East Fremantle Swan River Walk
Start - The Left Bank, East Fremantle
Distance - 4.5km (Loop)
Best Time - Early Mornings & Sunset
Places of Interest
The Left Bank
John Tonkin Park
Swan Yacht Club
Online Map (Google Maps Overlay)
Downloadable Map (PDF)
Just out of the city centre of Fremantle and along the banks of the Swan River you will find a picturesque stretch of pathway snaking its way along the edge of the river. This popular recreational area is loved by locals and for good reason. With the Swan River always in view, boats sailing by and plenty to keep you, the kids and the dog occupied along the way, this is a great way to spend an hour or two.
If you are arriving by car there is a small car park under the Stirling Bridge that can be accessed by turning off Canning Highway onto East St and then again onto Riverside Rd. Alternate parking can be found on Andrews Rd near The Left Bank or there is paid parking further towards Fremantle opposite The Kiosk.
Once you have found the figure of Bon Scott painted under the bridge, cross Riverside Rd to the footpath next to the river. Head north along the palm lined footpath past The Left Bank, Red Herring/Dome & Marine Training Facility buildings until you get to the small beach before the John Tonkin car park. You can take this beach as a shortcut to the boat ramp and beach further along.
Past the boat ramp is the dog friendly beach where your four legged friend can investigate the smells of the river without dragging you in every direction. Along this beach you will find the Zephyr Cafe and the vast playground of John Tonkin Park. With plenty of play equipment for the kids, BBQ facilities and abundance of shady trees this is the perfect place for a picnic or family day out.
Continuing along the trail the beach ends and rejoins the footpath near the start of the Swan Yacht Club. Make sure you stay between the yellow lines here as the path makes its way through the various boat ramps and jetties. Past the Yacht Club is another little beach in front of Norm McKenzie Reserve with more play equipment and a grassed area.
You can choose your turnaround point at any section along this stretch and I usually wait until the exercise equipment just past Eat Greek restaurant before doing a 180. You can mix up the walk on the way back by using the path that runs next to Riverside Rd instead of the river. This will give you a closer look at the Leeuwin Barracks and John Tonkin Park.
Niergarup Trail (optional) - The Niergarup Trail is a small detour that takes you on the cliffs above Riverside Rd and provides some amazing views of the Swan River, Fremantle Harbour and the Indian Ocean. I recommend doing this section on the return leg and entry to the trail can be found on the opposite side of Riverside Rd to the river just south of Pier St (see map). Take the stairs up to the path and watch for the information boards that provide historical information about the area and its Aboriginal heritage. Explore the flowing rapids at Merv Cowin Park and if you are doing the walk at sunset I recommend taking it in from here as the views towards Fremantle and the ocean are spectacular.
Once you have finished soaking in the views, the trail ends with stairs down to The Left Bank and a short walk back to the car park. After 4.5kms of sightseeing you deserve a break so why not treat yourself to a coffee at The Left Bank or breakfast at the The Kiosk on Beach St.
I hope you enjoy the walk and make sure to tag any photos of your Fremantle walks on Instagram with #thelifeofpy.