A Travellerspoint blog

April 2015

Sydney Harbour Bridge - NSW

semi-overcast 22 °C

In 1922 after many years of debate, legislation authorised the construction of a bridge across Sydney Harbour.
A steel suspension bridge, though attractive, would not have offered the necessary load-bearing capacity. A cantilever bridge, though economically and technically viable, was less visually imposing than a steel arch. The winning design reflected the influence of New York's strong and handsome Hell Gate Bridge.
Building work commenced in 1924 and on 19th Aug. 1930 the half arch from the north shore finally met the half arch from the south shore. The work was completed over the following two years and the bridge was officially opened on 19th March 1932.
The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge involved the use of 52,800 tonnes of steel. steel expands as it warms up and contracts as it cools. To allow for the fact that the top of the arch actually rises and falls about 180mm due to temperature changes, hinges were incorporated into the design. These hinges or bearings support the full weight of the bridge. To stop the two side of the bridge collapsing during construction, steel cables were used to hold back the two halves, firmly anchored in 36 meter long horse-shoe shaped tunnels dug into the sandstone bedrock on both sides of the harbour. Each of the 128 cables weighed 8.5tonnes and was made up of 217 individual wires.
By 7th August 1930, the two half arches were finished., A gap of only one metre separated the two sides. The order was given to start slackening the tie-back cables, so that the two halves would line up and join together perfectly.
Below is a model of the centre pin that was used to fastened the two halves together. The pilot pin is about 2.5cm square, in section and about 215cm long.

The first challenge to investigate the bridge, was to find the staircase up!
Somewhere up this road is a small hole in the wall to Argyle stairs.
This led to the Bridge steps.
We started to walk across the bridge and at the first Pylon, went up!

The Pylon Lookout offers spectacular views of the bridge, the harbour and the city.

It's also about £100 cheaper than the bridge climb! You can see some crazy fools climbing the bridge here

The pylon staircase was built during the construction from 1924-1932.
Rivets were heated to white hot state in small furnaces located across the bridge, thrown to a catcher who passed them to a riveter who placed then and fixed them in position. Steel plates were transferred from barge to bridge by crane, often with a 'dogman' travelling with the load and then returning for the next 'delivery'. 'Tin Hares' manoeuvred each steel piece into position, fastening nuts and bolts and adjusting angles before riveting took place. Plates were bolted into position as a temporary measure until being riveted together.
There was little in the way of safety equipment - no hard hats, safety line, protective boots or special clothing.
You had to hang on by your eyelashes Tom Tomrop
There were six million rivets used in the bridge and in order to locate the holes an indent was made in the steelwork by hand with a punch - 'marking off'.

- On a hot day the steel expands and the bridge can grow up to 180mm
- It took 7 years and 356 days to build
- he arch span is 503m
- The bridge is 49m wide
- The pylons are 89m above sea level
- Approximately 6 million rivets were used to make the bridge. In the 1920's welding was too unreliable and nuts and bolts were quite expensive
- Constant inspections of the steel work are made and painting is carried out on a 'as required' basis - the bridge is not painted from one side to the other as is often assumed
- 272,000 litres of paint were required to give the bridge it's initial three coats
- An area of 485,000 square meters has to be painted
- The arch is 134m above sea level
- The bridge is 1,149m long including approach spans
- It is the third longest steel arch bridge in the world, but is considered the greates because of combination of span and load bearing capacity
- Originally there were six vehicle lanes, two train lines, two tram lines, a footway and a cycle way on the bridge. Now there are seven vehicle lllanes, one bus lane, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway.
- It cost 10,057,170 pounds, 7 shillings and 9 pence to build
- In 2000 161,000 vehicles crossed the bridge each day.
- A whole lot of cats used to live in the a roof-top cattery here! They were owned by Yvonne Rentoul who managed the 'All Australian Exhibition' between 1948 and 1971.

Views looking west

Views looking east

View of the iconic Sydney Opera house

It 'appened this way: I 'ad jist come down,
after long years, to look at Sydney town.
An' 'struth! Was I knocked endways?
Fair su'prised?
I never dreamed! That arch that cut the skies!
The Bridge! I never thort there could 'a' been -
I never knoo, nor guest I never seen...
Well, Sydney's 'ad some knocks since I been gone
But strike! This shows she keeps on keepin' on.

from 'I dips me lid' by C.J.Dennis


Posted by charlystyles 15:10 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_harbour_bridge Comments (0)

Sydney Opera House - NSW

semi-overcast 22 °C

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney.
Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973 after Utzon's won an international design competition in 1957.
The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.
The project was estimated to take 3 years to build and cost $7million. It actually took 16 years and $102million!

Inside you notice it is like a building inside the shell

The lift was a little unusual as it had no ceiling - great for those action films where they feel the need to climb up into the lift shaft!

Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world — hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. The venues produce and present a wide range of in-house productions and accommodate numerous performing arts companies, including four key resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than seven million people visit the site each year, with 300,000 people participating annually in a guided tour of the facility.

Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. The Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

The tour led us through the internal workings of the Opera House
to the Concert Hall
which can seat up to 2,675 people. The Theatre is made from white birch ply and brush wood and designed to deaden any sound in 2 seconds for perfect acoustics. The circular acrylic orbs hanging form the ceiling are all to help with the acoustics.
The organ is the biggest in the world with 1,500 pipes up to 8m deep. It took 10 years to build and 2 years to tune.

The front bar has spectacular views across the harbour to the bridge

The tour then took us through the central corridor
into the Opera Theatre, which is in the second of the two 'shells' of the Opera House.
There are 20 technicians on hand for each performance, plus the staff provided by the presenting company.
The Orchester pit can seat up to 50 musicians.
The theatre can seat up to 1,500 people and present Ballet twice a year at Christmas and Easter and Opera throughout the res tof the year.
One thing I thought was lovely at the bar
is the chance to buy some signed ballet shoes from previous productions
The roof of the Opera house is made up of 1million and 56 ceramic tiles from Sweden!

Views of the Opra House with the CBD

Posted by charlystyles 13:11 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney_opera_house Comments (0)

Life with Dogs (and other animals) - WA

I've always wanted a dog. But if there's one thing I've learnt from dog sitting two working dogs for the last month, is the amount of time and commitment they require. As loving and obedient Badger and Karma are, I think I'll stick to the plan of being a mad cat lady in my old age!
These are two lucky dogs, with 17 acres of property to roam in and national parks on their dorrstep
However, it was great every morning to have an excuse to go walking in the nearby National Park (Beelu).
The dogs were nearly always obedient, only ignoring me when there was a kangaroo worth chasing! But how can you be cross with a face like this...
and even if I didn't know my way, I could rely on them to take me for a walk! Even showing me the dead-end to a beautiful view

Another place we investigated was Fred Jacoby Park. We'd be out come rain or sine!
The property was purchased by Fred and his brother Mathieson in 1896, one of the first settlers in the Perth Hills.
The land was cleared and a cottage and vineyard built.
The oak tree was planted in 1886 along with an orchard and ornamental trees.
In 1965 Fred's daughter Elfreda Devenish donated the property to the people of western Australia and the forests Department transformed it into Fred Jacoby Park, part of the Beelu National Park.

The dogs went everywhere with me and how exciting it must have been to smell a million new smells along the way

However, one of the highlights for both the dogs and myself, was the trips to the dog beach at Hilary's

The dogs have a fortnightly wash, which puts the fear of dread in them -= but it's all fine when they get a treat at the end! and they smell divine!

I'm going to miss waking up, pinned down, to sloppy morning kisses!

Life wasn't just about the dogs, Arthur Is a beautiful Russian Blue cat,
who is so loving and affectionate, followed me on my rounds to feed the animals, and snuggled down under the duvet cover at night, like a slithering snake!
However, he is a cat, and showed off by catching his first mouse the week I arrived!
I rescued it and put it back in the hay where they live.

The morning and evening rounds including feeding and cleaning out the chickens, including Fred the cockerel

feeding and checking the paddock where Rosie and James lived. Rosie is a very well love cow
and James is a very timid Alpaca
with the use of the Quad to clear up the paddocks.
and then there's the fish in the pond and feeding the birds - flamin' Galah's!

and so, on the last day, Yvonne and I took some time out to enjoy Mandoon Vineyard as the sun set

Posted by charlystyles 13:36 Archived in Australia Tagged dogs Comments (0)

Rottnest Island - WA

sunny 26 °C

Less than 12 miles off the coast from Fremantle lise the idyllic island of Rottnest. Settled by Europeans in 1831, it was used as an Aboriginal prison between 1838 and 1902. In 1917, in recognition of its scenic beauty and rich bird life, the island became a protected area and today it is a popular tourist destination. Rottnest's coastline comprises beaches, coves, reefs salt lakes and several visible shipwrecks.
Private cars are not allowed on the island, the only way to get around is by bike, bus or on foot.
We decided to hire bikes, and snorkelling gear and go explore!


