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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This Winter Visit Mandurah’s Dolphin Highway

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.

Perth Now’s winter day trip to Mandurah

If you’re looking for a quick getaway, Mandurah is the ultimate destination for a staycation or a day trip. And don’t just take our word for it; read what Perth Now had to say when they came to visit Mandurah’s dolphin highway.

Day Trip On The Dolphin Highway

Playful surfing dolphins. Seals hiding near shore. Ospreys diving headfirst for prey. You never know what you might encounter on the water in winter. It may be cooler, but it’s ever so clearer for the wildlife, and it all welcomes you, less than an hour’s drive from Perth.

Wintertime is when Mandurah’s rugged beauty takes on magical qualities. If you’re looking to escape the city for a weekender, short break or the school holidays, then check-in to the breathtaking wilderness of the Peel region, with spectacular natural attractions that are best explored this time of the year.

Settle in and be relaxed by nature with these must-do winter break ideas.

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MURRAY RIVER LUNCH CRUISE

If relaxation and nature stoke your curiosity, you’ll love this leisurely half-day lunch cruise along the historic Murray River. Mandurah’s calm waterways are twice the size of Sydney Harbour, so there’s plenty of ground to cover, enough to make you feel like you’re a million miles away.

This area is a hot spot for fascinating birdlife, some species migrate all the way from Siberia! Be on the lookout for curious dolphins who love to surf alongside the vessel, ospreys hovering high above the skies and pelicans hanging out for a bite. Seals are also known to rest along these shores during wintertime. If you happen to catch them during a feeding frenzy, it’s an absolute sight to behold. And if it’s raining, consider it a bonus. You’ll have the best seat in the house should a rainbow pop up – the uninterrupted views are priceless.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES ON WET AND DRY LAND

If adventure is your thing, then you know it’s not just what you do, but where you do it that counts, and Sebastian and Jamie from Salt & Bush Eco Tours know it all. Experience nature in a completely different way on a foot peddled kayak tour into the wild, where you’ll access hard to reach areas of the Peel-Harvey estuary.

Winter is a great time for clear, crisp nights of stargazing and the backdrop of Lake Clifton’s magnificent thrombolites is where you want to be to view the night sky panorama. Want to know what happens to the bush after the sun goes down? Go on a guided nocturnal wildlife tour and you’ll find out.

CRUISE ALONG THE DOLPHIN HIGHWAY

Mandurah Waterbikes

Did you know Mandurah’s waterways are home to around 100 bottlenose dolphins? And they’re ever so friendly, so there’s every chance you’ll spot them. Being on the water is all about relaxation, and there’s plenty of ways to do it – on a kayak, dolphin cruise, private luxury charter pontoon, waterbike, houseboat, Eco BBQ Boat (no skipper’s ticket required). There’s even a replica pirate ship you can sail on guaranteed to spark any child’s interest.

PLACES TO DELIGHT THE SENSES

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Mandurah’s foodie scene is thriving, and if you haven’t ventured this way in a while, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. To enjoy relaxed, local vibes head to BrewVino for some local brews and bites while taking in the best views of Mandurah upstairs on the boardwalk. Flics Kitchen on the terrace brings creative dining to the foreshore with amazing local flavours for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The bottomless brunch is always a sell-out so make sure to book early for any of their special events during your stay.

Excited much? Whether it’s exploring the intense natural beauty and incredible wildlife or growing arts scene and delectable restaurants and bars, you don’t have to go far to enjoy a winter escape from Perth. Check out more fun things to get up to in Mandurah, including the 2021 Winter Wonderland.

Originally published as ‘A winter cruise along the dolphin highway’ by PerthNow.

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Your guide to the absolute best things to do near Perth

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.

BEST THINGS TO DO NEAR PERTH

20+ incredible experiences to try close to Perth

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.

Here are our top 20 experiences loved by locals and wanderers alike.

Relaxed by nature experiences

Are you infatuated by nature’s beauty and have a keen sense of adventure? Then get ready to seek all things beautiful, with untouched places you can explore away from any crowds.

