Mandurah is home to some of the most beautiful and healthy aquatic life in the world, with an estuary more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour. The thriving fauna and flora draw tourists from all over Australia, and the natural, wild landscapes are the perfect way to escape the city and reconnect with this amazing land we live on.
Salt and Bush Eco Tours are a local company run by eco-enthusiast duo, Sebastian and Jamie, who have an impressive knowledge of the estuary, and a passion for nature that is totally infectious.
We have put together a list of amazing eco-experiences from Salt and Bush Eco Tours that will give you an inside look at the natural wonders that Mandurah has to offer, so you can unwind and relax by nature.
Stargazing at the Thrombolites
Enjoy a taste of a pre-historic world with the Stargazing and Thrombolite Discovery tours. Imagine what life looked like 3.5 billion years ago; these rare ‘living rocks’ played a vital role in the creation of an inhabitable Earth and are truly a natural wonder to behold. The Lake Clifton Thrombolite reef is the largest in the southern hemisphere, and is a must-see for anyone with an interest in natural history.
Guided by qualified geologist, Sebastian, take a gentle 2-hour stroll along the boardwalk around the protected wetlands of the Peel-Harvey Estuary. Learn how these organisms helped to create the planet we live on, and enjoy tea and biscuits by the water as you listen to stories from the dawn of time.
Tack on a Stargazing tour to your experience and watch the night sky twinkle above you. Removed from light pollution produced by the city of Perth, the skies above Mandurah will surprise and delight, awash with stars and planets you can see with the naked eye. Gaze into the Milky Way using the specialised telescopes provided on your tour, and feel the deep connections between Australia’s ancient land and the universe around us. Lucky stargazers might also spot a nocturnal creature or two along the way, with rare native animals such as Western Ringtail Possums calling this area home.
Your guides will provide all the equipment you need for your nighttime expedition and will make arrangements to suit nearly every weather condition.
Birdwatch on a Guided River Kayaking Tour
Sit back and enjoy a slowed-down paddle through the wilds of Mandurah’s wetlands. Although these protected wetlands are only minutes drive from the city centre, they are teeming with life, with hundreds of different species inhabiting every square metre. The natural nursery acts as a sanctuary for many species of fish and birds, with plenty of dense samphire and bushland to play in.
Your expert guide will point out wildlife as you drift down the mighty Murray or Serpentine river in your quiet peddle kayaks. Be sure to look out for endangered species like White-Tailed Black Cockatoos or spot iconic Kingfishers along the banks.
For nature-lovers, we recommend getting out there in Autumn and Winter, as many species raise their young in the waterways during these seasons. Lucky kayakers might see spectacular Australasian Darter chicks, who learn to swim before they can fly, leaping from their nests into the river for swimming lessons at this time of year. It is also a great time to see dolphin calves playing beside you, as you ride along in the easy-to-use peddle kayaks, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
For avid birdwatchers, your knowledgable guides can tailor your experience by taking you to some of the estuary’s hidden gems for avian activity. All your gear and kayaks will be ready to go when you arrive, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the serenity.
See how you can get around a guided kayaking tour here.
Sailing Kayak Tours
Hoist your sails and skim above the calm waters of the Peel-Harvey Estuary on a Sailing Kayak Tour with Salt and Bush Eco Tours. These special kayaks are perfect for beginners, with their anti-tipping design and your lead sailing guide providing assistance every step of the way. Feel the wind rushing through your hair as your guides introduce you to some of the amazing fauna and flora inhabiting the area, such as migratory birds from as far away as Antarctica or Europe. These thrilling tours include all your equipment and instruction from an experienced guide, as well as ongoing commentary about the life and history of the area.
Book your tour here.
Walking and Hiking Trails of Mandurah
If you prefer to spend more one-on-one time with nature, try a relaxed bush walk or walking trail to take in the pristine landscape of Mandurah and the Peel Region. Start out slowly on the Riverside Heartwalk, which stretches along 2km of the snaking Serpentine River. This easy walking track is popular with site-seers and dog walkers, and includes a stretch of boardwalk extending out over the water for panoramic views of the unique landscape. It is not uncommon to spot a dolphin or two out there, so keep your eyes peeled!
Further inland, take on the low-impact Pinjarra Heritage Walk Trail. This walk will take you over bushland and past the Murray River, with fun landmarks to enjoy along the way, such as a suspension bridge and the historic Pinjarra township.
More experience hikers might enjoy chasing waterfalls with Kitty’s Gorge Walk, a 14km trek through amazing bushland ending in spectacular views of the falls, or grab your binoculars and camera, and head out to the bird hide at Len Howard Conservation Park to get some unbeatable shots of Mandurah’s native wildlife.
Get your itinerary of the trails in the area here.