How the Locals like it – Jodie Pantaleo

Pinjarra Bakery was established by my parents over 20 years ago. They had a supermarket in Pinjarra and started selling freshly made bread, cakes and pies.

How the locals like it

Jodie Pantaleo,
Pinjarra Bakery

Pinjarra Bakery was established by my parents over 20 years ago. They had a supermarket in Pinjarra and started selling freshly made bread, cakes and pies.

Article Jodie Pantaleo Pinjarra Bakery 1
Photo Credit: Ben Steiger Photography

Soon that part of the business became so successful they built a stand-alone bakery and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, we have three retail stores and a distribution centre. Mum and Dad still work in the business as do I and my two brothers. 

We are very grateful we get to do what we do together with our team. Our customers include everyone from hipsters to grannies, corporates to tradies. Families are also an integral part of our customer base, particularly on the weekends with road trippers heading south for the day. 

We are all about the experience; not only our delicious products but providing a beautiful space to sit and enjoy them. We have room for the whole family here; there is a lot of joy to be gained when food is enjoyed together. The local region is perfect for families.

We love to take our kids into Mandurah for fish and chips and they just love the foreshore. There’s always lots happening with markets, pony rides and face painting. 

Our kids’ favourite place is Adventurescape Playground in South Yunderup and we go as often as we can.

One of the things I love about this region is that it’s still relatively untouched and has kept its country feel. 

The Murray River kids’ playground and suspension bridge in Pinjarra is still a favourite as is Dwellingup with its wineries and fruit stalls and Lake Navarino in Waroona. 

I loved growing up here and I’m so glad I get to share that with my kids. The open space, fresh air, trees and just being surrounded by nature. There is always a good sense of community.

JODIE’S FAVOURITES AT PINJARRA BAKERY

  • Honey Chilli chicken and vegetable pie (packs a punch of flavour!)
  • Vanilla slice (Crowdpleaser)
  • Classic beef mince pie (best in Australia)
  • Sausage roll (Can’t go wrong!)

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How the Locals like it – Lyn Beazley

Being a biologist, I love animals, plants and the natural environment. Mandurah and the Peel Region offers amazing forests, rivers, the estuary, wild dolphins and so much more.

How the locals like it

Lyn Beazley,
Adjunct Professor
AO FTSE

Being a biologist, I love animals, plants and the natural environment. Mandurah and the Peel Region offers amazing forests, rivers, the estuary, wild dolphins and so much more. The migratory birds of the region are of particular interest; I love to watch them here for half the year, knowing they will make their journey up to Russia and Alaska for the other half.

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I moved to Mandurah in 1985 when the population was 10,000. We were holidaying on the Murray River when we came into the Peel Inlet, saw a row of little houses and thought, ‘this looks awesome!’

We managed to buy a rundown cottage and have raised our children here. There is so much more to offer visitors now including internationally acclaimed shows at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and beautiful restaurants with outstanding water views where you can watch pelicans, cormorants and dolphins while you dine. There are world-class golf courses, great shopping opportunities, you can go horse riding, fishing, snorkelling, watch all manner of wildlife … these are the kinds of experiences people travel half way around the world for and they are right on Perth’s doorstep. 

When I was Chief Scientist of Western Australia, I helped set up Dolphin Watch whereby trained volunteers monitor the health of the state’s wild dolphin population. There are an estimated 100 dolphins in the waterways around Mandurah and it is one of the only places in the world where you are almost guaranteed to see one if you head out on a boat.

 I once watched a mother dolphin who had stunned a large fish, continually toss it up in the air so her calf could practice catching it. I often take international scientific visitors around the region and they just can’t believe the beauty and abundance of wildlife. They tell me we are so, so lucky and I agree.

LYN’S SECRET SPOT

BLUE BAY – You can swim and snorkel in the shallow water, it’s never crowded, is protected from the breeze and is pristine, with shower facilities and a carpark immediately above the beach. It’s beautiful for families.

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How the Locals like it – Krista Nicholson

Mandurah dolphins and their behaviour has blown my mind. I am a PhD student at Murdoch University in Perth but spend a lot of time studying the dolphins

How the locals like it

Krista Nicholson,
Mandurah Dolphin
Research Project

Mandurah dolphins and their behaviour has blown my mind. I am a PhD student at Murdoch University in Perth but spend a lot of time studying the dolphins in the Peel Inlet-Harvey Estuary and adjacent coastal waters and I absolutely love it.

