A Travellerspoint blog

Perth and Fremantle

..and then it's au revoir Australia and hello South Africa!

sunny 27 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

In our travels we have come across frequent references to the traditional (Aboriginal) owners of the land and WA is no exception. The Perth area was and still is the home of the Nyoongar people who appear to have led a nomadic existence in the general area, extending well beyond the modern day bounds of Perth and its satellite cities.

European settlement started in the 1820s and before we continue with the blog, there is time for a few relevant place names - Perth, rather boringly, was named by Captain James Stirling in 1829 after Perth in Scotland, "in honour of the birthplace and parliamentary seat in the British House of Commons of Sir George Murray, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.", to quote Wikipedia. Fremantle evidently had a slightly lower status (sorry Darrell, if you're reading this!) as it was named after Captain Charles Fremantle who established a camp on the site in 1829 . Subiaco was settled in 1851 by Italian Benedictine monks who named the area after Subiaco in Italy, where Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the order, had commenced his work. The Swan River was named for the black swans which were seen there and are now the State emblem (not the Mighty Eagles - yet!)

Kalamunda is unusual in that the name was requested by settlers in the area (a whole 32 back in 1901) who chose a name cobbled together from two Aboriginal words, 'Cala' meaning fire, home, district, settlement and 'mun-da' meaning 'forest or bush'. The words and their meanings were gleaned from a book on Aboriginal language by Bishop Salvado (the founder of the mission at New Norcia which we visited last year).

In our last few weeks in Perth we caught up with friends as before but also played the tourist. We had never visited Fremantle Prison so that was first on our list. Judith had been there once back in 1998 when we helped stage the annual Australian Photographic Society Convention (APSCON) but had only seen a small part as she was acting as one of the hosts.

We managed to time our visit so that we could take two tours on offer. In the morning we toured the prison and heard many entertaining tales of several of the former inmates. This ran on into the afternoon tour so we ended up having a late lunch! All very worthwhile though as this tour took us back to the early days and explained how the prison came to be built in the 1850s (by convict labour, of course) and how they (the convicts) lived in the prison over the years. There were some very amusing stories and, in the some of the cells, some quite touching drawings or wall art created by prisoners. As a convict experience, this was very different from Port Arthur but no less fascinating, especially as the prison was still in use up until 1991.

The imposing Gatehouse to the prison

The imposing Gatehouse to the prison

Courtyard with cell block and chapel

Courtyard with cell block and chapel

Inside the cell block

Inside the cell block

The Chapel

The Chapel

aefb44b0-c966-11e8-85c1-d31aa3bcb6bf.jpgTwo examples of prisoners' art

Two examples of prisoners' art

Jet Set among the last convicts!

Jet Set among the last convicts!

In 2010 the prison became the first building in Western Australia to be included on the World Heritage List.

After the prison it was nice to walk around Freo and enjoy the lovely old buildings and to down beer at the Sail & Anchor before dropping in on South Perth as the sun went down

The Esplanade Hotel

The Esplanade Hotel

The Sail and Anchor

The Sail and Anchor


849f8930-c973-11e8-b996-472f0ed27b54.jpgA Cormorant entertained us as we walked along by the Swan at the Narrows Bridge

A Cormorant entertained us as we walked along by the Swan at the Narrows Bridge

Under the Narrows Bridge

Under the Narrows Bridge

Panoramic view of the city from beside the Narrows Bridge

Panoramic view of the city from beside the Narrows Bridge

Building works dwarf the lovely Bell Tower

Building works dwarf the lovely Bell Tower

8569b700-c973-11e8-b996-472f0ed27b54.jpgViews of the city as the sun went down

Views of the city as the sun went down

The old windmill beside the Narrows Bridge (ceased milling flour in 1859)

The old windmill beside the Narrows Bridge (ceased milling flour in 1859)

In the next few days we started our wining and dining farewells with Mac & Sue (Judith's former employers) and a dozen of my former work colleagues from my time at the Lotteries Commission (now Lotterywest),

Judith and Sue at the McCallum household

Judith and Sue at the McCallum household

20180407_P1150178.jpgTwo shots of us with my Lotteries friends

Two shots of us with my Lotteries friends

For a return to nature, we visited Herdsman Lake which is even better than it was when we lived here. Boardwalks have been added so that you can wander through the reeds and paperbarks. There was a good variety of birdlife and we were delighted to spot some tiny tree frogs. While we were taking photos, a woman walked by with her little boy. We pointed out the frogs to him and he was delighted - not sure if Mum was as we heard repeated calls to see the frogs again as we wandered on!

Herdsman probably gained its name from the early grazing of cattle in the area. I can find no certain reference but this seems reasonable, if a little unimaginative!

Australasian Swamphen

Australasian Swamphen

20180408_P1150198.jpgTwo views of a Slender Tree Frog

Two views of a Slender Tree Frog

Paperbarks in swamp

Paperbarks in swamp

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Ripply reed reflections

Ripply reed reflections

Great Egret and Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Great Egret and Yellow-billed Spoonbill

8feef940-c975-11e8-801b-ef0d41fc3113.jpg Great Egret weaving its way under branches and backlit by low sun

Great Egret weaving its way under branches and backlit by low sun

Australasian Grebe

Australasian Grebe

A day or so later, we had a nice trip up to Kalamunda, in the Hills, to have lunch with Yvette Wallis (a former work colleague of Judith's), followed by dinner with George & Ann Lewkowski (of Piano Gully wine note, if you read the last blog), in Applecross (named by a Scottish developer after a small fishing village in north-west Scotland). George and I worked at the Lotteries Commission but he moved on while I stayed. A few days later, we enjoyed a BBQ dinner in Subiaco with Denis & Pat Timms (Pat being another former work colleague of Judith's).

