It took us a few days, but finally we decided to venture out to explore Perth! After a 30 minute train ride we were right in the heart of downtown! We were afraid it was going to be one of those huge downtowns, that could only be visited with the “hop on hop off” tour buses. Instead as soon as we stepped out of the train station we realized that we could easily walk around and see the main sights without too much stress.
Facts about Perth
Perth is the capital of Western Australia, which is the largest state in Australia. The metropolitan population of Perth is about 1.8 million with the state total at 2.6 million.
It is situated between the Darling Ranges and the Indian Ocean, and along the banks of the Swan River, at 12 km from the ocean. The river is named after the famous black swans which can be found along the river.
The Bell Tower
As we walked out of the Transperth station we went towards the river and it was impossible not to see the Bell Tower. It is considered one of the world’s largest musical instruments. The Bell Tower houses the Swan Bells in a 82.5 metre high tower. The bells include 12 bells of one of London’s most famous churches: St Martin-in-the Field. They are recorded as being in existence from before the 14th century. These bells have rung to celebrate many historic events, such as the coronation of every British monarch. Visitors can hear the bells and see the Ringers in action. There is also the opportunity to chime one of the St Martin-in-the Field bells and receive a certificate stating you have chimed a historic bell.
That day we got sidetracked by an event dedicated to the aboriginal community, that was happening in the park right in front of the tower. We ended up skipping the inside tour and enjoyed viewing from outside.
Elizabeth Quay area
As you continue walking from the Bell tower you will find this brand new area named Elizabeth Quay. It was part of a plan by the Western Australian Government to revive central Perth. This waterfront development brings the river and the city together. It creates a great area of entertainment and outside activities. It was designed to offer something for everyone to enjoy. There are many attractions including the island playground, the BHP Billiton Water Park, public artwork, promenades, open spaces and new food and beverage outlets.
You can also navigate the Swan River in many ways: by gondola, ferry tours or the ferry that connects this area to east Perth, where the zoo is located.
While we were here our kids were able to enjoy the island playground. We also walked over the bridge and got a beautiful view on the Perth skyline. Emma ran all around the water sprinklers at Billiton Water park and she got pretty soaked!
We finally caught the Transperth ferry to the Zoo, which was just a quick ride across the river.
This is one of the largest inner city parks in the world. It has 400 hectares of parklands, picnic areas, and natural bush. It was originally called “the Perth park” in 1895, but it was changed in 1901 to “Kings Park” to mark the accession of King Edward VII to the British throne.
Our experience entering this park was pretty interesting. We had no idea that there were 5 possible stops to pick from when getting off the bus. Our choice was the second stop. Once we got off we started wondering in the direction of the trees. We walked and walked, saw some interesting birds, lots of natural bush, many trees. Finally we heard children voices! We followed the voices and found the most amazing place: Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park!
This place was built to give children a chance to connect with nature. They are free to climb, paddle, hide, build, explore, imagine and learn in the Western Australia environment. The structures are all in wood and the kids love climbing all over them! Families will come with their picnic and enjoy this area of the park while their kids play, enjoy being outside and learn more about the environment they live in. The best part of it is that it is free!
Once we were able to take them away from the coolest place they had found in days, we finally found the cafes and the many beautiful views on Perth. Of course our kids enjoyed more rolling down the hill! Anyway it was an afternoon of natural beauty and total freedom!
The zoo was a very happy choice for us! We experienced crossing the river to get there and had a great day immersing ourselves in the Aussie outback! We saw lots of animals that are from Australia as well as some directly from Asia’s rainforest and Africa’s savannah. You always learn something new when you go to the zoo!
The Perth Zoo was established in 1898 and became right away a real attraction. The ferry service was created as soon as possible. Perth Zoo aims to connect people with nature, inspire a passion to protect biodiversity while providing meaningful ways for people to act for wildlife conservation.
We have been recommended a few great beaches to go to. Unfortunately although the days were beautiful and sunny they were also chilly since it is winter here. So we really never had a chance to go to any of them. I know it is a shame, but this gives us an excuse to some back!
These are just a few of the things that you can see in Perth. The truth is that this beautiful city offers much more. It all depends on preferences and what you are passionate about. As a family of 5 with 3 kids of different ages we try to find a good balance between what is truly educational, possibly a little more hands on, like the zoo and what is historic. We skipped taking any hop on and off tours, which is was our original plan. In fact we realized that most of what we were interested in seeing was easily reachable by foot and we really loved this aspect of this city.
We also wanted to enjoy just living the city a bit. Feel a little less tourist and a little more local. We took our kids to the movies, we went on the train and wondered around town, we also ventured in the greater Perth to have my camera checked! We prolonged our stay for 2 extra days because we really loved being here! If you are planning trip to Australia, make sure you visit this beautiful city!!!!
Click here to see more of our posts from our travel in Australia!!!