We stumbled upon this wonderful activity whilst walking along the foreshore in South Perth. We could see a few of the yellow waterbikes out on the river; they certainly grabbed our attention and we knew we had to investigate further.
We found the hire spot by the Narrows Bridge and struck up a conversation with Penny, who was only too pleased to tell us about her new venture. Penny was so friendly and knowledgeable and after asking numerous questions about the bikes, we were sold on the idea and my 13 year old daughter wanted to give it a go. We did not go dressed to potentially get wet, but Penny assured us that it was almost impossible to fall off the bike (they are incredibly stable) and Miss A would stay 100% dry from her knees up. My interest peaked at this point and I was thinking that maybe I could try too.
However, I was unsure if I would manage to even get on the quirky vessel, let alone get it to move, being I am not the fittest or most agile individual. Penny convinced me I could do it as they take very little exertion to use and Neville will assist if I need help to get on the bike. Miss A was desperate for me to try with her, so I agreed.
They have two types of bikes; one is low-rise meaning you can sit back and look up easily to view the cityscape and the other type is a standard bike which enables you to sit higher up, making it easier to view any wildlife in the water and have good views of the city. Both types are fully adjustable making them suitable for ages over 10 years old or minimum height of 120cm. We tried the low-rise ones which were very comfortable.
Neville assisted Miss A to get on first; she made it look effortless. Now it was my turn! I waded out to the bike, put my bare feet where I was told and manoeuvred myself, easily, onto the bike seat. So far so good! Next step, to actually make it move! I expected some resistance on the pedals like there is on an exercise bike that is set on the hardest level, but I was pleasantly surprised how undemanding it was (just as Penny had promised!).
Neville was our chaperone and guided us towards the jetty. Care needs to be taken as there is other water traffic, but use your common sense and you will be fine.
The waterbikes are remarkably responsive and are ridden like a traditional bicycle by peddling and using the handlebars to turn left and right which moves the rudder. They can reverse too by simply peddling backwards.
They are capable of speeds up to 15km an hour and become more responsive the faster you go, making them suitable for those of us that want to have a relaxing meander enjoying the sights and sounds of the Swan River and those who would prefer a fast-paced ride as an exciting alternative to their usual workout, or in other words, anyone can enjoy them; the total novice through to experienced riders.
The views of the city are breathtaking whilst on the water and there is always a chance you will spot a dolphin and other Swan River wildlife. The people who had just got off the bikes when we arrived said they had seen a dolphin; we just saw lots of jelly fish!
We rode for 30 minutes but could easily have done longer. Getting off the waterbike was straightforward and uneventful (thank goodness!).
Miss A absolutely loved it (as I did) and wants to go again with her friends (as I do!). It would be a great birthday party activity! I fancy the Pedal and Coffee option that they offer; they will take your order of your choice of hot beverage and then you can enjoy a coffee morning catch-up with your girlfriends in the most unusual way! It's also a great gift for that person who has everything.
The packages available:
City Skyline Pedal (1 hour) - Cruise along and take in the fabulous views and city sights including Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay, South Perth foreshore, Mends Street Jetty and the new South Perth Piazza.
Pedal & Coffee (1 hour) - Let them take your order. There's something special about cycling on water with coffee in hand. Get a group together and enjoy your morning coffee in a completely new environment!
Fun & Fitness Pedal (1 hour) - Forget the crowds in the gym and take to the water on a waterbike, for all those wanting to get their heart rates up surrounded by nature and fresh air.
Sunset Pedal (1 hour) - Take to the water, pedal, glide, relax and watch the changing colours as the sun sets over the city.
Express Pedal (30 mins) - A 30 minute waterbike experience taking in the South Perth foreshore and city views. A perfect introduction to waterbiking for families with young children.
Adventure Pedal (1 hour) - Cycle past The Old Brewery, taking in the sights of Kings Park and stopping at the Blue Boatshed for an iconic photograph.
Ultimate Challenge pedal (2 hours) - For those with time and energy!
Bespoke Tours - Perth Waterbike Co work with you to design a tour to suit your individual preferences. From Optus Stadium and Claisebrook Cove to the Blue Boatshed, they can design a tour to suit your preferences.
Perth Waterbike Co operate from the perfect location and have quality yellow performance waterbikes. Couple this with super friendly staff with oodles of nautical experience and knowledge, it's a sure-fire way for ensure you will have a safe, enjoyable eco-experience and will return time after time.
South Perth introductory prices $25 for 30 minutes or $50 for 1 hour.
Exclusively, Perth Waterbike Co also operate at Aqua Play on Rottnest Island at North Thomson Bay. Explore the crystal clear, turquoise waters at a leisurely pace, view the Bathurst Lighthouse from the water and keep your eye out for the abundance of wildlife. Hiring a waterbike is a perfect, exciting and unique way to spend an hour or two.
Stay up-to-date with opening and seasonal hours, special offers and events by liking their Facebook page.
This looks like an adult version of the pedal boats we used to see on lakes here in Victoria and than I think they still have at Enerald Lake in outer Eatern Melbourne. The pedal bikes look like they might be a bit harder to handle.