Perth Water

Perth Water is the first big wide section of water you will encounter when journeying down the Swan River.  Travelling up the river, it is the last wide section of water you will encounter.  Either way, it is a big section of water.

The City of Perth from the South Perth Foreshore.

Perth Water.

Historically Perth Water helped determine the final location to build the city.  To sail into Perth Water you must enter a narrow passage, known as "The Narrows".  With Mt Eliza conveniently overlooking this bottleneck, it would be hard to sneak in with a fleet of battleships.  Once in Perth Water, there was no other way out, as Heirisson Island, blocked the eastern escape.

Perth Water and the Central Business District.


Perth Water mirrors the Central Business District.

View from the South Perth Foreshore.

Luckily, nobody ever actually invaded Perth. We were simply too far away to make the effort worthwhile.  In fact the whole invasion thing would have become stuck in the mud.  Perth Water is surprisingly shallow, and without modern dredging (1897), it would have been possible to wade across in a good pair of boots.  The shallow water means the river is more suited for recreational boating.

Take a seat and reflect on the Swan River.


South Perth from Mt Eliza.

On the lookout for invading naval forces entering Perth Water.
View from Mt Eliza across the Narrows into South Perth.

The original banks were lined with thick reeds, forcing the settlers to build long jetties out into the river. The swampy shoreline was progressively filled in with sand, to enhance access to the river.  The original city shoreline is 300 metres back from the one we see today.  It is hard to imagine it was just in front the skyscrapers that line St Georges Terrace.

The South Perth Foreshore.


The South Perth Foreshore.

PERTH IN REVERSE:  Perth is built on an area of reclaimed wetlands.  Most have now been drained. Lake Monger, located 5km from Perth, has been retained for ecological, and recreational purposes.  It is possible to take a photograph of Perth looking across Lake Monger, which looks strikingly like the classic view from over Perth Water.  The office buildings look a little reversed, but your friends will be forever guessing where you took the photo.


Perth from across Perth Water. (Taken from the South Perth Foreshore).

  Perth as viewed across Lake Monger.  

View of the city across Perth Water.


View of the city across Lake Monger.


PHOTO HINT:  To achieve a fake Perth Water image from Lake Monger, use the zoom function on your camera.  It helps bring the buildings closer, as they are a good 5km away.  There is of course, no substitute for the real thing.


Perth Water and the Narrows Bridge.

Perth Water and the Narrows Bridge from Kings Park.

The Swan Bell Tower as viewed from the South Perth Foreshore.

Pictured left, is the Swan Bell Tower and Barrack Street Jetty, as viewed from the South Perth foreshore.  It is from here that you can catch the Transperth Ferry across Perth Water.  Once in South Perth, you can soak up the view, and start snapping great shots of the city for your holiday album.  While on the foreshore, take a short walk to the Old Mill, and  Narrows Bridge.

Every Australia Day (January 26th), the people of Perth gather around the shores of Perth Water, and watch a colourful display of fireworks.

Australia Day Fireworks over Perth Water.

The Swan Bell Tower.


Red Bull Air Race:  Perth Water is also a host to the world famous Red Bull Air Race.  It is an exciting event where the pilots must execute tight turns, through a slalom course of pylons known as "Air Gates".  Reaching speeds of up to 400 kph, the pilots manoeuvre above the expanse of Perth Water.  They fly very low to the water's surface, and experience forces of up to 10G.


Smoke circle above Perth Water.


Pilots in tight formation.


Drawing a circle above Perth Water.


Two pilots in tight formation.


The "Air Gates" mark the course route.

The Air Gates on the surface of Perth Water.

Or Forever Hold Your Peace:  Many residents of Perth choose to get married in Kings Park overlooking Perth Water. Just don't choose a day during the Red Bull Air Race. The couple in this pavilion had their wedding vows, replaced with deafening growls.

I Do....what? say that again!  (Jet Fighter demonstration over Perth Water)

Copyright 2007