Cycling Perth to Cottlesloe Beach – Australia

Cycling Perth to Cottlesloe Beach – Australia

Perth CBD – Cottlesloe 18km one way (36km return)

A stunning city-to-sea ride with spectacular river views this is an easy day trip on bike paths along the Swan River and quiet residential roads through some of Perth’s most exclusive suburbs to Cottlesloe beach.

Riding Notes

The cycle route described below is more of a ‘locals’ route than the riverside path (described in the Ride the Rivers publication). Tt follows the follows the river but on good quality roads which allows for faster and smooth riding and easier navigation. It is common to see cycle clubs training along this route. See the bottom for the riverside path alternatives published by the Perth City Council.

Start from anywhere in the CBD by heading down to the bike path on the north of the river, head west past the ferry terminal/ Lucky Shag bar (good for post ride refreshments). Head approximately 1km to pass under the narrows bridge. Continue along the cycle path past the Swan Brewery and turn left at the first traffic lights.

The bike path now joins the road (Hackett Drive); continue along through two roundabouts, past the Matilda Bay tea-rooms. (Another good refreshment stop). At the third roundabout veer left onto “the Avenue” follow this road until it turns into Birdwood Parade and Beatrice Road. At the end of Beatrice Road turn right into Victoria Avenue. This section is easy to navigate as you are essentially following the main road hugging the river.  So a good rule of thumb is to stay left (with the exception of dead-ends that lead to the river)

Continue along Victoria Avenue which wiggles past the Claremount Museum (open on weekends) When you reach Christchurch Grammar School turn right and reach the traffic intersection with the Stirling Highway. This is the only busy section of the ride, turn left and travel approx. 400m on the stirling highway (recommended to take the footpath for this section). After passing Methodist Ladies College turn left into Cory Lynn road.  Follow the left, turning into Cliff Way and Richardson Avenue, which turns into Bindaring Parade and the Esplanade. This section has some amazing views and an optional detour is to continue down to Freshwater Bay foreshore reserve.

The most direct route to the beach is to turn right onto Forrest Avenue, this is a quiet avenue that is intersected by the Stirling Highway. You need to cross over the Stirling Highway by dismounting; once on the other side head towards Cottesloe train station. Cross the train tracks and continue along Forrest Avenue over a small hill and you will see the ocean and Cottlesloe beach unfold as you ride past a golf course to the main reserve.

Ride around the Rivers Route The bike path out of the city is extremely well signed however beyond Nedlands signage is limited. There is a good description of the path in the following leaflet published by the Perth City council.  This route follows the foreshore closely and the maintenance of some of the cycle paths is haphazard, it also involves a couple of sets of stairs.

Railway Route The Council also provides a leaflet on the more direct alternative, however this route follows the railway line so not recommended as a scenic ride.

Planning your trip

Bikes can be hired for a reasonable price at Cycle Centre in the CBD or at About Bike Hire on the river near the causeway.

If you are limited on time or only want to this ride as a one-way option you can take bikes on the train as long as you are not traveling during peak hour. The described route passes through Cottesloe station and this costs ~$4 to return to the CBD you can buy tickets at the station with cash.

There is almost a continuous strip of foreshore reserve on this ride. Bring a picnic with you and stop when you find a pleasant shady tree.

If you want to swim at the beach its worth noting that there are useful amenities at Cottlesloe beach including changing rooms, toilets and showers. There is bike parking on the reserve or on the corner of Forrest Avenue. There are number of cafes, fish and chip stores and a general store to top up on food and refreshments.

Our Experience

During summer it is best to do this ride in the morning as you get a prevailing tailwind and if you stay at the beach long enough you will also benefit from the prevailing afternoon sea breeze nicknamed the ‘doctor’ on your return leg.

We set off early-ish in the morning on a holiday weekend and met a lot of cyclists on their return journey along the Nedlands foreshore. A nice tail wind meant a lot of cruising around 30-35kmph (with more serious cyclists passing at higher speeds).  45 min later we arrived at the beach, it was a fantastic calm sunny day. The water at Cottesloe is very clear when calm and is definitely on par with the top beaches we have encountered in Asia and Europe.

We stayed at the beach for an Australia Day challenge called the “thong” challenge. The idea is to set a world record for the longest inflatable lilo. Photos

This was a fun distraction and we joined some other friends to undertake the challenge. However the challenge took a while and suburn and heat got the better of us.  Headed back to Perth around lunchtime which was hot but the plus side was there was a nice tailwind.  We were slightly alarmed when the temperature on the cycle computer registered 41 degrees. It was reassuring to find out back at home base that this was a mal-function – the top temperature registered by BOM was only 34.


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