History & Heritage
The Mandurah area was originally home to the Binjareb people of the Bibbulmun nation. It was then known as Mandjoogoordap, which translates to 'meeting place of the heart'.
The name derived from the gathering that took place each year around the fish traps on the lower reaches of the Serpentine River. The plentiful catches of fish were able to support large groups from across the south west of Western Australia, who conducted cultural ceremonies, engaged in trade and arranged marriages.
The Binjareb were a strong and cohesive group who actively resisted European colonisation in 1829, restricting access to the hinterland.
After many years of conflict, including the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre, Indigenous and European groups slowly came together, and Indigenous people became a vital part of the community, with a rich continuing culture in our society today.
A History of Transformation
In 1928, Englishman Thomas Peel established a small settlement on the mouth of the Peel-Harvey Estuary, that was to become Mandurah.
In the late 1800's, the quiet coastal village carved an existence from fishing, farming and canneries.
As holiday makers increasingly travelled from Perth and inland areas, beach houses began to line the coast. The pastoral land known as Sutton Farm was ultimately transformed from cow paddocks to canals lined with multi-million-dollar homes, the entry to the estuary was dramatically reshaped into a magnificent marina complex, and a once quiet fishing town became today's vibrant coastal city.
To get a first-hand taste of Mandurah's past, grab a guide map for the Foreshore and Inner City Heritage Walk from the Visitor Centre. This fascinating walk will introduce you to many of the important places and structures that tell the story of Mandurah's development.
Mandurah Community Museum
For a wealth of information, the Mandurah Community Museum offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Mandurah’s rich history. The Museum’s helpful staff and volunteers are on hand to assist you in experiencing the People, Industry, Environment and Recreation galleries which are undergoing professional redevelopment.
The Museum buildings began life in 1898 as a schoolroom, later becoming the town’s police station. The cells can still be seen today.
Open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tuesday – Friday and from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.