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Friday, September 22, 2023

7 Famous Rivers in Perth You Must Visit

In this article, we are going to talk about the seven most famous rivers in Perth.

Perth, located in western Australia, has some of the most beautiful and famous rivers in the world. As you start exploring this place, you will find yourself in love with mother nature. You will start loving the natural world and the beauty it contains.

You will also encounter a good amount of wildlife. Australia has some of the rarest species of land and aquatic animals. The rivers in Perth act as a jewel in the crown of Australia’s rich biodiversity.

Rivers in Perth:

This article will take you through a list of seven rivers that add to the charm of the city of Perth. So, do read till the end and find the best one of these in case you want to pay a visit.

1. Swan River 

Swan River is known as Perth’s favourite playground in the Southwestern region of Australia. It is the most well-known river in this region. With a large grass-covered area and graceful water flow, it is a go-to picnic spot for the people of Perth.

rivers in perth
Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

Having a dual and multipurpose pathway, the place is perfect for walking, skating and playing various outdoor games. Along with being a great place for hangouts, it is also home to a large number of land and marine animals. Some of the fishes specific to Swan River are bar tail flathead, dusky flathead, flathead, grunter and giant herring.

The Swan River was recognized as a major waterway in the year 1900 and was later incorporated as a town in the year 1908. Eventually, it became a trading centre of charms and affordable things. It was named after a Dutch tourist who came to visit this place. When he saw the river, he noticed a large number of black swans swimming in the river. So, the river was named “swan river.”

2. Avon River

The Avon River is one of the three major tributaries of the Swan River. It finds its way through the lush valleys of western Australia.  It spreads over to most of Western Australia’s wheat-growing belt and reaches some nearly dry areas too. Almost thirty tributaries flow into the Avon River, including the rivers like Dale River, Mackie River etc.

avon river
Photo by Brendan Pfahlert on Unsplash

The river got its name from its literal description. The word “Avon” itself means a river. Therefore, there are many rivers with the same or similar names as this one. The River is home to aquatic species like eels, carbs and red fins.

It is famous for the international annual white water rafting competition it hosts every year. The competition is named Bell’s Rapid and is known for testing the best of white rafters. The place it at an hour’s drive from Perth.

3. Ord River

With a drainage area of 50,000sq km and 650 km length, the Ord River is one of the major rivers of western Australia. It starts from the Halls Creek and flows through the artificial water storage areas of Argyle and Kununurra Lake. Located majorly in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the river empties in the Cambridge Gulf.

ord river
Photo by Geoff Brooks on Unsplash

Named after Sir Harry Ord, the governor of western Australia, the Ord River project was launched to solve the problem of seasonal draining. Also, it was used to impound water for irrigation at times of drought.

The Ord River Dam was set up in the year 1972. Since then, the place has evolved to be a very vast and beneficial ecosystem for a large number of species. It is home to over 75 bird species. The place is the breeding ground for many rare bird species.

The Ord River is home to a rather dangerous species of mammals. It is the home of the Australian crocodiles and sea eagles. The presence of these beings is what makes it dangerous for swimming. After that, the Argyle and Kununurra lakes gained international importance.

4. Blackwood River

The Blackwood River is the longest in southwestern Australia. It flows 400km long from Australia’s Wheatbelt, passing through the Blackwood Valley and ending in Augusta’s Hardy inlet. The river’s sight is eye-catching, and people often like to click pictures of its beautiful view.

Photo by Josie Weiss on Unsplash

78% of the river’s basin is dedicated to agriculture. It is the source of irrigation for most of the cereal production in that region. Therefore, it is the most significant river in the state.

The Sues River campground, located near the river, provides a good swimming spot for visitors. They can also enjoy canoes and kayaks in this region. This place is good for camping and hangouts.

Some indigenous species of this river are Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Freshwater cobbler, and Red Fin perch.

5. Fortescue River

The Fortescue River is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It starts from the Ophthalmia Range and passes the Great Northern Highway. It has 24 tributaries including Western Creek, Warrawanda Creek, Kalgan Creek etc.

Photo by René Riegal on Unsplash

The river is home to many fish species like Mangrove Jack, Flathead, and the odd Baramoudi. Many of these species are commonly found in the warmer months.

It is a tropical oasis lying within the Millstream Chichester National Park. It also supports a significant amount of flora and provides a good tourist attraction.

6. Frankland River

The Frankland River is situated in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. It is named after George Frankland, the surveyor General of Vandieman’s land, in the year 1829. The river starts below Torrolup Hill and flows into the Walpole and Normalup inlet.

It is best for kayaking, but since it is a large river, one has to take all the safety measures while stepping into it.

Photo by Mark McGregor on Unsplash

Frankland River is one of the few wild rivers in Australia. The people living near it do not allow it to be dammed. Therefore, its beauty and heritage are best preserved in its natural form. One of the species that has majorly inhabited this river and is somewhat exclusive to it is the black bream fish. People often come here to fish these black bream fishes, amongst other species.

7. Canning River

The Canning River is situated in the inner suburbs of Perth City. It rises near the North Bannister around 100 km from Perth and eventually mixes with the Swan River apple cross.

blackwood river
Photo by Brendan Pfahlert on Unsplash

The most popular spot to enjoy the beauty and natural essence of this river is the Canning River Regional Park which is situated at a 20-minute distance from Perth City.

The place is good for canoeing and Kayaking and is a go-to place for those who wish to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The fishes that are exclusively restricted to the mainstream region of the canning river are the freshwater cobbler and night fish. Also, many other fish species, as well as the subsidiary bird species live in and near the tributaries of this river.


  • Which river was formerly called the Perth River?

The Swan River, which is also the most famous river in Perth, was formerly called the Perth River. Only during the 1900s, when a Dutch tourist saw beautiful black swans near its shore, was its name changed to the “swan river.

  • What problems did the Swan River face?

The Swan River has faced a lot of problems related to a lack of transportation and administration in the area surrounding it. The Swan River colony also faced a lot of agricultural and settlement-related problems.

swan river
Photo by Joshua Leong on Unsplash


As we can see, there are many great and beautiful rivers in western Australia. Each one of these rivers takes you through a different experience. As much as you explore these rivers, you will find yourself more and more in love with mother nature. From streaming waters to a calm home of the black swans, you name it, they have it.

If you are looking for a place that is close to nature, Perth is the best one for you. The rivers in and near Perth allow you to experience the joyful activities of camping, kayaking swimming etc. The best part is you don’t need to spend large amounts of money. All you need is a love for nature and adventures. If you have these things, you are all set to explore these amazing rivers.

So, if you are planning a holiday or a day out in western Australia, do consider a visit to these beautiful rivers.


I am a physics graduate who loves to travel , explore and learn new things. Through my knowledge of physics, and sciences in general I am able to relate various things that the general public can't. I share my experiences with the world by writing them as blog posts and articles. Being a keen observer ,I often write things that many people fail to notice.

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