There’s a lot to do around Mandurah’s vast waterways and surrounding national parks, reserves and forests. Be inspired by these great activities and immerse yourself in nature, where you’ll discover a lot more than you bargained for. 

Meet the popular local inhabitants on a day of dolphin spotting. With over 120 dolphins calling our estuary home, they’re considered one of the healthiest dolphin populations in Australia. And there’s plenty of ways to seek them out on the water. You can hire a boatkayakwaterbike or paddleboard or take a cruise. Enjoy lunch on the boardwalk or a picnic on the Eastern Foreshore and you might be lucky enough to see some frolicking in the water.

Mandurah Dolphin

For the ultimate experience, spend an evening stargazing at the Lake Clifton Thrombolites. Rated by RACDestination Perth, and Blogger as one of WA’s top stargazing sites, this is one insta-worthy spot you don’t want to miss snapping. You’ll be in good company with Sebastian from Salt and Eco Bush Tours, who will take you on a star-studded tour of the night sky. His wealth of knowledge has earned him a highly regarded Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism (FACET) Golden Guide nomination.

The thrombolites are a must-see attraction during the daytime, and the best way to experience it all is on a cultural walking tour with George from Mandurah Dreaming. Thrombolites are considered one of the first forms of life and George will share how they hold a significant place in their Dreaming stories.

Home to a plethora of native birds and migratory waterbirds, Mandurah’s wetland habitats are internationally protected. Sarah from Ways to Nature runs a birdwatching tour, where you can observe wildlife in their natural element, unrushed, to allow you ample time to connect with nature and experience the remarkable wonder around you.

Waterways for days experiences

With a pristine coastline that stretches beyond what the naked eye can see, winding rivers, beautiful lakes and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, Mandurah is the ultimate aquatic playground. 

Love a good BBQ? How about on a circular self-drive Eco BBQ boat, where you can be your own captain and bob along the waterways – mates and BBQ in tow. If you want to linger longer on the water, why not spend the night on a fully equipped houseboat from Mandurah Houseboats, be captain for an afternoon and hire a boat with Mandurah Bike and Boat Hire, or hand over the helm to the experienced crew at Soulmate Charters with an adventure or sunset cruise.

The surf’s up in Mandurah, and if you’re a seasoned surfer you’ll want to hit Mandurah Wedge with swell sizes that can start from 1m-1.5m and hold up to 4m. If you want to give surfing a go, the accredited surf instructors at Mandurah Surf Lessons offer single day lessons for beginners.  

Launch yourself on a jet ski and explore the magnificent coastline from the oceans edge, or take it all in your stride on a stand-up paddle board. For a unique outdoor adventure, book a guided kayak tour along the Peel Inlet and bring your fishing gear along for a cast.

Food experiences

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Mandurah’s foodie scene keeps growing by the minute, and for an insider’s guide to all the best wineries and breweries around the Peel region, you’ll want to jump on a Kaleidoscope tour. If your prefer to go it alone then we’ve done all the homework for you, with the craft beer and wine trail, featuring seven of the region’s best drinking holes.

For the ultimate paddock to plate experience you can’t go past Samudera (the restored old Mandurah Bakery) for brekky. Everything here is made in-house using the best local fresh produce. Their lunch and dinner menu encapsulates some of the best in WA seafood, sourced from a fifth generation Mandurah fishing family and local fisherman in the Abrolhos Islands. 

For the perfect lunch spot, take a seat at Wood & Stone, with a new alfresco area and autumn/ winter menu to tantalise the tastebuds. And if you’ve got big mouths to feed, head to Catch22 Tapas & Cocktail Lounge for dinner and enjoy all you can eat tapas for just $35 per head. 

Arts and culture experiences

Mandurah-Community-Museum

You don’t have to travel far to find amazing arts and culture in Mandurah. The art scene is buzzing here, and in between all your foodies experiences you’ll want to walk if off. What better way than on one of two public art trails, showcasing amazing local art in hidden laneways, on building facades, even the pavement! We’ve found them so you don’t have to, simply download the art trails brochure and you’re on your way.

With so many experiences to be had, isn’t time you started planning your next adventure in Mandurah?

