Being the last remaining unspoiled river estuary on the Swan Coastal Plain, there aren’t many things to do in Moore River Guilderton. However, this is its appeal and is a popular spot for day-trippers from Perth looking to get away from the city.
Families head to this small coastal town, where the estuary and ocean meet, for relaxation, swimming, fishing, surfing, and kayaking.
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Things to do in Moore River Guilderton
Moore River, with a catchment area of 13,800 sq km and 193 m in length, enters the Indian Ocean at Guilderton. It was known to the Aboriginal people as Garban but was renamed in 1836 after expedition leader George Fletcher Moore.
This river is used for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding. You can find a launching point at Silver Creek, about 1.5 km upstream. From here to the river mouth is a non-motorised zone making it safe for paddlers.
You can hire canoes/kayaks, pedal craft, aqua bikes, power dinghies, and ‘The Barbecue Boat’ (a pontoon boat for ten people) from the Moore River foreshore car park during weekends, school holidays, and public holidays. Please note that boat hire will not be available when the sandbar is open due to the danger of being swept out to sea.
Read this boating guide for Moore River for more information.
WARNING FOR RECREATIONAL SWIMMERS IN THE MOORE RIVER
Any water supply that seasonally exceeds 30°C or continually exceeds 25°C may be a risk of fatal amoebic meningitis from Naegleria fowleri.
When recreating or swimming in warm freshwater bodies such as the Moore River, reduce the risks by following these rules:
- Look for posted warning signs and follow the advice on them.
- Do not jump or dive into the water (or force any water into the nose).
- Avoid swallowing water or putting your head under water.
- Avoid swimming if you have an open wound or infection.
I’m happy to report that Naegleria fowleri has not been found in Moore River to date. However, Thermophilic Naegleria does get detected and could be the pre-cursor to Naegleria fowleri. Find out more on the Shire of Gingin site.
The sandy beach at Guilderton is great for surfing, boogie boarding, and windsurfing. However, it is known for rips, so care must be taken as the beach is not patrolled.
Moore River Sandbar
This natural sandbar dams the river for most of the year, separating the river from the ocean. It opens after heavy rains, mainly in winter and spring. Manually opening the sandbar is not allowed as it will endanger the fragile ecosystem.
Diving or Snorkelling
Fourteen shipwrecks have been located off the coast between Wreck Point and Lancelin/Wedge Island, including the Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon), which was wrecked in 1656. Most of these wrecks are great diving sites, accessible by boat. However, as wrecks are usually hazardous, divers must be qualified and take care. Read more about the wrecks along the Silver Coast here.
Sandboarding at The Desert
If you missed out on sandboarding in Lancelin, Cervantes has its very own location. Known as the desert, a sand dune on the other side of the river is a popular place for sandboarding. You can walk across the sandbar or kayak to the other side.
Sandboards can be purchased from the Visitor Centre.
Lookout & Walk Trails
Take a walk along the foreshore, past the caravan park, to the lookout staircase. The lookout offers the best view of Moore River, the sandbar, and the beach.
You can return the same way or go via the Yoodook Karla Kada staircase.
You can fish off the beach and have a chance of catching herring, whiting, tailor, and mulloway. Upstream in Moore River, you can find large bream.
There’s a fully-accessible fishing platform and parking at Silver Creek and a fishing platform along the boardwalk at Stephens Crescent.
Please take notice of the signs, and you can get measurement stickers and fishing brochures from the Visitor Centre. Do not leave fish hooks and lines lying around, as they are a danger to children and wildlife. See Fisheries for bag limits and licence fees.
Guilderton Country Club
Hire a tennis court for A$10 an hour or play footgolf (A$10 per adult & A$5 for children). Golf fees are A$15 per person and bowls are A$5 per person.
There’s also a skate park and a playground at the Guilderton Country Club.
Watch the Sunset
See the sunset over the Indian Ocean from the lookout or the beach.
Guilderton Lighthouse, built in 1983, is the last brick-built lighthouse in Australia and can be found north of the groyne. The 32m high lighthouse has specially tapered red clay bricks and operates as an automatic marine beacon. Today it is the only major navigation aid between Fremantle and Jurien Bay.
You can see the original bulls-eye lamp on display in the Guilderton Country Club, which was replaced by a Tungsten Halogen lamp.
