Whenever we hit a larger town on this trip we greet it with a sense of excitement mixed with trepidation of the organised streets, traffic, and general hustle and bustle of city life. The major drawcard for Perth though was catching up with my dear friend Meaghan and her partner Andrew.
Perth is a beautiful city. Not too big, loads of parks and culture and a relaxed atmosphere with super friendly people. We decided to lash out at our most expensive caravan park to date staying at Karrinyup Waters. For a park in the city this place was great. It has lush green grass, great facilities and two lakes. We camped next to one of them and spent our time watching turtles and bird life daily. This and the large campsite size made it feel super relaxed. It is not surprising this is popular with locals and tourists alike and on the weekend it filled with locals gathering to celebrate special occasions.
Speaking of special occasions, our first day in Perth was Andrew’s Birthday. He had chosen to celebrate by booking the car in to get the faulty shocker replaced so we were all up early to drop the car off in Bayswater. When walking to a cafe for breakfast Kaye called to wish Andrew a happy birthday. It was then he learnt that some of Kaye’s side of the family lived in Bayswater and so our morning walk became a wonderful family history lesson as we spotted the old hardware store they lived in and park named after them. We also had a rather delicious cafe breakfast.
After the car was sorted it was off to Kings Park to explore the nature playspace and surrounds. Kings Park is really the jewel of Perth city. A massive park we only scratched the surface of. The kids loved the playspace and we loved the views and relaxed lunch at the cafe.
Then it of back to Meaghan and Andrew’s who kindly allowed us to take over their kitchen to bake Andrew a cake. It was a relaxed evening of celebration and laughter over pizza. Andrew loved his chocolate choc chip cookie cake and it was a wonderful relaxed way to end the day.
Other highlights of our time in Perth included a visit to the Perth Mint. It was interesting to learn about the history of the mint and how it remains the main mint for gold bullion in Australia. The highlight was seeing the gold being poured to make bullion. The one same gold bullion had been poured and melted continuously since 1996!
We also spent a day in Fremantle and did the prison tour. Such an amazing prison that was built by convicts in 1892 and only stopped running in the 90’s and became a tourist destination a year after closing. The highlight for me were some of the murals on the walls that were allowed to be painted in the last year before the prison closed, when rules were relaxed somewhat.
The Fremantle Arts Centre also had a great kids exhibition on called Animaze with installations and artworks by local and international artists. The kids enjoyed the hands on elements and Izzy was inspired by the knitted installation of the ocean with hanging jellyfish. The highlight for me was meeting Ross Potter who was the artist in residence for the exhibition who was creating a life size illustration of Tricia, the local Perth Zoo elephant and local celebrity. He happily chatted showing us his tools of the trade for creating amazingly intricate large scale images in pencil. It is always such a pleasure to meet artists at work.
Andrew and the kids had a day at Adventure Word to get their adrenaline fix. They were full of tales from the rides and it sounded like a great park with a wide array of rides, but also green spaces to relax and have picnics, so not your typical amusement park. They also enjoyed the waterslides but the main ride they reflected on most was one called Abyss. It sounded full on and the photo they have as a memento captures their expressions brilliantly.
It was soon after that that Izzy got sick, which we initially blamed on the rides but then I got it too so we ruled that out. So some enforced rest was in order before setting of for the next destination. Despite this hiccup, it was great to be able to relax, see some sight and catch up with friends. We left Perth with hearts warm and in happy spirits. It really is great to be able to share our adventures with friends dotted around the country and Perth was no exception. Thanks Meaghan and Andrew, we will think of you every time we break out the Harry Potter trivia or floss!