Places I Love – Leighton Beach

Words and pictures by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey

Leighton Beach in North Fremantle is now ranked number 11 in Western Australia’s Top 50 beaches!

Leighton has soft white sand and clear turquoise water. It stretches for 1.5 kms from Port Beach to Cottesloe Beach.

The northern end of the beach is known as Mosman’s Beach and is managed by Mosman Park Council. To the south of Mosman’s Beach, it’s all Fremantle!

The centre of Fremantle is just four kilometres further south from Leighton. There are plenty of car parking spaces along the beach for those who drive there.

If you want to use public transport, you can catch the train or bus to North Fremantle station and walk 800-metres to the beach.

It’s also an easy cycle from Fremantle, across the Derbarl Yerrigan/Swan River into North Fremantle, and then on to the coastal cycle path past Port Beach and on to Leighton.

Locals who live in North Fremantle and Mosman Park have easy walking access to the beach by walking over the Leighton Railway Bridge from Stirling Highway. It’s also a popular beach for Fremantle visitors and is suitable for young children.

Locals flock to the beach in the early morning when the ocean is calm and perfect for swimming and Stand Up Paddle boarding. The flat beach is great for walking and jogging before work. You can always find a spot to get away from the crowds if you want to sit or relax. The Mosman’s Beach end has amazing reefs and marine life and is a beautiful and sheltered snorkel spot.

From Leighton Railway Bridge to the North, the beach is dog friendly – this is where you’ll find dog lovers and owners. You never know what you will see on the dog beach – recently I saw a dog surfing on a long board. Another morning, I came across a huge number of golden retrievers playing on the beach and in the surf – it was an organized walk/play date for the Golden Retrievers Club WA. Recently, I spoke with Betty who was on the beach with her five rescue dogs: one is blind, one is deaf and the others are old. Two of her dogs enjoy riding in a pushchair. They all love their beach time.

When the Fremantle Doctor (the local south westerly wind) blows, you can watch windsurfers and kite surfers tackling the strong wind offshore. When the easterly wind blows – the hang gliders swoop and dive over the beach.

When the wind is offshore, the surfers and boogie boarders have fun.

As the sun sets, Leighton Beach is the place to be for a picnic or swim at the end of a hot day. It’s my favourite spot to watch the sunset with Rottnest Island on the horizon.

Leighton Beach is home to Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club. The club has patrolled Leighton Beach since 1935. On Sundays during the summer, it’s busy with Nippers and Surf Life Saving competitions. A beach wheelchair is available for use, courtesy of the Disabled Surfers Association (DSA WA). To book, contact Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club.

DSA WA holds ‘Lets go Surfing’ days several times throughout the year for the disabled. They are wonderful community events.

There are toilets, showers and changing rooms close to the beach at the Souther end, right near the Orange Box cafe. A large grassed picnic area has electric barbecues, picnic tables and shade.

There are several cafes and restaurants to choose from. The Orange Box is a popular casual and dog friendly spot for coffee and food after the beach. It’s built from shipping containers that are painted orange! At weekends during summer, there is often live music or a DJ playing from a VW Combi Van.

You can dine on the balcony of Bib and Tucker, which is situated over the Surf Life Saving Club, and enjoy sweeping views of Leighton Beach and the Indian Ocean. It’s a more formal venue to enjoy lunch or dinner by the beach.

Across the road in Fremantle Loop is MRKT Space – another popular spot for a coffee fix, an evening cocktail, or a glass of wine.

Nearby, Jessie’s at the Beach serves breakfast or lunch, craft beer and wine. Both these venues now have Happy Hour at the weekends.

0n the weekends, in the car park at Mosman’s Beach, you’ll find the Wooden Wagon, a fully restored Baravan, where you get coffee, açaí bowls and handmade cafe styled food.

Leighton is becoming one of Perth’s most popular beaches – it has something for everyone all year round. It changes with the weather and the seasons, and is, without a doubt, my favourite place in Fremantle.