Start your holiday with a lazy afternoon in Mandurah and a relaxed cruise around the canals taking in the luxury homes and the equally luxurious boats moored outside. After that it’s up to you! Cross the Peel Inlet and the Murray River beckons with its breathtaking scenery and amazing birdlife. The real beauty though is that it’s up to you where you go and what you do on your holiday afloat.
Holidays are about relaxing with family and friends and there’s no better place to do just that than on one of our houseboats. Moor up and watch the world go by with a beer in your hand or plan a day of non-stop activity. Whatever you do, when you wake up on the water we can guarantee that the stress of daily life will simply ebb away.
A houseboat trip up the Murray River offers what is quite possibly WA’s best pub crawl. Start at the Sandy Cove Tavern in South Yunderbup, before moving on to Jetty’s Bar & Grill. A stop at the iconic Ravenswood Hotel is pretty much compulsory before heading up-river to the Redcliffe on the Murray. Don’t forget to check online for opening times and details of live music.
Preparing the nightly meal can be a chore at home but with all our houseboats featuring fully self-contained kitchens and outdoor BBQs, cooking afloat is easy and fun. Of course if you don’t fancy cooking there’s heaps of opportunities to eat out in Mandurah and along the Murray River, from burgers at the pub to something a bit more formal at a range of restaurants.
The Murray River is perfect for swimming in the warmer months and great for kayaking or SUP boarding most of the year. Protected from the wind, it’s an amazing experience to paddle the river as it meanders through marri and red gum country with its abundant birdlife. Our boats are easy to hop on and off so houseboaters of any age can join in the fun on the water.
Mandurah is known as one of the best places in the state to see dolphins up close in the wild. You’re likely to see bottlenose dolphins in the marina, the Peel Inlet and the Murray river at any time of the year. If you’re interested, the FinBook Mandurah is an amazing source of information about the area’s dolphin families and their behaviour. Download it here.
The Peel region is home to more than 100 local and migratory bird species. On the river you’ll spot an array of waterbirds including herons, black swans, spoonbills, darters and cormorants. Tie up the boat and just a short walk away there’s a good chance you’ll see wrens, wagtails, fantails and whistlers. If you see a bird you can’t identify have a look at these useful guides.
A houseboat is perfect for a spot of fishing in the region’s beautiful protected waters. Whiting and tailor are common in the estuary whilst there’s plenty of black bream in the Murray River. Throw in a line to catch a feed for dinner, but remember that at least one person on your houseboat has to have a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence. You can apply for a licence here.
Mandurah is synonymous with blue swimmer crabs. All our houseboats have drop nets on board so there’s no need to even get your feet wet when you’re looking for a feed. During crabbing season (1st Dec. to 31st Aug.) drop the nets off the boat in the early morning so you can enjoy a fresh crab roll for lunch (or have a look at this video to see how the professionals cook them).
Cooper’s Mill is only accessible by boat and is sited on Cooleenup Island at the entrance to the Murray river. The first wind-powered mill in the district (and the only one still standing), construction began in 1840 and the mill was operational until 1865. Houseboats can moor overnight in this peaceful spot which features a toilet, BBQ facilities and a small playground.
Pelicans jetty on the Murray River is a lovely shady spot for an overnight stay and shore power is available here for houseboats that have this feature. There are public toilets nearby. Sandy Cove Tavern is a 15 minute walk away.
Sandy Cove Tavern is the perfect place for a quiet drink, a night out with friends or a meal with the family. Have a look at the menu and check for specials, events and live music here. During the summer it’s often a good idea to make a booking, call on (08) 9537 6155. There’s a maximum 4 hour stay in this location and no overnight stays are permitted.
Casual and laid-back is the best way to describe Jetty’s Bar and Grill, the perfect place for a relaxing catch up with friends and family. Overlooking a large grassed area by the water, the kids will keep themselves entertained on the sandy beach while the adults can relax with a coldie. Bookings can be made on 9537 7781. Overnight stays for houseboats are permitted but please note that Jetty’s is currently operating Winter opening hours and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The famous ‘Ravo’ has a great atmosphere, an idyllic setting, regular live music and an eclectic food menu. Located directly opposite our Ravenswood base with its private moorings (perfect for overnight stays) it’s just a short walk over the bridge to get to the hotel. It’s worth noting that Emily Louise cannot travel any further upstream from here.
A peaceful 2 hour journey from Ravenswood up to our last stop on the river takes you to the Redcliffe On The Murray restaurant, have a look at the menu here. The stunning location makes this venue popular for weddings and receptions so it’s worth calling ahead on (08) 9531 3894 to make sure they’re open to the general public. Overnight moorings for just one houseboat here.
Close to Redcliffe is Ranger Reds Zoo & Conservation Park (formerly Peel Zoo) where visitors can hand-feed animals, hold a snake, or pat a kangaroo. The attraction features more than 100 species of Australian birds and animals including koalas, wombats, dingos, exotic birds, reptiles, spotted quolls, possums and owls. The Park has BBQs and a picnic area.
Cafe Coast in Port Bouvard Marina offers al fresco waterfront dining with stunning estuary views. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner or just coffee and drinks, the restaurant has an extensive menu and wine list. Nearby Port Bouvard Fish Shack is perfect or more casual dining in the marina. Houseboats are welcomed for overnight stays.
Dolphin Quay is the location for our home base in Mandurah. It features 14 places to eat and drink along with a range of shops, boutiques, a hairdresser, barber and beauty studio. Close to all the amenities of Mandurah including a local IGA and convenient for Mandurah Forum shopping centre, it’s a fabulous place to start or end your houseboat holiday with us.