Friday 31 March 2017

Cottesloe Beach sculptures & Hillary's Harbour

It was that time of the year again - The Sculptures by the Sea exhibition - that is showcased at the Cottesloe beach every March. This year it ran from the 3rd to the 20th March.
With 77 sculptures on show it was difficult to choose a favourite, and there were many that I liked. Being Sunday, my husband joined the three of us for the ride (me, his brother and sister in law visiting from South Africa). 

Through the sculpture in the middle you can see the Indiana restaurant and the beach

The glass ball (on left) by Lucy Humphrey- Horizon - won Kids' choice and People's choice award

A couple of hot hours under the scorching sun walking around the sand looking at the sculptures, and we were ready for a refreshment at the very charming Indiana restaurant at the Cottesloe beach.

Inside the Indiana restaurant 

Refreshments over and we got back on the road, driving around the coast road until we reached Hillary's harbour about 25km north, just in time to watch the sun setting over the sea. I love sunsets!!
We first walked around the marina looking at the fabulous boats, then the shopping centre and it was then time for dinner at one of the restaurants in the complex. Coffees and ice-creams rounded off the meal.
A fabulous and enjoyable day was had by all!

Hillary's harbour - the marina, Breakwater restaurant complex, the kids beach, sign with distances to various cities and sunset over the sea.
                                                                                                                      5th March 2017

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Visiting Mandurah and the Perth Hills with the family


After watching my 4 month old grandson's swimming lesson, we had lunch at a Portuguese cafe nearby (Portuguese Delights) and then I drove my brother in law and sister in law to Mandurah about 70km south of Perth.

Mandurah used to be a sleepy fishing village but in the last 10 years or so there's been a lot of development and a quite a few people, specially retirees are moving there.

Man made canals were built and in the centre of the town there are shops, restaurants and apartment blocks around the canals known as "Little Venice".
On the outskirts of Mandurah, big mansions with private jetties for their boats have been built facing the canals.  The visiting family were left open mouthed at the size of the mansions and fancy boats!!

Mandurah's Little Venice - Dolphin Quay shopping centre, apartments by the canals
Top: Fancy houses and boats by the canals.  Bottom: metal boat statue, War memorial, more fancy houses
                                                       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kalamunda/Lesmurdie Falls, Mundaring weir

The following day we drove to the Perth hills (part of the Darling scarp), about half an hour east of my house, or 40 min from Perth city. 
The area is home to beautiful National parks and forests, lots of cycle and walking trails,  art studios and galleries, craft shops and other interesting shops and lots of farmers sell their local organic produce, all very old-world here.

Starting at the village of Kalamunda we stopped to browse around some shops and popped into the local library to see an awesome 25mt wide stained glass window, the largest in the Southern hemisphere!
It was crafted by the Kalamunda Stained Glassgroup in 1987-1988 featuring the hills landscape and green/grey foliage of the area.
The library staff were very kind and even told us to climb the stairs to the first floor to get better photos.

25mt wide Stained glass window at the Kalamunda Public Library

After a quick lunch we drove to Lesmurdie Falls located withing the Lesmurdie Falls National Park. At the entrance just off the car park there are signs indicating walking trails and with information about the Darling scarp and the National park.
We chose the shortest walking trail to the waterfalls and could hear the water right from the start.
There wasn't that much water at this time of the year though, I assume the best time would be in winter when there's more rain.

The views were spectacular and it was a pity the day was overcast, but we could still make out Perth's silhouette in the distance.

Lesmurdie Water Falls
Viewing platforms and views of Perth in the distance, flowers and gum nuts

Next stop was the Mundaring Weir (dam) in the village of Mundaring.
Construction of the weir or dam was started in the late 1890's and completed in 1903.
It was designed by Irish Australian engineer C.Y. O'Connor with the view of transporting water to the goldfields of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie in the east of Western Australia - the Golden Pipeline, which is the longest freshwater pipeline in the world.
The lake created by the dam is known as Lake C.Y.O'Connor.

The old Pumping station Number 1 is now the C.Y.O'Connor Museum, where you can see details of the farming, logging and railway history of the area.
The Bibbulmun walking trail commences in Kalamunda, crossing the weir wall and then northern side of the lake, and on to Albany in the south (963km long trail). (see photo of myself and sister in law).

Mundaring Weir/Dam, motors used as art, and Pumping station house
Me and my sister in law crossing the weir wall over the lake (part of the Bibbulman track)

Back to Kalamunda's neighbouring suburb -Gooseberry Hill where we enter the Zig Zag Scenic Drive (from Lascelles Parade). As the name indicates, Zig Zag Drive is a narrow and windy, one-way only downhill road 2,9km long.

The panoramic views across to Perth are amazing and there are places where you can stop to take photos. Unfortunately as with the Lesmurdie Falls, the visibility wasn't good.

The road was originally a section of the railway line built to transport timber from the hills to the commercial centre of Midland down below. The line required switching points or zig zags to shunt trains up and down the steep hills of the Darling scarp. The timber industry eventually dwindled and the train rails were removed in 1952.

