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Wedge Island

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!

4WD 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 4×4 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!

Long stretches of beach are common

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.

The beach to Wedge Island can be very soft

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.

A sunset from 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 4×4 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 4×4). 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!

 

 

Digging a vehicle free

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.

Where can I stay?

Unless you own a shack or house at Wedge Island, you cannot stay here.

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

Setting up the MaxTrax

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.

Riding a quad motorbike in the sand dunes

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.

Fishing at Wedge Island is great

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 4×4 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!

Wedge Island beach on a busy day

Wedge Island beach on a busy day

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68 comments… add one
  • isbest December 9, 2009, 10:47 PM

    definitely bookmarked

  • jarrad dalwood December 30, 2009, 10:56 PM

    hey

    Im from wedge and was one of the few to actually grow up there, in responce to the motorbike riding in wedge it is a huge NO NO this is because it is not a off road area there are now two new rangers that are not very relaxed and there are police there now as a everyday thing, many people are getting the motor bikes impounded with huge fines and with 4wd no body really mines but there is a catch driving around early hours of the morning and cutting up near shacks and familys ect only causes the police to have a bigger presence around wedge

    so in the long run 4wd come along have a good weekend away but motor bikes your not very welcome and you may find your self in trouble

    jarrad, wedge island wippa member and local

  • Aaron December 31, 2009, 2:49 PM

    Thanks for the comment!
    Would have been a great place to grow up at. As for people carving up at Wedge Island, its just stupid – go somewhere that is totally empty.

    Aaron

  • stuart "SPUD" cunningham January 16, 2010, 11:11 AM

    I was up there recently boxing day until 30/12/09,it was the first time i have driven up there in my own car,RAV 4,had a big bundy flag flying,but there where alot of cars with no flags showing,bit disconserting when a car comes flying over with no flag on,hoping to be back up there from the 24/1 -27/1,hopefuly no bloody seaweed this time,and the cray boats are working.
    the RAC chopper was up there 3 times,and one ambo.

  • Aaron January 16, 2010, 10:37 PM

    Yeah, flags are well worth the money, but most people don’t have them. It’s a pity that so many people get hurt up there too, and there are always at least a few people being idiots. Thanks for the comment

    Aaron

  • Cristina Neel January 21, 2010, 7:58 AM

    Interesting article. Were did you find all the information from… 🙂

  • Aaron January 21, 2010, 3:28 PM

    Thanks mate :). All of the information comes from my experiences.

  • Carol January 22, 2010, 4:15 AM

    I really enjoyed reading your piece above. I hope you keep your site running, often the sites I find and enjoy seem to run out of steam and then grind to a halt.Keep up the good work!

  • Jen January 23, 2010, 2:24 AM

    I know my brother is planning something the same. Much success to you.

  • Ebonie Moorehead January 27, 2010, 5:20 AM

    I really liked reading your post!. Quallity content.

  • Nathan February 11, 2010, 8:08 PM

    Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same high quality information as you do here the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up! Cheers.

  • Jake August 10, 2010, 10:10 PM

    gday aaron. great article mate. brings back quite a few fond memories of the place before that damn road came through!! havent been for a while but im rethinking the next summer trip and going back there.
    Cheers for the great read and keep up the awesome work

  • Aaron August 11, 2010, 4:24 PM

    Thanks mate. I sure have some fond memories there too! Is the road officially open yet? I hope it doesn’t get ruined with all of the extra traffic. At the very least the shacks are still there, which is awesome to see!

    Aaron

  • Ronald August 20, 2010, 9:50 PM

    Excellent stuff, thanks mate, are the rangers allright with pets? I have a dog which is very well behaved and obedient and sometimes thet are ok with her, some B…rds are not. Keep it up indeed! Ronald

  • Aaron August 21, 2010, 1:21 PM

    I haven’t ever had an issue with dogs at Wedge. Of course, if they are running around and annoying people this might be a different issue, but as far as I know dogs are fine 🙂

    Aaron

  • Miranda October 9, 2010, 6:41 PM

    Hi was just wondering how i get in contact with the ranger at Wedge as we wish to camp for the weekend. We have kids so need to know where to go and what’s needed, ie fees. As playing it by ear is not something that is easily done with 3 little ones and alot of set-up. thanks for the great info and fantastic site!! Miranda

  • Aaron October 9, 2010, 10:26 PM

    There are no fee’s for camping there. What sort of vehicle and set up do you have? You have three options for getting there at the present. The first is to drive along the beach from Lancelin, which is fine when the sand is hard but very difficult unless you are quite confident on the beach at any other time. The second choice is to drive along the inland track from Lancelin, which means you head through the off road area, up a small dune and follow the track all the way to Wedge. This is a bit longer, and there are a number of rocks that you want to go slowly over, but its much safer than getting stuck on the beach. Make sure that this is open though as they close it at times for the firing range. The last option is to travel all the way up the new highway, but you might find it hard to locate the correct turn off for Wedge!

