- Category: Local Area Guide
- Last Updated: Saturday, 04 December 2010 13:49
- Published: Thursday, 04 November 2010 18:37
- Written by Vicki Sly
The sand is wedding-dress white, the surf is reliable and the sea is brilliant blue.
Located 20 minutes drive north-west of central Perth, Scarborough sits in the City of Stirling and is often described as the west coast’s answer to Bondi Beach. Because of this you can always expect a crowd, so if people watching is your thing, Scarborough is a candy shop for the eyes.
Where to start? The beach seems the obvious place. The panoramic view of the Indian Ocean sweeps from Fremantle in the south to Hillarys in the north. Try a walk in either direction for some great beachcombing. The sand squeaks under your feet.
The water is safe for swimming and surfing but make sure you look out for the flags and swim between them. The flags on Scarborough Beach are patrolled by one of Perth’s biggest surf lifesaving clubs on the weekends and on weekdays by the City of Stirling lifeguards. If you want to see the Scarborough Surf Lifesaving Club in action, there are competitions on Sunday mornings most weekends between October and March.
Other sports you’ll find at Scarborough Beach include surfing, wind and kite surfing, beach volleyball, beach soccer and cycling. The list is only limited by your imagination.
Leave the beach for a freshwater shower then tackle the host of alfresco cafes and restaurants to suit all budgets and all clothing attire. Scarborough is relaxed.
Rendezvous Observation City Hotel is a beachfront icon and at the higher end of the accommodation market. But inside you will find a West Australian institution for all budgets – the Dome coffee house. Founded in Perth in the early 1990s, there are now 70 Domes throughout Australia and Asia and it is well worth a visit for a great coffee.
The hotel has an overhead walkway out onto the beach and at the base of this is a playground for kids. Grab a takeaway coffee and head to the swings. There’s also the option of picking up a great ice-cream from Tomfoolery's Serious Ice-cream at Shop 5 on the ground floor.
If you looking for something more substantial to eat, the whole stretch in front of the hotel has an array of different food houses. At the end is the Hollywood- themed Jimmy Dean’s Diner with Elvis out the front to welcome you in.
Head back the other way to the Luna complex on the corner of Scarborough Beach Road and West Coast Highway. Although not a massive shopping experience, the Luna has some great cheap eateries, a supermarket (handy if you are renting holiday accommodation nearby), a liquor store, a bakery, a newsagency and a surf shop for all beachgoers.
Other local shopping complexes are scattered around the suburb. The Brighton Road Bakery is always good for pies and fresh bread and opens at 6.00am for the early risers. Doric Street off Weaponess Road has a takeaway Chinese worth trying and a small deli halfway down with cheap fruit and vegetables.
Accommodation in Scarborough ranges from budget flats and backpacking hostels to self-catering apartments and hotel luxury. There are also plenty of drinking holes and night clubs for those staying on after sunset.
No mention of Scarborough would be complete without the fair. Scarborough Fair Markets are on Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00am – 5.30 pm and public holidays from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.
Situated opposite the “iconic hotel”, they are not large but feature amongst others things: souvenirs, fashion, jewellery, surf gear, tarot card readings and antiques. Better still, the opportunity to say you have been to Scarborough Fair!
How to get to Scarborough
If travelling by car from Perth city centre, take the Mitchell Freeway to the Cedric Street exit and follow the signs to Scarborough Beach Road. For those travelling by public transport, take the train north to Glendalough Train Station and the connecting bus number 400.
What do you enjoy the most about Scarborough Beach?
Add your comments below.