Mandurah Eco-educational non-for-profit

Learn more about nature in Mandurah

Mandurah has many protected waterways, national parks, and nature reserves that are home to various species of marine animals, birds, and wildlife.  Shannon Lawson from the Mandurah Mail spoke with local tour operator Salt & Bush Eco Tours about their Mandurah Eco-educational non-for-profit.

Salt and Bush Eco Tours owner Jamie van Jones and her partner, Sebastian have a passion for the environment which is evident in everything they do.

Not satisfied with simply running an ecotourism business, they have now decided to share their knowledge and love of nature with the wider community by starting a not-for-profit.

“We thought we needed to do something more than just our business,” Jamie said. “We started Swanlandia Inc., which is all about ecology education. It’s inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.”

The name comes from Swanland which was an early name suggested for Western Australia, and the term Landia which has the urban definition of ‘A fictional relationship to a non-fictional place’.

“Our mission is to connect people to the natural world through fun and educational experiences,” Jamie elaborated. “We believe that if you experience nature in a way that opens your eyes, then as you learn more about it, you fall in love with it and will want to conserve and protect what you love.”

Mandurah Eco-educational non-for-profit

Jamie and Sebastian say running Salt and Bush Eco Tours and working as naturalist guides for the last seven years around the world, they have seen first hand the positive impact experiences in nature can have on people. They wanted to make that accessible to youth.

Salt and Bush Eco Tours and Swanlandia Inc. are run as a hybrid-eco-enterprise.

“Both our business and not-for-profit have the same aim of sharing about the natural world in fun and educational ways,” Jamie said. “We just have different methods of achieving it. We are going to have 10 percent of Salt and Bush Eco Tour’s profits go towards funding programs for Swanlandia Inc. programs.

“We are also applying for grants locally, to help grow our not-for-profit dream into fruition.”

The couple are currently awaiting the outcome of a grant application through the City of Mandurah which they will find out about in early May.

“Even if we’re not successful we’ll keep trying to find another way to go head, even if it’s smaller to begin with and we work our way up to what we want to eventually do,” Jamie said.

The first step will be to start a group called the Cygnets which will be for six to eight-year-olds. There will be fortnightly meetings with hands on learning such as finding out how many frogs there are in a local wetland by identifying their calls, then learning about their role in echo system. Similar to scouts, children will put their learned skills to the test in their own neighbourhoods to earn badges and progress through the program.

“We’ll cover all kinds of things, from birds to fungi and mammals,” Jamie explained. “We hope to grow as an organisation to offer programs to all ages. We believe citizen science is a great way to engage in nature and contribute to science. Bird surveys, biodiversity counts, or programs like the Western Ringtail Possum tally, which is on over the next month, are programs we will help people to connect to locally.”

Jamie and Sebastian have travelled to some of the most amazing natural habitats on the planet, such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Borneo and Papua New Guinea, but they say living in Mandurah still makes them feel blessed.

“We can see how lucky we are to live in Mandurah and be surrounded by the diversity of the wetlands, the coastline and the bush. It truly is a world-class place to live,” Jamie said.

Relaxed by Nature

Discover a diverse range of nature experiences in the Mandurah region

From the bushland to the waterways, the Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet is twice the size of Sydney Harbour and home to a unique abundance of wildlife, birds and marine animals that’s worth exploring.

Jump onboard a custom guided private nature tour with Salt and Bush Eco-Tours and you’ll be amazed by this biodiversity hotspot right on your doorstep. There’s plenty to delve into when you wander and discover the incredible surroundings on a bushwalking trail, paddle or sail on a kayaking adventure with a difference, go bird-watching or simply settle in for a peaceful evening of stargazing.

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Animal & Wildlife Encounters

The Mandurah region is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in nature.

Animal & Wildlife Encounters

The perfect destination
to easily spot native
wildlife as you explore
by water or land

The fresh air, blue skies, pristine forests and stunning waterways of the Mandurah region make it the perfect destination to immerse yourself in nature. Wonder at the world-class natural beauty and easily spot native wildlife as you explore by water or land.

Here are our insider tips of where to spot wild dolphins, kangaroos, emus and waterbirds:

Dolphins – regularly visit the calm waters in the centre of Mandurah and are a joy to watch while dining alfresco by the waterfront or just strolling along the foreshore. Some residents say that you are almost 100% guaranteed to see a dolphin at the Dawesville Cut as they have never once walked their dogs here without seeing a dolphin.

Kangaroos – graze on Melros Beach Reserve and Florida Beach Reserve in the late afternoon. You can also spot them close-up near the picnic area at Serpentine Falls National Park.

Emus – can often be spotted walking along the lake shores at Lake Clifton at Yalgorup National Park.

Black Swans – mass between October and March at Lake Pollard at Yalgorup National Park.

Red-tailed black cockatoos – are native to south western Australia and can be seen high up in the trees from the Emu Walk Trail that leads from Dwellingup town centre to the Forest Discovery Centre.

Visit our Wildlife Parks & Tours

Salt & Bush Eco Tours – Wildlife Nocturnal

Discover what happens in the Bush after the sun goes down.  Salt & Bush Eco Tours have amazing insight into the local nocturnal wildlife. Take a  walk with your head torches on and seek out the nocturnal animals that are waking up. Discover more about Western Australia’s amazing wildlife on a guided Nocturnal walk.  For more information and other tours visit Salt &  Bush Eco Tours.

Ways to nature

Come and explore the extraordinary wetlands and wildlife of the Peel-Harvey estuary in South West WA with Ways To Nature! Whether you’re a local looking to connect with nature in your city or a visitor wanting to discover the Peel region’s natural heritage – let Ways To Nature be your guide.

Ranger Red’s Zoo

Ranger Red’s Zoo is a privately funded, hands-on zoo and wildlife sanctuary, in a lush setting on the banks of the Murray River in Pinjarra. Visiting Ranger Red’s Zoo is a bit like visiting one of your own family, who just happens to have hundreds of pets. Get close to and learn about over 100 species of birds and animals that will capture your imagination, including: koalas, wombats, dingoes, exotic birds, snakes, reptiles, bengal cats, quolls, possums and owls! The walk-through aviary and Tasmanian Devils are star attractions.

The Tasmanian Devil breeding programme is of vital importance. This species is endangered in the wild because of an incurable facial tumour disease and Ranger Red Zoo’s breeding program contributes to the Tasmanian Devil’s long-term future.

Kids can also experience working at the zoo with the ‘Zookeeper 4 a Day’ program.

Cohunu Koala Park

Located in Byford, Cohunu Koala Park has a colony of up to 15 koalas which you can pay to hold. You can also hand feed the native wildlife that roams free in the park.

Farm Animals

Caraholly Orchard – At this beautiful farmers market every Sunday you can hand feed the cows with apples from the orchard.

Midway Farmstall – Just off Forrest Highway, near Pinjarra Road, this is the perfect place to stop for delicious coffee and a bite to eat while the kids play with the farm animals.

Ferndale Springs Farm – Gain insights into a real working farm in Coolup. Mustering sheep, feeding cattle and eating damper and kangaroo are just some of the things you will experience here.

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