Winding its way through Perth City, the iconic Swan River is a popular tourist and leisure destination with cultural significance in Western Australia.
The Swan River, or Derbarl Yerrigan, as it’s known in Nyoongar language, is the main conduit between the Inland Plains and the Indian Ocean. It holds a special significance for many cultures.
The Swan River divides Perth City between north and south and is fringed by a dynamic entertainment and leisure precinct, including Elizabeth Quay. Elizabeth Quay is a landmark waterfront development that connects the city with the Swan River.
Outside the water, the Swan River water’s edge is surrounded by dual-use paths and walking trails, perfect for running, cycling and skating. There are also countless grassed areas and open spaces, perfect for a summer’s day or sunset picnic. In the water, you’ll find people sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and boating.
To help reconnect you to this iconic waterway, we’ve created the ultimate list of places to eat, stay and play along the banks of the Swan River.
Eat + Stay
Doubletree by Hilton Perth Waterfront
Relax and rejuvenate during an overnight staycation at the DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront. Experience a different side of Perth and be greeted by breathtaking panoramic river views and Perth’s skyline. DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront is located in the heart of Elizabeth Quay – a short walk to entertainment, activities and Perth City.
There are loads of great dining options within the hotel, but a staycation at DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront wouldn’t be complete without a visit to 18 Knots. 18 Knots is a luxurious bar located on the rooftop of the DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront in the Elizabeth Quay entertainment precinct, with expansive views of the Swan River and the Perth cityscape. Enjoy cocktails, locally sourced bar bites and an extensive wine list as you enjoy the sunset in style.
Quay Perth is a boutique hotel on Perth’s waterfront esplanade, overlooking vibrant Elizabeth Quay with sweeping views of the Swan River and beyond. The stylish 80-room property features cosy, well-designed communal spaces, a dedicated 24/7 co-working office, function and event spaces. Bar and restaurant options within the hotel include a chic indoor/outdoor rooftop bar and restaurant and a relaxed all-day lobby cafe. Its central location in Perth’s thriving capital offers easy access to the top attractions and facilities surrounding the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay and Perth City.
Located on the rooftop of Quay Perth, HQ Bar & Kitchen is a stylish dining venue with stunning panoramic views of Elizabeth Quay. The large open-air terrace beckons guests to enjoy Perth’s sunshine, sunsets and unparalleled views. A menu of modern Chinese-inspired share platters and tapas-style bites are on offer, paired with craft beers, innovative cocktails and premium WA wine and cider selections.
Crowne Plaza Perth
Feel miles away while still in the heart of Perth City at Crowne Plaza Perth. The whole family will love the spacious family-sized rooms, stunning infinity pool and kids’ menu fit for every little one. This is the perfect base to explore the Swan River and Elizabeth Quay.
Located at the front of Crowne Plaza Perth in East Perth is Gusti Restaurant and Bar. Gusti Restaurant and Bar is a contemporary restaurant with enviable views of the Swan River and a sumptuous modern Australian menu. Local produce champions the seasonal menus which provide a local twist to some international cuisine and a well curated wine list with options to suit every palate. Wine, dine, then retreat to your room to relax.
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth
Perched on the water’s edge at Elizabeth Quay is the breath-taking Ritz-Carlton, Perth. An overnight staycation at The Ritz-Carlton is a must for all Perth locals. Holiday at home and enjoy elegantly appointed rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning vistas of Elizabeth Quay, the Swan River, The Bell Tower or Langley Park.
During your stay, dining at Hearth is a must. Hearth offers guests an unforgettable Western Australian local food and wine experience. Hearth celebrates local producers from WA’s Kimberley to the Great Southern region, paired with an exclusive wine list.
Create lasting memories at Crown Towers. Live the luxurious resort life with an indulgent staycation within Crown Perth. By day, enjoy unprecedented resort facilities including world-class spa and fitness facilities, luxury shopping and multi-tiered lagoon pools. By night, dine at one of the many acclaimed restaurants including Nobu, Epicurean or Silks.
The ultimate in modern accommodation, Crown Metropol Perth promises to deliver a truly unique hotel experience. Contemporary guest rooms are stylish and spacious with plush beds, a comfy sofa and a large desk for work or play. Venture poolside and be surrounded by glamorous day beds and lounges, a large main pool as well as relaxation and family friendly pools complete with children’s waterslides.
