Who doesn’t love the non-stop excitement and hustle and bustle of a big capital city!.. well us actually! Totally freaks us out to the max, times infinity… plus a billion!! But it’s not everyday that we are in Western Australia or easily have the option to catch a train into the great city that is Perth; so we pushed ourselves to step outside our comfort zone (as we do) and had an amazing time to show for it!
We had just had a beautiful haven of a small free camp at Moore River just North of Perth, offering stunning scenery at the fresh water creek along with the opportunity to swim, fish and picnic in bushland surroundings and felt relaxed and ready to tackle the big smoke. A lovely farmer in the area offered us the opportunity to unhitch our van and make our way to the train station with relative ease.
Frankly, just the train ride into Perth was an exciting experience for these country bumpkins and watching the kids faces go from wide-eyed wander to absolute astonishment as a million business people crowded into the carriages was entertainment enough for the Roaming Rowe Parents!
We made our way out of the crowds at Perth Central Station into the fresh air again absolutely bubbling over with excitement of what our day would bring! First step Perth’s Art Gallery… oh hang on, closed on Tuesday’s!!! That was a bit of an oversight!! Here’s a tip for new players though, if you get caught short and have to use the toilet diagonally across from the Art Gallery you will won’t disappointed and you will have a mini art experience right there. Don’t have any pictures because let’s face it taking a camera into the toilet is never a good play.
Almost on cue it began to briefly shower with light rain. Nothing keeps a good nerd down though and if you can’t go to an Art Gallery, where else do you go but the State Library! What a gift it was, we enjoyed a great Lynley Dodd (Hairy Mclary) display and the kids enjoyed a story wheel and a book or two upstairs.
We bundled ourselves off to the Western Australia Museum after that; (all of these buildings are located conveniently within walking distance of Perth Central Station. The Museum offers a great outdoor music area upon entering and further allows parents a chance to simply sit and enjoy their children laughing and producing musical genius.
The Museum itself is divided into many sections, almost all of which are free. Our favourite display here was the mammal section which offered terrific insights an actual size, similarities and differences on a variety of mammals through a lifelike display of taxi-dermied mammals. It also had some great displays of toys, weapons, cameras etc.. throughout history; marine environments, dinosaurs, fossils and aboriginal culture. It was fun fantastic and free! Well worth a good solid look.
From here we jumped on one of the many Free CAT (Central Area Transit) bus’s and travelled across town to Sci-tech! We loved these buses by the way, they are conveniently colour-coded and stop all over the Perth CBD. If you wish to familiarise yourself with this system visit the Transperth site, we didn’t though we just winged it. Such an efficient system with virtually no wait time, they certainly saved all our little legs not to mention time.
We don’t always like to spend much money on activities, when there is so much to do for free – but Sci-Tech is something we had been pretty excited about for weeks leading up to Perth. Sci-Tech is the home of the biggest Planetarium in all of Australasia and is amazing beyond words! They were showing two different 45 minute shows, one of the history of aviation and one on asteroids (which is the one we saw) – both would be amazing. We walked away with a wealth of knowledge and the sense of simply having an awesome experience!!
But Sci-tech didn’t end there, oh no siree, it is also a pretty cool science museum that is designed to be hands on for kids! So after 2 hours more we dragged ourselves out having done every activity we could – there is an amazing astronaut display; a sophisticated working robot; an inventions area; a magnetic, wind, light sound and electricity hands on section; an enclosed ‘open’ beehive and so, so, so much more! Worth every cent – it was amazing!
We finished our day in Perth by catching a CAT bus over to King’s Park in the Botanic Gardens. This afforded us some breathtaking views from various lookouts that allow you to take in all the beauty that is Perth. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea picnic under some of the shady trees before quite unexpectedly getting our Art Gallery fix located just under one of the lookouts! It was the Aboriginal Art Gallery and it was run by a very friendly, kind and warm Jo.
This little gallery showcased some beautiful indigenous art and was a great way to finish our Perth experience. From here we jumped back on a bus, then back on a train (much quieter and less crowded this time) and found our way back to the ‘General lil Red Rover’. She kindly drove us back to ‘Big Van’ and needless to say, we slept very well that night! Ready for the next adventure though, as always!