I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published August 24th 2017
A WA Holiday Hot-Spot
Just over 70-kilometres south of Perth, Mandurah, Western Australia's second-largest city is a holiday hot-spot renowned for its boating and fishing. It's also an important lifestyle alternative with the State's retirees particularly since the introduction of fast and efficient rail services and the extension of the Kwinana Freeway, both putting the State Capital with an hours travel time.
With its Mediterranean climate, beaches and sheltered waterways Mandurah is a magnet for fun-loving holiday makers. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Located on the Peel-Hervey Estuary, a freshwater system roughly twice the size of Sydney Harbour and which drains into the adjacent Indian Ocean, Mandurah enjoys a predominantly aquatic lifestyle in what is best described as a typical Mediterranean climate featuring hot, dry summers and mild but wet winters, averaging about 850 millimetres of rain annually.
The first European settlement at Mandurah was recorded in 1830, just a couple of years after the establishment of the Swan River Colony. But growth in the district was incredibly slow and by the turn of the century, Mandurah's population was still less than 200 people.
Mandurah's Pinjarra Rd bridge connects the town center with Hall Park and Halls Head. It's also a favorite with anglers on a turning tide. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
It wasn't until the 1950's and 60's that industrial development in the region led to an influx of workers and their families who found themselves living an almost idyllic coastal lifestyle in and around Mandurah.
That progress has continued right up to the present day, including construction of some outstanding canal estates on the southern side of the estuary and the magnificent Ocean Marina development.
Today Mandurah is considered the unofficial gateway to the State's great South West and a major tourism drawcard in its own right.
The estuary is renowned for its blue manna crabs, the centrepiece for the annual CRABFEST held each March.
Mandurah Cruises are a popular option with visitors keen to explore the sheltered waterways. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The town boasts some excellent family-friendly beaches alongside some of Australia's great surfing locations.
Golfing enthusiasts will be blown away by some magnificent courses including Mandurah Country Club, Secret Harbour and Meadow Springs Golf Club.
If you're after some retail therapy Mandurah has several shopping areas including the FORUM, the BRIDGE QUARTER, also known as the FORESHORE, and the more recent development of DOLPHIN QUAY/MANDURAH OCEAN MARINA.
Historical points of interest include Eacott Cottage (circa 1830) at 35 Gibla Street, Sutton's Corner Store (circa 1862) at 2 Mandurah Terrace, the Mandurah Museum, incorporating the old school circa 1900, on the corner of Mandurah Terrace & Pinjarra Road, Hall's Cottage (circa 1833) at 7 Leighton Place, Halls Head and Sutton's Graveyard, dating back to the 1860's, on the corner of Finistere Island Retreat & Picaroon Place, Halls Head.
As well as being a great stopover on an extended tour of WA's south west region, Mandurah is also an excellent day-out or weekend escape from Perth and surrounds.
Check out www.visitpeel.com.au for details of Mandurah and nearby attractions as well as a selection of outstanding holiday deals.
Expansive views across the inlet reveal some magnificent homes on the canal developments on Halls Head. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
5 Visit historic Sutton's Farm at nearby Halls Head
Your'e never far from a shopping opportunity ...
.... or somewhere to eat in Mandurah. Photos: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Mandurah is 72 Kilometres south of Perth, just under an hour's drive via the Kwinana Freeway/State Route 2. Alternatively TRANSPERTH's clean and efficient trains run regular services between Perth & Mandurah with a travel time of approximately 50 minutes.