Celebrating 50 Years of Avon Descent

Published on Tuesday, 6 June 2023 at 9:37:15 AM

The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC), Northam’s Avon Descent Association (NADA) and four Local Governments - Shire of Northam, Shire of Toodyay, City of Swan and the City of Bayswater - are teaming up to celebrate the 50th Avon Descent and running a fun-filled series of Avon Descent Festivals based around the iconic weekend.

NADA will celebrate the 50th milestone, providing additional fun on the water at Northam and an anniversary celebration event at Cobblers Pool on the Saturday night. The favourable power craft and dragon boat challenges will be on over the event weekend, as well as the Bond to Bayswater Belter. The four local governments will each hold their own riverside events over the course of the weekend, offering a huge range of family-based activities and entertainment.

Starting off the Avon Descent is the Shire of Northam’s Bilya Festival, focused on a winter wonderland edition to celebrate the 50th event on Friday 11 August. The Shire of Toodyay’s International Food Fest will keep visitors enthralled and entertained on Saturday 12 August, while the City of Swan’s Avon Descent Festival and the City of Bayswater Finish Line Festival will bring the program to a rousing finish on Sunday 13 August.

First held in 1973, the Avon Descent is Western Australia's own unique sporting event. Participants challenge the Avon and Swan Rivers in a variety of paddle and power craft over an exciting two-day challenge covering 124 kilometres. The 2023 Avon Descent will be held on the second weekend in August and will include a whole selection of shorter events to suit all levels of experience and ability.

The EMRC CEO Marcus Geisler said, ‘The Avon Descent Festivals are the perfect events for families and friends to get outdoors and experience the excitement of the Avon Descent. The fun-filled community events promote well-being and bring a sense of place to each of the various communities along the river who get involved in the weekend.

We look forward to working with NADA and participating Councils in the future to create opportunities which will enable the whole community to come together and celebrate this truly unique event’.

NADA Board Chair Greg Kaeding said ‘The Avon Descent is unlike any other sporting and community event in WA. We look forward to creating opportunities for the whole community to come together to enhance community connection, strengthen social capital, and encourage a celebration of the 50th Avon Descent.’

The WA Government, through Lotterywest, supports community projects like the Avon Descent Festivals which support the diversity of Western Australians to actively engage in community life. Lotterywest is proud to support the Avon Descent Festival, to enable the community to connect and participate through free activities and cultural experiences along the beautiful Swan and Avon Rivers.

Avon Descent Family Fun Days, supported by Lotterywest Event details

The Northam Bilya Festival
Date: Friday, 11 August
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Bilya Koort Boodja Centre Garden, Minson Ave, Northam
Held by the Shire of Northam

Toodyay International Food Fest
Date: Saturday, 12 August
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Stirling & Duidgee Parks, Stirling Terrace, Toodyay
Held by the Shire of Toodyay

City of Swan Avon Descent Festival
Date: Sunday, 13 August
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Lilac Hill Park, 850 W Swan Rd, Caversham
Held by the City of Swan

City of Bayswater Finish Line Festival
Date: Sunday, 13 August
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Riverside Gardens, Milne Street, Bayswater
Held by the City of Bayswater

Back to All News