The Thrombolites

Mandurah Wilderness & Wildlife


Rock-like structures lying just off the beach under the water’s surface, the Thrombolites are extremely rare...and alive!

Scientists believe these living fossils are one of the first life forms on earth, dating back 570 million years & they are found in only a handful of places on the planet.

Thrombolites are a particular form of microbialite (rock-like structure built by micro-organisms) that have a clotted internal structure. The word thrombolite is derived from the same root as thrombosis which means clot.

The Thrombolite ‘reef’ at Lake Clifton is over 2,00o years old, over 6km long and up to 120m wide, and is the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Thrombolites were among the first creatures on earth to produce oxygen, making all subsequent life possible so come by and say ‘thanks!’

In fact, their ancestors predate man, dinosaurs and plants.

For a closer look at the Thrombolites, there is a flat, easy 5km return lakeside walk that leads to a section of the shore where you can examine them from above.

Depending on seasons and tides, they will appear just below the water surface, or may protrude out of the sea.

The best time of year to visit is probably during late summer and autumn, because you get a better view of the Thrombolites when the water levels are low.

Lake Clifton is about 35km south of Mandurah on the Old Coast Road. There are picnic tables and toilets at the parking area east of the boardwalk.

WARNING: Car crime unfortunately does occur sometimes here and the local police teams are doing a lot to combat it. We strongly advise not to leave any personal belongings in your car or to put items in the boot, under a seat or cover them with a blanket.

Please DO NOT walk on the Thrombolites, stay on the boardwalk. Thank you.

Admission Prices | Free

Location & Directions

Mount John Road, Herron WA 6210 Australia


Regional Information:
Shire of Waroona (08) 9733 7800