How the Locals like it – Myrianthe Riddy

I arrived in WA in 2016 with my young family in search of a sea change. I was instantly drawn to Mandurah because of its laid back vibes and beautiful waterways.

How the locals like it

Myrianthe Riddy,
Owner Mandurah Cruises

Less than an hour’s drive from Perth you’ll find Western Australia’s largest regional city. But it’s not the size that attracts visitors to this coastal town. Just ask Myrianthe Riddy, owner of Mandurah Cruises. She’s travelled and worked all over the world, but the place she chose to call home is Mandurah.

Myrianthe Riddy Visit Mandurah Board

I arrived in WA in 2016 with my young family from Qatar in search of a sea change. I was instantly drawn to Mandurah because of its laid back vibes, warmth and the natural beauty of its waterways.

My husband and I were looking for somewhere we could raise our children. After working many years in the oil and gas industry overseas, we wanted to shake up our lifestyle and have more flexibility to spend time with our kids.

We knew we wanted to run our own business. My husband had boating in his blood, and we love being on the water. An opportunity to purchase Mandurah Cruises was too good to pass up and we’ve been here ever since.

What I love about Mandurah is the sense of community and connectedness – regardless if you’re a resident or just visiting. Everyone here is so friendly and makes you feel welcomed, it’s just so easy and relaxing.

Mandurah’s waterways are twice the size of Sydney Harbour! It’s hard to explain the feeling when you’re out there, the waters are calm, it’s very peaceful and deserted (except for the dolphins). You get the sense you’ve been transported to another place.

I always feel safe taking my kids out on the water here. Living within walking distance of the beach is great too, and Mandurah has some great surfing spots that don’t get too crowded. It’s the best place to learn how to surf – the surf program here is first class.

Mandurah is home to around 100 bottlenose dolphins. They’re such a playful and friendly bunch that you’ll often spot them getting up to mischief while on one of our dolphin cruises. They especially love to surf alongside the vessel! I have a soft spot for Nicky. She’s the matriarch of the dolphins and the most recognisable due to her cut-off fin.

Although I love being on the water and the amazing beaches that stretch for miles, I do enjoy taking time out going bush, exploring the national parks and discovering the many walking trails. My favourite trail is at Island Point Reserve. It’s at the far end of the estuary and it’s a great area to explore – even after dark on a guided nocturnal walk.

If you had to pick a time to visit, come during the festive season. The city embraces Christmas like you wouldn’t believe. The Mandurah canals, or modern day Venice as the locals call it, come alive with Christmas lights. It’s an experience unlike any other, and I would go as far to say we’re one of the only places in the world where residents put on such a massive display on the water. We have thousands of visitors who come especially to see the spectacle every year on our Christmas Lights Cruise.

Mandurah has come a long way from being known as WA’s crabbing destination. The city is thriving with arts and culture, plenty of things to see and do and incredible natural encounters that are waiting to be explored.

MYRIANTHE’S TIPS ON WHERE TO HEAD OUT

The foodie scene here is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up! My go-to places for a coffee are Mataya and Samudera. Without fail, I always order the gnocchi at Flic’s Kitchen and if I’m heading out with friends, you’re sure to find me at Bar Therapy. I also love the new distillery Little Stiller.

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How the Locals like it – Ian ‘Wooly’ MacPherson

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting out on the ocean and in Mandurah being relaxed by nature is what it’s all about.

How the locals like it

Ian ‘Wooly’ MacPherson,
Owner Star Surf + Skate

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting out on the ocean and in Mandurah being relaxed by nature is what it’s all about.

Ian Wooly MacPherson
Photo: Dylan O'Brien

Local surfer Ian ‘Wooly’ Macpherson wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s been surfing in Mandurah since he was a little tacker.

If he’s not chasing the best break, he’s teaching others how to surf, coaching aspiring pro surfers and sharing tips on land at his surf shop – Star Surf + Skate.

Sure, the South West is known for its surf, but Mandurah has loads of popular surfing spots to rival, making it a perfect day trip for Perth surfers.

And the best time to hit the surf is now!

Wooly says ideal surf conditions occur between autumn and spring, with winter the best time due to large storms bringing swells to the WA coast.

We checked in with the local surfing legend to discover more about the Mandurah surfing scene and why we should all pick up a board and learn to surf.

I started surfing when I was around 9 or 10 years old at Avalon Bay. My parents’ property was a small stroll from Avalon and my mum was a swimmer, so we spent a lot of time at the beach during the 70s and 80s.

I started off on a ‘foamie’ – a small coolite surfboard made of polystyrene beaded-foam. I remember painting it with house paint so I wouldn’t get a rash. I soon progressed to a second-hand fibreglass ‘single fin’ board and found myself learning at the little rolling lefts of Falcon Bay.

Ian MacPherson

When I was 12 years old, I joined the Mandurah Board Riders Club and I’ve been a member pretty much ever since.

Surfing has made up a massive part of my life and has moulded me into the person I am today.

All the places I have travelled evolve around the surf and most of my work has been in and around the surf industry since I was a teen. The feeling of being submerged in the ocean, riding waves is unmatched anywhere in any other sport.

Mandurah has been good to me growing up and having the beach on my doorstep. The local community has been very supportive of my surf school and surf shop since we started.

Surfing is all about fun. Surfing increases your fitness, strength, balance and flexibility (we stretch before every class). Spending time in and around the ocean positively impacts your health and the more you do it, the more your confidence in the ocean increases.

Ready to hit the surf? Give it a go in Mandurah!

