Sandy Cape is a small camping spot 14km north of Jurien Bay. It is located just behind a small sand dune, which opens up onto a magnificent beach where you can fish, swim, snorkel and relax. There are very, very few places today where you can camp so close to a beach with easy access in a 2wd or 4wd car close to Perth. To top it off, Jurien Bay is only a few hours’ drive from Perth, making it a perfect location to spend a few days. I have to say it is one of my favourite locations, and we will definitely be heading there again!
How do I get to Sandy Cape?
The easiest and most straightforward way to get to Sandy Cape is to drive through Jurien bay, along the Indian Ocean Road. 14 kilometres outside of Jurien bay you will see a track on the left which is fairly white, and has left white marks all over the bitumen. I believe it may even be signed! Turn down there, and follow it to the end, where you will see some huge dunes and an information stand. Most two wheel drive cars will be able to drive to Sandy Cape with relative ease, but I wouldn’t take anything that is too low to the ground as the roads can be bumpy and harsh on your car. The signs there are pretty good, so you shouldn’t get lost! It’s only a few kilometres to the sign, and then another 500metres to the beach.
More about Sandy Cape
You need to pay a small fee to stay at Sandy Cape, either in the honour box, or the caretaker will come around each morning to collect it. He stays in an old bus, and is often wandering around. Sandy Cape has some amazing fishing spots, places to snorkel and a beach long enough to have many families on it relaxing. The flies at Sandy Cape can be pretty nasty depending on what season you go, so take some repellent. Be careful where you fish, as there are a number of different areas where you are allowed to do different things. The beach is very white and very clean, and it is relatively protected by a small bit of land that protrudes into the ocean. You are allowed to take dogs at Sandy Cape, but they need to be on a leash in some areas.
What if Sandy Cape is full?
Even though not a huge number of people know about this great Camping spot, it’s often full. I can almost guarantee it will be full during most school holidays, Christmas and Easter and even many long weekends. There are about 15 different places in Sandy Cape that you can stay. However, please make sure where you are staying is permitted, either by checking with the ranger, caretaker or signs in the area. If you have a two wheel drive car, I can’t really recommend much else. You can drive up to Jurien bay and stay in the Caravan park, or stay at Greenhead or Leeman. If however, you have a 4x4, then your options to finding a campsite are unlimited. If you drive out of Sandy Cape, towards the south on a sandy track, you will soon be at another campsite. You can either camp there, or drive out to the point where a little island can be found. We have camped there, and found it protected and a good place to fish.
We actually drove along the beach almost all the way from Lancelin, and stopped at a heap of camping sites. If you can’t find a site in either of those spots, then you can go even further south and you are bound to find something. I should point out that many of the tracks are narrow, and scratching your car is sometimes unavoidable. The tracks going from Sandy Cape to the little island are alright, but many of the ones further south can do some damage to your paintwork (see the picture!)
Can I take my boat?
A lot of people take their boat to this great location, but they are usually not much bigger than 15 foot. You can launch the boat from a few places along the coast, but its best to have a 4x4 to do this. There is a small island off the coast where you can catch some great fish and see some good underwater life if you want to get wet. Like anywhere, the better and bigger fish are usually caught with ease in a boat! A good alternative is the kayaks which are becoming more and more popular today.
What’s the fishing like?
Fishing at Sandy Cape can be very impressive, but it depends on where you go. Be sure to check the signs regarding different zones in the park, because you can easily get stung for fishing in the wrong area. Unfortunately they are not too clear, but the caretaker should be able to clear things up. We managed to get a good feed without trying too hard, and had a heap of fun doing it. I also noticed that there are a lot of crayfish at Sandy Cape, if you dive around for a bit. Deep holes and little caves make snorkelling well worth it as well.
Is it a nice place to stay at?
Absolutely. The beaches are calm, clear and the fish will bite on almost anything. If you have a four wheel drive, stay at the campsites south of Sandy Cape, as they are free and more private. You can drive your car onto the beach there as well, which means you don’t have to drag all your gear down. Just be sure that you can drive back up the dune however, as some cars struggle and the dunes are quite steep. Fires were banned when we were there, but I am unsure if that is the case all year round.
Overall, it’s easy to get to, cheap to stay and a lot of fun. I would highly recommend it as a place to stay, based on what you are able to do there. We stayed there for two nights, and then moved further north. There are a lot of places both north and south of Sandy Cape that are worth while staying at. Get out there and have some fun!