Last Updated on February 3, 2023

Lancelin, Western Australia — A battle for the future of one of Western Australia’s beloved tourist destinations is heating up as the area’s expanding mining plans clash with its visitor appeal.

The Shire of Gingin and business leaders are concerned about the future of the Lancelin Sand Dunes, a famous spot for tourists that come for outdoor activities such as sandboarding and four-wheel-driving, or to enjoy the white sand.

Limesand mining in Lancelin
Limesand mining operations in Lancelin. Photo: Aglime

Proposed Sand Mining Operations

Located just an hour north of Perth, the Lancelin Sand Dunes attract thousands of visitors each year. However, the future of this iconic tourist spot is now under threat due to imminent sand mining operations in the key Lancelin Off-Road Vehicle Area (LORVA).

Shire of Gingin President Wayne Fewster said Lancelin is one of the most iconic places in Australia, known for its sand dunes.

The council has been asking for clarity around the controls of the LORVA, but their application for a management order over the area was rejected by the state government due to possible land-use conflict issues and safety concerns.

The state government also declined the Shire’s backup plan and handed responsibility for the area to Lands Minister John Carey.

Sandboarders riding the dunes in Lancelin
Tourists enjoying sandboarding at Lancelin sand dunes. Photo: Flickr.

A Negative Impact on Tourism

Much of Lancelin’s economy relies on holidaymakers to keep the town’s accommodation and cafes busy, and hire businesses dedicated to dune tourism.

Lancelin Chamber of Commerce President Malcolm Lobb is worried about the future of his home town, saying they receive thousands of visitors each year, both international and domestic, that bring in a lot of money.

He fears losing access to the area will have a flow-on effect, with businesses closing, including the four-wheel-drive business.

Concerns from Local Business Owners

Joe Blouet, who runs Perth Quad in Lancelin, shares the same concerns about the longevity of his business if the regulations change. He questions whether Lancelin is the right place for a sand mine operation, as he is not sure about the future of the town.

The future of Lancelin’s iconic sand dunes is uncertain, with the proposed sand mining operations putting the town’s economy and beloved tourist spot at risk.

The local council and business leaders are concerned about the impact on the town and are calling for more communication to find a solution that will allow both tourism and mining to coexist.

Popular Activities at Lancelin Sand Dunes

Lancelin Sand Dunes is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Western Australia, attracting thousands of visitors each year who come to enjoy the dunes.

The area is particularly famous for the outdoor sport of sandboarding, with visitors of all ages experiencing the thrill of gliding down the dunes on a sandboard. Lancelin is currently one of the most popular spots for sandboarding in Australia.

Additionally, the dunes are a popular spot for four-wheel-driving, with enthusiasts flocking to the area to test their skills on the challenging terrain.

Other popular tourist activities include surfboarding and stand-up paddle boarding.


Read also: Sandboarding in Western Australia

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