Wedge Island

by Aaron Schubert on October 23, 2009

DSCN33431 300x225 Wedge Island

Wedge Island

UPDATE: There have been a number of changes to this great location. Please read Changes to Wedge Island for more information.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Lancelin is a great place to travel. However, if you want somewhere a little more secluded then Wedge Island is a great place to visit. I often enjoy just driving there for the day, having a bit of a fish and playing in the dunes. You will come across Wedge Island when you Travel Western Australia (there are a few other ones, but I am referring to the one in Western Australia!) just north of Lancelin. This island has gotten itself a name because of the little settlement that has been built just behind the first dunes. It was built mainly by those living in Lancelin who wanted a place to get away for the weekend. This has been a popular place now for several years, but there is talk again of the settlement being pulled down because none of the people who live or visit at the settlement actually own the land. Personally I think it’s the perfect place for people to enjoy a bit of seclusion without spending a huge amount of money, but you try to convince the government that!

4x4 only along the beach!

Within the last few months Indian Ocean Drive has been opened, meaning that you can actually get to Wedge Island with a 2wd car. I have never done this, but I believe you just turn left off the Indian Ocean Highway onto a track to Wedge, just after Lancelin. Other than that road you really need a 4x4 to get to Wedge Island, because there is a fair amount of sand driving. I would highly recommend reading about Beach Driving before attempting the beach run as it can be very soft!

200812280005 300x225 Wedge Island

Long stretches of beach are common

How to get to Wedge Island

To get to Wedge Island now you either need to take the new highway and turn off, or drive along the beach. You can take the inland track, but it is difficult to follow as there are many different tracks. You can phone (08) 9311 2772 to check if it is open. You can actually drive to Wedge Island from Moore River way, but I have been lost in the farms up there, and it’s not good fun! You are best to ask locals for some maps before you attempt it.

200811010089 300x225 Wedge Island

The beach to Wedge Island can be very soft

The beach to Wedge Island

If you are a confident driver, the tide is down and the beach isn't too chopped up, I would suggest take the beach track. I will emphasise the confident driver part however, because I have recovered at least 10 vehicles who have taken the beach and gotten stuck. The beach changes from week to week; sometimes its rock hard and flat as can be, but other times it is very soft and the waves have eaten away the sand. Not long ago we helped a Nissan Patrol out of a very close situation after it slid off the top of the beach part, and almost toppled over.

200812300073 300x225 Wedge Island

A sunset from Wedge Island

Do I need to let my tyres down?

Yes! Letting your tyres down is a necessity if you are going to be doing any sand driving. If you take the inland track, you can probably get away with only letting your 4x4 Tyres down to 25 PSI. If you take the beach, you may have to drop your tyres down to 15 PSI to float a little. The sand can be very soft, and even My Hilux sinks a lot (and that weighs much less than most 4x4). If you do get very stuck, you can let your tyres down to 10 PSI, but make sure you pump them back up a little, as they are prone to rolling off the rim at low pressures. Have a look at some of the Tyre Deflators on the market - they are money well spent!

logo Wedge Island
301152518939 0 Wedge Island
Heavy Duty Air Pump 12V Inflator Deflator Ski Tube Pump INFLATABLE BOATS AIRBEDS
pp Wedge Island   AU $34.95

 

 

200812130055 300x225 Wedge Island

Digging a vehicle free

What should I take with me?

Before you even consider going four wheel driving, you should take a few basic pieces of gear. The most important is a shovel; these work wonders if you are stuck on your own and you have little other gear. I would advise you go with a second vehicle, because it makes recoveries much easier. Taking a rated snatch strap is a smart move, because they are great in the sand. Make sure you know how to use them properly (the right recovery points, and not just hooked over tow balls) otherwise you risk serious damage to your car and bystanders. They are not toys, and people have been seriously injured because they haven’t been used right. Other helpful things to carry are a UHF Radio, fishing rods and plenty of water and food. Also, a GPS can be very handy because there are a lot of tracks that run along the coast and it’s easy to get lost! Of course, if you are any good with tools, bring your box and plenty of spares. Carrying at least some spare belts and hoses can be a life saver.

logo Wedge Island
300997707510 0 Wedge Island
MEAN MOTHER 8 PIECE COMPLETE SNATCH WINCH 4WD RECOVERY KIT BRAND NEW
pp Wedge Island   AU $259.00

Where can I stay?

Unless you own a shack or house at Wedge Island, you will also need to bring a tent or camper trailer. You have a lot of choice in regards to Camping, but check with the ranger first in regards to where you can actually stay. There are quite a few protected places along the way, usually in an enclosed area (to reduce the wind). Take a rod and enjoy some fishing too! Make sure you are well prepared though; camping can be quite uncomfortable if you are not set up well.

UPDATE: The people who own shacks at Wedge Island have been told their shacks will not be removed, which is great news!