WOOLY’S FAVOURITE SURFING SPOT IN MANDURAH

My favourite spot is Geary’s – named after a City Beach surfer, Ray Geary. He built a shack there and at 80 years of age he still lives there today!

Geary’s a wave that doesn’t break very often and needs a big swell to start to work properly. It gets very crowded with keen surfers these days, but I have very fond memories of days out there as a teenager surfing with just a few mates.

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6 ultimate ways to spend summer in Mandurah

Dreaming of a day trip or relaxing weekend away? If you’re looking for the ultimate short break, there’s nothing quite like Summer in Mandurah to soak up the laidback vibes and take in the fresh coastal air. Heavenly.

6 ultimate ways to spend summer in Mandurah

Dreaming of a day trip or a relaxing weekend away? If you’re looking for the ultimate short break this summer, there’s nothing quite like Mandurah to soak up the laidback vibes and take in the fresh coastal air. Heavenly.

We’ve got your water play covered including all the fun holiday things you’d expect on a summer vacay. And it’s super easy to get to from Perth! Mandurah’s just a short 1-hour drive south down the main drag (Kwinana Freeway). Or, if you’re coming back from down south, it’s the perfect pitstop to extend your little getaway.

PLAY

The ultimate scene to sail

Mandurah Packages

Play skipper for the day and explore Mandurah’s waterways at your own pace. Whether you’re cruising or casting a line, you’re in for a treat. And there’s no shortage of options. Mandurah Boat & Bike Hire offer everything from GPS tracked dinghies, pontoon boats and luxury sun tracker-style boats.

If you’re up for something a little different, enjoy the 360-degree views on a deluxe Eco BBQ Boat – so much fun! Planning to stay a few days? Hire out a houseboat, complete with a spa on deck.

Best of all, there’s no skippers ticket required to sail on any of these vessels.

The ultimate place for paddling

summer-in-mandurah

Mandurah’s aquatic wonderland is perfect for stand up paddle boarding (SUP). If you’re a beginner, there’s plenty of sheltered waters to give paddling a go. Once you get over the wobbles, you can choose a trail and explore to your heart’s content. Or, until your core gets sore! Glide past multi-million dollar mansions, marvel at the impressive birdlife and if you’re lucky, our resident dolphins might join you for the ride!

Don’t have your own equipment? No worries! There’s plenty of places you can hire a SUP.

SEE

The ultimate spot for social gatherings

With Mandurah’s dolphins of course! And it’s the best time of the year for it too. Set sail on a dolphin cruise where you’re likely to spot this playful bunch frolicking through the waterways. You might even catch one surfing by the boat.

Keen to go it alone? Jump on a waterbike, kayak or canoe to really get up close and personal with these friendly curious creatures. You just never know when they’ll pop up beside you!

The ultimate destination for discovery

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For a truly unique experience, head to Lake Clifton in Yalgorup National Park. It’s here among the shallows you’ll find one of the world’s largest thrombolite reefs. Extremely rare on Earth, these incredible living rocks are around 2,000 years old. Scientists believe these micro-organisms were among the first life forms.

You can view this phenomena via the purpose built observation boardwalk, but the best way to experience the thrombolites and learn about their significance is on a guided tour.

Indulge

The ultimate setting for seafood

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Mandurah is renowned for its seafood, home to an abundance of crabs, lobsters, crayfish and many other mouth-watering ocean delicacies.

Culinary seafood options are aplenty! Our favourites include Flics Kitchen, Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant, Samudera and the Oyster Bar. If you’re on the hunt for fresh sustainably caught seafood to cook back at your accommodation, look no further than Wattsies Place.

The ultimate chance to cheers

Mandurah is renowned for its seafood, home to an abundance of crabs, lobsters, crayfish and many other mouth-watering ocean delicacies.

Want to put your feet up and let someone else do the driving? Hit up Kaleidoscope Tours for a full day of fun. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re a lover of wines, partial to a beer paddle or want a change of scenery, these guys have it all. They can even create a custom tour for you if you’re after something extra special.

STAY

The ultimate for rest and relaxation

summer-in-mandurah

Take the guesswork out of where to stay with these great package deals. We have accommodation packages available for families, mid-week escapes, girls’ trips and romantic escapes. Just pick your dates, pack your bags and we’ll see you soon.

Short summer breaks here we come! Although we won’t be surprised if you want to stay longer.

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WA’s Christmas Lights Capital

If you are a lover of all things Christmas, then you won’t want to miss the Mandurah Christmas Lights cruise.

WA’s Christmas Lights Capital

You won’t want to
miss Mandurah’s
Christmas Festivities.

The coastal city of Mandurah, less than an hour south of Perth, is often compared to a little modern Venice because of its spectacular waterways and canal living. But did you know that Mandurah comes alive at Christmas and is known by many as Western Australia’s Capital of Christmas?

MERRY CHRISTMAS – it is time to celebrate the festive season in WA’s Christmas Capital! Experience the magic of Christmas in the heart of Mandurah. Check out our top tips for a merry festive season.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TRAIL

australias-christmas-lights-capital

The Mandurah Christmas Lights Trail presented by Seaside Estate is back bigger and better than ever before, with bright new additions around every corner from the Eastern Foreshore, into Mandjar Square and across to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.

Santa will be sparkling on the foreshore, and at 4.4m tall, you can’t miss him. He’ll be joined on the illuminated lights trail by a massive reindeer, Volkswagen bus and a 10.5m tall Christmas tree, as well as a beautifully lit pirate ship.

