Waves of Change

The story of Cottesloe Beach

The story begins more than 40,000 years ago with the Noongar people who valued the coast here as an abundant source of food and an important spiritual site. The early settlers deemed it “barren and worthless”. It was not until the jetty was built in 1906 that Cottesloe Beach was established as Perth’s first surf beach.

Since then the beach has been a place for carnivals, festivals, concerts and protests, ranging from the patriotic festivals of the First World War, through to the beauty contests of the 1960s and now Sculpture by the Sea. The 2019 Foreshore Master Plan heralds another change in the story of Cottesloe Beach.

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This website supplements the Waves of Change exhibition for the National Trust’s Australian Heritage Festival that was held in The Grove Library in April 2021. The exhibition was supported by the Town of Cottesloe as part of a project to conserve and share the Town’s historical photos  and documents.