Rockingham-Mandurah Marine Encounters Trip

Head south from Perth to Rockingham and Mandurah, home to some of WA’s most incredible marine wildlife and stunning coastal vistas. Enjoy epic marine encounters, be relaxed by nature and indulge on the delights of the sea on this short getaway.

The Edge Section: Perth – Rockingham – Mandurah – Bunbury – Perth

No time to do the whole road trip? Tackle The Edge in sections. Spend some extra time exploring the quirk and character of the outback journeys that you’ll take getting from ‘edge to edge’ on the The South West Edge road trip.

A charter boat cruises on blue water with town in background in Mandurah en route along The Edge
Mandurah by Russell Ord Photography
Chapter 1

Perth to Rockingham


Depart Perth en route to Rockingham, heading South on the Kwinana Freeway, using the Smart Freeway. Begin your day on the Rockingham Foreshore, where there are multple eatieries available for breakfast and lunch with a variety of options from fresh fish to tapas. Drop in to the Visitor Centre and Re-Discover Rockingham at 19 Kent Street, operated by Tourism Rockingham, they have continuously promoted Rockingham’s tourism and hospitality attractions and events for the last 50 years ! Why not ask about the many attractions on offer including a visit to Penquin Island and the Schoalwater Marine Park? From Kent Street, take the spectacular 10 minute coastal drive to the Mersey Point Jetty in Shoalwater. Here’s where you can catch a ferry or cruise to Penguin Island where rangers present feedings with the world’s smallest penguins, as well as interpretative walks daily. Those who want to see more of the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, including Seal Island, can head out on a tour with Capricorn Seakayaking. Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the rugged offshore islands with wildlife viewing opportunities galore – Australian sea lions and colonies of pelicans call these islands home. In the warmer months, there’s also the opportunity to explore the limestone reefs and fish life with a spot of snorkelling in aquamarine shallow waters. After a day in this aquatic paradise, it’s time to depart for an overnight stay in neighbouring Mandurah, where fresh seafood dining experiences and more bottlenose dolphin encounters await.

Chapter 2

Rockingham to Mandurah


Begin Day 2 with a visit to the helpful staff at at the Visitor Centre at 75 Mandurah Terrace, here they can help you with maps, bookings and provide local knowledge. A relaxing way to explore the 134km² of vast, calm, inland waterways is on a guided tour. Mandurah Cruises offer a range of cruises from luxury Wild Seafood Experiences where you catch your own seafood before enjoying a delicious lunch on board, through to daily Dolphin & Scenic Marine Cruises to experience playful wild dolphins. If you have kids, The Pirate Ship Mandurah offers tours through inland waterways and canals on board a custom-built pirate ship. Steer the pirate wheel, ring the bell, or sit back and enjoy the scenery. Another great and unique way to enjoy Mandurah’s waterways is on board Western Australia’s only donut shaped electric boats. Enjoy your very own floating BBQ and experience the ultimate 360-degree dining experience on the water, with all equipment supplied and no skipper’s tickets required. Following a day on the water, hungry guests will relish at the range of great cafes, restaurants and bars available both on the foreshore or at the Dolphin Quay Shopping Centre. A top pick would be Flic's Kitchen at 16 Mandurah Terrace, open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, their Bottomless Brunch is legendary and dinner with the backdrop of the estuary memorable. To completely unwind, take your holiday home with you by hiring a fully equipped houseboat from Mandurah Houseboats and enjoy the waterways for days.

Chapter 3

Mandurah to Lake Clifton


Stretching south of Mandurah to Preston Beach, the Yalgorup National Park is home to the ancient thrombolite reef at Lake Clifton. In visiting by day the most striking things about the thrombolites are their limestone colour and rounded shape, Lake Clifton’s thrombolites are very fragile, so an observation walkway has been built for visitors to enjoy these incredible formations while protecting them from damage. Facilities include picnic tables, toilets and an information shelter. The best way to experience the thromoblites is at night on a guided star gazing tour with Salt and Bush Eco Tours. Gaze up and be amazed at our bountiful universe - truly unique way to be relaxed by nature. Further south your will discover intriguing wineries such as Vineyard 28, and Cape Bouvard Winery.

Chapter 4

Lake Clifton to Bunbury


Take a leisurely drive along the Forest Highway on your way to Bunbury. Consider stopping at the Crooked Carrot or Miami Bakehouse on your way for a bite to eat. All in anticipation of your final destination on the Bunbury Foreshore. Enjoy an educational and eye opening experience at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Take an eco tour or the opportunity to swim with the dolphins at Australia's Premier Wild Dolphin Experience and Interpretive Centre. Kids and families can enjoy the wonders of the aquarium and the range of educational exhibits. Finish your day with a visit to some of Bunburys nightlife and up-and-coming hospitality scene at Cuprum Distillery or take in a show at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre. Stay overnight in Bunbury town at Quest or consider a more off the beaten track retreat in the surrounding regions like Evedon Park or Country Charm Retreat B&B.

Chapter 5

Bunbury to Perth


Return home using the scenic route of the South West Highway. You might like to stop in through the Ferguson Valley wine region, dining at some of Bunbury Geographe's finest restaurants, wineries and breweries such as St Aidans or Bush Shack Brewery. Alternatively, take a detour through Collie, see the spectacular Wellington Dam Mural - an 8,000sqm masterpiece and the largest dam mural in the world, enjoy a horse ride through the forests with Outback Horse Trails and on your way to the comfort of your own home stop at Harvey Cheese for something delectable to enjoy as your recall the enjoyment of your last 4 days.

Chapter 1

The Start


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