Swan River (Western Australia)

Map of the lower reaches

Lower river at Fremantle Perth skyline in the background

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Swan River is a river in Western Australia (Western Australia), flowing through the Perth Metropolitan Area and about 15 km southwest flows near Fremantle in the Indian Ocean.

Location, geography and landscapes

The Swan River begins in Walyunga National Park, a water-rich eucalyptus forest and bush landscape with granite rocks about 50 km north-east of Perth, and indeed at the mouth of Wooroloo Brook in the Avon River. From a confluence of two source rivers can be no question; rather it is the Swan River to the de facto continuation of the Avon River, which has its source in Western Australia's wheat belt already has at this point 210 km behind. It comes in Australian rivers inland Occasionally, they change their name near the coast.

The Swan River is in the strict sense, nor about 65 km to the mouth and flows through the following environments:

  • At about 15 km to the National Park and the south adjoining Acacia and Banksia bush land that lies outside the national park;
  • The well-known On further 20 km of its upper reaches as wine region Swan Valley, which constituted on the territory of the City of Swan, the north-eastern periphery of the metropolitan area ( metropolitan area ) Perth. Immediately along the river is a strip of bushland; west and east of it spread out from the vineyards, which are broken up by settlements and wineries. The urban character of the country takes downriver to more and more.
  • The historic town of Guildford is the southern border of the vineyard Swan Valley; further 15 km of the river runs through the suburbs of Perth, which constitute separate administrative units until it reaches the center of Perth on Riverside Drive. On this stretch of the Swan River flows past residential areas, golf courses and horse racing tracks.
  • Along the skyline of Perth it spreads to a first lake (Perth Water) and narrows again at the Swan River Bridge ( Narrows Bridge ), which was built as a haunched cantilever bridge designed by the architect EWH Gilford 1959. It has a total length of 396.5 m. After Goongoonup Bridge and the causeway over the island Heirisson Iceland is, this is the third bridge of Perth across the river.
  • South of the Narrows Bridge to the lower reaches of the river begins at 15 km to Fremantle, which assumes throughout a lake-like character ( Melville Water). In contrast to the upper reaches, which can only partly be navigated by small pleasure boats, the underflow is fully navigable. North of the lake extends the Botanical Garden of Perth ( Kings Park ), which is natural bushland in many parts; from the south flows the tributary Canning River into the lake. Here are both sides of the lake, the western suburbs of Perth with extensive marinas and waterfronts.
  • In his last three kilometers, the water narrows back to a regulated river, which merges into the inner harbor of Fremantle, Western Australia, the largest port on the Indian Ocean.

Tributaries with muzzle heights

  • Wooroloo Brook - 29 m
  • Susannah Brook - 14 m
  • Jane Brook - 8 m
  • Helena River - 3 m
  • Bennett Brook - 2 m
  • Canning River - 1 m


A mythical beings from the Dreamtime of the Noongar Aboriginal people, the snake Wagyl, formed the Swan River, the Canning River and other waterways and landforms in the southwest of Western Australia.

The first European explorers, the Dutch Willem de Vlamingh 1697 sailed the river. He has already registered the famous black swans, which the river takes its name and the emblem of Western Australia. In the 21st century, these swans that can be observed in irregular times larger, sometimes smaller numbers at various points of the river, a tourist attraction on walks and boat trips.

De Vlamingh came at the height of the present city center of Perth only to Heirisson Iceland. A French expedition under Nicholas Baudin sailed in 1801 upriver on.

The land on both sides of the river was first discovered by James Stirling in 1827 and recognized in 1829 as the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom. Stirling founded as a urban germ cells of the colony, the three settlements Fremantle, Perth and Guildford.

The first vines were planted in the Swan Valley presumed 1830-1836. The rise of the most famous wine region in Western Australia took place in the 20th century.

Before the construction of the railway line between Perth and Fremantle Swan River was the main road. Because of the muddy subsoil only flat boats could operate on the inland. A limestone ledges and benches Sank locked originally the mouth of the river in the Indian Ocean; they had to be removed in 1891 to make the port for shipping useful.

Until the 1970s prevailed in the lower reaches of the Swan River problematic environmental conditions. Fertilizers and industrial wastewater was initiated unclear. This led to regular fish kills by algae in summer. In the 21st century, the water quality has improved by regulating water protection measures.

The Walyunga National Park to protect the natural landscape in the upper reaches of the river in 1970 set up.

Since the end of the 20th century, tourism is an emerging industry on the Swan River.