Tag Archive | Western Australia

Goodbye Perth, Hello Sydney

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #19 Perth to Sydney

After travelling across Australia from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific for four days, our return journey took just under five hours. 

We farewelled to the beautiful city of Perth on a mid-morning flight, 

passing over the vast expanse of the Nullarbor Plain we had crossed on the train. 

Our route took us over the coastline of the Great Australian Bight, where the icy waters of the Southern Ocean meet the spectacular Bunda Cliffs. 

We travelled forward by three hours, catching up with the setting sun over New South Wales,

before Sydney’s familiar landmarks finally came into view. 

Our fabulous transcontinental journey from Sydney to Perth and back again was over.

Linking to Becky’s November Walking Squares – even though there was no walking in these photos, we walked a lot that day; through two airport terminals, one train station and a car park!

Stadium Walking

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #18 Optus Stadium, Burswood

Cricket fans will know that the first international test of the 2022 Australian summer is currently being played at Optus Stadium in Perth, with Australia taking on the might of the West Indies. Earlier in the year, several matches in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup competition were also played at the stadium, drawing crowds of up to 60,000.

With inclement weather forecast for our last day in Perth, we decided to visit Optus Stadium too; not for a cricket match but to go on a guided walking tour.

Optus Stadium is the home of Western Australia’s two Australian Rules Football teams – West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. And, as well as the cricket, it hosts other major events including Rugby League and Union, concerts, festivals and shows.

At the time of our visit, the ground was being prepared for the Festival of International Football, with excited fans looking forward to Leeds United v Crystal Palace and Manchester United v Aston Villa.

Officially opened on 21 January 2018, the stadium boasts modern design and technologies. During the planning phase, the designers studied the world’s greatest sporting arenas and incorporated the best ideas from each in an effort to create maximum accessibility and comfort for all spectators.

Our guide was keen to demonstrate how this has been achieved and shared many interesting statistics with us. We learned that every seat in the stadium is at least 50cm wide with at least 50 cm in front for ease of movement, and each has its own cup holder. Every seat is also no more than 80 metres from a food or beverage outlet and a bathroom in the concourse.

There are 450 spaces with excellent views specifically allocated for people in wheelchairs. And 1,000 television screens are located around the stadium so fans won’t miss a minute of the action on the field.

After admiring the concourse with its abundance of outlets and bathrooms, we saw the arena from ground level,

in a general admission seating area,

and from one of the 84 private boxes.

We went into the Victory Lounge, where corporate guests are treated to gourmet dining and leather recliners.

While the seating in the media boxes might not be so luxurious the views are better,

but not as good as the rooftop seats, 42 metres above the field!

In 2019, Optus Stadium was awarded the UNESCO Prix Versailles for sport as the “most beautiful stadium in the world”. After spending a couple of hours walking around, we would have to agree.

Linking to Becky’s November Walking Squares

Walking Underwater

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #17 The Aquarium of Western Australia, Perth

Where in the world can you walk underwater?

At AQWA, The Aquarium of Western Australia!

The aquarium hosts more than 400 species of marine animals who make the oceans off the coast of Western Australia their home. The largest display, the Shipwreck Coast Aquarium, holds 3 million litres of seawater. A 98 metre walk-through tunnel winds through the aquarium, bringing people face to face with some amazing ocean creatures.

Smaller aquariums feature beautiful coral reefs,

luminous sea jellies,

unusual fish,

shy fish

and very grumpy fish!

Joining Becky for November Walking Squares

Kings Park

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #16 Kings Park, Perth

After such a wet visit to Rottnest Island, the sun shone brightly in a brilliant blue sky the following day – perfect weather for a walk at Kings Park. Located high up on Mount Eliza, the 400 hectare park includes the Western Australian Botanic Garden.

To learn more about the 3,000 species of native Western Australian plants growing in the garden, we joined a free guided walking tour. And, although the tour was scheduled for 90 minutes, our enthusiastic guide took us on a meandering route through the garden for almost double that time.

His passion for the unique plants and their environment and his stories of his volunteer work in the garden added a special touch to our walk. It was a privilege to see the garden through his eyes.

Kangaroo paws

Gum nuts and blossoms

Qualap bells

Geraldton wax

Red banksia

When our guided walk was over, we continued exploring the park land beyond the Botanic Gardens.

