A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Day 34 Queensland to Western Australia

The Pinnacles and more!

SAM_2499.jpgSAM_2494.jpg
Jurien Bay
We spent the night at Jurien Bay, a seaside town that has something for everyone - fantastic fishing, great beaches and a good range of accommodation options

From Jurien Bay, we are going to see the Pinnacles located in Nambung National Park and then returning for another night here.

Before leaving, I went for an early morning walk and was surprised to find the seafront Café abuzz with people! The area looked like it had recently been done up. There was a new jetty, seating, interesting ceramic murals and a good children's playground. A shared bicycle/walking wove its way along the Esplanade.

SAM_2490.jpgSAM_2491.jpgSAM_2492.jpgSAM_2489.jpg

The old jetty pylons were in the bay as well as Australia’s largest gull, the Pacific Gull.

SAM_2502.jpg
Pacific Gull

This is a very big Gull, and quite a clever one, believe me! One stole my brand new fishing rod while on holiday in Tasmania, dropped in the ocean, never to be seen again. They also have worked out how to open shells to get the food inside. This is done by dropping the shell from a great height, picking it up and dropping it again until it breaks open and they can get to the food. Take a look at its massive yellow bill, tipped with scarlet.

Named the Pacific Gull, they are hardly ever found on the Pacific coastline. They are usually found on beaches beside the Southern and Indian Oceans. They breed in colonies on islands from eastern Bass Strait to Shark Bay in Western Australia.

As I walked back to the Caravan Park, I noticed a good selection of Banksias planted beside the Caravan Park fence. We were here in August, this appeared to be a good time to see them in flower.

SAM_2774.jpgSAM_2771.jpg
Banksias
SAM_2767.jpgSAM_2770.jpg

The Banksia is native to Australia and has quite a unique flower that lasts a long time as a cut flower, then can be kept for years as a dried flower.
There are 76 species of Banksia, 60 of them only found in south Western Australia.

We decided to go to the Pinnacles first and were glad we made this choice as we arrived at the National Park at opening time, (9.30am), this way we had the park pretty well to ourselves. Nearly 200,000 visitors come here per year from all over the world.
We had to show our Parks Pass to enter, then we were given a brochure and information on what we could do. From here, we made our way to the very modern and informative Visitor centre.
I thought this was a very well set out and a really informative centre that had interpretive displays and multi-media presentations. Not only does it tell you the history of the Pinnacles, but what kind of creatures live in the landscape and you can see them too, even though they are stuffed! In spring, the wildflowers are out, and here you will find out what you will see.

SAM_2599.jpgSAM_2604.jpglarge_SAM_2602.jpg
Visitor Centre

Another interesting piece of information I read, said they were probably only exposed in quite recent times. About 6,000 years ago, Aboriginal artifacts were found. Since then, it is believed they were covered by shifting sands, before being exposed again in the last few hundred years. Even today this action takes place, so I guess the Pinnacles could be completely covered and uncovered again, creating more weird and wonderful shapes over and over again.
It really was a good idea doing this first as it gave us a lot of information on the Pinnacles.

SAM_2553.jpgSAM_2557.jpg

Quote.....
"The Pinnacles are the eroded remnants of what was once a thick bed of limestone beneath the sand. The raw material for the limestone of The Pinnacles came from sea shells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. There shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were then carried inland by the wind to form high, mobile dunes. Winter rain leached the lime from the sands, cementing grains of sand together in the lower levels of the dunes. Vegetation became established and stabilised the dunes. At the same time, an acidic layer of soil and humus developed over the remaining quartz sand. This acidic soil accelerated the leaching process, and a hard layer of calcrete formed over the softer limestone below.
Today this calcrete can be seen as a distinct cap on many Pinnacles and has helped protect the softer limestone below. Cracks formed in the calcrete layer and were exploited by plant roots. Water seeped down among these channels to leach away the softer limestone beneath. These channels gradually filled with quartz sand. The subsurface of the erosion continued until only the most resilient columns remained. The Pinnacles as we see them today were exposed by prevailing winds blowing away the overlying quartz sand. The Pinnacles, then, are the eroded remnants of the formerly thick bed of limestone."

SAM_2561.jpg

It was back to the car to drive the Pinnacles circuit, you can walk around them if you want. Once again I was glad we were early as the road through the Pinnacles was narrow, there are slow moving vehicles meaning if caught behind one, you have to wait until you reach a pull-off, and you will probably want to stop there too! In saying that, this is no place for driving fast, you need to go slow to enjoy the sights. As you can see by my photo, the track is rather sandy, but is solid, so alright for conventional vehicles, just not oversize ones. Another advantage for us doing this early, was when we stopped to take many photos, we weren't holding anybody up, and we did stop many, many times!
I don't know the best time to come, although I have read around sunset is nice as the colours soften and the shapes turn a pinkish colour.

SAM_2568.jpgSAM_2596.jpg

So, we drove slowly around, marvelling at these strange formations that have been around for 25,000 - 30,000 years! There are literally thousands of huge limestone pillars, quite a contrast to the surrounding low heathlands typical of this area. Some pinnacles are four meters tall, some are jagged, sharp-edged columns, rising to a point, others resemble tombstones, colours can be quite light to golden yellow, no two are the sam

A Galah can be a silly, stupid person, or a Rose Breasted Parrot, it is the latter I am talking about. We were here in August, which coincided with the nesting season of Galahs. We had previously seen many nesting in the hollows of dead trees but never expected to find them in the Pinnacles, after all, there weren't dead trees here so there wasn't anywhere for them to nest, OR was there?

SAM_2585.jpgSAM_2587.jpg

Unbelievably, there was!

We saw several families of Galahs who had nested in the hollows made by the wind in various Pinnacles. We stopped and watched for a while, a head popped out, it was so cute! These were not silly or stupid Galahs, these were clever ones!

Lake Thetis, located in the Nambung National Park,happens to be one of only a few places in the world where living marine Stromatolites, or 'Living fossils' can be found.

