King's Park, Perth
Did you know Kings Park and Botanic Gardens has more memorials, statues and honour avenues than any other park in Australia?
I am still on the Memorial walk and quite enjoying it as there are many different memorials to what I have seen in other parts of Australia. Altogether, there are 13 memorials.
A couple are in memory of Western Australian Premiers. Lord John Forrest, was the 1st Premier of Western Australia and the first President of the Kings Park Board. He named this park "Perth Park," and doubled the size of the reserve and sought funding for the development of the park.
A nice marble drinking fountain was erected in memory of George Leake, Premier of Western Australia in 1901.
Later, I came across Queen Victoria standing proud and tall since 1903. The statue is a replica of another made for the Examination Hall of the Royal College of Surgeons. To make sure it was as accurate as possible, Queen Victoria's robes were given to the sculptor to copy the lace into the Carrara marble, whilst the veil was made to look like the Queen’s wedding veil.
Many more War memorials, including one for the 10th Light Horse brigade, the Western Australian cavalry regiment which served in Sinai, Palestine, Jordan and Syria. The memorial honours the 301 men from this regiment who lost their lives, while a sheaf of wheat is there to remember the gallant horses who also lost their lives in battle.
The South African War Memorial is the new name for the Fallen Solder’s Memorial. King George V laid the foundation stone in 1901 for the memorial to be built in memory of the Western Australian soldiers killed in the Boer War (1899-1902).
Not to be forgotten is the memorial for the 2/16 Battalion Memorial, honouring the men who fought in Syria, New Guinea and Borneo in WWII.
Another one that Australia remembers, is the terrible Kokoda track, where many men lost their lives in WWII. Today, many people in Australia do the walk along the track to see what the conditions are like.
Even the Jews haven't been forgotten, as many Jewish soldiers died in WW I. The monument is a stone column, topped with a globe and the Star of David. A plaque was added in 1953 to commemorate those who died in WWII.
The Toburk war memorial, which has a marble name plate that came from a building in Tobruk, is said to be similar to the one found in the Tobruk War Cemetry in Libya. The Aussies, who defended Tobruk from the Germans and Italians in 1941, were known as the 'Rats of Tobruk.' A time capsule is beneath the memorial.
Some different memorials were -
Dr Arnold Cook, who created the wonderful Guide Dogs organization in Australia. Thanks to this man, now the blind are able to have guide dogs that lead them safely around their homes and outdoors.
Bali Memorial, in memory of the 88 Australians, sixteen from Western Australia, who lost their lives in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia during the Bali terrorist attacks in 2002 which targeted Australians. Altogether, 202 people were killed and 209 were injured, most were foreign tourists!
HMS Queen Elizabeth bomb shell. This bomb shell was used as a collection box for donations to keep up the maintenance on the Honour Avenues.
So, as you can read, there are plenty to see and some walking to be done.
Before heading off on one of the many walks in the park, I decided to have a look in the couple of shops in this area.
"Aspects of Kings Park" gallery shop has beautiful expensive pieces on display. I could see only the best quality arts and crafts were on display here. Well, it was worth a look and a dream!
All profits made by sales in the shop, are reinvested directly back into the park, a great idea!
The Aboriginal Art Gallery displays and sells Indigenous art, books, unique gifts and souvenirs.
If your in Kings Park at the right time, native plant sales are held quarterly by the "Friends of Kings Park." The "Friends of Kings Park" put out a really nice wall calendar each year which showcases some of the state's unique native flora. A calendar I often buy as a gift, light for posting and a well received gift. Not very expensive either!
It was a shame the day was wet, as I had planned on spending a large part of the day in Kings Park. The park is large and well set out, meaning that you can quite easily do this.
Unfortunately, rain and wind put an end to my plans. It wasn't much fun walking around, but I did, I wanted to see as much as I could.
Where to begin in a large park like this?
I decided to do some of the Memorial Walking Trail which covered a distance of 1.7km, estimated time - 1 hour.
As the rain has passed for the time being, I began at the Information centre and made my way down the steps to the State War Memorial Precinct.
What an impressive sight was laid out before me! The path stretched down to the Cenotaph which overlooked Perth, but in-between, was the Flame of Remembrance and the Pool of Reflection located in the well laid out "Court of Contemplation."
The Flame of Remembrance never goes out. A look at it and you can see four torches, each one represents one of these forces - Navy, Airforce, Army and Womens services. It is a place to come and stand in silence, remembering the Western Australians who served in the wars and lost their lives. Around the walls are the names of all the major battlefields and there are plaques with the names of the Victorian Cross and George cross recipients from Western Australia.
The Cenotaph is an impressive 18 metre high block of granite commemorating the Australians who gave up their lives serving Australia.