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Top Things to do in Winter in Mandurah

Whether it’s outside or inside, you’ll discover there are plenty of things for everyone to enjoy during winter in Mandurah and the Peel region. Here are our top experiences.

Winter in Mandurah

Beat the winter blues
in Mandurah

Whether it’s outside or inside, you’ll discover there are plenty of things for everyone to enjoy during winter in Mandurah and the Peel region. Here are our top experiences.

Just because Winter has arrived, that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate at home waiting for the warmer Perth weather to come back.

Winter is the perfect time to grab your crew, family or special someone, jump in the car (or on the train) and visit Mandurah. The City is alive with entertainment from Secret Sounds, Skating in Mandurah,  Christmas in July, amusements, buzzing food scene and to top it all, the natural landscape that envelops Mandurah is magically beautiful at this time of year.

Winter on the Water 

Winter-In-Mandurah

For a truly unique stay, book a houseboat and cruise Mandurah’s tranquil waterways at your own pace. Mandurah Houseboats can sleep anywhere from 4 to 10 people, complete with all the amenities you need (some even have a spa), and you don’t need a Skipper’s ticket to get going.

Ever been on a waterbike before? Only in Mandurah can you cycle alongside the resident dolphins. Choose your own adventure and hire a waterbike for the day with Mandurah Cruises.

To truly clear the mind and feel like your miles away from it all, get the crew together for a guided kayak tour along the protected Peel-Harvey estuary. It’s the kind of peace and solitude you won’t appreciate until you’re in the moment. Definitely worth bumping up to the top of your list of things to do.

If you’re looking for kilometres of pristine coastline, perfect swimming spots and even a couple of challenging surf spots including the Fourth Groin, look no further than Silversands Beach. Boasting clean sand, safe and calm waters and plenty of opportunities for the perfect Instagram photo, Silversands Beach is one of the best. Take a casual stroll along the shore, join the many locals working out, take a dip in the water or enjoy the incredible sunsets that kiss the horizon goodnight along the coastline.

Need a rest? Put your feet up and let someone else do the hard work for you with a cruisy day floating on a pontoon with Mandurah Bike and Boat Hire.

And finally, float around the beautiful Dolphin Quay and Venetian Canals on your very own floating barbecue onboard a doughnut-shaped ECO BBQ boat seating up to 6 or up to 10 people. Bring your own food and drinks or take advantage of locally prepared hampers. All BBQ  equipment is supplied and no skipper’s ticket required, this is the ultimate 360-degree dining experience on the water.

Winter in the City

Winter-In-Mandurah

Mandurah is filled with incredible public art but not all of it is as obvious as the silver metal heart sculpture on Mandurah’s Eastern Foreshore. Hidden down laneways, on the pavement or on the facades of buildings, artworks are all around us in Mandurah and we’re going to help you find them.

Mandurah has a 100-year history as a seafood centre in Western Australia. It is home to an abundance of crabs, crayfish and many other mouth-watering delicacies. With a delicious foodie scene across the city Winter is the perfect time to indulge your taste buds by experiencing the city’s culinary delights.

Skating in Mandurah is coming this winter. Immerse yourself in a unique wonderland ice-skating experience, perfect for all ages and skill levels. Skate around the undercover skating rink and take in all the atmosphere with live entertainment from Secret Sounds, ice slides, amusements and food trucks galore.

There’s tonnes of other indoor and outdoor attractions for the kids, including the brand new skate park featuring 3 different skate zones and plenty of space to run around, it’s epic!

Winter in Nature

Cut 2 Club, Mandurah

There’s nothing like a dose of fresh air and if you are hiking, there are trails aplenty for you to discover in Mandurah. Sarah from Ways to Nature is full of local knowledge. She can show you the remarkable wildlife that exists in tucked-away places across Mandurah’s diverse parks and wetlands. Take a guided nature walk with her through the wilderness and you won’t be disappointed.

The local residents know all about relaxing in Mandurah. We’re talking about the friendly playful dolphins who choose to live here in the wild. Did you know, the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in WA can be found here? For the best vantage point, you jump on a Murray River lunch cruise.

