Jet Boating on Swan River: Perth, Australia

Jet Boating on Swan River: Perth, Australia

A Wet & Wild Ride

Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world. Set on the westernmost coast of Australia, it’s more than 3,220km (2,000 miles) from any other major city in the world and separated from Sydney by a vast continental desert. But its setting makes it one of Australia’s best cities for outdoor enthusiasts—and water lovers in particular. A Mediterranean climate, an abundance of parkland, and a vast public waterfront along Swan River and the Indian Ocean create a natural oasis in an urban environment. Scuba diving and surfing are popular pursuits on the sea. Sailing, water-skiing, and boating are constant activities on the river.

Of the many ways to get wet when you visit Perth, the most exhilarating is a jet boat ride. As you speed through Swan River for 25 minutes, with an upbeat soundtrack blasting from the speakers, you’ll experience a mixture of 360-degree spins, wild fish tails, and amazing power brake stops. At full power, a 9m (30-ft.) vessel that seats 14 passengers can reach nearly 80kmph (50 mph). Hold on tight and keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of the city’s famous Kings Park and Botanic Garden ( and Old Swan Brewery ( as you race past.

If this rousing tour sparked your curiosity about the history of the area’s waterways, you can learn more at the Western Australia Maritime Museum ( on Victoria Quay in Fremantle. Or, if you’d rather stay close to the river, take a long walk or bike ride on the path running along its shore.

When you’ve had enough fun in the city, take a side trip into the countryside. The Swan Valley vineyards are just about 20 minutes away from downtown. For a slightly farther-flung excursion, take a 3-hour drive to explore wineries in the gorgeous Margaret River area. Whatever you do in Western Australia, you’ll be wowed by this nature-lover’s paradise down under.

Western Australia Tourism and Visitor Center, at the corner of Forest Place and Wellington St., Perth ( 800/812-808; and

Tour: Swan Jet, Perth Sightseeing Centre, Shop 1, Old Perth Port, Barrack Square ( 61/89-225-4166;

When to Go: Sept–May.

Perth Airport.

$$ Medina Executive Barrack Plaza, 138 Barrack St. ( 61/89-267-0000; $$$ The Outram Perth, 32 Outram St. ( 61/89-322-4888;

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