Say cheese! Pose with your loved ones and snap a picture sitting in the glistening selfie wreath, under the bright yellow stars, alongside the present boxes or amongst the selfie elves.

Christmas Lights Capital

This Christmas, we’re going bigger and brighter! Some new lights trail additions to extend the festive fun include a huge Christmas boot, a Sleeps ‘til Christmas Countdown Clock, 50 interactive stepping stones, Santas motorcycle and more!

With over 23 installations to make up the lights trail, you’ll see why Mandurah really is the capital of Christmas. Whether you wander through the lights up close or view them in all their glory from afar, you’re sure to stumble across reindeers, presents, stars, trees, elf’s, trains, or the big man himself in the heart of the city, this Christmas in Mandurah!

Roving Carolers

Keep an eye out for roving carolers and street performers each evening, as well as pop up activities and activations the whole family, will enjoy. Thanks to Halls Head Community Bank there will have a variety of community groups throughout the lights trail on Thursday (TBC Monday and Tuesdays). Something for everybody all month!

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CANAL TOURS

The Mandurah residents who live on the canals like to dress up their houses for Christmas with over 200 houses along the canals lit up all in the spirit of Christmas.

The best way to watch this spectacle is from a boat. Ever popular, this delightful cruise experience becomes increasingly beautiful each year. Dress for the occasion, sing along with the Christmas carols and bring your Christmas cheer.

This is a very special tour at a special time of year. Don’t miss out on this spectacular event and book your Christmas Lights Cruise early with one of our local operators.

Mandurah Christmas Pageant

mandurah-christmas-pagent

This wonderful tradition sees local community groups and businesses parade their floats through Mandurah’s CBD. Then after the parade head to the Eastern Foreshore where the festive cheer continues with lots of family fun and excitement for all ages.

  •  Visit Santa’s Grotto
  • Participate in fun festive activities and workshops
  • Listen and sing along to the wonderful live Christmas carols and more.

Mandurah Christmas Charity Ride

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The Mandurah Murray Ulysses will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their Motorcycle Charity Ride. Join them on December 11th as they ride through the local streets and toot their horns at the spectators. Come dressed as Santa, an Elf, or just come as you are. Even Spiderman is welcome!!

Find out more information here.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

new-years-eve-2022

Visit Mandurah this New Year’s Eve for a spectacular fireworks display to welcome in 2022. The first fireworks display is at 9 pm for families followed by another grand display at midnight.

Viewing locations:
– Eastern Foreshore
– Stingray Point
– Henry Sutton Grove
– The Mandurah bridge pedestrian walkway.

Mandurah will be full of festive magic, so come visit our Christmas Wonderland by the Water.

What’s On this festive season

Thanks to Community Bank Halls Head.

Santa and Elves

Every night throughout December from 6pm – 9pm

Mandjar Square

Salvation Army – Carols on the Foreshore

Saturday 4 December

Eastern Foreshore – Rotunda

Free Kids Christmas Activities

Wednesdays 7 pm – 9 pm from 8-22 December

City Centre

Wanslea and NDIS Christmas Craft and Face Painting

Thursday 9 December from 6 pm

Eastern Foreshore

Community Activation Evenings

Thursdays 7 pm – 9 pm from 9-23 December

City Centre

Traditional Christmas Carols – Salvation Army

Saturday 18 and Friday 24 December from 7 pm – 8.30 pm

Eastern Foreshore

Community Bank Halls Head, Bendigo Bank Community Night

Wednesday 15 December from 7 pm – 9 pm

Eastern Foreshore

Kingdom City Christmas Concert

Thursday 16 December from 7 pm

Eastern Foreshore – Rotunda

Metro Modelling Christmas Performances

Thursday 23 December from 7 pm

Eastern Foreshore

Festive Roving and Street Entertainment

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday 7 pm – 9 pm from 4-19 December

For more events, click here.

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Mandurah – the most accessible-friendly city in WA

Mandurah is known for many things, from its Venice-like canals, picturesque waterways and fabulous nature reserves to days spent out on the water fishing, crabbing, spotting the local dolphins and enjoying the relaxing lifestyle – there’s a lot to brag about. And now Mandurah can add WA’s most accessible community to the list.

Mandurah is known for many things, from its Venice-like canals, picturesque waterways and remarkable nature reserves to days spent out on the water fishing, crabbing, spotting the local dolphins and enjoying the relaxing lifestyle – there’s a lot to brag about. And now Mandurah can add WA’s most accessible community to the list.

The City recently won the top honour at the 2020/21 Most Accessible Community in WA (MACWA) Awards.

Accessible-friendly attractions

Sea West

The ‘Mandjar’ is a wheelchair accessible vessel that ensures no one misses out on a scenic day cruising the waters, whether it’s dolphin spotting or on the famous Murray River Lunch Cruise. The vessel can hold up to 85 guests and can also be booked out privately for functions or sundowners!

“My uncle and family visited Australia for the first time and decided to make Mandurah their first destination. My cousin is wheelchair-bound but was looking forward to going on the dolphin cruise. As advised on the website, I had to call to let the company know beforehand if wheelchair access is required. They were extremely accommodating and even changed the intended vessel to the Dancing Dolphin, the best one for wheelchairs. I was very touched by this arrangement and would like to thank you for going above and beyond for the disabled. My cousin has never felt so free going everywhere in a wheelchair and you guys certainly helped her feel what it’s like to be able to go out and do stuff like that. Thank you for your service with a heart.

  • Tripadvisor, August 2019
Boat-Tours-and-Cruises
Explore an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour.