Krista-Nicholson Dolphin Research Project

We have identified a year-round resident community of approximately 80 dolphins occupying the Peel-Harvey Estuary and also around 30 that are coastal but spend a lot of time in the Dawesville Cut. 

One dolphin who was stranded as an adult, and tagged in 1990, is still regularly seen in the estuary. He would be approaching his 40’s now. The dolphins are really social and inquisitive. Their foraging behaviour is especially amazing to observe. 

I have seen a dolphin toss a cobbler 30 times to make sure it was safe to eat. Mandurah appears to be an excellent environment for them to forage because of all the canals and rock walls; they use these to trap several species of fish, like mullet and salmon, which they often herd to the dead ends of the canals for an easier catch and feed. The juvenile dolphins are the most playful and these are the ones you’ll most often see frolicking alongside boats which I know is a highlight for many visitors to Mandurah. 

I thoroughly enjoy my time in Mandurah. As soon as you arrive you feel like you’re on holiday. It has such a relaxed atmosphere and I love that you don’t have to pay for parking! 

Also, where else can you pull up at a jetty in your research vessel on the way to work, hop out and buy a coffee and drink it as you watch the sunrise? I think Mandurah is unique in that you can watch dolphins from the shore at so many locations. Everyone can enjoy them – you don’t have to spend money. It feels like the dolphins really belong to the people of Mandurah.

KRISTA’S TOP SPOTS FOR DOLPHIN SPOTTING

  • The Mandurah foreshore and Dawesville Cut – I’ve never once walked my dogs here without seeing a dolphin. 
  • Going on a tour with Mandurah Cruises is also great if you wanted to have a closer look at the dolphins 
  • DPM Café on Mandurah foreshore and Pelican’s Café on the Murray River– you get to watch dolphins while enjoying good coffee and cake!

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How the Locals like it – Damien Bell

I’ve always had a love for fishing. I love the ocean, I love boats and I love being outdoors. I have lots of energy and can’t keep still.

How the locals like it

Damien Bell,
Bellbuoy Seafoods

I’ve always had a love for fishing. I love the ocean, I love boats and I love being outdoors. I have lots of energy and can’t keep still. I’m an aquaculturist by trade but always wanted to be a commercial fisherman.

Damien Bell Bellbuoy Seafoods Mandurah

Fourteen years ago my dad bought into the crab fishery and I first leased his license then luckily was able to buy my own. I love the challenge of commercial fishing. You never know what the day is going to throw at you from the weather to the behaviour of the fish themselves.

Freshness is the best thing about the seafood you can get in Mandurah. Where else can you go to a fisherman’s house and buy from him direct? People do that at Wattsies Place on Old Coast Road seven days a week, many of them driving down from Perth. 

It’s iconic to the region and so important to the industry and the fabric of Mandurah. One of the things that makes Mandurah seafood so good is the high level of quality control. The industry worked hard to gain sustainable fishing accreditation from the Marine Stewardship Council to ensure our stocks are protected now and into the future.

I think the best thing about Mandurah is the estuary. You can swim in it, fish in it, go kayaking and kite boarding, walk a dog around it – its uses are endless and it’s beautiful and protected, just great for families.

I also love the hub of bars and restaurants at the base of the new bridge. Places like Redmanna, Bar Therapy and Flics Kitchen are all great and it’s a terrific part of town. Where we live in Falcon, the kids have kangaroos at the back door, the ocean over their right shoulder and the estuary over their left. It’s the best place to live and I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

DAMIEN’S TOP 3 SEAFOOD EXPERIENCES IN MANDURAH

  • Mandurah Cruises Wild Seafood Experience 
  • Buying fresh from Wattsies
  • Dining at Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant

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How the Locals like it – Daniel Wilkins

I absolutely love living in Mandurah. I grew up here and all my family and friends are here. I even still bump into old teachers!

How the locals like it

Daniel Wilkins,
Photographer

I absolutely love living in Mandurah. I grew up here and all my family and friends are here. I even still bump into old teachers!

