Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hello Australia! Arrived in Perth

I now love Qantas! What an awesome service they provide - the meals were amazing, the drinks plentiful, the seats really comfortable and the choice of movies was immense. Shame it was only a 5 hour flight!

So we touched down in Perth at 2pm to a balmy 32c and 25% humidity - perfect!  The rest of the day was spent doing the mundane things like food shopping, washing, ironing and chilling out for the first time in a month!

After a well deserved late start the next morning, we got on the free bus into town (even though it was only a mile!) and went exploring.   The locals weren't very helpful assisting Amy with the map reading, but we found our way to the Swan River Esplanade. Just our luck that it was also the first day of the Perth heatwave, and temperatures topped out at 39c.

Perth City Centre from the Esplanade

The city is officially home to 1.8 million people ( out of 2.2m who live in the whole of Western Australia which is over 1m sq miles or 11x the size of the UK) but the city centre can be walked from end to end in less than 15 minutes.

Big bells

The landmark in Perth is the Bell Tower - 'they  have Big Ben, we have big bells!' reads the slogan.  The set of bells is made up of 12 bells from St-Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Sq, 6 more cast by the Whitechapel Bell Company in 1988 as a bicentenary gift from the UK, and the additional bells are cast of metals mined within WA.

You can go in, but as its made of glass you can see it all from the outside!

We finished the city centre and headed up to Kings Park, the largest inner city park in the world - 20% bigger than Central Park.

Totes Amaze!

The view of the CBD and the Swan River is amazing from the park.

Perth, WA

A fine old specimen
Don't look down

Kings Park shot to fame in 2008 when it heard that a 750 year old tree was due to be felled in the Kimberley region to make way for a new highway.  The tree in question, a Boab tree, was dug up, transported 3200 kilometres and transplanted into Kings Park, making it the oldest tree to be transplanted in history.

A glass walkway has also been constructed in the Botanical Garden area of the park. It spans over 200m, 55m above the ground, providing visitors with a view of the tree canopy. 

Firm body
It's a creek darling

The water garden was designed to replicate a typical Darling Range creek, Darling Range being the escarpment to the south of Perth.

The park is also home to a number of sculptures and art installations, including a memorial unveiled in 1999 to mark the centenary of Women's Suffrage in WA, as well as over 200 species of birds.

It's a bird

Not a bad first day in Perth!

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