Famous town from the 1980s period of rapid coastal development
For a time in the 1970s it looked like Yanchep would become one of Australiašs premier tourist attractions. It was to be the model of a modern and sophisticated tourist centre where the rich and the not-so-rich would mix and mingle. The Sun City Marina at Two Rocks, 6 km north of Yanchep, would become the largest marina in Australia and it would become the launching pad for the Bond attempts on the America's Cup. The golf course, to be called St Andrews, would be of international standing. Yanchep-Sun City would become the central attraction on the Western Australian coast.
Today Yanchep is one of the most rapidly developing resort towns in Western Australia. Located only 47 km north of Perth, it is a little piece of high profile tourism on a coast noted for its wonderfully unpretentious, low key developments.
Yanchep and Sun City, particularly in terms of their recent development, have become synonymous with the name of jailed Perth entrepreneur Alan Bond. The development of the area was largely connected with Alan Bond'sdecision in the 1970s that his development at Sun City (which combined a marina with a holiday village) needed to have some major point of interest and needed to have some international publicity. Consequently the million dollar Sun City marina became the home for Bond's early attempts on the America's Cup. It was the home of the challengers Southern Cross (which lost 40 to Courageous in 1974) and Australia. (which was beaten 41 by Freedom in 1980).
With this commitment to make Yanchep a centre of sophistication came the golf course, charter fishing facilities to take the rich fishing all year round and a modern shopping complex. Today Yanchep is a popular holiday resort town boasting two golf courses (one 18-hole and one 9-hole), horse and camel riding and some truly outstanding beaches.
Things to see:
Yanchep National Park
The only hope of escaping the tyranny of tourism in the area is to visit Yanchep National Park which lies to the east of the town. Spread over 2 799 ha it is an interesting combination of caves, walking trails, and lakes including Loch McNess and the Yanchep Lakes. The vegetation in the area features stands of tuart, jarrah, marri, scrub and banksia. The wildlife includes possums, goannas, lizards, kangaroos and tortoises. CALM have produced a very useful sheet Yanchep National Park, which has a map of the park as well as detailed descriptions of the fauna and flora likely to be encountered by walkers in the park.
Gloucester Lodge is located in the National Park (it was once a 1930s guest house) and is now being used by CALM and is therefore not open to the public. It has a bedroom which was used by the Duke of Gloucester in October 1934 - which is how the building got its name.