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I have a young family and I couldn’t think of anywhere better to raise kids. Mandurah has a good vibe and a great culture and while it’s grown up a bit, it has kept its small town feel in many ways. 

Being a photographer for the Sunday Times newspaper, I’m in the car driving all day and sometimes have to deal with quite serious issues.

Living in Soldiers Cove means we have the estuary at the end of the street, allowing me to walk by the water which grounds and relaxes me. Mandurah is the yin to my yang of having to drive to Perth for work. 

There are so many fantastic photography spots in the region for people to capture great memories of their holidays. 

The thrombolites at Lake Clifton is one of my favourites and my pick of all the great beaches is Blue Bay in Halls Head. The new bridge at sunset is a spectacular shot and make sure you keep an eye on the water for our resident dolphins which are fun to photograph. Mandurah is so picturesque it’s hard not to get a good photo.

I know a lot of people associate Mandurah with the water – and for good reason. It’s just so accessible from everywhere. People are always asking me if it’s crab season or if the fish are biting which is kind of funny because I don’t own a boat and I don’t fish but I do go kayaking and the family spends many weekends in summer four wheel driving on Preston Beach – one of the closest beaches to Perth where you can drive right up onto the sand. 

I also love that Mandurah is coming of age in terms of places to eat and drink – it’s not just about going to the pub or having a chicken parmie anymore.

DANIEL’S TOP PICKS FOR EATING AND DRINKING

  • Flics Kitchen
  • Boardwalk Café
  • Blackboard by Food & Co
  • The Bridge Garden Bar & Restaurant
  • Bar Therapy

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How the Locals like it – Barb Thoms

My relationship with Mandurah began over 40 years ago with relaxed family holidays full of crabbing and beaches. Every time we took one of these holidays we would say “one day we are going to live here.” In 2005, we did just that.

How the locals like it

Barb Thoms,
Artist

My relationship with Mandurah began over 40 years ago with relaxed family holidays full of crabbing and beaches. Every time we took one of these holidays we would say “one day we are going to live here.” In 2005, we did just that.

Barb Thoms

People say you should be wary of moving somewhere based on holiday experiences but in this case, the reality of our move to Mandurah far exceeded our expectations. I can’t imagine living anywhere else that offers such a sense of community, anchored by a strong arts and culture scene. The local creative community is dynamic, adding a sense of vibrancy. There is always something happening in the region.

Over time, either as an artist, or in my previous role as Art Development Officer for the City of Mandurah, I have been involved in many local art projects, programs and art festivals.  As one of the founding members of the Mandurah Plein Air Artists, I have been part of its transition from a handful of artists in 2011, to become one of the most dynamic art groups south of Perth. Rain, hail or shine we meet every Tuesday to paint outdoors, or as the French would say “en plein air”.

The group welcomes all skill levels and all mediums – the object is to paint the landscape and enjoy the company of like-minded people.  Plein air painters love to travel and paint, and with this in mind, Mandurah’s Plein Air Down Under Outdoor Painting Festival was born. 

This three-day spring festival, which showcases Mandurah’s natural and built environment to perfection, attracted over 100 artists in its first year. Another significant project I enjoyed leading was Wearable Art Mandurah. 

This quirky competition started in 2011 with eleven locals creating sculpture for the body. Last year, there were over 100 entrants and a competition prize pool of over $15,000. The theatrical spectacular known as the Wearable Art Mandurah Showcase attracts a local, national and international audience, followed by the exhibition at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah.

At the heart of my personal art practice sits my love of plein air painting. Spending time outdoors, being in the moment and capturing beautiful surroundings is good for the soul. It focuses the senses and allows me to connect directly with my subject. The Peel Region provides endless inspiration with its beaches, inland waterways, forests, and everything in between and although I love to travel and paint, there is no place like Mandurah.

BARB’S TOP THREE PAINTING SPOTS

  • Great for photography too! Creery Wetlands Mariners Cove Natural wetlands, bird-life, a marina and Nourishing the Soul Café – one of my favourites. 
  • Mandurah CBD There are so many options:  Administration Bay behind Simmos, anywhere along the eastern foreshore, around the boardwalk precinct. Spoilt for choice! 
  • The Thrombolites at Lake Clifton. Painting the thrombolites during low tide, from the elevated boardwalk, is quite an experience.

