Claisebrook to Bayswater via the Swan River South Bank, Perth, Australia
28th of June 2014
A peaceful morning walk along the southern bank of the Swan River upstream of the Windan Bridge. Mirror like water, secluded jetties, Black Swan Island and city views.
- Location: Claisebrook to Bayswater, Swan River, Perth, Australia
- Start or End: Start or end at either Claisebrook Train Station or Meltham Train Station.
- Length: 12.5km (7.8mi)
- Grade: Easy to Medium. Relatively flat. Fully paved except for dirt paths on Black Swan Island.
Thank you Perth Weather Gods, you have certainly blessed me today with some perfect walking weather. I think it's time to continue my conquest of the Swan River. My target today, the southern bank of the Swan River upstream from the Windan Bridge.
This morning's walk starts at the Claisebrook train station, heads east alongside the Graham Farmer Freeway and then over the Swan River via the Windan Bridge (a path which I have taken previously when I visited Heirisson Island).
After the Windan Bridge the path is wedged between Belmont Racecourse and the Graham Farmer Freeway. Unfortunately, you cannot access the Swan River foreshore on the perimeter of the racecourse. What a shame and such a waste of the foreshore. Why do the horses and jockeys get sole custody of the river views, while I am stuck with freeway scenery? Damn you river hogging horses! Sooo ... not the best start to today's Swan River odyssey. Fortunately, it wasn't long before I reached the river again at Rivervale and slowly left behind the noise of the freeway.
It's a little ironic that once I pass one sporting venue limiting river access I see on the opposite bank the Maylands Golf Course, another sporting venue which blocked the river bank on a previous expedition. Anyway, better I forget about selfish sporting facilities and enjoy my walk, which is suddenly much more enjoyable with the river in view.
Shortly after reaching the banks of Swan River I find myself at quiet Cracknell Park. There is not a soul to be seen. Adjoining the park is a small jetty reaching out into the spectacular mirror like water of the Swan River. I really do hope the walk continues with scenery like this.
After Cracknell Park the path continues within a small strip of bushland on the river bank. The bush opens up near a complex of luxury apartments providing great views of the Swan River.
With the advantage of less and/or dead trees I can capture the beautiful views across the calm blue waters of the Swan River to the Maylands Foreshore Reserve, which I visited just a few weeks ago. So far walking on this side of the Swan River is just as enjoyable (if it wasn't for the Belmont Racecourse the walk would probably be better).
With beautiful views in abundance I think it is time to try another function on my new Nikon D5300 DSLR, the movie mode. Sorry about the wobbly hand, but here is my first movie.
Gazing across the Swan River towards the Maylands Foreshore Reserve from Rivervale.
Sure the views across the Swan River are good from this position, but are they so good that multistorey luxury apartments would be built on this location? After a further walk along the path between the luxury apartments and the river I soon realise why.
City views, and really good ones at that, even from the ground floor. Imagine what they are like on the 10th floor.
From the heights of the luxury apartments the path slowly descends to the river level where another jetty can be found hidden amongst the scrub of the riverbank. What an absolute gem.
And unquestionably worth a video.
Hear the birds sing on this peaceful Perth morn.
Soon after the jetty is Adachi Park, a Japanese themed garden with picnic areas and a playground. The Japanese theme of the park and the name signify Belmont's Sister City, Adachi in Japan. There is also a Belmont Park in Adachi. I did a bit of a Google search on Adachi, I couldn't find Belmont Park, but I did discover that Adachi is Tokyo's most northern ward and is surrounded by a number of rivers including the Sumidagawa and Arakawa. If you want more info about Adachi and the exchange click here.
I wonder if Belmont Park in Adachi is also on the bank of a river, and a balding Japanese equivalent of me with an interest in metrotrekking is walking through it right now. Eerie ... but probably not. Anyway, Adachi Park is a beautiful little area and I especially like some of the interesting paths, definitely not wheelchair accessible though.
It's a pity that Adachi Park is so close to the busy, even at this early time, Great Eastern Highway (the Japanese surely would not display such disrespect with Belmont Park would they?). I say goodbye to Adachi Park and the congregating personal trainer groups and continue along the river. The path and the highway begin to go their separate ways at Bristile Park, another beautiful area to walk. From Bristile Park I can see my next destination, Black Swan Island, on the other side of the Swan River.
Before reaching Black Swan Island the path leads through Grove Farm Reserve and an adjoining marina filled with luxury leisure craft and surrounded by extravagant housing. I felt like I didn't belong walking around here. Much too fancy for me.
After a taste of the high life I make my way over to Black Swan Island via the Tidewater Way Bridge. The circumference of Black Swan Island is lined with natural bushland and paths while the innards of the island are large grassed expanses. I stick to the bushland and take in the natural beauty of the flora, fauna and water views over the Swan River. I do not see a soul on the island. The only sign of humanity is a buzzing sound coming from the cleared section in the middle of the island. My educated guess is that someone is having fun with a remote controlled flying device of some kind. Why would I think this? Well, there are a number of signs around asking people not to fly such devices on the island. Obviously someone thought they could get some airtime in early with no one noticing.
There is a perfect spot on the south-east tip of Black Swan Island where a two seater concrete bench sits under the shade of a gumtree. From here I take a rest, rehydrate and fill up on some fruit and nuts. And of course enjoy the views.
Here is what it looks like if you turn your head from left to right.
The best spot to have a rest on Black Swan Island.
After a well-deserved rest on the banks of the Swan River I continue along the bushland path on the west coast of Black Swan Island. I highly recommend visiting the bushland tracks of Black Swan Island. Even though I am so close to the city it feels like I could be in the middle of nowhere (if the middle of nowhere also includes someone flying a remote controlled plane close by that is).
At the north-east side of Black Swan Island is a pedestrian bridge which takes me back to the mainland and humanity. The bridge is also another great vantage point to take in more water views.
Ok, so I have definitely been spoilt of choice today when it comes to scenery, especially water views. So I can't complain when the path heads away from the river, into the suburbs and along the busy Garrat Road. As I reach the Garrat Road Bridge I have two choices, continue along the river or go home. I am definitely energized to walk on as this walk has been one of the most enjoyable along the Swan River so far. However, I think I might walk the leg from Garrat Road Bridge to Guildford another day. As they say, you shouldn't have too much of a good thing. Time to head to Meltham train station in Bayswater and then home.
I definitely recommend this walk! Hopefully, I can walk Belmont Park in Adachi one day.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.
Have you taken this walk? Any suggestions or errors? Please comment below.