In terms of Camping near Perth, there’s been a huge increase of fantastic places to stay pop up over the last couple of years that are not at Caravan Parks. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll have a post out covering 5 of the lesser known camp sites near Perth.
Today though, this post is all about a brilliant camp ground in Yanchep, known as Henry White Oval. This is one of the closest places you can camp near Perth, and its seriously well set up too. This camp site is run by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA, previously known as DPAW) and has volunteer caretakers who look after the site on a day to day basis.
Where is it and how do you get there?
You’ll find Henry White Oval within the Yanchep National Park, 52km North East of Perth. At 43 minutes from Perth, its a brilliant place to head for a short break. The camp site is within 300 metres of Yanchep Lake, the Adventure Tree’s course, Crystal Cave, Yonderup Cave and Cabaret Cave.
To get there, simply head north along the Mitchell Freeway, getting off at Hester Avenue and heading east, and then head north along Wanneroo Road/Indian Ocean Drive until you get to the sign on your left to Yanchep National Park. Don’t take the turn to Yanchep, on Yanchep Beach Road, or you’ll have to double back (like we did!)
About the camp ground
The majority of the camp ground is on Henry White Oval, and sites are divided by timber fencing. There are 18 sites in total, with a couple of them being on the bitumen car park next to the oval for those who prefer hard stand.
The sites on the oval are grassy and well kept, with beautiful gardens inside the fenced area that the birds love to hang in. All sites are suitable for tents, caravans and camper trailers (although tenting on the bitumen is probably not a good idea!).
The amenities are on the oval itself, and there is a huge amount of things to see within walking distance. You must book online (up to 180 days prior to your arrival date), and this is a super popular camp site (because its fantastic, close to Perth and cheap), and it can be booked out for several months in advance. When you book, you cannot allocate a site; its given to you when you arrive, so don’t get there too late!
You can access this camp ground and the whole national park with a 2WD, which means there are literally zero restrictions for those who want to camp near Perth. You can stay for up to 7 nights before you need to move on, to make it available to everyone!
Most DBCA camp sites have a drop toilet, and a concrete fire pit and that’s about it. If you get lucky, you’ll get a camp kitchen and some running (but not drinkable) water. Henry White Oval isn’t a normal DBCA camp site. I’d say its the best one I’ve ever been to in terms of amenities, and I’ve been to a huge number of them all over WA.
Not only does it have a massive camp kitchen with 240V power, running hot water, lights, Gas BBQ’s and plenty of bench space, but it has a full toilet and shower facility too. Yep, I’m not kidding, you have hot showers, flushing toilets and smart lighting that comes on as you walk in.
The toilets and showers are massive too. You could literally play a small game of cricket in them (don’t though, or you might end up in trouble!). The shower heads are big and give a good spread of water, and there’s enough to easily cater for a full camp site.
You’ve got rubbish bins and a dump point for chemical toilets, leaving nothing missing from the list!
What does it cost?
Camping at Henry White oval is $15 per adult (recently increased from $13 like the rest of the DBCA sites), $9 for concession card and $3 per child (5 – 16 years). Not bad at all, considering what you have access to.
Whats there to do?
There is a huge amount to do within Yanchep National Park. It’s a beautiful place throughout, and you have access to a huge number of walk trails to explore it all.
The Lake is spectacular, and well and truly worth a walk around. The caves are brilliant too, and can be accessed with the appropriate tickets. The Adventure Tree course is a whole lot of fun and there is a Koala sanctuary to check out too.
If you want to see a Kangaroo, you won’t be disappointed. They are literally everywhere. I’d say we easily saw a hundred or more, and they hang around the camp sites and all over the oval too.
There are some brilliant places to have a picnic, and a number of aboriginal tours available. If you are into Golf, there’s even a 9 hole bush golf course to enjoy! For those of you who love watching birds, you’ll have a ball, with plenty of blue wren, kookaburras, black cockatoo’s, honey eaters, red robins and the like around.
There’s a fantastic coastal spot about 10 minutes drive away too, known as Yanchep Lagoon which is well and truly worth a visit. It does get super busy though.
Originally you could have camp fires here, but its been revoked thanks to people who can’t keep a small fire contained, and empty their ash responsibly. Now, though, in season there is one big (and it is big!) communal fire in between the showers and camp kitchen that you can enjoy.
This is started each night by the volunteers, and can be used for keeping warm, relaxing around and cooking marshmallows (nothing else!). It’s a great place to have a chat to other campers, and to hang around as the temperature drops.
Parks pass required
If you are visiting Yanchep National Park, you need a parks pass. You can purchase this on the day, for $15 per vehicle. Alternatively, you can purchase a 4 week or annual pass online. Hot tip; you can save 50% on park passes when you buy it through RAC (as long as you are a member). That means an annual pass for $60, instead of $120. Keen to know more? Check it out here – Save 50% off a WA National Park Pass with RAC.
Adventure trees course
There’s a few Adventure Tree’s courses in WA now, with one located about a hundred metres away from the camp sites at Henry White Oval. This is a series of courses set up between the trees that you walk across, zip line, balance or crawl through.
You are harnessed in, and cannot fall due to a very clever system that locks and unlocks your hasps. The courses range from yellow (4 – 7 year old’s) through to black, and you have to do them in a bit of an order to prove competency. The black run is up to 10 metres in the air, and requires a fair bit of strength to do (especially after you’ve done a few of the others).
It’s $48 per adult, $38 per kid between 8 and 17 and $25 for kids 4 – 7 for a 2.5 hour course, that is booked in advance. This was a lot of fun, and I’m keen to do the one at Dwellingup now.
Kangaroos and Ticks
Now, if you haven’t had much to do with Kangaroos, a few things to note. In general, they are completely harmless so long as you leave them alone. The ones at Yanchep are very used to people walking around, and will cause you no issues if you let them do their thing. They will move out of your way on walking trails, and are beautiful animals that should be respected.
You may seem them fighting between each other, especially around Spring time. It’s totally normal; just leave them alone and they will do the same.
I will however, mention that where there are Kangaroos, there are ticks. These are not the end of the world, but they can cause some pretty nasty issues on occasion. I’ve only ever had a couple of ticks on me in my lifetime, and had to pull them out.
There are ticks at Henry White Oval. One ran over my thongs when I was reading a sign, and it was the biggest I’ve ever seen. Two of us, out of 8 came back to Perth and found a tick on our legs. Remove it carefully and you are OK, but when you shower take a few seconds to make sure you haven’t picked up a hitch hiker.
Is Henry White Oval worth it?
I’ve got to say, when I first heard of this place I didn’t like the idea of it. However, its nothing like I had imagined, and is a fantastic place to go for a few days. So much so that we will be back in the future, and there are lots of sites I wouldn’t say that about.
If you are new to camping and want to test some gear out, this place is the perfect introduction. You still have all the amenities you need, but its in the bush and perfectly set up.
A massive credit is due to the DBCA for setting it up; it really is a job extremely well done.
Have you been there? What did you think of it?