Actually, not just 10 days in Perth, but 10 days in and around Perth including Margaret River, Fremantle and a place called Yanchep. Over the coming week I’ll be telling you all about it. And the bits I can’t fit in to this week I will come back to at some point.
Let’s start with Perth.
On our first full day, Saturday, it was unusually cloudy for Perth, with scattered showers too. I say it’s unusual because Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital city with 3212 sunny hours year. You can read more about how sunny Perth is in my post called Sunny Days: England Versus Australia Compared.
But our day in the city started quite damp…
The city centre, where the main shops are, is small and compact. There are just two main shopping streets, Murray Street and Hay Street, and it doesn’t take long to walk up and down them both. There are arcades and shopping malls that you can dip in and out of, which makes it interesting, as well as further shopping outside of those two main streets.
I quite like small compact cities though, so for me this was a plus.
The isolation of Perth is often quoted as a negative, I’ve done it myself, quite a lot. But while visiting the place, as I was having a good look around, I began to ask myself “Does the isolation matter?”
In some respects all Australian cities are isolated. Brisbane to Sydney is 10 hours by car and Sydney to Melbourne would be about the same. Darwin is a long way from any major city and Hobart is on an island.
None of us are close to other capital cities really, is just that those on the east coast have access to nearby large towns and smaller cities, for example, Brisbane being close to the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.
Perth though has a great town called Fremantle just 30 minute drive away, a buzzing town with some great pubs…
It’s also a few hours’ drive from the magnificent Margaret River region, well known for good food and great wineries and breweries…
So, does isolation matter? I’m not so sure anymore.
I’ll be talking more about Margaret River and Fremantle in upcoming posts soon.
Not much to do in Perth
I made this claim, along with the isolation gripe, on my page called The Bobinoz Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia. I made that statement after doing extensive research, that is to say I spoke to a couple of mates who’d been there.
I felt the backlash in the comments to that one, and rightly so. Now that I’ve been, I apologise to Perth; there is plenty to do.
Top of the attractions list is Kings Park, and it is truly a huge and magnificent city park with some fantastic views. The image from Perth at the top of this post was taken from Kings Park, you can see a similar view of the city from this snapshot of the treetop walkway…
We arrived at our apartment in East Perth late on Friday evening, probably around 10 o’clock. Having spent so long on the plane, we decided to go for a walk to see if we could find the city centre.
It was about a 25 minute walk, so not too bad, but as we got close to the city a car drove by with a long-haired Neanderthal hanging out of the window and as it went past, he hurled abuse at us.
Not very pleasant when you have your 11-year-old daughter with you.
10 minutes later we were in the city walking down Murray Street, as already mentioned, one of the two main shopping streets in the CBD. I was pretty sure I looked straight into the eye of that long-haired Neanderthal as I walked past a bunch of teenagers, but then I saw another one that looked exactly the same.
The street was full of teenagers just hanging around, mainly outside the 7-Eleven.
So it wasn’t very pleasant walking around the streets at that time of night on a Friday evening and we didn’t stay long. We grabbed some essential items from, yes, the 7-Eleven and went back home.
But although there were lots of teenagers around, nothing happened, it was all fine bar that childish hollering from a passing car. I come from England remember, and I can assure you that the high street of Southend, the seaside town in which I was born, was much worse than this when I was last there on a Friday evening about eight years ago.
The reason I mention this is because there was a bit of talk in the comments on my page about Perth, starting with a comment made by somebody called Katie which you can read here, about possible trouble on the streets at night.
Many other commenters defended Perth saying it was safe. Well, from my brief experience I would definitely agree; a few bored kids doesn’t make Perth an unsafe city.
Perth is not the place to go to if you want a good nightlife though. There is nothing going on in the shopping area of the city mentioned above, the main nightlife goes on in nearby Northbridge. We went there a few times and it only confirmed that Perth really isn’t the liveliest city at night.
My guess is that like Queenslanders, those in Perth and Western Australia like to get to bed early at night. Apart from the weekends, pubs are virtually empty once it gets to around 9:30 PM.
The big natural attraction of Perth and the surrounding areas though must surely be the beaches. Not just beaches, but beaches with great walkways. Not just beaches with great walkways, but beaches with great walkways and roads running alongside them.
Beaches, beaches, beaches…
No, I haven’t forgotten about Yanchep.
Yanchep is on the coast about an hour drive north of the city. Sadly, it’s the furthest north I managed to get on this short holiday, I would have really loved to have ventured further up the Western Australian coast.
I will, another time.
The reason I wanted to mention it is because it looks like a new development, there’s lots of new building and construction work going on there. It looks like it’s going to be a kind of ‘new town” or satellite suburb. The posters and advertising around it boast of affordable beachside living.
A place to keep an eye on, I think.
I didn’t take any photographs of that construction, but I did grab a couple of shots of one of the beaches…