Dolphin, Penguin & Sea Lion Adventure Cruise
We paid for the above cruise package, took the ferry across to penguin island. The waters between the ferry terminal and penguin island is so shallow with a sand bank that we can see some wading through from Penguin island.
On Penguin Island, we didn't get to see any penguin except those in the Discovery Centre. We were told that the penguins goes out to the sea for food during the day and return in the night. Unless one is willing to camp out on the island at night (where there are no accommodations), I guess we will never get to see those penguins returning. Ferry service leaving the island back to the Ferry Terminal ends about 4pm.
On the island, however, we got to see alot of seagulls and have lots of flies buzzing around our face and ears.
Our seal adventure ride on a glass bottom boat was a fruitful one. We managed to spot a dolphin, who was in playful mode and the dolphin had a great time with the artificial wave the captain created for the dolphin to surf with.
On the seals, we managed to spot 3-4 seals on an small island beach from the boat. I had the mistaken impression that we may land on the beach to see the seals. I was mistaken. What gave me the impression was that we were told (whilst on the boat) that it would be advisable to keep at least 10m from the seals and never get between the seals and the water.
The whole package, I feel is over-rated and we didn't really enjoyed the cruise.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Took out a day trip land package to visit:
Caversham Wildlife Park
Lunch at Beach
Sand Surfing at Lancelin
The trip is enjoyable with Nathan as the driver/guide/chef.
We were at the designated pick-up point 1/2 hour early and the truck came about 45 minutes past the designated hour of 7am. The rest of the pickups weren't very smooth either. By the time we left for Caversham, it was close to 9am.
The stopover at Caversham Wildlife Park was relatively short and we only managed to catch the Kangaroos, Wombat & Koalas.Related to:
- Skiing and Boarding
To do in the city...
-Freo-great day out-cafe culture and a different vibe to perth. South beach is nice just a short walk from town. Its $4 one way and 30mins by train from perth station.
-Rottnest-$236 if you dont get a early booking for 2 people return ferry and 2 bikes for the day ($30 each)-the bikes were crap though. Great place, lovely beaches.
-Bell tower-$14-pretty dull but nice enough views
-Cottesloe beach-the main beach, 20mins by train, $4 one way.
-Galley-nice enough comtemporary art
-Museum-very good, free-lots of stuffed animals and loads of dead insects etc. A great section on aboriginal culure including the stolen generation.
-York-an old town 97km from perth , east over the perth hills-old in oz terms is not old in european terms so its hard to get excited but it does have some nice old buidlings. The Terrace cafe is the cheapest in town with massive burger and chcken snitzel fwith shake and cofee for $30.
-Kings park-walk in 10min uphill from the CBD or bus 37. Grat views and great relaxation overlooking teh city and swan river.
The only convict-built Town Hall in any of the State capital cities, Perth Town Hall was opened in 1870.
It may not feel much, but the building is actually built on the highest point of the city on the corner of Hay and Barrack Streets. It was never very practical as a Town Hall and although it took many years to move out and into more appropriate premises, changes, add-ons, appropriation for offices started almost as soon as the building was opened.
Crowded by contemporary development, it was in 1994 that, with the demolition of a building that had crowded it on two sides, extensive damage was recognised and a major renovation, which took until 2005, was undertaken. For the first time in a century, all sides of the Town Hall were on public view.
Today, as well as the premier venue for civic receptions, the Town Hall is now a popular venue for banquets, public forums, business meetings, functions and weddings.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Day or night, Northbridge seems to be one of the main places to hang out.
Main drag is James Street and William Street, full as it is with cafes, bars, clubs, restaurants, live music venues, bookshops, cinemas, gaming centres interspersed with a few shops.
Nighttime it certainly comes alive with the junction of William and James a focal point. Just away from this, heading away from the city is a real Vietnamese area with lots of cafes, restaurants and shops heading towards Brisbane St.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Rubberneck at Perth's most expensive real estate!
Perth's greatest asset is its stunning location on the banks of the Swan River: in my (very biased), of all Oz's state capitals, it is second only to Sydney in the beauty of its setting.
Actually modern day Perth spans the confluence of two rivers: the Swan and the Canning, which come together in a beautiful open stretch of Melville Water close to the upmarket suburb of Applecross. Geomorphologically speaking, the Swan is actually a ria - a river valley that was 'drowned' by the increase in sea level at the end of the last ice age, resulting in a river that is much wider than you would expect for its size. The Swan, is, after all, a short river (barely 100km long) and has a catchment that doesn't receive huge amounts of rain even in the wettest winter. As a result, the Swan is brackish as far up as the Perth CBD, so it's quite common to see dolphins as far inland as Melville Water and jellyfish get washed even further upstream.
There are many ways to explore the Swan - from hiring a bike to cycle along the network of cycle paths to strolling along the foreshore or catching the ferry between the Barrack Street jetty and South Perth. However, if you have the time, I think that the very best way to appreciate the Swan estuary is to take a boat trip from Barrack Street to Fremantle, which gives you an entirely different perspective on the city and its suburbs.
Also, if you have a voyeuristic gene, the river cruise will allow you a unique opportunity to rubberneck at the most expensive and jawdroppingly opulent riverside real estate in Western Australia! These are home to the great, the good and the downright notorious (the now deceased reprobate Alan Bond being an excellent case in point) and the commentary on these trips is scurrilous and highly amusing in a typically Aussie 'tongue in cheek' manner.