Top: Perth Views with overcast sky. Bottom: houses scattered over the hills

And because it was my birthday (2nd March), it was time to drive back home and get ready for dinner at Lago di Como, an Italian restaurant in the suburb of Como, that my husband had booked for the 4 of us.

And what about this sunset for my birthday?  As we were parking the car I could see the sun setting over the Swan river near the restaurant, and my sister in law and I climbed the bridge over the freeway to capture the magic.
Sunset over Swan river, Como Jetty, my husband and I at dinner

                                                                                                   1st & 2nd March 2017

Monday 27 March 2017

Monday Mural - Futuristic

This is another mural painted at Curtin University for Public Form 2016 , by Perth surrealist artist Liam Dee, on a wall in Building 213.
I don't really understand much of it - could it be a plane on the right side?

For other murals from around the world please click on this link.

Friday 24 March 2017

Visiting the wildlife park again

My sister in law's only request of her visit to Australia was that she wanted to see kangaroos and koalas!!
Easy wish to fulfill with a visit to Caversham wildlife Park. I had just been there in January when I took the family that visited at Christmas time, but it's always exciting to visit this wonderful park and it's well cared for animals.

Caversham Wildlife Park
Feeding the pelican, sheering sheep, feeding baby sheep, rainbow lorikeet and touching the wombat

top: Koala fun, kangaroos resting in the shade
bottom: At the koala enclosure, bird eating, betong sleeping

Swan Valley

When we left the park I drove to the Swan Valley area nearby.
The Swan Valley is the closest wine region to Perth (just 30min away) and also home to breweries, fine restaurants, gourmet products like chocolates and nougat, sweet and savoury sauces, olive oils and vinegars and organic products.

We first visited "Providore" where we tasted and then bought chutneys, then tasted chocolates and bought ice-cream at the Chocolate factory just across. 
A few kilometres down the road we stopped at the "Cheese Barrel" for some cheese tasting.
Sadly most of the places were closing for the day and we didn't get a chance to go to a winery at all.
But we had a fun day and were ready for our 40 minute drive home.

Chocolate factory, The Providore, The Cheese Barrel, cheese fun board, rows of vines, wines for tasting at the Cheese barrel

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday with the Monday Mural.
                                                                                                                         28 Feb 2017

Links to other posts about Caversham wildlife park and the Swan Valley:

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Visiting Parks around Perth with the family

Back to the city this time by car, and on this day we started by stopping at the Crawley boatshed on the Swan river, on Mounts Bay Road before making our way to the wonderful Kings Park and Botanic Gardens.

The Boatshed, also known as the Blue Boat house, is a huge hit with photographers specially at sunset. The nearby Eliza statue in the Swan River is also another fun addition to this route and she gets frequently dressed up to suit various occasions and celebrations.
The last time I photographed Eliza she was wearing the Portuguese colours in celebration of Portugal's win at the European Soccer Championships in July 2016.

The Crawley Boatshed

The Boat shed, my sister in law and brother in law and me in front of the boatshed,  Eliza statue in the Swan River and a pelican

Kings Park and Botanic Gardens

I've often mentioned Kings Park in my posts, and luckily our visiting family loved it too and thought it was an amazing park! 
It's one of the largest inner city parks in the world, with 400 hectares, two thirds of it being protected bushland that provides a haven for native plants, animals and micro organisms.

Kings Park - views in Kings Park and view of the city from Kings Park. Notice the Kookaburra (bird) on bottom right photo

Another view of Perth and other views of the park - the glass bridge, the Firemen memorial, DNA tower and park foliage and flowers
Other views of the city from Kings Park and views in Kings Park

Queens Park

From Kings Park to Queens Park in the east end of Perth - a much smaller park with a nice lake with water lilies, black swans and ducks, a rose garden, and a bench used by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in the romantic film "Notting Hill". At one of the entries there is a statue of Peter Pan.

Peter Pan statue, the bench from Notting Hill, lake with black swans, roses

You can read the story of the bench here:

Victoria Gardens & East Perth

Just north of Queens Gardens are the Victoria Gardens, another popular family park with picnic tables, benches and barbecues next to the beautiful suburb of East Perth.
Formally an industrial area, in the early 1990's the East Perth area was developed and is now a modern and pretty residential suburb with lots of apartment buildings.

Here you can find lots of coffee shops and restaurants around Claisebrook Cove, and we ended our day with a refreshment in one of the Cafe's, under the canopy of a umbrella with water jets to cool us down on that hot and humid day.
Claise Brook is a small water stream that runs into the Swan river.

Victoria Gardens and the suburb of East Perth on Claisebrook cove
A wonderful youtube video about Kings Park:

I hope you enjoyed visiting some of the beautiful Perth parks. Which was your favourite?

