Day 8 – Fremantle_Perth – Fremantle and Perth City Drive, and Swann River Cruise

Alongside Fremantle – 07:00 to 18:00

Western Australia, Perth and Fremantle are new territory for both of us and we have eagerly awaited this tour, having heard that Perth and the surrounding area is one of the world’s most liveable cities, similar to Melbourne. Today’s tour includes a drive through Fremantle, then head the 12 miles to Perth, where we visit King’s Park, then have some free time in Perth Central Business District (CBD), or downtown. The finale is a cruise up the Swann River back to Freemantle.

Our tour report time of 08:15 permitted Judi to sleep in followed by a leisurely breakfast in the dinning room, prior to heading down to the Wheelhouse Bar. On arrival at the bus we noted the windows were almost like mirrors, as unless you looked perpendicular to the glass, you got many reflections. This completely negated my ability to take any photographs from inside the bus, and we didn’t stop for photo ops during the drives.

The guide explained that Fremantle is a typical 1800/early 1900’s port, as most of the original buildings have been preserved, with the exception of the first areas we visited. On departing the passenger terminal we headed along the port road, passing “E-shed markets”.

Fremantle Port E-Shed market

E-Shed markets, which was originally an old dockland’s shed is now a modern collection of yuppie restaurants and other businesses.

 

Continuing along the water front we passed the new and very modern maritime museum, that houses the revolutionary wing keel boat that won Australia the America’s Cup many years ago.

Fremantle Maritime Museum

Continuing around the dock road we next saw a very pleasant area with marina, a brew pub and a collection of modern shops. If we ever have the opportunity to return to Fremantle a walk along this area is definitely on the agenda, as it is only about 5 or 6 miles round trip from the passenger terminal.

Completing the drive along the waterfront, we headed to the Roundhouse, an observation tower built by prisoners with a great view over the ocean. As previously mentioned, this was a drive-by and I just couldn’t get any worthwhile photos from inside the bus. We continued inland towards the prison, passing numerous buildings dating from the late 1800’s, which were the original buildings from the building of the port. The local council has done an excellent job of preserving these heritage buildings.

Having driven around most of Fremantle, we headed to the main highway into Perth, but after only a few minutes turned off into Mosspark Subdivision. Rather than taking the highway into Perth we navigated around the many extremely affluent western suburbs, where even the smallest home starts in the $4 to 5 million range. Our guide explained the origins of the name “Millionaire’s Row”, which originally were homes about $500K, until an off-shore purchaser was interested in one of the homes. The owner quoted a grossly inflated multi-million dollar figure, which was accepted. To say the least, many of the homes are huge and stunning, and we look forward to seeing them from the river later in the afternoon.

Arriving at Perth, our first stop was in King’s Park, which comprises 1,000 acres of both natural vegetation and well manicured lawns. It is very similar to Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Located above the banks of the Swann River, it affords some excellent views of the river and Perth CBD.

Kings Park looking at downtown Perth CBD

The view of Perth CBD from our first stop in King’s Park

Our next stop was at the area with all the buildings, which contains the gift shop, restaurants and the State War Memorial

King's Park State War Memorial and palm trees

From the restaurant, looking across the well manicured lawns towards the State War Memorial

King's Park Flame of Remembrance and State War Memorial

Flame of Remembrance and State War Memorial

King's Park Flame of Remembrance from War Memorial side

Flame of Remembrance Pond located on the Ceremonial Walk, which leads to the State War Memorial

King's Park looking up the Ceremonial Walk from the War Memorial

Looking up the Ceremonial Walk from the State War Memorial

King's Park Judi at War Memorial

Judi at the steps to the State War Memorial

 

Judi then went for a cup of tea, while I went exploring further afield.

King`s Park Fraser Ave with Centenary Lemon GumTrees on both sides

This is one of the main roads into the park and it has Lemon Gum trees planted on both sides to commemorate the Centenary of Western Australia in 1929. Each tree has an individual plaque recognising a member of the Centenary Committee and various local political figures.

King's Park looking at Perth Water

Panorama of Perth and Perth Water from King’s Park

 

After our free time in King’s Park, we headed to the Perth CBD. On approaching downtown, across the motorway, the guide complained bitterly explaining that they demolished many old buildings and classic hotels to make way for the motorway. Entering downtown on St George’s Terrace she explained that if you continued heading East, it will take you straight through Perth and the suburbs and after a couple of thousand miles eventually to Sydney. The first thing I noted was the mix of new high-rise buildings with many of the older originals.

Perth Town Hall

The original Town Hall with clock tower, amidst a sea of high-rises

Original facade retained while new tower was built behind

New tower built while retaining the original facade

St George's Catherdral surrounded by modern buildings

St George’s Cathedral surrounded by modern buildings

St Andrew's Church which is oldest in Perth

St Andrews Church, the oldest in Perth

 

Amongst all these buildings and bustling traffic, they have a serene park just off the main street, which leads to the WA Supreme Court Building.

Park in front of Supreme Court

Judi at the Kangaroo Statues in park in front of Supreme Court

Judi at the Kangaroo Statues at the Supreme Court Park

 

On completion of our CBD free time it was back on the bus and off to the ferry terminal for the cruise back to Fremantle. This is a regular ferry operated by Captain Cook Cruises and was also available to the general public. The boat was fairly full, with at least 80% of the passengers being from Sea Princess, either our tour or those travelling around the city independently. The following photographs are a selection taken on the cruise back to Fremantle.

Cruise, Perth CBD from stern of boat

Downtown Perth from stern of the boat.

Cruise, old Swann Brewery

Commentary advised originally this was one of my favourite place – a brewery. Now condos

Cruise, expensive river front homes in a secluded bay protected by a sand spit

A quiet and secluded bay protected by a sand bar

Cruise, sailboat heading up river

Sailboat meandering slowly upriver. With the amount of boats, almost everyone must have one

Cruise, mega home with 3 separate houses

One of the mega mansions, which has 2 smaller houses on the same property. One can only assume window cleaning is a full time occupation.

Cruise, homeowner boat shed, which is now a two person yacht club

This is the world’s smallest Yacht Club. It started when the homeowners built the boat shed and jetty without planning approval, then the port authority demanded it be removed. The home owner found a loophole and formed a Yacht Club, with membership limited to the home owners. That loophole was subsequently closed.

Cruise, exclusive homes on South bank of Swann River

South shore of the Swann River

Cruise, popular pub on south shore approaching Freemantle

Popular drive-up or cruise-up pub on the South Shore

 

Arriving back in Fremantle there was our magnificent floating home for this Grand Adventure around the World.

Sea Princess alongside at Fremantle from the bow

 

Apologies for the flurry of posts this morning, as we haven’t had satellite connectivity for the past couple of days. Something to do with leaving one area and entering another and at the periphery the signals are weak. Oh! the joy of ship board life. I’ve no complaints, since in my day we had no satellites, but some of the others may get testy.

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