Thursday, February 3, 2022

A swimmer’s guide to the South West

There’s something hypnotic and transformative about the ocean. Sparkling like a blanket of diamonds and sapphires on one day, then powerful energy frothing and booming the next. There are those blistering days where you feel the call of the wild to take a leisurely dip, or when you crave the solitude and meditation as you freestyle weightlessly through the water.


Today, we’re talking about one of Australia’s favourite pastimes: beach swimming.


The best ocean swimming spots in the Margaret River region


1.      Busselton foreshore

With an incredibly long stretch of calm coastline, the legendary Busselton foreshore is a great place to crank out an extended swim. There are lots of cafes for a relaxing coffee and chat after, grass to sun yourself dry, and plenty of parking for everyone.


@swimmingwomen at Busselton Jetty

2.      Old Dunsborough

Launch yourself into the sheltered Geographe Bay waters near the Old Dunsborough boat ramp. With a shark barrier in place, you can rest easy knowing there’s protection. The spot frequented by swimmers is pretty seaweed-free, and there are showers and toilets close to the beach.


3.      Yallingup lagoon

Yallingup Beach has two different personalities. To the north you have the pounding waves the hamlet is famous for – you’re more likely to go surfing or body boarding than practicing your strokes here! But to the south, there are crystal clear lagoon waters perfect for getting a few laps in.

Yallingup Lagoon

Yallingup Lagoon

4.      Gnarabup Beach

This is one of the most popular locations for social group swimming. When you get a glimpse, you’ll understand why. Nice and long, there’s a gentle sloping into the ocean, and waves are typically small enough for swimmers to navigate.

5.      Flinders Bay

If your idea of total bliss is strolling down a perfect white sandy beach and carving your way through clear turquoise water, you need to get to Flinders Bay near Augusta, ASAP. There’s a pontoon to leap from, and a jetty with stairs that descend straight into the idyllic bay.

Flinders Bay.

Flinders Bay.

What’s ocean swimming really like?

We have a huge swimming fan in our midst: Private Properties co-owner David Moyes. We asked him about his favourite spots and what he loves about the activity that is a hobby, sport, and social event wrapped up in one.


“I swim with a few mates, mainly at Yallingup but occasionally at Castle Rock Bay or Meelup Bay, if the weather’s not the best ocean-side. We go three times a week, all year round, and it’s a lot of fun once you get used to it. We are in the water at 6am in summer but that goes back to 6:45am in the winter, which is dark and spooky!


The quality of the exercise is obviously top notch (we swim around two kms) but it’s also the camaraderie and the meditative aspect that gets me out of bed at 5:15am. I lead a busy life so having this time to be with friends and the fish is very good for my mental health as well as my physical health.


When the salmon are in the bay you sometimes get the opportunity to swim or float through thousands of these beautiful fish. They aren’t worried about you being there and they just swim around you. Mind-blowing, really.”



Swimming events in the South West

Busselton Jetty Swim: 12 and 13 February 2022

This iconic event is now in its 27th year. If you want to partake, you can choose to complete the 3.6km swim as a team or solo. There’s also the opportunity to tackle the One Mile Swim that starts at the end of Busselton Jetty, and kids aged 8-12 can enrol in the 222m junior swim.

Busselton Jetty Swim

Busselton Jetty Swim


Busselton Festival of Triathlon: 29 April to 1 May 2022

This bumper beach weekend has several events in play. There’s the Busselton Foreshore Triathlon, and the jaw-dropping Busselton 100 that includes a 2km swim, 18km run, and a phenomenal 80km bike ride. There is also a fun run and a kids’ triathlon for 7-15 year-olds.



Learning to swim or getting back into it

If you love the idea of a proper ocean swim (even if you haven’t swum since childhood!) we recommend taking a look at Swimming Women. Founder Charlotte O’Beirne grew up in the UK and was seriously into her sport. She was even coached by experts who also worked with Olympic athletes. She now resides in our South West and is handing on a wealth of knowledge to local swimmers and visitors.




The call of the wild ocean beckons; your seaside holiday starts here. Browse our portfolio of luxury holiday homes today.



You might also like:

The South West’s best beaches

Discover the South West’s secret snorkelling spots

Sail away on a luxurious seaside adventure

5 best walks on the Cape to Cape

Margaret River region summer bucket list

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