SAM_2628.jpgSAM_2635.jpg

As I walked the boardwalk to the viewing platform, I saw some Shingle back lizards and birds before reaching the look-out over the water, where upon looking into the lake's water, I could see many Stromatolites. They were nothing spectacular to look at, rather like an old cow pat lying in the shallow water, but it is the age that makes them very important. The drier months when the water level is at its lowest, is the best time to see them, it was like that when I saw them. The walk around the lake was a flat and easy 1.2 kms. Interpretive boards explain what Stromatolites are.

These Stromatolites were around 3.5 billion years ago, and the ones in Lake Thetis are believed to be 3,500 years old!

They are some of the oldest living fossils on earth.

SAM_2640.jpgSAM_2646.jpg
Stromatolites @ Lake Thetis

Back at Jurien Bay, we took the road to Badgingarra, a nice drive over rolling hills when suddenly the largest Echidna we have ever seen ambled across the road. A car in the opposite direction pulled up the same time as we did, all of us getting out of our cars with a camera in hand.
The Echidna was in a hurry, so not the best of photos! I followed him into the bush where he began digging a hole to bury himself, another 10 mins you would not have known an Echidna was there.

large_SAM_2720.jpg
Echidna

The Echidna is sometimes called the spiny anteater and is native to Australia. It has 2 types of fur - A coat of short, coarse hair which insulates echidnas from the cold, while longer hairs act as spines. These are a creamy colour and are very sharp, rising when a predator comes near them, so don't try and touch one, as to them, your a predator! On a hard surface, they roll into a ball to protect themselves, they are quite safe when they do this, as nobody or anything will come near them then!
We were out in the bush, an ideal home for them as here were plenty of ants, termites, grubs, larvae, and worms that they find and dig out with their pointy snout. Once the echidna finds its food, it uses its long, sharp claws to dig into the soil and expose them, licking them up with its long, sticky tongue. Echidnas do not have teeth. I found it interesting that they can lift objects twice their weight and they can swim. I never knew a baby Echidna was called a "Puggle," and is born blind and hairless! Last of all, they can live to 50 years of age, perhaps this big one was an oldie!

SAM_2735.jpg

Badgingarra is a small wheatbelt town with a National park of the same name. We went to a lookout and then I did a Wildflower Walk where I found plenty of new wildflowers.

SAM_2738.jpgSAM_2685.jpg

The park is home to reptiles, emus, kangaroos and a variety of bird life including bustards and wedge tail eagles. A 2km trail begins next to the Badgingarra Roadhouse. This one has a steep hill with a lookout, so you need to be fit and allow 1.5 hours to complete it.

SAM_2679.jpgSAM_2678.jpg

Adjacent to the Badgingarra National Park is the Vern Westbrook Trail.
I walked the 3.7km trail, that took me along the Hill River to the top of a breakaway that is named after farmer Vern Westbrook, one of the pioneers of the area.

SAM_2701.jpgSAM_2703.jpg
SAM_2706.jpgSAM_2727.jpg
This walk was a little different, as along the way are signs and sculptures made from junk. The children of Badgingarra Primary School, with the help of a local Artist, made 12 "junk bug" sculptures out of "found" materials. I thought the walk pretty easy going, although further on, some places are difficult to work out which way to go.

SAM_2806.jpg

Every important site is signposted, so I easily found the old stockyards and dam, used by drovers who supplied horses and cattle for the Indian Army. Another interesting find, were trenches dug during World War II to defend the road back to the Moora Hospital from a feared Japanese invasion.

SAM_2723.jpgSAM_2711.jpg
On reaching the top of the breakaway, it was time for a breather and a drink, at the same time taking in the views of Mt Lesueur and towards The Pinnacles and up the valley towards Moora. Once section of this trail was thick with bushes all flowering in profusion with pink flowers, a wonderful sight.
I found some Spider orchids, but not the purple enamel orchid.
The Vern Westbrook Walk is 3.6km east of Badgingarra on the North West Road to Moora.

Well, that was the end to another good day, particularly for the variety of wildflowers I found.

Tomorrow we go to Moora and New Norcia

Posted by balhannahrise 21:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 35 Queensland to Western Australia

Moora - New Norcia - Gingin

After a good stay at Jurien Bay it was time to leave. Instead of taking the coastal route, we decided to head inland to Moora, another town located in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt, on the banks of the Moore River, about two hours’ drive north of Perth.
This area was once only known for wheat and sheep farming, now different types of grain are grown and people come to see wildflowers.

SAM_2846.jpg
Moora

Moora was a town I was pleasantly surprised with. As with many of these wheatbelt towns, they now are catering to bring tourists to their town.

Here they had 'The Carnaby Cockatoo Interpretive Walking Trail,' an easy flat walk of 3.5 kms one way, starting at Apex Park and following the banks of the Moore River where the Carnaby Cockatoo lives, I was lucky enough to see a flock of them. Interpretive signs are along the trail.

Moora had a town walk I followed, beginning at the Moora Town Clock that had been refurbished with beautiful stained glass panels, replacing the original clock tower from the late 1950s. It had interpretive boards on each side explaining what each stained glass panel represented.

SAM_2836.jpgSAM_2833.jpg

The northern side displayed "a country theme with sunshine and music as its base, depicted by a didgeridoo, guitars, music notes, country style hats, stars and a abstracted sun."

The eastern side is made up of "local Aboriginal icons, which includes turtles, fish and kangaroos set into the shape of a water bird standing-stock still, as in camouflage. The clasped hands appear below an abstract tree."

The Southern Panel represents a "family unit made up of father, mother and three children in negative flat steel form surrounded by a stained glass design depicting garden flower."

Some-how, I missed the western Panel, probably because the sun was in the wrong direction. It is lit at night, although I wasn't here to see it, I read the panels stand out at night better than in the day time.

large_SAM_2830.jpg
The Drover's Inn

My next stop was at the Drover's Inn, a typical Australian hotel built with spacious verandahs to give respite from the hot sun.
Mr. FWG Liebe who constructed His Majesty's Theatre in Perth was the builder of this Hotel too, as such, there are some similarities to "His Majesty's Theatre,", like the polished staircase, domed lounge hall , finely carved oak mantles, polished cedar bars and marble tiles. The exterior was built from local freestone and machine made bricks.

SAM_2845.jpg

Across the road was the old Post Office which was still being used today. It was a very strong looking building with white stone walls and a gabled roof. A colonial Architect created the style.