As we left Barrack St Jetty, we had some great view back to Perth.

Barrack St Jetty area is under going major $20million renovation
you can see the ambitious plans here.

On the way over to Rottnest, we had the pleasure of seeing some local dolphins playing in the waves of the ferry.
There's a video online here:

Passing Fremantle we saw a Tuscan style villa
and the most expesnvie 'house' ever sold in Australia

and sailed right through the main harbour, Fremantle Harbour is Western Australia's largest and busiest general cargo port
and on past the Maritime Museum, which reminded me of my next destination - Sydney!

Rottnest Island played a key role in Australia's coastal defence. In 1933 Rottnest Island was identified as being critical to the defence of metropolitan Perth as guns on the island could engage hostile ships before they were in range of the port of Fremantle.

The Army Jetty once known as the Excusionists Jetty wa originally built in 1907. In the early 1900's it was the main point of entry to Rottnest Island.
During this time a tram way connected the jetty to the Settlement.

Kingston Barracks complex was built during the late 1930's to accommodate Royal Australian Artillery and Royal Australian Engineer personnel stationed on Rottnest Island as part of the coastal defences.

Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) are engineers within the armed services. Known as ‘Sappers’ they are fighting soldiers in their own right.
These administrative offices were purpose built for the RAE in 1938 and were occupied by the Corps throughout WWII.
Construction during this era was to a very high standard and no expense was spared with beautifully constructed built-in jarrah furniture throughout. To combat the Rottnest Island salt-laden air, copper guttering and downpipes were fitted to all buildings in the complex. Ornamental features were also incorporated in the construction. The weathervane on this roof for example, resembles an engine. The engineers were responsible for major engineering projects on the island, including the construction of tunnels, the installation of gun emplacements and the supply of power and portable water.

Originally built for the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) as administration offics, this building was constructed in 1938.
During the height of the World War II the artillery soldiers known as 'gunners' played a vital role in the protection of the state and country, manning the 9.2 inch guns at the Oliver Hill Battery and the 6 inch guns at Cickley Battery protecting Rottnest Island tand the port of Fremantle from attack.
Accomodation Block = If the Coastal Defence Batteries needed to bolster the garrison these Barracks could accommodate up to 150 personnel. The verandahs which wrap around the Barracks could be transformd into makeshift sleepouts with jarrah partitioning.

Bickley Battery remnants of WWII, when two 6 inch gun protected the south passage to Fremantle from enemy ships.
Between 1941 and 1944 the guns were manned 24 hours a day and military personnel from all three services, the Army, Navy and Airforce, were stationed on the island.
The Plotting Room - information on enemy targets collected from the Observatry POsts, were translmitted to this Plotting Room. Target position was then p[lotted on a large horizontal mechanical table. Bearing and range were then transmitted to the 6 inch gund at Gickley Battery in order to effectivelt engage enemy ships.

Signal Ridge Wadjemuo Hill was chosen in the mid 1800's as the site of the first Lighthouse because it is the highest point on the island some 50m above sea level. From Signal Ridge, the 9.2 inch guns located at Oliver hill are visible to the south east.
Construction of the lighthouse beganin 1842. It was built with Rottnest Island limestone from Navy Cove by Aboriginal prisoners. It is recognised as the first stone lighthouse contructed and lit in Western Australia.
However, despite this 7 more ships were wrecjed on the reefs around Rottenst between 1878 and 1891. It was decided to built a new lighthouse twice as high and with a more powerful lamp.
The light was initially fuelled by heavy mineral oil, but a new mercury float type of pedestal and clockwork revolving mechanism were fitted in 1929.
It's a pretty small motor for such a big mechanism
the light was later electricfid in 1936.
Howebver, the bulb remains relatively large compared with moden bulbs in use in lighthouses!
It still maintains it original, rotating lens
and only became fully automatic in 1990.
Although, I wouldn't want to test the earth cable in a lightening storm...
We had a great tour to the top
where we could appreciate some amazing views, back to Salmon Bay
and across to the Salt Lakes and the road we wrre about to cycle down

Oliver Hill consists of tunnel structures supporting two 9.2 inch guns and railway lines.

Henrietta Rocks - Rottnest reefs have proven treacherous for many mariners with three vessels running aground at this site. In fact, the shores, reefs and island of Rottnest have claimed over 12 vessels since 1842.

The Quokka are somewhat bigger than a cat, and are a type of wallaby.
Although there is a small mainland population in western Australia, this is the best place to spot them.

Osprey nests can be seen around the island. Some of these are known to be more than 70 years old Osprey stay faithful to their nesting sites, using the same stack for many years. the nests are built out of sticks, seaweed, rope and bones.

King's Skink can often be spotted darting amongst the limestone rocks or across the road. Large dark-coloured lizards they are found only on the south-west coast and offshore islands.
This fella was running across the beach and as I went to move a branch out the way to get a better view... he bit me! thankfully, the paperwork says 'they're harmless'!!!

One of the best spots for snorkelling is Little Salmon Bay, off Point Parker Point,
where on a good day, you can follow a snorkel trail,
made up of under water signs around 2m meters deep.
On this day however, the sea was pretty rough, so we gave it our best shot, but after so many waves down the snorkel, we were defeated.
We did see some fish though...
and some coral
Before giving up and, after battling the strong current and waves to get out the sea
(me in hysterics at this point)
we opted for a bit of sun bathing!

As we returned, the sun was setting over Perth
and Barrack St Jetty

and I was looking like I'd been wind swept and surfed out.. for some reason!

Posted by charlystyles 13:44 Archived in Australia Tagged rottnest_island Comments (0)

Rockingham - WA

The city of Rockingham contains some of the finest coastline and parks in Perth's metropolitan area.
We drove down, hired some snorkelling gear, and went for a day on the beach :) Mark went for a run and I met him there.
Rockingham Beach has won the WA Clean Beaches award, the Water Conservation and the Heritage and Culture category awards.
Apart from the abundance of wildlife, historical significance and award winning restaurants, there is a memorable world waiting underwater,
The waters of Rockingham include the Shoalwater Island Marine Park and are home to a myriad of marine like and submerged reefs, plus a number of historic shipwrecks.
Peron Point is one of the best shore dive and snorkelling sites in the Perth metropolitan area.
They must also have a lot of fish for this fella (Australian Pelican) to be waiting for

Sea urchins, sea anemones shelter in the seagrass near shore. Other inhabitants of the shallow sandy areas include turban shells, plump stars and spider crabs. Fish include whiting and batfish. We saw lots of seaweed!
The limestone at Peron Point has been carved into numerous overhangs, small caves and swim throughs very close to shore in a maximum depth of five metres. However, the sea was pretty rough, and the water not so warm, so our snorkelling was limited

But not bad for Mark's first experience
and just a bit of fun
before drying off whilst snoozing on the beach - me being sun safe!
Happy to say I have so far seen an FTO in every state I've visited so far!
I think white suits the Australian sunshine too.

A great day out chilling out

Posted by charlystyles 13:51 Comments (0)

Wave Rock - WA

Western Australia's southeast is a sparsely populated, flat region of extreme aridity and limited fresh water. Vast stretches of its red, dusty landscape are inhabited by small mining companies and aboriginals communities.

York was founded in 1831, in the new colony's drive to establish its self-sufficiency via agriculture.
Now registered as a historic town, it retains many mid 19th century buildings.
These include Settler’s House, now a hotel and restaurant and Castle Hotel, built in stages between 1850 and 1932, with it's unusual timber verandas.
Nearby stands York Motor Museum, with one of the largest collections of veteran cars and vehicles in Australia. These include the 1886 Benz (the world's first car) and the very rare 1946 Holden Sedan prototype.

Wave Rock, in Australia's Wheatbelt is one of Australia’s most surprising rock formations.
A great granite wave has been created from a huge outcrop by thousands of years of chemical erosion, and reaction with rainwater which gives it's grey and red stripes.

  • Wave Rock is over 100m long and taller than a 3-storey building (15 meters).
  • It is believed to have begun forming underground as much as 60 million years ago
  • The wave only became a national attraction when a photograph of it won the 1963/64 Kodak International Colour Picture Competition at the New York International Fair.
  • The Hyden dam (up on the rock outcrop) was a major component of the town's water supply up until 2000.

