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

When was the last time you visited Mandurah? Just like there’s more to Perth than Kings Park, there’s much more to Mandurah than it’s alluring canals.

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

You need to rethink and revisit Mandurah and here are 5 reasons why

By Julia D’Orazio for So Perth.

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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.

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. 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

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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.

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Chasing dolphins and rainbows on a whimsical winter’s day on the water

When was the last time you visited Mandurah? Just like there’s more to Perth than Kings Park, there’s much more to Mandurah than it’s alluring canals.

Exploring Mandurah’s waterways on the Murray River Lunch Cruise

Chasing dolphins and rainbows on a whimsical winter’s day on the water.

By freelance writer, wanderer & mum Magda Bartucciotto.

It might seem strange to hit the water in winter, but if you want to get off the beaten track and experience the purest and simplest encounters with nature, you’ll soon realise there’s no better time.

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If you haven’t discovered some of the hidden gems in your own backyard since the pandemic hit, then Mandurah’s spectacular waterways, which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour is the perfect place to start.

Mandurah’s picturesque waterways are a feast for the eyes all year around, but it takes on an extra special charm during the winter season. Sure, there’s a bit of a nip in the air, but it’s nothing a warm puffer jacket, scarf and beanie can’t fix.

It’s the time of year when the natural beauty, birdlife, wildlife and aquatic nature really come to life. And the experiences you’ll have with Mandurah Cruises are bountiful. They’ll show you a different side to Mandurah, exploring remote areas only accessible by boat that’ll genuinely make you feel like you’re a million miles away.

So, I put my kids’ sea legs to the test, and the fab four set out on a relaxing half-day Murray River lunch cruise.

Because in Mandurah, we’re relaxed by nature.

9.45am – Check In

Without having to endure any groans of ‘Are we there yet’, we arrived in Mandurah within an hour’s drive from Perth. We headed to the Mandurah Boardwalk jetty on the marina, where we checked in with the cheerful and insightful crew (you’ll learn a LOT from these guys). The waters along Mandurah’s wetlands and estuaries are calm, so it was a great introduction for my kids who have never set foot on a boat before.

10am – Departure

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We promptly set sail from Mandjar Bay along the dolphin highway as it’s known, taking in some of the scenic spots such as the iconic Morton Bay fig tree from an awesome vantage point on the top deck of the vessel.

Along the way, we passed the striking Mandurah War Memorial. The large white pillars here commemorate the loss of life, the wounded and those that returned – and their ultimate quest for peace. The east/ west orientation of the works is designed to capture the axis of the sun on ANZAC Day. At dawn, the rising sun lights up the columns and create a temporary guiding light to the highest peak of the memorial.

As you head further out into the wetlands, the spectacular scenery offers many unique photo opportunities. You should always be on cue, as you never know what you might see – such as an osprey deep-diving into the water to catch a feed.

Soldier’s Cove is a common resting point for a myriad of birdlife. The local pelicans, known as the ‘boys of the estuary’ love to hang out here.

Quick fact: Did you know pelicans can hold up to 13 litres of water in their bills?

The Peel Inlet is renowned for attracting up to 100,000 migratory waterbirds, and as you cruise past the expansive Creery Wetlands you can understand why they choose this area as their nesting place. Some of these birds travel from as far as Siberia and Alaska every year. That’s around 25,000km!

11.30am – A step back in time at Cooper’s Mill

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Not far from the mouth of the Murray River we make a pit stop to check out the historical Cooper’s Mill, tucked away on the far western end of Cooleenup Island, which is only accessible by boat. Joseph Copper, a wheelwright and blacksmith began building it in 1846, but he died before completing it, leaving his sons to finish the job.

By 1850 the flour mill was up and running. It was originally powered by the wind before it was converted to steam power. The mill was very important to wheat farmers who would otherwise have to mill by hand.

While its location to us may seem odd, back in the day it made sense as it was easier to transport grain by boat. The mill has since been restored but still maintains its original charm.

12pm – Lunchtime

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With tummies grumbling it was time for lunch, which included a delicious spread large enough to keep you coming back for more. As you meander along the Murray River and back through the dolphin highway, you’ll no doubt come across some houseboats.

Renting out a houseboat is great if you want to explore the waterways at your own pace. These boats can sleep anywhere from 4 to 10 people at a time and come equipped with everything you need for a relaxing stay on the water.

Unforgettable encounters await

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One of the perks of cruising during winter is the chance to catch unobstructed views of a rainbow. Or in our case a double rainbow! With no buildings, houses or trees in your way, you can take full advantage of this picture-perfect moment.

 Mandurah’s waterways are home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins, which follow a feeding path along the shores on a daily basis, making encounters realistic and likely. During our cruise through the canals, we spotted a number of dolphins frolicking in the water, including a friendly pair surfing alongside our vessel.