Judith and Yvette about to tuck in

Judith and Yvette about to tuck in

Denis tempting Judith - no contest!

Denis tempting Judith - no contest!

The two old friends together

The two old friends together

And a good meal with good chats

And a good meal with good chats

We made a return visit to King's Park to meet Tony & Stella Weldon, who have been so helpful in the planning of our trip. After leaving them, we enjoyed the raised Lotterywest Federation Walkway and the many banksias in bloom at the time

The Boab tree near the beginning of the LotteryWest Walkway

The Boab tree near the beginning of the LotteryWest Walkway

View over the old brewery basking in the sun

View over the old brewery basking in the sun

20180412_P1150226.jpgTwo views of part of the Walkway

Two views of part of the Walkway

c76a1d50-c97f-11e8-b9a1-01f703855af5.jpg20180412_P1150232.jpgc82b9890-c97f-11e8-9329-57034213fe39.jpgA small selection of the banksias in bloom

A small selection of the banksias in bloom

As well as the banksias, there were a few other flowering species as well as other interesting parts of King's Park. Once again we happened to be out as the sun went down giving the irresistible urge for yet more photography.

King's Park had originally been called The Perth Park but was renamed in 1901 on the accession of the new king, Edward VII. I prefer to use an apostrophe as this makes sense to me, although in general use it appears to be ignored. Call me pedantic!

bd394200-c990-11e8-983d-b70b229b9154.jpgbd383090-c990-11e8-a992-af983ec537d2.jpgbd73b2f0-c990-11e8-b3c2-7b3c254c0699.jpgThree flowering gums and one unidentified

Three flowering gums and one unidentified

The Pioneer Women's Fountain

The Pioneer Women's Fountain

The War Memorial

The War Memorial

Panoramic view from King's Park from the city across the Swan round to South Perth

Panoramic view from King's Park from the city across the Swan round to South Perth

bd466160-c990-11e8-8297-036c384fde28.jpgThe sun setting over the city and, just for fun, compare this to Perth as we saw it in 1980!

The sun setting over the city and, just for fun, compare this to Perth as we saw it in 1980!

The slow drive back for workers over the Narrows Bridge heading south

The slow drive back for workers over the Narrows Bridge heading south

In Bicton we caught up with another photography friend, Ruby Lane, and while in the area revisited Wireless Hill. No orchids at this time of year but plenty of interest.

Red Wattlebird

Red Wattlebird

Porcupine Banksia

Porcupine Banksia

Western Gerygone

Western Gerygone

Bee emerging from red-flowering gum

Bee emerging from red-flowering gum

A statuesque Grass Tree

A statuesque Grass Tree

The Nyoongar knew this hill as Yagan's Lookout but in 1912 one of Australia's first telecommunication stations was established here and it became know as Wireless Hill. This remained an operational site until it was decommissioned in 1967. The following year the land was vested in the City of Melville and the old Generator Room has been turned into a museum while the largest part of the site has been developed as a public park with a very good selection of native flora, orchids especially in season, with many excellent paths weaving through the site. Although it is much smaller, in my view it is better for native spring flora than King's Park.

We met up wit Pat Timms again for afternoon tea at Matilda Bay ( believed to have been named after Matilda, the wife of John Septimus Roe, the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia). In the evening we had a lovely dinner and farewell at Hillarys Marina with Len Stewart, Mark Greenland and his wife, Lou, and Margrit Wendt (all photography friends.

Hillarys (marina and suburb) gained its name from Bertram John Hillary, a survivor of World War I (although blinded in one eye at Gallipoli), who fished for a living with his brother during the Great Depression and built a boatshed on the beach in 1930.

Yachts racing on Matilda Bay

Yachts racing on Matilda Bay

Pat and Judith at Matilda Bay restaurant

Pat and Judith at Matilda Bay restaurant

At Mia Cuccina, Mark, Judith, Len, Margrit and Steve

At Mia Cuccina, Mark, Judith, Len, Margrit and Steve

In our last two days we were invited to a lovely McCullum birthday lunch hosted by Mac & Sue's daughter Fiona and enjoyed a last catch up with Keith & Kathy (Kathy being a former Lotteries friend who has done so much to ensure that I could catch up with as many of my old workmates as possible.)

Sue giving Mac his birthday present

Sue giving Mac his birthday present

Mac with Kirsty and Fiona

Mac with Kirsty and Fiona

The McCallum clan with two Deacon interlopers

The McCallum clan with two Deacon interlopers

This has been a wonderful trip and we are looking forward to returning next year to complete the lap. For now though this is au revoir Australia as we head off to South Africa and then back to sleepy Suffolk.

Gladys telling us we have only 15km more to the airport

Gladys telling us we have only 15km more to the airport

Posted by SteveJD 14:56 Archived in Australia Tagged birds australia friends perth wildflowers fremantle

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