A favorite with me on the town walk was Federation Park, created in 2001 to celebrate the centenary of Federation.
The three sculptures in the park are all to do with working on the land.

large_SAM_2856.jpg
The first is the Australian Draught horse. There's a beaut sculpture of this massive horse that was brought to Western Australia in the late 1830s, up till then, the heavy draught work was done by Bullock teams. When the agricultural industry took off after the gold rushes, these draught horses were needed. They were known as the gentle giants, and were very important in opening the land up for rural use.

large_SAM_2851.jpg
Beside the Draught horse, is the Kelpie, an Australian sheep dog, used for mustering and droving sheep with little or no guidance.
It's master (farmer) whistles and the dog knows what the whistle means and obeys! These dogs were a lot of help to the early settlers.

large_SAM_2850.jpg
Lastly, is the beautiful mural on the wall showing Draught horses standing while the cart they are pulling is loaded with hay.
Federation Park is all about remembering the hard work these animals did in opening up the area for settlement and commemorates Moora's agricultural heritage.

I crossed the road as I had noticed a mural on the Moora Shire council office building that faces the park.
large_SAM_2859.jpg
Shire council mural

This one tells the story of how the water tables have risen, as a result, the land has become salty and is no good for anything. We saw a lot of this and many salt lakes in Western Australia. When the land was cleared, not a tree was left standing, later they found out his was a big mistake! Now they are trying to reverse the damage by planting many trees, this you can see in the mural.

large_SAM_2858.jpg
Moora Shire 100 years old

Also in the park is the 100th Anniversary sculpture commemorating Moora Shire celebrating 100 years in 2009. The sculpture depicts the culture and heritage of the local community, complete with an indigenous painting.

large_SAM_2862.jpg

Only a short walk from the Murals was the Victorian gothic, St. James Church. Up until 1911, church services were held at the Moora police station, then this delightful little church was built. It really had an English feel to it, I loved the stone work and its English appearance. I read it was built similar to the one at Stoneyfield in England, the birthplace of Walter Padbury, who bequeathed a large amount of money for its construction. I had just been walking along Padbury street.

Another mural close by really surprised me, as it showed Moora devastated by floodwaters in 1999, when a one in 300 year flood occurred! Walking around on a hot day on dry and dusty dirt made this hard to imagine.

SAM_2864.jpgSAM_2865.jpg

This happened in the early hours of March 21st, 1999, catching the town by surprise. If you have ever witnessed flood waters, you will know how fast and furious they travel, this is what happened here, not helped by the early hours either.
The mural shows the town and the depth of the water, it was deep!
Once again, people rallied around, helping to sandbag the town, give help and support, a shoulder to cry on, and gave donations of food, clothing and money. This was country people at their best.!

1999 must have been a bad year, as another two floods came through the town, one in May and the other in August.

large_SAM_2840.jpg

My walk took me through a nice garden where a sculpture was of a leaf, then over the railway line to the sculpture 'Scrap Iron.'

During WWII, Army training camps were located at Moora. It is estimated 50,000 men went through these camps. Once again, the people of Moora supported these men. The ladies of the Red Cross knitted socks, balaclavas and scarves and did other helpful tasks for troops stationed in the area, and for those in Perth hospitals and overseas.

SAM_2872.jpg

It was here the war memorial stood and the tin soldier known as 'Scrap Iron', made by local artists as a tribute to the servicemen in the Moora area during WW I 1939 - 45. Across the road was a Mural depicting an Army scene.

large_SAM_2871.jpg

I was wondering why there were so many murals, then I found out Moora is a town on the Painted Road trail, which if you follow, you will find more towns with murals.

After doing plenty of walking in Moora, I was glad to sit in the car and rest my feet before our next stop at New Norcia.
We hadn't gone far and we were pulled over by the Police as a wide load was coming through and completely taking up the whole road, quite a sight to see machinery this huge and one with so many wheels!

large_SAM_2876.jpg
I had read quite a bit about our next town - New Norcia - Australia's only Spanish town and only Monastic town.
"The town was named "New Norcia" in memory of the spot the founder was born."

Since 1847, it has been run and owned by a group of Roman Catholic Monks. Designed in the style of a Spanish Benedictine village, New Norcia has grandiose buildings standing in amongst the Australian landscape. It takes your breath away when you first set eyes on it!
Did I see a Monk? No, I think they were hiding inside the Monastery. Monks here are independent of others and promise to remain in the Monastery for the rest of their lives, they are known as‘Benedictines’

"All monks should greet anyone who arrives at their monastery gates as "if it were God Himself who had knocked."

large_SAM_2877.jpg
New Norcia

It all began in 1846, when some Benedictine monks arrived here to establish a Mission for the area's Aboriginals. It was here I read all about their journey, how their first building was a Bush Chapel, and how New Norcia grew to what I was viewing today.

I followed the heritage trail past most of the buildings. Every building has a interpretive board so I knew what I was seeing.

large_SAM_2901.jpg

Located 132 kms from Perth, it's an easy day trip, so no wonder more than 700,000 people come to see the town every year!
Don't expect lots of souvenir shops or anything like that, it isn't touristy at all! You can buy a few things at the Art Museum & gift shop as the monks produce Olive Oil, Beer, and Nut Cake to sell.

large_SAM_2922.jpg

Unfortunately I found the interior of many of the buildings had to be done on a day tour, as I hadn't allowed time for this, I missed seeing the interiors.

large_SAM_2921.jpg

One building was St. Gertrudes, built in 1908 as a Convent College for the girls who were cared for by the Josephite Sisters. Today it is used by Monks who educate visiting catholic children. Another is St. Ildephonsus, once the Boy's college at New Norcia. The building is no longer a college, but is used for large groups who can come and stay here.

I found a small Flour Mill and another larger one, this was because the original mill became too small to handle all the wheat being grown in the area that was leased by the Mission. The Mill produced enough flour to sustain New Norcia. Bread, Macaroni and Spaghetti was made from the flour.
large_SAM_2882.jpg
Small Flour Mill

In the 1850's, this original Flour Mill used to be surrounded by shearing sheds, stables and other buildings, now it sits alone! It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in New Norcia

large_SAM_2887.jpg
The Large Flour Mill

Bread is now baked in the Monastery's New Bakehouse daily in a wood-fired oven to a century old Benedictine technique.
Opposite the old original Flour Mill, is the old Police station. The building was built with similar features to the rest of the town. .

