Adventurer Jake Reid has paddled 72km of the Derbarl Yerrigan Bilya / Swan River from source to sea on a stand up paddleboard in just two days!


Starting at the river’s source in Walyunga National Park, where the Swan joins the Avon River, Jake paddled through white-water rapids and still waters to finish in Fremantle Port!

He admitted to feeling quite nervous when he started out and was geared up with a helmet and lifejacket with no extra weight attached to his board. A buddy met him at the end of the rapids section of the river to deliver what he needed for the remainder of the journey.



32km in Jake reached the still waters of Ascot and stopped overnight in a caravan park where he carried his SUP from the river and explained to the bemused caravan park manager that he didn’t in fact have a car and this was how he got there.

The following morning he was up at sunrise and back on the water ready to complete the final 40km stretch through Perth City, where he was greeted by Swan River dolphins and incredible city views.

Jake finished the epic paddle to the Indian Ocean in Walyalup / Fremantle in two days. He said the rapids he encountered at Bells Rapids were the most challenging, but he had a blast (of course). Riding the rapids at Bells isn’t for the faint-hearted and isn’t usually attempted on a SUP.

‘We definitely forget how beautiful our river is…I hope doing this encourages more people to get out and explore what’s around the city of Perth, whether it’s the river, the coast or in the hills,’ Jake said.

The ephemeral Derbarl Yerrigan Bilya/Swan River is a river of contrasts, running through steep gorges and rapids on its upper course, and widening at the coast to form two shallow tidal basins. The river holds great cultural significance to the Noongar people as it’s sacred to the Dreamtime spirit Waugal. The river divides north and south Perth and is popular with paddlers of all disciplines.

Jake documented his journey on Youtube. So far, he’s found no record of anyone else having achieved the same paddle.



Jake Reid is an Australian travel and adventure video creator who lives and adventures in Western Australia.


Photos thanks to @indeedjakereid