6 Incredible Family-Friendly Beaches around Denmark and Walpole, Western Australia #denmark #walpole #westernaustralia #beaches #beach #family #baby #toddler

Best Beaches for Families: Walpole & Denmark Edition

We planned several hikes during our week-long camping adventure in Western Australia’s Great Southern with days spent wandering stretches of the Bibbulmun Track and trekking down sandy paths to isolated beaches. Unfortunately, this was not to be. Our daughter Maddie became unwell and was very run down and tired for most of our trip. Jed and I have become a lot better at going with the flow lately, learning from our trips to Kalbarri and Wooleen Station. Instead of exploring by foot, we explored the region by car, but this is not a bad thing. Dotted along the coast between Walpole and Albany in Western Australia are a collection of deserted beaches, some just small alcoves protected from the wild ocean, others huge sweeping bays of perfectly undisturbed sand and the clearest of turquoise waters. If you want to truly experience the wonders of the Great Southern coastline there are two ways to do it; either hiking the southern section of the Bibbulmun Track or driving the many 4 wheel drive tracks. Either way, this is one part of Australia you do not want to miss!

maddie sitting in the sand wearing white top and straw hat with sea and vegetation-covered hills in the background

Greens Pool

20km, 20min from Denmark – 60km, 50min from Walpole

An amazing place to snorkel, this protected bay offers an underwater playground with plenty of rocks, boulders and pools to explore. The bay is protected from the Southern Ocean by a wall of granite, creating a calm and warm swimming area. We found it a comfortable temperature for a dip even in spring. The pool is much bigger than I imagined and you’ll find plenty of space even on a busy day. With plenty of parking and restrooms available, this beach is perfect for a family day out. The beach sweeps around and continues all the way to Parry Beach campsite at the far end. A path leads from the eastern end of the beach up into the dunes and downs to Elephant Rocks.

a wooden staircase leads down through thick vegetation to turquoise sea below
Suzy and Maddie standing on the platform looking out over the white sand and blue sea with granite boulders in background

Elephant Rocks

20km, 20min from Denmark – 60km, 50min from Walpole

Only a ten minute walk from Greens Pool, the rounded boulders of Elephant Rocks are not to be missed. The path follows along the top of the granite offering glimpses of the bay below before dropping back down to the beach via a well-maintained staircase. Walk between two enormous granite boulders and the stunning bay opens up before you. In contrast to the large and open Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks is surrounded by huge, rounded rocks creating an enclosed oasis. 

suzy carries maddie through  tiny gap between huge vertical granite walls to the beach beyond
the perfectly clear waters in front of the characteristic rounded granite boulders

Conspicuous Bay

55km, 42min from Denmark – 25km, 25min from Walpole

If stunning scenery is what you’re after, then this beach, encircled by an imposing ridgeline and powerful surf is the place for you. A short walk up a sealed path from the carpark will take you up to a platform overlooking the entire beach. We stopped here for about half an hour to watch the waves below from our high vantage point. Walk a little further around the headland for a second viewing platform.

It is possible to walk down to the beach but we decided to give it a miss as Maddie was still very tired. It is not advised to swim here due to the rips and unpredictable waves but it is popular for salmon fishing. 

Suzy sitting on a bench at a lookout holding maddie. the platform is atop a cliff overlooking the white snd and sea below and tall scarp covered in vegetation
looking down on to beach, sea and the white water of the surf form high above

Little Boat Harbour

43km, 40min from Denmark – 55km, 55min from Walpole

Tucked into the coast at the end of a sandy 4WD track is another bay with aquarium-still waters for snorkeling. Little Boat Harbour is a wide bay with a shallow area protected by more granite, perfect for swimming. Access is 4-wheel drive only but the track was in pretty good condition at the time of our visit. You could drive further along to a beach access but the sand was pretty soft and churned up so we decided to park up at the small parking area. A short walk takes you across the rocks to a grass clearing. Just as we approached a kangaroo popped up and continued to watch us as we explored the bay. We spotted the remains of a piling in the protected area that must have been a boat mooring, hence the name. 

looking over beach with rounded granite expanding into the bay separating the sea into the main bay and a smaller, shallow lagoon in the foreground, green hills in background
Jed holding maddie as they look out over the shallow lagoon

Shelly Beach

40km, 40min from Denmark – 110km, 1hr 30min from Walpole

West Cape Howe National Park is wild, remote, dramatic and best suited to experienced 4 wheel drivers. This unspoiled national park is home to some of the most stunning coastline in the world. The unsealed track towards Shelly Beach, and Shelly Lookout is manageable with a 4 wheel drive but we decided not to attempt to reach the other sites as the track was very soft and churned up. 

Not knowing what to expect we were blown away by the view from the Shelly Beach lookout. Perched atop the headland we looked down on to the perfect and deserted beach blow. The water was so clear you could make out shoals of fish swimming around. The area is set up as a hang glider launch and landing pad. 

turquoise sea in a bay with bright white sand all surrounded by high, vegetation covered hills. No waves, very calm water

A small campsite is tucked into the base of the hillside and would be an incredible place to spend a few nights under the stars. The sand on the beach is such pure silica that it squeaks under foot. Maddie enjoyed searching for shells as Jed and I took in our surroundings. A couple of campers decided to have a skinny dip some way up the beach – good on ‘em – then set up for a morning yoga session on the beach. What an incredibly refreshing way to start the day. The waves were a little big to take Maddie in but Jed braved the brisk waters for a dip.

Jed running from the waves while carrying maddie, both laughing
Jed and maddie chasing each other on the perfect white sand with the sea in the background

Parry Beach

25km, 30min from Denmark – 50km, 55min from Walpole

I cannot talk about the best beaches of the Great Southern without mentioning our home for a week; Parry Beach. This little campsite is nestled in amongst a peppermint grove, hidden from the wind and harsh Australian sun. Each day we enjoyed an early morning drive on the beach, watching the surf and searching for dolphins. A family of cockatoos joined us most afternoons as we walked around the bay. These friendly cockatoos came much closer than the ones we have seen elsewhere in Western Australia and would land in the heathland right in front of us – a wildlife photographer’s dream. 

The Bibbulmun Track goes right through the campsite and along the beach. This stunning destination must be a highlight of the almost 1000km track.

At low tide you can explore the expansive rock pools searching for crabs, starfish, sea urchins and small fish. There is so much to entertain our little travel buddies at this campsite, it really is a great base from which to explore the rest of the region.

black cockatoo sitting in the scrub at the beach with sea in the background
large, shallow rock pools in the granite foreshore with sea in background. Jed stands at the far end of the rock pool

15 Comments

    1. Wow! So many hidden gems, places I’ve never even heard of! Will definitely have to put these on the bucket list, and plan a trip over to the west sometime soon. Thanks for the travel inspiration!

      1. There are just so many incredible places in this region – many I’d never heard of until we drove past them too

      1. Isn’t it stunning! Sometimes I worry that these places are not going to live up to the brochure photos – but in WA the always do, or even exceed your wildest expectations 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness, I need to get back to WA next time I’m in Oz! Great tips here and lovely photos. Definitely missing the WA beaches as I look out of my London window at grey and cloudy skies!

      1. Ah but soon it will be spring in the UK with the daffodils and bluebells – my favourite time of year back home 🙂 so glad you enjoyed the post and hope you make it back to WA again sometime in the future

      1. Thank you! Elephant Rocks is even more spectacular in real life 😉

    1. The big problem with this blog is I just want to pack my bags and go now ! Not so easy from England .

      1. Does that make it about time for another Australian road trip??

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