Located less than an hour south of Perth, the Peel region is an easy destination to access by taking a short train trip on the Mandurah Line rail service or by car on the new Forest Highway.
Stretching from the white sands and blue waters of the coast to the rugged terrain of the Darling Scarp, the region offers a wide range of activities from exploring vast waterways and national parks, to visiting wineries and bush walking along trails through the vast Jarrah Forests.
The region encompasses Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Murray (including Pinjarra and Dwellingup), Boddington, Waroona and Mandurah - each with unique characteristics and attractions.
Explore Mandurah's waterways
Mandurah is the perfect place to base yourself and take daytrips out to explore the Peel region. Over recent years, Mandurah has grown from a small seaside town into a lively and cosmopolitan city and is famed for its beautiful waterways and relaxed holiday atmosphere.
The waterways provide endless activities such as fishing, swimming, crabbing, waterskiing and no trip to Mandurah would be complete without a boat cruise on the vast, silken waters of the estuary.
There are several boating options available from chartering your own pontoon to hiring a house boat. Or you could join a cruise through the award winning canals – be sure to keep an eye out for the wild bottle-nosed dolphins, regular visitors to the Mandurah waterway.
On a cruise of the canals, you can see how the other half live as you journey past multi million dollar mansions, some of which are just holiday homes!
Food, wine and culture
A fantastic array of restaurants can be found along the waterfront, catering for all styles of taste and budget. Why not indulge in seafood fresh from Mandurah's waters; be sure to try some of the sweet crab meat for which Mandurah is so renowned.
The state-of-the-art Mandurah Performing Arts Centre is a distinctive feature overlooking the waters of Mandjar Bay and showcases a wide range of local, national and international creative talent.
Local galleries can also be found along the foreshore and the Mandurah Art Gallery always has a busy exhibition calendar of touring and local artists.
Mandurah Ocean Marina
The nearby Dolphin Quay and the world class Mandurah Ocean Marina offer excellent boating facilities and are home to a range of luxury pleasure craft, recreational and commercial fishing vessels, undercovermarkets and upmarket restaurants as well as offering spectacular views of the Venetian style canals, exclusive townhouses and million dollar vessels.
With plenty of attractions including an aquatic fun park, carnival and free space to run around, the kids will love Mandurah. Tree lined walkways, grassed picnic areas and safe swimming beaches make it a perfect destination for the whole family.
Graced with endless stretches of pristine coastline, there are plenty of places to go swimming and surfing right on Mandurah's doorstep.
There are also numerous limestone reefs offering a diverse variety of fish which makes Mandurah an ideal spot for divers to get below the surface and enjoy the deep blue sea. Thanks to a mild Mediterranean climate, water temperatures are moderate all year round and the area is protected from any major boating or shipping channels.
For those wanting to explore the great outdoors there are an excellent selection of walk and bike trails throughout Mandurah that meander alongside the river, by the estuary and along the ocean's shores.
North east of Mandurah, the Serpentine-Jarrahdale Shire forms the northern part of Peel region and offers some breathtaking scenery within the many forests, parks, rivers and other natural attractions.
The Serpentine National Park features lovely forests which also harbour a wealth of walking tracks. Serpentine Falls is a favourite picnic destination. With its cool emerald coloured waters surrounded by rocks, the falls are a perfect place to wile away a lazy afternoon.
Jarrahdale, the local town was originally established as a milling town. In town you can enjoy lunch at the local pub or enjoy delicious afternoon tea at one of the cafes that line the main street, view historical buildings and explore the arts and crafts galleries. A number of wineries can also be found just outside of town.
Along the Murray River
Pinjarra and Dwellingup situated in the Shire of Murray are also beautiful places to visit and boast a range of adventure activities.
Resting on the banks of the tranquil Murray River, Pinjarra is one of the oldest established towns in Western Australia. With its rich grazing lands and thick forests of Jarrah trees the town quickly became known as a centre for dairy, cattle farming and timber. The area is also becoming increasingly celebrated as the horse capital of Western Australia.
Bridle trails ribbon the nearby forests, and surveying the area on horseback is a remarkable way to get back to nature. If you prefer walking, the Pinjarra Heritage Walk Trail skirts the Murray River and is a fascinating way to view the region.
Pinjarra & Dwellingup
23km further inland resides the evergreen forested township of Dwellingup. Here you can take to the Murray River's swollen winter rapids by raft or sedately canoe down its slower moving segments.
Dwellingup is a popular camping destination and you can also hike, cycle or horse ride along the area’s many trails. The long-distance walking trail, the Bibbulmun Track, runs through the middle of town and the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway haunts the town every weekend throughout the year and is a magical way to see the tall timbers of the ancient forests.
Further south, and located on an easy drive from Perth via the Albany Highway, Boddington is nestled between rolling hills of forests and farms on the banks of the picturesque Hotham River. Combining old fashioned country charm with farming and mining prosperity, around half of the Boddington Shire is state forest. The area is ideal for hiking, picnics, bird-watching and wildflowers in spring.
Fishing and camping are also popular pastimes here and casting a line at Lions Weir is a favourite local pursuit. During the autumn and spring seasons you are almost guaranteed to hook some Redfin Perch, or sink a line for some fat tasty marron (seasonal - licence required) throughout the summer. Otherwise, packing a picnic lunch and heading to Randford Pool, a prime picnic spot is a great alternative.
Located on the South Western Highway, the character township of Waroona lies between forest, farmland, lakes and sea. The town itself has grown over the years to encompass cafes, fine examples of colonial architecture, antique shops and art galleries and is particularly well known for Lake Navarino and the Waroona Dam where thrill seekers from far and wide come to water-ski, canoe or fish.
Yalgorup National Park also falls under the shire of Waroona's jurisdiction and covers an area of over 12,000 hectares. The park contains 11 coastal lakes and wetlands which are home to hundreds of migrating birds, some of which have travelled thousands of kilometres to breed and recuperate amongst the areas rich eco systems. The park also boasts several stands of rare Tuart trees and some of the first living creatures on earth - the captivating Thrombolite living fossils.
Preston Beach at the southern end of the park is a superb location for four-wheel driving, swimming, picnicking or fishing from its pristine white sandy shores.