6 secrets of Coogee, Perth’s fastest growing seaside community
It might just be heaven on earth
In the glorious eye of the Summer sun, Coogee Beach stretches down Perth’s southern coastline. Our boat rocks gently in the waters just 50 metres offshore. Garden, Carnac and Rottnest lie behind me – a trio of stunning, marine friendly islands laden with white sand and glistening waters. Up the coast, you can just make out the iconic ‘giraffe’ loaders of Fremantle. Further on are the tall towers of Perth metropolitan. The day is young and discovery lies in every direction.
Coogee is arguably Perth’s best kept secret. The area has perhaps in the past been considered an afterthought in the shadow of Fremantle; the city’s port and tourist hotspot, located just 7km away. But in recent years Coogee has quietly developed into one of the most desirable places to live south of the river. And with its beautiful parklands, glorious beach, stunning properties and a picturesque marina to boot, it’s hard to argue with that statement!
New residents flock from far and wide – England, Italy, Spain, South Africa and even East Freo are all looking for a taste of seaside living in the modern ages. The attraction to European dwellers may be due to the area’s historical roots, with the first settlements in the 1870s being predominantly Italian, Croatian and Portuguese. When you’ve packed up and left the Med, you know it’s gotta be good right?
1. An inspired twist on the traditional
Pleasingly, Coogee has stayed true to its roots and the area still possesses a particularly Mediterranean feel. Architecture plays a big part in this, and rather than knocking everything down and starting again, there is a growing trend to make use of the old school 80s Italian homes of the Original Cockburn Waters. Many have been restored and transformed into modern masterpieces. Coupled with the refreshingly creative new builds in the Ocean Road Estate beside the port, you could mistake Coogee for a modern seaside town in Europe.
The focus on family in Coogee is another nod to its Italian roots. The idea that ‘La Familia’ and quality of life for one’s family is of great importance – and that is what resonates with those choosing Coogee as a destination to settle down and find their forever home. And once you’re here, why would you leave? The place has everything you could need, from the big blocks for kids, pets and pools, to the highly regarded primary school, nearby parks and the newly constructed port providing unrivalled access to Fremantle, City Beach and Rottnest, to the abundance of parking for all those boats, trailers and cars that need a home.
Fallen in love yet? Well, read on to find out a few more secrets (and not-so-secrets) of Coogee.
2. Beach Surf Life Saving Club
Overlooking Coogee Beach is the Beach Surf Life Saving Club, a fantastic establishment providing rescue services and beach patrols along the Cockburn Coast. The club is big on community, with a social calendar full of functions and events, both family oriented and just for adults. If you’re new to the area, then this is certainly the place to make friends and connections in a heartbeat.
There are many perks to being a member, including access to what is possibly Perth’s best kept secret bar, where the beverages and food are cheap on a social membership and the sunset views from the balcony are hard to beat.
The club is still a popular destination for non-members, with a picnic area and benches overlooking the beach and round the back you can find the Surfing Lizard Espresso Bar, serving up their famous duck fat fries all day long.
3. Coogee Beach Fitness
What could beat an evening jog watching one of Perth’s famous sunsets? Throw in unparalleled views of Coogee Beach and you’re on to a winner! Despite residing within the Beach Life Saving Clubhouse, Coogee Beach Fitness is a completely independent establishment, so you don’t have to be a club member to enjoy its perks.
Those perks include gym memberships, group classes, personal training, exercise physiology and more. And the best views in the whole of Perth, don’t forget.
4. Woodman’s Point & Coogee Beach Reserve
A beautiful spot for families to enjoy the summer sun. Nestled between the port and Woodman’s Point Boat Ramp, the Reserve is a lush parkland with manicured lawns, big shady trees and seated areas scattered around for picnics and BBQs. There’s even free wifi and a playground for the kids and a cosy cafe where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat.
When the sun’s out, Woodman’s is simply glorious. You can easily spend the whole afternoon relaxing on the grass with a glass of something cold, watching the world go by.
5. Coogee Beach
This was always the original pulling point for holidaymakers and day trips. The white sands of Coogee Beach stretch over 3km, rivalling North Fremantle’s Leighton Beach for size. But there are two distinct features that really make it stand out.
First is the jetty, which really gives the beach its character and is a popular fishing spot. It’s nice to just walk up and down on a calm day and you may be joined by a pelican or two as they patrol, waiting for any discarded catch.
The second pull – which is really what makes the beach so popular for families – is the eco-shark barrier. This large man-made netting, installed by the City of Cockburn, provides a safe, family friendly area to swim and enjoy the sea all year round. Large and un-obstructive whilst not taking up too much space to become an eyesore, the barrier has been well thought out and is also completely recyclable and environmentally friendly. The eco barrier has been welcomed as a great community asset and has only enhanced Coogee Beach as a travel destination.
6 (ish). Coogee Beach Reserve
Backing onto Coogee Beach’s Sharknet is Coogee Beach Reserve, this area of parkland borders onto the town’s Port and runs into Woodman’s Point Reserve. Worth a mention with its spacious BBQ areas and green lawns for relaxing and letting the kids off the hook. Free Wifi is also provided here courtesy of the City of Cockburn.
And there you have it, Coogee is no longer a secret! The area continues to develop at lightning speed, but all the while remembering its heritage and embracing ‘La Familia’ at its heart.
Be sure to read up on the Secrets of Port Coogee and discover all there is to know about Perth’s newest marina community.