Perth, Western Australia
Stop Sixteen, 19/07/2015 to 24/07/2015
We flew into Perth about 11pm from Singapore, the longest plane journey we have endured since arriving in SE Asia at 5.5 hours. As with most Irish people today, we have family in Australia and it was their location which determined Perth as our destination city. Immediately it felt like a home coming rather than reaching what is the furthest destination from home on our trip. English speaking, first world, western infrastructure and lifestyle meant a welcome break from the hot & humid bustle of our previous 4 months. There is nothing more Australian than Koalas and Kangaroos so it was a no-brainer that an indigenous petting zoo had to be on the list. Some territories do not allow the handling of Koalas as there is a perception that this distresses them but WA bucks the trend and for an additional fee we could hold and feed the lil fellas.
In addition to Koalas, we spent time getting to know Kangaroos, Sea Lions, Penguins, Dolphins, Echidnas and a few more. With the Australian wildlife portion of the trip over, we turned our attentions to Perth's other offerings. We hit Kings Park during the day and returned to see the city lights at night. We visited City Beach and Scarborough Beach - and although we weren't brave enough to dip a toe in the freezing water, we did take great pleasure from watching the surfers try to catch waves. We ticked Kangaroo burgers and Shark n' chips off the wish-list before heading to Swan Valley to taste the best of Perth's wines, cheeses, nuts and chocolate.
We spent a couple of afternoons in Fremantle, about an hour outside the city. The Fremantle prison tour was top of our list, as was shopping for souvenirs in the E-Shed markets. After a walk by the pier and some boat spotting we completed our Perth stay by spending a couple of hours aimlessly wandering around the CBD. Checking out some Aboriginal Art and drinking Hot Chocolate (what a weird climate shift from Singapore 4 days earlier), we really enjoyed getting to know this laid back city. And more importantly, we enjoyed getting to see where Karen has been hanging out for the last couple of years.