A stunning coastline, rugged scrub and powder-blue skies cause an endless yearning to escape the daily grind. Thankfully, you won’t need to traverse too far from the city to find one of Western Australia’s most beautiful regions.
Given the waterways of the Peel-Harvey Estuary are twice the size of Sydney Harbour, it’s understandable why many venture no further than Mandurah’s shoreline, dotted with eateries ideally positioned for spotting frolicking dolphins.
Mother Nature continues to delight further inland, where 5000 species of native plants and wildlife, waterfalls, forests, rivers and thousands-of-years-old living fossils thrive.
Thrilling year-round adventures include world-class off-road cycling, 4WDing, bushwalking, kayaking, camping, whitewater rafting, surfing, jet-skiing, abseiling and horse-riding.
The land is bountiful in produce, showcased at wineries, markets, cafes and outstanding restaurants throughout the area.
1. Hit the Peel-Harvey Estuary: it’s teeming with playful dolphins, boating enthusiasts, fishermen and crabbers.
2. Fish ‘n’ chips taste better by the water. Grab some along Mandurah’s popular foreshore precinct.
3. Take a leisurely houseboat trip up the Murray River.
4. Have a sandy 4WD adventure at Tims Thicket, Preston and White Hills beaches.
5. Marvel at the largest reef of thrombolites in the southern hemisphere at Lake Clifton.
6. Travel by horseback through scenic forest, on Jarrahdale’s bridle tracks.
7. Explore Hotham Valley, renowned for its stunning Lane Poole Reserve, Bibbulmun Track, cycle trails, Hotham Valley Railway, and historic towns
like Pinjarra and Dwellingup.
8. Glide along Mandurah’s foreshore on an eco-friendly Ninebot (Segway).
9. Follow the City Art Trail or Marina Trail starting at the Mandurah Visitor Centre,
or catch some local, national and international talent at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.
10. Tee off at The Cut, one of WA’s most prestigious and picturesque golf courses. Sculpted into the dunes, the stunning links layout features 14 holes with oceanfront views every golfer will admire.
For more visit http://scooptraveller. com.au/Peel.
EAT & DRINK
Alfresco dining couldn’t be more perfect along Mandurah’s waterways, feasting on some of Western Australia’s freshest seafood. Pick up some goodies and create a picnic on the promenade, or relax with some fish ‘n’ chips. The Mediterranean climate of Peel is ideal for shiraz, pinot noir, chardonnay and chenin blanc varieties, and leisurely vineyard lunches are a favourite pastime. Serpentine Falls is the perfect backdrop for a picnic, as are the Murray River foreshore and many of the region’s national parks.
Accommodation options include self-catering apartments, rural cottages, camping, luxury chalets, hotels and houseboats.
BEFORE YOU GO If scoop crabbing is on the agenda, you must attain a relevant licence in advance.
DON'T LEAVE TOWN WITHOUT… relaxing along the Mandurah foreshore, where you might spot dolphins playing in the water.
Cruises, the animal sanctuary, King Carnival amusement park and the extensive foreshore playground ensure there’s plenty of family fun in Mandurah all year round.
DO AND SEE
Explore the towns
The Peel region encompasses the towns of Mandurah, Pinjarra, Serpentine, Jarradale, Waroona, Dwellingup and Boddington, while the inland Peel region (also known as Marradong Country) includes the Hotham River, Williams, Wandering and Boddington. Take a leisurely drive and explore the two regions
over one day, or several.
The seaside town of Mandurah is a popular weekend escape. A fun way to explore it is by Ninebot, a new generation of Segway suitable for all ages. After a quick lesson, you’ll be gliding like a pro.
Fishing, swimming, crabbing, water-skiing, jet-skiing and diving are all on offer on Mandurah’s waterways. If you prefer to keep your feet dry, join a boat cruise, charter your own vessel, or hire a houseboat and float up the Murray River, exploring the wetlands.
