Beaches and rivers

The Augusta Margaret River Shire is home to some of Western Australia’s most scenic beaches and many popular surf breaks. Our coastline stretches approximately 85km from north of Cowaramup Bay south to Cape Leeuwin and 25km east to the Shire of Nannup.

A Lifeguard Service is provided at River Mouth beach, December through to March and during the Easter long weekend.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife manages most of the beaches as part of the Leeuwin Naturaliste and Scott River National Parks.  Council is responsible for foreshore areas with The Department of Fisheries and The Department for Planning and Infrastructure, being responsible from the high water mark outwards.

Please keep to the designated walkways and refrain from driving, parking or standing vehicles on any beach or foreshore unless authorised.  Dogs are not permitted on these beaches but the Shire does provide for Dog Exercise Areas in various locations.

The rivers  in the region are a popular place for canoeing.  The Margaret River is lined by paperbark trees there is stunning scenery and plenty of birdlife while the Blackwood River is a large river with a few rapids. 

Beach safety

Minimise risk of shark attack

The best form of preventing shark attack is to take precautionary steps, such as:

  • Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.
  • Avoid time in/on the water around dusk and dawn – when most fish are feeding and sharks are likely to be active.
  • Avoid areas where there are large schools of fish, or among seals and close to rookeries.
  • Avoid areas where animal, human or fish waste enter the water.
  • Avoid deep-water channels or drop-offs nearby.
  • Do not remain in the water with bleeding wounds.
  • If you see a shark, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible. Avoid excessive splashing or noise.

Shark sightings

Please report all shark sightings directly to the Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.

Keep informed of the latest reported sighting and tagged shark detection information by downloading the SharkSmart WA mobile app (available in the App Store or Google Play) and setting up your favourite beach locations to receive notifications for alerts in those areas. The Shark Activity Map provides beach users with near ‘real time’ information on reported sightings and tagged shark detections, current alerts and warnings issued by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. You can also follow the Surf Life Saving WA twitter feed @SLSWA for alert information. Remember the map shows available information – not all sharks are tagged, or sightings reported, so be Sharksmart when using the water.

People are asked to refrain from phoning rangers direct for updates as these phone lines need to be available to coordinate shark sighting response activities.

For more information about shark sighting response plans and procedures as well as shark safety tips visit the Sharksmart website.

Helicopter shark surveillance

New arrangements are now in place, to help improve WA's shark hazard management.  The WA Government has taken the opportunity to join with Surf Life Saving WA to expand the services of its new Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

For more information visit Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter

Beach patrols and lifeguards

For information on patrols for your local beaches visit Surf Life Saving WA or download the SharkSmart WA app (available in the App Store or Google Play).

Safe fishing and handling

  • If you hook a large shark or a fish you don't want to keep, it is better to cut the line, as close as possible to the hook, after you have brought it close to the boat.
  • Be extremely careful when dealing with wobbegongs, as they can turn full circle and bite if you are holding them by the tail.
  • Never handle a shark's head or mouth even after it has been landed, as involuntary muscle spasms often result in biting actions and injuries to fishers.
  • Never feed or berley large sharks while boat fishing, as this may train them to nudge other boats looking for a free feed. 

Further information

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Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512


66 Allnut Terrace
Tues, Wed, Thurs
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255


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