I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published January 13th 2012
Summer is the season for beach lovers in Perth and one of the best ways to cool down when the temperature soars is to dip into the ocean. If you have young kids in tow, however, you might not feel safe when the water is too choppy and the waves are unpredictable. One beach in Perth that doesn't have this problem is Mettam's Pool.
Mettam's Pool is very popular in summer
As the name suggests, Mettam's Pool is a natural pool situated inside a protecting reef. This beach is particularly attractive to elderly and young swimmers due to the calm waters within the pool. For this reason, the Department of Education picks this location to run some of their lower level vacation swimming classes every summer.
VacSwim teachers with their students
Another feature of the beach that makes it attractive to the young is the ocean life around the reef. Fish, starfish, and mollusks could be seen within a few steps from the beach. The calm water combined with the closeness of the reef from the beach make it the perfect location for children to learn to snorkel. AQWA acknowledges this feature by naming their touch pool Mettam's Touch Pool.
Although not patrolled by lifeguards, beach inspectors would visit the area and close the beach when there are confirmed shark sightings. The beach would then become a busy village with adults comparing notes on shark sighting news, and children digging up all the sand they could lay their hands on (no shortage of this, at least). It's amazing how a common threat (and lack of other occupations) could shore up community spirits. I witnessed a couple of teenage boys warmly chatting with an elderly lady when ten minutes earlier they had been too busy with their snorkels to notice anybody else.
Children waiting for the beach to reopen after a shark sighting
The beach has both stairs and ramp access from the street and a few shaded picnic tables. There is a toilet building with outdoor as well as indoor showers. Two carparks flank this location, one is the Bennion Beach carpark to the south of Mettam's Pool and the other carpark is at the northern end of Mettam's Pool, near North Beach.
The toilet building with beach access from the street
Other than for swimming, the other time when Mettam's Pool is busy is during abalone season. Five Sundays in a year around summer time, the Department of Fisheries would allow the public to fish abalone for one hour (with license). During that window of one hour, hundreds of people would line up in the water of Mettam's Pool and other nearby beaches, trying to pry abalones off their rocky perch with flat head screwdrivers or other similar tools. It's quite a sight to behold, and Perth is unique as one of the few remaining sustainable abalone fisheries located on the doorstep of a major city (Department of Fisheries' Report). So if you've never seen this phenomenon, find out the next scheduled abalone fishing hour and pop down there with your camera. When time is up and the hundreds of people head home with their catch, it's your time to spread a blanket, put on some sunscreen, and enjoy the place.
I grew up at Mettams Pool, my dad would take us snorkling and for someone like me who doesn't like sand in her bathers or stepping on squidgy things on the bottom of the sea, it was just perfect. Then there was always Mr Whippy waiting for us in the carpark. Good times.
Its not a natural pool ... Old man Mettam used dynamite to to explode the reef apart so that there could be a small area to swim in....Idiot greenies and the like think it's all natural..... Just like the Scarborough sand dunes.... these dunes are also man made and should be removed !!!!!!!!!!! Having said the above I do love Mettams pool however it got there .... Great for kids......