WA has much to offer especially around the CBD area of Perth. Most of the monuments buildings and cathedrals are all within walking distance of each other and so my companion and I covered many of the places of interest within a few days of our visit to Perth.
Seeing the city on foot is a good experience but if you are not a walker you can always hop on to the CAT buses which offer free bus service around the CBD area. The (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow lines) take you to different areas of the city and are a convenient way of travelling to most of the places of interest.
A good place to begin is the Art Museum which show cases Aboriginal art. It has a selection of art work done by various artist and painters. I was very impressed by the many displays of pointillism designs. The museum also has some old paintings which traces the history of the first settlers in Perth. Admission is free unless you wish to view the special exhibits on display.
Another interesting place we visited was the Old Court House Law Museum which is located in the Supreme Court Gardens on Barrack Street. This is unique because it is the oldest public building which was constructed in the year 1836. Since I come from a family where the law profession runs in our veins I was interested in the various exhibits showing the history of the Australian legal system dating back to the mid 1800. The Supreme Court of WA which is located near by, has beautiful floral gardens and well manicured lawns surrounding it.
Kings Park and the Botanic Garden is located at the edge of the CBD and it accessible by public transport. This is a must see for visitors because it is an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal history through its nature walks and art work. The park grounds cover hectares of bushland and native wild flowers which is a good learning experience as everything is well marked and it is easy to do a self guided walk at your own pace.
Kings Park is also a place where you find many memorials, statues and plaques honouring the founding fathers and other dignitaries. It has an impressive war memorial dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the 1st World War. This park also has picnic areas for families and well kept lawns where people can play games. It is open for 24 hours of the day and no entry fee. Many outdoor concerts and summer events take place at Kings Park.
Visitors to Kings Park will not be disappointed with the magnificent views of the city and the Swan River from Mt. Eliza. The views are breath taking to say the least both in the day and at night.
Harbour Town is a shopping centre which is popular with tourist and local alike. It is easy to pass time going through the name brand stores ‘if shopping is your cup of tea’. There are about 100 speciality stores selling shoes and clothes and other house hold things.
We were frequently asked what are impression of Perth was? Looking back at our stay here I would say the CBD is easy to navigate on foot hence we did not require anyone to take us around. William Street is the main street and it is easy to navigate the city and locate your destination. I assure you will never get lost if you keep this street in mind, it runs into the heart of the city.
The people of Perth are helpful and friendly. There seems to be an attitude of taking things easy, even office goers are not in a rush and will stop at a coffee shop and chat before they head out to work. The bus drivers are polite and smiling, passers by smile or wish us good morning when we go for our morning walk. I hope I am not imagining it but this is what we have encountered so far.
We also experienced a sense of hospitality and service in the community when we visited ‘Annalakshmi on the Swan’ restaurant located on Elizabeth Quay in down town Perth. It is a dining experience rather unique. This restaurant has been serving the public freshly prepared Indian vegetarian food. Their concept is “Eat as you like and pay as your heart feels”. It serves lunch and dinner all prepared by volunteers. We went there for dinner recently. The food was simple and wholesome and we were surprised to see it rather crowded with patrons enjoying their meals. On the menu that day were two kinds of rice dishes, several vegetable dishes, appam, curried lentils and lentil soup. It has a self service where you help yourself to food from the buffet table as many times as you like. Their one rule is no wastage allowed. That is fair enough considering they do not hand you a bill at the end of your meal but I’m sure most people leave donations before they exit.
There is much more to write about our visit to Perth that will be in my next blog as we keep travelling and experiencing and wanting more.