If you are looking for an absolutely magic camp site right on the beach near Perth, Sandy Cape is it. This has undergone a number of changes over the years, and has room for a huge number of campers over a pretty big area. The coastline is absolutely magnificent, and we rate it as one of the better camp sites close to Perth.
The camp site is run by the shire of Dandaragan, and is managed by a friendly caretaker year round along with the local ranger.
Where can you camp?
When you pull into Sandy Cape, the main camp ground is on your left hand side, and if you turn right there are a couple more sites that are bunded off, and fairly formal. All of these are within quick walking distance of the beach (some no more than 30 metres).
However, it doesn’t end there; you can head much further north, and south along the many 4WD tracks and find yourself a slice of paradise, away from others either right on the beach, or back behind a dune or rocky outcrop. The actual coastline where camping is permitted is several kilometres long from north to south, and providing you leave it as you found it camping will remain an option for many years to come.
How do you get to Sandy Cape?
The easiest and 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 gravel road on your left. It’s fairly clearly marked out.
Turn down there, and follow it to the end, where you go past the information stand and dump point, and then end up in the main camp ground (on your left) near the beach. Most 2WD vehicles will be able to drive to Sandy Cape with relative ease, but I wouldn’t take anything that is too low to the ground or too valuable as it is a gravel road.
If you want to head north or south of the main camp grounds, you will need a 4WD, and you will need to let your tyres down. Some of the sandy tracks are very soft, and you’ll get stuck without the right tyre pressures.
Fee’s and bookings
There’s a $20 fee per night per camp site, and you should pay on arrival to the caretaker, who stays in the main camp ground. This covers 2 adults and 2 children, and extra adults are $3, and kids $2.Even if you are leaving the main camp ground and heading south or north, make sure you pay, or you’ll get a visit from the ranger. There is also an honesty box at the information board as you drive in.
Bookings are not possible, and it works on a first come, first serve basis. Know that it is extremely popular, and on long weekends and school holidays it does fill up, and you will have a hard time getting a spot.
There are toilets at the main camp grounds, and a dump point at the information board as you drive in. There’s no drinking water, power or BBQ’s provided, and you must put your rubbish in the provided bins.
Flies, Bees and bugs
The flies at Sandy Cape can be pretty nasty depending on what season you go, so take some repellent. It is also located not far from Beekeepers reserve, which means there can be a significant number of Bee’s flying around. We have stayed at Sandy Cape and had to leave bowls of water out to get them away from our camp ground. If you are allergic to them, take your medicine and be prepared. We’ve only seen them fairly friendly, and were brushing them away like flies without any risk of being stung, but you never know!
There are also often ticks reported at Sandy Cape, and given the odd Kangaroo that you see in the area this is guaranteed. They are not much of a problem, providing you regularly check your body and remove them as soon as they are identified.
Fishing at Sandy Cape
There’s a huge number of options for fishing at Sandy Cape, but you need to make sure its not being done in a marine zone (of which there are a few). Download the Recfishwest app, and make sure you are in the clear to wet a line. One of the better things about Sandy Cape is there are lots of coves and different opportunities to fish, even if the wind is blowing from one direction or another.
4WD tracks around Sandy Cape
There are a lot of 4WD tracks around Sandy Cape, most of which follow the coastline. You’ll see some incredible bunkers if you head far enough south, and cross over lots of limestone outcrops and soft sand.
It’s important to let your tyres down to avoid punctures on the limestone, and so you don’t get stuck. Particularly heading north the tracks can be quite soft, and you don’t want to be the one bogged on a narrow track, while others wait for you to let your tyres down.
Look after the place; stick to the tracks, obey the blocked off signs and drive carefully, as you can’t always see around the corners!
Can you take dogs?
Yes, you can, as long as they stay on a lead in the camp grounds and at the main beach.
What if Sandy Cape is full?
Being the closest beach camping to Perth when heading north, this often happens (especially the main part of the camp ground). If you have a 4WD and are prepared to head further north or south you will likely get a spot, but it might not be the best.
Alternatively, there are overflow facilities when its busy in Jurien Bay itself, and whilst it might not be your ideal stay, its better than having to drive home with nowhere to pull up!
Can you take a boat?
A lot of people take their boat to this great location, but they are usually small, or they come up from Jurien Bay. You can launch the boat from a few places along the coast, but its best to have a 4WD to do this.
There are a number of interesting islands to explore, with plenty of opportunities for fishing, spearing, cray fishing and enjoying the amazing underwater life.
Is it a nice place to stay at?
Absolutely. The beaches are brilliant, clear and a great place to laze the day away. If you have a 4WD we recommend heading north or south to get away from the hoards of people
Overall, it’s easy to get to, cheap to stay and a has lots of opportunity for adventure.