Just 90 minutes north of Perth, Lancelin is an ideal day trip destination. With much more to do than just visit the infamous sand dunes here's our list of what to do and see in this gorgeous coastal township.

Lancelin Day Trip – the best things to do and see!

The coastal town of Lancelin is a beautiful spot for a day trip from Perth

Most famous for hosting Western Australia’s largest sand dune system, Lancelin is an ideal destination for a day trip from Perth. However, this charming fishing town has far more to offer beyond its sandy expanses. With a sheltered bay and two islands teeming with marine life, Lancelin is a haven for fishing, boating and windsurfing plus a hot spot for rock lobster. The cute coastal township also hosts an array of family-friendly activities, adventure-filled fun, tasty dining options and pristine beaches making it a perfect getaway from the city.

How to get to Lancelin

Head north from Perth’s CBD along the Mitchell Freeway. At the end of the freeway, follow the signs towards Lancelin, continuing onto Wanneroo Road, which becomes Indian Ocean Drive at Yanchep. This scenic route will take you to Lancelin in about 90 minutes. As with many Western Australian locations, Lancelin is best explored with your own car, but if you don’t have a vehicle, a coach line offers affordable transport between Perth and Lancelin.

The best things to do and see in Lancelin

This small coastal town of around 700 year-round residents offers a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Popular with adventure-seekers and family day trippers, Lancelin’s unique landscape provides endless fun in the sea and on the sand. And with some great places to eat and stores that offer local produce you’ll have plenty to keep you fuelled up. Here are just a few of the things to do and see in Lancelin:

Take in the view at the Lancelin Lookout

One of the best things to do on a daytrip to Lancelin is take in the view at the Lancelin Lookout

On the northern end of the Lancelin township, this 360 degree lookout provides spectacular views of Lancelin Island, the coastline and Indian Ocean, and even glimpses of the inland sand dunes. The short path to the lookout is fully accessible, and best entry is from the car park along Hinchcliffe Street.

Visit the Lancelin Sand Dunes

Located just a short drive from the town centre, a visit to the sand dunes is one of the most popular things to do in Lancelin. Thought to be the largest dune system in Western Australia, it stretches for over 2 kilometres long and many of the dunes stand over 30 metres high. The fine white sand is very bright (particularly on a sunny day) so you’ll need your sunglasses to enjoy your time in the dunes!

The Lancelin dunes are free to enter and open year-round. You can explore the dunes on foot, drive your own 4WD through the sandy terrain, or rent a sandboard or quad bike. For those who prefer not to hike up the steep, shifting sand, guided tours are available. Tours depart from the dunes car park every hour from 9 AM to 4 PM, offering a 45-minute exploration of the vast dunes network in a 4WD bus. The cost is $35 for adults and $25 for children, and booking ahead is recommended.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time at the sand dunes:

  1. Arrive early: During summer and holiday periods, beat the crowds by arriving early and explore the dunes before the heat sets in.
  2. Bring the right equipment: Wax on your sandboard will help you glide better on the sand. For off-road driving, use a sand flag for increased visibility.
  3. Be safe: Beware of vehicles, sand boarders and pedestrians in the off-road areas at all times. For the off-road tracks, always check the area out before driving. The sand dunes change with the winds, and drop-offs may not be seen when approaching a crest.

Swim at one of the pristine beaches

With white sandy shores and crystal-clear water protected by a reef system, Lancelin is a paradise for beach lovers. The main beach is popular for swimming, snorkelling and water sports (although it occasionally has a bit of seaweed). There are also several other secluded beaches nearby that are great for a walk or a quiet dose of sun and surf.

Explore Lancelin Island

Lancelin Bay features two islands. Around 500 meters from the mainland, Lancelin Island is an A-class nature reserve, home to seabirds, visiting sea lions and the Lancelin Island skink. It also serves as a breeding site to numerous protected species in the surrounding marine area. In the summer months, you can reach the island by kayak or SUP board to explore its western side and beach coves. There’s also a viewing platform accessible via a boardwalk. Edwards Island, just 100 meters offshore, is the smaller island to the south. It’s also a protected reserve but is not open to the public.

A world-renowned dive trail also litters the ocean around Lancelin, with fourteen shipwrecks along the coastline enabling fantastic diving.

Fish or pick up a lobster at the Jetty

This working Jetty is also one of the safest spots to take the kids for a fish on land. Best fished at dawn, dusk and night lucky anglers can look forward to finding some of the world’s best table fish like whiting and flathead. And almost every day around 11am you’ll see the fishing boats return to Lancelin’s Jetty with their haul of western rock lobsters (crayfish). You can buy freshly caught live lobsters straight from the boat at wholesale prices through the Local Lobster Program, which allows fishermen to sell a fixed number of tagged lobsters per year from the jetty. Simply order ahead through the payment portal to secure a crayfish caught just hours before – they don’t come any fresher than that!

Lunch with views 

For a feed with breathtaking views of the ocean and Lancelin Island, enjoy lunch at the Endeavour Tavern. Try to snag an outdoor table in their incredible beer garden, or if it’s wet grab a seat in the indoor woodsy dining area. Open 7 days a week, their menu features all-day pizzas and classic pub meals along with a ‘Little Pirates’ selection for the kids.

Looking for a coffee and cake in Lancelin? The Offshore Café is a great spot that’ll provide you with that caffeine fix you’re craving. This quirky and casual cafe features a menu of classic breakfast and lunch dishes. But the stars of the show are their pastries, pies and cakes with yummy options like beesting, mud cake, strawberry sponge, carrot cakes and giant cookies. Dine in or grab a take away sausage roll and sauce and head to the beach. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 7am to 3pm.

If you want to try the local seafood try Lancelin Seafood Fish and Chips for a quick takeaway and enjoy your lunchtime feast on a bench at the lookout overlooking Lancelin Island.

For more day trip options from Perth read our Our Guide to the Avon Valley, Our Ultimate Guide to the Ferguson Valley, or 10 of the very best day trips from Perth within a one-hour drive of the city!