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Perth Guide 71
Spot the dolphins
The estuary is permanent home to over one hundred
wild dolphins and if you book a cruise, or simply hit the
water in your boat you’re likely to find a feeding pod
or a mother nursing her calf in the calmer waters. Most
of the dolphins are quite friendly and you’ll often see
them playing in the wake of a boat. If you’d prefer
to sight the majestic creatures with an expert, there
are a number of daily dolphin-watching tours.
The city’s pelicans are the first to greet visitors at the
foreshore, but they’re just a taster for more than 130
species of birds in the area. On the edge of the Peel
Inlet, the Creery Wetlands is a part-time home to 22
species of migratory shorebirds – some of them so
small they weigh only 30 grams. They visit the wetlands
in summer and head to their northern hemisphere
breeding grounds in winter. Quendas (native
marsupials) also live here. On the northwestern
shore of the inlet, the Len Howard Conservation
Park is home to birds like the splendid fairy wren,
golden whistler and pied oystercatcher. Walkers
may also see the western banjo frog or the moaning
frog and the bob-tail skink, to name a few.
Diving and snorkelling
There’s no better thing to do than to hit the water in
the hot months – especially with your snorkel or dive
gear. The Mandurah coast has some of the finest dive
sites in the metro area, including the Bouvard Reef,
Five Fathom Bank and the wreck of the James Service
at the southern end of Murray Reef. In the ocean
around Peel you’re likely to spot reef fish, small
sharks, manta rays, turtles and dolphins.
South Dandalup Dam, close to Dwellingup, is one of
the largest dams supplying Perth. It’s a stunning setting,
with tall trees, abundant bird life, free gas barbecues,
picnic tables and clearly marked walk trails. At North
Dandalup Dam, the river forms a series of rapids, small
waterfalls and deep, still pools. In summer it can be
just a stream to swim, canoe or fish in. It’s also handily
equipped with free gas barbecues and picnic tables,
CUP 100 CLUB
Head to the races for the
$40,000 Mandurah Cup.
The race day is one of the
region’s most prestigious
sporting events so be sure
to don your most glamorous
racing attire and dust off
your fascinator. Pinjarra
Park, Jan 5.
Fitness junkies can get
their fix as some of the
state’s leading triathlon
competitors attempt the
gruelling swim, cycle and
run. The Triathlon is the
State Olympic Distance
for Age Group and
Mandurah, Feb 2.
SAIL MANDURAH IN
The inaugural event is ideal
for boats of all types and
sizes, and is held off the
Mandurah Coast. The event
attracts the best up-and-
coming sailors from WA and
interstate. For more info,
head to mofsc.com.au .
Mandurah coast, Mar 1-3 .
The three-day event is
held in conjunction with
the Mandurah Crab Fest.
Spectators will be enthralled
with a combination of
skiing, freestyle motocross,
skateboarding and BMX
riding. The event is also the
host of the International
Cup. Various locations,
It’s all things seafood again
at the Mandurah Crabfest.
Revel in the entertainment,
live performances, activities,
by celebrity chefs, market
stalls, children’s stage
and an abundance of fine
cuisine, with fireworks to
close the ceremony.
Foreshore, Mar 15-16.
The markets are held
every Sunday from 8am
to midday and are the
place to grab your fresh
fruit, veg and provisions
that are locally grown
in the region. Kids will
enjoy the animals and
live music. Mandurah
plus walk trails. Further south in Dwellingup is Oakley
Dam where you can take a walking trail through the
forest to the dam, which could be mistaken for an
oversized infinity pool with panoramic views.
There are many picturesque campsites within the Peel
region tucked away in the forest. A top pick is the Lane
Poole Reserve, a nature lover’s paradise. Here you can
enjoy abundant wildlife and a diversity of landscapes.
The reserve covers nearly 55,000ha comprising rock-
rimmed pools, rapids and small waterfalls, opening
out to steep, forested valley slopes and undulating
woodlands. The Munda Biddi Trail, Bibbulmun Track,
Chuditch Walk Trail, King Jarrah Walk and several other
tracks all criss-cross the Reserve and state forest. Swim
at Baden Powell (also a good place for kids to paddle),
Bob’s Crossing, Island Pool, Yarragil and The Stringers.
Fishing for crabs in the Peel Inlet and the channel
entrance, Harvey Estuary, Dawesville Cut, Novara and
Coodanup is a popular family activity in summer. The
best time to catch them is about half an hour after
sunrise and one hour before sunset. There is no licence
required but check with the Department of Fisheries
for any new regulations. Prawns are likely to be plentiful
throughout the estuary early in summer – fish for them
around the Old Mandurah Bridge or off a boat.
The stretch of coast from Preston Beach to Tims Thicket
is an undiscovered gem, with terrific fishing and beach
4WD tracks. Camp at Martins Tank within the Yalgorup
National Park amidst the forest. Dune preservation is
important, so check with the City of Mandurah ranger
for access and condition reports. There are various
tracks around Dwellingup, Waroona and Lane Poole
perfect for 4WDing. The Nanga Heritage Circuit winds
through jarrah forest and river valley along a network of
timber tramways, steam train tracks and trestle bridges.
The Captain Fawcett Commemorative 4x4 Track is an
easy- to medium-grade track starting in the Lane Poole
Reserve and showcasing 90km of jarrah forests, views,
historic farmhouses and early settlers’ bridges.
WHAT TO DO
Oakley Dam south of Dwellingup.
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