Smiths Beach is a very popular destination in the south west of WA. The accommodation is limited to a few apartments and the resort, and there is only a small shop to cater for general requirements, but don’t let this put you off! Of course, the resort has a restaurant, bar and various other amenities to keep you happy. Smiths Beach is truly an amazing location. The beach is crystal clear, nice to swim in and there is plenty of space to relax. It is however, a very small location compared to Yallingup, Dunsborough and Margaret River!
Where is Smiths Beach?
Smiths Beach starts only a few hundred metres away from Yallingup; another coastal town. Yallingup is larger though, with plenty of shops and a lot more range of accommodation. To get to Smiths Beach, you simply head west from Dunsborough along Caves road, and turn south down Caves road. Turn right at Canal Rocks road, and then right at Smiths Beach Road. This is a rather steep hill, which descends right down near the beach. You can drive out to the point to have a look, or park in front of the accommodation.
If you are driving from Perth, you can get to Smiths Beach in about 3.5 hours. The new Forrest Hwy makes the trip much quicker and more enjoyable. There are plenty of other great locations surrounding Smiths Beach as well, which means you won’t run out of things to do or see on the way there!
Weather at Smiths Beach
The first time I visited Smiths beach was on a rough, winter’s day. I thought to myself ‘Why would you ever pay top dollar to stay in a location like this?’. However, since going back several times when the weather is good, I can see why very clearly. The beach is fairly private, the fishing is good, surfing and snorkeling is great and its just an amazing place to see. Majority of the time the weather is great, but obviously you get the odd day where even the most beautiful place can look bad.
The point that I am trying to get across is the weather at Smiths Beach can be bad at times. The biggest issue with the small town is that it is located on the west side of the continent, meaning it gets the full blast of the storms. Most of the storms come from the west, as well as the sea breeze and swell. At least with Dunsborough you can hide on the other side of the Cape, which will be protected. Smiths Beach is out in the open quite a bit and as a result it gets hit hard in winter! Basically all this comes down to is that when there is bad weather, Smiths Beach is not very protected from the elements!
In saying this, if you go to Smiths Beach on a regular day you will be impressed. The beach is pristine white, amazing for swimming and there is enough to keep you busy. The resort is expensive, but you get what you pay for! In terms of the beach itself, you struggle to find one better than Smiths that close to Perth!
Swimming, Fishing, Surfing and Snorkeling
Smiths Beach is one of the most inviting beaches that I have ever swum at. The water is clear, blue and the sand is clean and white. The water is cold in winter, but in summer it is nice to swim off. The beach isn’t exactly small either, so you will always have a piece of it to yourself. The only real issue with the beach is you can only access it from one side (easily) so you have a long walk if you go right to one end!
Fishing is very popular in this little location, especially off the rocks at the point. If you have a boat, then you are able to go almost anywhere and you have a lot better chance of getting something big. In saying this, decent Dhu fish, Salmon, Sweep, Flathead and a range of other fish are regularly caught off the rocks on the way to the point.
Snorkelling is great around the rocky area as well, and there are some deeper places that you can SCUBA dive off too. If you have a boat, you can swim out to the reefs that are a few hundred metres from the beach. These have a lot of fish swimming around, and the coral is quite pretty too. Surfing is also a very popular sport at Smiths Beach, especially towards the point. Waves often break right near the beach, just on the point side. Of course, this entirely depends on the wind and swell. Usually the best days for surfing are the worst for anything else!
On a day where there is little swell or wind you won’t find many waves, but if you head south to Margaret River, or north to Yallingup you can be sure to find something. This region is known throughout the world for some of the best surfing, which is why you will see a lot of boards being carried around!
Where is the nearest boat ramp?
The best boat ramp that we found was from Canal Rocks, just around the corner from Smiths Beach. If you launch at Canal Rocks, you can get to Smiths beach in only a few minutes. The Canal Rocks boat ramp only has one ramp (you can use both sides though), but you need to be very careful if the weather picks up. I have seen some decent sized waves go up the boat ramp, and if you drive too far into the water with the trailer you will have some serious issues on your hands! On most days the ramp is fine though, and I have launched there several times. On a nice day you will find that quite a few boats head out to wet their lines!
Smiths Beach Accommodation
As mentioned above, the accommodation at Smiths Beach is quite limited. The area for apartments and the resort is hardly 200 metres wide, but there are a few choices. You can either stay at the Resort, where there are beach front apartments, or ones further back. There are a few choices depending on how many people you have staying, but expect to pay a fair amount (and that’s not even in the peak season!).
The other choice is Canal Rocks apartments, which are further west. These are not as nice, but the difference in price sure makes up for it. At the end of the day, I much prefer to stay in Dunsborough or Yallingup and drive down because of the money that you save, but it comes down to what you want. Smiths Beach is truly an amazing place to stay at; there is no doubt about that!
Smiths Beach Amenities
Smiths Beach has a small general store, a few restaurants and a bar. Supplies are limited at the general store, which explains why so many people bring most of their shopping with them. I have heard good things about the restaurant, but you pay for it too! There is no fuel station at Smiths Beach; Yallingup or Margaret River are your nearest stations.
Other nearby locations
The South West of WA has a lot to offer. Dunsborough, Busselton, Yallingup, Margaret River, Bunker Bay and Eagle Bay are all within an hour’s drive. There is a considerable difference in what you will pay for accommodation in between these locations too. Busselton is by far the biggest centre, with Dunsborough following and then Margaret River and Yallingup. You can get supplies for a reasonable price at Dunsborough, which is a great place in itself.
As I mentioned above I prefer to stay at Dunsborough because it costs less, you have more variety and it is central to what I like doing. In saying this, Smiths Beach is a great place to visit, and last time I went to Dunsborough we drove their almost every day. If you haven’t been there, then it is a pristine example of some of Western Australia’s coastline.