Flip-ability

Flipout is all about having fun trampolining in a safe indoor environment. The team even offer special sensory-friendly sessions for those living with a disability. It’s a place where individuals, groups and their carers can have fun, get fit and further develop social relationships and confidence.

Flip Out Mandurah
Image Credit: Flip Out Mandurah

Ways to Nature

There are many amazing natural wonders to discover on a guided nature walk in the Peel region, and Sarah at Ways to Nature is keen to share her experience and knowledge with everyone on her Walking Ways nature walk. She can customise the route for wheelchair users, just to be sure to let her know when making a booking.

ways-to-nature
Photo: Ways to Nature

Accessible-friendly accommodation

Mandurah Houseboats

The luxury purpose-built houseboat, Emily Louise has been designed suitable for wheelchair use. It includes easy ramp access with wide doorways and passageways that lead into the spacious rooms. The bathroom amenities are all positioned to allow wheelchair users easy access and are wet areas that have handrails installed. This houseboat comfortably sleeps up to 8 people, with a fully equipped galley and a large rear deck with a luxurious spa, BBQ and outdoor table and chairs to watch the days drift by.

Wheelchair Accessible Houseboat

Sebel Mandurah

A great base for exploring Mandurah, the Sebel provides accessible accommodation with spacious rooms including a wheel-in shower with handrails. Other reduced mobility facilities include wide doors, low power switches, ramps for easy access to the terrace or balcony and extra space around the bed. Access to the rooms is via reception so there is no lift required.

sebel-mandurah

Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets

Quiet and secluded, yet close to everything, these friendly and affordable chalets are an accessible place to stay. The special purpose-built chalets can sleep up to 4 people and come with everything you need for a relaxing stay in Mandurah.

Accessible-friendly places to dine

accessible-friendly-places-to-dine

If you’ve ever been to Mandurah, you know there’s no shortage of delicious dining options, and you’ll be pleased to hear the vast majority of them provide trouble-free disabled access. From a morning brew at Mataya and bottomless brunch at Flics Kitchen, to a relaxing lunch on the boardwalk at Catch 22, or a fun night out at The Brighton Hotel, there’s endless accessible-friendly places to eat and drink in Mandurah. Find more here.

Making our beaches more accessible

Credit Craig William Moon Town Beach Aerial
Photo: Craig William Moon

As part of the exciting Eastern Foreshore developments, The City of Mandurah is submitting a grant application for a beach wheelchair and ramp access at the newly constructed circular estuary pool. When the development is completed, it’s hoped these features will be made available for wheelchair users.

Say welcome to WA’s most accessible city!

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Come on an unforgettable journey exploring Aboriginal culture with Goolamwiin. Go hunting for bush tucker, medicine plants and freshwater, before setting up camp for the night. Participate in Aboriginal dance and experience a cultural healing ceremony. Enjoy an authentic campfire dinner and learn more about the Noongar people listening to Dreamtime stories under the stars.

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Wandjoo Wandjoo Bindjareb Nyungar Boodja – Welcome to Bindjareb Noongar Country!

Mandjoogoordap, meaning ‘meeting place of the heart’ the original name of Mandurah given by traditional owners and custodians of the land – the Bindjareb Noongar people, have looked after the Djilba (estuary) for over 50,000 years.

Bindjareb Nyungar Country – How Mandurah’s waters came to be (and how you can explore them)

Mandjoogoordap, meaning ‘meeting place of the heart’ the original name of Mandurah given by traditional owners and custodians of the land – the Bindjareb Nyungar people, have looked after the Djilba (estuary) for over 50,000 years.

How Mandurah’s waters came to be is a fascinating First Nation creation story. As depicted in Bindjareb Nyungar Elder and highly respected artist Gloria Keating’s painting, it begins with a terrible drought.

The Aboriginal people of Mandurah found there were no waterways, so they went to the beach where they danced and sung for the great Waugal (snake) to come out of the sea. She came and began to create the Peel inlet and estuary.

She found she was carrying eggs and rested in between the estuary until her eggs hatched. Too tired, she instructed her babies to do the rest of the work. She sent one to create the Serpentine River, one to produce the Murray River and one to make the Harvey River, which formed the unique shape of Mandurah today.

How you can experience the world’s oldest living culture

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There are many tours that explore the unique cultural heritage of Mandurah. Whether it’s a walking tour, overnight camping trip or a visit to Bindjareb Park in Pinjarra, you’ll learn about the Bindjareb Nyungar people and the places significant to them.

Include one or more of these tours on your next visit to Mandurah and the Peel region:

Thrombolites (Woggaal’s Noorook) tour

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Take a trip with Mandjoogoordap Dreaming, where you’ll go on an exciting walking tour around the Lake Clifton Thrombolites – the world’s oldest bacterial life form. This rare and endangered natural feature is also significant in local Aboriginal culture, represented in the Dreaming story of the Woggaal’s (Waugal’s) eggs. Tours to this remarkable site depart by bus from Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

Goolamwiin overnight camping tour

Come on an unforgettable journey exploring Aboriginal culture with Goolamwiin. Go hunting for bush tucker, medicine plants and freshwater, before setting up camp for the night. Participate in Aboriginal dance and experience a cultural healing ceremony. Enjoy an authentic campfire dinner and learn more about the Nyungar people listening to Dreamtime stories under the stars.

Extending a Welcome to Country through art

As part of the renovations taking place at the Mandurah Visitor Centre, we were excited to invite Bindjareb Boodja artists to submit artwork that reflects Bindjareb Boodja, its waterways, coastal location, local flora and fauna or cultural stories connected to the area. The winning entry will be announced later this month. The winning artwork will feature as part of the decorative Welcome to Country’ design on the main wall of the refurbished Mandurah Visitor Centre reception area.

