The Peel Region is an amazing destination for daytrippers and staycationers alike!

Just a short train ride or drive down the Kwinana Freeway, you'll find a truly wide range of things to do in the Peel Region - from beachside BBQs on the manicured foreshore, to zip-lining across a canopy of unspoiled Jarrah forest, and cruising down Venetian canals as you're greeted by frolicking dolphins. Foodies and wine lovers are in for a treat with delish seafood including the blue swimmer crab, and award-winning wineries. And that's just to get started!

Mandurah and Peel are composed of the stunning coastal city of Mandurah and the inland regions of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Murray and Waroona (including Pinjarra, Dwellingup and Preston Beach) and Boddington, each with their own very special characteristics and attractions. There's really something for everyone!

Mandurah Waterways. Image credit: Next Level Drone & Photography Services and Visit Mandurah

Mandurah 

Mandurah is a favourite getaway spot for Perth folks, for good reason! WA's largest regional city boasts chill vibes, gorgeous canal and estuary views, and plenty of fun (and great food!) to be had. One of the most iconic Mandurah experiences is strolling along the Foreshore, where you'll find plenty of BBQ and picnicking facilities (perfect for fish and chips!), as well as a lovely playground that's always abuzz with kids and bound to prove popular with younger travellers. This area is home to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, a centre for the arts (performing and otherwise) and a real jewel in the crown of Mandurah; you'll also find the departure point for Mandurah Cruises here, where you can take one of the famous dolphin cruises through the waterways of Mandurah, taking in architecturally stunning mansions and gorgeous natural beauty galore (and of course, keep your eyes peeled for the friendly, curious dolphins that frequent the canals!).
 
For some quirky and exciting ways of experiencing Mandurah's beloved waterways, check out the Pirate Ship Mandurah, or relax and rejuvenate with a houseboat staycation courtesy of Mandurah House Boats. And back on dry land, the world-class Cut Golf Course boasts panoramic 180° ocean views from almost half the course. It was ranked as WA's #1 public golf course within 2 years of opening, and it's a bucket-list must-do for golf and dining alike.
 
Now that you're inspired by the gorgeous scenery on land and water, and the laidback lifestyle of our beautiful coastal neighbour, make sure you stop in at the iconic Black Stump Gallery by Mandurah's iconic artist Emma Blyth (you'll see her artwork displayed with pride in many a Mandurah home). This new gallery offers a selection of art and gifts by Emma and other WA artists, and exhibits unique artworks inspired by Australia's rugged outback to the beautiful beaches and forests of the southwest. You'll find the gallery inside the Mandurah Visitor Centre.

Lane Poole, Dwellingup. Image credit: Russell Ord Photography and Visit Mandurah

Murray and Waroona

From idyllic inland farm scenery to dense Jarrah forests, and river walks to beachside strolls, there's something truly magical about the scenery in these two neighbouring Shires. The Shire of Murray stretches from the canal and riverside suburbs of North and South Yunderup, Ravenswood and Dwellingup to the beautiful Darling Scarp, with the historic riverside town of Pinjarra at its heart. The Shire of Waroona stretches from 'sea to scarp' - from Preston Beach to inland farmlands, incorporating the character township of Waroona and the peaceful Jarrah forests of Nanga Brook and Lane Poole Reserve. Taste a drop of local wine at Drakesbrook Wines cellar door.
 
In the Shire of Murray, you'll find the recently renamed Ranger Red's Zoo and Conservation Park for so many opportunities to get up close with amazing Aussie animals (cuddly and scaly alike). For a touch of history, Dwellingup's Hotham Valley Railway is an opportunity to travel back in time with a Heritage Rail Journey along an amazing portion of steeply graded and tightly curved railway from Dwellingup. There's a beautifully restored heritage Restaurant Train where you can dine on a 5-course meal in vintage luxury, enjoy the fresh crisp air of the Jarrah Forest from the open carriages of the Forest Train, or experience the thrill of the magnificent sights and sounds of a Steam Locomotive hard at work climbing Western Australia's steepest and most spectacular section of railway on the Steam Ranger Train. Even better, why not all three?

Thrombolites, Lake Clifton

 

On the border of the Shire of Waroona in the Shire of Mandurah, you'll find the legendary living fossils of Lake Clifton, a fascinating attraction for anyone interested in the evolution of life on our planet.  Located at Yalgorup National Park, south of Mandurah, this thrombolite reef offers you a glimpse of what life was like when the earth began. These rock-like formations are found in only a scant few places in the world and scientists believe that thrombolites are one of the first life forms on earth, dating back approximately 570 million years and producing the oxygen that made all subsequent life possible. The thrombolites at Lake Clifton are approximately 2,000 years old, and are the largest in the southern hemisphere. Take a self-guided wander around this fascinating spot, or join an expert-guided tour where you’ll learn the history and cultural significance of this incredible spot. 

