white sand creating sand bar blocking brown coloured river from entering the ocean

Things To Do in Guilderton Moore River

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 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.

Top 10 Things to do in Moore River Guilderton

1. 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 underwater.
  • 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 precursor to Naegleria fowleri. Find out more on the Shire of Gingin site.

a brown coloured river with pontoon and kayakers
Pontoon in the middle of Moore River

2. 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.

green bushland backing onto white beach with bright blue ocean
Guilderton beach north of Moore River

3. 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.

sand bar stretching across river blocking it from the ocean
Sand Bar across Moore River

4. 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.

5. Sandboarding at The Desert (Moore River Dunes)

If you missed out on sandboarding in Lancelin, Moore River has its very own dunes. Known as the desert, a sand dune on the other side of the river is popular for sandboarding. You can walk across the sandbar or kayak to the other side.

Sandboards can be purchased from the Visitor Centre.

6. Lookout & Walk Trails

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 via the Yoodook Karla Kada staircase.

view of brown colour river from a lookout
View of Moore River from the lookout in Guilderton

7. Fishing

You can fish off the beach and catch 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 around, as they are dangerous to children and wildlife. See Fisheries for bag limits and licence fees.

8. 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.

9. Watch the Sunset

See the sunset over the Indian Ocean from the lookout or the beach.

10. 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.

red brick lighthouse
Guilderton Lighthouse

Where To Eat in Moore River Guilderton

Picnic or BBQ

There are free gas barbecues on the foreshore and at Gabbadah Park, or you can take a picnic to eat on the foreshore.

Guilderton Country Club

The kitchen at Guilderton Country Club is usually open from Wednesday to Saturday but call ahead to check.

bbqs picnic tables and shelters along river foreshore
Barbecues and Picnic Tables along Guilderton Foreshore

Guilderton Café & General Store

Guilderton Café and General Store are closed at the moment.

Seabird Tavern

Seabird Tavern is a 15-minute drive from Guilderton, with ocean views. It’s typical of a country pub, but, unfortunately, the food can be hit and miss. Lovely place for a drink, though.

plastic table and chairs overlooking the ocean at seabird tavern near moore river
Seabird Tavern

Moore River Location

Moore River is a river in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region that flows into the Indian Ocean at Guilderton (sometimes called Moore River). It is about 100 km north of Perth, between Two Rocks and Lancelin.

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.

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.

australian black and white pelican swimming in browny red 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, but flies can be a nuisance.

a windswept tree on river foreshore
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

Moore River Cottage

Three-bedroom, two bathroom beachfront property, which has a restaurant & garden.

Pets allowed.

Rated 8.7⭐️

River Panorama Beach House

Holiday home with four bedrooms, a bathroom, terrace, and garden.

It also has a private beach area.

Rated 8.3⭐️

See more accommodation options here

Moore River Camp Site

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. 

caravan park and river from a lookout
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 one of the three cottages built 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 as a base for horseback beach patrols.

Moore River Native Settlement

The Moore River Native Settlement, located near Guilderton, has a long and sad history. It was established in 1918 and was initially created by the Australian government to be a place for Aboriginal people to live and work. However, people were forcibly removed from their traditional lands, part of a wider policy of assimilation intended to integrate Indigenous people into white society. The settlement housed many mixed-race children taken against their will as part of the Stolen Generations.

view of a brown river with people kayaking and walking in the water
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
kayaks on the river is one of the things to do in moore river
Water sports in Moore River Guilderton

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