SAM_2905.jpgSAM_2881.jpg
Mission cottage and the Old Police Station

Mission Cottage was an old white-washed house built as a two room cottages for Aboriginal couples in the 1850s.
The cottage in my photo was one of these cottages, built in 1860 as a worker's house, slightly longer than the other cottages as it had 3 rooms.

large_SAM_2916.jpg
Benedictine Monastery

The Monastery is located where the original Mission building from 1847 was once located. The Monks once had 55 people working for them, today, there are still about 50 people working for the 26 Monks, who live the simple life within the Monastery.

large_SAM_2915.jpg
Benedictine Monastery

The Monastery has some beautiful wrought iron gates, brought out from England in 1903. Just inside the gates, is a statue of St. Benedict of Nursia, regarded as the father of Western Monasticism.

large_SAM_2913.jpg
Monastery Gates

You can be forgiven for thinking you may be in Spain, as the Abbey Church really looks like a Spanish Church. It was constructed from bush stones and held together with mud plaster and tree trunks. This rather plain Georgian church opened its doors in 1861, since then additons have been made, one of them is the appealing Italian Renaissance influenced façade and Bell Tower. The newest section was built in 1920, especially to house a massive church organ brought back from Germany, only one of two in Australia.

SAM_2918.jpgSAM_2907.jpg
Abbey Church

It was the 1870's and the town of New Norcia was growing. Some new buildings were needed to house those who came here to begin their monastic life, so the Novitiate was built and used for that purpose. Most of the building is how it was, only the original shingle roof has been covered with corrugated iron. Look for the sundial on the north wall.

large_SAM_2908.jpg
Novitiate

It was still too early to call it a day, so we continued on our way to the town of Gin Gin, a smallish agricultural town surrounded in pretty scenery.
This area was discovered in 1836, by explorer George Fletcher Moore, who used the Aboriginal name of "Jinjin" as his record. In 1841, Gingin station was established, then in 1883, Gingin was declared a township.

SAM_2925.jpgSAM_2929.jpg
Gin Gin

At just 92 kms north of Perth and on a weekend, we found it very hard finding a park and the Hotel full and over-flowing! Beside the Hotel was a nice large park in which Gingin Brook was running through. Located here was a replica waterwheel of one that was situated on Gingin Brook at Cheriton Farm used to drive the flour mill.

A picturesque small Church and graveyard caught my eye as I was walking around the park. As it's historic, I was able to learn about it from the information board located at the Church.

large_SAM_2933.jpg
St. Lukes Church

Back in 1859, when the land at Gingin was surveyed, 12 acres was allocated to the Church of England. Local residents rallied and managed to raise £160, then the colonial Government chipped in with another £25, enabling St. Luke’s Church to be erected in 1860 and officially opened in 1861. The Church has been in continuous use since then.
It is built from locally quarried Casuarina stone in what is known as vernacular style of architecture which has gothic elements and relates to the English style of Churches.

SAM_2931.jpgSAM_2935.jpg
St. Lukes historic cemetery

Surrounding the Church is a very old cemetery which dates from 1853-1903. It's in this cemetery where graves of the first European settlers of the Gingin district can be found. I think the old style graves are quite lovely as many have intricate iron-work surrounding the plot. In modern times, this never happens.

Finally, our day was coming to an end. We chose to stay at Willowbrook Farm caravan park that had very good reviews, unfortunately, it didn't live up to them.

Posted by balhannahrise 21:14 Archived in Australia Tagged animals Comments (0)

Day 36 Queensland to Western Australia

Gingin - Yanchep National Park - Perth

A violent storm whipped up during the night of our stay at Gingin, Waking up to water sogged ground, my heart went out to those in tents who were up and about trying to dry things. Today we were heading to Perth.

large_SAM_2951.jpg
Two Rocks

Our first detour was into Two Rocks, a seaside town named after the two prominent rocks offshore from Wreck Point. We went for a drive to see the Two Rocks Marina and found it was a good place to get a view of the giant ‘King Neptune’ limestone sculpture who has been a landmark for many years.

SAM_2952.jpg

When driving around town, we noticed the streets were named after yachts from the America's Cup Challenge.

Our next stop was Yanchep National Park. We happened to arrive on a very wet and quite cool day, so our opinions are a little different to the many I read. We didn't get to see the caves and do the walks as it was just too wet.

I could see it would be lovely on a fine and sunny day as there is plenty to do and lots of area for picnics. Yanchep National park is located 50kms north of Perth, we had to show our Parks Pass to get in, then the Ranger gave us a brochure of the Park.
With Umbrella up, I quickly made my way along the paved pathway to where Ness house was located. I was glad I had my walking shoes on which had plenty of grip on the slippery surface!

SAM_2956.jpg
Ness House

Ness House was a sturdy stone building, built in the 1880s as a two-room stone hut, and then later converted into hostel accommodation in 1932. Thank-goodness it had a good porch area where we could wait in the dry until the rain eased.
Inside was a good display of Australian souvenirs, handicrafts and gifts, also information on Yanchep and the surrounding area.
It's here you book for the Crystal Cave, a limestone cave with many formations of stalagmites, helictites, columns and shawls. On bad weather days, like I struck, the tours do not run.

Loch McNess (once named Yanchep Lake) is a freshwater lake, one of a chain of lakes in Yanchep National Park.
This lake is an important part of Aboriginal tradition. The Aboriginal myth is "the lake is inhabited by a Waugal (rainbow serpent) and the activities of the Waugal ensure that the springs that feed the lake continue to flow."
The Aboriginal people used to dig out the tubers of the bulrush from Lake and eat it them, hence the name "Yanchep Lake", means 'place of the bulrush'.

large_SAM_2987.jpg
Western Grey Kangaroo with Joey in pouch

It was too wet for me to do the Wetlands trail where many waterbirds including grebes, swans, pelicans, cormorants, egrets and Kingfishers, and birds in the surrounding bush, parrots, wrens and honeyeaters, to name a few are found. A few Western grey kangaroos were out and about.

