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North Swanbourne beach is some 20 minutes by car from the centre of Perth and is located north of Fremantle between Cottesloe and City beaches. It is the most popular of the clothing optional beaches in the metropolitan area. The sand is clean and there are several large rubbish bins provided.  The water is clear, clean and great for splashing, body surfing or boogie boarding.

The section for nude bathing is 3km long and stretches from the "Clothing Optional Beach" sign 275m north of the Swanbourne beach access, to the municipal boundary with the City of Cambridge which is marked with a "No Nude Bathing" sign.  Please note that neither the car park nor paths leading on to the beach are designated as clothing optional areas, so make sure you are north of the sign before stripping off.  Do not stray into the dunes as they are fenced off and their sensitive environment is threatened by unthinking humans.

Each February the beach users, supported by other naturist organisations, run the Swanbourne Olympics which is a fun day of beach games for all the family.  Not to be missed!




The sealed car park is only 200m from the beach and a grassed overflow parking area is immediately above. If both are full then street parking is available. The large toilet and shower blocks have unfortunately been closed, and replaced by new toilet facilities in the Naked Fig Cafe.  There is only a single shower in each of the small Gents and Ladies change rooms.  The Naked Fig is expected to open in December 2009 and will include a kiosk plus a restaurant for 160 patrons (see News Item)..


Current Status


North Swanbourne beach has been used for nude bathing since before the Second World War.  In 1981 the title of Lot 357 was transferred from the Commonwealth to State ownership and although some groups have tried to disrupt nude use, the long history, popularity, and vigorous campaign of the North Swanbourne Beach Users Association has protected its status.  Lot 357 is only 350m long, however the beach for some 2km north of this is still military land and available for nude use except if the firing range is in use (look for the guard towers with red flags).

FBWA notes that in January, 2008 Nedlands Council erected a sign on the southern boundary of Lot 357 (see photo above) stating that the area north of the sign may be used for clothing optional bathing.  This official recognition of North Swanbourne's special status is welcomed and it is hoped that Council will see fit to place further signs at the beach access, both to direct nude bathers to the free beach, and to let others know that they may encounter nudity on this beach.

Despite these changes the legal status of the beach as an area for nude bathing remains a little unclear.  By erecting the sign Nedlands has effectively made nude bathing legal north of the sign on Lot 328.  However, Council does not administer Lot 357, which has not been officially approved for unclad bathing by the State Government.  The conclusion that FBWA draws from this is that as long as you are 275m north of the beach access, and north of the "Clothing Optional Beach" sign erected by Nedlands Council,  you should be OK (see the title plan).  It is understood that the State Government wishes to transfer responsibility for the beach to Nedlands Council, at which point Lot 357 would become a Reserve.  However Nedlands has evidently been unwilling to accept the transfer unless Lot 357 has existing legal free beach status.  With the sign on the beach however, this may change.

In 2007/08 there were proposals to build a marina, and associated development behind the beach at Swanbourne, however the City of Nedlands Masterplan for the Swanbourne-Allen Park area is expected to recommend preservation the bushland areas

Swanbourne Beach Olympics restarted in 2008, after a 3 year gap.  See the News item, and get the details for the 2009 event.  Read all about the Swanbourne Olympics.  For a historical perspective of North Swanbourne beach over the past 30 years, see our Swanbourne Olympics Archive page.


When To Visit


The weather is usually suitable between November and April but occasional days outside this period can be delightful. Temperatures vary from 20 to 40oC during the day in these months and rain is unusual from January to April. The sea breeze usually comes in around midday and can blow strongly on this west-facing beach, so the morning is usually the best time. Take a strong windbreak if you intend staying during the afternoon. On those days when the sea breeze does not arrive enjoy a barmy evening on the sand and watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean.




There are no contacts for this area other than FBWA and the Perth nudist clubs (see Contacts page).


How To Get There


From the north, continue driving south along Route 71 for 3.3km from the southern Challenger Parade junction, to the traffic lights at North Street. Turn right and drive ~1.2km to the ocean, and then turn right at the roundabout on Marine Parade and drive 300m to the car park behind the Surf Lifesaving clubhouse.  There are a few ACROD parking spots next to the beach.  There is a grassed overflow parking area accessed from the main car park, but if this is full then exit the car park on to Odern Crescent, where street parking is available.

From Perth City take Stirling Highway (Route 5) heading for Fremantle. Approximately 1.5km past the Claremont shopping area turn right into Eric Street at the traffic lights heading for Cottesloe (this is also the start of Route 71).  Drive 1.4km straight to the sea crossing over the Perth to Fremantle railway. At the T junction with Marine Parade turn right.  Drive 900m north and then be sure to keep straight at the roundabout on Marine Parade, heading for Swanbourne Beach which is a further 300m.

The closest railway station is Grant Street. Exit the station on the western side (cross the railway bridge if coming from Perth) and walk 1.1km straight down Grant Street to the coast. Walk 800m north along Marine Parade to the beach.  Bus route 102 leaves the City bus station (Wellington Street) for Cottesloe via North Street.

  Maps, Photos & Resources    

Active Map (zoom & pan)

Other Maps, Links, Photos etc.


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Regional Map Detailed Map Air Photo
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Live beach camera (south of free beach section).

Swanny Surf Cam - Click for current weather

Swanbourne Coastal Alliance

Group fighting to retain the beach environment.  If you want to keep Swanbourne as it is then get involved!

  Page content updated 16 June, 2009    
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Site last updated 13 February, 2014