Best Viewing Points Day One
Day 1 consists of four stages covering 57 kilometres starting from Northam to the overnight stop at the Boral Cobblers Pool Campsite, 20 kilometres west of Toodyay. There are also many vantage points along the river to catch all of the action.
The information below gives you a variety of great spots to watch the field go by or to keep up with your favourite competitors.
Start Line Day 1 – Northam
View the race start from the footbridge or watch the excitement as competitors face their first challenge – the Northam Weir. The Readymix Chute at the Weir provides high speed action at what was once a boat-breaking obstacle that often claimed many victims only seconds into the race.
Expect Power Craft from 8.00am and Paddle Craft from 8.50am. Competitors then travel to the first checkpoint at Katrine Bridge.
Katrine Bridge - Teams Changeover # 1
This is the first changeover for Teams and the first opportunity for support crews to provide assistance to their competitors. Please observe parking instructions. Parking is very limited so please show caution when arriving, parking and leaving the area.
Extracts Weir is considered to be the most dangerous obstacle of the river on Day 1.Spectators must park in the designated parking areas and not on the road verges in the vicinity of the Weir. A spectator fee applies at this vantage point. Power Craft arrive from about 8.30am, paddlers from 10.30am. Please respect this private property.
Duidgee Park Toodyay – Teams Changeover # 2
Duidgee Park in central Toodyay offers an excellent viewing point, including commentary, race information, picnic and playground facilities. Enjoy your lunch while watching the action. When the competitors have moved on you can take a stroll up to visit the historic Toodyay township or enjoy the Toodyay International Fine Food Festival.
West Toodyay Bridge
Access to West Toodyay Bridge checkpoint is via Julimar Road and is a good vantage point for spectators. Some spectator viewing is available at the Ti Trees checkpoint further downriver.
Teams Changeover # 3
This team changeover is at Wetherall Reserve. Turn left off Julimar onto River Rd (approx 300m before the bridge).
Boral Cobblers Pool Campsite – Finish Day 1
Access to the river between West Toodyay Bridge and Boral Campsite for spectators is limited as much of the river frontage is privately owned. If parking in this stage, please ensure you do not block traffic.
At the Boral Cobblers Pool Campsite go down to the river’s edge and congratulate the tired participants as they come to the end of Day 1. Tired muscles, perhaps minor cuts and bruises, and cold are the “rewards” of a testing day. It’s now time to warm up around a campfire and perhaps get a massage. Leatherhead Rapid, just upriver from the Pit Areas can provide exciting viewing depending on water levels.
Camping for spectators is available at the Cobbler Pool Campsite. Please remember that no overnight camping is permitted on the roadside.
Best Viewing Points Day Two
Day Two consists of six stages covering 76 kilometres. There are many vantage points along the river to catch all of the action. The information below gives you a variety of great spots to watch the field go by or to keep up with your favourite competitors.
Boral Cobblers Pool Campsite – Start Day 2
The Start of Day 2 is at 7:00am for paddle craft – 12:00pm for power craft.
Emu Falls is the next place to view competitors, Emus presents many challenges and provides spectacular viewing for spectators- well worth a visit.
Paddlers from 7.30am, power craft from 12.15 pm.
Emu Falls is a challenge for most competitors. It takes the form of a big S bend with about 100 metres of rapids culminating in the main fall of about 2 metres. Water funnels into one gap at the base of the Falls causing congestion in all but very high water. This is known as the “washing machine” and participants need to be wary.
There is no vehicle access to Emu Falls. Spectators must leave their vehicles at the Emu Falls Airstrip parking area. Parking commences at 6.30am. There will be a parking fee (charged by CALM) – spectators are welcome to use the complimentary bus service. NO DOGS PERMITTED.
**Access to the river is not available to spectators from Emu Falls onwards. The next access point is at Walyunga National Park on the northern side of the river.
Stronghills (Harts) Farm – Teams Changeover # 1
For safety reasons there is no access for spectators in this Stage and although the race can be viewed from Walyunga Lookout, the vantage point is less than ideal. To view the participants in Walyunga National Park the best location is either Syds Rapids or Walyunga Pool.
Walyunga National Park
Paddlers from 10am, power craft from 1pm. View the action at Long Pool or walk upstream (1.5kms) to Syds Rapids for the ultimate action, thrills and spills it is well worth the walk. There is a shuttle bus service available from the spectator parking area to Long Pool. Please observe directional signs.
Bells Rapid – Teams Changeover # 2
Bells Rapid is the most popular vantage point of the event. Bring the family and your friends to view the participants take on an almighty challenge at Bells Rapids. All facilitates available. If travelling from Perth follow the signs from Great Northern Highway. A shuttle bus will transport you from Brigadoon Equestrian Centre to Bells Bridge. Entry is $10 per vehicle.
Finish Line – Riverside Gardens Bayswater
Don’t miss the action at City of Bayswater’s finish line at Riverside Gardens as participants start arriving about 11.30am. The City of Bayswater will once again host the trophy presentations at Riverside Gardens for all major category winners. Spectators can watch all the action on the Big Screen with hot shots from day 1, live feeds from the river and action from previous years.
The best way for public vehicles to enter Riverside Gardens is via King William Street onto Riverside Gardens East.
Presentations commence at 4.00pm in the main marquee arena!
Spectators and the Environment
Protect the waterways while you’re catching the action
It’s all about the thrills and spills as hundreds of competitors take to the white water, but you can help make sure there are no adverse impacts on the river. The Swan River Trust cares for the health of the Swan and Canning rivers and the wider catchment area which includes the Avon River.
Follow these few simple steps and you can help us ensure the river stays healthy and ready to host many more events in the future.
- The river is a beautiful place but it is also easily damaged. Riverbanks in particular are susceptible to erosion. Stick to marked paths and be careful not damage riverside vegetation.
- Excellent vantage points have been identified by event organisers. These are equipped to cope with visitors and are a better option than unmarked areas. Check out the spectator information section of this website for more details.
- Some areas along the river are particularly fragile and may be important wildlife refuges. These areas will be marked off with guide ropes and signs. Please respect these areas.
- Litter is bad news for the environment. It can pose a danger to wildlife and it looks ugly. Please take your rubbish home with you.
- Camping is only allowed at Cobbler’s Pool. Organisers will be selling firewood during the event – it is prohibited to collect your own. Also consider alternate forms of fuel such as gas.
- There are toilet facilities available at several major vantage points. Bacteria from human waste can be harmful to the river, humans and wildlife.
For more information on how to keep our rivers healthy, contact the Swan River Trust on 9278 0900 or visit www.swanrivertrust.wa.gov.au