PS Decoy, Perth

Foot stamping jazz, beautiful sunshine and a three-hour cruise along the Swan River – what a great afternoon out on the PS Decoy.

We boarded at 1:30 pm, leaving the Mends Street Jetty in South Perth at 2pm. There is a steep set of stairs to get to the top deck but as an 85 year old, who was celebrating his birthday, told me, “It’s not a problem as long as I hold the handrails and take my time!” There is no wheelchair access.

There are two seating areas on the top deck – front deck seating which is pleasant but could be very windy and inside seating at the rear.

BYO food (but not alcohol) is encouraged and several passengers even brought their own tablecloths to throw over the reserved wooden tables. Some people brought take-out platters from Miss Maud, some brought supermarket BBQ chickens but most, like us, brought fruit, cheese and crackers.

There is a licensed bar and kitchen onboard – both on the lower deck. Food available on board includes Arancini balls ($14), Fish Goujons ($12), Sidewinders ($14) and Fries ($6). Food and drinks are ordered at the bar. While food items are delivered, patrons have to manage their drinks while climbing the stairs! However seniors were the majority age group so it is obviously not too much of a problem.

We travelled to Applecross, although I understand the ship often goes to Point Walter, before turning around and were greatly entertained by the Swan River Ramblers.

This group wandered around the top deck playing jazz classics with an added dose of humour which an appreciative audience enjoyed. Perth music mainstays in their own right, the group includes Adam Hall (great vocals and trumpet), Adrian Galante (almost makes his clarinet sit up and beg), Kim Anning (brilliant banjo) and Pete Jeavons (double bass player and group leader).

The Decoy can take up to 220 passengers but current management limit numbers, taking on about 80-90 people, which is comfortable.

Patrons can watch the engines turning the large paddle downstairs or just enjoy the scenery while listening to the music.

The restrooms are also on the lower deck.

I really recommend this cruise for locals and visitors – a good afternoon out for only $37 per person.

There is a lot of parking available in South Perth including the multi-storey above the South Shore shopping centre. We took the train into the city and the ferry over to South Perth from Elizabeth Quay – all free for seniors at the weekend.

Upcoming dates:

October 14 – Blues cruise with Rick Steele – Front deck seating only $32 (rear seating sold out).

October 21 – The Gumnut Stompers $37 – rear seating, $32 – front seating.

The Paddle Steamer Decoy was built in Fremantle in 1986 as a replica paddle steamer to the original Scottish built boat. The first PS Decoy(1878) was a cargo and passenger ship on the Murray river in Victoria and New South Wales as well as in South Australia’s gulf ports before it was brought to Western Australia to be an excursion boat in the early 1900s. The PS Decoy is currently believed to be the only sea-going paddle steamer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Address: Mends Street Jetty, South Perth

Phone: 0478 239 401

Reservations: Essential

Gluten-free options: No

Vegetarian options: Yes

Entertainment Book: No



About Hazel Broomhead

My name is Hazel and I am a Perth senior!

Originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, my husband and I moved to New Zealand with our children in 1974. As my husband is in the oil business, we moved to several other countries including the Sultanate of Oman, the Netherlands, Singapore, the Philippines, the USA, Russia and Kazakhstan during the next 36 years before retiring to Perth.

We have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who live in different parts of the globe – New Zealand, Scotland and Colombia - which makes a great excuse for us to travel and visit.

My career background is in radio and print journalism in Scotland and New Zealand as well as public relations in various other countries.

We love to eat out, walk, travel and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle here in Western Australia.

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