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Heron Trail, Peel-Harvey Estuary Paddle Network Heron Trail, Peel-Harvey Estuary Paddle Network

  • Half day
  • 12.8 km

The Heron Trail is a 12.8km return trail on the Serpentine River.

It is a tidal all-year round paddle trail brimming with an abundance of wildlife including two species of heron, and other birdlife such as whistling kites, mountain ducks, egrets and stilts, making it a hotspot for birdwatchers. Paddlers may also be greeted by the curious local Mandurah Dolphins who regularly appear on fishing patrol. 

On the rivers lower section is a mixture of sheoks, paperbarks, rivergums, bushland, beaches, backwaters, reserves, jetties and residences. Explore the incredible nature and birdlife on this beautiful and easy paddling trail.

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The Heron Trail commences at the all abilities launch facility at Riverside Gardens and meanders along the Serpentine River. Paddlers are rewarded with opportunities to see the White-Faced and Rufous Night Herons as they stalk along the river edges.

The two-toned White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae) is easily seen as it stalks along the river edges. The Rufous Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), with its chestnut-brown back and sides, cream belly and three white plumes growing from its blue-black head, is harder to see, as it roosts during daylight in river-bank trees. Other bird life abounds such as whistling kites, mountain ducks, stilts, egrets, grey teal and black ducks.

Dolphins regularly appear on fishing patrols. One of their spectacular methods is concussing fish by smashing them with wave-breaking force against the riverbanks. With a mixture of tree species such as sheoaks, paperbarks and river gums, the lower section of the river features a diverse landscape including beaches, bushland, backwaters, reserves, jetties and residences.

Power boating is popular during holidays, but this river is not as hectic as is the Murray River. The trail can also be started from Riverview Reserve or paddled as a point to point.


Mandurah Visitor Centre

(08) 9550 3999

Other Links

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Down Under Discoveries

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Be trail ready for Heron Trail, Peel-Harvey Estuary Paddle Network

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

3-4 hours


12.8km return

What To Pack

Group F - Paddling Trails (Paddling trails) required.

Trail Start

Riverside Gardens Reserve, Greenfields

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Trail End

Riverview Reserve, Coodanup

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Hazards & Warnings

All lakes and waterways upstream from Riverside Gardens are very shallow and suitable for paddling only in winter and spring after good rains.

May contain algae during warmer months.

Allow extra paddling time for navigation which can prove difficult in some areas.

Obstructions may occur in some sections of the river.

Some rest/ comfort sites may be difficult to access depening on river levels.



Paddlers should familiarise themselves with Boating Rules and Regulations contained in the official Western Australia Boating Guide.

Paddlers should keep to the right in boating channels and canals.

Use insect repellant and/or cover up to protect against mosquitos.


  • BBQ Facilities
  • Car Park
  • Dog Friendly
  • All accessible parking
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet
  • Sheltered Area
  • All accessible toilet facilities
  • Water Access Points
  • Accessible picnic facilities
  • Accessible BBQ facilities

Best time of year

Anytime of year.

Trail Access

Riverside Gardens, Greenfields

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