Top Trail: Peel Region Canoe Trails
The Peel Region Canoe Trails meander along the Serpentine and Murray Rivers surrounding Mandurah and Pinjarra an hour’s drive south of Perth. An easy half-day paddle takes you past beautiful natural bushland, historical sites and new and old developments including the Mandurah Foreshore with it’s cafes and restaurants.
About the Trail
There are two trail options - both around 20 to 30 kilometres which will take 3 to 4 hours depending on how far and how fast you paddle. These can be combined to create a longer trip.
The Serpentine River Trail, which includes the Peel Inlet and Mandurah Estuary, is an easy half-day paddle which takes you past beautiful natural bushland, historical sites and new and old developments including the Mandurah Foreshore.
The 24km Murray River Trail commences in Pinjarra and finishes alongside the King Carnival in Mandurah. The reverse journey is also easily achievable depending on the time of year and river flow.
Specific interests of the trail include the historical Cooper Mill, Old Mandurah Bridge, Pinjarra Station and Hotham Valley Railway. There are various indigenous heritage sites along the trail and beautiful native flora and fauna including black swans, dolphins and blue manna crabs. The views across the Peel Estuary and the Mandurah foreshore are beautiful.
Current water conditions are available by phoning Department of Water on 08 9550 4222. Also check the weather forecast, especially if paddling in more exposed wind and wave conditions such as the inlet and estuary.
The trails form a part of Western Australia's canoe trails network, with a number of maps being developed for other trails, including the Warren River, Blackwood River and Frankland & Deep Rivers.
Need to Know
For those who love being on, in or near the water, Mandurah is a dream destination just 50 minutes south of Perth. There, you'll find some of Australia's most spectacular waterways, including the Peel-Harvey estuary, which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour and blessed with abundant wildlife, pristine beaches, beautiful blue-green waters and a buzzing foreshore area. Being less than an hour's ride from Perth by car or train, it's little wonder this water-side playground is one of the capital's most popular day trips. You can experience the locals' favourite pastimes by hiring a boat, houseboat, kayak, canoe or jet-ski, or joining one of the many cruises to explore 130 square kilometres of beautiful waterways. It's not uncommon to encounter some of Mandurah's other waterway residents too, including more than 130 different species of birds and one of Australia's healthiest populations of wild dolphins. An abundance of sea life also makes the waterways a great place to fish. Go prawning on the rivers in early summer. Cast a line into the estuary or Peel Inlet to chase herring, sand whiting, bream and tailor. Go crabbing in the shallows to scoop the famous blue swimmer crab. Or join a deep sea fishing charter. Off the water, you'll find four wheel drive adventures on the sands of Whitehills Beach or Tim's Thicket Beach. Located just 15 minutes south of Mandurah, these are the closest beaches south of Perth where it's legal to take your four wheel drive onto the beach. If you have young children, there are many other ways to fill a day with fun, including water parks, a fun fair, adventure playground and mini train, while history buffs will enjoy the free foreshore heritage walking tour or Community Museum. As Western Australia's largest regional city, Mandurah makes the ideal overnight base, with many gourmet restaurants and cafes overlooking waterfront boardwalks, museums, theatres, galleries and seasonal events - including the annual Crab Fest in March. You'll find plenty of accommodation options. Take your pick from four-star resorts and holiday houses overlooking the estuary, or bed and breakfasts and caravan parks.
Mandurah Visitor Centre
75 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah Western Australia 6210, Australia
Phone: (08) 9550 3999 | www.visitmandurah.com
The Mandurah Visitor Centre is conveniently located on the eastern foreshore Boardwalk precinct. The setting for childhood memories, Mandurah still retains that magical holiday feeling. However, in almost every other way, it has been transformed. What was once a small fishing village is now an exciting city; a city glittering with sunlit waterways everywhere you go. The heart of the city, arranged around an estuary crisscrossed by pleasure boats and pontoon barges, is alive with cafes and restaurants dotted along the boardwalks. Family-friendly activities mix with sophisticated cultural venues to create a smorgasbord of experiences to satisfy any taste. Along the coast, the beaches are still sensational, as is the surfing, windsurfing, sailing and anything else you enjoy on the water. The new marina precinct has taken the Mandurah boating culture to greater heights, and added an array of leisure and shopping a short distance from the city centre. Follow the waterways out into the Peel Region, and restaurants, wineries, historical sites and other attractions bring more variety and surprises to a Mandurah visit. The welcoming coastal community of the past is now a vibrant, contemporary city. It’s been refreshed – and it can do the same thing for you.