The shape has been carved out of the slopes of Hyden rock by the weathering action of water in the soil that abuts the rock. This soil is dampened by water running off the rock - but near the surface it dries quite quickly. Deeper down the soil remains moist for much longer, allowing the 'rotting' action of this moisture to eat away at the face of the rock. As erosion exposes more and more of the outcrop this 'flared shape' seems to rise up.
The colours on the wave are caused by tine lichens, mosses and algae which produce the orange and black stains that brighten the face of the wave. All these tiny life-form react in different ways to the presence (or absence) of water - and so the streaking pattern is a result of long-term flow patterns down the rock.

This photo gives you an ideal of scale
and maybe just how steep it was to climb
and of course... surf!
Other 'waves' are found around the Hyden Rock and on other outcrops across Western Australia, and all over the world, but this is the most spectacular.

Hyden Rock started its life as a massive granite intrusion deep beneath the earth's crust. About 120 to 130 million years ago the area around here was a wide rolling plain. Rainwater seeped into the soil - and attacked all rock that was fractured or cracked.
When the plain was eventually eroded down about 60 million years ago this rotted rock was washed away. Only the 'fresh' solid granite was left behind, in the shape of hills - and Hyden Rock was one of these.

Hyden's Signature Tree - Hyden has long been known as 'the town among the salmon gums' - like those below.
The salmon gum is one of Western Australia’s best known trees.
While it generally does not grow to more than 25 metre in height, it is nonetheless the tallest growing in the vast eucalypt woodland around. The tree is best known for it's distinctive salmon-coloured bark.

Rain falling on the rock has to go somewhere.
You can see a low stone wall above Wave Rock - this was built in 1928 to channel water into the Hyden Dam up on the outcrop.
Today this water forms a back up to the town water supply. When in good working order, the walls capture approximately 45% of all water falling within the catchment.

The ancient rivers that once ran through this country originally flowed from north to south. Millions of years ago the landscape tilted, causing them to flow from east to west. Out here they have dried back to a chain of ephemeral salt lakes that only 'flow' during a good wet winter. Salt originates from rainfall and accumulates in this area at approximately 20kg per year per hectare. This is a tiny amount, but has been accumulating for thousands of years, and some soils now have between 100 and 6,000 tonnes of salt per hectare stored in them.
Flared slopes like Wave Rock are only one of several minor features well developed on Hyden rock.

A tafone is an Italian word meaning window, and is used to describe the large hollows or caverns that help turn many of these boulders into artworks.
Tafoni usually grow from the indie out, so that eventually the outer rock shell is breached, creating windows.
The inner surfaces are often scalloped, with smaller hollows developing inside the larger opening.
Tafoni form when the rock begins to break down due to granular disintegration or flaking, cause by salt crystallisation. Swirling wind and water add to the process of weathering.
This is another old quarry site - you can see the broken slab of granite under the man made sculptures. These include the drill holes where explosives were placed to fracture the rock into useable pieces. Thin sheets of granite were taken from this site to use as flooring
The prominent lake in the distance is Magic Lake, when full, its waters are crystal clear (though salty) and the bottom is white gypsum.

A short walk from Wave Rock is Hippo's Yawn.
The rock's resemblance to a yawning hippopotamus led to its name. It is about 12.6 meters tall and is located just out of the town of Hyden.

Lizard spotting out on the rock you see plenty or Ornate Dragons, bobbing their heads madly or skitting across the rock as if their feet are on fire.

Scarred trees remind us that Aboriginal people passed through this area before the coming Europeans.

The Humps is another giant outcrop , approximately 16km north of wave rock. It's best-known feature is Mulka's cave, which holds one of the most significant Aboriginal rock art sites in western Australia.
Mulka's cave is in a large block of rock that has slipped from the main granite outcrop of The humps. The lower surface of the block has been hollowed out by chemical weathering and by wind erosion to form the cave.
The name Mulka comes from an Aboriginal legend associated with the cave. Mulka was the illegal son of woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden according to their law.
It is believed that a result of breaking these rules, she bore a son with crossed eyes. Even though he grew to be an outstandingly strong man of colossal height, his crossed eyes prevented him from aiming a spear accurately and becoming a successful hunter.
Out of frustration it is said Mulka turned to catching and eating human children and he became the terror of the district. He lived in Mulka's Cave, where the imprints of his hands can still be seen, much large and higher than that of an ordinary man.
There are over 450 separate hand prints and images on the walls of the two main chambers, Handprints make up 69% of the 452 Aboriginal motifs found in the cave and left hands outnumber the right 3 to 2. Most of the hands are made from stencils, by placing the hand on the rock and blowing over I with a pigment,.
They were principally a form of signature left by those who had rights to the area.

Local elders from the Njakinjaki tribal grouping speak of Mulka's Cave as a powerful place that could only be visited by senior lawmen, or those accompanying them,

The gnamma trail is a flat easy walk of around 1.2km with a strong Noongar (Aboriginal() focus to it’s interpretation. Ten panels use the words and illustrations of local elders and artists to describe the landscape, it's features and the birds, animals and plants that live in it.
A Gnamma (water hole) were used when the Noongar tribes camped here. Sometimes they wer covered with a stone lid to stop children and animals falling in and reduce evaporation.
This large flat rock is a lizard trap, propped up on several smaller stones to create a cool dark hiding place.
Sandalwood trees provide edible 'quandong' fruit. In recent times it's mainly been used for making jam,

Another great day out

Posted by charlystyles 13:56 Archived in Australia Tagged wave_rock hyden Comments (0)

Convicts & Colonials Trail, Perth - WA

sunny 27 °C

Although the Swan River Colony was established as a free settlement in 1829, convict transportation was introduced in 1850 to answer the demand for a cheap and plentiful supply of labour for the small population. The introduction of these reluctant immigrants caused much debate and controversy amongst the residents, who feared that their free colony would be forever tainted by the convict class. Whilst convict transport lasted
only 18 years, the legacy of this period is embedded in the streets of the city and the folklore of the State

Perth Town Hall
Between 1850 and 1868, nearly 10,000 male convicts were transported to Western Australia to overcome a drastic labour shortage that was holding back the development of the Swan River Settlement. Many were specially selected to come to Western Australia because of their artisan skills and with good behaviour and backbreaking labour, could receive their ticket-of-leave and eventually a conditional release. The Perth Town Hall was built by these men between 1867 and 1870, to a design by Richard Roach Jewell and James Manning. It is said that a team of 15 convicts worked every day for three years to complete the building. As the only convict built town hall in Australia, colourful stories exist about the special messages encoded in the building’s design. The small windows of the tower are said to resemble the broad arrows emblazoned on the convicts’ uniforms and a hangman’s rope design surrounds the Hall’s clock faces. Officially these convict messages are a hoax, but the tales are still told.
A Ticket-of-leave was granted to a convict after a specified period, depending on his behaviour. Ticket-of-leave men could travel to the district
of their choice, but had to report to the town magistrate on arrival and twice a year after that as well as carrying a pass from the magistrate to leave
the district. Although they were allowed to work for themselves and others, own land and property and marry, they had to be indoors after 10pm and carry their ticket at all times. A conditional pardon could be granted after half the original sentence was served, allowing the former convicts to leave the colony if they wished, while a certificate of freedom at the end of the full sentence ensured the former convicts could live as free men.

The Deanery
In the 1830s the Government installed a public whipping post and stocks on this site for criminals to be exposed to mockery, with the aim of reducing crime through public humiliation. The mildest of offences were deemed punishable; in 1833 two children who had been caught stealing fruit from the Government gardens were placed in the stocks and their parents were ordered to flog them publicly. It was also briefly the location of Perth’s first gaol, a temporary lock-up, prior to the completion of Perth Gaol on the corner of Beaufort and Francis Streets in 1856. However this temporary lock-up was constantly mocked, as the inmates escaped easily from the mud walled structure. The romantic style gothic house now
seen here was built in 1859 by ticket of leave men and housed the Anglican Deans of Perth until 1953.
Many convicts had elaborate tattoos. John Butcher, a convict who arrived on the Pyranees in 1851, had a multitude of body art including a soldier; a woman; the date 1st June 1845; a bracelet on his right arm; a crucifix; a mermaid; two hearts; three barrows; a rose; a thistle; an olive and a reed. The crucifix was a popular tattoo for convicts to have on their backs, as if they were flogged it gave the appearance that Christ himself was being punished.