Quick fact: Did you know dolphins can swim at a speed of up to 40km per hour when surfing?

Not only did we spot dolphins, but we were also treated to a seal sighting up close. The aquatic mammal was too busy to notice us though. It had just pounced on its prey of epic proportions – an eagle ray, which was an entertaining sight to see.

2.30 pm: At journey’s end

After enjoying some sweet treats on board, it was back to shore with our feet firmly on dry land. The kids had a blast. Us parents could relax and unwind. It was happy days for all! Next stop – sunset cruising!

If you’re looking for a unique way to connect with nature this winter, make Mandurah your pit stop for a quick day trip, casual weekender or laidback extended stay.

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Mandurah is the place to Savour freshly-caught seafood

If you’re searching for a quick getaway that won’t eat up more than a day or weekend, Mandurah is the perfect destination for a staycation or to simply embrace the sunshine, with some of the best things to do close to Perth.

Savour freshly-caught seafood in Mandurah by Emily Graham from Scoop

What started as a humble fishing town over 100 years ago, the thriving city of Mandurah is now well-renowned for its superb seafood.

With an estuary expanding over twice the space of Sydney Harbour, the area is teeming with marine life like crayfish, mullet, salmon and blue manna crab.

With such an abundance of fresh produce on their doorstep, here is the inside scoop on where to sample the best of Mandurah’s fresh, delicious seafood.

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Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant

Overlooking the pristine canals and waterways of Mandurah, Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant sits along the Eastern Foreshore and is famous for its show-stopping seafood towers. Indulge in three-tiers of delights from the deep, including a whole crayfish and blue manna crab (caught in Mandurah), oysters and mussels, a variety of fish, octopus and prawns.

Redmanna Seafood Tower

Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant source as much produce as they can locally to ensure diners get the freshest seafood experience possible. Their wine list features a selection from across WA, Australia and New Zealand and the friendly staff can readily provide pairing recommendations. Catering to all tastes, Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant offers a variety of dishes that cater to vegetarian and gluten-free diets as well

Mandurah Cruises Wild Seafood Experience (On Request)

Embrace WA’s seafood capital by taking to the water and catching your own meal like a local. Embark on a voyage around the estuary with Mandurah Cruises’ Wild Seafood Experience. Tour aboard a specialised, 2-level fishing charter boat with comfortable, heated interiors. All the equipment you need for your expedition is provided onboard, including tackle, bait, rods, nets and traps. With help of experienced guides who know the best fishing spots around, cast out your fishing lines for local delicacies like dhufish, snapper or baldchin groper, catch your own blue manna crab or pull in some fresh crayfish.

Once you have reeled in your tasty lunch, hand over your haul to experienced Chef Daphne or Chef Maxine, who will expertly cook your catch. Enhance your seafood experience with beautiful fresh flavours and accompanying dishes, and savour your freshly-caught lunch as you watch wild dolphins play in the waters around you.

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Sharky’s Restaurant, Bar and Cafe

Head to local haunt, Sharky’s, for a family-friendly atmosphere and a classic fish and chips meal. Start your meal with prawn and crab arancini, or try out their locally caught snapper (battered or grilled for a healthier option), or sample from their premium fish menu, including dhufish and barramundi.

Sharing your meal? Grab the shared seafood platter, with seafood delights like chilli and lime prawn skewers, lemon pepper calamari and battered fish goujons just to name a few! Warm-up your winter with their seafood chowder or marinara pastas. Located on the boardwalk at Dolphin Quay, you can watch the sunset over the Bay or watch dolphins play as you enjoy your meal.

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Catch your own dinner

Get back to the roots of the town by catching your own seafood dinner from the estuary. With some of the healthiest marine life and waterways in Australia, produce out of Mandurah is unbeatably fresh and full of flavour. Head down to the local hotspot at Mandurah Estuary Bridge Fishing Jetty for top-notch fishing, or throw your traps out in Mandjar Bay between December and August to collect some tasty blue manna crabs and crayfish.

For more information about Mandurah’s fishing rules, see here.

Originally published as Savour freshly-caught seafood in Mandurah by Scoop.

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Mandurah Is A Winter Wonderland and here are 6 Reason Why

If you’re searching for a quick getaway that won’t eat up more than a day or weekend, Mandurah is the perfect destination for a staycation or to simply embrace the sunshine, with some of the best things to do close to Perth.

Mandurah Is A Winter Wonderland by Julia D’Orazio

We have a habit out here on the west coast when the sun isn’t shining with sizzling temperatures to match; we resort to full hibernation mode. But winter can be just as exciting with things to see and do, and Mandurah is a divine example of that.

