Lancelin, WA

Lancelin is a small beachside town an hour and a half north of Perth. It’s home to a giant  Adirondack chair and a million Fremantle supporters.

We had tried to find somewhere  further north to stay but everything was booked out due to school holidays. The Lancelin Caravan Park is right on the water front and was quite full when we arrived, but by Sunday, the end of school holidays, it was virtually empty.  Recently taken over from the council by a private operator, it is undergoing significant renovations. Caution was required when entering the toilet block.

Many people gathered on the foreshore to watch the spectacular sunsets.

The beaches along this part of the coast are badly damaged by erosion and until last year were replenished each year with new sand. With ongoing and rising costs the council is now implementing a ‘retreat management plan’, which means public infrastructure will gradually be dismantled and moved and beaches will be left to the sea. So pictures of Lancelin Beach prior to last winter are beautiful, but not anymore. Now they are inaccessible due to the erosion and a build up of rotting seaweed, the smell overwhelming at times.

The closest beach we could find for swimming was at Jurien Bay, 108 km north.  There were changing boxes near the beach, which were simple but great.

On a day trip north we also stopped at Nilgen Nature Reserve, where we saw a line of Bag Moth Caterpillars crossing the path. They walk head to tail in procession.

Lake Thetis is one of only a few places in the world with living marine stromatolites, which are a bit like coral, less attractive but also fascinating.

Cervantes is a lobster fishing town near the Pinnacles.  The Lobster Shack was recommended to us. It’s right on the beach, which was lovely, but we found their lobster quite expensive, over-cooked and the sauce split. Wouldn’t go back again.

Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park is a must see. Quite  amazing; it reminded us a little of Mungo National Park in NSW.

The Pinnacles Discovery Centre is very good.

By pure luck, we attended the ‘Western Australia Opera at the Pinnacles’. BYO chairs, dinner, wine and torch. It was AMAZING, such a great experience for our first time at the opera. About 1,000 people attended and it was set out amongst the pinnacles. For any opera buffs here’s the programme. It included  Emma Matthews, Fiona Campbell, Paul O’Neil, Sam Roberts-Smith and two dancers from the WA contemporary dance company STRUT,  Issy Estrella and Richard Cilli.

The pinnacles were lit up with coloured lights transforming the whole desert when night fell. Children had fun playing in the sand under their glow.

At half time coloured glow sticks were handed out with instructions to  use them like conductor batons during the last two performances; the place became like a shimmering fairy land.

Strip lighting along the path helped us find our way to the portaloos and back to the car park after, which was quite a long way from the stage.

On our day trip north we passed several sand dunes quite a long way inland from the coast. They Looked like big blobs of marshmallow dropped on the landscape; some were pristine white,  some several kilometres long. They are mobile, the largest one we saw is moving at 12 metres per year.

The sand dune on the outskirts of Lancelin is the only one people are allowed to access with cars, sand boards, bikes etc. It is by no means the largest but is quite spectacular.  It looked like the snow fields dotted with skiers.

We had fun on quad bikes; Tim attached the GoPro to the handlebars.

Getting stuck in the sand was a common sight.

Cheers until next time, Helen and Tim.