Sandy Cape is probably the worst-kept secret for Perth camping and 4WD enthusiasts. It’s all over Facebook and Instagram with photos of the calm bay and pristine sands. Yet, it took us a long time before we made the trip to discover what all the fuss was about.
We left early on a February morning because the forecast was for a wonderful 42 degrees and the Landy was without air conditioning. Still, we arrived at 10 to set up and it was already stifling. Even arriving in Jurien Bay, we hesitated. Maybe staying at the caravan park would be enough and we could see the cool, enticing beach just metres away. Thankfully, we didn’t and we endured setting up camp as the temperature soared and the march flies visited.
Once that was done, we walked over the small dune to be greeted by a stunning expanse of calm blue bay, practically empty since it was Monday. After a very long and hot morning, jumping into the ocean was a wonderful relief and its a memory we bring up often when discussing our camping adventures.
What followed was a week of fishing, 4WDing, exploring, sunset-watching and good times. The camp filled up with a grey nomad social group, who were good value for a chat and we made friends with an older chap who gave us the hot tips for fishing. It was probably one of the best trips we have had and Sandy Cape became our top spot for time away.
Location: North of Jurien Bay
The entrance to Sandy Cape is a short drive north of Jurien Bay, about 20 minutes. It’s well-signed, with a large, brown tourist sign. The camp hosts will place a sign at the entrance if the grounds are full, which quite often happens on weekends, public holidays and school holidays. So basically anytime which isn’t a standard working week. At the time of writing, the road to the campgrounds is unsealed and it takes another 10 minutes to get to the camp site. Not far from the grounds is an information stop with bins and a dump point.
What isn’t there to do?! Sandy Cape is an outdoor recreation dream. We start early with a cuppa, watching the bay change colour at sunrise. If you’re feeling energetic, the top of the sand dunes provides excellent views and photo opportunities over the bay. The dune is also a prime location for sandboarding and wearing out overly excited kids, large and small. There is a lookout at the top of the point, which is a short but steep walk through soft sand.
If you have a 4WD, you can also follow the track onto the next beach, where you can camp and fish. There is a track which follows the coastline, offering more secret locations and lookout points although we are yet to explore it. The camp hosts are knowledgeable about the area and can offer tips on where you can go.
Fishing, boating and swimming are popular, or you can walk along the beach and explore neighbouring bays. The protected bay is calm and always ideal for swimming, with a boat launch towards the southern end of the beach. Both Jurien Bay and Green Head are short drives and provide a good day or half day trip. There are also bush walks in the area and the information bay on the road into camp has more details about the local tracks.
The grounds are well-kept and the hosts have added a food van to the site, selling much needed coffee and other hot and cold beverages. In front of the camp host’s accommodation is a camp kitchen, with shelter and a BBQ.
The toilets are long drop and yeah, get stinky sometimes. There’s also a water tank but I wouldn’t trust the output so bring your own washing up and drinking water. Fortunately Jurien Bay is close by for any essential supplies.
There are spaces for tents, camp trailers and caravans. We even saw a fifth-wheeler park up whilst we were there. Recent work has extended the camping space, but the northern end has harder ground and less shade and protection, so it’s more suitable for caravans and those who are self-sufficient.
When are you going?
Sandy Cape is the perfect spot for couples, families and, judging by our previous trips, grey nomads with tiny dogs. Choose your level of activity by relaxing at camp all day or find adventure there or down the road at Jurien Bay or Green Head. We’ve been in summer and spring and although it can likely become fresh in winter, with the right coverage it would still be a place to enjoy.
The best part? Jurien Bay is only a two hour drive from Perth so it’s ideal for a weekend or a longer trip.
Find out more
Read about Jurien Bay and Green Head at Australia’s Coral Coast or visit dedicated tourism website Jurien Bay Time. There is more information on the Shire of Dandaragan website, including a PDF download with a map of the camp area.