A short train ride or an hour’s drive down the freeway and you’ll reach the stretching white sand coastline and rugged terrain of the Darling Scarp. The region offers a wide variety of activities for adventure lovers with its vast waterways and stunning Jarrah Forests. Or if you prefer a relaxing outing with time to unwind and regroup, there’s plenty of wineries, cafes and leisurely walking trails to explore.
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.
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 fl oat 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 Surpentine
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.
Get a historic hit at the Edenvale Homestead, which has a museum, rose garden and tearooms, or visit the Fairbridge Historic Village. Afterwards, let the little ones cuddle a koala at Peel Zoo.
Lane Poole Reserve
Covering 55,000ha, Lane Poole is famed for its towering woodlands and diverse fl ora and fauna. A favourite for camping, bushwalking, photography, picnics, canoeing, and cycling.
Hotham Valley Railway
Step back in time aboard the Etmilyn Diner Train or the Steam Ranger. Departs from Dwellingup.
Traversing 1000km, the Bibbulmun Track meanders through the towering jarrah and marri forests of Dwellingup. Follow the yellow triangular markers symbolising the Waugal, the rainbow serpent of Aboriginal dreaming.
Munda Biddi Trail
Munda Biddi, meaning ‘path through the forest’ in Noongar, is a 1000km cycle track between Mundaring and Albany. It can be tackled as a day trip, or off-road cycling enthusiasts can stay at the purpose-built campsites.
Whitewater rafting is best tackled between June and October, while bushwalking, mountain biking, canoeing, horse-riding and abseiling is enjoyed year-round. Join a tour of the Forest Heritage Centre and visit the gallery, or take to the Munda Biddi cycle track.
Dress in ‘high vis’ and join the Go West Gold Mine Experience at Newmont’s Boddington gold mine. Be dwarfed by giant trucks hauling loads from the pit to the processing plant to be turned into gold. Then stroll along Lions Weir and the Hotham River Foreshore and find a spot to fish or picnic.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.