If you're planning to visit Rottnest Island as well, then why not consider catching the ferry from the Barrack Street jetty, which then travels down the Swan to Fremantle? Although this is a longer and more expensive trip than the more usual option of catching the ferry from Freo, it is still considerably cheaper than doing the river cruise and the ferry as separate trips, and also saves you time if you're on a tight time schedule. Another advantage is that if you catch a late afternoon ferry back from Rotto (which you'll want to do to maximise your time there), then chances are that you'll arrive back in Perth about dusk, which will allow you the opportunity to appreciate the stunning vista of the illuminated CBD skyline as you approach Barrack Street.
Bibbulman Track: volunteering in the bush
We often get forum queries from people looking to volunteer in Australia - often young people on a 'gap' year - and so here's an idea that might be woth considering.
The Bibbulmun Track is a 964 kilometre premier walking track from Perth to a small city of Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. En route it passes through astonishingly beautiful bush and is a wonderful experience, even if you only get to hike a certain section.
Maintaining and upgrading the track is a labour of love, and is undertaken by a 3,500 strong band of volunteers, assisted by (to quote the website), "prison gangs of trustee prisoners for some of the heavier work" (!).
The Bibbulman Track Foundation is always looking for willing volunteers to assist them in this work - the company I used to work for in Perth used to do this as a corporate social responsibility exercise.
Even if you don't have the time and energy to help out in person, other opportunities to help include making a donation to their sponsorship drive for eco-friendly 'dunnies' (toilets) along the route. This provides you with a unique stab at immortality, as for a fee you can have a family or individual plaque set on the dunny door on any of the forty-eight shelters which house dry bush drop toilets! (See the website for details on how to avail yourself of this appealing opportunity).
An opportunity to spend time in the bush, have a toilet named in your honour and maybe even rub shoulders with dinky di crims ... sounds like the quintessential Aussie experience to me! :)
Conquer the highest peak in Perth!
Much is justifiably written on the charms of Perth's Kings Park, but there are other parks in the city that are also worth making the time and effort to visit.
A case in point is Bold Park, which is located on the seaward side of the CBD next to Oceanic Drive, sandwiched between the suburbs of City Beach and Floreat Park.
It contains Reabold Hill, which was known by early settlers as One Tree Hill. This is the highest 'peak' in the Perth inner metropolitan area, rising a mighty 93m above sea level - which probably doesn't sound like much, but that's pretty lofty by Perth's pancake flat standards, and it's still a stiff hike on a hot day! Once at the top of the hill, your effort will be rewarded with views out over the Indian Ocean to the west, and to the CBD to the east. My top tip? Visit on your way to the beach so that you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip after your exertions!
The area was originally quarried for limestone, and there are still remains of the former lime kilns hidden in the bush. The former quarry has been imaginatively repurposed into an amphitheatre, which hosts theatrical and musical performances in the summer months - a wonderful place to bring a picnic on a hot summer night - I will write a separate tip on this once I can find a decent photo! Click on this link for information on forthcoming performances.
The Bold Park Reserve covers 437 hectares of native bushland, which abuts the Perry Lakes - see the website below for some excellent suggestions on hiking trails. Bold Park itself is a large park with lots of open areas and shady trees that make it an ideal place for families to have a barbie and let off steam.
Chamber of Commerce Freemantle
The building that houses the Fremantle of Commerce is an old building from the Boom time in Western Australia. I'm glad to see that old building here are maintained and keep alive; not demolished and left to rot as they sometimes are back at home.
The Cloisters: Bishop Mathew Hale
While walking from our hotel to the train station we came upon the Bishop Hale statue. Bishop Hale was first Bishop of Perth and then went on to be the Bishop of Brisbane. When he was Bishop of Perth he opened the firts college for boys(now called Hale School) which is the oldest boys school in Western Australia. In 2008 a statue of the Bishop was errected by the Cloisters.
I do enkoy exploring a city on foot; there is so much to discover. During our walks around Perth we discovered many public art installations along the way. My favorite was a lifelike sculpture of a dog. As we approached I almost throught it was a rela dog on the street waiting for its owner.
Vasco da Gama Monument
While strolling through the Esplanade Park we found a strange fin like sculpture. Upon further inspection the sculpture reads "Vasco de Gama". The sculpture commemorates the explorations of Vasco de Gama especially the voyages that linked Europe with the Indian Ocean.
Western Australian Visitors Centre
The Western Australia Visitor's Center is a great place to stop in when first arriving in the city. The center has plenty of books, brochures and maps to help navigate the city and the surrounding area. Helpful staff can arrange tours and accomodations if you are in need of assistance.
My wife and I stopped here for a few brochures before catching a train to Fremantle.
Situate Sculpture (aka The Cactus)
Walking from the train station we came across these big green Cactus sculptures. Apparently these sculptures by James Angus meant to look like cactuses.... it is just confusing and looks out of place in the middle of the city.
Talbot Hobbs Memorial
As we were walking Riverside Drive we came acoss this Memorial which is mostly hidden by the leaves of a tree. Upon inspection we found it to be a memorial to a WWI soldier. When we returned to the states my wife did a litle more inquiring and found that Lieutenant General Sir JJ Talbot Hobbs was Australia's most distinguished WWI soldiers an a prominent architect to boot.
This statue plays a significant role in the Perth Anzac Parade every year.
Lovely hotel-spotlessly clean. only 2-3 minutes away from Murray/Hay st Mall area..Slightly costly...more
The location is very good neat the centre of Perth and overlooking the Swan River. Also minute walk...more
This place has been renovating for a long period of time and so noisy. Staff were incompetent and...more
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