12 May 2014
Colourful guides to the different areas of Kings Park
Disaster struck this morning when Pete’s iPad froze, fortunately we found an Apple store only a block away, so I left Pete to cope with the Apple technician (I don’t talk their language!) and headed off to find a chemist so I could buy a visor (left mine at home in the boot of the car!). No success for me, but it gave me the opportunity to find some more malls and arcades and beautiful old buildings in the CBD. It is fascinating to see how the heritage mixes in with the modern – Perth is a city that seems to be growing so fast, roadworks are in progress and massive construction work along the Swan River waterfront.
(Left) Commonwealth Bank peeping through the trees (Right) Pretty fountain in the plaza next to the CBA
By the time Pete had his iPad successfully brought back to life, it was time for a morning coffee before driving out to Kings Park. This time we found the way successfully (without the GPS). There is plenty of free parking around this beautiful area, and it was only a short walk to the main entrance where we collected our walking self guide brochure and set off to explore.
Kings Park is 406 hectares (1004 acres) and overlooks the city of Perth from Mount Eliza (62 metres above sea level). The area has always been important – to the Aboriginal people, to the early European settlers and to the people of Western Australia. Prominent in the Park is the statue of John Forrest, the first Premier of Western Australia and the first President of the Kings Park Board (right).
The Lord Forrest Roundabout Walk takes you past the State War Memorial with beds displaying plants from the various regions of Western Australia such as the Mallee, Mulga and other arid parts.
One of my favourite gardens is the native garden that greets visitors when they first arrive, a wonderful collection of native plants with colours of silver and various greens, with the odd splash of colour in the flowers – must look wonderful in the spring.
The beautiful natives garden that greets visitors to Kings Park
We followed the well marked paths past the unusual Boab trees (left), the Boronia Garden, then onto the Mt Eliza Lookout with breathtaking views over South Perth and the wide Swan River, even up to where the Canning River meets the Swan. These views are available for most of the walk up to and including the Elevated Walkway and the Glass Bridge where one can gaze down into the valley beneath.
Sweeping views of the Swan River and South Perth from Mt Eliza
Next is the Water Garden that represents the granite streams of the Darling Scarp, with associated flora. There are bronze sculptures of frogs and lizards in the pools and surrounding rocks. The Bookleaf Memorial (right) near the Water Garden Pavilion commemorates the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage. The beautiful Pioneer Women’s Memorial Fountain and Water Garden (below) represent the early struggles of the pioneer women, and many features of this area reflect the history of women in Western Australia.
There are so many wonderful gardens to explore such as the Banksia Garden, the Grevillea & Hakea Garden and the Acacia Gardens and Steps, and finally we arrived at the State War Memorial again with magnificent views across the Swan River and the main CBD. The Flame of Remembrance is surrounded in a fabulous garden of red salvia, and is a popular place for people to sit in quiet contemplation and remember those lost in the various wars.
It had been a gloriously sunny day and we were getting quite warm, and tired, by the time we made our way back to the cafe at the entrance to the Park. As we were eating our vegetarian wraps and iced tea (very healthy!) we noticed some dark clouds coming over, but it didn’t rain until we were back at the hotel, and the rain didn’t last for long.
During our exploration of the city streets around our hotel we had noticed a little restaurant tucked away in a small mall. “The Painted Bird” looked nice, so we decided to have dinner there. The Lamb Shank Targine was the best lamb shank meal I have ever had, the meat falling off the bone and with a hint of preserved lemon and cummin. We were going to be very good and not have dessert, but they sounded delicious – and they were! Have to do some extra walking tomorrow when we head north of Perth to see the Pinnacles.