Sandboarding in the Sand Dunes of Lancelin, Australia
by Josien - 18 May, 2020
Yesss! Sandboarding, one of the activities that was high on my to-do list! I really really wanted to go sandboarding and I knew that during our trip to West Australia I would get my chance at sandboarding in Lancelin!
Where is Lancelin?
Lancelin is a little town in Western Australia. You will find it at a 2-hour drive, around 115 km north of Perth. There are four ways to get to Lancelin from Perth: train, bus, car, or Uber. The cheapest way to get to Lancelin is by bus, but the fastest way is by car or Uber. The bus from Perth to Lancelin only goes three times a week (departing from TransWA Bay East Perth). The train service can be found on the website of TransPerth.
How to get to the sand dunes in Lancelin
From Perth, it’s a short 2-hour drive up North to get to Lancelin, where the crazy white sand dunes stand out from anything else in your view. The road to Lancelin is the Indian Ocean Drive, not as impressive as the Great Ocean Road (but is there a road that can beat that anyway?) and only gets interesting when you get to the part with the ocean view. When driving there, you probably make a pit stop at the Pinnacle Desert. Just to get your eyes off the road for a bit, but also for this strange landscape and weird rocky desert. Highly recommended!
Lancelin, lobster, and windsurf
In Lancelin you’ll find the best lobster of the west coast, but not at the famous Lobster Shack with only (!!) Chinese people in there. Yes, it might be recommended by EVERYBODY, but the location and other visitors aren’t the best. So go get yourself to the Lobster Trap, a little bit further down the road and have yourself a lovely Lobster slider while sitting in a nice little garden! They also offer great smoothies, good coffee and breakfast, and the ambiance is great!
Lancelin is also world-famous for its great windsurfing spot. The town only inhabits 600 people, but on a windy day there might be more people in town! When we were there it was a bit windy and I could see 10 kites in the air, and I couldn’t count the number of windsurfers in the water.
Where are the sand dunes in Lancelin?
You will find the sand dunes pretty easily. Besides the fact that this town is really small, there are also many signs pointing you in the right direction. If you have a car with navigation: Beacon Road, Lancelin.
Sandboarding in Lancelin
You will find the entrance to the sand dunes pretty easy. When we got there there were two nice girls with a trailer FULL of wooden boards waiting for us. the parking lot was nearly empty and it looked like we had the place to ourselves! Board rental is around $ 15 AUD.
From the parking lot, you can already see the white sand dunes, like one big dry desert. You have to walk for like 5 minutes to get to the higher hills/dunes, but that is really just a short walk. There are many dunes to choose from, so no worries about crowds or running others over while you are boarding your way down.
There is also an area where you can drive your own 4×4 car, quad, or motorbike through the sand dunes. An amazing Mad Max experience if you want it to. Just know that getting stuck here can be an expensive adventure. For $300 AUD the park security will come and tow you out.
What sandboarding in Lancelin like?
The experience itself: awesome! It’s way easier then I expected it to be and of course a lot of fun! At first, the dunes looked pretty high, so the fear of going too fast was present. But in the end, I even needed to wax my board a lot so that I could go faster! I think I needed 30 minutes to get the board under control and make a safe passage down (I have no snow-, skate, or wakeboard experience). That’s also where the most fun is: learning how to get it under control. As soon as you can do it, the adrenaline drops. So after an hour, I was ready to go annoy my fellow boarders. Try to ride one board with two persons, going down backward, or other stupid ideas, we tried.
After learning, doing, and having fun, our legs were killing us when went to walk up the dunes again. So my guess is that most people have fun for about 2 hours and then leave the dunes, which is perfectly fine!
What you need to know before you go sandboarding in Lancelin
I have a few tips and tricks to give you when you go sandboarding in the sand dunes of Lancelin:
1. Go to the sand dunes in the morning
The earlier you go, the colder it is. It’s also less windy in the morning. I was there around 2 pm and it was hot and windy. Imagine a hairdryer blowing sand in your face…
Also, the rental kiosk closes at 3:30 pm.
2. Bring a face mask to the sand dunes of Lancelin
We didn’t and in the end, it was fine. But I think it would have been better for my lungs if I wore a face mask with all that sand and dust flying around.
3. Where something comfy
Sandboarding is about balance and strength. You need your strength to walk up the dunes, you need your balance to get down. Wearing something like a red dress because it looks nice on your Instagram? You’re gonna hate yourself. Be prepared for a workout when you’re going sandboarding in Lancelin.
Remember that the sand will get everywhere. EVERYWHERE. No matter what you wear. I think activewear is the best.
Also, think about good active shoes. You walk a lot and in the hot sand, so sandals/flip-flops wouldn’t be a good fit. Also on the board itself, you need a good grip. So wear sneakers or trainers. You should know that your shoes will get dirty from the dust and sand. Black sneakers will not stay black.
4. Listen to the people who you hire your board from
Sandboarding is a lot of fun, but can also be very dangerous. Listen to the crew, follow their orders, and I promise you will enjoy your day!
5. Do not bring your own old surf- or snowboard
It won’t work.
6. Bring water and food with you to the Sand Dunes of Lancelin
It’s important to drink enough water. You’re in a desert after all. There are no shades or umbrellas to hide from the sun.
7. Bring a GoPro instead of system camera
You can leave your Sony/Canon/whatever system camera at home, you really don’t want the sand to get into your expensive camera. A GoPro would be best for your pictures here.