Perth and Freemantle

Perth is far and away the most remote big city on earth and not actually close to anywhere. It is 1700 miles to Adelaide, 5000 miles to Africa and is actually nearer to Singapore than to Sydney. Even so 1.5 million people choose to live here. One reason being that they say you never see bluer skies or purer sunlight than here. That is certainly the case today.

We visited Kings Park (one of the worlds finest) set high above the Swan River with fantastic views of the Perth skyline. With 1000 acres to roam around as well as parkland there is also a huge area left as natural bush, some botanical gardens and an impressive war memorial. It should be mentioned that no other nation lost more men as a proportion of population in the first world war as Australia. Out of a national population of under 5 million Australia suffered a staggering 210,000 casualties – 60,000 dead, 150,000 injured, a casualty rate of 65%.

Australians have a great habit of shortening many words, especially place names. So we next visit Freo (Fremantle) with Roto (Rottnest Island) just off the coast.

Fremantle is a port city just 12 miles south of Perth and is the state capital. It was the first settlement for the Swan River colonists in 1829 and has some very well preserved heritage buildings.

We had a wander down the main street and stopped at a Spanish chocalatier for coffee and a chocolate tapas (that was after eating fish and chips on the waterfront!). After lunch we visited the Round House which is a 12 sided building overlooking the sea. It is a purpose built jail built in 1831 to house locals who broke the law.

We took a scenic route back to John and Diane’s. More food and drink!

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