Malaysian shares the benefits of exploring Perth on foot

The Perth skyline with the beautiful Swan River in the foreground. — Photos: SHEELA K.

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I spent three months in Perth, Western Australia last year. During the initial weeks, which happened to be spring season, I did not venture out of the neighbourhood much, as the weather was erratic with torrential rain and hail.

The extended period of sedentary lifestyle made me consume more calories, and I became ... a little lazy when it came to exercising.

To cultivate a daily walking habit, I started to explore the neighbourhood. I spent a few weeks mapping my walking routes as it felt difficult to move around at first, but I remained committed to my fitness goals. Low intensity walking was a proven way to relieve stress, and Perth’s many riverside walking trails took me through nature which was very calming.

The writer at Matagarup Bridge in Perth.The writer at Matagarup Bridge in Perth.

The biggest park in the east of Perth city is Chevron Parkland.

Situated on the Swan River foreshore alongside Optus Stadium, the Chevron Parkland includes 2.6ha of rehabilitated parklands and nature-based playgrounds. The park’s design reflects its unique culture and acknowledges the site’s Aboriginal heritage.

Exploring the picturesque eastern foreshore of the Swan River and discovering Perth’s hidden gems off the usual tourist route was such a breathtaking adventure. Every morning, I looked forward to walking the trails and discovered a delightful 10km-loop around the Swan River that takes you past Elizabeth Quay, Barrack Street Jetty, Riverside Drive and the South Perth Foreshore.

Whether on foot or on wheels, this was a great route with plenty of restaurants and cafes along the way serving artisan coffee and snacks. I learnt from other walkers that it was a very popular loop in Perth, allowing you to enjoy the city’s beautiful weather and spectacular views of the river.

Flowing through the heart of the city, Swan River is a popular natural attraction for locals and visitors. Some of the activities to enjoy here include boating, fishing and picnicking. The walking trails are suitable for people of all ages, as well as their pets.

My morning walks took me along the eastern foreshore of Swan River through an urban wetland at sunrise.

Ducks hanging out at Swan River in Perth.Ducks hanging out at Swan River in Perth.

Western Australia’s iconic black and mute swans were observed gliding across the water gracefully and nesting in grassland areas. These riverfront attractions are also a haven for native birds such as moorhens, kingfishers, mallards and grey herons.

A hub of riverside cafes and elegant Italian-style homes can be found in the city’s east, and you’ll also pass by some of the city’s most beautiful heritage buildings including the famous Perth Mint, historic Government House and the lush Supreme Court Gardens.

If you continue on the pedestrian and cycle loop, you will see the Crown Casino and Victoria Gardens, where the majestic Perth Stadium comes into sight.

Matagarup Bridge meanwhile symbolises a coming together of diverse cultures. An iconic landmark, the bridge’s arches represent a pair of black-and-white swans or the Wagyl, a water serpent of great importance to local Noongar culture. The bridge is 160m long and has only two concrete piers located in the river, respecting the area’s heritage and minimising impact on the Swan River.

Coldplay performed at the Optus Stadium in November last year.Coldplay performed at the Optus Stadium in November last year.

The Optus Stadium is a 60,000-seat multipurpose stadium capable of hosting cricket, football and rugby matches, as well as major concerts and entertainment events. It is located in the suburb of Burswood and is considered the third largest stadium in Australia.

Optus Stadium is equipped with a range of state-of-the-art technological features designed to enhance the fan experience. The stadium’s roof, known as the “Falcon’s Nest”, features kinetic architecture with eight massive sliding panels that can be adjusted for weather control.

In November 2023, British band Coldplay performed at the stadium.

After passing under the northern end of the Causeway Bridge, the skyscrapers of the city came into view as I walked past Langley Park towards Elizabeth Quay, Barrack Street Jetty and Riverside Drive.

I completed my Swan River walking loop with a feeling of accomplishment as I had covered almost 10,000 steps! I was able to enjoy incredible views of the Swan River, Matagarup Bridge, Optus Stadium and the Perth skyline and felt optimistic about my health.This solo exercise ritual had injected my life with a shot of excitement and recharged my battery too.

The views expressed are entirely the reader’s own.

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