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An insider’s look into the Mandurah surfing scene

Sure, the South West is known for its surf, but Mandurah has loads of popular surfing spots to rival, making it a perfect day trip for Perth surfers. And the best time to hit the surf is now!

An insider’s look into the surfing scene near Perth

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting out on the ocean and in Mandurah being relaxed by nature is what it’s all about

 

Images by Dylan James O’Brien except for hero image by Bruce Ellis.

Local surfer Ian ‘Wooly’ Macpherson wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s been surfing in Mandurah since he was a little tacker. If he’s not chasing the best break, he’s teaching others how to surf, coaching aspiring pro surfers and sharing tips on land at his surf shop – Star Surf + Skate.

Sure, the South West is known for its surf, but Mandurah has loads of popular surfing spots to rival, making it a perfect day trip for Perth surfers. And the best time to hit the surf is now! Wooly says ideal surf conditions occur between autumn and spring the best time due to large storms bringing swells to the WA coast.

We checked in with the local surfing legend to discover more about the Mandurah surfing scene and why we should all pick up a board and learn to surf.

How did you get into surfing?

I started surfing when I was around 9 or 10 years old at Avalon Bay. My parents’ property was a small stroll from Avalon and my mum was a swimmer, so we spent a lot of time at the beach during the 70s and 80s.

I started off on a ‘foamie’ – a small coolite surfboard made of polystyrene beaded-foam. I remember painting it with house paint so I wouldn’t get a rash. I soon progressed to a second-hand fibreglass ‘single fin’ board and found myself learning at the little rolling lefts of Falcon Bay.

When I was 12 years old, I joined the Mandurah Board Riders Club and I’ve been a member pretty much ever since.

What’s your favourite surfing spot in Mandurah?

Surfing scene near perth

My favourite spot is Gearies – named after a City Beach surfer, Ray Geary. He built a shack there and at 80 years of age, he still lives there today!

Gearies a wave that doesn’t break very often and needs a big swell to start to work properly. It gets very crowded with keen surfers these days, but I have very fond memories of days out there as a teenager surfing with just a few mates.

Tell us a bit about the Mandurah surfing scene

Mandurah has a great surfing community. According to veteran surfboard manufacturer Len Dibben, Perth surfers have been surfing in Mandurah since the 1950s.

The local surf club has been running since 1978 and I’m super privileged to be the first life member of the club.

Each surf break has its own custodians that ‘protect’ the break. I find that most breaks have pretty good order compared to some locations in the world that are a complete circus!

Mandurah has also produced many WA state champions and even a few surfers have gone on to surf in pro events, Chris Fullston and myself included.

Do you have any surfing comps in Mandurah?

Mandurah Board Riders runs a junior series over the summer months and a senior series over the winter. Surfing WA also runs a few state and national events in the City of Mandurah each year.

Why do you love to surf?

Surfing has made up a massive part of my life and has moulded me into the person I am today.

All the places I have travelled evolve around the surf and most of my work has been in and around the surf industry since I was a teen. The feeling of being submerged in the ocean, riding waves is unmatched anywhere in any other sport.

Mandurah has been good to me growing up and having the beach on my doorstep. The local community has been very supportive of my surf school and surf shop since we started.

Why should everyone learn to surf?

surf school near perth

Surfing is all about fun. Surfing increases your fitness, strength, balance and flexibility (we stretch before every class). Spending time in and around the ocean positively impacts your health and the more you do it, the more your confidence in the ocean increases.

What kind of surf lessons do you run?

surf school mandurah

Mandurah Surf Lessons runs surfing and stand up paddleboard (SUP) lessons for all ages. We always have around 6 fully qualified coaches on the roster and most of them work at Star Surf + Skate too.

Our SurfGroms program aimed at 5 to 12 year olds is a national program that makes up a big part of our weekend programs. We teach kids to understand how the ocean behaves and how to be safe while learning to surf. We also include some basics of first aid.

Beyond Waves is a female class we run for girls aged 13 years through to adults. It incorporates some mild yoga and stretches. We also socialise afterwards with a cuppa.

For surfers who are looking to improve their skills, we run a range of Intermediate (Frothers) and advanced (High Performance) clinics. I’m one of the Surfing WA elite state coaches, and we’ve developed a range of programs for surfers competing at a state and national level.

We also run beginner classes for teens and adults, which can be booked as a one-off class or across four sessions.

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Ian owns a true core surf store in Mandurah called Star Surf + Skate. It’s been in the same building along Mandurah terrace since 1998.

Star won the Surf & Boardsports Industry Association (SBIA) Single Door Best Shop in Australia award in 2019, which hasn’t been won by any other surf shop in WA since the awards began.

Ready to hit the surf? Give it a go in Mandurah!

Images by Dylan James O’Brien except for hero image by Bruce Ellis.

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Girls Weekend? Mandurah is the perfect getaway

Ladies of Perth, if you are itching to ditch the boys and getaway for the weekend with the girl gang, we have just the solution. Take off down south to WA’s second-largest city, Mandurah, to unwind with your besties and relax by nature.

Plan your next girls getaway in Mandurah

Ladies of Perth, if you are itching to ditch the boys and getaway for the weekend with the girl gang, we have just the solution. Take off down south to WA’s second-largest city, Mandurah, to unwind with your besties and relax by nature.

With gorgeous coastal scenery, native wildlife, a vibrant arts scene, and delicious food and wine to sample, there is plenty of adventure to be had without straying too far from home.

