After getting a taste for Australia in 2008, I really wanted to go back and road trip the west coast, escape the cities and find some of the real Australia. Lancelin is just a short 1 hour 30 drive north from the city of Perth, yet it is home to lots of giant bright white sand dunes! The dunes were definitely a highlight of my trip and I’d recommend a stop in Lancelin to anyone!
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!
Literally less than a 5 minute drive from the town (armed with sand boards hired from the local supermarket!), you can park at the base of the dunes and head off exploring. 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!
Sand boarding 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 sand boarding quite easy. The boards are smaller and you need to wax them every couple of runs to make them go faster. 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. Plus you’ll be finding sand EVERYWHERE for days!
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.