With a secret love of writing, I'm somewhat undiscovered. A graphic designer from QLD, we are gradually working our way around Oz. Creating new friends and showing our young family (dog in tow) what an amazing place we live in, the ol fashioned way.
Published January 30th 2013
Get some sea air up your nose - Tim's Thicket Beach Mandurah
Last day of the long weekend, we decided to try our four-wheel-drive luck at Tims Thicket Beach, 15min South of Mandurah (approx 91kms South of Perth).
The previous days' high winds had kept us cautious so we wanted to find somewhere we could do some four-wheel-driving and enjoy the beach without being sandblasted, but could relax and the let kids and fur kid have a swim and a run around without too many worries.
Tims Thicket Beach entrance is pretty straightforward and there's an option to walk to the beach at the start of the four-wheel-drive entry. There were only 3 people on the beach at this spot, and the water was crystal clear and very inviting. The beach here is moderately hazardous and is an unmanned beach, so take extra care if you swim here. You can read more on SLS website
View from top of hill looking down the walkway to Tim's Thicket Beach North
We initially weren't sure if dogs were allowed as there is a sign at the entrance warning of fox and wild animal baits, but apparently you are allowed to take them as long as you keep them away from the dunes where the poison is. Our dog had no intention of being anywhere but in the surf and chasing the ball, but we kept an eye out nonetheless.
So we started our first four-wheel-driving adventure in Perth and in true QLD style took the wrong fork in the road and went left, ending up at the foot of a very soft, quite steep four-wheel-driving track; I believe this is the back track North of Seal Rock. Unfortunately, we were on our own, so with my heart pounding in my chest, and no chance of making it up there, with our four-wheel-drive as it was, I managed to persuade hubby to go back to where we came from and take the other fork.
One disappointing thing I will mention, was the amount of rubbish that had been left along the bush tracks behind the dunes. I still find it hard to believe that people continue to dump their unwanted goods in the bush. From camps that were just forgotten, to white goods and kids toys. It is heartbreaking to think that a few selfish characters still disrespect and deface what literally is a natural paradise. Serious thought needs to be given to cleaning up, monitoring and preserving this area from this vandalism, after all these are the stupid acts that are slowly closing down snd restricting access to free camping and four-wheel-drivingin our country. What losers!
There are a lot of vehicles on this track so be wary. Whilst most drivers were friendly and helpful, some aren't as courteous as you'd hope, so we let a few vehicles through to see what was the best plan of attack.
The beach access starts solid enough but once you're committed, you just have to go as the sand at the bottom was quite soft and made of course fine shell. This was a new beach for us, so we were overly cautious and tried to stick to the obvious path.
Although there was a bit of traffic, there were still ample spots to pull up along the shoreline and pitch the gazebo, without listening to your neighbour's conversation.
Looking South towards Limestone Headlands near entry
The high tideline on Northern end was fairly low and we had a good 30m between us and the foot of the dunes where most of the vehicles were driving, so it was easy to keep an eye on the kids.
The water was beautiful apart from the seaweed which really made it feral to swim in. You could pick your spots though and any other day it would probably be perfect, be it the wind had caused it to drift down.
We decided to set up our gazebo about a kilometre from the entrance and were delighted to be entertained with a few four-wheel drive recoveries in the soft sand. Note: all of the women drivers I saw were absolutely killing it and not one got bogged.. woohooo!!
We'd love to camp a few nights in the area and from the information I can find, people have camped at Tims Thicket but it is unclear if it is legal or not. You can camp on the beach at Preston Beach (further South), you are just not allowed in the dunes. Still, it might be worth a double check with the ranger just in case.
If you like a surf, there were a few small sets coming through and I've heard it mentioned several times on surfing forums there can be some good waves on the reef, I'm sure if you Google it you can find out more.
All in all, we had an awesome day, drove on the sand, let the kids have a swim, cooked lunch on the beach and didn't get bogged! Absolutely gorgeous weather, not a cloud anywhere. We were very thankful for the gazebo, recovery gear and fresh water we took however, so make sure you plan your trip and take necessary items just in case. The kids had an absolute ball, and the dog, well, she's still asleep - not a peep out of the three of them the whole way home.
We are definitely going back here again and next time we will try further South or driving up from Preston Beach end. Will have to beware of tide and weather and drive on the high side of the beach as some spots can give way and are unpassable on high tide.
Hubby wants to throw in the line as we've been told there's good fish to be caught, just hope we leave our usual bad luck behind and don't have to invest in the fish shop on the drive home.