Federation Walkway

DNA Tower

Firefighters’ Memorial Grove

Pioneer Women’s Memorial

State War Memorial

Perth CBD and Swan River

Joining Becky for November Walking Squares

The Changing Landscape

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #14 Kalgoorlie to Perth

On the last day of our train journey we travelled through a constantly changing landscape. The vast Nullarbor, whose name means “no trees”, had been replaced by arid desert covered with saltbush and low growing bushland.

Then we began to see signs of civilisation:

powerlines,

construction,

and the incredible pipeline which carries a vital supply of water for 556 km from Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

We passed the pretty town of Northam,

fields of golden canola,

and finally the rolling green hills and farmland east of Perth.

After four days and three nights, our adventure on the Indian Pacific came to an end as the train pulled in to East Perth Terminal.

Once we left the train, we farewelled the staff, thanking them for their excellent service. After reclaiming our luggage we made our way to the bus which would transfer us to our Perth hotel.

I was too busy walking to the bus to take final photos of the train which had brought us right across Australia!

Joining Becky for November Walking Squares

By the Light of the Moon

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the mighty Nullarbor Plain. Come with me on a transcontinental journey aboard the iconic Indian Pacific! 

Indian Pacific Adventure #13 Rawlinna, Western Australia

After stopping at Cook in the morning, the train continued west until we crossed the border into Western Australia.

The setting sun cast a golden glow across the vast expanse of the Nullarbor Plain, signalling the start of our third night aboard the Indian Pacific.

Our next stop was Rawlinna, another small town founded in 1917 to service the railway. Unlike Cook, 34 people still live in Rawlinna. The train is a welcome visitor, bringing mail and vital supplies each week.

A line of lanterns guided us on the long walk from our carriage at the front of the train to the platform.

In the warmer months of the year, passengers are treated to an outdoor dinner on the platform. But on this cold winter’s night we gathered around raised campfires.

The train’s resident entertainer serenaded us with live music while the bar staff served drinks.

Music at a railway station in the desert, backlit by a full moon – a special way to end another day on the train.

Joining Becky for November Walking Squares

From On High

An Australian Point of View #5 Mountains

One of my most vivid memories of my first year of high school is the day my geography teacher, a European immigrant, made a scathing comment about Australia’s mountains. How dare we call our main mountain range “great” when, in comparison to the European alps it was nothing. I remember, even at the tender age of 12, feeling indignant that he should feel free to criticise my country.

Since then, I’ve seen much of this land and explored many of its mountain areas. I know now that Australia, once part of the supercontinent Gondwana, is the oldest and flattest continent on Earth.

Norseman, Western Australia

Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

Tectonic movement and volcanic activity have shaped the upland areas and erosion by wind and water has worn them away; instead of the rugged craggy peaks seen in Europe and the Americas, Australia’s mountain ranges are characterised by highland plateaus and deep canyons, wide valleys and rounded peaks.

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, Tasmania

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

Porongurups, Western Australia

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Katherine River and Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, reaches an elevation of just 2,228 metres above sea level.

Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales

The Great Dividing Range, so maligned by my teacher, is the third longest land-based mountain range on Earth. It is 3,500 kilometres long and stretches from the northernmost tip of Queensland, through New South wales and into Victoria. At its widest it is more than 300 kilometres across. The range dates from the Carboniferous Period, making it more than 300 million years old. Surely the term “great” is well-deserved.

Where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland

Daintree National Park, Far North Queensland

Kroombit Tops, Central Queensland

Glasshouse Mountains, South East Queensland

Bald Rock National Park, Northern New South Wales

Alpine National Park, Eastern Victoria

Perhaps that teacher needed to study his geography!

Cityscape

An Australian Point of View #1 Capital Cities

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a land mass of 7,692,014 square kilometres. Despite its size, Australia is composed of just six states and two territories, all with their own capital city. Every capital has its own distinctive architecture; some buildings are more well-known than others, but each plays a part in the story of its city.

Brisbane, Queensland

The heritage-listed Albert Street Uniting Church, completed in 1889, is dwarfed by the surrounding city tower blocks. By the early 1900s it was the main Methodist Church in the city and is now the home of Wesley Mission Queensland. With its Victorian Gothic architecture and its inner city position, the church is a popular wedding venue.

