Yallingup Beach has it all:
- Powerful surf breaks
- A lagoon sheltered by reefs, perfect for swimming
- Lots and lots of fish – and superb snorkelling in calm, shallow water
- Golden-white sand and a spectacular setting at the base of the steep slope of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, with views of seacliffs fading far into the distance
On hot summer days, the sea sparkles and glitters in the sun, inviting you to swim in the cool turquoise water…
…And in autumn and winter it feels like a different beach altogether. Seaweed, shells, sea urchins and cuttlefish bones are washed up on the beach, huge swells roll in and the cliffs in the distance are obscured by seamist.
I love the way you can walk along Yallingup Beach in solitude any time other than the Christmas-New Year holidays and hot summer weekends, but I also enjoy the fun, summer holiday atmosphere at the beach when it’s busy.
Yallingup Beach Surf
The beach at Yallingup has some epic waves. The Yallingup Main Break is at the south end of the beach, over the reef. This wave works well in most conditions. It holds both right and left when waves are on the small side, or a long left in large swells. You get an excellent side-on view of this wave from South Point.
Further along north along the beach, are several more surf breaks – Isolators, Mousetraps, Rabbits and Razors. To get to these you can either walk along the beach from the main carpark, or else park at the Rabbit Hill carpark north of town.
- Rabbits is about 2 thirds of the way along the beach beneath Rabbit Hill. This wave is a powerful right over reef then sand, good when waves are medium to large.
- Isolators is the wave breaking left and right just to the south of Rabbits.
- You’ll find Mousetraps to the north of rabbits. It’s a short and powerful left that breaks over a sharp, shallow reef, working best in swells of 1 – 2 metres.
- Razors is the next break along from Mousetraps
Check out these Yallingup Beach surf videos:
Filmed and edited by Joshua Titchener
Yallingup Body Boarding Session:
Filmed and edited by Joshua Duncan
Swimming at Yallingup Beach
Yallingup Beach is a fantastic swimming beach. Sometimes the waves are absolutely monstrous and rips can be a problem, but the Yallingup Reef always provides some shelter at the southern end of the beach.
The best swimming area is right in front of the town, where the playground and picnic benches are. This spot is somewhat protected by Yallingup Reef and South Point, but is deep and still gets some wave action sometimes.
The shallow lagoon off the Yallingup Reef Beach is the safest place to swim, and the best for little kids. The only problem is it’s very shallow, and also quite rocky and seaweedy.
Heading further north along the beach beyond the protection of the reef, the waves can get pretty big. This is heaps of fun for body surfing, but be wary of rips! During the summer school holidays, Yallingup Beach is patrolled and the safest place to swim is between the flags.
The Yallingup Reef Beach
The southernmost section of Yallingup Beach near the point is Yallingup Reef. The Reef Beach is small, with some low limestone rocks and cliffs, and well protected from the wind.
The lagoon in the reef is small and narrow near the beach. It stays very shallow for a long way out, so it’s a great spot for families with little kids and toddlers. You can usually find some nice turban shells, cone shells and sea urchins on the sandy seafloor in the middle of the lagoon.
This area is calmer and more protected than the more open lagoon to the north that’s the popular spot for swimming. Yallingup Reef and the granite rocks of the point surround it completely, so there are no waves breaking anywhere near the beach.
The platform reef extending out from the beach is not too sharp to walk on, and on a calm enough day you can walk out on it all the way to where the waves are breaking.
Yallingup Reef is a Marine Reserve
Rod fishing is permitted in the lagoons of the Yallingup Reef, but you cannot collect shells, sea urchins or anything other than fish from the reef and the Yallingup Reef Beach.
I’ve been visiting Yallingup and swimming at the beach all my life, but was only a few years ago that I first tried snorkelling the Yallingup Reef. I found it to be rich in marine life, with lots and lots of fish, sea weeds and grasses, shells and sea urchins. It’s since become one of my favourite places for snorkeling in the Margaret River Region.
On my first snorkel at Yallingup, I saw stripeys, morwongs, whiting, pairs and schools of old wives and huge schools of bream, bullseyes and zebrafish, as well as many other fish that I couldn’t identify at the time. The reefs were covered in colourful seaweeds, seasquirts and spikey sea urchins. It was a beautiful windless sunny day and the was water crystal clear. Everywhere I looked I saw fish, big and small, darting this way and that or lying motionless on the seafloor. I’ve snorkelled there several times since and have never been disappointed!
The lagoon is shallow, safe and easy to snorkel, so long as the conditions are right. It’s no good if the waves breaking on the outer edge of the reefs are large enough to wash across the lagoon, making it choppy and turbulent.
By on a calm day it would be hard to think of a better place to take young kids snorkelling, because there’s so much to see, even in water just a metre or two deep.
Last Updated: 24th June, 2014.
First posted on 13th October, 2013 by Bonny.
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