Bound by the Indian Ocean and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, Mandurah is the ultimate retreat for those looking to unwind. Located less than an hour from Perth, Western Australia’s second-largest city is a convenient destination — that doesn’t skimp on fun — for a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation.
Over the past five years, the once-tiny fishing town has adapted, innovated, and reimagined its offerings with new developments, elevated dining establishments, and sensational experiences to become a tourism destination to be reckoned with.
It’s a natural playground fit for boating, fishing, and wildlife watching. And while it’s a hive of activity during the warmer months, it has preserved the relaxed holiday atmosphere locals have always celebrated it for. Proven by its 2023 title as Australia’s Top Tourism Town, the coastal city known for its mesmerising waterways really is the best place to be.
From families to adventure enthusiasts, whether you’re on a romantic weekend away, holidaying with the kids, day-tripping from the big smoke, or visiting Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah, here are the must-do experiences to while away the hours this summer:
A journey for the tastebuds…
Murray River Lunch Cruise
Allow us to paint a picture — a delicious buffet lunch and dessert to devour while soaking up scenic Murray River vistas. Tempting, right? The popular 4.5-hour Murray River Lunch Cruise is tailored towards people looking for a leisurely and picturesque waterside dining experience. It’s an opportunity to observe the diverse birdlife and catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two in the water, while admiring the surrounding wetlands. You’ll also gain an insight into the local area, thanks to the knowledgeable staff and informative commentary onboard.
Wild Seafood Experience
Home to an abundance of crabs, lobsters, and crayfish, Mandurah is known for its century-old history as a West Australian seafood hotspot. You can’t get more on-brand than an experience in the deep blue, so cast the line and reel in the best of the sea! There’s not much that tastes better than fresh seafood, especially when you catch it yourself and a chef cooks it. The Mandurah Cruises Wild Seafood Experience gives guests a taste of the thriving marine world onboard a 60-foot pleasure boat. The 3.5-hour interactive lunch cruise includes a seven-course menu balanced with a selection of world-famous Margaret River wines. Sign us up!
For a pint right where it’s brewed…
Thorny Devil Brewery
From a frustration with beers that seemed all head and no body, the Thorny Devil was born. The brewery has since transformed into a contender in the craft beer world after winning numerous awards at the Australian International Beer Awards, Australian Craft Beer Awards, and Perth Royal Beer Show, including first place as the Best Boutique Brewery in the 2023 Australian Hotels Association Awards. Located on the shores of Lake Clifton (home to the thrombolites), the brewing process incorporates rainwater, traditional German techniques, and fresh ingredients sourced from around the globe. It’s the perfect place to let the kids run free while you handle the hairy bits, drinking and dining at the BBQ restaurant.
Boundary Island Brewery
After a game of golf and six beers, the Boundary Island concept was conceived. Overlooking the water at Mandurah Quay Resort, it’s unsurprising the vibe is laid back, when all business plans are made on a napkin. Boundary Island is a relaxed breakfast venue, lunchtime local, and dinner tradition. From the German pilsner to the sweet and spicy ginger beer and the tropical IPA, there are eight different beers at any one time. And if you need further reason to convince you, they won the 2023 Best New Exhibitor trophy along with six medals at the Australian International Beer Awards (the largest annual beer awards in the world).
Wedgetail Brewing Co
Not only is Wedgetail Brewing’s tap room the new kid on the block, it’s also the love child of a couple of helicopter pilots who became craft brewers seven years ago. Sandwiched between the Peel estuary and the ocean, the independently owned micro-brewery specialises in traditionally styled and wholesome ales and lagers. And rumour has it, their pizzas go down a treat.
Be at the helm…
Eco BBQ Boats
There’s nothing more quintessentially Australian than a barbie with friends and nothing better than a day on the water. Hire a self-drive Mandurah BBQ Boat and you can combine the two. Become the captain of your own private, eco-friendly mini cruise and explore at your own pace in the doughnut-shaped vessel fitted with a central barbecue and circular picnic table. These electric bad boys are unique to WA and you don’t even need a skipper’s ticket. Just remember to bring your own drinks and food to sizzle or nibble on.
Explore Mandurah’s vast waterways at your own pace with Mandurah Boat Hire. Whether you’re keen to check out the local wildlife, go for a spin to Boundary Island, or try your luck with a line and bait, there are a range of options for groups of up to 12 people.
The Bike Kiosk (E-Bike & Scooter Hire)
With 600 kilometres of cycleways tracing the ocean and estuarine waterways of Mandurah, you won’t be short on places to ride your e-scooter or e-bike. The Bike Kiosk is a convenient pit stop for anyone wanting to hire some wheels to feed their wanderlust.
Kids day out…
Amaze Miniature Park
Explore four acres of beautifully manicured gardens with over 70 miniature replicas of well-known historic buildings, a 1000 square metre hedge maze, model trains, Lego displays, mini golf, a playground, and pedal cars all included. Amaze Miniature Park is not only a thrilling day out for the kids but a great place to enjoy a picnic or coffee and cake from the 1940s tea house.
Aye, aye captain, this is your chance to get up close and personal to a real-life pirate. Come dressed as Blackbeard or Jack Sparrow and buckle up for a 45-minute pirate ship cruise through Mandurah’s inland waterways and canals. The little ones can steer the wheel, ring the bell or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery. Just beware of the water cannons!
Toast the weekend in style aboard a sunset cruise with Mandurah Cruises. Grab a drink from the bar and dine on a morish shared cheeseboard or a healthy helping of Cicerello’s famed fish and chips while local musicians perform on the deck and the sun does what it does best.
If you’re a sunset lover, then you won’t want to miss this one. Meander through Mandurah’s waterways at golden hour — the greatest time of day. On this 1.5-hour cruise, your only job is to sit back and relax as the sun and sky conjure their magic. With plenty of wildlife native to the area, including ospreys, swans, pelicans and the illustrious dolphins, there’s always something to see.
Have you ever dreamed of a houseboat holiday? Your dream can become a reality, and you don’t even need a skipper’s ticket. All you need to do is pick a boat, bring your crew and then skipper your fully equipped houseboat along the waterways of the Peel Inlet and Murray River. You’ll be on Mandurah time so you can snooze, swim, canoe, chill, stroll, read, drink, or fish to your heart’s content.
City of (Christmas) Lights
Branded as WA’s Christmas lights capital, Mandurah is renowned for drawing in tens of thousands of visitors each year to view the technicolour spectacle. If you need even more reason to visit the coastal city this summer or you fancy a sparkly festive treat, check out the Christmas Lights Cruises or Christmas Lights Trail on land.
The fun doesn’t stop here. These Mandurah summer vibes are just the tip of the iceberg. Dive into the awesomeness that makes this place top-notch. Mandurah’s got a whole bunch of other cool things ready for you to explore. Don’t just take our word for it — come see why Mandurah is rocking the summer scene. Grab your sunnies, soak up the good vibes, and check out what else is cooking in Mandurah this summer https://visitmandurah.com/summer-in-mandurah/.
This article was sponsored by Visit Mandurah. All images supplied.