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Canning Bridge Train Station to Centenary Park along the Canning River

Perth, Australia

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The Facts

  • Start or End: I started at Canning Bridge Train Station (Google Map Directions) and finished at a bus stop on Centenary Avenue, Wilson (Google Map Directions).
  • Length: 11.7km (7.3mi) in about 2.5hr
  • Grade: Easy. Paved much of the way with a couple of dirt/sandy tracks. Some hills, but flat most of the way.
  • Date Walked: 9th of November 2013

The Story

Dead ends, backtracking, staircase ruins and snakes on a path. Walking along the north bank of the Canning River.

Today I am going to explore the northern bank of the Canning River in Perth. Starting from basecamp I take public transport to the Canning Bridge Train Station and start my walk. On a previous blog post I walked north of Canning Bridge along a path between the Swan River and the Kwinana freeway. This time I am heading south along a path between the Canning River and the Kwinana freeway. So like last time I need to dodge cyclists and turn the music on my iPod up to drown out the sound of six lanes of traffic. On the plus side though there are some terrific views over the Canning River.

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Before reaching the Mount Henry Bridge at Salter Point I come across a sandy reserve on the western side of Salter Point with a gravel path loop. It was well worth the deviation off the main path as there are no cyclists to dodge and you get some good views of the river.

After enjoying the reserve on the western side of Salter Point I was excited to explore the remainder of the point located on the other side of the Kwinana Freeway. So I joined the main path again and headed towards the Mount Henry Bridge. On google maps it appears that the path leads under the bridge to a gravel path on the eastern side of Salter point. Google maps is right, but the path is blocked by a locked gate. Even without the locked gate it didn't look very inviting, there was a lot of rubbish around and the vegetation was overgrown. Don't think this path has been used for a while. The main path heads along the bridge to the other side of the river, but I don't want to go that way. I want to explore the north bank of the Canning River, so I have to backtrack and enjoy the traffic noise of the freeway again!

A short backtrack later I find a footbridge over the freeway and walk through the suburbs of Salter Point. Not the best place to walk as there is no clear path to follow and most of the time I have to walk on the street. I walked through the streets on a route which looks like the fastest way to get back to the river.

With a few kilometres of walking in the suburbs under my belt I finally get back to the river at a small park on the corner of Redmond St and River Way. At the park there is a staircase leading down a steep embankment to a path right on the bank of the river. Guess what? The staircase was blocked off due to disrepair! Back into the suburbs again! Second time today I reach a dead end.

I finally gain access to the river path at the end of Sulman Avenue. Decided to head back towards the closed off staircase to see what I had missed. What I found was a brilliant boardwalk right on the river. Pity that staircase is out of order as this would be a really awesome walk. Once again I need to backtrack. Luckily this is the last time I need to backtrack. From this point on the path was fairly clear and there were no dead ends.

The path along the river meets a round-a-bout at the end of Salter Point Parade. At this point I take a diversion off the main path and into a wetland reserve, which contains a small lagoon feed by the river. The path gets a bit hard to walk on in the sandy areas, but it is worth it for the calmness of the area and the beautiful river and nature views.

After having a rest and taking in the scenery of the wetlands it was back onto the main path along the river. The path sticks close to the river with a few diversions into Sandon Park and along Bodkin Park. At the northern most tip of Bodkin Park near Waterford Ave is a small jetty out to the river. Good spot for a quick rest.

My walk continues along the river until the path heads inland between the Marr Mooditj Foundation and a small lagoon, which is part of a new housing development near Centenary Park. As a leisurely stroll along I see something skinny about 1 meter long on the path. Thinking it is a stick I continue walking. I abruptly stop walking when the skinny, 1 meter long thing on the path starts to slither. A bloody snake! Scared the crap out of me. Luckily there is plenty of room on the left hand side of the path so I can go around. Couldn't get the best picture of the snake as my iPhone has lousy zoom and I didn't want to get too close. As I pass by it notices me and slithers into the bushland. Not sure what type of snake it was, but safe to assume it is poisonous.

Ok, two dead ends and now snakes. I wasn't meant to take a walk today and now there is no path that follows the river. I will need to go inland to get around the new housing development, then follow a path along Centenary Avenue until I reach the path by the river. Could not be bothered. It is starting to get hot and I have already walked 12km. Think that is enough for today. I head off to Centenary Ave and catch public transport home.

Today's walk can be summed up in one sentence: A crappy, go nowhere walk that I would not recommend, but it did have an exciting end. The walk did have some good points, especially the wetlands. It is such a pity that the path isn’t better along Salter Point as this could be a fantastic walk. It gets frustrating when you have to backtrack after you find a dead end or because the path has degraded. Hopefully the new housing development at Centenary Park includes a path that follows the river.

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