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How the Locals like it – Jason Hutchen

Eighteen years ago my wife and I were living in Sydney. My in-laws lived in Bunbury and on one particular visit we stopped in at Mandurah for the very first time. From that first instance I was hooked.

How the locals like it

Jason Hutchen,
Owner & Chef,
Redmanna Waterfront
Restaurant

Eighteen years ago my wife and I were living in Sydney. My in-laws lived in Bunbury and on one particular visit we stopped in at Mandurah for the very first time. From that first instance I was hooked. All I could think was, ‘How good is this place?’ We made the decision to relocate to Mandurah and, despite a one year stint back in Sydney soon after, we quickly came to realise Mandurah was home.

Jason Hutchen

We raised our family here and our three daughters have also made their lives, careers and homes in the area. One daughter recently commented after an overseas trip to some of the most amazing places in Europe that Mandurah still beats them all.

I started Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant 14 years ago and I’m so grateful it’s still such a major part of the local dining scene and Mandurah’s most awarded restaurant. Like any successful venture, there is a combination of things that have contributed but the standouts to me are the fresh, local, world-class produce we use, and the incredible, uninterrupted views from the restaurant which I still believe are the best in Mandurah.

I’ve really seen Mandurah boom in the 18 years I’ve lived here and it might sound like a cliché but we really do have everything to offer visitors. The water is the most obvious whether it be cruising the canals, fishing out in the ocean or having fun on a jet ski just to name a few examples. We also have world class golf courses, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, a large cinema, great accommodation options, festivals and of course, a very good bar and dining scene.

Speaking to people who are visiting us for the very first time, many say they are sorry they only booked to stay one night. Seafood is such an integral part of Mandurah’s identity and it’s drawing more and more visitors, particularly from Asian countries. Add in all the opportunities for waterfront dining with dolphins and birds as your background view and it’s a perfect combination. 

We’ve recently branched out with a more casual bar and dining option, The Bridge Garden Bar on the foreshore. From time to time the end of Mandurah Terrace is closed and The Bridge and all the other bars and restaurants in the area work together to provide a great festival-like experience where people are welcome to wander in and out of the different venues. It’s been really popular and I think sums up what Mandurah is all about at the moment; fine, fresh food, on the water in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

JASON’S TOP THREE SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

  • Go on a cruise. Mandurah Cruises or Pirate Ship Mandurah will give you a birds’ eye view of the waterways. 
  • Check out what’s happening on the foreshore. There’s always something from markets to concerts and festivals and even ice skating in the winter. 
  • Eat, drink and be merry. Sample our great local bar and restaurant scene with everything from cocktails to seafood, modern Australian, Thai, tapas and more.

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How the Locals like it – Purri Gould

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water!

How the locals like it

Purri Gould,
Owner Groundswell
Drivethru Coffee

I lived around Mandurah as a teenager and the coastal, surfing lifestyle really became a part of who I am. I don’t think that’s anything that will ever change.

Purri Gould

As a young adult I spent seven years in the mid-west USA and it was a real culture shock to be so landlocked and experiencing snow and freezing grey skies. I met my wife over there and on the second date I gave her fair warning saying, “I’m going back to Australia someday”. 

Our romance blossomed and the rest is history. Luckily she agreed to come home with me. We have three children and have lived in Golden Bay for the past 10 years. We all absolutely love it here. 

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Running a business and having a young family keeps me pretty busy but the best thing about this part of the world is still the surfing and kite surfing and I get out there as often as I can. Geary’s Beach in Falcon would have to be one of my favourite places in the world.

It’s also hard to go past everything Mandurah’s waterways have to offer when it comes to quality family time. Apart from the phenomenal beaches, the estuary and foreshore offer so many activities. 

The thing that really gets me about this area is we have legit stuff here – everything a visitor could want and there’s no reason to travel too far. 

I’ve had a coffee roasting business, Frothin’ Coffee for around five years and in 2018 I took a leap of faith and helped my Mum, Lynne Gould, open her coffee business, Groundswell Drivethru on Pinjarra Road. 

