I was going there to visit Rachel*, a good friend and was staying with her in a typical huge, spacious Australian home boosting of many rooms, a small pool and offering the warmest hospitality. Onboard the flight to Perth, I made a new Australian friend Amber* as well, and she had given me some ideas of the lovely places to visit in Perth as well.
It was August, so I was there nearing the end of Winter for Australia. The weather was very cold.
SIGHT SEEING / PLACES OF INTEREST
Let's get the most mundane details out of the way first, being a tourist in Perth, definitely Rachel* had driven me to the places of interest so I would have an idea of some interesting spots in Perth, my first visit.
We drove around for some lovely views near Cottesloe Beach and the famous skyline at night at Coode Street, South Perth. It was a really clean and lovely city.
Another popular and scenic spot was the Busselton Jetty, a charming sea spot ideal for divers, snorkellers and tanners during Summer or warmer seasons.
The Kings Park War Memorial, where we took a few photos. Don't be deceived by the sunny skies - the moment we stepped out of the car, it was chilly to the bones.
The Bell Tower or Swan Bell Tower that overlooks the beautific Swan Lake - a magnificent glass spire tower.
Here was a score of cathedrals that we either drove by or stopped at to take photos all over my Perth trip. They were all exquisite and imposing.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Yes, what's for meals? Besides the typically delicious Australia pies and western cuisines I ate at Rachel* place, there were some rather comely pizzas and delectable desserts I really enjoyed during my visit. Nope I did not try the kangaroo and emu meat that my friends recommended.
Let's see, here are pizzas from Little C's at Leederville, a very popular spot for great pizzas. Rachel*, her friend Astrid* and I shared the Greek Lamb Pizza and Peri-Peri Prawns Pizza - absolutely crispy, tasty slices of goodness.
There were scrumptious and huge Custard Croissants and Almond Croissants at Fremantle Bakery, and then Hot Chocolate, Carrot Cake and Melting Butter Cookies at One-Forty Cafe at Bunbury area. I loved the last one especially - it literally melted in the mouth like molasses.
East Perth near their Central Business District (CBD) area was also a popular chillout spot, especially at the scenic Royal @ Waterfront. It reminded me of our Clarke Quay - a lovely restaurant / bar concept in front of a lovely, reflective river body. Do not be surprised to see alot of government employees chilling out here as the government offices were all nearby.
We drove 3 hours up to Margaret River to see vineyards, shop, and to visit the Chocolate Factory. I understand that Australians living in Perth and its vicinity also drive up to Margaret River for staycations some weekends.
I was a little disappointed that the Chocolate Factory wasnt literally a factory manufacturing chocolates that we could visit; rather it was a large retailer selling Margaret River chocolates and setting aside a space for cafe.
Yes, there were many shops in Margaret River selling apparel from local designers and souveinirs. The Margaret River Chocolate Factory sold many different kinds of chocolates, and had lots of samples too. We grabbed handful after handful, as did all the other patrons. Also sat down for a glass of lovely Hot Chocolate.
There were many vineyards in Margaret River itself - Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Cape Mentelle - all of them charming in their own manners. We had a good time doing wine tasting and buying wines freshly fermented and bottled at these lovely wineries. It was a small pity that it was wintertime hence the grapevines were all barren.
Perth shopping was awesome - they did not import many foreign brands, as most of their malls and stores retailed apparels by local designers. I saw a lot of things there that I liked, and could not get in Singapore.
There were many shops in Riverview Shopping Mall, Leederville and Freemantle itself to keep us busy. The assistants were very friendly as well.
The Central Business District (CBD) boosted of shopping areas as well, and I loved especially the vintage, English-looking strips of shops. Whether one was buying clothes, books or souveinirs, the shop assistants were friendly and the shops were bustling with happy energies.
CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK
Now this was an experience that one should never miss in Western Australia - the Caversham Wildlife Park where one could not only visit adorable, well-cared-for animals, but also, get to feed and stroke sheeps, koala bears and kangaroos. I especially loved the Koala Bears - they looked and felt like cute soft toys atop the trees.
Perth is a big and vastly-spaced out city, but to get around by car, railway or ferries was convenient.
So, I had a really good time in this relaxing, beautiful city called Perth, where everyday and every experience was memorable. I did not get to visit Swan Lake, Casinos or tried the exotic kangaroo and emu meats there, nor did I get to try skydiving, but there are always other chances for future visits. I gained two new friends - Astrid* and Amber*, got to visit a few Australian homes during this visit, and bought lovely apparel not found locally.