Secure a quiet spot and experience the spectacle of 130 different native and migratory bird species breeding, flitting or feeding. You might spot sea eagles, ibises, egrets, ducks, swans, herons and, if you really pay attention, the matchbox-sized, red-necked stint, which migrates from the Arctic to feed at the Peel-Yalgorup wetlands.
Jarrahdale and Serpentine
There’s scenery galore in Jarrahdale and Serpentine, from forests and parks, to rivers and waterfalls. Explore historic milling town Jarrahdale and stop for afternoon tea or wine tasting. With its man-made lake, Langford Park is a beautiful spot for a picnic, or follow one of the walking and bridle trails through Kitty’s Gorge, Serpentine Falls, Jarrahdale Heritage Park or Baldwin’s Bluff.
Adventures here include canoeing, bush-walking, mountain biking,
horse-riding and fishing. Visit The Cream Shed, where you can see Jersey cows being milked.
The Peel region blooms from September to November with kangaroo paws, orchids, buttercups, native wisteria, Swan River myrtles and banksias all scattered through Jarrahdale and Serpentine National Park, Dwellingup and the coastal area of Yalgorup National Park.
4WD on the beach
Choose your own adventure on the stretch of coastline entering Tims Thicket, the closest 4WD beach to Perth, which is also great for picnics, surfing and swimming. Or head to White Hills or Preston beaches and try your luck catching dinner off the beach along the way.
Lake Clifton in Yalgorup Lake’s National Park has the largest thrombolite reef in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the world’s oldest known life forms, the rock-like structures can be easily viewed from a boardwalk, and the best time to see them is during summer and autumn when the water levels are low, although they are still visible at other times.
Nadine Heinen, marketing manager, Mandurah &
Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO)
– Listen to the birds in
Jarrahdale’s Langford Park
while enjoying a barbecue.
-Hike in Serpentine National Park, especially during the wildflower season in spring,
and meet the kangaroos.
– Lake Navarino Forest Park is a local secret, and great for camping, 4WDing and fishing.
- Explore Mandurah’s spectacular waterways by boat or kayak.
– Take in the endless coastline and clear water at beautiful White Hills beach.
Gary Aiken, artist, curator and Mandurah local
– The Cut is south of the Dawesville Channel between the Peel-Harvey Estuary and the Indian Ocean. It’s great for fishing, surfing, walking along the beach, shell collecting or climbing the rocks.
– Take a lovely boat ride from Mandurah to The Ravenswood Hotel, an iconic old pub with great food that is best enjoyed on the riverbank.
– Follow an art trail in Mandurah by foot or bike. You’ll not only see local art, but also stumble upon places you may not have come across otherwise.
Wouter Denig, winemaker, Hotham Ridge Winery
– Take the kids on a night tour at Barna Mia Animal Sanctuary. Using torches, you may see threatened nocturnal animals, such as the dalgyte, woylie, wurrup, quenda and the boodie.
– Boyagin Rock is an amazing area, with wildflowers, granite pools and wildlife. Walk through the woodlands whilst you look for native orchids.
-For a Sunday lunch, head to the Quindanning Inne. The historical building boasts jarrah panelling, large gardens and long verandahs.
CHANNEL 7 MANDURAH CRAB FESTIVAL
Showing off all Mandurah has to offer, this annual festival celebrates fresh seafood, gourmet delights, music, art and family entertainment. Mar.
STRETCH ARTS FESTIVAL
This free weekend of art, workshops, exhibitions, performances and art markets
takes place in Mandurah’s cultural precinct. May.
MANDURAH BOAT SHOW
Showcasing cooking demonstrations, fashion parades and boating activities. Oct.
JARRAHDALE LOG CHOP
Watch loggers test their chopping styles at Jarrahdale Oval, and enjoy food stalls, beer tents, pony rides and bouncy castles. Oct.
MANDURAH CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
The Mandurah Eastern foreshore becomes a kid’s wonderland, with dress-up competitions, workshops and performances. Free entry. Oct.
SUNSMART IRONMAN 70.3 MANDURAH
Watch the best triathletes from around the world swim, cycle and run past some of Mandurah’s iconic sites. Nov.