East Fremantle Swan River Walk
The Left Bank
8th February 2020
All Year Round
Directions - The start point for the walk is under the Stirling Hwy Bridge on the corner of Riverside Rd and Andrews Rd. There is normally plenty of parking both there and along Andrews Rd unless there is an event on at the Left Bank.
The Walk - I love Fremantle and it's been my home for the majority of my adult life so it's about time I started showing it some love for the website. There is so much going on here and a great variety of places to visit and history to explore that I've started designing walks in various parts to showcase what I love about the area. The East Fremantle Swan River Walk was one of the first Fremantle pages I produced back in the early days of the website and if I'm honest it was really terrible with some bad photos and a questionable layout (you can still see it if you visit archive.org and search for this url). Starting in the summer of 2020 I've decided to re-do those posts, sometimes with just updated photos like Booyeembara Park and the Fremantle City Tourist Walk but this particular walk I decided needed a complete overhaul.
With that in mind I headed down to the Left Bank on a cloudy Saturday afternoon with my camera and set about experiencing a walk that I enjoy quite a bit. I've re-mapped it a little bit from the original layout to make it a proper loop and include some vantage points that I think are quite special. Standing under the concrete behemoth of the Stirling Hwy traffic bridge you can look up and down the river as it reaches the harbour and eventually the Indian Ocean. A feature of Fremantle Port are the giraffes (or dinosaurs) and from here you can see them off in the distance. Taking a photo of the Bon Scott mural on the wall of the bridge, I pressed start on my watch and began the walk. The first half of the route takes you along the paths and beaches that runs right next to the river and is a popular recreation spot for a lot of locals. Back in my younger days when I lived in North Fremantle I would cross the bridge on my runs and pound the pavement here. With a much cruiser method of moving this afternoon I was simply going to enjoy myself and take many photos. Passing the Left Bank, it was very busy with people pouring in for dinner and to enjoy their Saturday nights so feeling very conspicuous, I took a couple of quick photos and moved on.
Moving on you see the sign for the Niergarup Track, something I would take in on the return section but this is a cool spot with the always in flow Bicentennial Falls located near the stairs. It's part of a bigger park up on top of the cliffs and is a spot I don't think many people know about, especially if they don't live in the area. Further on you pass what used to be the Red Herring restaurant, a building that extends out over the water and was a lovely spot to have dinner (or have your wedding reception like my sister did). Nowadays it is a franchised Dome, which I think takes away from the character of the area but some people might disagree. Past the Dome is a palm tree lined stretch of pavement and grass that has been converted into an exercise area by the Town of East Fremantle with lots of the pseudo exercise equipment that can be used for sit-ups, pull-ups etc. It's always in use when I walk by so it's great that people find it purposeful and it adds to the sense of community in these areas. Next up is the Marine Education Boatshed that is used by the Dept of Transport as a safety and education centre. Along the rocks and around the building is where you often find a large variety of bird life ranging from shags to the iconic Black Swans to what I was lucky enough to see up close on this visit, a White-faced Heron.