    In terms of contacting the ranger, ring the shire of Gingin on 9575 2211 and ask to speak to the ranger. I have never done this, but you should have no issues. If not, have a look on Google Earth and some of the four wheel drive forums and you should find the information you need.

    Try to camp where its a bit protected too; the wind can be nasty up there at times.

    Thanks for the comment and question!
    Aaron

  • Kerry November 10, 2010, 12:59 PM

    Hi Aaron or Jarrad

    I am planning a camping trip up to Wedge and have never been. We would like to go the 2nd weekend in Dec. I have a Subaru outback… do you think she will make the journey on the inland track or should we take the highway…? Do you know where the turn off is? How is it marked???
    Thanks for your input in advance

    Regards
    Kerry

  • Aaron November 10, 2010, 3:46 PM

    You should be fine on the inland track, as long as the first little hill isn’t too soft. If it is soft, just let your tyres down till about 15 and give it a bit of a boot! Remember to lower your tyre pressures down a bit even for the inland track though; as there are plenty of rocks. It takes about 40 minutes to get there on the inland track. Also check that it isn’t shut because of the firing range at that time. I am not sure if there is a sign pointing to Wedge Island from the Indian Ocean Drive. If not, there is just a small gravel track that heads west out there.

    Have fun!
    Aaron

  • Leanne December 9, 2010, 1:50 PM

    Hi Aaron
    My self, family and friends have a shack in wedge, have had for 20+ years and been , my children have grwon up with wedge basically being there annual holdidays and weekends.
    A few weeks ago. as the road is through I finally was able to take a couple of friends/ mums and kids from school, they loved it. I’m not happy with the road going all the way to the back door , does not keep the riff raff out.
    I was appalled at the amount of glasss and broken bottles on the sand dunes, worst I have ever seen.
    So please if you are going to promote wedge make sure you make it clear to all visitors and campers that they take their rubbish and bottles with them, and leave wedge to be enjoyed for future generations, I Hope!! Leanne

  • Aaron December 9, 2010, 3:38 PM

    Hi Leanne,

    Thanks for the comment; I appreciate it. I too disagree with having the track going right the way to Wedge Island, but what can you do. As for the rubbish, it really is disgusting how some people leave Wedge, along with so many of the other great spots in Australia. I will modify my post on Wedge Island for you to encourage the right behavior!

    Aaron

  • krystie December 14, 2010, 1:47 PM

    when we went to wedge i really realy loved it the only problem was the jellyfish they were the ones with the blue tentacles they were everywhere and u had to where shoes if u wrre near the water oh n the seaweed there was tonnes and tonnes but id still go back anyday it was relaxing and a great camping trip fpr the whole fam i was wondering with this new road that theyve put in do u stilll need a 4 wheel drive to get there???? or can u get there by car?

  • Donna December 14, 2010, 2:53 PM

    hey,
    i just got off the phone to tha ranger and aparently you are not aloud to camp on wegde beach???

  • Aaron December 14, 2010, 3:27 PM

    Hi Donna,

    It depends what you are classifying as Wedge Beach. I would imagine you can’t camp right near Wedge Island, but I have seen many people camping in between Wedge Island and Lancelin. Did you ask the ranger how far away from Wedge Island you have to be?

    Aaron

  • Aaron December 14, 2010, 3:33 PM

    Hi Krystie,

    I believe you can get there in a 2wd car now, from Indian Ocean Drive. As for the seaweed, it has seasons where it is really bad, but most of the time the beach is clean and pristine. I think the jellyfish are similar to this too; they are not always there. If you do go there by car, you might not be able to get onto the beach at all.

    Have fun!
    Aaron

  • Mark January 5, 2011, 9:38 AM

    Hi Aaron,

    Great article!!

    Just wanting to know, whats the best time to go surfing at wedge? Are the reefs any good?

    What size swell do you need?

    Thanks for the infos!!!