A walk down some steps on either side, lead to a chamber where the names of 7000 Western Australians are listed, either dying by the hand of the enemy or from illness in WW I. Bronze plaques line the outside walls of the chamber, with the names of those who lost their lives in WW II.
Names have been added here from other conflicts.
On the front of the Cenotaph, is the ANZAC Commemorative Plaque dedicated to the 2500 men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, (ANZACS), who lost their live during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.
If you have been to Gallipoli, perhaps you would like to compare the site of Anzac Bluff with there, as it is said to resemble the area where the first soldiers landed in Gallipoli.
If your a Bush-walker, then this is the trail for you! We are in the heart of the city in Kings Park where I encounter the Bushland trail. The trail is an easy short walk of 1km that anybody can do. It begins at the free car-park on Forrest Drive, where there's a Mia-Mia (a temporary shelter made of bark, branches, leaves and grass used by Aboriginals) at the entrance.
Something will be blooming all year round, however the best time to visit is between July-October, so I was here at one of the good times to do the walk.
In the bush, I find Jarrah and Marri trees that I learnt about at school, many varieties of wildflowers including some orchids, birds, but no lizards on the cool and wet day.
My leaflet told me there are more orchid species in Kings Park than in the whole of Europe!
I noticed lots of Freesias in flower, these are not a native, but an invasive species which is endangering the natives.
Pretty Banksia menziesii with its red two-toned flower heads and toothed leaves I admired as I have grown these in my own garden at home. Some others I knew the names of, were Pea flowers which were at their best and plenty of yellow Autumn lilies, found all year round.
I even found flowers which were herbs! Milkmaids, who have a pretty white flower which eventually dies to leave a bulb in the ground, and Purple Tassels which do similar to the Milkmaids.
Along the walk, I saw the State Floral Emblem of W.A., which is a red and green Kangaroo Paw
I also found some orchids, including the Triggerplant orchid which is quite small and grows close to the ground, so are harder to find. I found Donkey orchids, look around when you find one as usually there are many more nearby, a Branded Greenhood orchid which is quite hard to see and find because of its colour, so is the Jug Orchid. Once you have found one, then it is much easier to find them. Spider orchids I love, these are found here, although I didn't see any. The stalk arises from a single hairy leaf and the flower looks like a spider. I found Cowslip orchids, plenty of them here and everywhere else we had been.
So, if your from oversea's and can't make it out into the bush, then come to experience some of it here in Perth.
I had read many times that the best place for a good view of Perth was at Kings Park.
After being here, I have to agree with that!
From the Cenotaph, I walked down to the railing to take in the views of Perth, the Swan River and surrounds. I was very lucky the rain had passed so I managed some photos, not nice like the many I had viewed before coming here, but at least I had some!
For me, this was the best look-out. The other one we stopped at was Dryandra Lookout which also has good views of a different part of Perth. This is located along Law Walk on the edge of the Mt Eliza Escarpment off Forrest Drive.
Located near the shops and Cafes is a paved pathway with a mosaic of a Banksia and the writing, "Kings Park botanical garden." Further along, is another beautiful mosaic depicting Western Australia’s floral emblem, the red & green flowered Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Anigozanthos manglesii.
This is the start of the humungous Botanical garden in Kings Park, where every individual flower, shrub and tree has its botanical and common name written on a sign in English. Quite a few plants were in flower, but we were told we were just a fraction early to see the park at its best. Timing depends on how much rain has fallen previously and what the climate is like for seeing the flowers at their best, this makes it quite hard to plan ahead.
Western Australia has half of Australia’s 25,000 plant species, and as I found out, so many are unique and found nowhere else on earth. It is fascinating seeing where they flower, some directly out of the ground, the shapes of their leaves and the beautiful colours and the unusual shapes of the many flowers, I had never seen anything like it before! Nature is extremely clever!
Even though I was told we were a little early, I was more than happy with the flowers I saw!
What I liked about the Botanical gardens was the way they had set areas for set plants. This way you can really see the differences in some species, especially the Wattles (Acacia).
The Wattle is Australia's floral emblem.
There are over 1200 Wattles in Australia, 560 in Western Australia.
Most people think of the wattle flower as yellow, fluffy balls, but when you here amongst many of them, I found this is not always the case! The area where the Wattles are located, is a dry river bed with granite steps which include marble inlays depicting the leaves and flowers of different Wattles. This was done by artist Stuart Green, who also etched seed pods into individual steps.
