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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moore river guilderton beach one of the things to do in moore river guilderton
Moore River Guilderton sandbar and beach viewed from lookout

Things to do in Moore River Guilderton

Moore River

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 Best Things to do in Moore River Guilderton 2022
Pontoon in the middle of Moore River

Guilderton Beach

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.

a long strip of white sandy beach and ocean with people walking and swimming
Guilderton beach north of Moore River

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.

a wide sandy beach where the river meets the ocean and a sandbar stopping the river going into the seas
Sand Bar across Moore River

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.

a lookout with a aerial view of a river mouth and people stand up paddleboarding
View of Moore River from the lookout in Guilderton

Fishing

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

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.

a tall red brick lighthouse
Guilderton Lighthouse

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.

picnic shelters on a foreshore with barbecues
Barbecues and Picnic Tables along Guilderton Foreshore

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

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.

tables and chairs on a grass area overlooking the ocean

Grass area at Seabird Tavern

seafood on a plate

Shared plate

How to Get to Moore River from Perth

International visitors will land at Perth Airport. This Australia Travel Guide provides details about visas, prohibited items, currency, safety and more.

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.

Car Hire – To compare rental car company prices, I use Rentalcars.com. They are the world’s biggest car rental site, comparing all main brands including Europcar, Budget, Ace, Hertz, Avis, and Alamo.

an australian pelican in the river
Australian Pelican in Moore River

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.

a tree nearly on its side due to strong wind
Windswept trees on Guilderton Foreshore

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

Tip: Accommodation gets booked out quickly, especially during school holidays. To avoid disappointment, book early. We use booking.com as most properties offer free cancellation if your plans change. See what’s available for your dates here.

We also book through Stayz rather than Airbnb as they are often cheaper.

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.

Pets allowed.

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. 

aerial view of a caravan park near the river with tents caravans and rvs
View of Guilderton Holiday Park from the lookout

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.

people on the river and the beach in boats kayaks and walking
Moore River from Guilderton foreshore

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
aerial view of a river mouth and sandbar and sandy beach and ocean
Water sports in Moore River Guilderton

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The Best Things to do in Moore River Guilderton 2022

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15 Comments

  1. John Quinn says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if accommodation was still 1 shilling per week. The place sounds fun though the prospect of the bacteria in the water would probably scare me away. Australia is mad, everything wants to get you. 😅

    1. haha it does seem that way but as long as you are aware of the dangers in Australia and know what to do, you will be fine! The bacteria in the water can happen anywhere in the world if it gets up to those temperatures.

  2. The geography of the area – particularly the colour of the water and the sandbar – looks very interesting. Moore River and surround sounds like a really lovely place to visit both for activities and relaxation. The sandboarding really appeals. Love that windswept tree!

    1. The colour of the water in Moore River is from leaf tannins I believe and makes a beautiful contrast against the white sand.

  3. What I wouldn’t give to be on that sandbar now Wendy! Moore River is charming and is surely a great place to social distance while being outdoors! A detailed post and one that’s on my WA list x

  4. Another great guide Wendy sandboarding has always appealed to me yet have never had the opportunity.
    14 shipwrecks around sounds great diving is another activity I have wanted to do for many a years. Tge west coast is certainly calling us.

  5. It’s always fun reading about different places in Australia as it’s a pretty foreign country to me, especially once you get away from the east coast. This sounds like a lovely day trip for some fun in the water.

    1. Thanks Paul. I must admit of not knowing anything at all of Western Australia before I moved here!

  6. Lots of useful tips and what a fun day-trip destination. I also love the idea of non-motorised zones for paddlers.

    1. I think that’s a great idea too as Moore River is popular with water sports.

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