  • Aaron January 5, 2011, 3:09 PM

    Hi Mark,

    Honestly, I don’t know a lot about the surfing at Wedge Island; never been too much into the sport. In saying that, I guess it depends mainly on the weather. My advice would be to jump on a surfing forum and find some locals who can help you out. I know in rough weather the waves are pretty big up there. There are a number of shore breaks in between Lancelin and Wedge Island and I believe a few around the island itself.

    Have a good one
    Aaron

  • Corry January 6, 2011, 12:59 PM

    Great blogs, great work. Really enjoyable and beneficial. Im going to Lancelin/Wedge tomorrow for a surf and motor bikes and might even watch a bit of the ocean classic. I have a ford territory so I will be keen and interested to see how it goes to Wedge.

  • Aaron January 6, 2011, 5:51 PM

    Hi Corry.

    It should be fine, assuming that the beach isn’t too chopped up. Just remember to let your tyres down plenty. Also, if you can see that the beach is chopped up (sometimes even the big vehicles have a hard time) don’t be afraid to turn back and go the inland track. I know that I regularly see vehicles having a hard time if the sand is very soft.

    Have fun!
    Aaron

  • myles March 2, 2011, 4:29 PM

    Awsome little site you have here, have only been in wa from qld for a year and am always trying to find new cool places like this to check out, actully came across wedge whilst following the coast line on google earth. clicked on a few pictures, read up on various web sites about it and now we have to visit!!
    Heres a question for you, do any of the people ever rent out there shacks, or is there any kind of accomadation apart from camping?? havent got all the gear anymore to camp:(
    keep up the great work

  • Aaron March 2, 2011, 5:17 PM

    Hi Myles,

    The shacks are not ever really rented out. They are ‘shared’ between friends from time to time though. I’d say you would have a hard time getting access to one. Alternatively, you could hire a camper trailer for a week or so – they aren’t that expensive.

    I would highly recommend staying at the Lancelin Lodge though – its near the beach, has good facilities and it is relatively cheap. From there, you just do day trips to Wedge Island and the sand dunes. You will have a great time in Lancelin.

    There is plenty to see in WA – have fun

    Aaron

  • JP March 10, 2011, 7:47 PM

    Hi Aaron,

    Great post very comprehensive!

    I, along with alot of friends regularly enjoy the fruits of wedge and we are noticing more and more that people are littering and disrespecting other campers by burning past their campsites at high speeds etc..

    Whilst there really isn’t anything we can do about people being idiots, we can all do something about the littering. I would like to start a regular “clean up wedge” day much the same as clean up aus day and get like minded people to come up on an agreed weekend and put in combined effort to clean up. Do you personally or perhaps any other readers know of any local commitee’s i could contact to make this happen?

    any help is much appreciated guys n girls as if it keeps up the way it is i have no doubt the local law enforcement will be forced to come down hard and legislate for idiots putting in place restrictions that will impact on everyones fun and wouldn’t be necessary if people did the right thing!

    keep up the good work mate n see ya in the dunes!

  • Aaron March 10, 2011, 8:35 PM

    Hi,

    I haven’t been to Wedge Island in some time, but I do know that since the 2wd track has gone in it has gone downhill. I never have understood why people can’t be bothered taking their rubbish with them, but it is just plain lazy. In terms of organizing a ‘Clean up Wedge day’, it’s a very good idea. It will show that the majority of the four wheel drive community is willing to chip in! My suggestion would be to head over to the Perth 4wd forum – there are many members who regularly go to Wedge Island, and who would no doubt be willing to spend a day cleaning up. No doubt they could get in contact with others up there too. Keep me in the loop as well please; if I am available on the day you choose I’d love to help out.

    Aaron
    Aaron

  • Gail March 27, 2011, 6:57 PM

    Hi, myself and partner Steve go to Wedge regularly and normally stay overnight, but now there is a ban on camping. This has just spoilt everything, we have been going there for years, enjoying the scenery and the fishing but that will come to an end and we will have to find somewhere else to set up with our roof-top tent. We always clean up afterwards and you wouldn’t even know that we had been there. I am so upset over this ruling. Has anyone got a comment to make on this?

  • Aaron March 27, 2011, 10:02 PM

    Hi Gail,

    That is very disappointing to hear. How far out of Wedge does this go? I take it those staying in the shacks are still allowed to be there? Unfortunately there are many people who visit Wedge who don’t treat it like you do, as shown by the litter everywhere and burned out wrecks. I guess we now have to drive further north to camp – what a joke.