Government House
Government House is the only vice-regal residence in Australia built in the style known as ‘Jacobean’ after King James I of England. Built by convicts
in 1863, the design is similar to the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. The grounds of Government House are well-known for their beauty and much of the original layout from the 1850s and 1860s has been preserved.
In 1923 Audrey Jacob met Cyril Gidley on a ship bound for Western Australia. He was a charming young engineer and they became engaged upon arriving in Perth. In 1925, while in Singapore on business, Cyril overheard a man using Audrey’s name in ‘bar conversation’. He swiftly broke off their engagement despite Audrey’s distress. When Audrey saw Cyril at a Government House dance several months later, he rejected her effort to speak to him on the dance floor. Publicly humiliated, Audrey pulled a gun from her purse and shot him point blank. Despite dozens of witnesses, the shooting was treated as an accident and Audrey was not charged with murder. Cyril was found to have been a schemer with a collection of engagement rings from previous affairs, while Audrey went on to wed a wealthy American in Melbourne.

Burt Law Education Centre
Almost hidden behind the exotic trees of Stirling Gardens is the original Court House (1836), the oldest surviving building in central Perth. The
first European executed in the colony, John Gavin, was sentenced to death here in 1844 and hanged publicly in front of the Round House, Fremantle. The old Court House is now the Francis Burt Law Education Centre which houses a small museum.
The Swan River Colony received 234 juvenile male convicts from the Isle of Wight’s Parkhurst Prison between 1842 and 1849. Convicted of the murder of his employer’s 15 year old son, teenager John Gavin was amongst these young convicts. Once in the colony the boys were pardoned on two conditions: that they began apprenticeships with local employers; and, during the term of their sentence, they were unable to return to the country in which they were convicted.

Supreme Court
Convicts who had served their terms and were now free men may have been one reason for an increase in crime in Western Australia during the late nineteenth century. The Supreme Court building was opened in 1903 and the first case heard there resulted in Robert Palin, an ex-convict, being sentenced to death for robbery with violence. Eric Edgar Cooke, the last person hung in WA, was tried and convicted for murder at the Supreme Court in 1964. The elaborately decorated foyer and some courtrooms are open to the public.
Convicts transported to Western Australia were more likely to be guilty of crimes against other people than transportees to other Australian colonies. They were also more likely to have come from an urban background, be artisans and literate. Britain started retaining its less violent criminals at home, causing the number transported to Australia for committing violent crimes to increase.

Western Australian Museum
Perth is the only Australian capital city with a cultural centre developed around an old prison. At the very heart of the Western Australian Museum is the gaol built by convicts in 1853-54, where hangings were first held in 1855 in an execution yard on the south side. Hangings were public exhibitions with an audience of all ages and sexes until 1884 when the front and sides of the scaffold were boarded in due to complaints. Today, the museum exhibitions tell of Perth’s social, political and natural history. Amazingly, it's completely free!

Art Gallery of Western Australia
The Art Gallery of Western Australia’s long low administration block, directly facing the WA Museum, was built between 1904 and 1905 by architect Hillson Beasley as a barracks for unmarried constables. It later housed police divisions including the Special Branch, which was set up to investigate “possible rebellious activities by suspected Communists and others.” The elegant French-style courthouse next door, designed by Beasley and George Temple Poole, once hosted a daily parade of drunks and trouble-makers. The former courthouse is now the Centenary Gallery with a display of colonial-era arts and crafts and the cells and dock remain intact.
At this courthouse on the evening of April 23, 1907 disgruntled former police officer Frederick Tyler exploded into Commissioner Fred Hare’s office firing a pistol. With his gun blazing, the first shot missed however an ensuing struggle resulted in the Commissioner being shot in the shoulder. Luckily the defective ammunition and the Commissioners’ heavily starched shirt deflected the bullet. Tyler was promptly taken into custody and imprisoned for 10 years.

St Mary's Catholic Church
By 1854, Catholics made up to 18 percent of the colony’s population, partly due to the number of Irish convicts sent to Western Australia. The oldest Catholic church in Western Australia, the Pro-Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, was built in 1846. This is where the Sisters of Mercy started Mercedes College, the oldest existing girl’s school in Australia. It wasn’t long before the Pro-Cathedral was felt to be too modest for the growing Catholic population, and in 1863 work commenced on St Mary’s Cathedral at Victoria Square, which was constructed in the Gothic style. Substantial additions were made to the cathedral in the 1920s, but it was never fully completed due to lack of funds. In 2006 that work commenced to complete the Cathedral by adding a new North-West tower and nave section to a contemporary design. The cathedral recently underwent a $32.9m refurbishment in December 2009.
In contrast to many other buildings on this trail, Benedictine monks provided the main labour for St Mary’s Cathedral. Like the convicts, they were a cheap source of labour, walking six miles a day between their quarters in Subiaco and the building site and working every minute of light in the day. However, the monks were far more skilled than the convict labour available with a great deal of masonry experience. The new cathedral was the envy of the strong Anglican population.

East Perth Cemetries
Saints or sinners, death gets us all in the end. The East Perth Cemeteries are the final resting places of a cross-section of society including judges, lawyers, criminals and ex-convicts. Up to 10,000 people may have been buried here but only about 800 identified graves graves remain. Some of the graves were disrupted when the former Perth Girls School was situated on the grounds.
George William Steel was born in 1825 in England and lived in a notorious slum area in London known as “Devils Acre”, working as a tinsmith. He was convicted of assaulting a man in a drinking house and robbing him and was sentenced to 20 years transportation, arriving in Perth in 1851. George was granted his ticket-of-leave within two years of arriving and in 1854 married Anne Lowham in the Wesley Chapel, Perth. He continued to work at his trade in Perth and was granted a conditional pardon in 1858. He died on 11th November 1865 of a diseased heart and is buried in the East Perth Cemetries
In the late 1860s the British Government reviewed its policy of transportation and the last convict ship, the Hougoumont, arrived in the Swan River
Colony on 10 January 1868 with 229 convicts aboard. Convict labour continued to be used for sometime in Western Australia, relying on local prisoners and convicts yet to serve the remainder of their sentences. About a third of the convicts left the Swan River Colony after serving their time but many settled down to make a life for themselves in the Colony. Their descendants can proudly point out the important work these men
did in building the city in the buildings that still stand today.
Joseph Bolitho Johns, better known in Western Australian folklore as Moondyne Joe, arrived aboard the convict transport Pyrenees in April 1853. In 1861 on his ticket-of-leave, Joe stole a horse and added insult to injury by using the local magistrate’s brand new saddle and bridle to ride it. He continued a colourful career of crime and escape that saw him spend time in the Mount Eliza Convict Depot as well as lawful work assisting a carpenter in Perth and Fremantle. Well into his seventies, having been granted his freedom years before, Joe was found wandering the streets of South Perth and taken into custody “being of unsound mind.” He was ordered to the Mount Eliza Invalid Depot for medical attention but escaped, possibly not realising in his confusion that the site was no longer a place of detention. He died in August of that year at Fremantle Lunatic Asylum.

Bell Tower
The Bell Tower is one of Perth’s most unique and must see tourist attractions located on Riverside Drive overlooking the picturesque Swan River. Filled with fascinating historic content and boasting a unique and distinctive design – resulting from major architectural competition – it has become an icon for Perth and Western Australia. The Bell Tower is an essential visit whilst in Perth.

Commemorating Australia's bicentenary in 1988, the twelve bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields as well as five specially cast bells were presented to the University of Western Australia, the City of Perth and to the people of Western Australia. The London diocese of the Church of England and the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields gave authority for the project to proceed. The additional bells cast in 1988 include two from the cities of London and Westminster, who each gifted one bell to the project, and a total of three bells bestowed by a consortium of British and Australian mining companies. Completing the ring of eighteen bells, a sixth new bell was commissioned by the Western Australian Government to mark the second millennium.

Posted by charlystyles 13:45 Archived in Australia Tagged perth_convicts_and_colonials Comments (0)

Western Australian Museum, Perth - WA

A gateway to Western Austrlia's natural and social history, from the beginning of the universe to contemporary times.
It's an amazing attraction, especially because it's free entry!

The first image shows the jaws of a White Pointer Shark (Great white). During whaling operations in the 1970's and earlier, many large White Pointer Sharks were caught near Cheynes Beach whaling station in Albany. One of the largest (the female form which these jaws were taken - was 5.6m (18ft 4ins) long and about 3m (10ft) across the outspread pectoral fins. It weight approximately 1,800kg (4,000lbs). You might be able to see thee replacement teeth behind the front ones: new teeth move forward as old ones are broken or lost. the largest shark caught at the whaling station measured 5.9m (19ft 6ins). A White Pointer measuring 6.4m (21ft) was caught near Cuba!

