western australia

Stopover in Western Australia

 

Qantas is now flying daily direct on the Perth – London route and people are making the most of the new service to take some time out and explore Western Australia.

For Australian passengers travelling to or from other parts of the country on the direct route, Qantas is offering a Perth stopover with no additional stopover fee, depending on fare type.

This is a fantastic way to break up the journey and see more than just Perth.

Only an hour south of the capital by train or car, Mandurah and the Peel Region showcases the best of everything that WA is renowned for including stunning beaches and waterways, unrivalled seafood, world-recognised golf courses, spectacular views, history and culture, wineries, breweries, shopping and adventure.

Mandurah is Western Australia’s largest and fastest growing regional city and is set against a backdrop of magnificent beaches and an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour.

It has recently been named Western Australia’s Top Tourism Town and is the perfect base to take day trips to explore the wider Peel Region. In an easy half hour drive you’ll find beautiful wineries, breweries, winding waterways, rolling green hills and tiny timber towns nestled in the forest.

Mandurah and the Peel Region is home to one of Australia’s healthiest dolphin populations which you spot on a dolphin cruise or while dining in one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Seafood lovers will rejoice in the number of dining options available from the great Mandurah tradition of a picnic fish and chips on the newly refurbished foreshore to ‘catch and cook’ cruises featuring blue manna crabs, native to Mandurah waters, and rock lobster.

If you enjoy a spot of fishing, you’re sure to land a catch in the Peel Region.

Mandurah boasts Western Australia’s own modern Venice, with a network of canals featuring luxury homes. You can hire a boat and cruise them yourself or join an organised tour.

If it’s a holiday with a difference you’re after, Mandurah is the only place near Perth you can hire a houseboat. Completely unwind and take in the views while slowly meandering down the Murray River or Peel-Harvey-Estuary for days at a time.

Travel Facts

Getting there

Mandurah is less than an hour south of Perth. When driving, travel the Kwinana freeway south, easily accessible from many points in Perth, and exit at Mandjoogoordap Drive. Trains and buses operate between the two cities and depart from the Perth city centre. www.transperth.wa.gov.au

Staying there

Mandurah and the Peel Region has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. There is a choice of resort hotels, caravan and camping facilities, charming bed and breakfast accommodation, self-contained apartments, forest cabins and even houseboats for hire.

Getting around

Buses operate around Mandurah, but if you want to explore the Peel Region extensively you can hire a car or join a tour. Taxis and Uber drivers are also available in Mandurah.

When to go

The Peel Region can be visited any time of the year. Being on the coast, it’s spectacular in spring and in summer. But during winter, the scenery is amazing. You can find something to do all year around.

Further Information on Mandurah and the Peel Region visit www.visitpeel.com.au

Gordon River Cruises, Tasmania

World first for new Gordon River Cruises vessel

As the building of the new vessel for Gordon River Cruises on Tasmania’s west coast continues to progress, now is a great time to reveal an exciting world-first for the company.

The vessel will be fitted with both diesel engines and electric motors, meaning the operator can switch between one or the other or both, depending on the location of the vessel at the time and the prevailing weather conditions.

This will reduce fuel consumption and its impact on the environment.

In addition, and perhaps the most exciting, when the cruise enters the Gordon River, the diesel propulsion engines can be switched off, leaving only the electric drive.

This means guests on-board will enjoy a cruising experience like nothing that has ever been available in Tasmania’s world heritage area before – quiet cruising and completely in keeping with the values of this remarkable place.

Gordon River Cruises believe this is the first commercial passenger vessel of its kind in the world and is pleased to bring this experience to members, other Tasmanians and visitors to the island state.

The hybrid drive system has been developed by one of the world’s leaders in marine propulsion – MTU, based in Germany. Right now there is only one other vessel with this same drive package – a spectacular private yacht recently launched and cruising in the Caribbean.

The new Gordon River Cruises vessel is due to launch in April 2018.

For more details and to watch the video visit gordonrivercruises.com.au/2018.

humpback

Listen: Hear humpback whales sing at Hervey Bay!

Add a new dimension to your whale watching experience by visiting Hervey Bay in September – it’s the best time to hear humpback whales sing.

Pacific Whale Foundation senior research biologist Stephanie Stack said only mature whales sang and this month was when most started arriving in Hervey Bay for their migratory stopover.

She said songs would typically last for about 20 minutes but individual whales might sing incomplete songs or repeat songs several times. 

Humpback whales can sing for hours on end. Singers will surface every 10 to 20 minutes and keep singing with only short pauses to breathe,” Ms Stack said.

“Songs have a hierarchical organization with ‘units’ building into ‘phrases’ which, in turn, form ‘themes’ which, together, comprise the song.”

She said there was no consensus in the scientific community about the function of whale songs but communicating underwater was challenging.

“Light and smells don’t travel well but sound moves about four times faster in water than in air, which means marine mammals often use sounds to communicate,” Ms Stack explained.

“Most song occurs in breeding areas, but song has also been recorded along migration routes and even occasionally in feeding areas.”

Ms Stack said there were several theories about the purpose of humpback whale song including attracting females to individual singers or a group and communicating with other mature whales for dominance or cooperation.

“Female humpbacks rarely approach singing males, suggesting the song may represent a form of male-male acoustic display,” Ms Stack said.

She said noise pollution was a growing concern for researchers.

“Increasing noise in the ocean could cause a disruption of natural whale behaviour such as feeding, mating and communication.”

Pacific Whale Foundation researchers using underwater microphones, known as hydrophones, have recorded rare white humpback whale Migaloo singing in Hervey Bay.

“Some mature males may arrive early while others may remain longer, meaning song could potentially be heard in Hervey Bay at any point during the season.”

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