Where To Eat in Moore River Guilderton
Picnic or BBQ
There are free gas barbecues on the foreshore and Gabbadah Park, or take a picnic to eat on the grassed area of the foreshore.
Guilderton Country Club
The kitchen at Guilderton Country Club is usually open from Wednesday to Saturday but call ahead to check.
Guilderton Café & General Store
Guilderton Café and General Store are being upgraded since being taken over by Belgravia Leisure, who manage the caravan park on behalf of the Shire of Gingin.
Seabird Tavern is a 15-minute drive from Guilderton with views overlooking the ocean. It’s typical of a country pub but, unfortunately, the food can be hit and miss. Lovely place for a drink though.
Grass area at Seabird Tavern
How to Get to Moore River from Perth
International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.
There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental. Choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, and Thrifty.
To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction. Another option is Rentalcars.
Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Travel north of Perth to join State Route 60 (Indian Ocean Drive) and follow this scenic coastal route until the turnoff to Guilderton. It will take about 70 minutes from Perth.
You can park by the foreshore for A$2 an hour or A$10 per day (fees apply from 7 am to 7 pm). Cash and credit cards are accepted in the machine, and tickets must always be displayed.
Moore River Weather
The best time to visit Moore River is in the warmer months of December to April, when there is little rain. This is the ideal time for swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking. It can be extremely windy in the afternoon when the sea breeze comes in, though (see how the wind has shaped the tree!).
August and September are the best months to view wildflowers.
How Long to Stay in Moore River
Moore River is an easy day trip from Perth but stay the night if you don’t fancy the drive back. Stay longer in Moore River if you want to relax, let the kids play in the river, and fish.
Moore River / Guilderton Accommodation
We use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), a price match guarantee, the site is user-friendly and they have great customer support. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are often cheaper than Airbnb.
Moore River Cottage
Moore River Cottage is right on the beachfront and includes three bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kitchen with a microwave and fridge, a washing machine, and two bathrooms with a shower. The property features a restaurant, a garden, barbecue facilities and free WiFi.
Bedroom 1: One extra-large double bed Bedroom 2: One extra-large double bed Bedroom 3: Three single beds & one double bed.
River Panorama Beach House
River Panorama Beach House features four bedrooms, a flat-screen TV, a kitchen with a microwave and stovetop, a washing machine, and a bathroom with a shower.
A terrace and a private beach area can be found at the holiday home, along with a garden.
Bedroom 1: One large double bed Bedroom 2: One large double bed Bedroom 3: Two bunk beds Bedroom 4: Two bunk beds
Guilderton Holiday Park
Guilderton Holiday Park is right on the river, just metres from the beach. It offers shaded camping bays (bays 10-57 with hardstands), ten self-contained chalets, and seven Pure Glamping tents.
History of Guilderton
Guilderton is known as Gabbadah, meaning a mouthful of water, by the Yued people (the Noongar language or dialectal group north of Perth).
A 100-acre block at Gabbadah, owned by Henry Brockman, was made a reserve for picnicking and camping in 1905. People were charged one shilling per week to use of one of the three cottages built here in 1907.
Guilderton was named after the Dutch guilders, supposedly from the Dutch ship ‘Vergulde Draeck,’ found in dunes north of the town in 1931.
Soldiers used the area in World War II for rest and leisure and a base for horseback beach patrols.
Are Dogs Allowed in Moore River?
You can walk dogs at Silver Creek, Gabbadah Park, and the Country Club. However, dogs are not allowed on the grassed areas of the foreshore or the main beach and sandbar.
Tips for Visiting Guilderton
Some safety tips for visiting Guilderton:
- keep to the speed limit of 50km/hour
- the speed limit on the river is 5 knots
- don’t do off the designated tracks
- put all rubbish in the bins provided or take it home
- camp only in the caravan park
- fish responsibly
- don’t feed the pelicans or any other wildlife
- do not try to open the sandbar manually
- do not take your 4WD on the beach or dunes
- be aware that there are no emergency services in town
- download the emergency app
Save money planning your holiday
Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.
Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Kiwi.com and try different routes.
Travel Guides: As well as using online resources, like other travel blogs, I like to flick through a paper travel guide too. I either rent them from our local library or buy them from Bookdepository if I want to take it with me.
Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.
Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated. Another option is Rentalcars.com
Campervan Rental:Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Tours: We use third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.
Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic.
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