We decided to have a relaxing day on our first day in Perth and to go to King’s Park which the map showed to be quite close to us. But Herself misread the map and we ended up in the pretty little park between two busy roads which wasn’t so bad as we got to see the fauna symbol of Perth — the black swan. This one wasn’t too interested in having its photo taken, it was more concerned with nest building which was an interesting process as the swan never moved except for its head and neck!
Because Himself had forgotten his hat, we returned to our apartment. We asked the receptionist the best way to King’s Park and she indicated that it would be up nearby Cliff Street. What the map didn’t show was the bottom of Cliff St is “Jacob’s Ladder” — a set of over 200 steep stairs! Herself finds going up stairs very difficult so we decided to take the long way around.
We accessed the Botanic Gardens in King’s Park via the Kokoda Track — a tribute walk (uphill and with many stairs) to the soldiers who fought the Japanese in the jungles of Papua New Guinea on the Track of the same name. We Australians owe our freedom to these fine men — who knows what may have happened if the Japanese had prevailed, taken Port Moresby and been so close to Australia? Herself appreciates the fact that a nation which was once our enemy is now a nation with whom many of our cities have “sister city” relationships.
We had some great views of the Swan River and the city from the Botanic Gardens, this is just a couple of them.
This building used to be the Swan Brewery. It was to have been demolished but has now been converted into two small museums, two restaurants, and a small number of luxury apartments.
The apartment we were staying in was in the building with the curved roof in the centre of the photo.
The State War Memorial is in the Botanic Gardens on the edge of Mt Eliza, overlooking the river. There is such beauty in the symmetry of these memorials (and in war cemeteries) but they always leave Herself feeling vaguely sad and very grateful.
Since it was a trip to the Botannical Gardens, it would be remiss of us not to show you some plants. 😉 First, a few unknown species.
This flowering gum is one of many species native to Western Australia. We “easterners” are jealous — we just cannot get these to grow in our heavy clay soils!
The flowers are so cute! They inspired the characters of May Gibbs’ iconic Australian book, “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”.
Next, a Kingmill’s Mallee and a close up of its flower pod.
This tree is native to the Kimberley region in the tropical north of Western Australia. It is known as a Boab or bottle tree. These trees lose their leaves at the beginning of the dry season (May-September). First a young one.
Then a much older one.
This is commonly known as a Gandjandal, look at the size of the fruit — about as big as a soccer ball. The wasps loved it!
This plant is called a Banksia. There are many varieties of this plant, this one had particularly large flower heads.
This bush is one of the many varieties of acacia found in Australia. The common name for these is “wattle”. It is our national flower because one or more varieties can be found in every state and territory.
This fountain is a tribute to the role of women in the pioneering of Australia from British settlement in the early nineteenth century, through the suffrage movement and the feminist movement of the twentieth century.
This man-made stream with a series of cascades flowed down the hill from the fountain.
This tree top walkway and it’s glass bridge are in the centre of the botanical gardens. The photo of the cascading stream above was taken from the walkway.
This tower, 101 steps to the top, is called the DNA Tower due to its shape. We went up one side and returned down the other.
This avenue of eucalypts is at the city end of the Botanic Gardens, on Fraser Avenue. Isn’t it stunning? There’s no way we could get a photo to show its real grandeur.
These last two photos show “Jacob’s Ladder” from the top and the bottom. We climbed down it on our return to the apartment; Herself was so glad we hadn’t climbed it!