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I’ve always had a thing for Lancelin. For me, it’s the quintessential WA fishing town straight out of a Tim Winton book. I love the colour of the ocean, the dolphins that regularly swim in the bay, the vast sand dunes at the back of the town and most of all the endless stretch of beach.
It’s not the place to come for fine dining, or great shopping or gourmet coffee. On the other hand, if you love uncrowded beaches, the big outdoors, and don’t mind being windswept then Lancelin is a great place to visit.
Things to do
Lancelin kitesurfing and windsurfing
If you’re not into sail sports, you probably don’t know that Lancelin is one of the world’s premier windsurfing destinations. Many of the world’s best windsurfers have made Lancelin their base because of the exceptional wind and wave conditions that can be found here.
For kite and windsurfing, Lancelin offers something for all levels, from beginners to pros. World class wave spots to be found on the on the outer reef while freestylers and beginners will love the flat water spots closer to shore.
Explore the Sand Dunes
Stretching for almost two kilometres the Lancelin Sand Dunes are the biggest dunes in West Australia. You wouldn’t be far off the mark if you thought you were in the Middle East. The Australian Army conducts training exercises here in preparation for deployment to the Middle East because it truly looks like a desert landscape.
You can hit the dunes with a dirt-bike, a four-wheel drive or hire a sandboard from the local shop. Lancelin is one of only five designated off-road areas in West Australia and as such quad bikes, dirt bikes and four-wheel drives are out in big numbers. If you’re with a car it’s a good idea to bring your own recovery equipment as it can be an expensive exercise getting your car towed out of the dunes.
The best time to go is dawn and dusk when the sun transforms the landscape into a dusky hue of pink. Climb to the top of a dune for panoramic views over the coastline and hills.
The dunes can be accessed from the offroad area, opposite the North End Caravan Park.
Look for Dolphins and Seals
Dolphins are frequent visitors to Lancelin beaches and can be seen cruising the bay on most days.
You’ll also find a Seal colony further out on the islands and during migration season, Humpback Whales are also frequently sighted outside the reef.
Explore the outer Islands on a Paddleboard or Kayak
The bay area is perfect to explore on a paddleboard or kayak. You can easily access Lancelin Island or paddle around Edward Island at the southern end of town. Choose a calm day or go early morning before the seabreeze blows.
You can rent kayaks or paddleboard near the Fishing Jetty or ask at the Tourist Information centre for guided tours.
Surf Lancelin Back Beach
On a calm and windless day, with an easterly wind, Back Beach just south of the township is an excellent place to surf and can offer great beach break for beginner to more advanced surfers. If you have a four wheel drive you can drive along the beach, park your car and go for a surf.
Watch the Sunset at Endeavour Tavern
There’s no better way to end the day than with a cold beer at Endeavour Pub which prides itself in saying that they have the best beer garden in Australia. I reckon they’re not far off the mark.
Accommodation in Lancelin
Lancelin Lodge YCA
Hands-down the best and friendliest place to stay is the Lancelin Lodge. The backpacker style lodge offers friendly and very affordable accommodation and has been frequently been voted the best YHA in West Australia on several occasions. For pricing and bookings click here.
Lancelin Holiday Houses
Lancelin has a decent range of holiday houses for rent that are suitable for families and groups. Many are shack style houses, that are typical for the fishing communities along this coastline.
Find some options here:
Lancelin Caravan Park and Camping
There are two camping grounds in Lancelin both have powered and unpowered sites. The Lancelin North End Caravan Park on the northern edge of town and Lancelin Caravan Park located on the south end of the town on Hopkins Street. The caravan park is directly opposite the main kite and windsurfing beach.
Both caravan parks have excellent oceanfront locations, but the facilities are run down and old. The location though makes up for it and I’ve had a comfortable stay at both.
Getting to Lancelin
Perth to Lancelin is 122km and takes approximately 90 minutes along the Indian Ocean Drive.