Mandurah is all about kicking back and enjoying the fresh open air, and there’s plenty of ways to do it.  To really take in the wonders of Mandurah’s vast natural landscape you can go for a leisurely bike ride along the coastal path, drift along the waters on a stand-up paddleboard or, hire out your own boat for the day and tell the skipper where you want to go.  

End your day in Mandurah this Winter by creating a memorable moment with an evening of stargazing, led by expert local guides nature lovers Sebastian and Jamie of Salt and Bush Eco Tours. The striking skies of Mandurah are perfect for stargazing, and you’ll be able to get a closer view of the night sky through a telescope.

Winter in Mandurah – Save the Date

Mandurah is the perfect destination to relax, unwind and indulge with your favourite peeps this Winter. And, as it’s just a short drive from Perth, there’s no excuse not to make a weekend of it soon!

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All the new things to see and do in Mandurah

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.

WHAT’S NEW IN MANDURAH

New experiences. New discoveries. All the new things to see and do in Mandurah.

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.

Less than an hour’s drive from Perth, Mandurah is WA’s largest regional city, set against a magnificent backdrop of pristine beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour! It’s the perfect place to escape and unwind.

Because in Mandurah, we’re relaxed by nature.

The modern day Venice

New-things-close-to Perth

It’s here you’ll find a slice of the Venice life. The city’s canals, winding rivers, gorgeous lakes and over 130 km² of calm inland waterways, make Mandurah the ideal destination to enjoy all kinds of activities by the water.

And just when you think you’ve seen it all, here’s what’s new to discover on your next weekender or extended stay in Mandurah.

New experiences

Since opening in mid-2020, Salt and Bush Eco Tours have been opening up visitors’ eyes to the untouched wonders of Mandurah’s waterways, bushland and wildlife. Must-see experiences include a relaxed guided kayaking tour on foot peddled kayaks and laidback stargazing sessions. But don’t take our word for it, try it out for yourself next time you visit.

“This was such a great unique and special experience. We took a very peaceful paddle in our kayaks in the morning where a feeding dolphin greeted us. The foot peddle kayaks are amazing, hard to go back to using a paddle!” – David May

“Kayaking along the Serpentine River – it was the most beautiful and peaceful morning! Jamie and Base are the most friendly and knowledgeable pair. They spotted so much wildlife – so many beautiful birds and we saw dolphins too.” – Sinead Allsop

Dip your toes in the water for a unique adventure with Soulmate Charters. Their personalised and intimate cruises will have you feeling like you’re relaxing on your own deck, as you meander through Mandurah’s playful waterways and the Peel inlet. Anchor up at one of their favourite spots, where you can enjoy a swim, float on a lounge, try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or just sit back and relax.

From the sea to the land, Epic Day Tours make it easy to explore the best of Mandurah with travel from Perth included. Get to know the real Mandurah with a day  choc-full of local and authentic encounters.

New ways to get around

new-ways-to-get-about

Ever been on a waterbike before? Only in Mandurah can you cycle alongside the resident dolphins. Choose your own adventure and hire a waterbike for the day with Mandurah Cruises. The knowledgeable crew will give you the inside scoop on the best nooks to go dolphin spotting and find other amazing wildlife along Mandurah’s spectacular waterfront.

Alternatively, put your feet up and let someone else do the hard work for you with a cruisy day floating on a pontoon with Mandurah Bike and Boat Hire.

New places to dine

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To experience more of Mandurah’s relaxed, local vibes, head to brewvino for some local beer and bites, while enjoying the best view in Mandurah upstairs on the boardwalk. Then switch it up for brekky, lunch or dinner with a visit to Wood & Stone. The team have just released their new autumn/ winter menu, and let’s just say your tastebuds are in for a treat. Must-try dishes include their signature chilli mussels, seafood aglio e olio linguine, wild mushroom risotto and Wood & Stone’s famous Nail Oatmeal Stout braised beef brisket. Hungry anyone?