Top things to do in Mandurah this winter.

Yes, folks, the bottom end of Perth is a winter wonderland when it comes to activities and events to warm the soul. Whether that be embarking on a hike in untapped lands, cycling around its blissfully calm waterways, visiting nearby wineries, hitting the outdoor ice-skating rink, or hiring a cosy houseboat complete with a spa, Mandurah has no shortage of options.

The city will also play host to Winter Cruise & Crawl, and Secret Sounds music events.

To make sure you fill up your social calendar, we share our top things to do in Mandurah to encourage you to soak up the winter sun.

Have a houseboat holiday 

Houseboat

Want a holiday that is a bit off-kilter? Think of Mandurah as WA’s answer to Amsterdam, with canals aplenty and houseboat living a thing.

Locally owned Mandurah Houseboats have fully-equipped houseboats available to hire from Mandurah Ocean Marina and from Ravenswood along the picturesque Murray River. There are different sizes to choose from, from four to ten berth, perfect to call on your mates or a winter family adventure on the river.

Just imagine waking up to the sight of smiling dolphins, wayfaring waterbirds with Mandurah’s gorgeous waterways, historical sites and seaside venues literally on your floating doorstep.

You can get your hands dirty by casting a net to catch a very Mandurah breakky – blue manna crabs – served omelette style onboard your sailing abode. And when it’s time to move postcode, simply pull up the anchor and sail on.

Visit: Mandurah Houseboats

Get your ice skates on

Skinting-In-Mandurah

It’s bacccccccck! Have your own Frozen moment with skating on ice at Mandurah’s pop up ice-skating rink along the Eastern Foreshore. This winter playground caters to all with a large ice-skating rink and 30m high ice toboggan slide to channel the iconic flick Cool Runnings.

There will also be lots of rides, entertainment, food and beverages options on offer to make sure you make a day of it and let it go.

Skating in Mandurah opens from June 26 to July 18.

Visit: Skating in Mandurah

Skate your way to world-class views

Get your skate on and flip a board at Mandurah’s premier skating playground. Opening in December 2020, Mandurah Skate Park is a world-class skatepark located on the waterfront of Mandurah’s Western Foreshore at Hall Park.

Skaters can feel the fresh breeze while riding the air and getting their bearings with 360-degree views of Mandurah’s natural assets.

The park has three skate zones to suit skill sets, including a bowl area for skaters, BMX, and scooter riders.

Visit: Mandurah Skate Park

Feast down the Murray River

Let’s combine two of life’s greatest pleasures: eating and cruising. Mandurah Cruises hosts affordable half-day tours to do just that, so kick back, relax and tucker in.

While you feast, you can bask in Mandurah’s contrasting sceneries, travelling from the city centre through wetlands to see birdlife on the Murray River. Be aware; your lunching session may have cute gatecrashers with Mandurah’s friendly dolphins creating a scene with their playful antics.

Visit: Mandurah Cruises

Follow Peel Region Craft Beer & Wine Trail

White Lakes Brewing

Thirsty visitors can discover what’s pouring in Mandurah by following the Peel Region Craft Beer & Wine Trail. The trail includes seven stops to the region’s highly regarded beer and wine offerings.

For craft beer fans, visit urban brewery Three Rivers Brewing Company – a hidden powerhouse that allows you to BYO snacks or enjoy a brew with a view of White Lakes Brewing overlooking the stunning Lake Walyungup.

Head to King Road Brewing Co home to perhaps the biggest brewery venue in Perth. Kick back with brews and bistro eats while the kids run riot on their massive and impressive playground. Be sure to try their award-winning pale ale.

Millbrook WInery

Wine connoisseurs can fill up their glass at Peel Estate Wines, the oldest winery in the region and beautifully sandwiched between tuart forest and protected wetlands.

Both Millbrook Winery and Drakesbrook Fine Wines are picnic-perfect settings. Get to know the maker behind the drop with boutique winery Skipworth Wine Company offering intimate tastings with winemaker/owner Kim Skipworth.

If you prefer to be chauffeured around by those in the know, join in a winery or brewery tour with Kaleidoscope Tours.

Visit: Peel Region Craft Beer & Wine Trail

Get active seeing Mandurah’s natural assets

Kayaks

One of the best things about Mandurah is the sheer amount of natural beauty the city has – postcard-perfect, we think – and there are countless ways to be relaxed by nature while being active.

See Mandurah’s natural wonders with a visit to the 2,000-year-old thrombolite reef – the world’s oldest living organisms – at Lake Clifton. Put on the hiking boots to explore Yalgorup National Park to have a canopy of tuart and peppermint woodlands over your head.

