10 secret places you need to explore around Mandurah.
Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
Wise words when referring to a formidable ring of power.
The same adage is true though when referring to those places off the beaten track, not yet totally discovered by the average Perthian.
There comes a time though when some such secrets need to be shared, as they are slowly but surely uncovered by more and more day-trippers seeking a retreat from the city.
The Peel Region in itself is one of those too-easily overlooked places that is bursting with equal measures nature and culture. But within this ‘secret’ place lies secret spots, and within those spots… actually let’s not get too far into what promises to be nothing short of secretception.
For now, come a little closer as we whisper softly the Secret Spots of the Peel Region.
1. Lake Clifton and the Thrombolites
When we think of seeing the greatest natural wonders in the State, we think of huge road trips into our ochre red North or our lush South.
And yet, less than an hour from the city, lie some of the oldest life forms on the entire planet. The population of Thrombolites in the pristine Lake Clifton is the largest in the southern hemisphere and date back at least 2,000 years. The rock-like structures lie just underneath the water’s surface and are, technically, alive. They produce oxygen, which made all subsequent life possible millions of years ago.
Besides the incredible natural phenomenon, the boardwalk and surrounding flora make this a beautiful spot to visit, and when the sun goes down, attracts many an avid astrophotographer.
2. Herron Point
This is one of those camping spots you won’t believe you didn’t know about sooner. This beautiful hideaway is right on the Peel Inlet-Harvey Estuary, meaning that if you do decide to pitch up a tent, one of the first things your feet will touch in the morning is the sand by the bank.
Even if you’re not staying the night though, this is one of the best spots on the Peel Yalgorup Wetlands System, which was actually declared a Wetland of International Importance in 1990.
3. Creery Wetlands
Another must-see spot on the Peel Yalogrup system, Creery Wetlands is made up of a 29-hectare nature reserve that’s connected with a series of boardwalks and pathways.
The selections of trails and tracks, surrounded by teeming birdlife and lush flora makes this one of the best secret spots outside of Perth for bushwalking and sightseeing.
4. Oakley Brook Dam
We’ve been going easy on you with the level of secrecy surrounding spots so far, so here’s a good one for the mix.
Oakley Brook Dam is one of those places that just finding your way to is an achievement. Which only makes it all the more fun. Once there though, you will reap the rewards as likely one of, if not the only person at the lip of the dam.
Built in the 1930’s as an alternative freshwater supply for the steam engines passing through the Pinjarra train station, the dam is now used for recreational purposes with idyllic walk trails and picnic areas abounding.
5. Mandurah Bridge
This new bridge was built recently, and while it’s main function is as a traffic bridge for cars, it’s actually quite the sight from below.
A footpath runs underneath and around the bridge, which is a gorgeous spot to walk by the waterside in the day, or even fish from one of the fishing platforms. But it is equally, if not more fun at night. The entire bridge lights up in hues of yellow, pink and blue, reflected in the dazzling water below and lighting the way for a nighttime stroll you won’t soon forget.
6. Dawesville Cut
A rather big visitor to this spot has brought Dawesville Cut a fair bit of attention recently.
Remember seeing footage of a huge humpback whale coming ridiculously close to shore somewhere? Well, this is that somewhere.
Formally known as the Dawesville Channel, but “the cut” to locals, the 2.5km man-mind structure is perfect to walk along with your fingers crossed the whole way in the hope of seeing another 30,000kg local.
7. Dolphin Quay Marina
There are plenty of favourite “hang outs” around Perth. From the main “strips” of Leederville, Albany Highway or Beaufort Street, to the urban jungle of the CBD, and the real jungle of Kings Park, we Perthians just sort of loop around our fave spots in an endless cycle that founds our complaints of ‘nothing to do in Perth’.
Should we step out of that cycle though, and about 45 minutes south, many of us would find a spot that might as well be new for how often we overlook it. And once there, you’re sure to question why the heck that is.
The Dolphin Quay Marina is a sprawling urban village surrounded by water often visited by – you guessed it – dolphins. With all the restaurants, bars, arts and cultural hubs, boating tours and boundless activities, you could easily spend a whole day here with friends also stuck in the same Perth cycle. So get out there.
8. Drakesbook Weir
A ‘day at the beach’ is so last year. It’s time to get around ‘a day at the weir’. And why – or should we say weir – not? (We should absolutely never say wier not. That was a test.) Nestled in the hills of Waroona Dam, if you’re lucky enough to get to this great spot before the secret really gets out about it (our bad) you really will feel like you’ve got a hideaway to yourself.
With lush green grass and overhanging trees perfect for a picnic on the shore of the Weir, which is ideal for a spot of canoeing or kayaking, this will quickly become one of your favourite places to ‘get away from it all’.
Go uncover the natural history of the Weir with a short walk through bush until you find the rock face wall of the structure. There, you should be able to find a bronze plaque commemorating the discovery in 1942 of the first-ever known specimen of WA’s Noisy Scrub Bird. Should you ever see one of those little guys, you will thereupon be known as the ultimate discover of secret spots and things.
9. Lake Navarino
Be honest, even the name of this place sounds like a secret, hidden-away wonderland, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth. Lake Navarino is an aquatic playground which covers 145 hectares when full.
On top of this huge body of water, water skiing is very popular, while below, Rainbow Trout and freshwater marron reside for fishing. It’s one of those spots you wont quickly want to leave. But should that be the case, the forest right next to Lake Navarino is home to a holiday park with caravan sites and self-contained cabins.
So you can say fare thee well civilization! (at least for the weekend).
10. Secret snapping spots – Mandurah foreshore and Tuckey Lane
When it comes to that “perfect” photo, it’s hard to deviate from the formula.
Whether it’s the perfectly symmetrical boathouse snap, a Hyde Park pic amongst the mountains of drying orange leaves, or a photo in the now not-so-Secret Garden – we’ve all seen these on Instagram.
Little do many Perth folk now, Mandurah has some serious Gram Game. The heart sculpture on Mandurah’s Eastern Foreshore is one such example, the swing mural (complete with an actual swing) in Tuckey Lane another.
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