Perth

A Flower a Week : #5 Kangaroo Paw

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The spectacular Red and Green Kangaroo Paw, Anigozanthos manglesii is the floral emblem of Western Australia. It is one of about twelve species of the genus Anigozanthos which is restricted to the south-west of Western Australia. The family Haemodoraceae to which it belongs occurs in Australia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and the Americas.

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This is another Kangaroo Paw species, smaller and not so individually spectacular as the Red and Green one but when seen massed in a garden bed they are a stunning sight.

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September is the month King’s Park Botanical Gardens in Perth has its Spring Festival. A glorious celebration of the wild flowers that grow so profusely in Western Australia. Five years ago I achieved a dream of a life time when I spent 3 months travelling the length of WA immersed in the beauty of this regions native wild flowers and culminating in being in Perth for the Spring Festival.

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere

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Categories: Australia, flowersoverflowers, kangaroo paw, Kings Park Botanic Garden, photos, Western Australia, wild flowers | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

Friends Past and Present

Where do I start?

It has been almost 5 weeks since we hired a camper van and set out into the Great Southern area of Western Australia.

The whole purpose of this part of the trip was to reconnect with dear friends we made 4 years ago. No time to blog, and not very good internet connections, so for that time I was in cyber limbo.

I’m finding it hard to get back into the discipline of confronting the computer and sorting all the photos, and I must admit, remembering the details is not easy, I didn’t keep very many notes either…

But what I do remember is the times spent with our friends, sharing stories, telling jokes and eating meals together, very precious memories and a time I will cherish. The weather was not the best, after all it is winter down here. But the fires burnt bright and warmed our bodies and souls, and we wrapped up in thermals and winter jackets.

The last 2 days in Western Australia we spent in “Airbnb” accommodation. This is the second time we have used this type of accommodation and I am now a big fan. It is very affordable, at least half the price of a motel or hotel, and it is world-wide. Maureen, our host in Perth, gave us a warm welcome and we immediately felt at home. We came as strangers but when we left, after 2 days, we felt we were saying goodbye to a friend. Maureen was a Yorkshire Lass too, so Jack had 2 of us to keep him under control. (Actually an impossible job!!!)

  

Now we are in Canberra for another house sit.

What a sad start it was as the day we left to fly to Canberra Nicola emailed us with the sad news that her Mother, Christine, had died so suddenly and unexpectedly. I was devastated. Christine had become a close blogging friend, ( Dadirridreaming) and it was through her we had contacted her son Mitchell and daughter in law Nicola to do this house sit, and I had hoped we would also meet Christine while we were here.

Wednesday was the day of the funeral and the family have included her many blogging friends in the community by sharing a moving post of the service and photos.

Now we are settled in to this beautiful house with gas ducted heating and a cosy log fire in the lounge and Millie, the dog, to keep us company and take us for walks AND a very good internet connection. The next 3 months will fly by.

So welcome to Canberra the capital city of Australia.

But first I will sort through the photos and over the next few days show you some of the highlights of the Great Southern area of Western Australia.

Categories: Airbnb, Australia, Margaret River, Perth, photos, travel, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

A walk in the park…

I am a passionate garden person and, for me, the highlight of any town is a walk around their Botanic Garden. I class Kings Park in Perth in the top 3 gardens I have visited in Australia.

The last time I visited in 2010, it was Spring and the gardens were a riot of colour. It was wild flower season and the displays were breathtaking

Spring 2010

Now it is autumn and most of the flowers have gone, replaced by a pallet of green. We found a few splashes of colour the last of the natives.

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But most had turned to seeds to hibernate till Spring arrives again.

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It was Sunday and still hot and sunny. Families clustered under the shade of large trees enjoying picnics and precious time relaxing.

The grass is so green

The grass is so green

As I walk across the soft, cushiony lawns I always marvel at the work and dedication the gardeners must put in to achieve this minor miracle of lushness in such a dry climate.

Tall gumtrees tower over the restaurant and souvenir shop

Tall gumtrees tower over the restaurant and souvenir shop, and a group of friends rest on one of the many seats dotted around.

