What do an internationally acclaimed recycle artist, an award-winning tourist town, and an intriguing quest have in common? The answer is Mandurah/ Mandjoogoordap. 

Mandurah has been in the limelight of late after being awarded a Top Tourism Town Award for the second year running. In 2023, the picturesque seaside town with world-class Ramsar-listed wetlands again made its mark on the tourism map. So, it’s no secret that this part of the world is known for its natural beauty and warm hospitality. 

Thomas Dambo’s Giants

We know Mandurah is a shining star all on its own; however, Danish recycle art activist Thomas Dambo’s Giants, launched in November 2022, have certainly contributed to making Mandurah a must-visit destination. Internationally lauded artist Dambo’s vision was to create art that encouraged people to explore, and it certainly has!

There really is no better place than Mandjoogoordap, home of the Bindjareb Noongar people, for Thomas Dambo to share his five whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures and 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! A quest, no less!

How to get to the Mandurah Giants

Mandurah is an hour south of Perth on the Kwinana Freeway by car or train. If you travel to Mandurah by train, you will need to catch a bus from the Mandurah train station to the city centre. Parking is available in the centre and surrounding car parks. Walking from Mandurah city centre is possible, but you may only get to some of the five giants in a day.

Mandurah Visitor Centre
Mandurah Visitor Centre

Pick up your map & find the Giants

As you would expect from a real quest, there are clues and a map. You can pick up your free booklet from the Mandurah Visitor’s Centre. The booklet has QR codes and Google Maps coordinates to help you find the parking locations of four of the Mandurah Giants: Little Lui, Seba, Yaburgurt Winjan Cirkelstone and Santi Ikto. The fifth, Bille Bob, is in Subiaco, and the sixth and final lost giant is in a secret location in Mandurah. You must find the others first to collect clues! Intrigued?

A poem to begin

Before you begin your quest to find the five hidden Mandurah giants, Thomas Dambo asks you to listen to his poem “The Rhythm of Raindrops.” In his poem, he talks about the cycle of water and tells the story of how the giant's voices are crucial for the cycle to continue. This poem is beautifully entwined with the creation story of the traditional owners, the Bindjareb Noongar people. 

The journey of discovery traces the cycle of water from ocean to air, from air to land and back again. You will explore the lands of the Bindjareb Noongar people through the bush, the Peel Yalgorup wetland system and out onto the estuary, which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour!

What can you expect from Thomas Dambo’s Giants?

You can expect awe and wonder, folklore, and an extraordinary outdoor trail experience as you explore larger-than-life but incredibly beautiful figures constructed from recycled wood. Each giant is situated a short distance away from the parking area, so visitors of all abilities will be able to access most sculptures. Here is a quick overview of the distances.

Little Lui: A Grade 2 walking track of 3.6 km at Black Swan Lake in Lakelands. The walk is easy, and the car park has ACROD parking.

Yaburgurt Winjan Cirkelstone: A Grade 1 walking Trail in Coodanup – 550m. Easy walk with wheelchair access and ACROD parking.

Seba’s Song: A Grade 1 walking trail in Wannanup – 1.2 km. Easy walk with wheelchair access and ACROD parking. Apparently, the best view of Seba’s Song is from Kayak on the estuary.

Santi Itko: A Grade 3 walking trail in Koolyininap (Halls Head) – 1.3km bitumen trail with ACROD parking.

Bille Bob: You won’t find Bille Bob in Mandurah; he wandered off and became enamoured with the leafy green suburb of Subiaco! You can view the giant in the gardens of Subiaco Arts Centre.

The lost giant: The location of this giant remains a secret – Shhh! Find the clues and find the giant. Who are we to spoil a quest? Best of luck!

Walking with kids

If you plan to find all the giants in one visit accompanied by little ones, you should start with Little Lui, which has the longest hike. At 45 - 60 minutes return, it’s probably good to do while energy levels are high. Or better still, visit Mandurah more than once.

Make a day (or two) of it

Of course, you don’t have to visit all the sculptures in one day because the giants will be in situ for at least two more years; you have the luxury of taking your time because what’s better than a day trip to Mandurah? Why, two day trips, of course, or three. 

Mandurah/Mandjoogoordap -  ‘meeting place of the heart’ has so much to offer and could be the perfect day trip destination. That’s no secret!  

Mandurah's Kwillena Gabi Estuary Pool
Mandurah's Kwillena Gabi Estuary Pool

Tips for enjoying your giant experience

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Carry a water bottle (most car parks are close to toilets and fresh drinking water)
  • Be sun smart
  • Respect the artworks - some touching and climbing is permitted 
  • Have fun & keep the secret of the lost giant’s location!