Perth and Freemantle

My third post on Perth, after my third visit, which demonstrated how far the city has come since I visited in 2010 and 2017. The waterfront is now home to the stylish Elizabeth Quay, while inland Yagan Square is a great use of former railway sidings. Despite a population approaching two million there still don’t appear to be many people in the CBD at the weekends, but it’s heading in the right direction in terms of development.

Elizabeth Quay was unrecognisable from my first visit. It was a shock to see the Swans Bells beside new apartments / hotels. I remember them seemingly being in the middle of middle of nowhere, on a patch of greenery by the waterfront. Now they’re at the heart of a development of quays and prime waterfront development.

Yagan Square was a building site last time I was here. Now it’s an enjoyably eclectic space with perfectly crafted water features, a viewing platform, and an unusual TV screen.

When I visited in 2017 I dedicated a whole blog to Perth Street Art. I didn’t find quite as much this time, but some wonderful examples can still be found if you venture down some of the back streets.

The Art Gallery Of Western Australia is always a pleasure to visit, with some wonderful local art, and more Stanley Spencer’s than you’d expect.

Saint Mary’s Cathedral is an odd combination of the old and the new, with half of the church finished in 1865 but shortage of funds meant that the other half wasn’t completed until 2009.

Despite persistent rain I cycled the 56km loop from CBD to Freemantle, mostly around the shores of the Swan River. For a very car oriented city, the Australian version of Los Angeles, Perth has a huge and well designed cycle network.

Freemantle is only half an hour away by train and has a completely different feel, a low rise town filled with heritage buildings, including the first major building, the Round House, which was of course a prison…

It is also home to some great museums, my favourite being the wonderful Shipwreck Museum.

The Maritime Museum Of Western Australia was also of some interest.

Particularly for the unexpected inclusion of the Kylie Minogue On Stage exhibition.

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