as strong currents, and practise responsible fishing practices to preserve the marine ecosystem.

Salmon Holes –  popular during the salmon run.

Muttonbird Beach – catch herring, snapper, samson fish, silver bream, pike, flathead and whiting.

Emu Point – Beach fishing for herring, king george whiting, skippy, and small salmon.

Nanarup – Fish in the inlet for black bream, juvenile salmon and herring, whiting, salmon, skippy and tailor from the beach.

Shelley Beach – Herring, whiting, skippy and salmon (in the salmon run).

Ellen Cove Jetty – catch squid, herring, flathead, trevally, and whiting. 

a pontoon with lots of people looking at a pelican swimming
Emu Point

Best Albany Beaches for Families

The best beaches for families and kids have pristine stretches of white sand and provide facilities that cater to the needs of families. From playgrounds to picnic areas, these two family-friendly beaches ensure a fun outing for everyone:

  • Middleton Beach
  • Emu Point

Best Dog-friendly Albany Beaches

Albany has great options for dog owners looking to enjoy beach time with their furry friends. While there are restrictions in place in national parks, there are several dog-friendly beach zones where dogs are allowed.

Some of the best include:

  • Frenchman Bay
  • Whaling Cove & Fishermans Beach
  • Muttonbird Beach
  • Nanarup

Best Albany Beaches for Beachfront Camping

If you’re looking for the best Albany beaches for beachfront camping, there are three options: East Bay Camping Ground, Bettys Beach Camping Area, and Cape Riche Campground.

East Bay Camping Ground offers a picturesque setting for free camping right by the beach. Located 45 km east of Albany, this campground has only four spots and direct access to the beach. There is only one bush toilet and no other amenities. Not suitable for caravans.

Bettys Beach Camping Area, near Manypeaks, is another great choice. This free campground has a steep access road with a small turnaround point. Bush toilets and rubbish bins are provided. However, camping is only allowed from May to the middle of February.

Cape Riche Campground is 100 km east of Albany. Although it is accessible by 2wd, there is about 18 km of unsealed road. Fees are payable for this campground but include toilets, cold showers, non-potable running water, fish cleaning station, public barbecues, and bins. 

See the City of Albany site for more information.

Other Albany Beaches

If you want to explore more beaches in Albany, try these:

  • Goode Beach
  • Cable Beach
  • Cheynes Beach

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