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Lancelin is a coastal town located on the west coast 127 kilometres north northwest of Perth. It derives its name from the nearby Lancelin Island which was named by the French expedition under the command of Captain Baudin in 1801. The name honours P F Lancelin, scientific writer, author of the World Map of Sciences and works on the planetary system and analyses of science.
Interest in the Lancelin Island area in the late 1940s for camping and as a port for the lobster fishery resulted in a townsite being declared in 1950. Lancelin was not considered a suitable name, and "Wangaree", an Aboriginal word for fish was chosen when the townsite was gazetted. Although the official name was Wangaree, local usage was Lancelin, and in 1953 the Gingin Road Board requested the townsite be renamed Lancelin. The name change was approved in 1953 and gazetted the following year.