How the Locals like it – Jason Hutchen

Eighteen years ago my wife and I were living in Sydney. My in-laws lived in Bunbury and on one particular visit we stopped in at Mandurah for the very first time. From that first instance I was hooked.

How the locals like it

Jason Hutchen,
Owner & Chef,
Redmanna Waterfront
Restauraunt

Eighteen years ago my wife and I were living in Sydney. My in-laws lived in Bunbury and on one particular visit we stopped in at Mandurah for the very first time. From that first instance I was hooked. All I could think was, ‘How good is this place?’ We made the decision to relocate to Mandurah and, despite a one year stint back in Sydney soon after, we quickly came to realise Mandurah was home.

We raised our family here and our three daughters have also made their lives, careers and homes in the area. One daughter recently commented after an overseas trip to some of the most amazing places in Europe that Mandurah still beats them all.

I started Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant 14 years ago and I’m so grateful it’s still such a major part of the local dining scene and Mandurah’s most awarded restaurant. Like any successful venture, there is a combination of things that have contributed but the standouts to me are the fresh, local, world-class produce we use, and the incredible, uninterrupted views from the restaurant which I still believe are the best in Mandurah.

I’ve really seen Mandurah boom in the 18 years I’ve lived here and it might sound like a cliché but we really do have everything to offer visitors. The water is the most obvious whether it be cruising the canals, fishing out in the ocean or having fun on a jet ski just to name a few examples. We also have world class golf courses, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, a large cinema, great accommodation options, festivals and of course, a very good bar and dining scene.

Speaking to people who are visiting us for the very first time, many say they are sorry they only booked to stay one night. Seafood is such an integral part of Mandurah’s identity and it’s drawing more and more visitors, particularly from Asian countries. Add in all the opportunities for waterfront dining with dolphins and birds as your background view and it’s a perfect combination. 

We’ve recently branched out with a more casual bar and dining option, The Bridge Garden Bar on the foreshore. From time to time the end of Mandurah Terrace is closed and The Bridge and all the other bars and restaurants in the area work together to provide a great festival-like experience where people are welcome to wander in and out of the different venues. It’s been really popular and I think sums up what Mandurah is all about at the moment; fine, fresh food, on the water in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

JASON’S TOP THREE SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS

  • Go on a cruise. Mandurah Cruises or Pirate Ship Mandurah will give you a birds’ eye view of the waterways. 
  • Check out what’s happening on the foreshore. There’s always something from markets to concerts and festivals and even ice skating in the winter. 
  • Eat, drink and be merry. Sample our great local bar and restaurant scene with everything from cocktails to seafood, modern Australian, Thai, tapas and more.

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How the Locals like it – Purri Gould

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water!

How the locals like it

Purri Gould,
Owner Groundswell
Drivethru Coffee

I lived around Mandurah as a teenager and the coastal, surfing lifestyle really became a part of who I am. I don’t think that’s anything that will ever change.

As a young adult I spent seven years in the mid-west USA and it was a real culture shock to be so landlocked and experiencing snow and freezing grey skies. I met my wife over there and on the second date I gave her fair warning saying, “I’m going back to Australia someday”. 

Our romance blossomed and the rest is history. Luckily she agreed to come home with me. We have three children and have lived in Golden Bay for the past 10 years. We all absolutely love it here. 

Running a business and having a young family keeps me pretty busy but the best thing about this part of the world is still the surfing and kite surfing and I get out there as often as I can. Geary’s Beach in Falcon would have to be one of my favourite places in the world.

It’s also hard to go past everything Mandurah’s waterways have to offer when it comes to quality family time. Apart from the phenomenal beaches, the estuary and foreshore offer so many activities. 

The thing that really gets me about this area is we have legit stuff here – everything a visitor could want and there’s no reason to travel too far. 

I’ve had a coffee roasting business, Frothin’ Coffee for around five years and in 2018 I took a leap of faith and helped my Mum, Lynne Gould, open her coffee business, Groundswell Drivethru on Pinjarra Road. 

