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A visit to Lake Jasper in the 4WD

 

A sunset at Lake Jasper

Lake Jasper is a huge lake located south of Perth, near Pemberton. It is the largest freshwater lake in Western Australia, and is used for skiing, canoeing, fishing and just having a good time. It is known primarily for its high quality water and the great campsites to have some time away! We often use the water for washing dishes, but I wouldn’t advise you drink it! If you want to camp, the only way to get to the Camping grounds is to drive (or you can hike in but it’s a long walk!), and you need a 4WD to get there. Sometimes the tracks can be easy, but there is always the odd chance that the sand could be dry and soft (and it would have to be when you choose to go without a 4WD!).

My first visit to Lake Jasper was done on a small four wheel driving trip from Pemberton to Black point and along the coast a bit, and then to Lake Jasper. The coastline to the south of Perth is quite impressive, so be sure to check it out! We had an absolute blast, although a cars clutch went (making it awfully difficult to continue) and we will definitely be heading down there again.

A huge puddle

A huge puddle

What is the D'entrecasteaux National Park?

Lake Jasper is found in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. The D'entrecasteaux National Park can be found south of Perth, and can be found near black point and Augusta. Much of the park is in its natural and original state, which is why very few facilities are provided. There are some very isolated camp sites, as well as hiking tracks which are a pleasure to do. I have actually hiked down there for several days through the D’entrecasteaux National Park, and thoroughly enjoyed it (even though I usually don’t like walking and hiking!).

Friendly animals in Pemberton

Friendly animals in Pemberton

How do I get there?

The 4WD tracks start just out of Pemberton. Your best bet is to go and purchase a four wheel driving book with the day tracks in them. You can get some books that are quite cheap which will show you so many tracks that you can go along. We started off from a small hut in Pemberton where the kangaroos and emus like to gather. The first night that we went Camping we stopped at Black point. It costs a few dollars to stay there, but its well worth it. From there, it’s only about a 30 minute drive along some tracks to Lake Jasper.

A warm fire on a cold night is great

A warm fire on a cold night is great

What can I do there?

The lake itself has several campsites surrounding it. If you want, you can stay the night, and enjoy the views over the lake. The camp sites are close enough to the water and most have fire places. Again, its a few dollars each per night to stay at the sites, but it all goes to maintaining the area, so don’t try to get out of it. The ranger is often around in the mornings, and they are likely to ask for the money.
If you have a kayak, you can explore the lake in peace. Power boats have since been banned at the Lake. If the weather is nice you can also go for a swim. When we were there it was simply too cold to even think about jumping in the water. There are a number of 4x4 tracks which go around the lake, but be sure to check the depth of any puddles. If it’s been wet, there can be massive puddles which will drown your car in no time.

Signs for where to Ski

Signs for where to Ski

What is nearby?

As mentioned above, just around the corner is Black point, which is a great fishing spot (many black rocks with some amazing places to drop a line). Be sure to stay well clear of the swell though; we have seen the waves come in very fast and wet a long way up the rocks. Occasionally people are killed on the coast of Western Australia, because they are unaware of how dangerous it can be. If you need to, you can drive into Pemberton, but I don’t know how long that takes. I assume that there is a real road that goes into Lake Jasper, because I've seen a lot of ski boats towed in and they don’t work so well in the sand. I don’t actually know this though; if anyone does, please leave a comment.

Other than that, there really isn’t much nearby. The camp sites tend to be fairly well spread out which means that you get exactly what you came for – a break from all the hustle and bustle! The views are amazing if you pick the right spot, and having a good fire at night is a great way to unwind. The bush in the D'entrecasteaux national park is unique, and quite amazing to walk through.

Be prepared for problems

Be prepared for problems

What should I take?

As far as I am aware, firewood is not available at this spot, but I know people tend to take things out of the bush. Whether or not the ranger wants you to do that I am not sure, but it’s probably a good idea to take some wood along with you. A kayak is a good way to have some fun in the water, or , but leave the boat at home if you have one. Like other trips, take recovery gear and spare parts (driving home in a car without a clutch is not fun at all). Having a kit of at least the basics can save you a heap of time and stress. The beaches in the surrounding area's can be very soft; make sure you know what to do in regards to Beach Driving.

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Swags make camping easy and comfortable as well

Swags make camping easy and comfortable as well

When should I go?

