Everything You Need to Know: Wedge Island
The ultimate adventure, crystal clear waters, fishing, surfing, 4 wheel driving, swimming and exploring. These are all waiting for you and more and the best part is it is only 2 hours north of Perth. If you are looking for a truly unique, and off the beaten path adventure or you are just ready to see something different then this is the place that you want to be.
Now for those of you who have heard of Wedge Island before, we are sure the image of the shantytown and the endless beaches are etched into your memory. For those who haven’t, let us paint a picture for you. Wedge Island is a tiny community based shanty settlement that consists mostly of modest shacks constructed mostly from corrugated metal and recycled building materials. The charm and ingenuity that these shacks possess will leave you in awe.
Who would have thought a pre-world war II settlement with no running water and hardly any power could capture so many hearts. However after just one visit to this tiny community you can easily see why. With water tanks standing tall in backyards and mismatched decorations of old fishing buoys and lines in the front, old surf boards and random bric a brac come to life as unique ornamental features that make these shacks look so cozy you will be wishing you lived in one.
This modern day tourist attraction and well loved weekend getaway spot for Perthians is actually jam packed with history, a history you can sense from simply driving through the shanty town. You see back in 1937 a couple of friends were after a secluded spot for fishing. So they pioneered a road out to Wedge Island and the settlement was born. Starting from simple beginnings you could find a couple of tents and a shack or two under construction. The shacks were built mostly out of recycled or discarded building materials and were very rudimentary but slightly more appealing to wives and partners than a tent.
You can still get a breath of that old pioneering spirit when you visit the shanty town. The settlement has been off the beaten path and self sufficient since its humble beginnings. The lifestyle is simple, clever and the ingenuity you see here will have you thinking that even you could go build a shack off the grid and survive. From harvesting rainwater to solar generated power you will find it all out here. Most of the shacks are privately ‘owned’ in a lease agreement and they are used as weekend getaways from the families that are lucky enough to have one. However if you are keen to have a taste of the off the grid self-sufficient life of yesteryear it is possible to hire out a shack.
If you are simply keen to stop in for the day for a visit then be sure to bring along your 4wd. The beaches here are truly stunning and that is saying something when referring to Western Australia beaches which are all little pieces of artwork. After driving through the tiny shanty town head on out to the beach (don’t forget to air down your tires). There are heaps of 4wd tracks in the area to explore. Once you found the perfect spot you can set up for the day and enjoy the secluded beach vibes. There are amazing waves here under the right conditions, great fishing, and clear blue refreshing water for swimming.
Be sure to pack heaps of water, food and 4wd recovery supplies such as Max track due to the fact that the sand can be extremely soft and the area is extremely remote. And bear in mind that camping at Wedge Island is prohibited unless you are the owner of a shack.
So pack your rod,surfboard, sunnies, some beers, hook up the tinny and hop in the 4wd for a truly unique 4wd driving adventure that is rich in history, pioneering innovations, stunning beaches, and unforgettable moments.