Seaside getaways are a dime a dozen in Western Australia. But none have quite the same charm as Mandurah.
Mandurah is an outer-metro region rippled with canals, wetlands, and gaping bays. The lifestyle here is unhurried, with visitors and residents leaning heavily into boating, camping, and fishing. It feels nostalgic, reminiscent of those ice cream-filled family getaways of your childhood – and it’s become famous for the incredible Giants of Mandurah.
Relax into the laid-back lifestyle on Mandurah. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Danish recycle artist Thomas Dambo has installed five large-scale art pieces – known as the Giants of Mandurah – around the region (and one more in Subiaco) in an Australian-first outdoor exhibition. Heading out on the interactive trail to find them is a great excuse to get out and about in the city, exploring the natural landscapes and many meandering waterways.
How to get to Mandurah:
Mandurah is just 70km south of the Perth CBD, a 50-minute drive along the Kwinana Freeway or a 55-minute train from the Perth Underground Train Station. It’s ideally located en route to the Margaret River Region.
Marvel at the Giants of Mandurah, like Yaburgurt Winjan Cirkelstone Giant. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
If you have one day:
Twenty-four hours mightn’t seem so long, but there’s plenty you can pack in on a one-dayer. Start with the hunt for Giants of Mandurah, ticking off two of the most easily accessible installations, Santi Ikto and Yaburgurt Winjan Cirkelstone.
The bushy-bearded Santi Ikto sits cross-legged at Halls Head, a 10-minute drive from the Mandurah Visitor Centre and your starting point on the Giant hunt. Follow the bitumen path from the car park and through the dunes to find him, enjoying the coastal wildflowers and ocean views as you wander.
Find Santi Ikto Giant at Halls Head. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
Another 10 minutes in the car, and you’ll be at Coodanup Foreshore, where the friendly-faced Yaburgurt Winjan Cirkelstone lies, the newest of the five pieces. It’s just around the corner from the 29-hectare Creery Wetlands: a marshy habitat for some 22 species of migratory shorebirds and native quendas.
Cycling between the Giants is also an option, just hire an e-bike or electric scooter from The Bike Kiosk, also conveniently located at the Mandurah Visitor Centre. Book in on their three-hour Ride the Giants or 4.5-hour Big Kahuna tour, and you’ll get the lay of the land as you go.
Book a three-hour Ride the Giants tour with The Bike Kiosk. (Images: Visit Mandurah)
If you’re hoping to see more in a day, hop aboard a coach tour to see all five giants without the need to navigate for yourself. There are several options, which you can find here.
Drop the bikes back, or farewell your bus tour, and make a beeline for dinner at Boundary Island Brewery. Keep it light with a chorizo and squid duo and some local chilli mussels to share. Or, dive straight into their extensive pizza menu and a pint of one of their Australian International Beer Award-winning brews.
Treat yourself to dinner at Boundary Island Brewery.(Image: Visit Mandurah)
If you have two days:
Ramp up the giant hunt and add another two to the list for your second day in Mandurah. Finding Little Lui will take you to swampland at Marlee Reserve, 10 minutes north of town. Head off in the early morning, parking in the small carpark off Marlee Road and following the signposted track 20 minutes into the heart of the reserve to the seated Giant. He’s propped up against a naturally fallen tree, the roots of which make up part of his unruly mane.
Wander through Marlee Reserve to find Little Lui. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
Rather than walking out to see Seba’s Song perched on the rocky Wannanup/Dawesville Channel Groyne, join a Soulmate Charters’ Scenic Cruise and see it from the water. It’s the only way to get a front-on view of the installation. The cruise leaves from the Port Bouvard Marina each hour, making its way up the Port Bouvard Channel, to the giant and back, in 45 minutes.
Join a Soulmate Charters’ Scenic Cruise to spot Seba’s Song. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
For a longer, more sumptuous day on the water, hop aboard Mandurah Cruises’ Wild Seafood Experience, which meanders through Mandurah’s inland waterways for 3.5 hours. As you cruise, Howard Park sparkling in hand, no less than seven blue manna crab and crayfish-laden courses will be served, the menu designed by ex-Cape Lodge chef Tony Howell.
If you’re still hungry after seven courses, stop in at Brewvino – home of Mandurah’s best steaks – for one last dinner. Dine on a grass-fed beef rib eye, or a loaded seafood linguine with unparalleled views of Mandjar Bay.
Hop aboard Mandurah Cruises’ Wild Seafood Experience. (Image: Michael Bond)
If you have three days:
Start the morning gently with an hour on Mandurah’s glassy waterways. A pitstop at the WA Gold Plate Award-winning Wood & Stone Cafe for a bacon, chilli, and mushroom scramble or their delectable pancakes is the perfect precursor to your Mandurah Cruises Dolphin Cruise embarkation at 10.00am. It’s a succinct tour, but dolphin sightings are almost immediate, the experienced guides heading straight out to the regular hotspots.
Fuel up for the day at Wood & Stone Cafe. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
If you’d prefer to be your own skipper, hire a vessel or kayak from Mandurah Boat Hire to navigate the canals. Another option is having a unique houseboat holiday (with a minimum hire of three days and two nights) and call the Murray River home.
Those heading onwards to Margaret River after Mandurah can see the fifth and final Giant on the way down. Jyttes Hytte and his spear stand guard at a secret location in the Yalgorup National Park, the Swan Coastal Plain’s largest national park, just a half-hour drive south of Mandurah. But don’t just make a beeline for Jyttes, there’s plenty to be seen in and around this 12,888-hectare RAMSAR-recognised wetland system.
Seek out Jyttes Hytte standing guard at a secret location. (Image: Visit Mandurah)
Some 10 lakes span the national park, a thriving natural habitat for migratory waterbirds, kangaroos, and wallabies. The most renowned lake, Lake Clifton, is home to a more unique species: the otherworldly thrombolites. Follow the boardwalk out atop the 2,000-year-old living rocks and marvel at their form before stopping in at the nearby Thorny Devil Brewery for a sampler of their Kakadu Plum sour or Choc-Maple imperial stout. It makes for a fitting finale to your time in Mandurah.
Take your time to enjoy Yalgorup National Park. (Image: Visit Mandurah)