Wonder at world-class natural beauty
The fresh air, blue skies, pristine forests and stunning waterways of the region make it the perfect destination to immerse yourself in nature. Wonder at the world-class natural beauty and easily spot native wildlife as you explore by water or land.
1. Spot the playful dolphins from the shore or on a cruise.
With almost 100 bottlenose dolphins living in Mandurah’s waterways, it will be hard to miss our friendly locals. Whether it’s dining alfresco at a waterfront café, on a cruise or paddling on a kayak, you will often see them playing in the water near you.
2. Immerse yourself in nature as you explore the great outdoors.
The region boasts a wealth of protected waterways, national parks, nature reserves and nature parks that provide a diverse range of nature experiences. Whether you are into nature, wildlife, history, art, getting active or just exploring with the family, there are plenty of trails to suit you.
3. Go camping and marvel at the stars in the clear night sky.
On the beach, in the bush or in town, you’ll find the perfect spot for your next caravan or camping adventure. To enjoy all that Mandurah has to offer, there are caravan parks near the city centre. You can camp right on the river bank in the heart of Pinjarra or Boddington, on the foothills of the Darling Ranges in Serpentine, amongst towering trees in Dwellingup or lakeside at Herron Point near Pinjarra and Lake Navarino in Waroona.
Camping in a national park or reserve is a great way to connect with nature. The campgrounds in the region, which are either on a first-come, first-served basis or booked in advance via parkstay.dpaw.wa.gov.au.
4. Visit a 2,000-year-old thrombolite reef at Lake Clifton.
The thrombolite reef at Lake Clifton, half an hour south of Mandurah, offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like when the earth began. Found in only a few places in the world, scientists believe that thrombolites are one of the first life forms on earth, dating back approximately 570 million years, producing oxygen that made all subsequent life possible.
The Lake Clifton thrombolites are approximately 2,000 years old and the largest in the southern hemisphere. A boardwalk over the lake enables them to be viewed from above, with the best time to see them from January to May when the water levels are low.
5. Explore the internationally significant Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands System.
Declared a Wetlands of International Importance in 1990 by the Ramsar Convention, this diverse and productive ecosystem covers over 26,000 hectares and is comprised of estuaries, lakes, rivers and conservation reserves, including Yalgorup National Park, Lake Mealup Nature Reserve & Lake McLarty Nature Reserve, Austin Bay Nature Reserve and Creery Wetlands Nature Reserve.
It is the largest and most diverse estuarine complex in south west Australia and provides a habitat for thousands of plants and animals. It’s a breeding ground and nursery for crabs, fish, native animals and birds, including quolls and quendas (bandicoots).
Not only are the wetlands important to the natural environment, they support threatened ecological species and communities such as the Lake Clifton thrombolites, are culturally significant, include great spots for recreational activities and provide a wealth of educational and scientific research opportunities.
6. Look out for native wildlife that grazing in nature parks and reserves.
With extensive wilderness and waterways to enjoy, native animals can easily be spotted as you explore by water or land. Kangaroos graze every afternoon at Melros Beach Reserve in Dawesville and emus are often spotted walking along the shores of Lake Clifton.
A large number of black swans can be seen between October and March along the Lake Pollard Trail in the Yalgorup National Park and the Murray River is regularly visited by a variety of waterbirds, dolphins and sea eagles.
Red-tailed black cockatoos are native to south western Australia and can be seen high up in the trees from the Emu Walk Trail at the Forest Discovery Centre in Dwellingup. An abundance of wildlife, including kangaroos, are often spotted on the trails in Serpentine National Park.
7. Find the colourful wildflowers in Spring.
The south west part of Australia is renowned for having one of the most rich and diverse floras in the world. From September to November, nature puts on a show when colourful wildflowers bloom throughout the forests and bushlands.
Along the Serpentine River in the Serpentine National Park you will see wattle, kangaroo paws and orchids. Another delightful place for wildflowers is Marrinup, a tranquil forested area, near Dwellingup. On Island Point Walk in Herron, a lovely walk all year, spider orchids, banksias and wisteria can be seen. Wildflowers can be found not just in spring too, the jarrah forests are blooming with flowers throughout the year.
8. Visit a wildlife park to get up close, hold and feed native animals.
At Peel Zoo, in Pinjarra has over 100 species of birds and animals, including Tasmanian devils with the Zookeeper for a day program. Cohunu Koala Park in Byford has a colony of up to 15 koalas which you can pay to hold.
9. Grab your binoculars to watch the migratory birds that visit the region.
The Peel-Yalgorup Wetland System regularly supports more than 20,000 water birds annually. This includes those that travel the East-Asian Australasian Flyway, a 25,000km bird migration route that stretches across 22 countries from Russia to Australia. Thousands of these migratory birds feed and shelter in the wetlands from October to March.
You are sure to spot all types of birds when exploring the region. Some of the best places to spot them are the viewing platforms and bird hides at Creery Wetlands, Len Howard Conservation Park, Samphire Cove and Coodanup foreshore. For further information on the types of birds in the region and the best locations to see them, download the birdwatching guide here or visit birdlife.org.au.
10. Feel the sand between your toes as you walk the long, white beaches.
Our pristine, uncrowded beaches are playgrounds for all ages and interests. With over 60km of long, uncrowded, sandy beaches stretching from Mandurah to Preston Beach, you’ll be sure to find the perfect beach to suit you.