200812130032 300x225 Wedge Island

Setting up the MaxTrax

MaxTrax

Recently I purchased a set of MaxTrax, which are basically very hard, light weight plastic boards which are placed on an angle under the wheels of a car if you get stuck. Two work fine, and four are even better. You can use them as shovels to remove the bulk of the sand, and then place them correctly. With slow acceleration you will drive out almost 100 % of the time. Sure, they are expensive, but they are worth every dollar. I have used mine about 10 times now (mostly on my mates!) and they are truly the best piece of recovery gear you can carry. They are great for snow, mud, sand and even boat launching.

logo 300x36 Wedge Island

P53100391 300x225 Wedge Island

Riding a quad motorbike in the sand dunes

Can I take my motorbike?

Lets face it. One of the main reason's people visit Wedge Island is for the four wheel driving or motorbike riding. However, in the last few years unregistered vehicles (only road vehicles are allowed) have been banned from the island. This doesn’t mean you can’t take it, it just means you need to be careful where you ride it. The ranger is reasonable and will usually give you a warning, but it’s best not to take the chance – you never know what mood he might be in! There are big dunes at the back of Wedge Island, but I am not sure if you are allowed to drive off-road vehicles there. You can sure have some fun in road registered four wheel drives though, but be careful.

200811010105 300x225 Wedge Island

Fishing at Wedge Island is great

What is the coast like?

The coast in between Lancelin and Wedge Island is much like the coast along all of Western Australia. There is only one rocky head which you have to drive around (inland) but the rest is just white, beautiful sand. There are good spots for surfing and body boarding, as well as quite a few spots that you can fish at (actually you have a lot of choice in where you fish, snorkel, surf or relax!). Just make sure that you park up enough so that you allow other vehicles to drive passed; nothing makes the locals madder than someone parked in the middle of the main track!

Wedge Island itself

The actual island can be swam to or walked to (depending on the tides). It can be anywhere between a hundred metres and three hundred metres, depending on what time of year you go. It’s amazing to see how the water moves sand over the course of the year! You can walk around a part of the island (some of it is fenced off) and there is quite a bit of wild life to see. Many people tow boats up to Wedge Island and launch off the beach to go fishing. In fact, often there is Rock Lobster boats moored near the island as well.

Take your Rubbish with you!

I'd like to quickly mention how important it is to leave nothing behind when you visit this great spot. Thousands of people enjoy Wedge Island throughout the year, and it ruins the spot for everyone if you have to dodge broken bottles and rubbish left behind. If you are caught doing this you can expect a heavy fine from the ranger. It takes 5 minutes at the end of your holiday to clean up; don't be selfish to the many others that love this spot too. If you really appreciate this spot, take any rubbish you see away, regardless of who dropped it.

If you like 4x4 and visiting places on the coast, be sure to take a look at Wedge Island. It’s only about a 30 minute drive from Lancelin, and is quite impressive. Make sure you take it easy though!

DSCN3344 300x225 Wedge Island

Wedge Island beach on a busy day

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Nixon October 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Has anyone been up to Wedge lately? Is the camping ban still on? Does anyone know of somewhere to camp further north of lancelin?

Great Blog Aaron, im all new to this blogging caper and its an excellent source of info

Aaron October 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Hi Mark,

The camping ban is going to be a permanent thing. I don’t think they will change anything unless something happens with the shacks. The closest place north of Lancelin to camp is quite a bit further past Cervantes (asides from Caravan Parks). Thanks for the comment

Aaron

Gail October 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Hi Mark
We have still been there even though there is a camping ban, we sleep in the back of the 4WD, the trick is to say that you’ve had too much to drink and can’t possibly drive and to do so would put your life and others at risk! Take the Rangers name if they insist! I have also heard, don’t know if it’s a joke, but there is a ban on digging holes to have a dump!!! Well, as far as I’m concerned, with all the rubbish and rotting car bodies the place is a dump and I am angry that they can impose these silly bans if they have no intention of cleaning it up. Nuff said!

Aaron October 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Hi Gail,

I have heard that new toilet rules have come into WA – so it isn’t a joke! Some camp-sites ban anyone without chemical toilets now. As for sleeping around Wedge Island, I have heard people ‘fish all night’ but I would rather not take the risk. It is disgusting around Wedge Island, and it’s gotten much worse since they opened it up. It should have been left alone

Aaron

Gail October 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Hi Aaron

I agree, it should have been left alone, but it’s called ‘progress’. We have ‘fished all night’ without a problem but to be honest, the fishing has gone down-hill and a lot more sea-weed around than use to be. We have found another place to go, a bit of a trek and definately not an over-nighter, we have been going to Lucky Bay, north of the pink lakes at Port Gregory (south of Wagoe, great spot. Have you been there? We have had no problems taking our off-road pop top camper and it is very popular but a huge area where you can really enjoy the scenery and relax, but as I said…..only good if you can stay for at least 3 nights.