We have planned the perfect girls getaway itinerary for you to take along to your next hen-do, special birthday or ladies vacation – no boys allowed!

Accessible by road or rail, getting to Mandurah from Perth is easy! A leisurely drive down the Kwinana Freeway will get you to Mandurah in just under an hour, and regular trains leave from Perth City around every 15 minutes on weekdays, pulling into Mandurah Station within an hour.

Getting around when you arrive is a breeze with car hire, ride-share options, and chartered tours all available.

Bottomless Brunch at Flics Kitchen

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Start your trip with a bang at Flics Kitchen. Every Saturday and Sunday, patrons can indulge in a boozy brunch for just $45 per person, with 1 hour of bottomless Prosecco, G&Ts, Bloody Mary’s and tap beer to accompany any breakfast dish of your choosing. Flics is well known by locals for their award-winning menu, so let the delightful food and service be the perfect start to your girly vacation.

See here to book your bottomless brunch, or check out their exquisite dining menu.

Check into your accommodation

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Seashells Mandurah Luxury Accommodation

Satisfy your longing for the luxurious resorts of Bali at Mandurah’s 4.5-star, seaside hotel, Seashells. Choose from sumptuous 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, or private 1 and 2 bedroom villas with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean from your own balcony. Awake to the serene sounds of the ocean on your doorstep or enjoy a crisp local wine as you watch the sun set behind the water.

A chill in the air won’t keep you from taking a dip in their heated, infinity-edged pool. Overlooking Comet Bay, this is the perfect spot for some Instagramable pictures with your girlfriends. And if that doesn’t tempt you, there’s also free in-house new release movies, plus virtual Pilates classes streamed through the in-room smart TVs.

You can find more about Seashells Mandurah here.

Mandurah Houseboats

Be the captain of your own ship with Mandurah Houseboats, and explore the estuary at your own leisure. With a fleet of 15 boats there are plenty of cosy water homes to choose from, ranging from petite studios like Miss Bianca (the smallest boat in the fleet) to larger, 2-bedroom boats like Emily Louise, with six comfortable beds and plenty of room to sleep more.

Houseboats can accommodate a maximum of 10 overnight guests and 12 during the day, so you can motor your group from place to place in comfort. Travelling at an easy pace of 5 knots around Mandurah’s estuary, cruise up the Serpentine River to see local heritage sites or moor near one of the waterfront eateries along the Murray for dinner.

With a full kitchen and bathroom on board, you won’t need to leave the boat! Rug up and enjoy a warming drink on the bow as you watch the dolphins play, or enjoy an intimate catch up with friends on the expansive back deck, complete with an on-board hot tub.

There is no need to get your boat licence before boarding your vessel at Mandjar Bay. Owner, Alan, and his friendly staff provide a simple 40-60 minute tutorial on how to safely drive before they hand the keys over.

Check out the fleet at Mandurah Houseboats here.

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The Sebel Mandurah

Overlooking the picturesque waters of Mandjar Bay, The Sebel Mandurah is a modern 4-star hotel. The perfect base for a girls weekend in Mandurah, you can take your pick from their range of beautifully appointed guest rooms, suites and apartments. Most have their own private balconies offering estuary or Venetian canal views, and the rooms are stylishly decorated with all the amenities you’d need for a comfortable, luxurious stay.

Check availability and book here.

Pamper Yourselves

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Eco Spa

Nothing says ‘girls getaway’ like a day at the spa. Just a short stroll from your accommodation, you can find Mandurah’s revitalising, all-natural wellness spa. Focusing on physical and mental rejuvenation, Eco Spa offers a suite of multisensory experiences designed to achieve mental, spiritual and bodily harmony. From beauty treatments like LED light therapy to facials to relaxing massages, all treatments at this award-winning day spa are organic, cruelty-free and 100% Australian. Using green, sustainable and eco-friendly materials, you can rest easy knowing that your restorative treatments at Eco Spa are designed to minimise impacts to the environment. For an indulgent pampering experience, book in one of their Spa Journeys from the treatment menu or consider their Seasonal Raw packages.

Changing every few months, these treatment packages are inspired by the seasons of WA. With winter peaking its head around the corner, be sure to keep an eye out for a new seasonal treatment!

See here to browse the spa menu.

This article was originally published as “Plan your next girls getaway in Mandurah“, by Emily Graham for Scoop.

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Girl’s Getaway Package

 Take off down south to WA’s second-largest city, Mandurah, to unwind with your besties and relax by nature with our Girl’s only mini-break from only $170 per person (based on four-person sharing).

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Follow the yellow bloom road of wildflowers near Perth

Japan has its cherry blossoms, Amsterdam flourishes with tulips, and Provence, France lights up with lavender fields. Here in Western Australia, we’re famously known as wildflower country. And rightly so.

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BLOOM ROAD OF WILDFLOWERS NEAR PERTH 

Spend a day wandering among the wildflowers

Japan has its cherry blossoms, Amsterdam flourishes with tulips, and Provence, France lights up with lavender fields. Here in Western Australia, we’re famously known as wildflower country. And rightly so.

WA has the most wildflowers in the world – over 12,000 species, with almost two thirds unique to WA, and there’s lots of ground to cover. What you see can vary each year depending on the weather, and given our bumper winter rains, this wildflower season could be one of the best yet!

The best time to explore this natural phenomenon

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Wildflower season in WA begins around August and goes right through until October or early November.

