Chasing adrenaline? Head to Lancelin Sand Dunes – WA’s premiere spot for sandboarding, 4 wheel driving, trail bike riding, quad biking, plus much more!
Lancelin is West Australia’s premier sandboarding, quad biking and 4WD destination. Motor enthusiasts from all around the world visit the expansive Lancelin sand dunes for its pure white ‘snow landscape’ that rises three storeys high. Open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset, entry to the dunes is free with hire services for sand boards and available closeby.
Lancelin is a small fishing town located 127km north of Perth (an hour and a half drive) that is well known for its fresh seafood (crayfish, anyone?), adventure sport activities, oceanic views, 4WD-access beaches and of course, its massive 200+ hectares worth of sand dunes. These sand dunes are so glaringly white, it makes you feel like you’re in a mountainous desert, and here you can do quad biking, sandboarding, four-wheel driving and dune buggying.
Due to its virtually year-round consistent swell, Lancelin also makes for a superior windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing destination. If you’re not a surfer but keen to learn, there are plenty of local surf schools available to choose from. Scuba divers are also spoiled for choice with shipwrecks lurking offshore. Plenty of accommodation is available in Lancelin, with many holiday homes available to rent out per night, perfect for those visiting with a large group of friends.
About Lancelin Sand Dunes
At 200+ hectares (two kilometres long), the Lancelin sand dunes are nestled directly inland from Lancelin township (east), while the sparkling crystal blue waters of the Indian ocean sits on the west. These soaring sand dunes are like a small desert with a picturesque coastal backdrop, open to motorcycles and quad bikes of all engine capabilities, as well as 4WD’s, buggies and sand boarders (aka ‘sand surfers’).
There are 2 fuel stations in Lancelin, one as you come into town and the other in the heart of town (note: they both charge for using their air compressors, so bring your own).
Be Dressed For the Occasion!
You don’t need to have a road-registered bike or even a drivers’ license to ride at Lancelin Sand Dunes, but if your vehicle is not road registered, you must have an Off Road Vehicle Registration (available from DPI). You must also wear a helmet and full protective gear is highly recommended.
In addition, the sand dune boundaries are marked with orange buoys and tracks leading from the area (eg. to Wedge Island) are restricted to full road registered vehicles only.
So maybe you’ve surfed over water and you’ve surfed over snow… but how many of you have tried surfing over sand?
Lancelin is one of the best locations in the world to start your first ‘sand surfing’ experience. The white sand dunes are a spectacle in themselves, and surfing over them adds to the extraordinary experience. Sand boards are available to rent right at the dunes carpark or at the Lucky 7 Convenient store in town, while some visitors opt to bring their (fresh) own ones from surf shops.
Want to see how I went at sandboarding? Check out my first attempts below:
FOUR WHEEL DRIVING
With Lancelin sand dunes reminiscent of Middle Eastern deserts, the location is a great place to test your 4WD driving skills. Remember to switch from 2WD to 4WD. It’s fun to drift on the sand!
Be careful not to get bogged, it happened to us …
Many dune buggy enthusiasts are seen at the Lancelin sand dunes ripping up the sand and going crazy. Sometimes there are opportunities to experience a ‘thrill ride’ in one of these bad boys on a special deals site online. Or if you’re lucky, you know someone who knows someone who will let you experience dune buggy adrenaline.
DANGER WARNING – SAFETY & PRECAUTION
While Lancelin is an extremely popular location, there have been far too many injuries and fatalities. Riders need to take more care ( especially those who are new to the area) as well as show more respect for the local residents. It is important that visitors to the area fully understand the risks and take precautions.
The razorback sand dunes are the most serious hazards to look out for when riding along the dunes. Always remember, there is more than meets the eye to every single sand dune you encounter. Although a dune may have gentle upslope, they often have a sheer drop on the other side of the crest, and with limestone caprock below. Even at low speed, serious injury can happen if you underestimate the ‘drop’.
Experienced Lancelin dune riders say that if you can’t see the ground in front of you, you must always assume it is not there. Riders are also urged to take extreme care and to check out boths ides of a dune before riding over a crest.
Other hazards of the sand dunes include watching out for other bikes, quads, 4WD’s, beach buggies and pedestrians sandboarding.
Rangers on duty have a no-tolerance attitude towards the wearing of helmets and have been known to turn away vehicles if they don’t have road or ORV registration.
LANCELIN BACK BEACH
After tiring yourself out at the dunes, head to the Lancelin Back Beach and jump in the nice, cool waters there. Here you can 4WD along the beach, go shore fishing or catch some awesome waves.
If you can squeeze in some time, check out Lancelin Jetty, an often overlooked spot that has plenty of fish around if you know where to look. Big bags of herring are caught at night off this main jetty (use prawns, whitebait and berley for better luck). When it’s sunrise and sunset, many tailor fish came into the Lancelin Jetty and Back Beach, so have a crack at fishing in both areas.
Looking for a good bite to eat, as well as a place to mingle with others? Lancelin’s ‘Endeavour Tavern’ is the best place in town – they have a bar, restaurant and hold many events and functions there.
Whether on your way to Lancelin or on the way back to Perth, drop into Moore River (it’s on the way), an idyllic coastal setting where visitors swim, kayak, canoe and cruise along the river. The boardwalk there encourages bird watching and you’ll see many fishing in the river itself.
If you’re a tourist visiting and you’re not too comfortable with driving up north on your own, there are many tour groups that combine Lancelin Sand Dunes with other popular WA attractions close to the region, like the famous Pinnacles. Do a Google search of “Lancelin Sand Dune Tours” and start from there, comparing tour activities and prices.
I recommend all those who have never been to the Lancelin sand dunes to try it out during a long weekend or a holiday. Whether you are an outdoors sort of person or not, it will be a memorable experience and you will be very glad you experienced these sand dunes at least once in your life.
Official Lancelin Website – https://www.lancelin.com.au/
Recreational Trail Bike Riders Association – http://rtra.asn.au/where/lancelin
Official Moore River Website – http://www.mooreriverregion.com.au/