Water-biking on the Swan River – a strangely fun and addictive family activity for any season

Last Updated: 23 Jun 2020
Elise Matheson

Looking for a fun, out-of-the-box activity to get the kids outside over the school holidays? Go for a cycle on the Swan River on one of these funky contraptions.

A watersport that anyone can enjoy, waterbiking is relatively new to Perth, with only a handful of bikes available for hire in Perth. Fun for everyone from 8 to 80, it’s like floating across the surface of the water, and with its catamaran-like set-up, you don’t even need to be particularly good at balancing to master one of these bad boys.

Pioneered by local tour operator Vicky Forbes, Perth Waterbike Adventures launched in 2020, attracting lots of attention and curiosity from onlookers.

Based at Matilda Bay, a cycle out from the banks lets you experience the Swan River from a whole new vantage point. On days when the water is calm, surrounded by the green lawns and trees, it offers picture-perfect views towards Kings Park and Perth City.

You have a choice of either standing bikes and the more leisurely reclining bikes, which offer a more comfortable seat. Having tested them both out, we can advise that the standing bikes are good if you’ve a taste for speed, but the reclining bikes are better if you just want to take it easy.

Book either a 1-hour guided Adventure Tour, or 30min – 1hour bike hire. If you book for the Adventure Tour, you’ll head out towards the iconic Blue Boat House, and zip around the Statue of Eliza and foothills of Kings Park. Vicky will take you through the bays and along the foreshore, sharing some local insight and fun facts about the area and marine life.

If you just want to give it a go on your own, you have the freedom to explore the bay at your own pace. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some of the local dolphins playing. After a ride, you can stop for a bite to eat at The Bayside Kitchen, just a short stroll along the riverbank.

Waterbiking is also available at two other locations in South Perth and Rottnest Island, run by Perth Waterbike Co.

Perth Waterbike Adventures - Key Details 

30-minute bike hire costs $30 1-hour bike hire costs $60, groups of 4 or more are $220 1-hour Adventure tour costs $60, groups of 4 are $220 Located in-between the boat ramp and The Matilda Bay Restaurant on the Swan River foreshore.

Check out the Friendly Dolphins 

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