It’s interesting that ‘Swan River’ is one of the most searched-for keywords which could indicate that people planning to visit Perth don’t really understand the city’s geography. The huge number of online searches for ‘Swan River’ may also indicate that people get confused between the Swan River and the Swan Valley.
Swan River vs Swan Valley
Much of Perth and many of its main attractions are built along the banks of the Swan River and there are many vantage points for enjoying all aspects of this gracefully meandering river. The Swan River isn’t really a standalone destination in Perth because it’s – well, it’s everywhere and it’s so easy to access and enjoy. The Swan Valley is a different story. It’s a hugely popular destination in its own right and a ‘must-see’ for anyone visiting Perth.
The river snakes its way through the Swan Valley which is widely regarded as one of Western Australia’s premier tourism regions, offering visitors a rich fusion of wine (it is the oldest wine region in Western Australia), food, boutique breweries, distilleries, antique shops, art and crafts, stunning scenery and natural attractions and best of all, it’s only a short 25 minutes from the Perth CBD and 10 minutes from the airport.
Western Australia’s first free settlement was made on the banks of the Swan River in 1829, which is named for the beautiful black swans which are found all around the river. It runs for 360kms from its origin in the hills south of Corrigin and empties into the Indian Ocean at Fremantle harbour, it is only known as the Swan River for 60kms of its course.
Visitors can see so much of the Swan River’s natural beauty for free from just about anywhere in the city (the famous King’s Park is one of the very best vantage points), but a tour of the Swan Valley is highly recommended.
No trip to Perth is complete without a visit to the iconic blue boathouse on the Swan River and a drive through the world-famous King’s Park and Botanic Garden where the city and river views are simply sensational.