Lancelin is Australia’s premier sandboarding destination and it’s just 90 minutes from the centre of Perth.
Sandboarding in Lancelin is inexpensive , you can rent a board from as little as $12 and it’s lots of fun. So what’s involved?
First, get yourself to town. The drive from the centre of Perth is a mere 90 minutes. Head north to the end of the Mitchell Freeway and turn right on Hester Avenue, then left onto Wanneroo Road. This eventually changes into Indian Ocean Drive so keep heading north until you hit the Lancelin turn-off which is well signposted. Turn towards the coast and follow these video instructions to get to the dunes.
You’ll need a sandboard and some wax and to ensure you don’t arrive to find boards are booked out, you should reserve your board here (from just $12). Once you’ve collected your pre-booked board, head to the dunes where it’s possible to park standard 2-wheel-drive vehicles right at the base of the dunes on the hard rock if you follow the diagram below or video instructions. If you deviate from this route there is a real chance you will end up bogged so stay on the hard track.It’s worth noting that most hire car companies forbid you taking their 2-wheel-drive vehicles off road, so be warned. If you want to go deep into the off-road area, you definitely will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. You will also want to be very careful if you’re a novice 4WD’er as the dunes are dangerous (yes, deaths occur).
The dunal area is expansive and actually comes under the control of 3 different entities. Legally, you are only allowed to use the licensed off-road section, which roughly comprises the middle section (north to south) of the dunes. There is signage at the entry indicating the usable area, so please consult it as you enter. Be aware though, that there are few fences or signage on the sand dunes to indicate where the boundaries are, so play it safe.
If you’re not confident driving into the off-road area with your 2-wheel-drive vehicle, simply park it on Bootoo Street and walk in. You can also park in the clearing on the left of the track about 20 metres in as can be seen on the picture above. The walk is about 300 metres across soft sand and hard rock.
Entry to the dunes is free. There is only one entry point (as pictured above), there is no entry gate and the dunes are open every day of the year, 24 hours a day (although you’re expected to keep noise to a minimum between sunset and 8am for the comfort of those living close to the dunes).
You can collect your rental board from 7am, 7 days a week and if you have good balance e.g. can ride a skateboard or snowboard, you’ll probably be able to get down the hill standing, otherwise ride sitting down which takes no skill. As to what you should wear? That’s up to you. If it’s windy or you fall a lot while sandboarding, you will end up with sand all through your clothes so plan for that. You might want to bring goggles to stop sand irritating your eyes and be aware that you will need to climb to the top of the dune in order to glide down, so you will exert energy heading back up.
Also be aware that there are no facilities whatsoever at the dunes e.g. toilets/shops etc. So take care of that on your way through the town and have yourself a top day!