Even though I have seen many Koalas, I still walked the specially built 240-metre long boardwalk through the Koala display. As Koalas are nocturnal, you will probably only see them curled up in a ball asleep, that is, unless they are moving to another tree for a nap.

SAM_2993.jpg
Sleeping Koala @ Yanchep National Park

This colony of koalas were originally brought to the Perth Zoo from Victoria, how-ever, they couldn't find enough food to feed them so they were re-located to Yanchep in 1938. The National Park planted thousands of eucalypt trees to provide the koalas with suitable food. A new colony of koalas was established at Yanchep in 1948, unfortunately, the horrible disease, (Clamydia), which decimated the Koalas in the Eastern states, found its way here, therefore the Koalas became infertile. In 1992, a number of koalas were brought from Kangaroo Island in South Australia to here, to establish a disease-free colony. This has worked and they have been breeding since 1994.

We arrived at Karrinyup Waters Caravan park situated on the north side of Perth which suited us fine. Public transport was a short walk away.
It was a big park with 5 Amenitie blocks, some better than others. I liked the block of ensuite amenities where every shower & toilet was in a separate room with own door. In the same block was the laundry with brand new washers and dryers. Other facilities were a heated Spa, heated Lap Pool with children's area, swimming pool, 2 Camper's kitchens, Jumbo Jumping Pillow, 2 Playgrounds. Dump point for caravan and campervans.
This Caravan Park is well maintained and cared for and was quiet because of a strict 10pm quiet time They even have huge pet Rabbits running wild in the Park and friendly Ducks. We would definitely return here.

As we had arrived early and had plenty of time to spare, we decided to check out Sorrento and Hilary's Boat Harbour.

SAM_3004.jpgSAM_3001.jpg
Sorrento Quay and Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour is a marina and tourist area, one we thought was very nice. We enjoyed coffee and cake in one of the Restaurants overlooking the water, then had a look at the shops and surrounding area before heading back to our caravan park.

Tomorrow, we will explore Perth.

Posted by balhannahrise 21:14 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches animals birds park walking australia national western boating Comments (4)

Day 37/ 38 Queensland to Western Australia

Perth 19th & 20th August

IMG_0221.jpg

It was an early start today so we could catch a bus, then a connecting train into Perth where we arrived underground in the city centre. On alighting from the train, we found we were at the start of the Murray street Mall. It was quite early and not much was open, so I enjoyed myself looking at the architecture along this street.

IMG_0284.jpg
Murray Street Mall

The first interesting building was located on the corner of Murray & William streets and was named "Queens Buildings." This fine old building has been around since 1898. On the opposite corner was the Hotel Wentworth which was established in 1928 and still continues trading today.

IMG_0276.jpg IMG_0275.jpg
Hotel Wentworth & Queens Building

The next building I came across, was the former Commonwealth Bank built in inter-war Beaux Arts style of architecture in 1933, then around the corner in Forrest Place was Perth's General Post Office, built between the years 1911 to 1923 in the same Beaux Arts style. Close by was $1 million tax-payer funded artwork, "Grow your own" or "The Green Cactus." I could think of better ways to use one million dollars!

IMG_0281.jpgIMG_0280.jpg
General Post Office & The Green cactus

My walking continued along to the corner of Barrack and St. Georges Terrace, where Stirling Gardens were located. These not overly large gardens were established in the 1830s as an acclimatisation garden, then became Perth's first botanical garden in 1845, making them the oldest public gardens in Perth.

large_IMG_0293.jpg
Stirling Gardens

I loved these well established mature gardens which had many sculptures scattered throughout.

Walking through the gardens, I came upon the impressive Supreme court building and the Supreme court gardens. These gardens were formed following the reclamation of the Swan River in 1903.

IMG_0309.jpgIMG_0316.jpg
Front and rear of Perth's Supreme Court Building.

Once again there was plenty of lawned area, but what was different here is that I could follow a winding path through an area planted with tropical plants, this was very nice. Here there were many mature trees that were really quite large!

large_IMG_0314.jpg

A little further on was the Bell Tower, home of the Swan Bells. I had read a lot about the Bell Tower, so when I emerged from Supreme Court gardens and saw construction going on around it I was a little disappointed. The whole area was in upheaval!

What is the Bell Tower?
Located in the Tower are 12 bells from St Martin-in-the-Fields, one of London's most famous Churches located in Trafalgar square. The Royal Bells are from the 14th century and were rung for important historic events such as -
Quote from website
"England's victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, The World War II victory at El Alamein in 1942, ringing in the New Year at Trafalgar Square for more than 275 years, celebrating the coronation of every British monarch since King George II in 1727, the homecoming of Captain James Cook after his voyage of discovery in 1771."

It was too early to go up the Bell Tower, but if you do go up the Tower, you get to see the Ringers making these historic bells ring.
There is an Observation Deck where you have 360 degree views and a 26 bell Carillon that plays several well known tunes & national anthems if you pop a gold coin in the slot. It is the first of its kind in the world.

IMG_0342.jpgIMG_0328.jpg
The Bell Tower

IMG_0325.jpg

From the Bell Tower, we walked the short distance to the Swan River where the Barrack street jetty is located. It was early morning and I rather like water scenes at this hour of the morning. As it turned out, the water wasn't calm like I had hoped. We found this area was the Ferry terminal and from where day cruises departed from, including to Rottnest Island. There were a few cruise companies to choose from, each with different styles of boat. Some were old and others (the James Stirling) looked much newer and very smart!
It was such a nice spot that we stopped at a small café with outdoor seats overlooking the River. We were the first customers of the day, (she was still setting up). Scones, jam and cream overlooking the Swan River was a great way to start the day.

IMG_0312.jpg

On our walk back up Barrack Street, I noticed the Heritage listed Weld Club, an exclusive Gentlemens club in Perth that has been around since 1871. I was attracted to the lovely architecture of the building, then the history of the club.

It was named after the then Governor of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Weld. This was no normal club which anybody could join, you had to be male and have a high social standing!
The Club ensured that the men who came here would not suffer from home-sickness, so it was formed along the lines of those in London. It had leather chairs where members could sit and discuss the politics of the day, perhaps read a British newspaper to keep them informed of news from London, or they could play a game of billiards, Croquet, Bowls and Tennis or perhaps go for a sail on the Swan River.
Chinese servants who were Cooks, Waiters, yardmen, Butlers and more.
The Chinese were here until 1927 when they were replaced by.....wait for it......women staff!
In 1995, it opened its doors to women members.

