Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yanchep's Blue Lagoon, Western Australia

The world has its share of beaches where the point is to be seen. Waikiki, Bondi, Ipanema  nature doesn't always provide the main scenery. But if you want to see some of the world's best beaches in solitude, there may be no better place than Western Australia, where your own private sandy paradise is only a short drive away from the capitol city of Perth. A family-friendly favorite of ours is the Yanchep Beach lagoon, just 56 kilometers (35 miles) north of the central business district.

Protected by a finger reef of gritty Tamala limestone that formed during the most recent ice age, water in the lagoon is no deeper than waist-high for the the average adult. The calm, turquoise waters are a perfect natural swimming pool for families with young children who are just learning to swim, particularly at the sheltered southern end of the main pool. There can be a strong current near the mouth of the inlet. Occasional schools of small fish will entertain young snorkellers. And, the clean white sand is an ideal playground for future architects armed with only a bucket, a plastic shovel and dreams. On a crowded summer day there will be no more than a handful of beach-goers.

A crowded day at Yanchep Beach Lagoon.

Areas of Yanchep Beach outside the limits of the lagoon offer moderate surf for stronger swimmers. There is a playground near the carpark for when the kids tire of swimming, or for very windy days when swells and currents may disrupt the tranquillity of the lagoon. Outcrops of limestone provide some shelter from the sun in early morning or late afternoon, though it's never safe to sit immediately adjacent to or directly underneath overhanging rock faces.

To get there, follow Mitchell Freeway/State Route 2 north for 29 kilometers to Burns Beach Road/State Route 87 exit towards Yanchep and Mindarie in Currambine. At the second roundabout, continue north for 26 kilometers on Marmion Avenue to Brazier Road in Yanchep, and look for the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club.