This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Yanchep National Park is one of the best camping spots that are close to Perth. At only an hour and a half away from Perth (even less if you live in the northern suburbs), it is very convenient for a weekend away (or day trip).
It is an excellent National Park that offers heaps of things to do to keep you entertained while camping at Yanchep National Park. In this post I will tell you everything you need to know to organise your own camping trip to Yanchep National Park as well as what there is to do while you are there.
Henry White Oval and Campground
We really enjoyed the short drive to the Henry White campgrounds from Perth. There are a total of 19 unpowered sites which are managed by a caretaker on site. The sites were large and there were flush toilets and showers. You do need to book your spot on the DPAW website before you arrive.
The sites for camping cost $15 per adult per night and $3 per child. You also need to pay to enter Yanchep National Park. For a single entry it is $13 per vehicle. You can purchase a year long annual pass to enter all the National Parks in Western Australia for a 12 month period. It normally costs about $80 a year, but if you are a member of RAC then you can access 50% off through their website. I think this pass (especially at 50% off) is excellent value and we also feel that it is good to support our national parks.
Things to do in Yanchep National Park
There is so much to see and explore while you are camping in National Park. We stayed for four nights and found that was a good amount of time to explore, but you could also stay for less time. What follows is a summary of what there is to do while you are camping at Yanchep National Park.
Chocolate Drops Cafe
We think we know how the cafe got its name as Lala’s cousin kept calling all the Kangaroo poo on the grass chocolate drops. (I think he was secretly hoping that someone would eat one of them.) I had to make it especially clear to Lala that it was POO and NOT CHOCOLATE. But luckily, she was old enough and developing a good sense of humour so she was laughing along at the joke.
Chocolate Drops cafe is also a chocolate shop (perhaps another reason for the name!), cafe and tea room. We enjoyed an ice cream sitting outside near the lake and were entertained by a couple of galahs in the tree above us.
The tour through Crystal Cave was excellent value. Adults were $15 and kids were $7.50. Family tickets were also available.
The kids loved the cave tour. Lala’s cousins who are 10 and 9 were always right at the front of the tour listening to everything the Ranger had to say. One of them asked the classic ‘I am a ten year old’ question of, ‘Would you die if one of the stalactites broke and hit you on the head?’ The Ranger answered, ‘It would depend on how big the stalactite was.’ The Ranger was funny and informative and it was nice and cool down in the caves considering the 42 degree heat outside and it was fun trying to spot king kong in the crystals.
It was interesting to learn about how the caves were formed. They used to be huge sand dunes that calcified and then collapsed in the centre. They have been around for a long time. The Ranger showed us a tiny little stalactite and said it was older than he was. He then showed us a much bigger one and said that this stalactite has probably been around longer than humans have been in Australia. Pretty crazy stuff!
Yanchep Inn and Tavern
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the tavern. We talked about going for a meal, but as always I packed WAAAAAY too much food. So we have it on the list for next time we visit.
Meals are available at the tavern, and it also has hotel rooms which is another great option if the campground is booked out.
Yanchep National Park Bush Walks and Hiking Trails
We did quite a few of the bush walks while were there. We combined the walk through Boomerang Gorge with the second half of the caves walk. We had fun looking out for all the caves. We had learnt on our cave tour that Yanchep has more than 300 caves and we could see many paths coming off the main trail and we were certain they headed out to more caves.
We also did the wetlands walk. To get to the start of the walk from the campground, we did the first part of the Woodland walk and then we had to walk around the lake before the wetlands trail started in earnest. At the lake we watched two kangaroos fight for alpha male supremacy which we stopped and watched for quite a while. It was unresolved by the time we continued on our way to the start of the wetlands trail.
The wetlands trail was meant to be 2.7km but I would say it was over 4km by the time we added in the rest to get to the start of it and then the walk home. We ended up carrying Lala for part of it and towards the end she just sat on the path with a look on her face that said, ‘I’m not going any further.’ It was however a lovely walk and most of it was nice and cool and shaded so a good one to do at any time of day.
Explore the Koala Boardwalk
Koalas are not native to Western Australia (they are only found on the East Coast) so it is not very often you get to see koalas without going to a Zoo. A small population of 8 koalas live in Yanchep National Park and it was fun to walk around the boardwalk and try and spot them all.
A ranger does a free talk every day at 3.15pm, so time your visit right and you can learn a bit about them as well.
Other Things to do Nearby
Once you have finished exploring Yanchep National Park you can have a look around Yanchep, head to the beach or explore another nearby town.
The Lagoon in Yanchep
The best beach in Yanchep (in my opinion) is the Lagoon. It is calm and shallow and protected by a small reef. The reef is not far from the shore and it creates a few little pools for the kids to play and explore in. The reef also attracts a few fish and the kids had a great time with the bucket trying to scoop up the little fish that were swimming around.
Seriously they spent about 2 hours non stop in the water trying to scoop up those fish. The fact that they did not catch even one never deterred them! Then they all collected all the seaweed they could, dragged it out of the ocean and created a pile of seaweed on the beach. I love that kids can make fun out of anything.
Morning was definitely the best time to be at the beach. As soon as the seabreeze came in in the afternoon it seemed to get rough and choppy. The Lagoon was still lovely and protected but you could feel the pull of the current underwater.
Two Rocks is almost like a sister city to Yanchep as it is very close by. Have a wander around the marina at Leeman’s Landing or check out the giant statue of Neptune, one of the last remining remnants of the old Atlantis theme park. Head down to Two Rocks Beach for a swim and to check out the two rocks off the coast that the town is named after.
Moore River in Guilderton
Guilderton is only a 30 minute drive from Yanchep and is a beautiful spot very popular with families. Guilderton is where the Moore River meets the ocean. Lala had a great time splashing about in the river.
You can hire a kayak or canoe to explore the river or BYO your own floatation device. It is also popular for fishing and there are plenty of walks in the area too.
Spending time with Family
We had Lala’s two young cousins join us for two days and one night while we were camping at Yanchep National Park. It is always great fun camping with friends and family and we all enjoyed it. Lala had a great time with her cousins and it was great fun watching them play together. They loved the beach and the caves but I enjoyed the simple things like, watching their faces light up as they added handfuls of mini marshmallows to their hot chocolates and watching them running around under the sprinklers in the heat of the afternoon on Australia Day.
The cousins were only with us for one night and we all had a great time. It was definitely a benefit of camping at Yanchep National park. It is so close to home that we could take them for an evening and it wasn’t too far for their mum to pick them up.
All in all it was a pretty jam packed few days but we also felt like we had plenty of time to relax. It was also great to be home by midday on Sunday. Yanchep National park is definitely a good one for a long weekend or a weekend when you don’t want to waste too much time travelling but want to fit in a getaway.