Friday, 29 January 2016

Grand opening of Perth's new playground

The most controversial of Perth's development - the $440 million Elizabeth Quay - was opened to the public today after 4 years of construction. 

The project is not totally complete as a few buildings with both residential and office space are still to be constructed in the next 5 to 7 years.

The area was developed out of the former Esplanade Park area, creating an inlet, new ferry terminal which will move from the nearby Barrack Street , a mini island and suspension bridge across the water, boat moorings....
About four million people are expected to visit this area every year and when all completed, about 10 thousand people will work there.
Just for the inauguration day today 25 thousand people were expected!

We managed an early evening visit, as the day was far too hot at 38C and we waited until sundown to leave home.

The area was packed with people wandering around and enjoying all the entertainment on offer, and the kids were having lots of fun at the water park. 

Kids having fun in the water park. The Swan bells Tower at the end

By the bridge a sculpture by Noongar artist Laurel Nannup - a 5 mt high bird with wings stretched on a boat, tells the story of how the Aboriginal people saw the arrival of the British colonists on the sailing ships.

Me in front of the Bird statue
The double arch over the bridge was packed with people awaiting the light and music show that would start at 8pm.
A bit of a disappointment...maybe because we were on the bridge quite far away from the music and water show, so couldn't see or hear much...

The launch events will run for 3 weeks, including laser and water shows projected from the water at 8pm until 10pm daily (every half an hour for 10 minutes).

You can see the thousands of people lining the bridge

The Swan bells Tower, and to the left are the balls from where the laser light show would later start
From those massive balls sprouted water for the water show (hardly visible from the bridge)
More rides for the kids
A view of the city and the artwork at the entry to Elizabeth Quay

Another massive sculpture - Spanda - by WA artist Chritian de Vietri, represents water ripples. The 20 metre high scultpure cost 1,3 million dollars, can you believe that?

Spanda (the illuminated building is the Perth city council)

The Florence Hummerston kiosk dating back to 1927, which was up the road was dismantled brick by brick and reassembled on the island at a cost of $11 million!! Compensation to the lease holders of the restaurant that operated there, plus costs of dismantling and rebuilding...  It will now reopen as a restaurant with a new operator.  This I think was a waste of money, 11 million!!! Crikey.

Florence Hummerston kiosk (still in the finishing stages)

After the visit we wanted to have dinner, but the entry to the pop-up restaurants in the area had huge queues and we opted to go further up to the city centre to find a restaurant.     The city proved to be a bit emptier, everybody must have been at the opening...

There will be restaurants in the area, but they will only open at the end of February.

We returned home at 10,30 pm and it was still 35C, luckily there was a bit of a breeze...

I'll leave you with a picture taken in September 2014 of Elizabeth Quay under construction.
What a difference, and in my opinion I was pleasantly surprised at how good it all looks!

Sept 2014

Elizabeth Quay
The future Elizabeth Quay - expected to look like this when all the buildings are constructed


  1. O que eu esperei que essa obra acabasse! E de facto está lindíssimo, a Esplanade ganhou nova vida:) Vale a pena voltar a Perth só para ver isso!

  2. Great shots of "Betty's Jetty". Have a good week-end.

    1. Thanks Angie. That was another point of contention - the name! It's named after Queen Elizabeth, a lot of Perthtites think it should have had a modern modern name.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this Sami. I hadn't even realised the opening night was upon us.(I live under a rock and rarely watch the news if I can help it!)
    It's certainly looking a lot better than it did a short while ago. I am inspired to make a trip into the city to have a look.

    1. I had to laugh Wendy, I didn't think anyone living in Perth wasn't aware of the grand opening. You should visit, maybe a painting of it somewhere down the track?

  4. Dearest Sami,
    What a tremendous job this has been and such a wise investment into the future. People with foresight one can say.
    Love the palm trees and the entire city view. You love in a great area and good climate too; no doubt.
    Wish we had warmer weather now, would be far better for my back... Still having my pain and I have to be careful due to my kidneys. Don't want to ruin them further.
    Hugs and happy weekend.

    1. Thanks Mariette. Yes, I suppose we are lucky with the great weather and short winters...
      Back pain is a "pain", I also suffer from back pain but have found a great physio who told me to do cycling (not walking, swimming, gym...)so I bought an exercise bike for the home and it's helped me a lot to strengthen my back.

  5. That is a mega project and very ambitious, it attracted at least a lot of people. But the costs are out of proportion.

    1. I agree, the costs are over the top, I do hope that with the sale of land for the office and residential buildings they can cover part of the costs at least...

  6. Love the water park and the free view on the Swan bells Tower - the bird is great, too - you look fab :-)
    Argh, light and music show ... a post from a Braunschweig maybe is to come. It was disappointing, too... and we were right in the middle!
    Wow ist that bridge packed! Awww, the carousel is beautiful!

    1,3 million dollars! At least you got something for it! ("We" put millions into the airport Berlin since years and it still is a huge fail). 11 million?! How???

    Well. I really am a bit curious to see it "soon" in reality...

    1. I also like it the way it is now, I hope the buildings won't spoil the views or make the area around it too crowded. The carousel is just for a few weeks to provide entertainment for the opening.
      I have to agree on the 11 million for that house. Just to compensate the owners of the Chinese restaurant that operated in that house previously they paid $4million!! Apparently they are fighting for more! I suppose paying all those people to dismantle it brick by brick and build it again brick by brick couldn't be cheap.

  7. Replies
    1. Yes, the politicians make the decisions, the tax payers pay for it!

  8. There were a lot of people at the opening. I heard there was controversy about the project but it looks super to me.

    1. Yes a lot of controversy mainly to do with the costs of the project. It does look great and I think it will be great for Perth's tourism and locals alike.


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