The world has its share of beaches where the point is to be seen. Waikiki, Bondi, Ipanema – nature doesn't always provide the main scenery. But if you want to see some of the world's best beaches in solitude, there may be no better place than Western Australia, where your own private sandy paradise is only a short drive away from the capitol city of Perth. A family-friendly favorite of ours is the Yanchep Beach lagoon, just 56 kilometers (35 miles) north of the central business district.
Protected by a finger reef of gritty Tamala limestone that formed during the most recent ice age, water in the lagoon is no deeper than waist-high for the the average adult. The calm, turquoise waters are a perfect natural swimming pool for families with young children who are just learning to swim, particularly at the sheltered southern end of the main pool. There can be a strong current near the mouth of the inlet. Occasional schools of small fish will entertain young snorkellers. And, the clean white sand is an ideal playground for future architects armed with only a bucket, a plastic shovel and dreams. On a crowded summer day there will be no more than a handful of beach-goers.