Housed in a series of stunning heritage-listed buildings you can explore the cultures and stories of the local Aboriginal peoples, the State's unique flora and fauna and the fascinating minerals, meteorite, megafauna and dinosaurs that once inhabited WA.

This was an interesting bit of rock: Folded Banded Iron Formation.
Although the rock was laid down as horizontal layers of sediment, more than 2,000 million years ago, very slow movement of the Earth's crust caused the solid rock to become intensely folded.

As you can imagine however, the animals were my favourite bit - and of course got the most photos taken!

Not much more to say except - go visit! and in the meantime, enjoy some piccies :)

At the entrance your are greeted by a life-sized Carnotaurus Sastrei - a large meat eating dinosaur. Several more-or-less complete skeletons have been excavated from 70 million year old rocks in Argentina.

The Skull of a Killer Whale

Common Spotted Cuscus
a slow moving possum uses it's strong grip and prehensile tail to climb and feed on fruits and leaves in the rain forest.

Great Glider
launching into a glide, the membrane of this gliding possum extends from the ankle to the elbow. It glides between the trees and feeds in the outer canopy on eucalypt leaves.

Laughing Kookaburra

Australian Kestrel

Carnaby's Cockatoo

Collared Sparrowhawk

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Boobook Owl

Tawny Frogmouth Owl

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Little Corella

Splendid Tree Frog
They live in trees but are often found in rocky areas and caves.
Their call is a loud sustained buzzing sound. They are Western Australia's largest frog and can grow to over 12cm in length.

Northern Laughing Tree Frog
A medium sized (5cm) common frog of the Australian tropice. The call is a descending trill that resembles laughter. They are highly effective climbers as their large toe discs enable them to grasp branches, leaves and even shower blocks!

Emu Chick

Little (Fairy) Penguin

Honey Possum
...the little tiny animal next to this sign...

Pygmy Possum
...the even tinier animal next to this sign...

Tasmanin Tiger (with Rat Kangaroo)
The thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before British settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none has been conclusively proven. It is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century

Posted by charlystyles 13:19 Archived in Australia Tagged western_australian_museum Comments (0)

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park - WA

sunny 28 °C

The North or Western Australia is a vast area of diverse landscape and stunning scenery. the Indian Ocean Coastline offers uninhabited islands, coral reefs, breath taking cliffs and sandy beaches.
Nambung National Park is an unusual park composed of beach and dunes, with the dunes extending inland from the coast. The park is famous for the Pinnacles, a region of curious limestone pillars, the tallest of which is 4m high.
Visitors can take a 3km driving trail
or a shorter walk we of course, did both!

It was great to be able to walk between the pinnacles, and not be fenced off. so we had a bit of fun...

Despite their spectacular and widespread occurrence in the region, little if any scientific research has been dedicated to understanding how and when the pinnacles formed. Nearly all geological aspects related to their formation are controversial...
Noongars knew this place, the Pinnacles Desert, as Werinitj Devil places, because of the sinking sands... the young men were told not to come here as they would disappear into the sand. But some did not listen to their elders, and when they got here they vanished into the dunes. The pinnacles are their fingertips, trying to grasp hold of something so they can drag themselves out of the sand Yued elder in 2006.

In geological terms, the pinnacles are very young and scientists today are just beginning to unravel their many mysteries. The pinnacles are believed to have formed underground, possibly up to 500,000 years ago during the Ice ages of the Quanternary period. they may have remained buried for most of this time, or have been repeatedly exposed and buried again over the millennia. Evidence suggests that they were exposed around 6,000 years ago, but were again covered by shifting sands until only a few hundred years ago.
Scientists believe that the story of the pinnacles off shore, where shell fragments break down to form fine-grained sand rich in calcium carbonate (lime).
At the water's edge the beach sands accumulate as a mixture of shell-based sands from the ocean floor and quartz sands carried by the rivers from the hinterlands. Blown by strong winds, the beach sands form extensive dunes along much of the coastline.
As rainwater comes into contact with the dune sands, it dissolves the calcium carbonate grains. As the dunes dry out, the calcium carbonate recrystallizes and cements nearby sand grains together, forming limestone. This process underlies the formation of the pinnacles.
Just how the limestone formed in the shape of pinnacles continues to puzzle scientists. Current research favours two explanations. In both, plants act as a critical catalyst. Both also remain controversial and may be challenged as new research takes place.
One theory argues that pinnacles are the calcified remains of ancient tree trunks, another that the pinnacles formed from the roots of trees and other plants.

Fossil Pupal Cases
These small egg-shaped objects, up to 5cm in length, are fossilised pupal cases of the weevil Leptopius. Formed over the past 200,000 years during periods when ancient dunes were stabilised by vegetation, they can be seen today commented to the sides of pinnacles. some show the hole where the adult weevil emerged.

Fire plays a critical role, destroying or thinning plant life on the dunes. Stripped of vegetation, the loose sands are blown away by the strong coastal winds to expose - and at times, rebury - the pinnacles. this is a process that continues to this day.
You can get an idea of scale in the image below if you can spot the cars (black dot top left)

The drive to and from Nambung national Park was a long one, but made easier with a stop off at the beach on the way there

and a beer on the way back
with some great music in a great setting
and the company of the usual seagulls
and this magpie lark

Other wildlife was possible

but all we saw were these catapillars - no it's not Chinese writing!

Posted by charlystyles 13:24 Archived in Australia Tagged the_pinnalces nambung_national_park Comments (0)

Dragon Boat Racing - WA

In a bid to get away from the tourist route, I wanted to see the 2015 National Championships - Dragon Boat Racing, held at Champion Lakes.
The $37 million Champion Lakes Regatta Centre is a world-class venue for rowing, canoeing, dragon boating, triathlon events and other national and international water sport competitions.
With a 55 hectare lake, 2000 metre international standard rowing course, warm up lake, boat shed, storage area and clubhouse, the centre is home to a number of sporting groups and hosts national and international competitions.
Since opening in April 2007, the centre has hosted Dragon Boat, Kayaking, Rowing and Radio Sailing National Championships as well as State Championships in Rowing, Kayaking, Outrigger Canoes, and Radio Sailing/
A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft. They were traditionally made in the Pearl River Delta region of China's southern Guangdong Province out of teak wood (mostly imported from Pontianak, Indonesia) to various designs and sizes. Currently, boats are being made for competitive purposes out of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials.
Dragon boats are the basis of the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing, a watersport which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers. While competition has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of religious ceremonies and folk customs, dragon boat racing has emerged in modern times as an international sport, beginning in Hong Kong in 1976.
For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. At other times (such as during training), decorative regalia is usually removed, although the drum often remains aboard for drummers to practice.
The majorifty of the races were 500m. The teams headed up to the start line,
and raced back following their team beating drum to the finish line
there were up to 8 boats racing at any one time, and the other team members were on shore to cheer them on
or maybe gain some tactics from the other teams
When the race was one, the winners were cheered by the other teams

later in the day, the races changed to a 2km distance with a staggered timed start
It involved going round the course twice, so cornering was vital!
A great sport to watch on a sunny day
regardless of this very Australian sign!

Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged dragon_boats Comments (0)

Horse Riding in The Hills - WA

sunny 28 °C

With a lot of thanks to Jo for roping me into my first riding lesson in over 15 years!
This is Jo with Sally
Although the stables seemed a little un-organised, and you were left to find your own horse, I was looking for 'Tom'
and then put the tack on, once I'd had everything checked, to be sure I'd done it right, we headed out into the ring for an hour or instruction!
Let's just say, standing trot is harder than it looks, and I was aching for days!
However, we went for a little ride through the bush to cool down afterwards.

Posted by charlystyles 13:35 Archived in Australia Tagged horse_riding Comments (0)

Hilary's Boat Harbour & Dog Beach

sunny 29 °C

Hilary's Boat Harbour
Hillarys Boat Harbour was the first such major marina in the north metropolitan region of Perth.
Construction of the new Harbour commenced in September 1985. Boat launching facilities were completed in October 1986 and boats started moving into pen moorings two months later, just before the start of the 1987 America's Cup Challenge Series.
Since opening in 1988, Hillarys Boat Harbour has been a premier recreational destination for Perth locals and visitors. In addition to boat pens, the Harbour offers a wide range of restaurants, attractions, activities, shops, and services catering to fishermen, boaters, beach goers, tourists and local residents.

These bluebottle jellyfish had been in the news at the time, as there was a lot of them in the area. Bluebottles are the most common cause of jellyfish stings in Australia.

