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Historical Paddle boat the Swan River

posted 14 Feb 2019, 21:58 by Happi Mess



The paddle-steamer Decoy — a feature of the Swan River for three decades — is going back to the future.

From this weekend, the distinctive 32-year-old vessel — the only paddle-steamer in WA and the only seagoing paddle-steamer in the southern hemisphere — will be used to provide an insight into the history of the river, its vessels and its characters.

Decoy owner Manus Higgins (front) and historian Anthony Styan.Decoy owner Manus Higgins (front) and historian Anthony Styan.Picture: Ian Munro.

extract wa news


The 90-minute history trips will travel around Perth Water, beginning at the Mends Street jetty and including a stop at the Barrack Street jetty.

The journey will include a commentary from City of South Perth local history librarian Anthony Styan.

The Zephyr on ther swan river in 1921

The Zephyr on the swan river in 1921 Picture: City of South Perth.

The idea came from co-owner Manus Higgins, who noticed the widespread interest in the history of the boat and the river among his usual patrons.

“It seems lots of people are genuinely fascinated by the history surrounding the river and the paddle ships,” he said.

“And we have managed to find some really interesting stories that we will be able to tell.”

The Decoy was built in Fremantle in 1986 and is a replica of the original paddle-steamer that operated on the Swan River from 1870s.

It is powered by a 110-year-old steam engine salvaged and restored by the Bunnings engineering works in Manjimup.

The vessel has always been popular for weddings and corporate functions, and more recently for twilight and music cruises.

It was once used for the filming of Cloudstreet, based on Tim Winton’s popular novel.

The history trips coincide with the 120th anniversary of the Perth Zoo and Windsor Hotel.











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Virtual tour


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Pro users jump to ground view Smartphone link - Mends St jetty mid way  

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Tour zone Icons


Mends Street Jetty
last 9 latest edits: see table bottom of page (sort by any column)
Name / URLTheme / CultureDistance from JettyComment yy.mm.dd
Health Freak Cafe South Perth F&D: Healty choice - B/fast, lunch, Diner S 175m 2019.06.30 added 
South Perth tour zones Directory 3 zones South Perth Directory  
Virtual Tour South Perth Swan River Drone Swan river 0 from jetty  2019.01 updated 
Trails South Perth Foreshore bike trails riverside East and West 2019.06.10 added 5 or 8 
RAC Intellibus Hub driverless mini bus shuttle East of Mends to Old Mill at narrows East: 300m 3.5km shutte along the Esplanade  
The Peninsula Riverside Serviced Apartments Accom: 71 serviced apartments on river, push bike hire station S.West 250m  2019.04.23 visited bikes - nice staff hospitality is the key.. horah 
Quest South Perth Foreshore Accom: 90 serviced apartments S.West 180m with 24/7 super deli 2019.03.25 drafted - multiple calls/emails no response OBVIOUS SERVICE ISSUES 
Funcats Activity: boat hire (sails)  E: 1km walk along river before Coode St Jetty 2019.03 open daily in summer months 
Scented Gardens Gardens, Playground, BBQ area, Wetlands Walk E: 500m walk along river, Car Park, river observation deck, scented gardens, BBQ, playground, Toilets, wetlands nature walk 2019.03 virtual tour completed 
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