Elizabeth Quay & Kings Park

Today was my first day left entirely to my own devices, since Beth was at work. If you want to learn to enjoy your own company, a day in Perth City is the way to do it!

My day included getting off the train at the wrong stop, an amazing potato salad, some beautiful views and a hella long walk in the 35 degree heat. But, since a picture speaks a thousand words…

View of Elizabeth Quay Bridge

Look! Look at this! $10 for a delicious, healthy lunch!


Frangipani flowers – Spotting these beauties on the pavement made the long walk up to Kings Park much more bearable.

I spent the morning at the Quay, sitting in a little café by the Swan River, reading, writing and watching the world (and the boats) go by. After a mooch around the tourist shops, I decided to shun the suggestion of getting an Uber to Kings Park, and walked there instead. Even looked at an honest-to-God paper map! It was only a couple of KMs but in the 35 degree heat, it was a bit of a challenge for my little legs! Worth it though, as once I got there, I had a look at some of the features – including the War Memorials and the Dragon Tree (more on that here), before finding a patch of shade and settling down on the grass for a snooze.

Kings Park was honestly such a serene and beautiful place; I could’ve spent all day there. I also had a look around Aspects of Kings Park, a gallery and shop which showcases and sells contemporary Australian craft and design items. They focus on local artists, and display the names of those artists next to their work. I love this, as it’s so special to buy a souvenir or a gift, knowing that it was designed and made in the place you actually bought it and represents something about that place – the authenticity makes it mean so much more. I’ll definitely be going back there before I leave Perth!(https://www.aspectsofkingspark.com.au/)

Errands and Exploring

Thursday = my most productive day so far in WA. This may be something to do with the fact I was awake at 5am – damn you jet leg!

After trying and failing to fall back to sleep, I got up to make myself breakfast and sat reading on the balcony – pretty perfect way to start the day. By 9am, we were in the car on our way to Garden City to do some grocery shopping. In Cole’s, the main Australian supermarket, I managed to get a little smartphone for less than $30 (about £18) AND it already had $10 loaded onto the SIM card. So now I’ve got myself a little Australian phone to save myself all those international call/text charges!

Around 11, Beth dropped me off at the gym, and I tell you, it was the nicest gym I’ve ever set foot in! I managed to get a really good deal on a two week membership, for full use of the gym facilities – not that I need a sauna, it’s plenty hot enough outside!

The day was rounded off with a drive to North Fremantle, the oldest settlement in the Perth area. It’s named after Captain Fremantle, the English naval officer who colonised the area. Visiting and learning about places like Fremantle takes me back to the days of A Level Theatre Studies and Our Country’s Good! In fact, it was partly those days that made me want to come to Australia in the first place; I became fascinated by the cultural history of this place. I’m enjoying seeing it first hand.

On the high street in Fremantle
On the High Street in Fremantle

There was some fascinating architecture in Fremantle. Original 19th century heritage buildings remain there. Though, to me they looked bizarrely artificial – at points I felt like I was walking through a film set!

The sand track leading to Fremantle Beach

The 5am start finally got to me once we got home, and as impressed with myself as I was for staying awake all day (and not having a 4 hour nap like I did on Wednesday!), I went to bed, defeated, around 8pm. Though not before making and eating a damn good stir fry with Beth!

A successful day if you ask me ☺️

Four things that happened on my first day in Perth

  1. Gay couples can officially get married in Australia, as of today! I heard stories on the radio today of couples who got married last night after midnight so they didn’t have to wait a moment longer. Congratulations to them!
  2. Nico the Silverback Gorilla passed away 😦 Technically, this happened yesterday, but I didn’t find out until today, and when I did I was rather sad. Nico was the oldest Gorilla in Europe and thought to be second oldest in the world. He lived on the Island in the lake at Longleat and was a beautiful sight to behold on the trips I’ve taken to there during and since my childhood. He was such an icon – RIP Nico.
  3. Beth’s car broke down! The poor thing, which hadn’t been driven for 3 weeks, had a dead battery when we tried to set off to the shopping centre. Fortunately a set of jump leads and a friend’s car can get you a long way, so disaster was averted.
  4. I went for the windiest beach trip known to man and looked like some kind of sand monster by the time we left. It was gorgeously sunny and warm, but the easterly winds were blowing sand everywhere, meaning I only made it about an hour and a half before dusting off and calling it a day.
Photo credit: Beth Cusack