The dog beach at Hillarys is a designated beach reserve with plenty of space for dogs to run and enjoy the surf.
Badger & Karma love it!
It's great to be able to let them run free, and not worry about other dogs - all they care about is someone to throw the ball!

Having picked Sammy up for a few days in the area, the first stop was Hilary's - welcome to the west coast!

Nothing like some cocktails and fresh calamari to enjoy with the sunshine

Posted by charlystyles 13:24 Archived in Australia Tagged hilary's_boat_harbour Comments (0)

Mundaring Weir & Lesmurdie Water Fall

a scheme of madness that fostered Western Australia's development

semi-overcast 20 °C

Watering the West - in 1982 gold was discovered in desert country 560km east of Mundaring. Finding more gold was one challenge, finding water was another. People streamed to the goldfields to seek their fortune and over the next 10 years Western Australia's population quadrupled.

Developing WA - The state owes it's development and prosperity to the ingenuity and brave decisions making of its leaders and early engineers, enabling Western Australia's riches to be developed in one of the world's most arid inhabited places.

Water Management - The solution for supplying water to the goldfields was a daring plan to dam the Helena River, engineering the world's longest freshwater pipeline and pump freshwater uphill to Kalgoorlie from Mundaring Weir.

Innovative Engineering - described as a scheme of madness Chief Engineer C Y O'Connor's far sighted solution resulted in one of the world's greatest engineering feats and the development of thriving industries and towns.

Forestry - In one of the first examples of forestry management being used for water quality improvement, lateral thinking was the key to overcoming damaging salinity creeping into the dam's fresh water as a result of timber cutting in the catchment area.

Drying Climate - western Australia is one of the driest inhabited places on earth and becoming dryer. As the State develops, water resource management and the protection of the fragile eco system is critical to the future.

The Last Wave - Looking at the weir, it's difficult to imagine a torrent of white water surging down as we come to the end of the summer. For families in the early days of the Mundaring Settlement, one of the most exciting times of the year was the annual water overflow. Bets would be placed amongst residents to predict the exact time the trickle would begin over the top of the wall. Once the flow really started tourists would arrive to witness the spectacle. Locals could hear the roar of the water from their homes.
The Weir last overflowed in 1996. The Water Corporation carefully managers the storage of water between Perth's major dams, which are interconnected, so another overflow would be unlikely.

Mundaring weir quickly became a popular spot for picnics, especially when the dam overflowed. In the days before most people had cars, hundreds came up on 'railway hikes' from Perth every weekend.
Plants growing in these gardens were chosen to remind workers and visitors of their homelands since many were born overseas.

The dry spillway in front is destined to never flow again.

Built in 1899 the Mundaring Weir Hotel was built for the workers and visitors to the nearby Mundaring Weir, the vision of architect C.Y. O'Connor.
In the construction of the weir over 77,000 barrels of cement were imported from Germany and Britain. When completed in 1903 Mandaring Weir was the highest dam in the southern hemisphere and the water catchment area it enclosed fed into the world's longest freshwater pipeline. IT was also the first major pipeline in the world to be made of steel. Not bad for a colony with the smallest population of any of the Australian states when the project began in the mid 1980's.

In 2009 the Goldfield's and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme was recognised as an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers,. This was only the third project in Australia and he 47th worldwide to be given the award, which places the pipeline alongside the Panama Canal and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as a projects of international significance.

Whilst walking around the weir, we came across a few kangaroos, all seemed to have joey's with them
Although they seemed to be chilling out, they weren't keen on me getting any closer than this

Lesmurdie Falls
In winter after good rains Lesmurdie rushes through crevices in the orange laterite, then cascades over the exposed granite rocks before tumbling 100 meters over the Darling Scarp. The face of the falls is sheer granite formed from weathering and eroding along vertical fractures within the bedrock. However, at the end of summer, it was somewhat underwhelming
We did spot this little Bandicoot on the walk there
What was spellbounding though, was the view over to the CBD of Perth, in the far distance.
On the foothills below Lesmurdie Brook merges with Yule Brook that meanders across the coastal plain to the Canning River.
The Darling Scarp - the grey rocks in this area are some of the oldest in the world, having formed deep within the earth around 2.6billion years ago. The Darling Fault is over 1,000km long and can be seen from space.
A great day out with Sammy
In the Park you can see the changes of vegetation from Jarrah and Marri tress on the red soils to the wandoo trees amongst the granite rocks and along the brook.

Posted by charlystyles 13:20 Archived in Australia Tagged mundaring_weir Comments (0)

Boom or Bust Trail - Perth

Gold! It's 1892 and the world's most precious commodity has just been discovered 550km East of Perth

sunny 27 °C

This historical walk through Perth city highlighted the ‘boom’ created by gold and the surge of growth, wealth and prosperity in Western Australia
that followed. The city’s population swelled from 8,500 to over 27,000 in a decade and it seemed Perth would ‘bust’ as this remote town turned into a buzzing cosmopolitan city.

Perth Town Hall
The Perth Town Hall was officially opened on July 1, 1870 and is the only town hall in Australia to be built by convicts. Major restoration works have
revealed the original brickwork, undercroft and arches of the Victorian Free Gothic style building. The Perth Town Hall has served numerous roles
over the years, including as a government meeting place, marketplace, camel stable and fire station. During the gold rush years, the city’s fire fighting equipment including a 12-man carriage was stored in the undercroft, although the firefighters were located some distance away in what is now known as Barrack Square and the horses were tied to taxis. In the event of a fire the Town Hall bell rang out and the burly firefighters would dash up to the Town Hall, while the taxi drivers harnessed their horses to the fire equipment. This unusual arrangement meant the service was not entirely efficient!

Albany Bell Tea Rooms
Still recognisable in Barrack Street is the classically inspired façade of the Albany Bell Tea Rooms (c. 1896). Australian born Albany Bell seized the opportunity of the rapidly expanding population and went from a small confectionery business to a large factory, eventually running eleven tea rooms in Perth. Tea rooms were one of the few venues where women and men could mix respectably at the turn of the century and the popularity of the rooms was an indication of the extra spending money available in the newly wealthy society. Albany Bell introduced the delights of the American-style soda fountain and the ice-cream ‘sundae’ to Perth, which he had learnt about in a trip to New York. Albany Bell provided some sweet conditions for employees in his confectionary factory in Maylands. He established the factory riverside to provide pleasant surroundings for his workers, provided two weeks annual leave on full pay before awards required and paid the rail fares and a two week annual stay at a seaside resort for his Kalgoorlie based workers.

McNess Royal Arcade
McNess Royal Arcade (1897) is a great demonstration of the wealth that poured into Perth from the goldfields. Designed by American architect William Wolf, it was described as an extravagant building with a generously designed interior and exterior. The owner of the building, Charles McNess, was a scrap metal trader and ironmonger who made his fortune during the gold boom by purchasing property, eventually expanding into mortgage broking.

The Metropole Hotel and Theatre Royal
Built in 1897, the Theatre Royal was the first purpose built theatre in Western Australia. The locals considered the theatre exceptional for its time, with its ‘red plush and glitz, and a roof that could slide open on hot nights’. The notoriously thrifty Thomas Molloy built the Theatre next to his Metropole Hotel, and went on to create the landmark His Majesty’s Theatre less than a decade later. Molloy, the son of a Pensioner Guard, started
his working life as the manager of Cooperative Stores in Perth, then became a baker in Goderich Street. He grew to be a prominent member of the
community, serving terms as town councillor, Mayor, and as a member of the Legislative Council. However, many believed that his
greatest achievement was the introduction of barmaids to Perth! Molloy was determined to be knighted; however he was not to achieve this dream officially. Instead he simply began calling himself Sir Thomas and insisted all who did business with him did likewise. He ensured this dream lived forever when, scandalously, he buried his wife under a headstone reading “Lady Mary Molloy”.

London Court
Next door to the Theatre Royal, this mock Elizabethan reproduction of an old London street was built in the 1930s as a gift to Perth from the charismatic and debonair millionaire, Claude de Bernales.
This arcade is a true reflection of his attachment to England and features ornate mechanical clocks depicting two jousting knights at the Hay street entrance and St George slaying the dragon which you will see at the St Georges Terrace end.
De Bernales made his fortune buying and selling mining equipment in the goldfields, although his business practises were questioned when the machines gained a reputation for poor quality and his acceptance of mine leases in payment for machines angered the miners.
Despite this, he always focussed on making a good first impression on the miners, changing into a full business suit carried in a suitcase on his bicycle before cycling into each miner’s camp.