The response has been fantastic with local coffee lovers and the local business community being really supportive. People might be surprised by the number of people around town who really know their coffee. We’re proud to offer a genuinely good product that has a uniqueness and a lot of passion and love put into it. I think Groundswell is a good example of how Mandurah is continuing to evolve and change and become even more attractive for visitors. I’m just a big fan of Mandurah and I can’t wait to see more visitors drop in for a coffee as time goes on.

THE GOULD’S HOLIDAY AT HOME

One of the most fun family holidays we have had was just a few kilometres from home at Seashells Resort. We did all the touristy things and it was the coolest little break. I highly recommend it.

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How the Locals like it – Ivan Zoranic

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water!

How the locals like it

Ivan Zoranic,
Captain, Mandurah
Cruises

The three best things about living in Mandurah are the water, the water and the water! My family used to holiday here when I was a kid, fishing and crabbing, and when my stepdad got a job at Alcoa in 1972, we were happy to grab the chance to move here permanently.

My grandad was a cray fisherman out of Safety Bay and I grew up with salt water in my veins, helping him out whenever I got the chance. High school wasn’t really for me and I left early. I went and joined my grandad on his boat and have worked around boats and fishing ever since.

I’m a captain with Mandurah Cruises and spend my days taking tourists out for a genuine cray fishing experience. We take the pots out and set them, then we welcome our visitors on board and take them out and let them pull the pots and collect the catch. The crays are cooked on board and served with other fresh, local seafood as we cruise the waterways around Mandurah.

Our visitors learn so much about the region’s waterways, the lobster industry and the crustaceans themselves. The feedback is always overwhelmingly positive. I’m seeing a big jump in the number of tourists enjoying Mandurah, many of them from China. They seem to really appreciate our natural attractions and big open spaces. 

Whether you’re here for a day or a week, from an hour away or half a world away, there’s so much for people to do. I’ve seen some big changes since 1972 when the population was just 6000 (or 6001 as someone graffitied on the welcome sign as they drove into town). 

This place has a lot going for it. The hills are just 18 kilometres away, you’ve got the ocean and the estuary at your front door and more recent additions like Dolphin Quay at the marina and the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre give people more things to do.

It will be no surprise to anyone though that my favourite day in Mandurah is any day I’m out on my boat fishing. I’ve never had to buy seafood and I never plan to.

IVAN’S TOP SPOTS 

  • Fishing If you have access to a boat, Five Fathom Bank, just off the coast between Mandurah and Dawesville. From the beach, White Hills in Bouvard, where I’ve even seen people land dhufish. 
  • Crabbing My favourite spot is just off Southern Estuary Road at the very southern end of the Peel Harvey Estuary, by the mouth of the Harvey River. It has a nice barbecue area too. Make sure you use a good bait such as fish heads.

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How the Locals like it – Rhys Williams

I’ve lived in Mandurah since I was eight but even before then the family would visit my grandparents at Preston Beach every second weekend.

How the locals like it

Rhys Williams,
Mayor City of
Mandurah

I’ve lived in Mandurah since I was eight but even before then the family would visit my grandparents at Preston Beach every second weekend. They still have that house and I still love to visit.

Mandurah represents everything about the way I want to live – going down the beach for a snorkel, scuba dive, fish or surf, and hanging out with friends in the outdoors. Being Mayor means I have to travel a lot but every time I come home, I realise this is exactly where I want to be. 

The most special thing about Mandurah is the fact that while it’s grown and changed, it still retains that special sense of community.

Mandurah has always been a significant place in WA; everyone seems to have a story about crabbing or fishing here. Now we are also telling a new story of culture, food and excellent tourism experiences, but it magically retains that ‘second gear’ feel despite only being one hour away from Perth. Anyone can come down for the day, a weekend or the school holidays. There’s plenty to do.

We have an emerging cultural scene with world class shows and exhibitions at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, beautiful places to eat, great festivals and events happening year round, an evolving economy and business innovation with little start-ups in every corner. 

When people learn I’m the Mayor of Mandurah, the first thing they talk about is how beautiful the estuary and coastline are. They talk about the abundance of wildlife and beautiful nature experiences. There’s a real buzz about this place and it’s on the cusp of being WA’s next best thing.

WHERE DOES THE MAYOR CHILLOUT? 

  • Avalon Beach in Falcon – the best beach in Mandurah
  • Dwellingup – for the farmers market and nature

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