Mandurah Day Trip: A Day Of Dolphins And Giants

Perched between the Indian Ocean and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, Mandurah is the ultimate, all-weather day trip destination for the whole family. It’s regarded as one of Australia’s most spectacular playgrounds for boating, fishing, and wildlife watching, with the Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet providing a source of endless water-based entertainment.

Conveniently located less than an hour from Perth, here, you’ll find vast stretches of pristine coastline, internationally renowned waterways, and a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Alongside beautiful hotels and caravan parks, tree-lined walkways, grassed picnic areas, plenty of attractions and safe swimming beaches. So, it’s little wonder that the traditional name, Mandjoogoordap, translates to “meeting place of the heart”.

Once a tiny fishing town, the effervescent coastal community of Mandurah has grown to become Western Australia’s second largest city, and was named Australia’s Top Tourism Town in 2023. Whether you’re exploring with the kids or keen to visit the Giants of Mandurah, here’s how to spend a day in Mandurah.

Mandurah Day Trip Itinerary

From big friendly giants and dolphin cruises to fish and chips on the beach, this day trip itinerary takes you through the best things to see and do in Mandurah, and where to eat and drink along the way.

9:00 am: Grab coffee and breakfast at Cafe Moka

Cafe Moka
Credit: Cafe Moka

The early bird gets the worm, so begin the day with coffee and breakfast on the boardwalk at Cafe Moka. With the magnificent marina as its backdrop, the waterfront joint is a favourite of locals and blow-ins alike. After you’ve devoured your buttermilk pancakes or bircher muesli, explore Dolphin Quay and surrounding Town Beach.

11:00 am: Dolphin and Giant Cruise with Mandurah Cruises

Giant & Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise.
Credit: West Beach Studio

Journey into vast waterways, guided by a resident marine biologist on a brand-new Giant & Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise. You’ll discover one of the most famous Giants of Mandurah — Seba’s Song — located on the water’s edge and only visible in full by boat. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for local birdlife, the state’s largest wild dolphin population, and the seven baby dolphins that have been born in 2024 so far.

1:30 pm: Lunch at Betty’s Burgers 

Betty's Burgers
Credit: Betty’s Burgers

Hop off the cruise, take a drive along the foreshore and grab a bite to eat at Betty’s Burgers. Then carry on and over the bridge to Mandurah’s newest playground, Koolaanga Waabiny to let the little ones blow off some steam. 

2:30 pm: Enjoy a ride on the Mandjar Bay Funtrain

Tourist Fun Train Company
Credit: West Beach Studio

If you’re down for more family-friendly fun, jump on the children’s sized Mandjar Bay Funtrain – also known as Mini Toot. The Tourist Fun Train Company has been operating in Mandurah since 2012 and currently features two working trains.

4:00 pm: Visit the Coodanup Giant by Thomas Dambo

Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah
Credit: West Beach Studio

Mandurah is home to Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah — an Australian-first cultural tourism project. Dambo’s five whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures celebrate the importance of protecting the natural world. Not only are the sculptures free to view, but they also come with an invitation to play.

Head to the most accessible giant, Yaburgurt Cirkelstone, at the Coodanup foreshore in Mandurah. Yaburgurt was named in consultation with Bindjareb Elders, and the namesake pays tribute to a respected Elder from the region.

5:30 pm: Sunset fish and chips at Cicerellos

Credit: Cicerellos

When it comes to quintessential Mandurah dining, a day trip just isn’t complete without parking up for a round of fish and chips. Grab an early dinner at the famed Cicerellos in Mandurah and either dine in or pick a perch along the foreshore for a prime sunset viewing.

8:00 pm: Stay the night

The Bike Kiosk
Credit: The Bike Kiosk

If you don’t want the fun to end, why not stay the night? Turn your day trip into an overnighter and book a cabin at Mandurah Caravan & Tourist Park. Or Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets.

For more Perth Day Trip itineraries to help you discover the best of Perth, visit our Destination Perth Day Trips hub.

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