One Way to do Perth

The highlight of any cruise ship’s itinerary that includes Western Australia is Perth and that is the destination for this latest in my series of ‘One Way to do…’

The fact that cruise ships actually berth at the town of Fremantle is neither here nor there and it just remains a logistical question of getting from Fremantle to Perth as quickly as possible.

Ships berth at the Fremantle Cruise Terminal…

…which conveniently happens to be a 10 minute walk to the railway station…

…and then a 30 minute, 20 km train ride to Perth…

Perth, the capital of Western Australia, sits on the Swan River, and is geographically  the most isolated  city in the world.  It is a relatively small and quiet city that is easily explored on foot.
By far the most popular attraction in Perth is the Kings Park  area  (which are but a short walk from the centre and are also covered by the Perth Hop on – Hop off bus service) with stunning views across the Swan River and over the city…

 

But the views aren’t all that Kings Park has to offer. The park is a mixture of grassed parkland, botanical gardens and natural bushland with two-thirds of the grounds conserved as native bushland.

It is one of the largest inner city parks in the world,  larger than New York’s Central park, and is the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia.

Besides tourist facilities Kings Park contains the State War Memorial and numerous other monuments dedicated to Australians who have fought around the world.

There are  some 319 species of native plants including the massive Morton Bay Fig Tree…

…and the Boab ‘Bush Tucker’ Tree…

Some great walks, all very well signposted…

…relatively level…

…and some interesting challenges…

*****

That’s my Girl…

With our ex-military connections though, it was the monuments and memorials that appealed the most. Of particular note is the iconic State War Memorial Cenotaph at what is the well described  ‘Court of Contemplation‘…

*****

Set on what is the bluff of Mount Eliza, the Court of Contemplation, Flame of Remembrance, Pool of Reflection and Anzac Bluff make a fitting tribute to those Australians who gave their lives in the service of their country.

The 18 metre granite obelisk design is almost a replica of the Australian Imperial Forces Memorials erected in France and Belgium. The heavy concrete foundations are supplemented by heavy brick walls which enclose an inner crypt. The internal walls of the undercroft list the names of more than 7,000 members of the services killed in action or who died of wounds or illness in WWI  …

The State War Memorial Precinct contains additional memorials to other military units and conflicts including the Jewish War Memorial…

…erected in 1920 to honour soldiers of the Jewish faith who died in WWI. It consists of an Ionic column of Donnybrook stone rising from a granite base and crowned by a globe of copper bearing the Star of David. A plaque was added in 1953 to commemorate those who died in WWII.

Another memorial, the South African War Memorial…

…was previously known as the Fallen Soldier’s Memorial and was the first war memorial erected in Kings Park. It honours Western Australian soldiers killed in the Boer War (1899-1902).

It’s not all military personnel that are honoured in Kings Park…

The Firefighters’ Memorial Grove was unveiled in 2000 in memory of all Western Australian firefighters who have served and given their lives in protecting their communities and can interestingly be found just a stones throw from the DNA Tower.

Heading back on foot into the centre of town  one cannot miss the  Barracks Arch…

Originally built in 1866 to house the ‘Enrolled Pensioner Force‘, a semi-military unit  who came to Australia as guards on convict ships, and were given small land grants in return for part-time guard work. 

Barracks Arch is at the head of St George Terrace and a short walk along that street, in the direction of the city centre, opposite the intersection with Mills Street, will find The Cloisters...

…one of a small number of remaining convict-built colonial buildings of the mid-nineteenth century in the central area of Perth. It was constructed in 1858 as a secondary school for boys. The statue at the door is that of Mathew Blagdon Hale, Bishop of Perth and one of the benefactors of the original building.

Continuing along St Georges Terrace and not 200 yards further , but on the opposite side is yet another example of a colonial building constructed in Perth from the mid-nineteenth century (1852) and interestingly also a school, the Old Perth Boys School …

…though this one is a single-storey limestone building.

Yet further along St Georges Terrace is the entrance to Stirling Gardens...

…basically the gateway to Government House...

The Supreme Court

…and  The Old Courthouse

The Old Court House is the city’s oldest surviving public building and is one of only two remaining examples of the work of Henry Reveley, the colonial civil engineer.

These buildings are but a stones throw from the Swan River and its water transport hub known as Barrack Square.

It may or may not have gone unnoticed that so far  the Solents have not stopped for either refreshment or sustenance. Never fear, the chosen venue was on hand at Barrack Square…

…umpteen good Aussie beers…

…and an Aussie size helping of good old Fish & Chips…

A good job too because our next activity was going to put our energy reserves to the test. The Perth Bell Tower

Not just the climb to the top for the view…

…but also our first foray into campanology…

Definitely not as easy as it looks.

..where Solent Barbara was judged to be a natural!

A quick walk back through the gardens to St Georges Terrace...

…and across the road we have St George’s Cathedral...

…the principal Anglican church of Western Australia and the mother-church of the Anglican Diocese of Perth. An  visit inside is highly recommended if only to see the magnificent West Organ

On the subject of churches, just two streets back, on Victoria Square, is the rather more imposing St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral...

 

A few minutes walk along Hay Street and one final historic building well worth a visit if time allows, The Perth Mint…

 

Australia’s official Bullion mint, it was established in 1899, being the last of three Australian colonial branches of the UK’s Royal Mint. It was originaly intended to refine gold from the Australian gold rushes and to mint gold sovereigns for the British Empire. The Perth Mint is the older of the two Australian mints issuing coins that are legal tender in Australia.

There is a bronze sculpture outside the entrance to the mint, known as ‘The Strike’…

This full sized sculpture credits two men,  William Ford and Arthur Bayley,  with finding the first major gold find in Western Australia. This happened back in 1892. The plaque reads:-

This sculpture depicts the gold strike near Coolgardie by
prospectors William Ford and Arthur Bayley in 1892 which
unleashed the gold rushes that secured the future of the
struggling colony of Western Australia. Established one of the
State’s most successful and enduring industries and led to the
foundation of the Perth Mint in 1899.”

That concludes this edition of One way to do Perth.

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5 responses to “One Way to do Perth

  1. Thanks Richard for a great reminder of that fabulous place Perth! Went there in 2013 and visited all your recommendations. The place is a long way away, but boy, it’s worth the journey!
    Hoping to return in near future perhaps for a cruise.
    Barry

  2. Hi Richard we had a fab day in Perth yesterday Did our won thing and went on Captain Cook cruises down the Swan river from Fremantle after a two hour wonder aroundFreo which hasn’t changed since our last visit in 2012. Perth was great and we went into the ll Tower and had lunch at QE Quay the new terminal opened there in January . We aye at the LUCKY SHAG and got sme fun photos but unfortunately my el crappo LENOVO TABLET bought in Dubai after my new Ipad went wrong and was not re- placed in time for this trip. The Lenovo is frozen and will not boot so I can’t post any photos on Fanzine. Now using Internet on board the ship. The illness many people have suffered has now cleared up. We escaped it. Sorry for typos etc but not used to using the computer on board. Hope you are both well. XXx

  3. You went along most of our route 😀
    The Bell Tower we took pictures of and explored the nearby waterfront as we were with Liz ‘s cousin and wife who had not seen each other for close to 40 years
    A lovely museum exists in Kings Park and I bought some wooden articles made of local trees
    We also explored the military sections
    That whole area is so beautiful to look down on Perth
    Cheers

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