Travel

Australia 2014: Arriving in Perth

Australia, Perth beach walk

The second leg of our journey took us to Perth in Western Australia, to meet up with old friends and see a different part of the country. Our first morning we got up and went for a walk along the beach, and a series of inlets and small lakes with lots of local birds.

Australia, Perth beach

The ocean on that side is the Indian, but it reminded me a lot of the Pacific, though the dunes were a lot like those on the Gulf Coast of Florida… Anyway, it was beautiful and I could have stayed there much longer, but we had a lot of places to go and good food to eat, so off we went!

Australia, Perth King's Park statue

We had a picnic lunch in Kings Park that day, and played around on the statues of extinct Australia animals from the last ice age. We also explored the gardens and walking trails and did an elevated walk along the tree tops with fantastic views of downtown Perth. The park has extensive ornamental and native gardens, outdoor music space, play equipment and recreation areas, and tons of trails.

Australia, Perth King's Park black cockatoos

That first day also began my never ending quest to photograph every single parrot I saw, beginning with these red-tailed black cockatoos. There were parrots (especially cockatoos) everywhere, but I never got tired of seeing them the entire trip because WILD COCKATOOS. Those just aren’t a thing where I live. Anyway, there you go. Expect more of them.

Australia, Perth Zoo meerkats

The next day we headed to Perth Zoo (because you know I’ve got to go to all the zoos!) and they had some adorable baby meerkats, plus a ton of other great exhibits. The zoo was well laid out with lots of good signage, plus naturalistic exhibits and tons of native wildlife, which I’m guessing was far more exciting to me than to the average local visitor. But I loved it! The nocturnal house was my favorite again; it’s always fascinating to see animals that are so rarely glimpsed in the wild, and are so different from anything else we’ve got at home. And the ghost bats! They have a really well done bat exhibit, and the bats are very active, so I highly recommend checking them out.

Australia, Perth Zoo frill neck lizard

Of course we also visited the native reptile section, and I got to see an animal I first learned about thanks to Disney. Yes, Rescuers Down Under was one of my earliest exposures to Australia (and led me to believe that wombats were much smaller than they really are– those things are HUGE). This is one of them: the frilled lizard. He was also a lot larger than I expected.

Australia, Perth iggle meet up

The next day it rained quite a bit, but we still headed to a tea garden where I got to meet some of my lovely friends from International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club. Here we are in all of our dampness (it rained the whole time, what can I say?). It was weird and fun all at once and I’m really glad I got to hang out with them for a bit.

Australia, Perth Peninsula Tea Garden white cockatoo

Oh, and I saw more cockatoos. (This one was part of a flock of about 100 birds, roaming the grass looking for seeds and bugs.)

The next installment will take us into the southern portion of Western Australia, including the tingle tree forests and the Margaret River area. ^_^

Places we ate I’d recommend:
Sunsets: open atmosphere and right on the water where you can watch (you guessed it) the sun set, but a lovely view all the time.
Little Creatures Brewery: local brewery with a full menu that’s full of tasty things, everything we tried was good.
Peninsula Tea Gardens: proper tea place with everything from snacks to full high tea service and wide selection of teas
Saffron Indian Restaurant: because you can’t go wrong is Indian food, ever, and it’s family style is always good.
Plus a bunch of local bakeries: try all of the pastries, and you won’t regret anything (except maybe not packing the stretchy pants).

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