A small fishing and holiday settlement on the coast north of Perth. The sandhills behind the township are popular among dune buggy enthusiasts. Lancelin and the nearby coastal townships of Seabird, Ledge Point and Guilderton are lobster fishing settlements, but are increasingly catering for weekenders and holiday makers. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are popular in the ocean off Lancelin, as are sandboarding and 4-wheel driving on the beaches and in the dunes behind the town.

The area in which Lancelin is located is close to the shipwreck site of the Vergulde Draeck or Gilt Dragon that was wrecked on rocks close to shore in 1656.

Lancelin Island Nature Reserve

Lancelin Island Nature Reserve (500 metres off shore) is managed for the conservation of flora and fauna. The island is an important sanctuary for a variety of breeding seabirds, for several resident landbirds and lizards and for resting sea lions. A variety of marine, wading and land birds may be observed.

Moore River National Park

Situated west of the Brand Highway near Regans Ford and consists of mainly banksia heathland. There are no facilities in the park. The Moore River runs through the park on its way to the Indian Ocean where the township of Guilderton is situated.


Guilderton (45 km south) is a small coastal fishing village at the mouth of Moore River. Its name is a reference to some forty 17th-century silver guilder coins that were found in the sand in the vicinity in the 1931. They came from the Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon), a Dutch trading ship wrecked off the coast in 1656. The coins were thought to be from the wreck of the Dutch ship, the Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon) that had was later found to have foundered on a reef north of the river-mouth near Ledge Point in 1656. The wrecksite was found in April 1963. Guilderton was originally known as Gabbadah, an Aboriginal term meaning "mouthful of water", until its gazetting as a town in 1951, though the name Moore River remained in use for many years. The river mouth regularly opens and closes depending on the seasons, and alternates between a closed lagoon and a tidal estuary. Soldiers used the area during World War II both for rest and recreation and as a base for horseback beach patrols.

Ledge Point

A small coastal village 105 km north of Perth and 10 km south of Lancelin,Ledge Point was established to service the local fishing and crayfishing industries. The town's name originates from the nearby coastal feature of the same name, a series of rocky ledges on the point that was first described in an 1875 hydrographic survey. In 1952 there were three squatters' shacks that had been built in the reserve and once a road was completed into the area in 1953 more people began to request land leases. The government decided to subdivide the area in 1954 and sell blocks for retirees and holiday housing.


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Where is it?

131 km north of Perth

Brief history

In October 1655, Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon) of the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch United East India Company (VOC) set sail from Texel, on what was to be its second and final voyage to Batavia (modern Jakarta) in the East Indies. The vessel was lost on 28th April 1656 on a reef off the coast off Western Australia, near Ledge Point, a small fishing village not far from Lancelin.

In March 1658, as first officer and navigator of the Waeckende Boey searching for the Vergulde Draeck, Abraham Leeman van Santwits led a party ashore off Lancelin Isld. Leeman and his crew were caught in the storm and found themselves stranded on a strange land.

Leeman refused to accept the impossibility of his situation and, after killing a number of seals and doing his best to collect adequate provisions, he and his party of 14 men set sail for Batavia in an overloaded open boat. He and three sailors survived the epic journey. A plaque on a limestone obelisk at the end of Marcon Street, Two Rocks, marks the place where Leeman and his men came ashore.

The area around Lancelin was initially a holiday camping place through the 1940s and holiday shacks were probably built in the area during this time, but interest in the area grew as it was designated as a possible port to be utilised by the crayfish, or lobster fishery.

Lancelin Island is thought to be named by French explorer Nicolas Baudin, of Naturaliste, on 12th July 1801 after P F Lancelin, scientific writer, author of the World Map of Sciences and works on the planetary system and analyses of science. Gazetted as Wangaree in June 1950, its name was changed to Lancelin in February 1954 as the this was the name in common use.

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