Day Five April 15th 2011 We leave Singapore, Welcome to Oz, G'day Mate!
0515 alarm call, ouch! But we're off to Australia so we were looking forward to that!
We left for the airport at 0630 and checked in effortlessly. Saying our fond goodbyes to our excellent guide Faridah, we were all through immigration by about 0730. Changi is a super airport, even with the renovation that was going on. Charlie voted the smoking area the best he has ever seen at an airport; so lush and green. So the couple of hours before the Qantas flight passed reasonably quickly.
Only around five hours to Perth, and it's in the same time zone as Singapore. A meal was served up and before we knew it we were off the aircraft and 'down under'. Swift immigration, no delays at baggage nor customs, and we all passed scrutiny by the sniffer dogs. We were finally in Australia!
On the coach into the city of Perth, Alex (our guide) dished out maps of the city and went through
things to do in Perth (the capital of WA). My Irish cousins living in Perth told us that Western Australia (WA) is often called Wait Awhile (WA) by other Aussies because of its laid-back attitude. We soon saw why the residents have the right attitude! What a great city!
So here’s 8 things to do in Perth:
Getting excited about being in Oz at last and seeing all there was to do, we all relaxed on the coach while Trevor our driver drove us to our hotel in downtown Perth, the Parmelia Hilton.
Clean and comfortable - Parmelia Hilton Perth -
So we stayed here for two nights in the middle of April 2011 at the first Ozzie hotel on our tour of Australia. Arriving from the plush hotel we had stayed at in Singapore en-route, we found the Parmelia Hilton quite old-fashioned. The room was dated but clean and comfortable.
After we were checked in, we were let loose to explore. The hotel location is fine; being in the business district. It was easy to walk around the city or take the free CAT bus service which passes through nearby Mill Street. For dinner we ate at the Adelphi Steak House just beside the hotel and had a good meal there. It was full of character.
The weather was pleasantly hot in Perth.
Road km: 27 Air km: 3896
Day Six April 16th 2011 Perth and Fremantle
An excellent breakfast at the Hilton set us up for the day. We left at 0930 with driver/guide Trevor for a sightseeing tour which took in the main sights of the city before heading to the coast. A stop to paddle in the sea (Indian Ocean!) at Cottesloe, and then to Fremantle. Fremantle is a very historic place. We toured the Prison and Round House, the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony in 1830. It is the oldest building still standing in WA. Freementle Prison is a World Heritage Site being an Australian Convict Site.
Freemantle Markets opned in 1897 and has over 150 stalls housed in a Victorian-era building, It was especially lively that day because it was market day. Freo's market is a big draw, and always popular.
Most of our tour group took the opportunity of a leisurely cruise back to Perth, a very relaxing boat trip plus a glass of wine and a cup of tea. Charlie and I decided to return by the coach and we visited the lovely King's Park on the way back to the hotel. The Park is gorgeous and has amazing views of the City of Perth (see first photo in this blog post).
We then ventured out to the Perth Mint. When it opened in 1899, the Perth Mint was the third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint in Australia. Today it produces gold, silver, and platinum bullion, coins and bars. The exhibitions we visited covered Western Australia’s gold rush history and collections of rare gold nuggets and coins. It includes the Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin – the world’s largest gold bullion coin. Unfortunately, it was way too big to fit in my back pack!! We watched molten gold being poured and even found out our weight in gold (see below photo)!!
Near the Perth Mint, we sat outside at a bar in the evening sunlight listening to the Irish accents of the lads at the tables next to us. Predominantly construction workers who had to leave Ireland to find work when boom turned to bust at the end of the “Noughties”. Sad to think they were so far from home; but happy to see the obvious friendship and camaraderie they all shared.
That evening, Charlie and I headed off to visit with my Irish first cousins who were now living in Perth. It was great to hear how well they were getting on while enjoying tasty food. Not a late night though as we had an early start in the morning.
It was our second day in the country and I think most of us were surprised by how expensive things were. Although we'd been warned, I don't think it had really sunk in. But with the Australian dollar worth about one third less against the UK pound than a few years ago, and with recent price hikes in Oz on basics such as food and petrol, it could hardly be anything else.
Road km: 54
Bucket List Items Ticked Off in the above Blog post
Number 57 - Continents - Australia
Number 58 (2) - Countries - Australia
Number 59 (3) - Hotels - Parmelia Hilton, Perth
Number 60 (2) - Cities - Perth, Australia
Number 76 (2) - World Heritage Site - Australian Convict Sites
Related Blog Posts
Blog 4 - London/ Singapore
Blog 6 - Uluru, Australia
Blog 7 - Alice Springs, Australia
Have you been to Perth? What was your experience there?
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My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!