7 differences of the SouthWest Coast to the North East Coast of Australia.

We love the West Coast. Ted was born and raised in Western Australia so we regularly holiday in Cottesloe. This November we’ve holidayed in Cairns and drove to Port Douglas for a day trip.

Port Douglas is a popular holiday destination and as we spent the day there we started thinking about our regular choice of Cottesloe on the South West coast of WA and why we like it. We compared it to North Eastern Queensland. Here’s our thoughts.

1. Travel time from Melbourne.

Perth is slightly longer flying but not that much so it wouldn’t affect your decision either way. About 4 hours MELBOURNE to PERTH WA and 3.5 hours MELBOURNE to CAIRNS with direct flights.

2. Accommodation

We stay on Marine Parade Cottesloe across from South Cottesloe beach. Mornings, with our coffee we walk across the road & sit on the beach. It’s a beautiful beach.

South Cottesloe Western Australia Beach 6am Summer where we have our morning coffee
South Cottesloe Beach Western Australia
South Cottesloe Beach WA 6am.
Private Residence Marine Parade Cottesloe

You could also do this in Port Douglas. There’s accomodation across the road on 4 mile beach. Cottesloe’s Marine parade is being bought out by private owners for large waterfront homes, however there are still apartments available for hire along the beach front.

The White House. Apartments’s for hire in Port Douglas just back from the beachfront . It looks lovely with the typical Queenslander verandas.

We went for a drive to The Sheraton Grand Mirage and it was an impressive looking 5 star resort, with multiple swimming pools, a golf course and many other facilities.

Ariel view. Picture from internet
Sheraton Grand Mirage accomodation Queensland

Apart from the 5 star Crown Towers and Crown Metropol Perth at Burswood, being the closest to a resort, Cottesloe Western Australia doesn’t have the Queensland type of resorts.

Crown Towers Burswood Western Australia
Crown Towers WA
Crown Towers WA
Crown Towers WA

3. Water Hazards

You can swim safely where we stay in WA. No stingers or crocodiles to worry about. WA coastline can have sharks but it’s never been an issue in the past 10 years for us.

Helicopters patrol beach areas for sharks. There has been 2 suspected fatal shark attacks in Cottesloe since 2000. However according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection there has only been 1 non-fatal salt water crocodile attack in Port Douglas recorded and that was on the golf course!

The Indiana Cottesloe Main Beach, Marine Parade.
Sign warning not to swim as risk of crocodiles, Port Douglas

Re stingers in Northern Queensland here is a link to a site for further information World Travel Family

I think for Port Douglas that’s a negative. You may have accomodation across from the beachfront but you have to swims in a pontoon.

4 Mile Beach Queensland
White plastic pipe is the pontoon nets to protect from stingers.

4 Mile Beach and pontoon area Queensland.

South Cottesloe Beach WA

We love the freedom of swimming in the beach without the restriction of pontoons therefore Cottesloe wins on this level hands down for us,

4. Water Temperature

The water in Northern Queensland is warm, comfortably warm. There’s not that standing on tippy ties, sucking your tummy in, shoulders and arms raised feeling as the cooler Western Australian water reaches your waistline or even more cooler the Southern states oceans around Victoria. Northern Queensland gets my vote on the water temperature. Problem is you can’t swim in it, well only when in a pontoon it seems.

5. Weather

Both Western Australia and Queensland has consistently warm days and evenings in peak season 25-40 degrees celcius. This makes for great days at the beach and nice dinners at al fresco restaurants in the evenings if that’s your thing. Since being inCairns, I haven’t needed a cardigan or jacket. The evenings are probably a bit more consistently warmer than Cottesloe WA.

Western Australia has what’s referred to as ‘The Freo Doctor’ . About 1pm a cooling breeze comes in off the Indian Ocean. Best swimming time is in the mornings before lunch in WA if wanting to avoid the breeze.