    Aaron

  • Gail March 28, 2011, 6:02 PM

    Well Aaron, the camping restriction reaches from just north of Lancelin and about 20ks north of Wedge Island, the newspaper article said that camping other than in proper campsites/caravan parks is prohibited for that whole stretch of beach and sand dunes. I think the shack dwellers are ok because it isn’t regarded as camping. I think we sort of knew that something like this would happen once the road appeared, but I did notice that the signpost for Wedge had disappeared I think in an attempt to stop the place from being invaded! Gingin council should get their act together and do a clean sweep through and clear all the wrecks and rubbish anyway, they are all to keen to lay down the law on minor things but god forbid that they would actually have to spend ratepayers money and do something!

  • Aaron March 28, 2011, 6:27 PM

    It is a pity that it has come to this. I know there are plenty of four wheel drivers who would willingly spend a few days cleaning up, but it doesn’t make up for those who just don’t care and continually trash the area. It takes just a few to ruin what so many people enjoy. Looks like I will be heading up further north from now on.

    Aaron

  • Gail March 28, 2011, 7:25 PM

    We will be doing that as well, quite a way up north. We went to Whitehills for the week-end and plenty of people camping there, and the place is much cleaner, and no motorbike noises! Of course you always get the “yahoos” wherever you go, but by and large it’s quite nice, pity about the lack of fish though!

  • Aaron March 29, 2011, 6:12 PM

    I’ve always been a fan of white hills – closer to us too. It’s awesome how much the beach changes from summer to winter. The fish seems to be up and down; we have gotten plenty of good feeds from there in the past

    Aaron

  • Gail March 30, 2011, 1:51 PM

    Maybe you should start another page on Whitehills!

  • Corry March 30, 2011, 1:52 PM

    thats a good idea Gail, as i have never heard of white hills.

  • Gail March 30, 2011, 2:08 PM

    It’s a great place Corry, past Dawesville on the Mandurah Road heading south, Whitehills Road turn-off on the right, dead straight road to the top of the hill (there is a look-out there now) where you can put the tyres down, then a gentle ride straight onto the beach, we turn left and keep going for miles looking for a spot to camp. No need to look for fish gutters etc. just a couple of small spots of close to shore reefs. The water is so different to Wedge. No camping in the sandunes but the beach is fabulous, well worth a visit. Keep us informed.

  • Aaron March 30, 2011, 3:42 PM

    I have been meaning to do just that, but haven’t gotten around to doing it!

  • Gail March 30, 2011, 10:13 PM

    Just heard some very disturbing news and this is a warning to anyone taking their vehicle to Wedge. A friend of ours was fishing this week-end and while he was down on the shore-line (at night) a vehicle pulled up next to his vehicle with bright lights so he couldnt see anything, then someone got out of that car, jumped into his and drove off with it! As our friend was walking back to Wedge, he saw his stuff floating in the water and then saw his car 30m out in the water! What a low act. At this point we don’t know if his dog was in the car but will keep you all posted. So everyone, don’t leave your keys in the ignition when you are away from your cars.

  • Aaron March 31, 2011, 6:27 PM

    That is disturbing! I have witnessed some very poor behavior up and around Wedge Island, but nothing to that extent. I hope everything was insured and the dog is ok!

    Aaron

  • Gail March 31, 2011, 7:22 PM

    Got the full story today. He was distracted by one of them talking to him while he was fishing, the other guy was in his car, then they both drove off. Luckily the dog was with him but the dog’s tablets were in the car and it’s vital that he has them. Our mate had to walk back carrying the dog and left his fishing rod there, that also went when he looked for it the next day. It was the next morning when he saw his stuff floating in the water and a dark shadow further out, which was his car, completely submerged! They took his mattress, brand new compressor but left wallet complete with wet money! Friends parents had to drive up from Perth with tablets for the dog! What mongrel people they are.

  • Gail March 31, 2011, 7:23 PM

    Oh, and yes…he does have insurance for the car but not contents, that might come under household.

  • Aaron March 31, 2011, 8:01 PM

    People are willing to stoop so low these days. I guess it could have been worse, but still a major inconvenience

    Aaron

  • Andrew April 30, 2011, 11:28 AM

    How long has the inland track been closed for? I used it last September I think and had no troubles.

  • Aaron April 30, 2011, 2:33 PM

    Hi Andrew,

    The inland track isn’t closed, unless they are doing firing exercises. However, it is quite difficult to follow without getting lost, due to many different ways to go

    Aaron

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