The Wattle (Acacia) garden takes you through time, from the primitive species of Brown's wattle which still exists today. Walking up the stairs, don't forget to look down and see the mosaic representations of different Wattles. I saw sandpaper, wireweed, flat wattle The area where the Wattles are located, is a dry river bed with granite steps which include marble inlays depicting the leaves and flowers of different Wattle. This was done by artist Stuart Green, who also etched seed pods into individual steps.
The Wattle (Acacia) garden takes you through time, from the primitive species of Brown's wattle which still exists today. Walking up the stairs, don't forget to look down and see the mosaic representations of different Wattles. I saw sandpaper, wireweed, flat wattle and one with flattened stems, a water-conserving adaptation to cope with heat and drought. Clever!
There were many more I had never heard or seen of before. I also learnt the Wattle is the largest native genus in Western Australia. Today, some species are used for timber and stockfeed.
One of my favourite shrubs is the Grevillea. I grow many of this species in my own garden, so I was interested in seeing the Grevillea & Hakea Garden. Western Australia has 220 of the 340 species of Grevillea, 190 of which are in the south-west of the state. I love them because they bring birds to my garden, just as they do here! As this is the case, it makes it one of the best places to get a good photo of a bird, as they are so busy eating they forget your there! Grevilleas tend to flower whatever the season.
Once again, I found some unusual plants, such as the cricket ball hakea, named for it fruits that are like cricket balls and white plume grevillea that smells like old socks mainly at dusk and dawn, in order to attract moths to pollinate it.
Roe Gardens is at the end of the park. Here there are flowering Eucalyptus that are a real picture when they're flowering. Some have silver leaves, a nice contrast to the brightly coloured flowers.
In Roe gardens is a monolith dedicated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served since the Boer War. Many lost their lives doing so. There is wall for sitting on and an arbour roof shaped like a gum leaf.
The garden is named after Western Australia's first surveyor-general, John Septimus Roe.
Come here at night to see the lights of Perth.
I think the 620metre long Federation Walkway is a MUST DO
The walkway is located near Two Rivers Lookout near the Fraser Avenue roundabout.
It begins at ground level, then gradually goes higher and higher until your up amongst the tree tops, eyeballing ferns and other plants that grow on some trees and getting to see the tall straight trees that grow in Western Australia. I was impressed with this arched bridge with its glass walls from where I could clearly see the forest floor. I stopped and enjoyed the views of the Canning & Swan Rivers, Perth and the Swan Brewery, I looked down and found nice Aborignal artwork along the walkway, done by the local Indigenous people. Do read the interpretive signs along the way as you never know what you may see and want to know its name. A couple beckoned for me to come over as they had spotted a pair of Tawny Frogmouth owls in the tree. The photo isn't the best because they are grey and blend in well with the tree.
Once your at the top, the walkway descends to an amphitheatre where traditional performances are held during the Kings Park Festival. From here, a decision has to be made whether to turn left to continue through the Botanic Garden, or turn right to return to the Water Garden and Banksia Garden.
GOOD NEWS - IT IS WHEEL CHAIR ACCESSIBLE!
Entry is free but a gold coin donation to the Friends of Kings Park is appreciated.
OPEN DAILY 9 - 5PM
I made my way back from the Federation walkway via the Water garden. The pathway at the water garden has 53 brass plaques embedded in it, recognized the contribution women's groups have made to Western Australia.
Water gardens I always find peaceful, this one was no exception. In 1999 to mark the centenary of Women's Suffrage in Western Australia, the garden was remodelled to create the Darling Range creek complete with massive granite boulders. It was nice there was a footbridge in the centre from where I could stand and enjoy the peacefulness of this area. Swamp paperbarks which love wet areas were growing well, as were the Irises and sedges. To add to the beauty of this area, are sculptures symbolizing life, growth, strength of heart, renewal and leadership.
In the middle of the lake, is the stunning Pioneer Women's Memorial. Do hang around a little bit, as the fountain goes through a few different sequences.
If you want to see Kangaroo Paws, then you must come here! Once again, I grow these at home quite well and thought I had quite a few varieties, what I didn't know, was there were many more including a black Kangaroo Paw! This one hadn't opened properly, so I still haven't really seen it. I did see many other impressive colours that I really loved.
I grow Banksias too, so this was another interesting garden for me. Altogether, there are 76 species, 62 are only found in Western Australia. The display garden is really good and I was lucky enough to find a lot of them in flower. Some Banksias flower at ground level, quite unusual!
The Banksia garden has some beautiful artwork created by Philippa O'Brien. On marble, she created five species which grow in the Kings Park bushland - The acorn, bull, holly-leaved, narrow-leaved and Menzies' banksia, whilst the second pavement shows the prostrate banksias. These were lovely and so well done! The seats are made of firewood banksia timber, each has a wrought-iron back with a pattern of the zig-zag leaves of the bull banksia.