IMG_0301.jpgIMG_0299.jpg

On returning the same way I had come, I turned into St. Georges Terrace to look at the sculpture 'Kangaroos in the city,' a sculpture depicting a mob of Western Grey kangaroos. The bronze kangaroos were drinking, listening and bounding away from danger, just as they do naturally! There is a total of five kangaroos including a joey in mother's pouch. This would have to be my favourite sculpture in Perth
I was looking into the sun and couldn't get a good photo of the full sculpture

large_IMG_0297.jpg[/center].

My next stop was the heritage listed St George's Cathedral designed by Edmund Thomas Blacket for Perth, unfortunately Blacket died in 1883 and did not see the Cathedral when completed in 1888.
The Cathedral is built in English Victorian Gothic Revival style out of handmade bricks that came from different brickyards along the Swan River. The Cathedral was completed, opened and consecrated in November 1888.

large_IMG_0344.jpg
St. Georges Cathedral

Blacket’s tower and tall spire were not constructed until 1902 and the Queen Victoria memorial bells were installed on the second anniversary of her death in 1903. The Soldiers’ Memorial Chapel (1923) was built in memory of Anglican members of the AIF from WA who fought in WW I.
large_IMG_0365.jpg
St. Georges Cathedral

There are many beautiful stained glass windows and memorials to Western Australian pioneers, numerous icons and the Villers-Bretonneux Cross, hewn by soldiers after the famous WWII battle in northern France

large_IMG_0368.jpg
St. Georges Cathedral

IMG_0383.jpg

After leaving St. Georges, I walked further along St. Georges Terrace and found the heritage listed Uniting Church - St. Andrews.
The Church was built in 1906 in Federation Gothic style for the Presbyterian congregation, a style often seen in Churches of this denomination. Since my visit, it is no longer a church but being turned into a hotel.

large_IMG_0385.jpg
Government House

Still on St. George's Terrace, I stop to look through the fence at the magnificent, heritage listed Government House that was built mainly by convicts between 1859 to 1864. I'm afraid this is all you can do, as Government House is only open to the public on minimal occasions but the gardens are open to the public on certain days. I found by peeping through the fence I had good views of this two storey mansion built in either early Stuart or Jacobean Revival style making it quite unique! The building has 16 rooms on the ground floor and 25 on the first floor and is surrounded by large

Another building with interesting architecture we the Perth Town Hall at the corner Barrack & Hay Streets.

IMG_0285.jpg
Town Hall

The Town Hall was built mainly by convict labour in 1870, making it one of the oldest buildings in Perth and one of the best known.

Perth has quite a few interesting sculptures. One I liked was 'The footprints in time' - five bronze sculptures of men dressed in different attire, made especially for the 175th anniversary of Western Australia. They represent the business people who have built the CBD.
The sculptures were placed in St. Martins Centre which happened to be the site of the first Businessman's club.

THE FIVE MEN ARE ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY IN A CURVED LINE...............

  1. 1 . Dutch exploration who from the 17th century explored the region, mapped and named the Swan River - 1697
  2. 2. Anglo-Celtic settlement of Swan River settlement, now Perth - 1829
  3. 3. Discovery of Gold which brought money and people to W.A. - 1885 - 95
  4. 4. Post Word War II European immigration. A large amount of people settled in W.A. - 1945 -55
  5. 5. The Business man, holding a mobile phone to his ear - 2004 onwards.

IMG_0479.jpg]IMG_0480.jpgIMG_0481.jpgIMG_0483.jpg

Another interesting sculpture was of Percy Button, a man I had never heard of!

1817F7CDBBFDA5E518212DB29ADDE939.jpg
The bronze statue is of Percy Button, dressed in a long tailed coat and hat and doing what he used to do, handstands!

Who was he?
Nobody real famous, but a street entertainer who put a smile on many faces. Percy Button was a Londoner, born in 1892 and raised by his grandmother on the Isle of Wight. It is believed he learnt his skills when working for a circus in England. When 22years old, he came to Perth and became a vagrant, at some stage performing to bystanders who responded by throwing coins into his hat. Sometimes the police arrested him for vagrancy, only so he could get a good feed and a warm bed for the night!
"Percy the Unwashed" as he was often known by, gave up the acrobatics and began playing the mouth organ. Sadly, a vicious attack by a thug in 1940 left him close to death, he never really recovered from a downhill spiral after this attack and passed away 3 years later. The statue was erected in his honour on the very location where he performed, probably still putting a smile on many faces!

Another church I visited was St Mary's Cathedral, officially the "Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

large_IMG_0396.jpg
St. Mary's Cathedral

IMG_0415.jpgIMG_0425.jpg
St. Mary's Cathedral

This beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral, situated on the highest point of Victoria Square, is the seat of the Archbishop. The Cathedral was completed over many years, with the first phase completed in 1865, seventy years later and it was still incomplete!

large_IMG_0417.jpg
St. Mary's Cathedral

This gothic style Cathedral is lovely inside, in-fact, I thought it the best of all the Churches I saw in Perth.

One experience I didn't expect to find in Perth, was an English style Arcade. Known as London Court, this two storey shopping arcade and office complex was built in 1937 for a wealthy gold miner and financier Claude de Bernales.

large_IMG_0452.jpg
London court

London Court is built in Tudor style architecture, has huge wrought iron gates at each entrance and half timbered walls which feature hand carvings, gargoyles, masks, shields, crests and wrought iron signs, weather cocks, lead lighting and more, just like in the "Old country." There isn't any cobblestones, but to get a similar effect, Terracotta tiles were laid in a crazy pattern on the floor. Even the rubbish bins are like the English ones!

IMG_0463.jpg347EB106EDF613398585904653AA31D7.jpg
London Court

I was at the Hay street entrance to London Court, taking a photo when I noticed an interesting clock! This wasn't any ordinary clock, but one whose face is a replica of the "great Clock" at Rouen in France. The clock chimes every 15mins, so stand there and wait to see the four knights above the clock, known as "Tournament of Armoured Knights", circle in the window when the clock chimes

IMG_0461.jpg
London Court

At St Georges Terrace entrance end of London court is another clock, where in the window above is a miniature St George doing battle with the dragon. This clock is a replica of "Big Ben" in London.