This depends on what you want to do. We went during winter, and it rained a bit, but it was still great fun. The advantage of going then is there are no flies and the vegetation is quite green. Of course it’s usually to cool to swim in the lake (unless you are from New Zealand!) but there’s still lots to see. If you are an avid water skier, then just take a wet suit and you can ski all year round! Be aware that the campsites fill up very quickly if you go during the school holidays.

A puddle we had to cross

A puddle we had to cross

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris

    Aaron,

    Love you site. I think it is great. I went to Lake Jasper of the Christmas/New Year break 2009. I really enjoyed it though the flies can be a pain. From what I am aware there is no ‘real road’ into Jasper. On one of the trips along Scott road into the lake we passed two 4x4s towing ski boats out. The sand was very boggy but they were going fine. I towed a trailer in fine as well.

    On another note I’m visiting Hill River this weekend so can send you some photos and give you an update on the condition.

    Thanks, Chris.

  • Aaron

    Awesome! I bet it would be a real problem towing ski boats in if the sand got really chopped up; those things are mighty heavy and don’t have a huge amount of clearance! I guess with the right tyre pressures in all tyres it wouldn’t be such an issue; people take 2 tonne fishing boats on the beach. You will love Hill River, its a very special place. Have a great trip, and stay safe.

    Aaron

  • Lewis Bronzo

    Hello may I use some of the content here in this blog if I reference you with a link back to your site?

  • Aaron

    Sure 🙂

  • Rob

    On the weekend we camped at the Lake , we found a really great spot to camp , under trees and metres away from the water. There were no flies but a little bit of rain . Can’t understand why there is not many birds around the lake . Also the yabbies are really weird , they are blue and look like shrips with yabbie claws and grow to about 50mm .The fish are green in colour don’t know what they were but there were heaps washed up on the beach .They really could do with opening out more camp sites as there are not many .
    Lastly getting there is a lot better from Pnumonia Rd rather than going from Black Point , that road is a bitch .
    Any way good spot .

  • Aaron

    Hi Rob,

    Sounds like you had a great trip! I like Lake Jasper – lots of variety around there. I know what you mean about the track – what vehicle do you have? When I did it we did a trip from Pemberton and came in from near Black Point – hence the directions! I know they need to open up more campsites – when we were there it was off peak and still very busy. I don’t recall seeing any fish down there when we went – perhaps they died of poisoning or something? I don’t really know enough about them to be honest. If you like Lake Jasper I would say you would enjoy Walpole – I just spent the weekend down there and had a blast. Top notch location for a get away!

    Have a good one
    Aaron

  • Maria Robbo

    We went there on Australia Day and found that we could not get through due to surrounding areas that were under attack with fire. How do we find out before we go somewhere what is happening in the surrounding area and whether we can get to the designated area.

  • Hi Maria,
    The DEC is worth contacting before you plan a trip like this. The fires were very unfortunate. Hopefully it will be open soon.
    Take it easy
    Aaron

  • Jeff

    Great site Aaron I like it a lot! Cheers !

  • Thanks Jeff,

    Have a good one

    Aaron

  • Shane

    Tried to get in two days ago, ~ (8/3/2012) still closed due to fires. If you check with pemberton DEC then they should let you know when it’s good to go.

    ps. not sure if ski boats are allowed, tollerated or if the ranger tells you to pack up and piss off.

    any thoughts??

    Shane

  • G’day Shane,

    It’s a shame about the fire down there. I knew they closed it, but was never informed of an approximate opening date. In regards to skiing in the lake, I wouldn’t risk it. I’d be surprised if you didn’t get into trouble for doing it (which is also a shame – such a good lake for a day out on the boat!). Still, it wouldn’t hurt to give the DEC a call!

    Aaron

  • Justin Jun

    Department of Environment and Conservation has closed the lake to powerboats (8 May 2012) saying that powerboats “could have negative effects on the flora and fauna, water quality and other passive recreational activities at the near pristine wetland…. they could also cause bank erosion and disturbance to the sensitive lake bed including archaeological and Aboriginal heritage values.”

  • G’day Justin,

    It’s a pity to see that recreational side of things closed. Still, its an awesome place to visit

    Aaron

  • Mark

    Im heading down this weekend to camp at jasper beach, anyone know if camp fires allowed there? I now they are now banned at black point and lake jasper.

    Mark

  • Hi Mark,

    I am not sure about fires on Jasper Beach. When did they get banned at Lake Jasper and Black Point? Does that include in winter too? I’d give the shire rangers a call – seems ridiculous that they would ban them in the middle of winter, but maybe its just a knee jerk reaction after the fires they have had down there.

    Aaron

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