Cottesloe Reef

With a smorgasbord of reef breaks south of Cottesloe Beach, why not spend a morning dining out on some of Perth's best surfing cuisine.

The great thing about the waves this side of town, is they are much more forgiving than the ones that break on our northern beaches.  Rather than surfacing with a mouth full of sand, these waves will cover you in soft seaweed.  The water tends to spill down from the crest of the wave, avoiding that nasty dumping action common on beach breaks.  Picking the right day is essential.  Try a pleasant Autumn or Winter's day.   

South Cottesloe reef breaks.

A smorgasbord of reef breaks.

Looking south towards Fremantle.

The Cottesloe Reef extends approximately 4.5 km along the coast.    The reef is composed of limestone pinnacles and platforms, covered with kelp beds and seagrass. Apart from being a fun place to surf, it is also a very popular snorkelling location. Supporting an abundant range of aquatic life, the region is an officially protected ecosystem.  Perhaps you might even spot the rare leafy seadragon, or a migrating whale.

 Looking south towards Fremantle
across the Cottesloe Reef.


PERTH ALERT:   The Cottesloe Reef can be a dangerous place.  Just ask the crew of the sailing ship Elizabeth.  These guys found out the hard way in September 1839.  Caught in a night gale, the Elizabeth was driven onto the reef off South Cottesloe Beach. The ship was a total wreck.  Luckily no lives were lost,  partly helped by the close proximity of the beach.    Various artefacts have since been recovered including Spanish olive jars, Chinese porcelain and inexperienced surfers.

The Elizabeth going down.

Ok.. so it might not be the Elizabeth, or even a windy night, but it is the actual reef featured in the shipwreck of 21st September 1839. 

Another great day for a walk.

If you don't feel like getting your feet wet, take a stroll along the scenic pathway.  It is so close to the reef, you can almost reach out and touch the water.  During summer it becomes a really trendy place to walk, so if you don't own the latest street fashion, choose a lonely wet day during winter.       

Take a pleasant walk by the seaside.


Pictured here, is a local surfer enjoying a ride on one of the numerous reef breaks.  She is riding a long board. Surf skis and boogie boards are also popular ways to get a piece of the wave action.  Body surfing is another option, though be careful to avoid a rough encounter with the reef. 

Wave riding at South Cottesloe.


Catching a wave off South Cottesloe.

Circle Of Friends

These surfers are pictured forming a linked circle off South Cottesloe.  It is a symbolic way for the surfing community to demonstrate respect for a fellow surfer, or just get that little bit closer to nature.

Circles quickly replaced the admired but more problematic Dodecagon.


Once you get the hang of surfing, pulling off snappy moves like this one, will  become second nature.  This tourist only landed in Perth yesterday.  His landing today wasn't so smooth.  Check out the article on the Cable Station Artificial Reef, to find out more about surfing the Cottesloe Reef.

Ok. You guessed it. He is a local surfer, but he is a tourist when he is overseas.


Snappy Mover.

There is so much to see and do around the Cottesloe Reef.  Why not come down for a swim, snorkel, surf, or leisurely beach walk.  Just don't get shipwrecked. 

Copyright 2007