Lancelin - planning for tourism boom

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 13:57
ThreadID: 117419 Views:1896 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
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When I first spotted the Indian Ocean en route around Australia in 1998, my first thought was incredulity that such a beautiful coastline was so underpopulated - so undeveloped?! It was a common theme as we drove south along the Indian Ocean coastline from Exmouth to Perth. Now that I've been living in WA for 15 years I have a better understanding of why, but I've always maintained that development would come eventually. Lancelin is one such example - located just over 100km north of Perth this little township is one of the most undeveloped places you could find. It's like a time-warp. It has magnificent beaches, gorgeous bays and islands just off the coast to view, and its easy to get to and lots of fun for people that like watersports (byo boat, kite/windsurfer) and playing on sand dunes with either sandboards (for kids), dune buggies, or 4WDs. It's also not far to drive up to the slightly bigger townships of Cervantes and Jurien that have more to offer to tourists. Unless you are employed in the fishing industry here (rock lobster is the thing), it's nothing more than a recreational playground for Perth locals on the weekends. Problem is the lack of accommodation and supporting infrastructure to support any growth in tourism. And all the young people of the town are leaving after finishing school to get jobs in Perth as there's not enough int own to support them.

However, it does look like that's all about to change. Lancelin wants to make changes to allow it to support it's future. A few weeks ago (17th March) the shire council agreed to rezone land (unallocated crown land) to build a new caravan park that would provide employment, business & tourism opportunities to ensure the economic viability of Lancelin. You can read the Council's media release here - Link to Council Agreement for Rezoning

And here is the Environmental Report.

Whilst development sometimes doesn't seem to offer the right approach for an area, this is one instance where the locals seem to really want it and the plan will cater for another wonderful place for caravanners and campers to visit. Being so close to Perth, it will be fantastic for interstate travellers en route around the country too.

The community have setup a Facebook Page - Lancelin Tourist Park Support page, where they have posted all the plans and documents if you're interested to read about it further.

What do you think?
Michelle Martin
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:59

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:59
Being of somewhat advance years I can remember ( weekend "boys" trips to Lancelin and beyond to do a bit of spear fishing. We would have a bit of a dive around there but usually just stocked up the Holden/Falcon/Valiant ute/panel vans and headed up the sand tracks through and around the military bombing/artillery range to spots like Wedge Island and occasionally on to Cervantes or Jurien.

A nice new bitumen road and "NO ENTRY" signs abound now. (:=((

AnswerID: 552220

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:06

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:06

The indian ocean drive when it went through was seen to be good for all those towns up the coast to, and including Lancelin. Those towns being Guilderton, Seabird and Ledge point. Ultimately though when completed what it did was make Cervantes and Jurien so much closer and now people simply bypass those towns.

Lancelin used to get a lot of through visitors with it being at the end of the bitumen and through traffic going up to wedge and grey, but now those places are accessible by bitumen and camping restricted. also now with Lancelin being a deviation from the main road it doesn't assist it either.

there was a write up in the West Aust a few months ago about the general downturn ther as well.

I would have thought that with a down turn that there would have been surplus accomodation and therefore hard to justify building more.

I have for the last 10 or so years owned property at Guilderton and have noticed the change because of the new road. There certainly has been an increase in day trippers to those places.

AnswerID: 552221

Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 19:22

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 19:22
Hi Michelle, Good of you to put this up for feedback.
I suppose there's the old saying " paying the price of progress' with development of any sort. agree, Lancelin appears undeveloped, many might prefer this. I like many over several yrs have enjoyed being able to do the bush tracks and camp out almost anywhere from Lancelin to wedge or further until recently restricted and/or closed. As far as I know, Wilbinga and other popular spots are also under threat

The range is restricted for obvious reasons, but has been avail as a drive thru until recently . I would like to address the closure of this area ( range and camping up to wedge) is in my view another nail in coffin of areas avail to do 4x4 and camp 'freely' anywhere near perth. some of the iconic bush tracks that used to have that real 4wd feel about them are now graded gravel roads, to a 'purist', i may as well drive a freeway. One could say the drive there is now easier and quicker. The new ocean drive does bypass the Lancelin township and as such would lead to some drop in visitation /stop from 'drive by ' traffic
I can also understand the continuous problem of 'yahoos' who burn, bash and trash often with a stubby in hand, such areas on easter weekends etc..
I also recognise the growing legalities such as in duty of care and liability of the land owners. allowing civilian traffic thru the middle of a designated bombing and military training range would have its possible consequences.

I have seen the growing problem of damage and rubbish in this ( and many other)area ( the old tims thicket and white hills area) and in a lot of respects don't blame owners, shire, depts, govt, etc.. for eventually closing an area. clubs such as ours and 4x4 try to alleviate this with raising awareness , track maintenance, site development, adherence to good care taking of the environment etc...

The reflection on drift of youth and low job prospects is a nation wide problem for semi rural and country areas -as is difficulty for local business.
saw many small towns on recent trip to ES that were struggling.

I believe the idea of a caravan park is basically good, perhaps community based with some govt support. I havnt looked at plans, but would suggest that it needs several things: reasonable pricing, "Future proofing" in planning ( allow for expansion )a very large tent area , sufficient area for parking boats ( trailer), facility for 4x4 clean/washing and so on. Thanks,
AnswerID: 552229

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