The pure white sand at City Beach is so brilliant, we once exported our sandcastles overseas.  The global financial crisis, and high tides eventually washed the sandcastle industry off our shores.

City Beach.
With a wide expanse of pure white sand, and clear blue waters, City Beach is a perfect example of what a typical Perth beach delivers on a hot sunny day.  During summer there is usually a beach patrol on duty, though this is no excuse to ignore the danger of dumping waves.  On a calm day, City Beach is great for swimming.  There are some lovely grassed areas to enjoy, and playgrounds to entertain the children.
City Beach Restaurant.
City Beach, like many of Perth’s popular beaches, has a very nice restaurant overlooking the water.  They all offer excellent views of the breaking waves, though can be a little expensive.  Some of the prices are so high, the tide doesn’t come in anymore. 


City Beach Sand.
sand is white because the tiny particles which make up the sand are predominantly coloured white.   The persistent pounding action of the City Beach surf has broken these particles into the small grain sized pieces that get stuck between your toes.

Beach sand is prepared as follows:
Australia is an extremely old continent.  Indian Ocean waves have been depositing minerals from the continental shelf on the City Beach shoreline for millennia.  Even the quartz particles found in ancient granite rock, have had plenty of time to erode down to their milky coloured cores. 
Seashells are also washed ashore, crushed by the dumping waves, and then bleached white by the sun.
  To complete this aquatic whitewash, the waves have broken down the coastal landforms, which include Tamala Limestone.  Tamala Limestone is composed of quartz particles (white) and wind blown shell fragments (white).
Mix all these particles together and set the cooking time to "geological".   Walk on when cool.  Build sandcastles as required.

Linking City Beach to the more northerly Floreat Beach is a 220 metre timber boardwalk.  It is built above the coastal dunes, allowing walkers to responsibly appreciate the biodiversity of the fragile coastal environment.  Well…...that was the idea.  Between September and November you can view the annual southward migration of Humpback whales.  They leave warmer northern waters, and head south to feeding grounds near Antarctica. The route is known as the Humpback Highway.
Keeping an eye on the biodiversity.
Keeping an eye on the biodiversity.
City Beach Boardwalk.
The boardwalk is called Mum-Boy-Jet Jinnung which is a local Nyungah (Indigenous) sentence meaning,
"Looking out to where the sea meets the sky".
Feet Inspector on patrol.
Despite the collapse of the City Beach sandcastle industry, the sand is as white as ever.  It has a beautiful soft texture which can be comfortably squished between your toes.    Due to an increasing number of people taking sand home between their toes, there are now quantity restrictions enforced at the car park.  People who intentionally collect sand from beaches are called Arenophiles, and occasionally “Pet Shop Owners”.  Tread lightly because the local Feet Inspectors will literally keep you on your toes.
Feet Inspector on patrol.  
City Beach.
CSI - City Beach.
Prior to 1928 the area was known as Ocean Beach.  This name was considered too descriptive, and was eventually changed to City Beach after the local suburb. The suburb was established by the Perth City Council to complete a corridor linking the City to the Indian Ocean. The journey from Perth to City Beach is a very direct route, and is now popularized by the annual 12km “City to Surf”  Fun Run.
This guy barely finished!
A totally stuffed fun runner.
  Did you know?  10 000 years ago you could actually walk from City Beach to Rottnest Island (16 km west). This would have more than doubled the distance for exhausted "City to Surf" Fun Run competitors.  Global warming may ultimately reduce the event to a hop, skip, and jump, sometime in the next 6000 years!  
  Effect of Climate Change over 16 000 years on the 12km Mark of the "City to Surf" Fun Run.  
  Where the heck do we finish!   That's more like it!   Gulp!  
  8000 Years BC.   Today - Finish Line 12km.   8000 Years AD.  
  During the last ice age the sea level reached its lowest level.  Around 18 000 years ago, the City Beach coastline was some 12 km west of Rottnest.  The "City to Surf" Fun Run would have been a real marathon in those days.  Rising sea levels permanently separated City Beach from Rottnest Island about 6500 years ago. This was bad news for the indigenous population who had been enjoying the island for over 30 000 years. With no boats at their disposal, Rottnest was left uninhabited for thousands of years.

City Beach lifesavers now keep a permanent watch on this dynamic coastline using their webcam. You can check out the live view at  If anything moves, please let us know.

Welcome to City Beach!
Venture south of the City Beach groyne and you will enter the unchartered territory of South City Beach. This long stretch of white sandy beach extends to the northern border of the unofficial Swanbourne Nudist Beach.  Behind this beach is a densely vegetated snake infested dune system, and a top secret Army facility that fires real guns.  The beach is frequented by more weirdos than the Mos Eisley Cantina during happy hour.
It's beach life Jim, but not as we know it.  
Fronting up on these shores with your inflatable pool pony is a death wish.  Expect to have it mauled by a pit bull terrier.  Unless your name is Bear Grylls, stay at the family orientated City Beach for a fun filled day.

Choose your beach wisely!
City Beach   South City Beach
Increased chance of meeting your friends. Increased chance of meeting foul play.
So whether you enjoy building sandcastles for fun, or out of an essential need to establish a fortified stronghold along a hostile coastal strip,  City Beach has the coastline for you.
Copyright © 2011