The mid-west towns of Moora, Morawa, Mullewa, Mingenew, Perenjori and Wubin are regarded as the heart of wildflower country, but what you might not know is just a short drive from Perth is where you’ll find some hidden and colourful wildflower hotspots blanketing the Peel region.

Right now is when the Peel region starts to bloom. As a biodiversity hotspot, you can expect to see a vivid display of colourful species including a wide variety of acacia and native orchids. And you don’t need to be a nature expert to appreciate how spectacular it all is.

Where to spend a day wandering the wildflowers

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While you can see WA’s wildflowers come alive with colour almost anywhere you go – roadside kerbs, bush trails, driving past paddocks and coastal dunes, the best way to get up close to nature is on a walking trail. And if a day trip is on the cards, the national parks surrounding Mandurah is your best starting point. They’re easily accessible – no equipment or 4WD access required, just a good pair of sneakers, a map, camera, plenty of water and snacks and you’re good to go!

You can explore on your own, or take it all in with an expert guide on a Salt and Eco Bush wildflower tour, with half-day or full-day tours available.

If you decide to go it alone, below you’ll find a few locations we’ve curated from our friends at RAC Travel. But if you want to know where the current wildflower hot spots are, we recommend downloading the wildflower tracker app when it becomes available – very soon we’re told! Sign up to find out when it’s released, but in the meantime, you can also check out the 2020 wildflower sightings as a rough guide.

Before you head off, we also recommend stopping by one of the nearby visitor centres for tips on which areas are in full bloom.

The Estuary Walk

Where: Len Howard Conservation Park, Len Howard Drive, Erskine, Mandurah

Distance: 6km

Walking duration: 2 hours

How to get there

Follow the Old Coast Road 5km south from Mandurah to Erskine. Turn left into Wattleglen Avenue, then right down Silverton Crescent until you’ll reach Len Howard, Conservation Park.

Wildflower species to look out for

Native wisteria, cowslip orchids, blue lace flowers, white myrtle sprawled amongst larger wattles, tuarts and paperbarks. The shores are likely to be lined with banksias, flaxes and rushes.

 

Beacham Reserve Walk

Where: Wanjeep Street, Coodanup, Mandurah

Distance: 2km

Walking duration: 1 hour

 

How to get there

This triangular park in Mandurah has paths around the outside and one running straight through the middle. Exit off Mandurah Road onto Coodanup Drive, then take a right onto Wanjeep Street until you reach Beacham Reserve.

 

Wildflower species to look out for

Bee orchids, spider orchids, donkey orchids and green hood orchids, banksias, wattles, native wisteria and buttercups.

 

Island Point Walk

Where: Island Point Nature Reserve, Southern Estuary Road, Herron

Distance: 4km

Walking duration: 2 hours

 

How to get there

Take the Southern Estuary Road and exit on Island Point Road. The tracks at Island Point Nature Reserve are designed for easy walking at any level.

 

Wildflower species to look out for

Spider orchids, enamel orchids, cowslip orchids, banksias, native buttercups and wisteria. The best time for viewing is late September – October.

 

Harvey River Walk Trail

Where: Corner Forrest Highway and Dorsett Road, Waroona

Distance: 2km return

Duration: 1 hour

 

How to get there

Exit Forrest Highway onto the Dorsett Road turnoff, where you’ll find the John Tognela rest stop. While it looks like a fenced-off area, the gate provides access to the trail.

 

Wildflower species to look out for

Cowslip orchids, spider orchids, wattles and Swan River myrtle. Keep your eyes peeled; you may even spot some fauna!

 

Wildflower season. It’s just another way you can be relaxed by nature in Mandurah. We’ll see you soon!

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Mandurah, I owe you an apology and here’s why.

Mandurah, I am sorry I doubted you. I’m sorry I ever overlooked you. As a Perth city slicker who thinks of day trips to Rottnest or the Swan Valley, heading to your water-wonderland for a relaxing coastal getaway or spontaneous day trip hadn’t sprung to mind. To think you are only an hour away by car or easy train ride, please forgive me for not popping out of my Perth bubble to come out and explore sooner.

Revisit Mandurah

5 reasons why you need to rethink and revisit Mandurah

By Julia D’Orazio for So Perth.

Mandurah, I am sorry I doubted you. I’m sorry I ever overlooked you. As a Perth city slicker who thinks of day trips to Rottnest or the Swan Valley, heading to your water-wonderland for a relaxing coastal getaway or spontaneous day trip hadn’t sprung to mind. To think you are only an hour away by car or easy train ride, please forgive me for not popping out of my Perth bubble to come out and explore sooner.

Mandurah, I owe you an apology and here’s why. I used to only think of Mandurah as a place to see dolphins galore, cruise countless scenic canals, and get your bib saucy at the much-loved (and crazy) crab fest, but there is so much more to see and do.

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By Julia D'Orazio for So Perth.

WA’s second-largest city undergoing rapid change – and boy, is she looking fabulous.

Exciting new foreshore developments are in full swing, Insta-worthy street art erected, and plenty of scenic cosy social spots have emerged. Even locals are now more in tune with the extraordinary sights found in their own backyard, with a slew of adventurous tours and quirky experiences on offer to explore Mandurah’s natural beauty spots.

To give you a better picture of what’s on offer, here I share my top picks on the unusual and unexpected things to do in Mandurah.

Explore Creery Wetland Nature Reserve

Creery-Wetlands-Nature-Reserve

This may as well be Mandurah’s hidden secret – and that’s because it is.

A short drive from the main drag, a step in Creery Wetland Nature Reserve takes you far into the Mandurah wilderness you didn’t know existed.

