With the recent opening of a new railway line, Mandurah, 74 km south of Perth, Western Australia, is now more accessible to overseas and interstate visitors.
Little more than a tiny fishing village thirty years ago, Mandurah is now one of Australia’s fastest growing towns, with a population of over 60,000. Fortunately, Mandurah has avoided many of the mistakes of other coastal developments where garish high rises overshadow crowded beaches. Development in Mandurah is low rise, generally tasteful and respectful of the natural environment.
Things to Do in Mandurah
Bounded by 50 km of Indian Ocean coastline to the west and the 136 square km Peel-Harvey Estuary to the east, Mandurah has an abundance of water to explore and enjoy. Its uncrowded beaches consist of fine golden-white sand and offer excellent opportunities for swimming, surfing, sailing, diving, windsurfing or just lazing about.
The estuary is home to over 130 species of birds, bottlenose dolphins and a rich variety of marine life. It is fed by two navigable rivers, which allow water-borne explorations into the hinterland, and features a network of canals. A range of well-designed walking trails and boardwalks are available to guide visitors through the shallows of the estuary wetlands and help them learn about local plant, marine and bird life.
A visit to Mandurah should begin with a guided cruise through the waterways where smiling dolphins will cavort playfully alongside your boat. Longer term visitors could then hire their own fully equipped boat, explore less visited parts of the estuary and join locals in their semi-devotional pastimes of fishing and crabbing.
Locally caught seafood is widely available and is best enjoyed waterside on the boardwalk of the new Mandurah Marina, preferably at sunset.
There are a number of wineries nearby where the wares can be sampled and in winter visitors can head inland to the nearby Darling Scarp for white water rafting.
Accommodation in Mandurah
Accommodation options in Mandurah include backpackers, hotels, motels, holiday units, guesthouses, apartments, bed and breakfasts, and even houseboats. For information and assistance contact the Mandurah Visitor Centre, tel 08 9550 3999.
How to Get to Mandurah
- Trains leave Perth Underground station for the 50 minute journey to Mandurah every 10-15 minutes during the day.
- Trains return to Perth from Mandurah every 10-15 minutes during the day and about every thirty minutes in the evening, with the last train leaving for Perth at 11.20 pm.
- Mandurah train station is a fair distance from the town centre and foreshore but a free shuttle bus, which stops at the Mandurah Visitor Centre on the foreshore, leaves the train station every 20 minutes from bus stand A3. The shuttle operates 10.00 am – 6.00 pm in summer and 10.00 am – 4.00 pm in winter. Cruise boats leave from a jetty near the Visitor Centre.
- Regular Transperth buses numbered 588 and 589 also stop at the Mandurah Visitor Centre. They leave bus stand A2 at the train station every 20-30 minutes from 7.38 am until 6.49 pm.
Getting around Mandurah
- Attractions in and around Mandurah are dispersed so longer term visitors will find it convenient to have their own transport. Options include hire cars and scooters.
- Visitors might also consider hiring a bicycle, as the area is well-supplied with cycle ways, there are few hills and many of the nature trails and walkways are open to cyclists.