Perched on the doorstep of the Indian Ocean, 125 kilometres north of the Perth CBD, or just less than an hour and a half by car, Lancelin’s allure resides in its natural beauty and outdoor offerings. The town was originally gazetted in 1950 and at the time, was aptly known as Wangaree, the Aboriginal word for fish. In 1953, its name was changed and taken from the nearby A-class nature reserve, Lancelin Island.
The tiny fishing town has grown from humble beginnings into a trendy tourist destination for holidaymakers looking for a little rest and relaxation, along with day-trippers seeking a convenient getaway. So, whether you’re keen to take to the tides by boat, explore the waters teeming with marine life, discover the string of 14 shipwrecks spanning 330 years of seafaring mishaps or fly down the dunes on a sandboard, quad bike or buggy, there are plenty of ways to pass the hours in this charming coastal town.
Day Trip itinerary
From the bush to the blue, this day trip itinerary connects you with the best of Lancelin’s natural and adventurous appeal. You’ll get off the beaten track, and explore the seaside town’s natural surroundings both above and below the surface.
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7:00 am: Beachside brekkie
A day trip to Lancelin is best started early to get the most out of the beach town, before the WA afternoon breeze picks up and blasts everyone with sand. So, we’re hitting the road early and starting with coffee and breakfast at Swell Mullaloo Beach. Decked with gorgeous ocean views across Mullaloo Beach, the casual and contemporary oceanside joint embodies the cruisy WA lifestyle. Owned by a husband-and-wife duo, Swell is all about incorporating fresh local produce into their simple and seasonal menus.
8:00 am: Drive to Lancelin (1 hour, 15 mins)
Once you’re all fuelled up for adventure, make tracks and begin the 75-minute car journey from Mullaloo Beach to Lancelin. The most direct route is to take the Indian Ocean Drive north. Upon arrival, swing by the Lancelin Visitor Centre for the inside scoop on all things good in town.
10:00 am: Sand dunes tour and board hire from Perth Quad
If you’re partial to adrenalin-pumping adventure and fancy a little fun on the slopes, a sandboarding sesh is an absolute must for the bucket list. Join Perth Quad on a two-hour adventure tour through the spectacular sand dunes on a quad bike, buggy, or motocross before tackling the slopes — which rise to 40 metres at their tallest — via sandboard. Alternatively, you can conveniently rent a sandboard directly at the bottom of the dunes.
11:45 am: Lunch at Endeavour Tavern
Whether you’re keen to enjoy the breathtaking views from the beer garden, watch your favourite team on the big screen or battle a fellow pool shark, settle in for a munch and a tipple where the dunes meet the sea. Home to all-day pizzas and famed fish and chips, Lancelin’s Endeavour Tavern is a place to let the kids roam free while you sit back and unwind with a bevvy. Or if you’re down for a takeaway option, try Lancelin Seafood Fish and Chips and enjoy your lunchtime feast at the beach.
2:30 pm: Cool off at Lancelin Beach
Lancelin Beach is protected by a reef system making it an idyllic spot for all things swimming, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding. Its glittering turquoise water is also great for jet skiing, fishing and boating. Head down and hire a jet ski, paddleboard or water bike from Perth Quad (Lancelin Watersports arm), who also offer guided tours. If you want something a little more active, book a group lesson with Lancelin Surf School. Or simply park up with an umbrella and book for a salubrious dose of vitamin D.
Interestingly, Lancelin was also where the oldest message in a bottle was found in 2018 — tossed overboard in 1886 from the German ship, Paula.
When it comes to quintessential Lancelin experiences, a day trip just isn’t complete without visiting the town’s newly refurbed beachside lookout, situated just north of the Lancelin Beach Hotel. Boasting marvellous sweeping vistas of the Indian Ocean, Lancelin Island, and the sand dunes, it’s a sight for sore eyes. The wooden staircase was recently upgraded in 2018 and is a clear improvement from the sand track that stood before it.
4:30 pm: Drive back to Perth and stop at Two Rocks on the way
It’s time to hit the road and begin the drive back to Perth. To break up the journey, pull in at Two Rocks — a beachside suburb named after two prominent rocks offshore from Wreck Point, located exactly between Lancelin and the CBD — for a sunset dinner on the way.
5:30 pm: Sunset dinner at The Pickled Herring
As the sun makes its descent over the Indian Ocean, enjoy an Asian-fusion seafood spread at The Pickled Herring. The casual coastal dining joint is guided by the capable hands of the Korean head chef Jey Lee, who uses only the freshest ingredients, along with his attention to detail and flavour. If you want the inside scoop, the seafood and Asian sharing plates are always crowd-pleasers.
Make it an Overnighter
If you don’t want the good times to end, why not spend the night? Experience Lancelin Holiday Park is a camper’s paradise, situated right by the beach and in close proximity to all main attractions. Accommodation options range from two-bedroom cabins and powered caravan bays to unpowered tent sites.
Or for something a little extra, Lancelin Beach Breaks offers a diverse selection of self-contained holiday homes. Whether you’re looking for a million-dollar beachfront abode, authentic beach shack, or anything in between, there’s something to suit couples, families, large groups, and fur babies.