The response has been fantastic with local coffee lovers and the local business community being really supportive. People might be surprised by the number of people around town who really know their coffee. We’re proud to offer a genuinely good product that has a uniqueness and a lot of passion and love put into it. I think Groundswell is a good example of how Mandurah is continuing to evolve and change and become even more attractive for visitors. I’m just a big fan of Mandurah and I can’t wait to see more visitors drop in for a coffee as time goes on.

THE GOULD’S HOLIDAY AT HOME

One of the most fun family holidays we have had was just a few kilometres from home at Seashells Resort. We did all the touristy things and it was the coolest little break. I highly recommend it.

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How the Locals like it – Ivan Zoranic

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water!

How the locals like it

Ivan Zoranic,
Captain, Mandurah
Cruises

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water! My family used to holiday here when I was a kid, fishing and crabbing, and when my stepdad got a job at Alcoa in 1972, we were happy to grab the chance to move here permanently.

captain ivan 1

My grandad was a cray fisherman out of Safety Bay and I grew up with salt water in my veins, helping him out whenever I got the chance. High school wasn’t really for me and I left early. I went and joined my grandad on his boat and have worked around boats and fishing ever since.

I’m a captain with Mandurah Cruises and spend my days taking tourists out for a genuine cray fishing experience. We take the pots out and set them, then we welcome our visitors on board and take them out and let them pull the pots and collect the catch. The crays are cooked on board and served with other fresh, local seafood as we cruise the waterways around Mandurah.

Our visitors learn so much about the region’s waterways, the lobster industry and the crustaceans themselves. The feedback is always overwhelmingly positive. I’m seeing a big jump in the number of tourists enjoying Mandurah, many of them from China. They seem to really appreciate our natural attractions and big open spaces. 

Whether you’re here for a day or a week, from an hour away or half a world away, there’s so much for people to do. I’ve seen some big changes since 1972 when the population was just 6000 (or 6001 as someone graffitied on the welcome sign as they drove into town). 

This place has a lot going for it. The hills are just 18 kilometres away, you’ve got the ocean and the estuary at your front door and more recent additions like Dolphin Quay at the marina and the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre give people more things to do.

It will be no surprise to anyone though that my favourite day in Mandurah is any day I’m out on my boat fishing. I’ve never had to buy seafood and I never plan to.

IVAN’S TOP SPOTS 

  • Fishing If you have access to a boat, Five Fathom Bank, just off the coast between Mandurah and Dawesville. From the beach, White Hills in Bouvard, where I’ve even seen people land dhufish. 
  • Crabbing My favourite spot is just off Southern Estuary Road at the very southern end of the Peel Harvey Estuary, by the mouth of the Harvey River. It has a nice barbecue area too. Make sure you use a good bait such as fish heads.

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How the Locals like it – Rhys Williams

I’ve lived in Mandurah since I was eight but even before then the family would visit my grandparents at Preston Beach every second weekend.

How the locals like it

Rhys Williams,
Mayor City of
Mandurah

I’ve lived in Mandurah since I was eight but even before then the family would visit my grandparents at Preston Beach every second weekend. They still have that house and I still love to visit.

Mayor Rhys Williams 1

Mandurah represents everything about the way I want to live – going down the beach for a snorkel, scuba dive, fish or surf, and hanging out with friends in the outdoors. Being Mayor means I have to travel a lot but every time I come home, I realise this is exactly where I want to be. 

The most special thing about Mandurah is the fact that while it’s grown and changed, it still retains that special sense of community.

Mandurah has always been a significant place in WA; everyone seems to have a story about crabbing or fishing here. Now we are also telling a new story of culture, food and excellent tourism experiences, but it magically retains that ‘second gear’ feel despite only being one hour away from Perth. Anyone can come down for the day, a weekend or the school holidays. There’s plenty to do.

We have an emerging cultural scene with world class shows and exhibitions at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, beautiful places to eat, great festivals and events happening year round, an evolving economy and business innovation with little start-ups in every corner. 

When people learn I’m the Mayor of Mandurah, the first thing they talk about is how beautiful the estuary and coastline are. They talk about the abundance of wildlife and beautiful nature experiences. There’s a real buzz about this place and it’s on the cusp of being WA’s next best thing.

WHERE DOES THE MAYOR CHILLOUT? 

  • Avalon Beach in Falcon – the best beach in Mandurah
  • Dwellingup – for the farmers market and nature

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