With such a large estuary and the Peel Inlet there are many places for launching your boat or permanetly mooring your boat. The Mary Street Lagoon's boat ramp is in demand by locals and the small lagoon has been a marina for locals for countless years. It is located just inside the estuary and enables boat owners to quickly leave the estuary for the deep waters of the Indian Ocean and the reefs a few miles offshore. It is a nice walk to observe the boats and activity on the boat ramp and then walk along the estuary foreshore.
The new harbour at Mandurah was opened 5 or 6 years ago and there is an area reserved for the local fishing boats who mainly operate catching crayfish which is an important export industry for Western Australia. Around this area an industry has developed to maintain and support these crayboats which has been an important boost to the local economy.
The channel from the Indian Ocean to The Peel Inlet has created a bonanza for fishermen and during the July school holidays we visited Port Bouvard and witnessed many school kids enjoying fishing from the rocks. Fish of the day was herring and there were schools of them swarming in the channel as the tides change. Many a child wore a broad smile as he reeled in a fighting herring.
The City of Mandurah provides fishing platforms for "Senior Citizens" as the huge boulders used for the channel embankement are very treacherous for those no longer as agile as they would like to be. The seniors set themselves up with all the comforts, chairs, thermos of coffee, sandwiches etc and usually catch more fish than anyone else.
When travelling over this bridge you get good views of the Peel Inlet on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Constructed approximately 20 years ago when the channel was constructed to link the waters of the Indian Ocean to the Peel Inlet.
The Peel Region is a mecca for small family boats used for all types of water activity and the "Dawesville Cut" provides an easy entry to the Indian Ocean and its coastal reefs which provide good fishing opportunities within several kilometres of the coast. Some fishermen venture 20 to 30 km offshore in the quest for the ultimate "big fish". The photo shows a typical leisure boat venturing out late afternoon through the channel entrance.
This marina is to the side of the "Dawesville Cut", the channel which joins the Peel Inlet to the Indian Ocean and is a favoured spot for people who wish to use their boat for deep sea fishing or ocean sailing. Within minutes of setting off you are on the Indian Ocean. There are also several boat ramps for use by the public for launching their trailer boats. You can easily spend some time at the marina watching and admiring the boats as they come and go . There is a nice restaurant and cafe on the marina.
The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre overlooks the estuary and boasts a world-class venue with world class acoustics. In the lobby there is a showcase of unique art works from local artists. The Majestic Boarward Theatre can seat 800 in a variety of seating locations. Also within the Arts centre is the Art Gallery.
Mandurah is Western Australia’s largest breeding ground for pelicans. You will see them all around the canals and waterways. The coat of arms of the city also even incorporates the Pelican. Pelicans are usually found in large open bodies of fresh water and sheltered seas making Mandurah estuary and canals an ideal environment.
Samphire Cove is part of the 29 hectare Creery Wetlands and is on the edge of the Peel Inlet. There are walking trails, information shelters and viewing huts and platforms for enthusiastic birdwatchers. The saltmarsh and shallow waters are an important roosting and feeding area for waterbirds and shorebirds which migrate to the Mandurah area every year from Northern Asia and Alaska.
Bottlenose Dolphins are often seen swimming in the boat harbour and through the estuary and canals although they are quick and hard to photograph. Dolphins can remain underwater for up to 15 mins at a time. Mandurah is one of only a small number of places in the world where wild dolphins can so frequently be seen living so close to people. The inland waterways provide safety to the dolphin pods. There are approximately five or more births annually.
Dolphin Quay is new and is found right across from the Mandurah Ocean Marina. The complex features an indoor market and retail outlets. There is also a range of upmarket waterfront restaurants and bars. The market stalls are open Thursday to Sunday and other shops including Nino's Fish Bar and gourmet deli are open 7 days a week. Blue Jacs Micro Brewery has also opened at Dolphin Quay with a good range of beers which are brewed on site
Three rivers run into the Peel Inlet, the Murray, Serpentine and the Harvey. The Southern shore of the inlet provide one of the most important bird habitats in the South West of the State. The Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary make up one of the largest inland waterways in Australia.
A very new facility in Mandurah and still developing. There are around some 98 berths for recreation vessels and about 35 berths for fishing vessels. Right next to the Ocean Marina is the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club who also have a 74 berth facility. All the pens are fully serviced at present can accommodate boats up to 15 metres in length with a further 220 pens being built at a later stage to accommodate boats up to 20 metres in length.
Bird life is abundant in Mandurah. Some of the best places to observe them are between the two Mandurah bridges on the shores, amongst the marshes and on the islands of Peel Inlet. Here you will see waterbirds feeding, Darter, cormorants, yellow-billed Spoonbill amongst others.