It is considered a significant Landmark of the City of Perth.
For the construction of the Narrows Bridge and its approaches, considerable amounts of the north west section of Perth Water were reclaimed. The former river bank in that area is equivalent to the edge of Mounts Bay Road. The whole new Convention Centre lies on the river side of the former river bank.
In 2006 the last race in the Red Bull Air Race World Series was the first ever in Australia and was held in Perth, with the competition being centred over Perth Water.
It has been the annual site of Australia Day fireworks, with crowds lining the lawns and open space along the foreshores. A good view for these activities has been from Kings Park due to its elevation and position looking across the Perth water area. Post-cards, calendar images, posters and photographs from most decades of the twentieth century exist, that show the view from the Park looking across Perth Water to the city.
There has, since the establishment of Perth, been either jetties or landing and mooring facilities at the location of Barrack Square at the jetty. It has had the long running Perth South Perth Transperth ferry service running across to the Mends Street Jetty which also serves Perth Zoo. Commercial companies also use the jetties for trips to Rottnest via Fremantle and Swan River wine and leisure cruises.
Ferry companies at the terminal have in the past improved re-fuelling techniques in order to reduce the amount of oil pollution in Perth Water.