Palace Hotel
By the mid-1890s, there were so many gold seekers looking for a place to stay that hotels could not be built quickly enough to accommodate everyone. The Palace Hotel was built in 1897 by John De Baun, who was determined to build one of Australia’s most significant hotels. No expense
was spared in the construction of the Palace, which upon opening was considered one of the most beautiful and elegant hotels in the country.
Henry Lawson, a famous Australian writer, and his wife Bertha honeymooned in Perth during 1896. After walking around Perth knocking on the doors of hotels and guesthouses, the already celebrated author discovered no beds were available due to the accommodation shortage. Tired and
desperate, the honeymooners camped for a night or two by the railway line, under the cover of the Barrack Street Bridge.

William Street
First known as King William Street after King William IV, the uncle of Queen Victoria, this street served as a major thoroughfare for the camel trains that supplied the goldfields. The trains, harnessed with between 20 and 100 camels, were unable to reverse and had to carefully manoeuvre to change direction. Look down William Street and imagine a 100-strong camel train loaded with supplies performing a U-turn to return to the
goldfields. This procedure had influenced on the width of the street.
The same wide streets are found at the end of the supply route, in Coolgardie
and Kalgoorlie. William Street was also known for activity other than the camel variety. Parents only let their children walk down the eastern side of the street due to the houses of ill-repute and gambling dens that were situated on the western side of the street.

His Majesty's Theatre
His Majesty’s Theatre was opened on Christmas Eve 1904 with a large celebration attended by all of Perth’s distinguished people. The theatre’s design reflects the class structure that was starting to emerge in the city, partly due to the new wealth created in the gold boom. The balcony was created for the upper echelons of society, and “the Gods” for the working class.
His_Majesty_s_Theatre2.jpgThe poorer folk entered the theatre from a side entrance on King Street to ensure that the classes did not mix. His Majesty’s Theatre is the only Edwardian theatre operating in Australia. The Museum of Performing Arts located downstairs from the theatre tells the story of the many famous people who have performed there.
During the ceremonial opening of His Majesty’s Theatre in 1904, the key stuck in the lock of the ornate black gates at the front of the theatre. To
its builder Thomas Molloy’s dismay, the gates had to be broken open with a pickaxe. In 1981, before the reopening of the theatre after an extensive
restoration, an employee was sent to unlock the gates. Again the key stuck and the gates had to be broken open with a hammer!

King St and Murray St
Also named for King William IV, King Street is one of the best-preserved gold rush period streetscapes in Perth. First a residential street with working class cottages surrounded by coal yards, blacksmiths and laundries, the wealth brought by gold turned it into a bustling area for small business. Milliners, shoemakers, dentists and druggists had shops here and the proximity of the railway made it an ideal site for warehouses and wholesalers supplying the goldfields. The City Hotel, designed by William Wolf, was built on the corner of King and Murray Streets in 1898 and still operates as a pub today: the Belgian Beer Café. The area around King and Murray Streets was a well-known location for Chinese businesses. The Chinese were prevented by Government legislation from mining for gold and as a result they became merchants, market gardeners and servants. The illegal gaming houses of Murray and King streets were very popular social venues for the Chinese, providing a meeting opportunity for many men who had to leave their families in China because of the restrictive immigration policy. The police once raided the gambling house located at
375 Murray Street, arresting 24 Chinese gamblers with a grand total bank of £1, which was duly confiscated.

General Post Office
Place is named after Lord John Forrest, who was vital in the development of the gold industry in Western Australia. As State Premier during the gold rush period, he instigated the water pipeline from Perth to Kalgoorlie, the railway and the Perth Mint. Forrest Place is Perth’s major civic space, and a site for free public events and rallies.
The General Post Office built between 1914 and 1923, is one of few large buildings in Australia
constructed in the imposing Beaux Arts style and was the tallest building in Perth at the time of its construction. Isolated prospectors would send their gold by post to the General Post Office where it would be forwarded to the Perth Mint. The Mint would refine the gold and then send payment to the Post Office for the prospectors to collect.
Outside the Post Office is the Water Labyrinth where children play and try to avoid the ever changing walls of water

Perth Central Railway Station
The Perth Central Railway Station, opened in 1894 and is a fundamental location in the story of gold in Western Australia. The station was an unloading point the gold transported from the goldfields and is one of the oldest operational central train stations in Australia. The original station was built in 1881, but the railway network grew rapidly. The station building and platform facilities quickly proved inadequate and it was replaced by a larger building in 1894. Additional wings to the east and west completed by 1897 doubled the size of the station and created the building that exists today. To avoid gold being hijacked, shipments were transported in unmarked carriages with two security guards locked inside with food and beer. It was not uncommon for a gold shipment to go missing when it arrived at the station, as railway authorities would move the unmarked, unclaimed carriage to the side of the tracks. Within a few hours, the frantic Perth Mint staff would be madly searching for the missing gold and the unmarked carriage would be discovered, often containing as well as its valuable cargo, two now slightly intoxicated security guards!

Fire Station No.1 and Museum
At its time of construction in 1901, this fire station was state-of-the-art and was the first purpose built fire station in Australia, replacing the Perth Town Hall. By this time the fire department was in a better financial position and could afford to purchase its own horses, which were kept in unlocked stables and were trained to respond to the sound of the alarm bell. On the sound of the fire alarm the horses would trot into place under the fire equipment harness where the firefighters would harness them up and be under way within 18 seconds. This was a vast improvement on
previous procedures at the Perth Town Hall.

Royal Perth Hospital and Museum
Perth’s water supply could not adequately support the rapidly growing population during the gold boom years. The resulting diseases, including dysentery, diphtheria and typhoid, put an incredible strain on the hospital. The State’s first case of German measles failed to be contained within the hospital and spread to the community, causing great illness and death, particularly among Aboriginal people and children. One of the worst public health issues in the settlement was alcoholism, which can be partly attributed to the difficulties of life at the time. In the early days of the city it is reported that there was a licensed house for every 75 people and labourers were supplied with nearly 12 gallons of spirits per annum. Even hospital workers were affected, with many complaints made about the alcohol and morphine addictions of the nursing and assisting staff. One can imagine why they chose a form of escape, with operations conducted in open wards in full view and the cries of the mentally ill patients drifting up from the basement where they were housed.
Today the hospital has expanded into something a little more familiar

St Mary's Cathedral

The Perth Mint
This was the final destination for the raw product from the goldfields. The Perth Mint formed the prospectors’ finds into coins to be used as currency in the rapidly increasing economy. The Perth Mint was one of three branches of the British Royal Mint in Australia. It was constructed in 1899 to process the huge amounts of gold that were coming from the goldfields and was seen as a symbol of Perth’s status in the British Empire. By the time of the Perth Mint’s construction, income from gold was responsible for nearly ninety percent of the colony’s wealth. The Mint operated under British control until 1970, when ownership was transferred to the Western Australian Government. Today the Perth Mint is renowned as Australia’s specialist precious metals mint and a major tourist attraction and is open to the public daily. It is one of the oldest mints in the world still operating from its original location.
Although the Perth Mint never fell prey to a large robbery throughout the gold boom years, small thefts occurred. One of the supervisors, Mr William Dark, forced workers to stay back late on a number of occasions searching for missing gold which he accused them of stealing. The gold was never found and it was later discovered that Mr Dark himself was the culprit, slipping the gold into his pocket!

The gold rush was responsible for propelling Perth towards becoming the city of regional and international importance that it is today. The population of the city quadrupled in size, important buildings were constructed and the people learnt to see a golden future for this isolated settlement. The mineral riches of the land form the basis for Western Australia’s growth to this day which are duly reflected in its capital city.

The night too quickly passes
And we are growing old,
So let us fill our glasses
And toast the Days of Gold;
When finds of wondrous treasure
Set all the South ablaze,
And you and I were faithful mates
All through the roaring days.


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Icons of Influence Trail, Perth - WA

Perth's powerful people and places in history

semi-overcast 20 °C

When John Septimus Roe, naval officer, surveyor and Explorer, first laid out the city of Perth in 1829, he envisioned a powerful city at the centre of a strong economy. St Georges Terrace was the focus of this design, a broad avenue running parallel to the shores of the majestic Swan River. St Georges Terrace continues its central role as the city's powerhouse today.

