The route from Cottesloe to Hillarys features 25km of Perth's beautiful coastline complete with white sandy beaches, sparkling turquoise water and many great cafes to stop at along the way. When the weather is clear and you have a few hours to spare, you can pick any section of this route to tackle by foot or bike and take in some of Perth's finest scenery.
The cycle/foot path, which winds alongside Perth's coast is well kept for a smooth ride and with limited road crossings is a very safe route to travel. While the entire length of this path extends past Fremantle to the south and as far as Burns Beach to the north, the Cottesloe to Hillarys section is, in my personal opinion, a great place to start.
Starting from the south, there is something about the buzzing atmosphere combined with beautiful ocean views at Cottesloe Beach that makes it a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike. With more than a handful of cafes and restaurants along Marine Parade, you should be able to find a table to sit at, as long as you aren't too picky on where it is. A popular spot for cyclists is Beaches Café, with a shaded grass area to chill-out on while waiting for your coffee - they also do a great breakfast. From here we head north through Swanbourne and around the Army Barracks to City Beach.
As you continue past City Beach, you'll often find people surfing and fishing off the groyne all year round. The recently opened Clancy's Fish Pub overlooks the water and is a funky, relaxed place to stop for a drink or some fresh fish and chips. If you are after something a bit quieter and family friendly, it's only a few more minutes down the road to Floreat Beach which offers a great café and playground for the kids. The protected beach volleyball courts are available for hire or if you prefer to save your energy, you can watch a game from the café while enjoying one of their fresh fruit juices.
Further north is Scarborough Beach and you are now almost halfway to Hillarys. With recent redevelopments, Scarborough boasts a popular café strip, playgrounds, picnic areas, accommodation and the outdoor amphitheatre which hosts a number of summer events including concerts, beach volleyball and cricket. Scarborough is also renowned as a great kite-surfing location so you can sit back and watch the impressive aerial displays performed out on the water.
As you head further towards Hillarys, cafes are dotted along the coastline including Trigg Island Café, Wild Fig, Soda Sun Lounge and Salt. So there is never too far to travel if you decide you want to stop for a breather. This section of the path sits up high above the beaches, offering some stunning views across clear blue waters. Mettams Pool in Trigg is a great place to stop if you are looking to cool-off for a snorkel, it is well protected and the reef attracts plenty of fish to swim amongst.
As you approach Hillarys, you can see the marina in the distance jutting out into the ocean. Once you have arrived, if you visit on a weekend, you will be glad you don't need to circle around with swarms of other cars looking for a parking space. Hillarys Marina is a great place to incorporate into your journey. The beach is very well protected for children and there is a water park with mini golf and other activities for young families. You can choose to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes or browse the retail stores before giving into temptation at one of the ice-cream shops.
While this is a lot to incorporate into one day, you can see that no-matter which part of the coast you choose to run, walk or cycle, you are able to enjoy fantastic views, places to stop and chat along the way and that great feeling you get from heading outdoors for some exercise. For more information on walking and cycling in Perth visit the Department of Transport website.