Leaving the Northern Territory
20.11.2012 - 25.11.2012 30 °C
After three months in Alice, the time for our trip around Australia finally arrived! We’d enjoyed our time in Alice, and it had been great to see what life was like in the NT, but we were both excited to be seeing some more of the country and what it has to offer. It’s a bit less exciting for James as he has been to many of the places before, but his comment of ‘oh, I thought this was in Melbourne!’ about a particular part of Sydney suggested that he might need a bit of a geography refresher course.
Our first stop was Perth. We flew out on Tuesday 20th November (a one day working week for me- what a hardship!), leaving Alice at a very civilised 10am. Alice Springs airport only does domestic flights, and as first experiences of domestic flights go, this one was great. There was one check in desk open, with no queue, and the security person not only looked at me as if I might be a normal person rather than a terrorist, but she actually smiled and made a joke! At no point did I have to show any form of ID- we just handed over our printed out boarding passes, and that was it. I think they were more concerned about people smuggling fruits and flowers than checking who was on the plane! We sat outside in the sunshine having a coffee and waiting for the plane. The flight was uneventful, but we did get to see forest fires and salt pans from the plane window- again, the scale of the outback is enormous and surprisingly engrossing considering we’d just spent three months living in it.
Because of the time difference we arrived in Perth at 11.35, hopped in a taxi and were at the hotel by midday. It was a really odd experience to see traffic, big shops and lots of people again! We were also very happy to discover that Perth has a free transport system in the CBD (central business district), and other transport is really cheap. Our first stop was Cottesloe Beach, about a 30 minute train ride/ walk away from the CBD, which was beautiful- lovely soft sand and blue water, although pretty windy. We ended up sunbathing on some wide turfed steps, which shielded us from the worst of the wind and gave us great views. After a couple of hours of sunbathing and walking on the beach, we headed back into town. We spent our first evening visiting Kings Park, venturing up some very steep, very dark and uneven steps through a heavily wooded area and finally emerging on a hill overlooking Perth and the harbour. It was definitely worth the climb! The view was stunning.
Our second day was spent at Perth Zoo, which I can thoroughly recommend- it’s huge, with an enormous range of species, lots of areas to rest/picnic and some beautiful plants as well as really well designed enclosures. My favourite points were the Painted Dogs exploring some cardboard boxes, seeing the Pelicans being fed and discovering that there is such a thing as a Sausage Tree. It was a hot and humid day, with a storm that rolled by but didn’t amount to anything. After the zoo we had a reviving drink and headed back over to the CBD on the ferry- it was lovely to see the view of the city from the water, and we got some more great photos. We had dinner at an amazing Vietnamese restaurant that we spotted from the bus when we took the long route home.
Thursday was spent at Katrina and Darren’s wedding by the river in the Swan region- it was a beautiful ceremony and we had a fantastic time looking at the vintage cars during the reception.
Friday was spent recovering from the night before, with the aid of a quiet brunch spent reading books, some retail therapy and a long siesta for me in the afternoon before we headed out to eat. On Saturday we revisited Kings Park to see it in the daytime- it was definitely worth a return trip in the sunshine. It’s huge, with lots of different areas with a range of plants and trees. In honour of Sarah D, we went for a visit to Acacia garden to see where she and Greg got married- we took some photos! We spent a few hours ambling around admiring the view, stopping to stretch out in the shade every now and then. On Saturday evening we packed and prepared for the next stage of our trip- Sydney.
Perth was fantastic, a really beautiful city which is easy to get around and which has loads to offer. We ended up deciding to add it to the shortlist of possible places to live- it’s not really a shortlist any more, more of a list of places that we are adding to every time we visit somewhere new…