Identify the Perfect Weather Conditions for Perth’s Beaches

After living on the coast of Perth for over 30 years and having a passion for numerous ocean-based activities, I’ve been able to gain a good understanding of what weather conditions are likely to provide the best experience for your day out at the beach.

Beautiful sunsets over Busselton town beach
Perfect conditions at Busselton’s town beach in the South West Region of WA

Whether you’re swimming, snorkelling, surfing or windsurfing off Perth beaches, the below guide should help you identify the conditions needed to provide the best experience.

What are the best websites or apps to use?

Example of Seabreeze weather forecast

Firstly, you want to ensure you have access to websites and/or apps that can give you the information you need to determine what the conditions are going to be like.

For most, you will need to be able to swell, wind direction, weather conditions, temperature and tides.  

However, being in Perth tides aren’t really a big factor and these only really start coming into play when you’re up in the northwest region of WA.

Personally, for years now, I’ve always used Seabreeze.com.au, however, there are plenty of others out that provide such info.

Why Seabreeze you ask? I find their 7-day graphical charts to be easy to view, easy to access and provide all the info you need.

Best conditions for swimming at Beach Beaches?

Example of what to look out for. Here you have light offshore winds in the morning which makes it ideal

When it comes to swimming at Perth beaches, apart from a nice sunny day, the weather conditions that provide the calmer conditions are a light offshore wind with a low swell.

When I say “offshore” this means a wind that is blowing off the land.  Ideally, this would be a light easterly wind, or if not a N/E or S/E wind.  

Of course, if you’re in a cove as such or the beach you’re on doesn’t face west (for example one of Perth’s coastal islands) then the offshore wind may be in a different direction.

However, the point is that generally in Perth if you have a light wind coming off the land it will calm down the ocean in close.

In regards to speed, when I mention “light” this would be anywhere from say 0 – 8 knots.

When it comes to swells, a low swell in Perth is usually anything under the 1m mark.

Best conditions for snorkelling?

My child snorkelling at five fingers coral bay

For snorkelling the best conditions you want to look for are what I’ve mentioned for swimming, however, in addition to this another factor that will impact your experience is the “visibility” of the water.

What does visibility refer to?  This is basically how clear the water is and how far you can see when you’re under the water.

You’ll often hear people say (especially scuba divers)… “How good was the viz today” or “It was 10m viz today”.  These are all common terms you’ll hear within the WA snorkelling and scuba diving community.

For good visibility factors that help include a low swell (below 1 metre) for a least 1 day prior along with minimal rainfall.  A little rain won’t impact the visibility much though a lot can cause bad viz.

See also: Perth’s best snorkelling spots

Best conditions for surfing?

When it comes to surfing you want the offshore winds through large swell.  

Why the offshore winds? Well after surfing at a number of popular surf spots in Perth I’ve noticed that the easterly winds not only help to keep the water calm inshore, but the offshore wind also holds up the face of the wave creating a much nicer wave to surf🤙

Concerned about Sharks at Perth beaches?

If you’re concerned about sharks when swimming at Perth beaches, please have a read of our Shark Safety page.

Final thoughts

Please note that the information I’ve provided is purely based on my opinion and experience from visiting Perth beaches since my childhood.

As always, prior to entering the waters off WA’s coast, you should always do your own due diligence and always practice beach safety.

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