The natural coop is recognised as a wetland of international importance and is the largest in South Western Australia. A magnet for waterbirds, the reserve is also frequented by 22 species of migratory shorebirds that travel as far as Japan to wet their feathers. So, if you are a bird lover, and want some fun with binoculars, then this is the sweet spot.

To get a better understanding of this biological hotspot, join a Ways To Nature walking tour and be blown away by the unique flora and fauna found on Mandurah’s doorstep. It’s a pleasant and informative way to reconnect with nature with tour guide Sarah leading the wildlife wander over boardwalks and seas of low-lying beaded samphire saltmarshes to give you a different perspective on what constitutes the Australian bush. And with the addition of seeing the silhouettes of the Darling Ranges out on the horizon, you’ll soon realise, with Sarah’s knowledgeable input, how magical Mandurah’s natural assets really are.

Check out what other tours are available with Ways To Nature.

Ride a BBQ donut boat

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Donuts, is there anything they can’t do? In Mandurah, the indulgent shapes are famously known as eco-friendly BBQ boats – and trust me, they are a treat.

No skipper licence is required to voyage these nifty Eco BBQ Boats down the city’s famous canals and waterways. These floating orange doughnuts are perfect for group gatherings (six and ten-seater options available) and each is equipped with a central BBQ and drink holders aplenty. It’s a different way to enjoy Mandurah, cruising down Mandurah’s famous waterways to the wafting smell of a snag on a barbie.

BYO eats and drinks are permitted onboard these self-drive hire boats. But if you are in proper holiday mode, you can call in the chef to create a lavish grazing platter of cured meats, cheeses, artisan crackers, fruits and more.

Make sure to bring the beats to create a sailing soundtrack for your round table crusade along Mandurah’s channels.

Check out what other tour and hire options are available with Eco BBQ Boats.

Jet ski your way to see dolphins at play

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Hopping on board a jet ski may be the most Mandurah way to see dolphins, but I can assure you, it’s also the most fun.

This niche wildlife encounter is an adrenaline-charged adventure, with you at the helm racing your way around the sheltered waters of the Peel Estuary to see friendly flippers. Just hold on tight!

Jet skis are a non-intrusive way to get up close and personal with dolphins, and if lucky, Mandurah’s happiest residents may even follow your jet ski trail slicing through the estuary’s calm waters. It’s all the better when the pelicans get a case of FOMO, flying high over your head, shadowing your journey.

Stag Watersports offers jet ski hire and guided tours to suss out the spots you will most likely find dolphins fooling about. Tours are suited to all levels of experience, and whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll have an epic time.

Check out what other tour and hire options are available with Stag Watersports.

Bike n’ boat your way around Mandurah

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Remember the Old El Paso taco girl solving all life’s problems with “Porque no los dos?”

Follow her lead and mix up your Mandurah sojourn with a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B with Mandurah Boat and Hire. The locally-run business has various transport modes – boats, bikes and SUPs – to let you explore Mandurah’s gorgeous waterways.

Make sure to tell your mates to come along as there is a wide range of self-drive boats to hire from dinghies, suntrackers, runabouts and pontoons in all sizes. If the occasion calls for it, private luxury pontoon charters – complete with ultra-plush seating – are also available and includes a skipper so everyone can sit back and relax.

Back on land, hop on two wheels to see a different side of Mandurah because there is a lot. Peddle past Mandurah’s iconic fig tree, be inspired with the colourful Mandurah Art Trails that are Instagram worthy, enjoy a slow ride past picturesque Venetian canals, and see the skaters flip their boards at the new world-class skatepark.

You’ll soon discover it may be a stop/start affair with many gorgeous sights worth putting on the brakes.

Check out what hire options are available with Mandurah Boat and Hire.

See where the wild things are

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When the sun goes down, the stars come out, and so do Mandurah’s endearing residents.

Put your head torch on and let husband and wife duo, naturalists Base and Jamie, lead the way through a set of roaming locations such as nature reserves and lakes to spot Mandurah’s unique nocturnal wildlife and star gazing sights.

This newly minted original tour showcases a side of Mandurah not many get to see – or even knew about – and it is so fascinating to become more aware of the city’s natural nightlife.

The expert tour guides will help you observe the tree-top antics of critically endangered western ringtail possums, brushtail possums, and other wildlife skilfully hiding in the forest. You may even spot Mandurah’s mascot to rival Rotto’s quokkas, the quendas, best described as WA’s very own little bandicoots running along the forest floor. The nocturnal tour experience is dialled up a notch using night-time binoculars if your night vision fails you.

The tour encourages you to be mindful of the little things, and you may never look at nature the same way again soon after. From observing the amount of life to be found on a small patch of a big tree, spotting glow in the dark fungi, and watching spiders hastily unravelling their webs, this side of Mandurah almost starts to feel as if caught up in a David Attenborough documentary.

The naturalists also offer other eco-tours showcasing Mandurah’s natural assets sustainably and responsibly, from kayaking, bushwalking and stargazing tours around Island Point Reserve, Lake Clifton Thrombolites and beyond.

Check out what other tour options are available with Salt and Bush Tours

Whatever you decide to fill up your days with, rest assured, being surrounded by Mandurah’s pristine nature, you will feel zen. And as for me, I am now unapologetically a Mandurah fan.

There are, of course, many more ways to enjoy Mandurah’s great outdoors, and you can find out more here.

Originally published as ‘5 Reasons Why You Need To Rethink & Revisit Mandurah‘ by So Perth.

Header image: Courtesy of Daniel Wilkins

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