A lifestyle town with a holiday vibe, Mandurah combines dolphin spotting and relaxing canal cruises with adventures to lesser-known wetlands and beaches, all within one hour of Perth.

Mandurah is an easy 55-minute drive south from Perth, or you can catch the train and be there 51 minutes after departing Perth Station; trains leave approximately every 15 minutes. Public buses will transfer you to the heart of Mandurah.

People are drawn here for the canals that meander between stately homes and the chance to spot dolphins that frolic in the Mandurah Estuary’s clear waters. The Mandurah foreshore is a magnet for picnickers enjoying the wide, grassy stretch lining the estuary, as well as families who can let their children run freely to the playground spaces that are shaded by trees. Couples stroll along boardwalks, hand in hand, before picking from one of the many restaurants where they might order blue swimmer crab – it’s the local speciality, and the focus of the annual Mandurah Crab Fest.

Mandurah, or Mandjoogoordap, an Aboriginal Nyoongar word meaning ‘meeting place of the heart’ rings true for many visitors. Learn about the area’s ancient culture on a walking tour with an Aboriginal elder, or take a special Mandurah Cruises journey led by a traditional custodian. Keep an eye out for the Aboriginal sculptures and interpretive signs throughout Mandurah.

Interesting waterways lie only minutes from the town centre. There are rugged beaches where you can explore in a four-wheel drive, such as Tim's Thicket, or quieter swimming stretches including Town Beach and Halls Head Beach. There’s also the Peel-Harvey Estuary which is twice the size of Sydney Harbour and contains samphire saltmarshes and the internationally significant Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands. Join an eco tour of the wetlands – on foot, in a kayak or on a sail boat - and observe waterbirds and wildlife in their natural habitats.