For a hands-on approach, hop on a SUP for a peaceful paddle along Mandurah’s waterways. Head to WhatSUP Paddleboard HireKayaks 4 U or Mandurah Boat and Bike Hire to rent one out.

Get wild by joining a foot-pedalling kayak tour with Salt and Bush Tours. The eco-tour takes you through the hard to reach parts of the Peel-Harvey Estuary to spot bountiful birdlife and feel a world away from it all.

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

Originally published as ‘6 Reasons Why Mandurah Is A Winter Wonderland’ by So Perth.

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Embark on Mandurah’s amazing art walking trail

If you’re searching for a quick getaway that won’t eat up more than a day or weekend, Mandurah is the perfect destination for a staycation or to simply embrace the sunshine, with some of the best things to do close to Perth.

Embark on a walking trail of Mandurah’s amazing street art by Emily Graham from Scoop

From stunning sculptures to interactive street art installations, Mandurah is home to some truly outstanding art. Uncover gems from local talents all across the city, inspired by the unique landscapes of the estuary, the amazing native fauna and flora, and the history of the region.

With so many attractions to see, the City of Mandurah has devised two easy walking trails that touch on all artworks. Here are the highlights of the trails that you can’t miss.

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Trail 1: Murals and Stained Glass Marvels

1. Stained Glass Window

Start your trail at the Mandurah Visitor Centre, where you can see the stained glass glow with life. As filtered sunlight backlights images from Dreamtime creation stories, see dappled pelicans and dolphins play within the Rainbow Serpent, who created the landscapes and animals shown in the artwork. From there, duck your head into the Black Stump Gallery to appreciate vivid works of art from local WA artists, including iconic images of the region by Emma Blyth.

2. 3D Illusion Painting

Leaving the Visitor Centre, you will encounter the second location on this trail. This amazing optical illusion is painted across the pavement using angles to create a 3D image of fauna from the Peel-Harvey Estuary. Be sure to snap a picture interacting with the animals in this one!

3. Leviathan

Pop over to the Mandurah Museum to take in an artists dedication to historical ship, The Leviathan, who met her end after only eight voyages when she sank 2 kilometres from Soldier’s Cove.

4. 3D Blue Swimmer Crab

Get a cheeky picture with this icon of Mandurah’s waterways. This clever, 3D piece can be found across the Mandurah Bridge, created by award-winning artist, Jenny McCracken.

5.  War Memorial

This stunning sculptural memorial can be seen from across the bay, with two lines of white pillars rising and falling from the waters edge, mimicking the path of the rising and setting sun. With inscriptions inspired by the soldiers that gave their lives in war, this reverent installation is a dedication to the poem ‘At the Going Down of the Sun.’

ANZAC-Day-Mandurah-War-Memorial

6. Spring Swing 

One of Mandurah’s most Instagramable spots, this laneway is covered with images of wildflowers. Sit on the ‘swing’ and become a part of the installation itself.

7. The Heart

Continue on to the Eastern Foreshore, the final destination on our street art highlights trail. Perfectly framing the gorgeous Mandjar Bay in the background, The Heart references the Noongar word for the area, Mandjoogoordap, meaning ‘Meeting Place of The Heart.’ Pose for a picture with someone close to your heart inside the frame for a memento of Mandurah you can keep forever.

Trail 2: Sculptures and the Sea

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1. Yaburgurt Memorial 

Yaburgurt Winjan was a prominent member of the Bindjareb Noongar community, and this piece commemorates the centenary of his passing. The sculpture depicts the six seasons of the area.

2. The Gull

This large, wooden boat is designed to give the impression of a ship that has run aground and has become a popular playground for children. With a spyglass, steering wheel and mast adding to the illusion of a mighty vessel from days gone by, this is an interactive artwork that nods to the fishing history and cultural ties to the ocean that exist in Mandurah.

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3. 3D Pelican

Yet another 3D illusion piece painted on the boatshed by the marina. Hold your hand up by the fish’s tail to look as though you are feeding the hungry pelican.

4. Adrift I, Adrift II and James Service Wreck

This series of aluminum sculptures are dedicated to WA’s rich maritime history, including shipwrecks and fishing expeditions.

5. Arts Centre Rainbow Serpent

Another nod to the creation story of the land and animals of the estuary, this brand new, enormous mural by Daniel McHenry can be seen from the opposite bank. Spanning the entire outside of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, each of the six seasons is represented within the Rainbow Serpent, with interactive puzzles and exercises painted along the bottom. While you admire this expansive mural and activities, pop into the Arts Centre and visit the Alcoa Mandurah Gallery to find a beautifully curated selection of local works.

To follow the full art trail, see here to download your trail map.

Originally published as ‘Embark on a walking trail of Mandurah’s amazing street art’ by Scoop.

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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
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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