When they built the first bridge in Swansea over Lake Mac back in 1881, it’s primary use was for transporting stone. From 1895 onwards it became more of a public roadway. Today, after multiple rebuilds and the latest expansion to a twin bridge, it’s an essential link between Blacksmiths & Swansea. Over 30,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, and plenty of watercraft cruise by underneath. We took a moment to admire the history. My son loved the mechanics for opening and closing to let the tall boats through. The kids also spotted plenty of fish swimming around the pylons below.
Getting to Swansea Bridge
There are lots of options to start this walk. You can make it a big walk (an extra 45min) and park at the Swansea boat ramp on the Swansea channel walk. Or, if you want to start at the bridge, you can find a park along Belmont or Channel Street in Swansea. Follow the path under the bridge, and up onto the north pedestrian lane over the bridge. You can also start this walk at the Blacksmiths end, up near the Blacksmiths breakwall if you’d prefer to park there.
It will take you around an hour from the Swansea Bridge right up to the top of the Blacksmiths Breakwall.
Swansea Bridge to Blacksmiths
The water was crystal clear when we visited. We loved spotting fish huddling around the pylons. Birdlife and watercraft were all around. As we came off the bridge onto the shared path, we also talked about the mangroves. What we noticed was the clean water, and how mangroves play an important role in filtration and protection for different species.
The path from the bridge to the Blacksmiths boat ramp was about 15min each way.
Blacksmiths boat ramp
A popular spot for pelicans, as the fishers return from their outings, this section of the walk gave us plenty to talk about. Fish were darting amongst the rocks, and we went hunting for crabs.
There’s plenty of spots to stop and sit on a seat, and have a rest. You’ll find toilets up at the Blacksmiths Clubhouse so lets keep going.
On the other side of the boat ramp is Ungala Road. If you follow that to the end and then turn right you’ll find yourself at the start of the Blacksmiths breakwall path.
From the Boat ramp to the end of the Breakwall it’s about 15 min each way.
So if you’re looking to get the kids outside, on a small walk then the path from Swansea Bridge to Blacksmith boat ramp is ideal. All flat, easy for a pram and about 30 mins round trip.
If you have older kids and want to continue on to the breakwall add another 30min to that. Or start right back at the Swansea boat ramp on the Swansea channel walk. You’re looking at 1 hour 45 min all up from there. Great for discovering somewhere new with kids.
Find more places to explore here: Out & About in Lake Mac