After getting a taste for Australia in 2008, I really wanted to go back and road trip the west coast, escape the cities and experience ‘outback’ Australia. Lancelin Sand Dunes were one of my highlights from my 7 day Western Australia road trip. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much WHITE sand in my life! The town of Lancelin is just a short 90 minute drive north of Perth, making it an easy day trip from the city!
Sand boards can be hired from a couple of places in Lancelin town (such as the petrol station, the small supermarket and Lancelin Surf). It costs roughly $12AUD for a 2hr30 rental, which includes the board and a stick of wax. The travel time to and from the dunes makes up part of that 2hr 30 rental but it should be plenty of play time.
Visiting Lancelin Sand Dunes
The best place to park to access the Lancelin Sand Dunes, is on the junction of Beacon Road and Desert Road (if coming from the main town, the entrance to the dunes will be on your right). As it was my first visit, I wasn’t too sure where to park. Just as you enter, on the left hand side there’s a small lay-by area. As I was driving a Toyota Hiace camper van, I really didn’t want to get too far into the dunes and get bogged down. This area was a compact dirt road so it was a safer option for us with then a short walk to the dunes. There is a bigger parking area if you continue on along this road, where regular cars were parked but I’ll leave that to your own judgement and the type of vehicle you have!
Ok, so the dunes aren’t in PERFECT condition (well they weren’t over Easter Weekend!) due to the attention they attract from sand boarders, 4×4’s, quads and motorbikes, but its not hard to find your own patch of sand to play on! Although it’s a free for all, the front dunes were used by the sand boarders and the HUGE area at the back were where all the vehicles play!
Related Reading: Sandboarding Michigan: Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Sandboarding itself is a fairly easy sport to pick up. I’ve attempted dry slope snowboarding in the past and wasn’t great, but I found sandboarding quite easy. The boards are smaller and you need to wax them every couple of runs to make them go faster, if you don’t the board literally won’t move! As scary as it may first seem, the steeper, bigger dunes are easier than the smaller ones. It’s hard to get moving on the flat and you need the REALLY soft sand of the bigger dunes to give you the momentum.
The best thing about it, is that you can hire sit down boards as well as stand up ones, so if you’re struggling, sitting down and clinging on is just as fun! Either way, it tires you out so quickly, having to climb the dunes (while sinking and sliding backwards!) and because of the ‘desert like’ hot conditions, drinking water is a MUST. There are no facilities at the dunes (bathroom or shops), so make sure you are prepared to visit the dunes!
What To Wear Sandboarding
You’ll be finding sand EVERYWHERE for days, especially if you wear little shorts like me, my underwear was completely filled up with sand…just warning you! My shoes filled up with sand too but I’d definitely recommend wearing them. Sandboards are slightly different from snowboards, they have a padded arch that you literally just wedge your foot under. Sunglasses are a good option too, it can get windy at the dunes so it’ll help protect your eyes.
Lancelin Sand Dunes are free to visit and are ‘open’ from 8am to 7pm, 7 days a week, all year round.
Lancelin is also popular for it’s water sports, especially wind surfing. The town is small but has everything you could need; camp sites, hostels, little hotels, a couple of petrol stations, supermarkets, restaurants and a few shops. Rather than feeling like a holiday town, it has more of a weekend/summer escape/2nd home feel, for people that may work or commute into Perth. I stayed at Lancelin Lodge, this is actually a hostel but over Easter weekend a lot of the campsites had a minimum night stay. The hostel let as park up on their grounds (for $15) and use their toilet and kitchen facilities.
You can find more things to do in Lancelin here.