Lancelin is a small town north of Perth, right on the beach. It is well known for its huge sand dunes, great windsurfing spots and rock lobster fishing. If you are looking for a week’s holiday or even just a day trip, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this part of the coast!
Like many other amazing places in WA, Lancelin is very popular year round.
Location and Route
It takes around an hour and a half to drive from Perth to Lancelin, which makes it a destination that a lot of people visit. If you want to get a taste of what it is like to Travel Western Australia, then make sure you have a look at Lancelin!
To get there, you simply drive north along the Mitchell freeway. At the end, you turn right onto Hester Ave, and then left onto Wanneroo Road This eventually turns into Indian Ocean Drive, and you can follow that right up until Lancelin Road. Turn left and you’ll be taken down the hill and towards the coastal town of Lancelin.
What to do
The Lancelin Bakery is a great place to start your visit, which is at the back of the main shopping complex. They have some amazing food. Another great place to take a look is the Lancelin Jetty, which is just north of the shops.
It’s not uncommon to see the crayfish boats come and unload their catch and then re stock up on bait. Be careful of vehicles driving on the jetty while you are there. The jetty is also quite a good place to fish, so throw out a few lines if you’re into fishing.
If you have a boat, just next to the jetty is where you can beach launch it. There is no official boat ramp at the present, but the sand is rock hard most of the time. There is also a tractor there to hire if you have a big boat and are not too confident in your car!
There are some truly amazing places to visit if you have a boat, with reef systems running everywhere. There are also 14 different ship wrecks that you can visit and dive on. A lot of large fish are caught in Lancelin, both on the shore or off a boat; don’t be shy on the fishing!
If you go to the Point, you will most likely see a lot of people with windsurfers. Lancelin is a popular place to windsurf because the water is relatively flat. A large island (Lancelin Island) manages to block most of the wind that creates chop, which makes it ideal.
Kite Surfers are also common as well, and these can be great fun to watch. The beaches are safe to swim at, and there is often some good surf as well. In fact, every year a surfing and windsurfing competitions are held regularly. You can drive out to the back beach, and the sand is quite hard, but check it out before you drive a two wheel drive car there (although I often see them out on the beach).
Lancelin Sand Dunes
One of the main reasons we go to Lancelin so often is the Sand Dunes. These can be found by following the main road through Lancelin, turning left and then you will see a big sign saying ‘off-road area’ on the right.
If you have a 2WD car you can still drive in, just make sure you park on the hard rocky surface at the entrance, or if its solid at the base of the dunes. Don’t try and take a 2WD car through even a little bit of sand; we have pulled a number of tourists out!
The dunes get used by buggies, motorbikes, sand boarders and four wheel drives. There are usually at least a few serious injuries at these dunes each year (primarily motorbike riders), so make sure you are careful. You can hire motorbikes out by the hour (but it’s expensive) or you can simply walk around and have a good time.
If you have a Sand board, this is the place to use it! If not, they can be hired from the Travel lodge, or in town at the recreation store. They are cheap for the day, and will allow you to have a lot of fun. Only problem is there is no chair lifts to take you all the way back up!
Be careful where you go down as well, as there are rocks at the bottom of some dunes; my brother broke his arm on these! Sand boarding is best done on a dry day with little wind. It’s rather unpleasant having sand blowing in your face all day and wet sand doesn’t seem to work so well for sand boarding. If you aren’t interested in the whole adventure thing, then at least take a look at the dunes on sunset or sunrise; it’s pretty cool.
If you have a four wheel drive, you can venture into the dunes. The only thing is make sure you have a basic understanding of 4WDing, and how to recover yourself. Some days the dunes are solid, whilst other days they are quite soft. I would suggest letting down your tyres to at least 25 PSI before you even consider driving into the dunes.
Many people prefer to go as low as 15 PSI. As you can see from the pictures, it’s easy to get well and truly bogged. I highly recommend going with a second vehicle and a snatch strap. Also, bring a shovel; they work wonders if you are in trouble.
