Back in 1964, Eric and Sue Johnson (along with their five kids) began the legacy when they bought the original 4-hectare property. It contained six fibre cement beach cottages with pull-chain toilets and wood-fired bath heaters, a clutch of fibro duplex buildings and a two-bedroom owner’s residence. The ‘reception’ was the kitchen table and the Johnsons shared an outdoor laundry with guests. All up, it cost a family £13 to stay during peak season, and they were required to bring their own linen, blankets, towels and pillows.
Flash forward 50 years and – thanks to a little hard work and risk taking – things have certainly changed. The Johnson family began adding a little here and there each year. They demolished and built anew, laid pipes, resurfaced roads, extended and landscaped, turning what was a wilderness (albeit one beloved by kids who saw it as the perfect natural playground) into a sophisticated but still environmentally-sympathetic and family-friendly resort.
Today, Mandalay Beach Resort is a modern holiday destination, loved throughout WA and beyond. It provides a unique experience that blends quality accommodation with a location perfectly placed in the heart of one of the country’s most treasured regions. There’s a heated indoor pool with shallow beach, an outdoor solar-heated pool (with rainbow slide), a games room with TV, pool table and table tennis, and three adventure playgrounds all set amid acres of immaculate grounds.
Accommodation options span it all: powered caravan sites, ensuite sites, beach cottages and even superior three-bedroom spa chalets. “The best thing about living and working at Mandalay,” Clive (the current owner) says, “...is the fun stuff, the countless hours on the beach with the kids, fishing, crabbing, snorkelling and water skiing; the surfing, scuba diving & spear fishing. It all reminds me of my own childhood here.”
So here’s to fifty more years of providing families with a great time and an escape from the whirlwind of modern life!