A couple walk hand in hand.

A couple walk hand in hand.

A group of artists capture the moment

A group of artists capture the moment

This is a people’s park and it is a joy to see this space being enjoyed in so many ways.

 The water garden area is a peaceful oasis.

The giant boab tree

The giant boab tree

This is a very special Boab Tree. When I saw it in 2010 it was struggling to survive a very traumatic move. But look at it now.

The Giant Boab

The story of the Giant Boab ‘Gija Jumulu’ captured world-wide media coverage during July 2008 as it journeyed over 3,200 kilometres, from Warmun in WA’s Kimberley region, to Kings Park in Perth.

Never before had a mature tree of this nature been transported across such a distance on land. The iconic tree, estimated to be 750 years old, weighs 36 tonnes and stretches 14 metres high and eight metres wide (branch span). Its trunk measures 2.5 metres in diameter.

Project Coordinator, Patrick Courtney said when the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority learned the tree needed to be relocated due to works on the Great Northern Highway, it jumped at the chance to secure it.

‘We had a call asking us how to move the boab, and we offered to find it a new home at Kings Park – 3,200 kilometres south! They said yes.’

Now known as ‘Gija Jumulu’, the tree is a special gift to all Western Australians from the local Indigenous people, the Gija, who are the traditional land owners. They performed a farewell ceremony to the Jumulu (boab in Gija language) on Monday, 14 July 2008.

Honour Avenue

Honour Avenue

As the afternoon sun paints shadows across the road between some of the 1300 Sugar Gums that form the Honour Avenue it is time to head back home.

Perth

Perth

 

Perth on the other side of the Swan River

Perth on the other side of the Swan River

Tomorrow we head for Geraldton, approx. 450 kilometres north of Perth.

Categories: Australia, Kings Park Botanic Garden, Perth, photos, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Perth on a budget

Accommodation can be the most expensive part of the travel budget, if you do not have friends or relatives to stay with. In the past to keep this cost down we have used couch-surfing, wwoofing and of course house sitting. This time I have found a new style of budget accommodation, Airbnb. The cost varies from place to place but an average is $50 to $70 per night for 2 people, which is about half the cost of a hotel or motel.  

From a very extensive list of places available in Perth I chose a twin room in a house in Victoria Park. I am very happy with our choice, Joe and Kazumi were excellent hosts they supplied breakfast, and we felt at home in their place. The Victoria Park village was 10 minute walk away with  good selection of cafes and restaurants representing nearly every country under the sun, you can find Vietnamese, Nepalese, Thai, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Modern Australian, Indonesian, Japanese and more, and the bus to Perth CBD was just across the road and for $4-20 we had a concession pass to travel all day on the buses, trains and ferries. 

So we hopped aboard a bus to explore.

We walked and walked and, of course, took lots of photos.

The old and the new

The old and the new

 

Government House

Government House

 

Sculpture of rocks and minerals

Sculpture of rocks and minerals

 

 

Built in 1937 London Court is one of Perth’s best loved heritage listed shopping destinations.

Captured in a setting of Tudor England and located in the heart of Perth city, the court links Hay Street Mall and St Georges Terrace.

London Court is a visual delight! Step back in time and discover copper coloured ships decorating the classically moulded ceilings at both entrances; and containers moulded with lions and unicorns lining the walkway.

Food enthusiasts can smell the freshly roasted coffee, dine at intimate cafes or enjoy a melting pot of international treats including gourmet chocolate and UK sweets.

Cooling fountains in central Perth

Cooling fountains in central Perth

It is autumn but the temperature is still 29c degrees, thank goodness it is a dry heat and I don’t suffer the sweat inducing humidity of Queensland. There has been no rain for months and we enjoyed sitting in City Square and watching young and old rushing in and out of the fountain.

It had been an interesting day refreshing our memories of this lovely city. Now it was time to catch the bus back to our home of the moment.

Tomorrow we are going for a stroll to Kings Park one of the most beautiful parks in Australia. 

Categories: accomadation, Australia, Perth, photos, Western Australia | Tags: , , , | 32 Comments

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