One negative for me in Northern Queensland is the humidity. Western Australia has a dry heat. We both prefer that. The humidity can be oppressive

6. Sand

Queensland tends to have a more yellow sand. 4 Mile Beach at Port Douglas almost had a greyish tinge sand when we were there. The coastline between Cairns and Port Douglas was beautiful with the sand, aqua water and greenery.

Rex Lookout along roadsides from Cairns to Port Douglas
Rex Lookout
Gold Coast Beach. Beautiful. A lot of tourists holiday here. It’s to touristy for us.
Gold Coast Queensland is a beautiful beach. Photo taken from beach in front of the Mirage Hotel Gold Coast.

Southern Western Australia has a white powdery sand. We love this.

City Beach Western Australia
Cottesloe Beach Western Australia
South Cottesloe Beach WA
South Cottesloe Beach WA

7. Forna and Flora

When you are in Queensland the tropical foliage of plants really makes me feel like Im on holidays. I live in Melbourne which has lots of Gum trees and our streets are lined with English Elm or Plane Trees. So to be amongst Palm Trees and big leafy plants feels like a paradise.

Driveway into the Sheridan Grand Mirage lined with a Palm trees.
At Mary’s church Port Douglas surrounded by Palm trees
Tropical foliage
Cairns Queensland shopping district
Tropical Plants Kuranda Railway Station
Plants grow as a ground cover looking like grass

Western Australia has Gum Trees, plenty of them and plants that survive in dry hot climates so for me Queensland gets my vote for foliage

Queensland has birds roaming around more so than I’ve noticed in Cottesloe, however up further North of Western Australia towards Exmouth and Shell Bay, there are plenty of Emu’s

Bird wandering freely around Kuranda Railway Station
Emu in Western Australia

In Summary

Both places you will have a great experience and won’t be disappointed. Queensland and Western Australia (WA) are big states and the experience changes according to where in that state you are. This was a comparison of two areas we have spent holidays in. There’s the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Queensland areas I haven’t really discussed and also very top of Western Australia and very south. The coastline along Esperance is beautiful and Albany and many other areas in WA.

People tend to flock to Queensland because Western Australia is isolated from most other major Australian cities. I like WA because of this as it isn’t as touristy as Queensland. It’s more like I remember Australian beach holidays growing up. It has a different vibe. A vibe I remember as a child of family holidays without the tourist attractions, tourist orientated shops and crowds. I enjoy the freedom of plentiful beaches in Western Australia that you can swim without restriction and feeling of being in a swimming pool that you get in the pontoons. I love the wide range thick white powdery beaches of Western Australia.

Thick sand that scrunches as you walk on it in WA.

But like my friend who prefers to swim in a pool rather than the beach, Queensland accommodation offers beautiful pool resorts. Whereas in Western Australia it’s more about swimming in the ocean. So if pool swimming is your thing you can enjoy the tropics and wonderful resort pools, with walks along beaches.

4 Mile Beach Port Douglas

I do enjoy the tropical feel given by the Palm trees and other foliage in Queensland It feels plush, fresh, luxurious. Summery in an exotic way.

We like the dry Western Australian heat better than Queenslands humidity but love the constant warm nights I have had in Cairns and the abundance of choice of alfresco eateries. Watching sunsets over the Indian Ocean with take away fish and chips also enjoyable when in WA.

Cottesloe WA

For me both I can do. Pool swim tropical holiday or ocean swim dry heat holidays.

It purely comes down to personal choice.

Love Lucy x

2 thoughts on “7 differences of the SouthWest Coast to the North East Coast of Australia.

Add yours

  1. I loved far Nth Qld, really have a desire to revisit.
    Hadn’t been to Cottlesloe till I went with you. What a fantastic summer that was.

    My preference is the tropics and a beautiful pool. Maybe it has something to do with my very early days spending time in New Guinea. I always thought what an exotic start to life I had.

    Enjoy life GF. It’s an adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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