Heirisson Island to The Narrows Loop Walk Around the Swan River, Perth, Australia
An 11.2 km loop along the Swan River banks of Perth City, Heirisson Island, and South Perth. Cross the river at the Narrows Bridge and the Causeway and treat yourself to brilliant river and city views. Along the way make a stop at Heirisson Island and say hello to Perth's inner city kangaroo residents. Yep, that's right, roaming kangaroos all within minutes of downtown Perth.
- Location: Perth City/South Perth/Heirisson Island, Western Australia, Australia
- Start or End: Elizabeth Quay is a suggestion (good public transport options from Elizabeth Quay Train Station and Bus Port) but could start and end at many locations due to the proximity of parking and public transport along the loop.
- Length: 11.2km (7.0mi)
- Grade: Easy, flat, majority paved except for the flat gravel tracks on Heirisson Island.
Where else in the world could you pick up a coffee, casually stroll between skyscrapers and the water and then minutes later be relaxing on the grass next to a kangaroo? Take a walk along the Perth City and South Perth banks of the Swan River and all this plus more is yours to enjoy. There is plenty of bird life, people watching opportunities, grassy spots to take a rest and the possibility of a dolphin sighting in the waters of the mighty Swan. And Black Swans, plenty of Black Swans (hence the name of the river).
Being so close to the city this walking loop is easily accessed by car and public transport. The most obvious starting point is Elizabeth Quay, which is right in the city and is home to a train station and plentiful bus services provided by the nearby Elizabeth Quay bus port.
The path is flat and very well serviced the whole way. Although a popular spot for Perth locals to work up a sweat the loop is perfectly suited for a leisurely stroll enjoyed over a morning or afternoon. If you are more of a night owl this walk is ideally suited for a night walk, sure the Kangaroos on Heirisson Island will be impossible to spot but the glow of the city lights viewed from the South Perth foreshore should keep you captivated.
The loop walk can start and end at many different locations due to proximity to public transport and parking. However, the most obvious sections are as follows.
Elizabeth Quay to Heirisson Island via South Perth
- Start/End: Elizabeth Quay/Southern bank of Heirisson Island
- Length: 6.4km (4.0mi)
- Grade: Easy, completely paved, flat, exposed, no shade.
Before starting out on the walk take the time to explore Perth's newest attraction, Elizabeth Quay, which opened in January 2016. As a relatively new attraction, there is still plenty of construction but a visit to the Bell Tower, BHP Billiton Water Park, Spanda (a massive art installation), the footbridge and the dining options on Barrack Street Jetty are well worth a walk.
To get to the other side of the river either take the ferry from Elizabeth Quay to Mends Street Jetty or better yet walk across the Narrows Bridge. If you cross via the western side of the bridge you will see brilliant views of Kings Park, the Old Swan Brewery, and expansive Swan River views. Via the east side of the bridge are excellent city and foreshore views.
After crossing the Narrows Bridge take in the views of the Perth CBD from the South Perth Foreshore. The South Perth foreshore has extensive parkland so is a perfect spot for a rest, especially at night when the City of Perth lights up.
- Start/End: Southern bank of Heirisson Island/Northern bank of Heirisson Island
- Length: 2.0km (1.2mi)
- Grade: Very easy, gravel track, some shade.
After enjoying a stroll along the South Perth foreshore, it is time to cross the Swan River via the Causeway, but don't go the whole way across as it is time to visit the urban Kangaroos of Heirisson Island. From the path on the western side of the road walk west onto the island via dirt paths. Soon enough you will reach a fence and gate, which encloses the western end of the island and is home to a small colony of Western Grey Kangaroos. You may have to search for them but the views along the Swan River towards the Perth CBD and South Perth foreshore will keep you entertained in the meantime. Please don't forget to close the gate behind you and follow the Kangaroo rules!
Heirisson Island to Elizabeth Quay via the north bank of the Swan River
- Start/End: Northern bank of Heirisson Island/Elizabeth Quay
- Length: 2.6km (1.6mi)
- Grade: Very easy, fully paved, exposed, little shade.
After saying goodbye to the Kangaroos on Heirisson Island go across the northern section of the Causeway over the Swan River to Point Fraser. At the time of writing a large section of Point Fraser was under development. Soon Point Fraser will be home to new restaurants and retail but fortunately, the boardwalk along the wetlands will remain.
From Point Fraser, the path follows Riverside Drive and is right alongside the Swan River. The path is a popular spot for walkers and runners, with the odd fishermen throwing in a line. It is also a popular spot for cormorants to sun themselves after catching a meal in the river.
In the distance, you will see the glass-clad spire of one of the world's largest instruments, the 82.5m Bell Tower and its 18 Swan Bells.
Upon reaching the Bell Tower you will find yourself at Barrack Street Jetty, which adjoins the newly developed Elizabeth Quay, and is home to a bar and a number of eating options. The perfect spot for a rest after completing the Heirisson Island to The Narrows Loop.
TheBellTower.com.au: Official website of The Bell Tower
MRA.wa.gov.au Information and events at Elizabeth Quay
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Have you taken this walk? Any suggestions or errors? Please comment below.