While you're in the Shire of Waroona, pop into town to visit the Waroona Visitor Centre and Gallery, where you can learn about this fascinating area, admire the work of local artists and pick up some gorgeous artworks and handcrafted knickknacks. Just out of town, you'll find Waroona Dam (Lake Navarino), a popular spot for water-skiing, camping, bushwalking and (licensed-only) fishing, as well as just relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoying the views of this serene lake surrounded by lush Jarrah forest. 
 
And if you're in the mood for a beachside gallery, the tiny coastal holiday resort town of Preston Beach is large enough to be very well-appointed, but small enough to feel like an intimate cosy getaway spot that could well become your long weekend go-to destination. Inside the town's holiday resort, you'll find a bar and restaurant with indoor and alfresco dining areas that are open to the public 7 days a week, and resort guests can make use of a games area, two heated swimming pools and a tennis court. Close to the beach you'll find a children's playground with a lawn area and shade trees, free electric barbecues and a facilities block with universal access.
 
The unspoiled nature and immaculately preserved heritage of this area is a big part of its charm, and walking trails are a perfect way to really slow down and enjoy the best of our backyard. Check out our guides to Mandurah and Peel Walking Trails and the Dwellingup Trails and Visitor Centre to excite your domestic travel bug. We also love Salt and Bush Eco Tours, who run boutique guided nature walks and kayak tours of the Peel-Harvey Estuary and the thrombolites (ancient living fossils) of Lake Clifton, with naturalist guides sharing the wonder and awe of the natural world through geology, wildflower, kayaking and sailing tours. Their tours are informative, educational, entertaining and truly inspiring! Or join Mandjoogoordap Dreaming for an Aboriginal cultural tour with Noongar cultural expert George Walley to learn about the dreaming story of the thrombolites and other cultural knowledge and memories of the region’s first people, the Bindjareb people.
 
Murray and Waroona are close enough for a day trip or two, but they're so beautiful and diverse that you're bound to want to stay longer. Unsurprisingly, you'll also find some incredible staycation spots here! Dwellingup Retreat is a newly renovated picture-perfect heritage holiday home overlooking state forest, nestled on the outskirts of town. In Dwellingup, you'll also find the adorably-named Snottygobble House, a 4-bedroom 2-bathroom pet-friendly holiday home. In the Shire of Waroona, we love the Preston Beach holiday homes managed by Aldemor Holiday Services, and the lakeside serenity of Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Tullis Bridge, Boddington

Boddington

The small, quaint rural town of Boddington is best known for its annual Rodeo in November, and its active gold mine, which you can enjoy with the Go West Gold Mine Experience (tours currently suspended due to COVID 19, keep an eye on their website for details). Being dwarfed by giant trucks hauling loads from the pit to the processing plant to be turned into gold is quite a unique and memorable experience. Boddington is also a great spot for some true-blue Aussie pub fare, as well as strolling (and picnicking) at the Hotham River Foreshore and Lions Weir, the Tullis Bridge and Walk Trail (part of the Peel Heritage Trail), and the timber and railway reserves in the area. It's a top spot for kayaking, canoeing and fishing too. And don't miss this great guide to things to do in Boddington, courtesy of the fine folks at Visit Mandurah.

Millbrook Winery, Jarrahdale

Serpentine/Jarrahdale 

Only a half-hour drive from Perth City, Serpentine/Jarrahdale feels like another world! The northernmost part of the Peel Region is nestled deep within tall Jarrah forests, and is full of unspoiled natural attractions. The Serpentine National Park is a great place to visit and includes Serpentine Falls which features stunning emerald-coloured waters surrounded by rocks (note that swimming is not recommended, as the water has varying depths, submerged hazards and is untreated.) The local town of Jarrahdale is rich in art, culture and heritage; enjoy some local pub fare and sample locally produced wine at a number of local wineries such as the Millbrook Winery
 
Aussie animal lovers will absolutely adore the very special Cohunu Koala Park, an enormous wildlife sanctuary where you'll find free roaming animals like kangaroos and emus in their natural habitat, who're often quite friendly and used to people, and might even pose for a photo (especially if you've got some feed for them!). There's also dingoes, deer, koalas and over 30 talking parrots to meet and greet. 
 
As you'd expect from the Peel Region, there's some seriously stunning and fascinating natural and cultural heritage here. Check out our feature on Peel Heritage Trails for info on the Jarrahdale Heritage Town Walk and Jarrahdale Railway Heritage Trail, as well as our feature on Mandurah and Peel Walking Trails for the Kitty's Gorge Walk Trail, the Baldwins Bluff Nature Trail and the Serpentine Falls Walk Trail.
 
We're very lucky to have this slice of paradise on our doorstep, and we hope you and your loved ones will have many adventures in the Peel Region! For more ap-Peeling adventures, check out our Mandurah and Peel destination guide, and our features on Mandurah and Peel Markets and the Mandurah Self-Drive Trail.

Published on

11th May 2021

Author

Destination Perth Blogger