Tony di Scerni Pathway and Historic Buildings
Banks Reserve, on the banks of the Swan River in Mount Lawley, covers approximately 3.5 hectares and is bounded by Joel Terrace, the Old East Perth Power Station and the Toni Di Scerni wetlands. Banks Reserve is a place of natural beauty with stunning views up and down the Swan River. The reserve rests on land originally known as Warndoolier and was recognised in 2012 as a place of reconciliation. The reserve's significance in Aboriginal cultural is reflected in the monuments to Noongar culture.
Banks Reserve is the start/finish point of the City of Vincent Wetlands Heritage Trail, which follows the path of the wetlands, past and present. The 7 km trail links the City of Vincent's parks and reserves, finishing at Charles Veryard Reserve. A large Nature Playground and Active Zone is currently under construction at Banks Reserve where Walter's Brook enters the Swan River.
Banks Reserve has a few small river beaches, ideal for fishing or a play. Beyond the reserve the path, known as the Tony di Scerni Walkway, follows the river wetlands upstream through Bardon Park (Malgamongup) and into Maylands.
As we walked along the path a small stream trickled alongside. The water was a bit green but the frogs didn't seem to mind as the frog chorus followed us most of the way to Bardon Park. We stopped to look for frogs and tadpoles but couldn't find any.
Having previously explored Bardon Park and the pathway beyond it to Maylands this time, as soon as we entered the park, we turned left up the hill finding a staircase at the top leading to Third Avenue East. We took the stairs but there was also a playful green ladder to climb. The views over the top of the trees to Optus Stadium are fabulous.
As we were on the lookout for some urban art we headed towards Guildford Road, where we discovered some derelict local landmarks. Williamson's Motor House was built in the 1930's with it's Mediterranean theme based on the Moorish Alhambra in Spain. Further along is the facade of another derelict building, the Albany Bell Hatchery.
Immediately after the derelict facades we came across the beautifully restored 106 year old Albany Bell Castle which was originally a factory manufacturing cakes and confectionery. Instead of continuing along Guildford Road to find the urban art we followed Thirlmere Road admiring the Albany Bell Castle and the heritage houses opposite the hospital. Skirting Mt Lawley Hospital we enjoyed the sweeping river views from the highpoint where Ellesmere Terrace turns into Mitchell Street.
We turned down Joel Street off Mitchell Street, admiring all the different architectural styles, passing Banks Reserve and continuing on to Summers Street.
At the end of Summers Street we took some photos of the old East Perth Power Station which was in operation from 1916 to 1968. It has been sitting empty for 40 years but is on the brink of being redeveloped into a waterfront precinct. The development will be named “Koomba Kalark,” which translates to “the place of the big fire". It will be interesting to see how these heritage listed buildings are transformed. If it wasn't pink it would be completely ugly!
The new development will certainly benefit from some amazing river views!
This walk covered 3.5 km and took 75 minutes with 15 minutes spent around the East Perth Power Station. My walk app stopped mapping on our return to Banks Reserve but if you loop around the green space (Banks Reserve) back to the green dot where we parked on Summers Street, you will complete the walk loop.
If you are not interested in the historic buildings wander up to Bardon Park, have a play on their playground then turn around and head back along the river to enjoy the city views.
Parking, toilets, picnic tables and barbecues are available at Banks Reserve or at the midway point at Bardon Park.