Shrugging off its fusty retirement-haven image, Mandurah has made concerted efforts to reinvent itself as an upmarket beach resort, taking advantage of its new train link to Perth's public-transport network. And, although its connected set of redeveloped 'precincts' and 'quarters' may sound a little pretentious, the overall effect is actually pretty cool. You can wander along the waterfront from the Ocean Marina (boats, cafes and the Dolphin Quay indoor market), past the Venetian Canals (glitzy apartments linked by Venetian-ish sandstone bridges), through the Boardwalk and Cultural Precinct (more eateries, visitor centre, cinema, arts centre) to the Bridge Quarter (still more restaurants and bars).
Mandurah Bridge spans the Mandurah Estuary, which sits between the ocean and the large body of water known as the Peel Inlet. It's one of the best places in the region for fishing, crabbing, prawning (March and April) and dolphin spotting.