I have no clothes…

Day 1 of my Australian adventure and I think the locals have begun to notice that I’m wondering around in nothing but yesterday’s knickers…

Okay, so it’s not that bad, but at the time of writing I have nothing to wear but the clothes I wore on the 22 hour plane journey (and those need to see a washing machine before they see the light of day again).

I’ll add some context. The first leg of the flight was actually fairly pleasant – I got through two movies, 6 episodes of Brooklyn 99, a few chapters of my book and even managed to snooze on and off.

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur about 20 minutes behind schedule but thankfully our connecting flight was slightly delayed anyway.

Beth and I didn’t manage to get seats together this time and I ended up stuck between one guy on my right, who practically folded himself up so he was all knees and elbows sticking out everywhere, and another on my left who thought it a good idea to spread himself and his belongings as wide as possible. Now, I know I’m not huge, but I like my personal space.

Fast forward 6 hours and I’ve moved seats, had some grub, watched another film and we’re coming into land at Perth International Airport, 20 minutes early!

Since all had gone well up to this point, there was bound to be a snag at Perth airport. As we stood waiting for our checked luggage, we got increasingly nervous when the conveyor belt was on its third rotation and our bags were still MIA. Finally, the belt stopped and we were told that if our baggage wasn’t there, we were to file a report with the baggage services desk. This took us about another hour and we didn’t leave the airport until 3am local time!

In all the faff I’d almost forgotten where I was, until I stepped out of the terminal and into the warmth of the night. I was hit by this amazing smell, very sweet and very clean. It certainly didn’t smell like England! Suddenly the feeling of surreality set in and I became a bit overwhelmed… I am actually in Australia. For real. Fortunately this also came with a bizarre sense of calm, which I reckon bodes well for the rest of my time here..!

We’ve been told our bags should be delivered to where we’re staying on Wednesday, so keep your fingers crossed for me that I can have my clothes back and poor Beth can stop lending me hers!

Last bit of excitement before heading to bed; watching the sun rising over the Swan River.

T minus 4 days…

In 4 days, I’m embarking on the biggest adventure of my life so far and I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ll be away for nearly 3 months – the longest I’ve been away from home, from my family, my friends, my country.

I’ve been quietly planning this trip for almost 2 years, until one morning in September last year, I woke up and thought, ‘I’m going to book those flights today’. No word of a lie, it was exactly that spontaneous. Four months later, I’ve said my goodbyes to my lovely work friends, suspended my gym membership, loaded Australian Dollars onto a Travel Money card… and now I’m sat on the sofa watching The Breakfast Club! Hey, I can’t be proactive and efficient all the time!

I’m making a point of enjoying the last few days before I go and trying to appreciate every moment. I’m prone to overthinking and if I focus too hard on how much I’m going to miss people, then it’ll spoil the time I have with them before I’m off. So far, I’ve enjoyed a night in on the sofa with good friends, good food and maybe slightly too much Prosecco (New Year’s Day well spent if you ask me), plus Curry and Movie Night with the boyfriend.

Tuesday was shopping spree day! It was off to the outdoor stores (of which there are a disconcertingly large number in Smallsbury), to buy a rucksack and some goodies to go with it. Think first aid kit, nice little compact washbag, groovy travel towel and even a bright pink SheWee (thanks Mum)!

The rest of the week holds lunch with my big sister and her two gorgeous children, watching my little sister one last time in the Salisbury Pantomime (go and see Jack and The Beanstalk, it’s amazing!)… oh yeah, and I should probably pack at some point also!

I’m very much playing this whole blog thing, and in fact most elements of my trip, by ear. So, you’ll have to excuse me if it’s a little mish-mashy at times. I look forward to taking anyone who’s interested on this journey with me; the countdown starts now.