My next point of interest was in the archway, for here I found copper coloured old style sailing ships on the ceiling and surrounds, quite interesting! Don't know who the ships are though!

large_IMG_0460.jpg
London Court

Once inside the arcade, I stopped and turned around, as often the interior is different to the exterior. Lucky I did, because it was! On one end of the court stands the statue of Dick Whittington with his cat, and at the other end is a statue of Sir Walter Raleigh. Next, I found a dovecote on the side of one of the buildings and weather vanes scattered along the rooves.

What I did miss because I didn't know about it, was the stairways taking you to the second and third floors to where you can look down onto the court. This would be nice and give a different 'feel' to London Court.

London court has lots of souvenir shops that I poked my nose in and plenty of other interesting ones to keep everybody happy.

I really loved this beautiful arcade!

Tomorrow we will go to Kings Park and the Perth Mint

Posted by balhannahrise 15:34 Archived in Australia Tagged sculptures australia shopping western souvenirs arcade Comments (2)

Day 39 Queensland to Western Australia

PERTH Kings Park and the Perth Mint

Today we made the decision to go to the Perth Mint

large_45CBA1ACDC42BD7D2932C6BE3279833C.jpg
The Perth Mint

On arrival, we noticed a very real looking bronze sculpture known as "The Strike." This sculpture is about the two men - William Ford and Arthur Bayley who are credited with finding the first major gold find in Western Australia. This happened back in 1892 near the town of Coolgardie where I had previously been.

These full sized statues were sculpted by Greg James, who is famous for many sculptures found in Perth. They certainly are realistic!

large_IMG_0432.jpg
[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."

Visiting the garden was free and it was the only place photos are allowed.

The Perth Mint is a leading tourist attraction in Perth. We have been to the Mint in Canberra which mints Australia's currency, but this one is where the nation's official bullion and commemorative coins are made, also bars of gold for investors and other precious metal products.

We booked our tour when we arrived, then had a look in the shop as we had 15minutes to wait for our tour to begin. Our guide was one of the workers who was a knowledgable, pleasant and humorous young man.

We began in the garden as there was replica of the Golden Eagle nugget, wow! it was huge! Next we were taken inside the building where our guide began taking us on an interesting journey through time, from the early gold rush days when heaps of prospectors spent years working in backbreaking conditions in outback Australia in search of gold nuggets.

large_IMG_0437.jpg
Replica of Golden Eagle Nugget.

Inside we saw many natural gold nuggets including Newmont's Normandy Nugget, the second largest gold nugget in existence. Weight - 25.5 kilograms

What was amazing, was seeing the largest gold coin ever made. There it was before our very eyes, the Australian Kangaroo One tonne Gold Coin, the largest and most valuable coin in the world. The coin is 99.99% pure gold, it measures nearly 80cm wide and is more than 12cm deep. The value of this coin - More than $50 million! Now that was impressive and well worth seeing!

Our guide let us view the end section of the tour by ourselves, but was on hand to answer any questions we had. We looked through glass windows to watch the workers making coins, unfortunately there was only one person working.

Next we were taken to the Gold Pour room. This is Perth Mint's original melting house which is embedded with gold dust accumulated over many years of refining. We sat on a small stand and listened to a new guide continue the story of gold. He heated pure gold to molten temperatures, then quickly took the liquid gold and poured it into an empty mould. Hey, presto, we had just seen a gold bar made!

This was the last stop of the tour. We could go back and have another look, which we did, and we weighed ourselves on the scales. The scales spit out a print out of how much your worth in gold at the price it was that day! Quite interesting, and for once, any larger sized person was worth the most money!

For a souvenir, you can put a message on an aluminium bronze, gold plated, 99.9% pure silver or 99.99% pure gold medallion. From $17, these medallions are ready to take away with you by the time you have finished the tour.

This was an excellent tour and one we both enjoyed.

IMG_0012.jpg
Kings Park lay-out

Next, if was off to Kings Park, one of the world’s largest parks, and in my eyes, one of the most beautiful in Australia, especially for seeing Australian native plants. Even if your not into gardening, flowers and the likes, Kings Park is still worth coming to for the wonderful views it has over Perth.

It was a miserable showery day when we arrived at the free car-park in Kings Park located next to the Information centre, the Cafes and Toilets. With umbrellas up, we made our way to the Information centre where we picked up a free map and guide to the park.

What to do in the wet? There were a couple of options. We decided an early lunch was the best idea thinking the rain may have cleared by the time we had finished. We had a couple of options to choose from . One was the rather expensive fine dining experience at Fraser's Restaurant and the other was the Botanical Café which didn't have any vacant tables.
Just around the corner from the Botanical Café, was the Kings Park Kiosk where we bought some take-away food, then had a problem of finding somewhere to eat it as all the seats underneath the umbrellas were wet! Eventually we found some shelter and enjoyed our take-away food.

large_IMG_0060.jpg
Perth

By this time, the showers had gone for the time being and the sun was shining. We could see Perth, and what a wonderful sight it was from Kings Park!
large_IMG_0061.jpg
Perth

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.

large_IMG_0002.jpg
"Aspects of Kings Park"

"Aspects of Kings Park" gallery shop has beautiful expensive pieces of quality arts and crafts for sale, 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!
Next was the Aboriginal Art Gallery which had displays of Indigenous art, books, unique gifts and souvenirs available to buy.

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 as I wanted to see as much as I could.

Where to begin in a large park like this?

46BFA970B0DEF327EA1A3FB37D4971A3.jpg

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 was another beautiful mosaic depicting Western Australia’s floral emblem, the red & green flowered Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Anigozanthos manglesii.

IMG_0073.jpg

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.

large_681E7F2CC6FAB4A95716DD08E994D522.jpg

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.

large_47023F50E155D4C701DEC385B1E4A820.jpg

Western Australia has half of Australia’s 25,000 plant species, and as I found out, 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!