Melbourne, Victoria

The Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s busiest Performing Arts complex. Construction began in 1973 and the buildings were completed in stages, the last being finished in 1984. The steel spire is 162 metres high and is surrounded at the base by a ruffle of steel mesh reminiscent of a ballerina’s tutu.

Adelaide, South Australia

The scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval has been keeping track of cricket matches since 3 November, 1911. The heritage-listed Edwardian scoreboard is the only one of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and is still manually operated.  A tour of Adelaide Oval includes a visit inside the four storey scoreboard.

Perth, Western Australia

The Bell Tower in Barracks Square houses the Swan Bells, a collection of 18 change ringing bells. Twelve of the bells come from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London and date from the 13th century. They were gifted to the city of Perth during Australia’s Bicentenary, while the Bell Tower was completed in time for Millennium celebrations.

Hobart, Tasmania

The Shot Tower at Taroona, just outside Hobart, was built in 1879 and was, for four years, Australia’s tallest building. Lead shot was produced in the tower for 35 years. Next door is the home of Joseph Moir, who constructed the tower and other landmark buildings in Hobart. The shot tower is still the tallest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Government House, on the Esplanade in Darwin, is the oldest European building in the Northern Territory. Completed in 1871, the house is the official residence of the Administrator of the Northern Territory. The Victorian Gothic design is complemented by wide verandas, which help to cool the house in Darwin’s tropical climate.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. This is the second Parliament House and replaced Old Parliament House, which was in use from 1927 to 1988. This new building was opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II during Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations. The Commonwealth Coat of Arms adorns the front façade, and an Australian flag the size of a half tennis court flies at the top of the 81 metre high flagpole.


Sydney, New South Wales

The Sydney Opera House, opened in 1973, overlooks Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. Every year, more than eight million people visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and it hosts more than 1,500 events and performances. The Opera House becomes a focal point during Sydney’s Vivid Festival each June.


Participating in Becky’s #RoofSquares Challenge

Things I Learned

Round Australia Road Trip #33

When doing something completely different from your usual way of life, there are certain to be some moments of self-discovery; travelling vast distances with a caravan for seven weeks around our amazing country revealed some new aspects of my character. Here are ten things I learned about myself on the Round Australia Road Trip.

1. I enjoy flying – but only in big planes. Our flight over the Bungle Bungles was in a 6 seater Cessna C10 and our very enthusiastic pilot Sam made sure we all got the best possible view, by tipping the plane in all directions. I didn’t actually see everything because some of the time my eyes were closed, and by the time we landed I felt decidedly queer.

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2. Animals are not really my thing, especially when they are watching me. Finding evidence they’re around also gives me the creeps. (I knew this already, but seeing these creatures reinforced my lack of enthusiasm for living things other than humans.)

3. I can take great photos which look like I was much closer than I really was, because my camera has a fantastic zoom. Also, after taking many fuzzy photos, I finally mastered the macro setting on my camera.

4. I can drive a boat. I was being supervised, but the steering was all me!

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5. I can also tow a caravan. However, I cannot park it or reverse it and I will definitely never overtake one of these while towing it.

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6. I loved visiting the outback but I do not want to live there.

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7. I need to keep my day job because there are many jobs I don’t want to do. I would make a terrible deep sea diver or pioneering explorer. I like being comfortable far too much.

8. I am irresistible to flies. I am not unique in this, because flies aren’t fussy. (I know you have seen this photo before, but it is my best fly photo!)

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9. I can run faster than a sting ray can swim. I discovered this skill when a sting ray came past me in the water at Monkey Mia. I was out of there in no time. I don’t know if the sting ray even noticed me, but I did not go back in.

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10. I do not want to ride a bike across Australia. Many other people take on the challenge, but I don’t see the attraction. (Do you see this cyclist’s fly net? He’s irresistible to flies too.)

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While most of these revelations will probably not ever again be useful, some might come in handy one day. You never know when I might be called upon to race a stingray!

And so, after more than 14 ooo km, nine weeks on the road for Mr ET and seven weeks for me, the Round Australia Road Trip comes to an end. But stay tuned, because another adventure is just around the corner!

Too Good To Be True ~ Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Optimistic

After paying almost $2 a litre for fuel across inland Western Australia, the prices at this service station in Dampier caught our attention. Was the fuel really free? We indulged in some wishful thinking before deciding the tanks were probably empty.

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Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Optimistic