I stayed with my Mum in Meadow Springs for three weeks in late March/early April and then again for a week in mid May. Meadow Springs is a suburb just as you come into Mandurah. It has a population of around 7792 (as of 2017) and a median age of 42.2 years. The main shopping complex has about 22 shops including a Target, a hairdresser, GP medical centre, bakery, Coles, Newsagency, some gift shops, a cafe, a bottleshop, 2 fast food outlets and a petrol station.
The residents and friendliness:
I found the residents friendly, ready to chat and returned smiles/greetings. In my Mum’s street, most of the neighbours are retired farmers like my parents. They have taken my Mum under their wing since Dad passed away and pop in for a cup of tea or invite Mum over.
Beauty of the buildings and natural surroundings:
The houses are a mix of new houses that look similar (ie same roof colour and house shape) and older houses with a bit more character like bigger windows and verandas. The local shops are just commercial buildings. The gardens however are a different matter. The residents seem to really take pride in their gardens, lawns and vegetable patches. There is also an interesting mix of public gardens- rock gardens, native gardens, lake gardens and even a quarry.
Walking trails and hikes to explore:
There are some lovely streets and public gardens to walk but no hikes or walking trails I discovered? The suburb is mostly flat with pockets of natural bush land, man made streams and parks with lakes.
Personal Safety and Jogging:
Mum’s neighbour across the road locks herself into her room at night due to not feeling safe. Her house backs onto the golf course and has mentioned that groups of teenagers (mostly in Summer) use the golf course as a thorough through. She advised that a house down the road whose house also backs onto the golf course was broken into.
Personally, I felt safe walking and jogging around Meadow Springs even into the evening. There were other walkers out, families with their children, dog walkers. I had the impression that neighbours look out for each other, actually interact with each other and overall there is a sense of close community within Meadow Springs.
Active art and craft community:
I didn’t get a chance to explore this side of Meadow Springs but I intend to look into this when I next stay.
There is a Meadow Springs RAAFA Art Club that meets every Friday. Out of Meadow Springs and in the larger Mandurah area, there are a number of art and craft groups including an Embroiders Guild, Knattering Knitters, Mandurah Arts and Crafts Society, Mandurah Photography Club and Mandurah Plein Air Artists.
There is also CASM, a Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah which holds nine art exhibitions each year, offers a studio residency program and workshops. The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre is your venue for drama performances, shows, musicals and performing art workshops. Mandurah also holds a number of art festivals during the year like the Stretch Arts Festival, Public Arts Trail and Wearable Art Mandurah.
Quirky character and uniqueness:
Meadow Springs is definitely a well maintained and more pricey suburb of Mandurah (currentl median price of $380K compared to Mandurah $290K as of 8th August 2017) but I don’t know if there is any quirky character that would make it stand out from any other Mandurah suburb.
I was very lucky to have such balmy weather whilst I was staying with Mum in Meadow Springs. The nights were cool but there warm sunny days in the early 20’s with only a few cloudy overcast days that threatened to rain.
For Mandurah, February is the hottest month with the average mean maximum being 29.6, 17 mean minimum. July and August are the coldest months, with the mean maximum being 17.3-17.7, whilst the mean minimum being 8.6.
I like Mandurah in the winter, autumn and spring seasons where temperatures are still relatively mild.
I was very impressed by the large number of lovely cottage gardens and well maintained front lawns all through Meadow Springs. There were lots of butterflies and bees. There was also birdlife though mostly crows and magpies.
Overall Impression of Meadow Springs and Mandurah:
I like my Mum’s suburb of Meadow Springs for the garden surrounds, the friendliness of the residents and the close walking distance away of the shopping centre. It is lovely to be close to family- my Mum and then on the other side of Mandurah lives my sister and neice/nephews, however I still couldn’t see myself living in Meadow Springs or another suburb within Mandurah.
For the beach bum Mandurah has a lot of empty white sandy beaches and ocean life to explore. Mandurah might also be ideal for those who like winding canals. There are plenty of man made canals to explore in a small dinghy or kayak. There is also a nice cafe strip along the Mandurah foreshore and a number of festivals during the year like the Mandurah Crab Fest and Winter Street Festival.
For me personally, Meadow Springs and Mandurah is missing walking trails, hiking, the variation in natural surrounds to sketch and character/quirky features. In having similar temperatures to Perth, I would also start melting once it gets to the hotter longer months of Summer.