Back in the big smoke! Well, OK, Perth isn’t that bad – quite a nice place actually. But it is full of housing estate after housing estate, roads clogged with cars all wanting to get somewhere in a hurry, and all the busyness typically seen in a city of almost 2 million people. Having spent a month traveling through the remote areas of WA, you kind of get used to a quiet relaxed lifestyle!
Our time in Perth was based in a couple of different caravan parks – the first 3 nights at Karrinyup Waters Resort, which is on the north side of town. Whilst here we did some of the more practical necessities, such as getting 3 new tyres put on the motorhome, and getting it serviced (to my surprise a lot cheaper than at Darwin). When it was in for the service, we took the train into the CBD, and had a good look around.
We spent most of that morning at the Perth Mint, which used to mint legal tender for Australia (but is now all handled by the mint in Canberra). However, they still do a lot of gold and silver coins, for collectors and the like around the world. We did the tour, where we got to see a demonstration gold pour (the $40k gold bar was real!), and the stamping of silver coins. There are various information and displays to review, or handle, as in the 100oz gold bar that you can pick up (heavily secured!)! There is a large $1,000,000 face value pure gold coin on display, I’d estimate about 80cm diameter, and perhaps 150mm thick! The actual gold value of this coin is around $44 million! Interestingly, it is not secured or screened off at all – would be easy to jump onto the display and grab it! I guess they rely on people not being able to carry over a ton away, lol, as well as being in the guts of a solid building that is crawling with security staff!
The boys got to mint their own custom coins! Real gold plating, with there own design on one side (helped by the staff), and the Perth Mint logo on the other. So Daniel now has evidence from the Perth Mint that he played for Barcelona FC, and Jonathan a custom shark coin with his name and date of visitation on it. No photos are allowed inside the building, so, I’ve only got the following external pics showing the boys with there gold nugget findings…. (sorry for the poor quality pics)
After the mint we looked around the CBD some more, and then walked out along the Swan river to Kings Park Botanical Gardens. Accidentally left the camera in the motorhome during its service, so no photos sorry. It’s interesting that Perth doesn’t have nearly the number of highrises as say Brisbane, even though the population of the two cities isn’t that far off.
We spent some time visiting different beaches of Perth. It is quite attractive to have such nice beaches in the city itself. They are a mixture of rocks and headlands, with areas of sandy beaches between. Though the bay in Brissy can be nice, I’d prefer the open water surf type beaches found here anyday (even if they aren’t up to Gold Coast standards!)!
The boys were dead keen on visiting The Aquarium of Western Australia, so we spent one of the mornings there. Relating back to my hometown again, it is similar to Underwater World on the Sunshine Coast, though perhaps a little smaller. There is the underwater tunnel going through the huge aquarium with all sorts of fish, sharks and rays. Lots of other tanks and features of varying size and interest.
Our final two nights in Perth were at a caravan park in Freemantle. Sat (11/10/14) we all went on a high speed jet boat (from Freemantle), for some adventure out in the open ocean (it was a gift). This was great fun, as the boat reaches 40 knots (75kph), and can turn on a dime. Part of the fun is also getting drenched, with some sudden stops purposed for nothing other than showering the boat with a wall of water… and it’s cold down here….
We hadn’t planned on spending the two nights in Freemantle, but ended up staying the second so I could get some more rest and recover. Yes, Friday I was hit by the first sickness our whole trip (whole winter actually) – something tummy related that made me fully empty my stomach contents…. Fortunately once that was done I felt better, and it was just a matter of gradually re-introducing foods the following day (Sat) and getting some rest. I suspect it was something I ate for lunch on Fri (we ate out, not a common thing for us) but don’t really know. It is pretty amazing though that we all went the whole winter, plus a bit, without a single bit of sickness in the family. Didn’t end there though, as Daniel then got a sore throat, and now Jonathan has one… Nothing too serious – maybe we are just allergic to cities! Or cold weather!
So that pretty well wraps up our visit to Perth. We had a nice time, and it is an attractive city. Not as nice as being out of cities altogether though!!! One side effect of me being sick is that Nicole had to do some driving of the motorhome in the city! Shock, horror!!! To her surprise though, she’s found out that she can actually drive the motorhome around on busy roads, park it amongst other cars including reversing into parks, campsites and the like! Now that she knows that she can do that, I’m giving her my other work too – deciding what to do the next day and how to get there, doing the driving, deciding where to stay the night, cooking outside with the campstove, unloading at dump points, writing blog posts….. Anyone think of anything else???