Some of my other posts about the statue of Eliza:

Some of my other posts about Kings Park:

                                                                                                                                        27 Feb 2017

Monday 20 March 2017

Monday Mural - University fun

I spotted these funny murals at the Student Centre building at Curtin University on a recent visit there.
I don't remember seeing them last April when a lot of murals were being painted at the University by some famous artists for Public 2016, but these were also painted in 2016.

Thanks to Grace, she's solved the puzzle of who painted them -  a Perth cartoon artist by the name of Nathan Richards!
For other murals from around the world please check this link.

Friday 17 March 2017

Visiting The city and Fremantle with the family

The visit to Elizabeth Quay in the city was quite a success, with my family loving the wide spaces, the children's park, the art and the eateries.
We rode the train into the city and walked around the quay, had an ice-cream, as the day was hot and humid. Later on we went to Forrest place a few blocks up, to eat at the Friday food markets. We waited for my husband to join us from work, ordered and then sat down with our food.
Later in the evening we got into my husband's car and drove to Northbridge, the suburb just north of the city centre known for it's night life and also the centre of the Chinese quarter.

Just before returning home we drove by South Perth shorefront to have a look at the Perth's night skyline and were surprised with a 15 minutes fireworks show!

Elizabeth Quay - my sister in law and I (in green top), Perth city views, art, modern bridge, gondola and  the brick Florence Hummerston house that was dismantled and relocated to this area.
Top: Northbridge Chinese Quarter, larger photos are the Friday food markets, and small photos at bottom are Northbridge.
City skyline and fireworks show seen from South Perth's foreshore

Two days later we took our visitors to Fremantle for the day. Fremantle is our harbour city, located about 23km from the city centre.
The Fremantle market on Market Street was the first stop - the markets are open from Friday to Sunday, and here you can find anything from art, crafts, Australian souvenirs, organic products, fruit and vegetables and a lot of eateries. It's always a busy and interesting place with lots to see!

Walking towards the harbour I showed them Kakulas's sister, a very interesting old fashioned shop where you can buy your flours, beans, etc by weight. Plus they also sell a huge variety of foreign products - sausages, cheeses, olive oil, etc. So if you need anything remotely exotic for your cooking I'm sure you can find it here!

Top: Fremantle market building, fruit & vegetable stalls, healthy drinks for sale.
Bottom: Kakulas's Sisters old fashioned shop

At Bather's Beach the annual Bather's Beach Sculptures were on show (25 Feb to 12 March) with around 80 sculptures scattered through the beach.

Bather's Beach Sculptures in Fremantle
Around the corner, at the Cargo and ships harbour we came across 2 war ships, one from Spain and one from Adelaide (South Australia) that were going to go to the high seas for "war games" and we chatted with a couple of the Spanish sailors (we spoke to them in Portuguese as their English wasn't too good) and to a female Australian sailor who said she loved what she did.
It was then time for a drink and snacks at one of the Fishing harbour restaurants and a visit to the Little Creatures Brewery.

I hope you enjoyed the visit to Elizabeth Quay and Fremantle. 
Have a great weekend :)

Top: Restaurants at the Fishing harbour , Fisherman statue, my husband and brother in law hug a statue, the war ships.

Bottom: Maritime Museum, statue of The immigrant children, Little Creatures Brewery.

24 & 26 February 2017

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Family visit to the Casino

We've had family staying with us for the last 3 weeks, and I took time off from work and part-time leave from the blog to keep them company and to show them around our beautiful city, but I'm back with news of what I've been up to.

The day my brother in law and sister in law arrived from South Africa, I picked them up from the airport and drove them to my husband's work place so we could have lunch together.
After lunch, I took E and I to the Perth Crown Casino and the gardens around the Casino while my husband returned to his workplace nearby.
It had been quite a while since I had visited these gardens and I enjoyed revisiting the beautiful statues, the lake and we all loved the cheeky birds.

Top: Mirror inside the Casino, modern steel statue, inside the Casino with view of hotel balconies.
Bottom: Inside the casino, Casino entry,  new 6 star hotel to the left and Casino/Hotel to the right

Statues at park surrounding the Casino

Top: Birds in the park and on trees

Bottom: Modern statue, lake with Swan statues and Jack Daniels statue outside "The Merrywell" pub

                                                                                22 Feb 2017

Monday 13 March 2017

Monday Mural - Fremantle Prison Bus stop

This cute bus stop in front of Fremantle Prison caught my eye when I drove by recently.
The prison is now a World Heritage site, and only used as a cultural attraction, .

Depicting a prisoner, rioters inside the prison and someone sleeping on what must have been a prison bed/hammock.

For other murals from around the world please click this link.

And since Jackie asked and for those interested in finding out who the man in the mural is - O'Reilly - here is a Wikipedia link -'Reilly

Monday 6 March 2017

Monday Mural - Green

Another mural from Public Form 2016, in April 2016, painted by Italian born artist Tellas at the Curtin University Campus.
I got there when the artist was just starting his masterpiece and then visited the site a few days after when it was half-way and then again when completed.

For other murals from around the world please click on this link.