Friday, June 8, 2012

What to do in Perth, Western Australia....

Although the trip at the end of April, last month, was my fourth time to Perth, Western Australia, it was the first time I really explored the biggest city in Western Australia and is said to be one of the quietest city in Australia. It doesn't have a night life except on Thursday, Friday and Saturday whilst most shops and restaurants closed at 5pm. So, how do you enjoy such a city?
1. Perth has a lot of parks and trails. So, walk. Or ride a bike. As I arrived at 5.25am Western Australia time from Kuala Lumpur at the Perth Airport (which has its own meditation room near the Hertz counter), I had to kill nearly 5 hours before I could check-in into my hotel. I asked to be dropped at Kings Park. It has one of the best view of the city of Perth. 

Perth at 7am
After we had breakfast at the Botanical Cafe (which has a rare free wifi and delicious waffles), after walking the Frasers Avenue, a road lined with hundred years old Eucalyptus trees, we walked around the park to see war memorials. Then we went down one of the historic trail of Kokoda walk which has Australian soldiers fighting the Japanese nearly a hundred years ago.

Eucalyptus tree at Kings Park
Then we came down to the edge of the Swan River where there's a trail to the Old Brewery. There's Zafferano Restaurant there where we planned to have dinner but didn't managed to. Then we made a u-turn and walked more than 2 kilometers by the Swan River watching birds, lovers and dodging bicycles to the Bell Tower, a landmark in Perth which is shaped like a bell.

Here is the link to some trails in Western Australia to enjoy other than the one we've walked : Top trails in Western Australia and the link to Kings Park website : Kings Park and Botanical Garden.

2. Eat. Perth is a city by the river. People fish and eat their catch. Other than Perth city, Fremantle is just a 30 minutes drive away and has more scenic restaurants. We ate fish and chips at Fremantle, lobsters or crays as they are known there and we ate rack of lamb too. 

Our first breakfast of waffles in Perth
Fish and Chips at Kaili's, Fremantle
Dunked apples at E-Shed, Fremantle

Fresh fruits (persimmon) at the end of its season

Royale Cray at Red Cray Restaurant (Malaysian owner)

Rack of lamb with potato salads and fries at Chicken Charcoal (Middle eastern owner)
Australia is an agriculture country. Most fruits and meats in Malaysia come from Australia. It is easy to look for halal food in Australia and most are served like dishes in Australia should be. I hate eating food from my own country when I am abroad although in Perth there are more than 10 Malaysian restaurants. Oh, for Malaysian who suddenly get the hunger pangs after 10pm, go look for Fast Eddie, a 24 hours restaurant in Perth.

3. Shop. Australia has its own famous brands around the world. They have a lot of street malls. Murray Street Mall and London Court are just a few of these malls. As our hotels are also in front of Harbour Town, a growing off season brands mall in Perth, we did a little shopping while we were there. There are the normal brand like Nike, Adidas and such. Just remember that pay day in Perth (and most Western Australia) is Thursday as workers have weekly wages and in most days, shops close at 5pm.

Harbour Town Perth signboards

Lamb and kangaroo skin anyone? Found at E-Shed, Fremantle

London Court Street Mall

Murray Street Mall

4. Go explore nature and suburbs. There are places with amazing natural wonder like The Pinnacle which are jutting rocks made by nature. Along the way to the Pinnacle, there's beaches like Lancelin where you can see Edward Island and we managed to play with wild dolphins there. Sandboard in the cold desert sand (my first time). We did these in just one day and if you have time take a drive either north or south and experience more. I read somewhere you can even play with whales if you go further north. There's also Mandurah where you can take a boat ride behind millionaires holiday homes, awe at the boats and yacht and look at birds and dolphins too.


Sandboarding in Lancelin

The Pinnacle

As the sign says
5. Visit historical sites and marvel at the old architectural style. If this is your cup of tea, there are the Fremantle Prison, so many memorials, amaze at the change in usage of old buildings which are now restaurants, offices, shops and clubs.

Western Australia Parliament

Memorial Hill

Fremantle Prison

Street of Fremantle near Fremantle Market

Old Brewery by the Swan River

Look at the architecture

6. Pet some animals. We went to Caversham Wildlife Farm and thoroughly enjoy our day of frolicking with lambs (with the intention of eating one of its kind later that night), koalas, kangaroos, wombats and a few other animals indigenous to Australia. We can even say we enjoyed it better than when we went to Tarongga Zoo in Sydney as we can touch, pet and feed the animals much easier in Perth than the one in Sydney. 

Feeding the kangaroos


A feast of eucalyptus

Sleeping koala

Wild dolphin at Lancelin

Seagull by Swan River

Those are just some of the things you can do in Western Australia and specifically around Perth. My holiday was hosted by Jutawan Tours, a Malaysian linked company owned by a retired fighter pilot. You can find them here : Jutawan Tours website. Do try them as they are flexible in the packages they offer.

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