Matagarup Zip + Climb
Strap yourself in for Perth’s ultimate thrill ride: the Matagarup Zip + Climb. This is no ordinary bridge walk. Climb 314 steps then shimmy and squeeze through tight spaces to reach the glass bottom Sky View Platform. Catch your breath, enjoy the unique vantage point of the Swan River, then descend towards the launch platform. From here, clip onto the 400 metre zipline and get ready to soar across the iconic Swan River at 75km per hour.
Swan River Seaplanes
Looking for an unreal date idea? Embark on an epic sightseeing adventure with Swan River Seaplanes. Take off from the Swan River and experience mesmerising panoramic aerial views with a scenic joy flight above Perth. Extra special occasion? Go one further and book the exclusive riverside picnic package.
The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower is one of the largest musical instruments on earth and was custom built to house the heritage bells of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church, the parish church of Buckingham Palace in London’s Trafalgar Square. The Bell Tower is the only place in the entire world where you can watch the bell ringing in action or where the little ones can have a go at ringing the bell during an interactive tour.
Captain Cook Cruises
Meander down the Swan River between Perth and the port city of Fremantle on a daily cruise with Captain Cook Cruises. Stay onboard and enjoy the scenic experience or disembark in vibrant Fremantle and explore this special location at your own leisure. Captain Cook Cruises has a cruise option for everyone - from the Swan River Scenic Cruise, Swan Valley Gourmet Wine Cruise, Perth Swan River Dinner Cruise and many more.
About Bike Hire
Cycle around the Swan River with About Bike Hire. About Bike Hire is situated at a new purpose-built facility on the Swan River foreshore. Hire high-quality, comfortable bikes, kayaks and quad-cycles for short, medium or long periods. Choose from standard bikes to speciality bikes for touring, off-road mountain biking, triathlon and road racing as well as tandems, kids trailers and more. Need accessories? About Bike Hire has everything you’ll need and more - from helmets to puncture kits.
Little Ferry Company
All aboard Little Ferry Company! Now docking at Elizabeth Quay, On The Point and Optus Stadium, Little Ferry Company embraces our most famous natural tourist attraction: the Swan River. This is a truly unique experience cruising aboard WA’s only solar electric ferry. The little ferry takes you on a guided return tour of the Swan River along the foreshore from Elizabeth Quay to East Perth. The ferry run is a hop-on/hop-off service so you can advise the skipper if you want to stay at one of the many cafes or bars along the way and they’ll pick you up on the next scheduled ferry. The full return cruise takes around 90 minutes and runs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Segway Tours WA
Cruise around the picturesque Swan River foreshore, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens and Elizabeth Quay on one of the most incredible modern machines in the world. Segway Tours WA offer guided tours complete with fascinating stories about Perth’s rich history, dynamic boom times and its plans for the future. Segways are easy to ride and offer the most exhilarating and relaxing way to soak in the beauty of Perth.
Funcats Watersports is one of Perth’s iconic must do activities. With no experience necessary, there is no better way to enjoy our picturesque city than a relaxing sail, paddle board or kayak on the beautiful Swan River. Hire a catamaran, paddle board or kayak and explore the stunning Swan River at your own pace. Peacefully glide across the water and spot dolphins, our famous black swans, pelicans and wildlife galore.
Perth Waterbike Co
Pedal. Glide. Relax. Embark on an adventure with Perth Waterbike Co this summer. Perth Waterbike Co offers Perth’s premier waterbike experience on the Swan River. Grab the family, cycle on the Swan River and enjoy the fresh air on a performance waterbike at your own speed. Pedal along the Perth City skyline and into Elizabeth Quay for breath-taking views of Perth from the water. A cross between a boat and a bike, waterbikes are super stable, easy to drive and fast enough to make it an epic voyage.
Ahoy there! Experience stunning views and the river suburbs of Perth with Nauti Picnics private boat hire. Nauti Picnics deliver unrivalled creativity, service and experience on the Swan River. It specialises in providing an easy boating lifestyle with an emphasis on sustainability, connections, local providers and memories. Jump aboard an 8-seater electric boat and be your own skipper as you lounge and relax in style while soaking up the boating lifestyle with your crew.
Destination Perth is your guide to everything there is to eat, stay and play around the Swan River.