I drafted this third series of travelogue on 26th Jan, and coincidentally it was on the National Day of Australia. Anyway, here the journey continues. After I gained more self-reliant, felt comfortable and familiar with Perth surroundings, I decided to beat my curiosity and explore different parts of Western Australia (just so you know, WA is the largest state of Australia).
Before I came to WA, I had actually received an email for winning a prize in participation of the 2015 Digital Writer’s Festival. The postage from Brisbane was supposed to arrive at the hotel I stayed, but unfortunately it didn’t (the parcel must have gotten lost in between). Another unlucky circumstances for me was the event from Elizabeth Gilbert that I missed (yes, she was in Australia during the summer festival, launching her ‘The Signature of All Things’ book).
However, I still managed to attend the Perth Writers Festival and workshop that was organised as part of International Art Festival programs located at the University of Western Australia (the oldest university in the state). It has been ages since I last stepped into a lecture hall. UWA is a remarkably gorgeous university situated at the beautiful scenery of Swan River. I was amazed by the Romanesque-style architecture: the sandstone buildings, the arches and the classical halls. The landscape and parks were stunning — I was even surrounded by adorable black swans and peacocks. The panorama was a mixed of history and nature, and something not to be missed.
After the workshop ended, I strolled along the north bank of Swan River near Hackett Dr., just across the university. It was a delicate evening, seeing families having picnics and group of friends enjoying cool beers. I walked straight downsouth to Matilda Bay Restaurant to reward myself with special cuisines and views. My dining table was perfect — it was open air and facing several yachts at the bay. I saw a photographer taking pictures of the newly weds. There were many birds and swans, and the sun slowly sank beneath the horizon as I was enjoying my meal.
On other days, I extended my journey further by getting to know the railway lines. Perth Railway Station located at Wellington St. was my marking point of decision for next destinations. I navigated to several spots via Fremantle, Joondalup, Mandurah and Midland lines.
At Fremantle, I explored the city, jetty and port. There were few settlements, monuments, and well-preserved historical buildings dotted around. It’s advisable to be on foot when you are here to walk along many trails and discover all the hidden gems. I managed to walk about 5 km through art and culture trail and boat harbour trail. Many Fremantle markets sells souvenirs and vintage collectables, from clothing to jewellery and sculptures. I was searching for second-hand vinyl records, but was out of luck that the shop was closed.
I visited The Shipwreck Museum near Cliff St. at Fremantle. The maritime archaeology gallery housed many ancient relics, timbers and artifacts (it is a free-entry but I encourage you to make some donation for the museum). There were few separate galleries including Batavia that showcases the massive remains of Batavia ship and Dutch Wrecks displaying ancient coins, maps, cannons, potteries and many others.
I was later suggested by the locals (and other travellers) not to miss the Fremantle’s Fish and Chips because of their uniqueness, non-greasy and succulent taste from fresh fishes, so I had mine at the Sweet Lips Restaurant nearby. Yes, Fremantle was kind of popular with their fish and chips (also seafood platter) that you may noticed every restaurants offered almost the same menu. I was accompanied by many seagulls beside me so I had to feed them with my chips because they were always hungry (kind of a funny experience!).
Near the Market St. I was able to stop by at an irresistible dessert bar, named Chocolateria San Churro. Need I say more? The mouth-watering place is a heaven for a sweet tooth like me, which served plenty of desserts: churros with various types of dipping sauce to choose from, fondue, ice cream sundaes, chocolates, macaroons, truffles, milkshakes, smoothies, various types of coffee and many more (It’s a must-try, especially for chocolate lovers. You’ll get sugar comas!).
On the next episode, I will share the outdoor exploration and breathtaking sceneries of WA. I’m saving the best for last (I promise), so hold on tight!
Note: If you’ve missed previous episodes, you can read it here.
- There’s a nice and cozy bookstore, ‘Kaleido Books and Gifts’ near the top entrance of Perth Railway Station at CBD. A must-visit that I assure you’ll be spending at least an hour there – many wide selection of great books (including a section of wrapped ‘blind date with books’).
- Checkout all the events and agenda during the annual Perth International Art Festival before planning for places to go.
- You can use a single ticket for busses, trains and ferries via Transperth.
- Plenty of mini guides and leaflets of WA attractions can be found at the railway station (I got several of them from Fremantle station).
>> NEXT: Read Part FOUR of the travelogue series.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” – Bill Watterson
Currently Listening: Come Clarity – In Flames