The dunes can be quite dangerous when driving around, especially if you are new to the 4×4 scene. Steep descents can tip your car easily; take it slowly and logically. If you can’t see over the bonnet, get out and check it out. Trust me; it’s worth it in the long run.
There are a large number of cars that roll each year in these sand dunes, and that is costly and dangerous – something we all want to avoid. Driving in dunes can be great fun, but do it safely and look out for others.
You can find a number of places to stay in Lancelin, ranging from Chalets on the beach through to the Lancelin Lodge, holiday homes and Lancelin caravan park.
More things to do
Something which I love to do is to drive to Wedge Island. You can get there by sticking left when you enter into the off-road area, and following the tracks. From there, you can either drive along the beach or you can take the inland track.
The inland track is longer, but at least you won’t get stuck. Whether or not you take the beach route really depends on your confidence and what the tides are doing. At high tide there is very little room to drive, and you will usually get a wet car, if not worse.
If unsure, take the inland road. This is a fairly long, bumpy and boring road, but it’s sure worth it. Wedge Island is a small island north of Lancelin where many people have set up houses behind the first dune. You can camp at Wedge Island, but be sure to check with the ranger. Recently the use of motorbikes at Wedge Island has been banned, so don’t get caught there with a bike.
Ledge Point is just south of Lancelin, and is even smaller. There is also good fishing, boating, snorkelling and many newer houses that you can rent out. I have stayed there for a little while, and really enjoyed it.
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We will be travelling to Perth in a week time (departing on 25 Nov).
Can I know how long is the journey (hours) from Belmont to Lancelin?
Is there anywhere I can join a tour group to the Sand Dunes from Lancelin?
Thanks for the comment. You can get from Belmont to Lancelin in about an hour and 45 minutes. How are you getting to Lancelin? I believe you can get to the dunes through various tours, but you need to ask at the shops. The local people are quite helpful. If you can’t get a lift there, you can always walk; its only about 30 minutes. If you have a car you can drive to the base of the dunes; they are only a few kilometres away..
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Great site fella – very useful information. Just wondered if you could help me – I’m heading out to kitesurf WA on the 15th of Jan and wondered if you reckon Lancelin will be a little too warm at this time of year (I’ve heard conflicting reports) and I’d be better off heading to Lancelin in closer to the end of Feb and heading straight for Margaret River when I land. I’d be really grateful for any advice! All the best…
I have just been up to Lancelin last week, and it wasn’t that hot. It really depends on what you are used to! If you are going to be in the water it shouldn’t matter anyway. The winds are totally awesome at Lancelin, and there are hundreds of kite surfers and wind surfers out every single afternoon. I don’t know whether the winds die off a bit later in the year, but it will get a little cooler. I would go to Lancelin first, its more than ok. I have to suggest the lodge too; good, cheap accommodation and its right near the beach that everyone goes kitesurf off too. Hope that helped. Have a great trip.
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i am heading down there this weekend and i was woundering if you know of any boat hire places already near the water because i dont have a towball on my car
I don’t believe there is a boat hire place in Lancelin at all. They don’t have a boat ramp either, so you would have to get them to launch it for you. Sorry I can’t help you!
Any ideas where a person could hire 2-3 offroad buggies for the dunes… Specifically looking to doing some filming out on the back dunes and hoping to have a good transport we can use for both filming with and transport..
Any help would be awesome, as google is coming up with nil hits once again.
Can’t really help you mate. I guess your best bet would be to hire one in Perth and tow it up. I have seen a green sand railer up there from time to time, but I think it just does tours. What’s the filming for?
Thanks Aaron great web site as I’m just getting started into 4wding your site is full of great places to explore in and around W.A. I live in the Fremantle area and will be using all the info you have supplied to good use.
Keep up the excellent work.
What vehicle have you got? 4WDing is certainly a lot of fun, and it opens up a wide range of other activities!
Hi Aaron, I have a 03 Nissan Patrol 3.0 turbo diesel. I picked it up from Qld and had it shipped back to Fremantle.