Australia

Point Walter, Bicton to John Tonkin Reserve, WA, Australia

Intro

This beautiful stretch of water way, follows a pristine area of the Swan River near the historic port of Fremantle in Western Australia.

The relatively narrow river way, meanders through a channel between the north and south sides of the Swan River.

The water is clean and filled with aquatic and bird life.

With amazing scenery both on and off the water, it is a beautiful place to paddle.

There are many places to stop along the way, to rest and picnic, to explore the limestone cliffs on foot and to take in the views or to spoil yourself with a meal and a drink from a number of restaurants, cafes or yacht clubs along the way.

It is a place rich in history.

To the local Aborigines the Blackwall Reach/Point Walter area is known as Jenalup or Dyundalup. The most sacred part of the area is the cliffs along Blackwall Reach.

The Swan River is highly significant to the Nyungar people, as, in the dreaming, the river was made by the Waugal rainbow serpent.

One of the most prominent features of the Blackwall Reach Reserve is the limestone cliffs that rise eight metres out of the Swan River. The cliffs have been formed by the eroding processes of the river, which flows from the wide expanse of Mosman Bay into the narrow gap of Blackwall Reach. 

Highlights

This stretch of the Swan River is spectacular to paddle along.

There is prolific wildlife along the sandbar 

The water is calm, it is protected from the wind and the scenery along the shore is beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Knowledge

  • Launch Point

    Start: Point Walter

    Bourke Drive

    Bicton, Western Australia

    Point Walter or Dyoondalup is a point on the Swan River, Western Australia, notable for its large sandbar that extends into the river. It is located on the southern shore of Melville Water,

  • Places to Stay

    Pier 21

    https://www.pier21.com.au/

    Directly across the river from the left bank is the North Fremantle foreshore, a beautiful little beach that is almost always sheltered from the wind.

    It is dog friendly (as are most of the areas along the paddle circuit) but here, you can have your dog off leash.

    This is where the boutique hotel accommodation Pier 21 is located. 

    You may want to start and finish your paddle right from the doorstep of your hotel room. 

    To the left of Pier 21, if you paddle north, you will pass the Water Police and find yourself in a stunning cove with high limestone cliffs.

    It can get very shallow, with a sand bank running through, but with the possibility of seeing a pod of dolphins you may want to hop off your board and have a swim in the sparkling Swan River waters.

    Tradewinds Hotel

    https://tradewindshotel.com.au/

    Seashells Apartments

    https://seashells.com.au/resorts/fremantle/overview/

     

  • Places to Eat / Drink

    There are so many rest stops along the way, you can stop and have a picnic, or if you want to paddle light, also an array of places to buy a snack, a full meal, or just a refreshing ale!!!!

    At Point Walter, there is a beautiful restaurant/café - https://www.waltersrivercafe.com.au/

    Playgrounds, toilets, showers, ample and safe parking, walking trails. 

    Cool beans – https://www.instagram.com/coolbeansfremantle/ This cute little ‘hole in the wall’ is the perfect pit stop for a caffeine hit or snack (or both) on your journey up the river.

    Eat Greek - http://www.eatgreek.com.au/

    Swan Yacht Club - http://www.swanyachtclub.com.au/

    Zephyr Cafe - https://www.zephyrcafe.com.au/

    Dome Coffees - http://www.domecoffees.com/stores/dome-east-fremantle/

    The Left Bank is an iconic Fremantle establishment built in 1889 – it sits right on the water’s edge and is the perfect place to end your paddle, with fish and chips and a pint! https://www.leftbank.com.au/

Things to Know

  • Boat traffic/Rottnest ferry/boat wakes.
  • Winds – the wind can be an aid!
  • Pick the right time of day and you can use the wind to your advantage!
  • Look at weather forecast – typically in Summer, an Easterly wind will blow in the mornings, then a South Westerly in the afternoon.
  • The current/tide at the Fremantle end, near the Stirling Bridge can often be quite strong. Be aware of this.
  • Stay away from the ocean side of the Stirling Bridge.
  • At the end of the Blackwall reach section, the Kent Street jetty (end of Kent street) there is a small reef. Stay closer to the moored boats or any moorings as a guide. Water visibility is high so you can see if water gets shallow and if reef is visible.

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