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

  • Full day
  • 66 km

The Pelican Trail is a 66km loop trail starting at Island Point Reserve and taking in most of the Ramsar-listed Peel Harvey Estuary which is the largest and most diverse estuarine complex in south-western Australia.

This trail takes in most of the Peel-Harvey Estuary and on a calm day is a wonderful paddle experience, with placid waters complemented by the bushland on the eastern foreshore. There are many isolated sandy beaches in the south and opportunities to observe migratory wetland birds.

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This trail is aptly named after the Australian Pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus), our largest local water bird. The pelican certainly is conspicuous. It is mainly white, with black wingtips and black markings on its tail. It is from 1.6m to 1.9m long, has a wingspan of from 2.5m to 3.4m and a bill of from 40cm to 47cm. The bill has a large, pinkish pouch which turns mostly scarlet during the courtship period. The pelican is able to glide in thermals to a height of 3,000m. Remains of pelicans dating from 30 to 40 million years ago have been found in Australia.

This trail also abounds with flocks of local and migratory birds such as the Australian Black Swan (Cygnus atratus). The Creery Wetlands can be found on the trail and is an important sanctuary and habitat both for resident and for migratory wetland birds. Observing these wetland birds without disturbing them is best carried out on land via the boardwalks and observation points provided for this purpose. The entrance to this land based facility is off Darwin Terrace, Mariners Cove. Please refrain from paddling in the wetlands.

On a calm day, the trail is a wonderful paddle experience, with placid waters complemented by the bushland on the eastern foreshore. From Point Grey south there are many isolated sandy beaches. The western foreshore has some urban development, but still is very appealing. Historically, the inlet and the estuary were crabbing and fishing heaven.

Mandurah Visitor Centre

(08) 9550 3999

Other Links

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Down Under Discoveries

Welcome to Down Under Discoveries, where nature meets adventure, and every step is a journey of connection and discovery. Immerse yourself in the heart of WA with Chelle and her team Down Under.

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

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

Time / Duration

1-2 day paddling experience

Length

66km loop

What To Pack

Group F (Paddling trails) required.

Trail Start

Novara Foreshore, Erskine

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Trail End

Novara Foreshore, Erskine

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Hazards & Warnings

Paddlers are advised to be sure to check weather and wind forecasts.
Novice paddlers should stay close to foreshores and not attempt to cross the estuary or the inlet or go near the Dawesville Cut, which has a strong tidal flow and, very often, hazardous water disturbance within itself and across its openings.
During holiday periods, particularly during the warmer months, power boating is very popular. Paddlers should always be aware of and avoid power boats and remember to keep clear of the wash created by them. 

Safety

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.

Facilities

  • Car Park
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet
  • Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

Anytime of year

Trail Access

Novara Foreshore, Erskine

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