Aaron October 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Hi Gail,

I love Lucky Bay, and recommend it to lots of people. I wrote an article on it at http://www.4wdingaustralia.com/travel-western-australia/lucky-bay/

Sandy Cape is worth a visit too, but Lucky Bay is awesome because you can do so many different activities there.

Have a good one
Aaron

Siti Russ October 17, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Hi Aaron,

Thank you for your informative blog, it is very useful and an excellent site. We are planning to go next week and have a question to ask you, now that Wedge Island is accessible by the 2WD, how far it is to walk to the beach from the bitumen road as we have small kids and elderly. We would love to experience Wedge Island, it looks really amazing in the pics on the website. Thank you for your help :)

Siti

Aaron October 18, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Hi Siti,

You can drive in past the bitumen road, even in a 2wd car. The ‘roads’ around Wedge are rock solid and although a little bumpy you won’t have any issues. Most of the time the beach is that hard that you can drive onto it as well. If it isn’t, you can park your car out of the way and walk about 100 metres to the beach.

Have a great trip
Aaron

brad May 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Bloody shire of Gin gin, Shire of Dandaragan, and pollie bureaucrats in general. Making stupid decisions all the time, always taking the nanny option on everything. So long as they’re seen to be “changing something”, they’re seen to be effective, and another notch on their resume.

They prescribe the wrong answers for symptoms. The fact that other than Wilbinga, you cannot camp on a beach anywhere near Perth, is a hallmark of these councils, governments, and DEC. Dandaragan at least have kept Sandy cape (part of it) open to camping … though now it is so heavily pressured due to Wedge and other closures … that it’s only a matter of time before it closes too.

Sure, there are problems with bad behaviour and littering (and they are real issues). Fine offenders, heavily. REALLY heavily, heck, impound their cars!! … but don’t just “ban” everything and take the easiest route while sitting in your tax-payer funded air conditioned offices. Make smarter decisions and legislation.

Sometimes some blemishes on a solution is better than deleting it altogether.

It will be no wonder in a decade or two when most of our overweight depressed citizens are stuck in the cities, glued to the TV screens in air-conditioning because bureaucracy has made it too hard or illegal to do much else … let alone enjoying the beauty of our coastline and weather.

We have many hundreds of kilometres of un-used coastline within reach of Perth, it is absolutely preposterous to ban camping along there. Heading up on a Friday night with a bag of firewood (in winter, and cleaning up every skerrick of mess created) followed by a dawn surf is now a pain in the butt, as we’re “camping”.

Not to mention the caravan and camping act, which basically protects the profits of private businesses .. that is, if there’s a caravan park within a certain distance, you MUST stay at it. Since when is being jammed in like sardines 3 feet from the next family of campers, a suitable alternative to beach camping (where the entire purpose is to get some space to yourself).

To our government, councils, DEC, : … Find a way to bloody manage it. If that means a fee per annum to even be in the area, then so be it, I’ll pay! … but banning fun left right and centre is simply not the answer.

For what it’s worth … we’ve resorted to Guerrilla camping … that is, we go for a night of fishing or surfing, and tend to sleep in back of our dual cabs / canopies (no tents) … for the most part the rangers we’ve come across have been happy to turn a blind-eye to this (especially south of Perth, whitehills / Preston etc.) .. but not after some persuasion and turning the rangers attitude around that we’re not deadbeats dropping litter or cutting up the place (they seem to assume this when first meeting … youngish blokes, 4wd’s … instant cynical attitude … it’s only after some gentle reminders that we’re professional hard working blokes who pay a ton of taxes, enjoying our time off … that they start to change their attitude).

Sorry for the rant, not much time to proof my writings!

Gail knapton May 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Brad, I so agree, its what I’ve been saying all along. Copy your comment and post it to the ones who make these decisions on our behalf without consultation. Would be very interesting to see what the reply would be.

Christine Pryor October 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Hi, have just been reading this interessting blog. We simply would like to go to Pont Peron and camp in our tent for two nights at a camping ground in the area. But…..no tents allowed. Do you have any suggestions? We dont own a caravan.

Aaron October 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Hi Christine,

There are a few Caravan parks in Rockingham that you could camp at. If it were me though, I’d drive a bit further out of Perth!

Aaron

Nick and The Girls October 29, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Hi, thanks for your posts and this excellent info’ site. We heard of Wedge and wanted to camp overnight, but it seems a ‘bad idea’. Is it really disgusting there now? Is there a camoing ban and are there any sites where we can camp for one nightm on the beach and enjoy this lovely country?

We would be very gratefull for any advice or information…………..

Aaron October 30, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Hi Nick,

Wedge isn’t disgusting – its a great place. However, camping is banned and you will likely cop a fine if you get caught anywhere in between Ledge Point and Geraldton. My suggestion would be Sandy Cape or Lucky Bay

Aaron

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: