Vineyards to Cityscape

Vineyards to Cityscape

We were lucky again to receive excellent local knowledge that made our cruise on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia an easy and very enjoyable trip. With local knowledge you find out about the essential things that boaties are keen to know: where to launch, where to safely leave the car and trailer, where to anchor, if there are public mooring buoys, closest shops and laundry. Perth provided it all and more making it an excellent place to river cruise.

We launched Tatui at a boat ramp with a large parking area in Marylands, opposite the Police Training Academy so with police cars going by regularly it was a very safe place indeed to leave the car and trailer for a few days. The ramp had 2 pontoons and a public mooring buoy near the ramp that we could stay on over-night. We could see the city lights and skyscrapers for the comfort of our quiet location bobbing around on the river.

View from our cockpit at the public mooring buoys Maylands Foreshore Reserve

Our first excursion the following day was to cruise up the river as far as we could go until it got narrow and shallow. It was a lovely cruise leaving the urban landscape quite soon after we had left our mooring. After cruising past Ascort Racecourse and riverside homes the river banks became open bush and parkland areas before giving way to vineyards. We were able to glimpse the renaissance terraced gardens, four storey waterfall and statues of Caversham House

Renaissance terraced gardens of Caversham House

as well as their private launch MV Karen Sue built 1957 that was moored at their jetty. Caversham House is a popular wedding venue.

While we were in Perth the Swan River was currently closed to river traffic south of where we were moored while a footbridge was being constructed. So, the following day after a lunch cruising the river again with friends we towed Tatui to the public ramp which is located between the Royal Perth Yacht Club and the University of Western Australia. Although you have to pay for parking Russ found the carpark further back was free at weekends. We also found in the bay 5 public mooring buoys. You can stay on these for 4 hours at a time 7am – 7pm which meant if you picked up a mooring after 3pm you could stay on it overnight. What we didn’t know was that these buoys are very popular at weekends for small commercial sunset drink cruise boats. There was also a wedding taking place in a marquee on the foreshore. We therefore were entertained by competing music from the wedding and the different sunset cruise boats that turned up. Fortunately, it was all quiet by midnight.

From our new location it was a short cruise in front of the botanical gardens of Kings Park to Elizabeth Quay. The quay amazingly provides 24 public berths that you can use for 3 hours. The quay is located right in the heart of the city.

Elizabeth Quay with Tatui in the first berth in the centre of the photo

I enjoyed a morning of visiting the sights of Perth including finding some lovely historic buildings amongst the skyscrapers.

Supreme Court of Western Australia

Government House Western Australia

His Majesty’s Theatre

As Russ isn’t a lover of cities, historical buildings or shopping he opted to relax onboard people watching from the comfort of the cockpit.

What we didn’t expect to see was a huge Buddha statue, erected for the Buddha’s Birthday & Multicultural Festival

and even more surprising a gondola!

Our final day cruising was to cruise south, out of the river mouth, into the Indian Ocean and around into Freemantle. The stretch of river down to the mouth was lined with luxury homes one or two of which were huge.

Luxury home of the Swan River – yes this appears to be all one home
As does this one, another luxury home of the Swan River

In Freemantle we dodged the ships in the port

Freemantle Port

and saw the multi-level boat parks in Challenger Harbour

Challenger Harbour Boat Parking

and on the way back dodged the hundreds of yachts racing in the river. It seemed like everyone was out sailing. There are 9 different yacht clubs on the river and from where we were we counted 4 different races happening in the river at once from children’s small sailboat fleets to 40-foot yachts. Each race organised by a different yacht club on the river.

Weekend yacht racing on the Swan River

Our overall impression was that Perth and the Swan River was a boating paradise for locals and visitors and is a must on any tour around Australia.





  1. Marcia Baker May 24, 2018 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Some great pics Claire and interesting reading. We loved Perth and look forward to visiting again.

    • claire May 24, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

      Yes Marcia well worth visiting again.

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