What’s new in the City

Skating-in-Mandurah

The Skating in Mandurah is coming this winter. Immerse yourself in a unique wonderland ice-skating experience, perfect for all ages and skill levels. Skate around the undercover skating rink and take in all the atmosphere with live entertainment from Secret Sounds, ice slides, amusements and food trucks galore. 

There’s tonnes of other outdoor attractions for the kids, including the newly developed skate park featuring 3 different skate zones and plenty of space to run around. And there’s more to come with an exciting new waterfront play space and street mall upgrade set to open later this year, including the highly anticipated floating pool on the foreshore.

With so many new things to see and do in Mandurah, there’s no better time to explore what’s in our backyard.

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The ultimate girls weekend getaway near Perth

Need to switch off from juggling a million and one things?

WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN PERTH

Why Mandurah has girls trip written all over it

Need to switch off from juggling a million and one things?

We all love a family holiday or a romantic getaway, but sometimes all you really need is to escape responsibilities and enjoy a short break in the company of your besties.

If a girls weekend is long overdue, gather your gal pals and recharge your batteries in a place where the vibes are always relaxed by nature, Mandurah. 

A place to… Relax

girls-weekend-away-ideas-perth

For a splash of luxury without the price tag, set up base for the weekend at Seashells Mandurah. It’s the perfect spot for a laidback escape, with the beach virtually on your doorstep, but still close enough to all the delicious offerings around Dolphin Quay and the marina. Take a dip in the infinity pool, linger up with the girls for a private Pilates class or, for the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy a pamper session at the onsite day spa.

Dolphin Quay Apartments is also perfect for a girls’ retreat, with two bedroom fully self-contained accommodation, boasting spectacular views of the marina.

For a truly unique stay, book a houseboat and cruise Mandurah’s tranquil waterways at your own pace. Mandurah Houseboats can sleep anywhere from 4 to 10 people, complete with all the amenities you need, and you don’t need a Skipper’s ticket to get going.

A place to…Unwind

Girls-Weekend-Perth

Take it from the local residents who know all about relaxing in Mandurah. We’re talking about the friendly playful dolphins who choose to live here in the wild. Did you know, the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in WA can be found here? For the best vantage point, you and your girlfriends will want to jump on a Murray River lunch cruise.

Mandurah is all about kicking back and enjoying the fresh open air, and there’s plenty of ways to do it. Go for a leisurely bike ride along the foreshore, drift along the waters on a stand up paddle board or, hire out your own boat for the day and tell the skipper where you want to go.  

To truly clear the mind and feel like your miles away from it all, get the girlies together for a guided kayak tour along the protected Peel-Harvey estuary. It’s the kind of peace and solitude you won’t appreciate until you’re in the moment. Definitely worth bumping up to the top of your list of things to do.

Create memorable bonding moments with an evening of stargazing, led by expert local geologist and nature lover Sebastian of Salt and Bush Eco Tours. The striking skies of Mandurah are perfect for stargazing, and you’ll be able to get a closer view of the night sky through a telescope.

A place to… Indulge

Girls-Foodie-Breaks

Whenever there’s beer or wine, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Appoint a skipper for the day and explore the delectable tastes of Mandurah on a craft beer and wine trail.  Featuring seven of the region’s best beer and wine offerings, the trail provides an authentically local experience. Be sure to visit Peel Estate for a picturesque picnic lunch and tipple.

When the day is out, drop anchor on a sunset cruise before heading out for some bar therapy. The cocktails and fare here is nothing short of superb, so make sure you arrive on an empty stomach.  

Our top picks to sip and savour during your girls weekend include a late brekky at Samudera, and take your choice from tapas at either Flics Kitchen, Wood & Stone Café and Catch 22 – because food is always best shared.

Mandurah is the perfect destination to relax, unwind and indulge with your favourite gals. And, as it’s just a short drive from Perth, there’s no excuse not to make a weekend of it soon!

Discover
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locals
like it

Download Our
Visitor Guide!

2021 Mandurah and the Peel Region Visitor Guide

The ultimate aquatic and nature playground. Start planning your Mandurah adventure today!

Enjoy an active weekend away – Visit Mandurah

Destination WA – Discovering the new Mandurah

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