First, 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 from where I had excellent views over Perth,, but in-between was the Flame of Remembrance and the Pool of Reflection located in the well laid out "Court of Contemplation."

large_IMG_0050.jpg
Flame of Remembrance

The Flame of Remembrance never goes out. On looking, I could 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.

large_IMG_0053.jpg
The Cenotaph

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.

IMG_0056a.jpgIMG_0055.jpg

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.

A bit of trivia - Kings Park and Botanic Gardens has more memorials, statues and honour avenues than any other park in Australia.

IMG_0060.jpgIMG_0061.jpg
Perth

I had read many times that the best place for a good view of Perth was at Kings Park and after being here, I would 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 and I was able to take some decent photos.

large_IMG_0063.jpg
Perth

For me, this was the best look-out

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, the 1st Premier of Western Australia and the first President of the Kings Park board, named this park "Perth Park," and doubled the size of the reserve and sought funding for the development of the park.

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.
I found 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.

IMG_0123.jpg
Queen Victoria.

My next walk was along the Bushland Walking trail. Just imagine - We are in the heart of Perth and in Kings Park which has bush that's been there since the year dot! The trail was an easy short walk of 1km, beginning 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.
In the bush, Jarrah and Marri trees were growing, these I learnt about at school, also 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!

IMG_0214.jpglarge_IMG_0215.jpg
Views over Perth and the Swan River

Another look-out in Kings Park was Dryandra Lookout. It too had fairly good views over a different part of Perth. This is located along Law Walk on the edge of the Mt Eliza Escarpment off Forrest Drive.

The Boodja Gnarning walk can be as short or long as you want, the decision is left up to you! The trail is divided into three parts, I walked the long version of the walk.

The three parts are -
1km walk.....

Then add on the Maarm Track where I saw and learnt about what the Nyoongar men did for tools, shelter, hunting and spiritual purposes.
Then add on the Yorga Track, where I saw what the Nyoongar women’s traditional roles and responsibilities were. This included the gathering of food, tools and medicines from the area now known as the Water Garden.

Kings Park is a sacred place for Aborigines. The Aboriginal Dreamtime story is about the mythical rainbow serpent, the Wagyl, who entered the ground where Parliament House now stands, then made its way through Mount Eliza, emerging at the spring which feeds the Kennedy Fountain in Kings Park. From here, the rainbow serpent continued on its way to the sea, along the way creating the beautiful Swan River. The area at the base of Kings Park is known as Goonininup. This was an important ceremonial and dreaming area for Aboriginal males.
As I walked the trail, I discovered unique West Australian plants that the Aboriginals used for bush food and medicine, and what they used to make tools and to use as shelter for their survival. There is plenty of interpretive signage panels and artworks from the Nyoongar people along the way.

IMG_0144.jpg
Boab Tree

One of the interesting attractions was the Gija Jumulu (Giant Boab tree), that was transported from Warmun in the east Kimberley, 3200 kms to its new home in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. A 75 tonne truck was used to transport the tree, 22.5 metres in diameter and weighing 37.2 tonne to its new home in Perth. The tree is estimated to be 750 years old, which I thought was very old, I was wrong as this is young for this kind of tree as they can live up to 2000 years old. The Boab is a good tree to find if your dying of thirst, as the inside of the trunk is full of water.
The Boab in Kings Park has been named "Gija Jumulu" by the Indigenous Gija people.

Next to the Boab trees is the Verticordia and Boronia Gardens. Boronias are an evergreen native shrub with cup-like flowers appearing in spring. They are in high demand when flowering as the flowers have a gorgeous perfume. Brown flowered Boronias have a lovely lemon scented perfume.

IMG_0146.jpg
Boronia

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).

IMG_0004.jpg

There are over 1200 Wattles in Australia, 560 of them in Western Australia, no wonder it is Australia's floral emblem. 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 I looked down and saw mosaic representations of different Wattles.

IMG_0102.jpg
Grevillia

One of my favourite shrubs I grow in my own garden is the Grevillea. Kings Park has a Grevillea & Hakea Garden where 220 of the 340 species of Grevillea, 190 of which are in the south-west of the state are growing. I love them because they bring birds to my garden, just as they do here! 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 is where the flowering Eucalyptus were, they are a real picture when they're flowering. Some have silver leaves which I think makes a nice contrast to the brightly coloured flowers.

large_IMG_0128.jpg
Flowering Eucalyptus

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.

IMG_0177.jpg
Federation Walkway

The 620metre long Federation 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.

large_7D6850F1AF7C482B863BA3441091D2B0.jpg
Views from the Federation Walkway of the Swan Brewery and Perth

I stopped and enjoyed the views of the Canning & Swan Rivers, Perth and the Swan Brewery, I looked down and found nice Aboriginal artwork done by the local Indigenous people.

7D34A805B7581C18B77C640EFF9D1240.jpgIMG_0178.jpg
Aboriginal patterns along the Federation Walkway

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.

large_7D47022AAA73CEAA3C0B13ED843C5C85.jpg
Pair of Tawny Frogmouth Owls

At the top, the walkway descends to an amphitheatre where traditional performances are held during the Kings Park Festival.

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, in recognition of the contribution women's groups have made to Western Australia.

large_7DC0A993EBE0E29C21DB565DDC89B97A.jpg

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. I liked the 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, were sculptures symbolizing life, growth, strength of heart, renewal and leadership.
In the middle of the lake is the stunning Pioneer Women's Memorial. I was watching the fountain and found it goes through some different sequences.

IMG_0008.jpgIMG_0107.jpg
Kangaroo Paws

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.

IMG_0119.jpg.IMG_0167.jpg
Banksias
I grow Banksias too, so this was another interesting garden for me. Altogether, there are 76 species, 62 are found only in Western Australia. The display garden is really good, it even has nice Banksia designs in the pavement. I was lucky enough to find a lot of them in flower, including a few that flower at ground level.

IMG_0164.jpgIMG_0105.jpg
Banksia

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.

large_IMG_0153.jpg
Banksia Artwork

Well, that was the end of a most enjoyable time spent in the gardens. If I ever return to Perth, I will definitely be back here for another look around

Posted by balhannahrise 22:57 Archived in Australia Tagged animals birds gardens australia monuments western perth botanic wallking look-out Comments (2)

(Entries 31 - 35 of 36) « Page .. 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 »