Issue addressed: The study investigates the sun-protective behaviours of beach goers in the north-west of Western Australia as the basis for a new health promotion intervention to be implemented in the area. Methods: A cross-sectional, observational survey of 1,498 beach goers in 25 beach locations across northwest Western Australia. Details of sun-protective clothing (none, hat with no shirt, shirt with no hat and full coverage) were recorded, as was time on beach, age and gender. Environmental audits were also completed to characterise the effects of the natural and built environments on sun-protective behaviours. Results: Both females and children had the lowest rates of sun protection - 33.7% of females were found to wear shirts with no hats, compared to 29.0% of males, and they were less likely to be fully covered than males (30.3% compared to 41.5%). Children were more likely to wear shirts with no hats (43.1%) compared to adults (28.2%). Conclusions: Female and child beach goers represent two groups that are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer and, therefore, should become targets for a sustainable, effective and multicomponent health promotion program.