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Burswood Paddle Trail

  • Half day
  • 7 km

A wonderful paddle on the doorstep to the city.  Full of contrasts, from secluded picnic coves to bustling cafes and bars.

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Trail Start

Get directions

Banks Reserve, off Joel Terrace , East Perth

kayak hire

Bronze statue of Aboriginal leader
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Start in East Perth at the small car park in Banks Reserve off Joel Terrace.

You can paddle this trail as a loop in either direction but I suggest start by crossing the river. Turn right to head downstream in the shallows. Pass under Windan Bridge and then the Matagarup pedestrian bridge. Burswood Park is on the left here, a good picnic and playground spot. The WA waterski club has exclusive use of the river along the south side of Heirisson Island so take care.

Near the waterski club (boat ramp) veer to the right and cross to the north end of Heirisson Island. Continue around the island keeping the shore on your left side. You will find a small lagoon and a wonderful secluded spot to picnic. This is a good place to leave your canoe to go for a walk as most of the outer shores are rocky. If you pull up along the river lift your kayak well above where boat wash might reach. The far end (south) of Burswood Island has kangaroos roaming and you can pass through a gate to look for them. Also on the south end of the island is the magnificent bronze statue of Yagan.

From the lagoon you can continue under the Causeway bridge to access Perth Water. Ferry and boat trafiic use the channel here so keep to the edges, the left shore normally more sheltered. Kayak hire is available off a small beach here, and further on the Point Fraser ferry terminal and function centre.  

The return is via the western shore - from the lagoon cross near the Causeway bridge and turn right. After Matagarup bridge head into Claisebrook Cove for a contrast to the undeveloped banks you have seen so far. If you wish to explore this area on foot, land on the small beach at the entrance or climb the jetty at the far end of the lagoon, near the pub, resteraunt and cafe's. Near the beach at the entrance there is some nice mosiac art explaining the Bibbulmun Dreaming.  

Continue your paddle along shoreline, under Windan Bridge and back to your start point.

If you don't have your own kayak, you can hire one and do this, or similar circuits starting from About Bike Hire near the Causeway.  See link on the links tab.

Western Australian (Perth City) Visitor Centre

(08) 9483 1111

Other Links

Be trail ready for Burswood Paddle Trail

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

Time depends on the exploring you do!


7km loop

What To Pack

Group F (Paddling trails) required.

Trail Start

Banks Reserve, off Joel Terrace , East Perth

Get directions

Trail End

Difficulty Notes

Boat traffic on the river, particularly larger vessels (wine cruise ferry's) will follow the marked channel.
Avoid ski club area when they are running events. The river channel southwest of Burswood Island is restricted for use by the ski club.


Public toilets at start, in Claisebrook cove, Heirrison Island, Burswood Park.
Cafes and Restaurants in Claisebrook Cove.
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Cafe
  • Kiosk
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet

Best time of year

Anytime whenever the weather is nice


Trail Access

Drive, walk, cycle or bus from Perth.

Prohibited Items

The Water Ski Club has sole access to the water east of Burswood Island.
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3 trail goers have rated Burswood Paddle Trail as 4.33 out of 5!

We love to hear from people who've been on our Western Australian trails, so it would be most appreciated it if you wanted to leave a review.

Zen Courier

Reviewed 22 Mar 2016, 5:10pm

DOne part of this trail on one november evening about sunset time. We launched from Mill pt and headed into Claisebrook cove. Really scenic route and with the sunset it was almost magical ! (
Sara Bayes

Reviewed 29 Mar 2015, 4:14pm

Very straightforward trip completed in about 2 hours by this relatively inexperienced paddler. I went further round Heirisson Island before crossing to come back to be sure there were no boats coming - but then ended up in the water ski zone in front of the Crown (Burswood) resort ... no-one skiing so OK on this occasion but need to be aware of it as not marked on trail map. Otherwise, really great.
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Marco Zecca

Reviewed 30 Jun 2014, 9:18pm

Nice trail, done in a winter day! Relative short and easy to complete!
Black swans and kangaroos on the island ... that's WA

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Trails are free and bring so many benefits to our community by providing opportunities to have fun, get fit, socialise, explore and challenge yourself. But they also have to be managed and maintained which only is made possible through terrific sponsors, donations and/or volunteering.

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