Perth Town Hall
The Perth Town Hall was designed by Richard Roach Jewell and James Manning. It took 3 years to build, using convict labour and had it’s formal opening on 1st June, 1870. Jewell designed many other important Perth buildings including the Wesley Church and the Treasury building adjacent to the Town Hall. The Perth Town Hall was designed on an impressive scale to reflect its important role in the administration of the colony, as well as serving a number of practical purposes. The undercroft of arches formed a covered marketplace that operated for a few years before it became too costly. The area space was later used to house the city’s fire fighting equipment, including a 12- man fire carriage. Aside from these practical uses, many important ceremonies and balls were held in the Perth Town Hall. The man who became known as ‘Father of the Kimberley’, Alexander Forrest, was sworn in as Mayor of Perth at the Town Hall in 1892 and held office for six years (1892-95 and 1897-1900). Forrest had extensive business interests in gold mines, newspapers, timber, retail, butchering and cattle.
One of the more unusual uses of the Perth Town Hall was as a camel stable! Explorer Ernest Giles used the undercroft as a resting place for his
camels and party on his epic journey from South Australia in 1875, creating much excitement among Perth’s residents.

Central Government Offices
The Central Government Offices or Treasury Group is a group of three buildings including the original General Post Office (1889), the Lands Department (1893) and the Titles Office (1897), which reflect the 19th century custom of keeping government departments centrally located. The Titles Office, designed by George Temple Poole, was built in 1897 and has been described as one of Australia’s finest and most dramatic Free Classical buildings. Across the road is Council House. There is a plaque in the pavement at the corner of Cathedral Avenue and St Georges Terrace.
This marks Point Zero, the point from which all measurements of distance from Perth are still taken.

St George's Cathedral
Completed in 1888 this was where many of Perth’s prominent people worshipped on Sundays.
Next to the Cathedral is Burt Memorial Hall,
a gift from the family in 1917 in memory of two sons of Septimus Burt who were killed in World War 1. The Burt family played an important role in Perth’s history - the first Chief Justice was Sir Archibald Burt and a hundred years later, so was his descendent, Sir Francis Burt.

The Deanery
This romantic style gothic house was built in 1859 by ticket-of-leave men for the colony’s first Dean and was home to the Anglican Deans of Perth
until 1953. The Deanery was funded by Western Australia’s first Bishop, Bishop Hale, who also built the Cloisters (see later) and an impressive house for himself. Before the Deanery was built, public stocks and a whipping post were located here to discourage the people from crime.
Following this, it was the site for Perth’s first gaol, which was replaced by the gaol that now forms part of the Western Australian Museum.
Midgegooroo, the leader of his tribe and the father of famous Nyoongah warrior Yagan, was executed by firing squad at this site in 1833. The initial
friendliness and cooperation between the natives of the Swan River region and the white settlers deteriorated as both groups began to feel their
way of life was threatened by the other. A statue of Yagan, who was killed by bounty hunters soon after his father’s execution, can be seen on Heirisson Island.

Government House
This magnificent building was completed in 1864 to the delight of the new Swan River colonialists. The heritage listed building replaced the previous
Government house which was deemed inadequate as Governor Stirling drafted official letters under an umbrella to prevent being drenched by the leaky roof! The current building is set across 3.2 hectares of beautiful gardens, lawns and trees. The Governor hosts open days at Government House three to four times a year. The Government House site has been in continuous occupation as the principal vice-regal residence in Western Australia since the city was founded in 1829. The current building is a big improvement on the canvas tents occupied by Governor Stirling and his family for the first 4 years of settlement, from 1829 until 1832.

Stirling & Supreme Court gardens and Francis Burt Law Education Centre
As you enter Stirling Gardens, you are met by the statue of Alexander Forrest.
This statue was sculpted by a young Italian sculptor, Pietro Porcelli, to commemorate Forrest’s life.
Stirling Gardens was first used by colonial botanist James Drummond as an acclimatisation garden in the 1830s, when plants including fruit trees were grown. The reserve then opened as a botanical garden in 1845, and was used by residents of the city for recreation, much in the way that it is used by city workers today. The oldest building in the City of Perth is located in the Supreme Court Gardens.
Now known as the Francis Burt Law Education Centre, this was the only building suitable for public meetings when it opened in 1837 and it functioned as a church, a law court and as the Perth Boy’s School until 1850.

Weld Club
In 1892 this building was completed to house the Weld Club. Named after Governor Frederick Weld in 1871, the Club offered a place for Perth’s
powerful and influential men to gather in a social setting, play billiards and discuss current affairs. Fifty foundation members, of whom two-thirds
were government employees, made up the original membership of the club, which still operates today. The Working Men’s Institute, for the less influential members of Perth society, was located in a squalid area near the Perth Gaol.

Karrakatta CLub
This 1937 Art Deco building is the current home of Australia’s oldest and first women’s club. The wives of Perth’s influential men founded the Karrakatta Club in 1894, with the intention of allowing members to prepare papers and share information on matters of social and political importance. It clearly succeeded in its purpose, because in 1921 one of the founding members of this club became Australia’s first female Parliamentarian. Edith Dircksey Cowan was an extremely productive member of Perth society. An orphan by the time she married at 18, Edith Cowan was an active member of fifty community groups and organisations in her lifetime, served as a Justice of the Peace and was elected to the Western Australian Parliament at the age of 60, She was only the second woman in the British Empire to be elected as a Member of Parliament. A
vocal campaigner for the rights of women and children with an underlying philosophy of community service, Edith Cowan donated her parliamentary salary to charity. The clock tower located at the entrance to Kings Park was built in her memory in 1934, two years after her
death. A university was also named after this influential campaigner.

The Western Australian Club
A year after the Weld Club building was completed on Barrack Street another exclusive men’s club, the Western Australian Club, was formed. The
discovery of gold in Western Australia encouraged strong growth in the colony, creating an affluent and influential group of men who demanded more “networking” opportunities. Perth needed more than one club to meet this demand, although many of the new club’s members were also members of the Weld Club! As a reflection of the changing role of women in Perth’s commercial life, the Western Australian Club began to allow women as associate members in 1970 but not as full members until 1997.

Perth Boys School
Perth Boys’ School was the city’s first purpose built school, constructed by convicts in 1854. The building was built in the gothic style to look like a
church to impose a sense of duty, attentiveness and obedience on its students. Enrolments in the Government run school were abundant during
the gold boom from the 1880’s to 1890’s and the building could no longer accommodate the school, which then shifted to James Street in Northbridge. A lack of educational facilities in the early years of the colony led the newspapers to warn that Western Australia was in danger of becoming a “degraded society”. In the end, the threat posed by the increasing popularity of Roman Catholic schools from 1846 led the Anglican Church to incite the Government to establish this school, whose programme of study was based on the teachings of the Anglican Church.

Forrest House Replica
A replica of Forrest House, the home purchased by Alexander Forrest on St Georges Terrace in 1895, has been created in the Forrest Centre and houses a popular bar, Rigby’s. When Perth was originally laid out, the price of a block of land on St Georges Terrace was £200 - double the price of any blocks on the streets behind. Alexander’s neighbours on the Terrace included many of Perth’s influential people such as Lionel Samson who secured the first liquor license in the State and started a merchant liquor business, George Shenton who was the first chemist in Perth and Walter Padbury a pioneer pastoralist, merchant and humanitarian.

Parterre Gardens to Bishop’s House
Bishop Hale was the first Anglican Archbishop of WA and arrived in 1858. He was the son of a wealthy English landowner, who had left him an
impressive fortune. He won the confidence of people in all classes and his generous and fatherly character earned him the title of ‘the Good Bishop’. By the time Bishop Hale left the colony in 1875, he had built a number of grand buildings along St Georges Terrace which are still in use today, including this private residence for his family.

Barracks Arch
This is the “top end” of the Terrace. Barracks’ Arch is all that remains of the Pensioner Barracks.
The Barracks were constructed in 1863 to house the Pensioner Guards, ex-soldiers employed to guard the convicts. Although convict transportation ended in 1868, some Pensioner Guards remained in the Barracks until it was taken over by the Public Works Department. Public protest stopped the Barracks from being demolished in
1902 to clear the view for the parliamentarians at the new Parliament House, but the accommodation wings were eventually removed to make way for the Kwinana Freeway in 1966, with the Arch preserved as a compromise to the public.

Parliament House
Located at the “top end of town”, Parliament House was designed to be the head of an imposing vista. The foundation stone was laid in 1902 and the building opened in 1904. Although a national competition was held for the design of the parliament, it was never completed to specifications because it was too expensive. When construction of the western façade cost £16,000 more than estimated, no more work took place to complete the eastern façade which faces down town until 1958. This resulted in two distinctly different façades, built in the styles of their time.
From here you get a splendid view back down St Georges Terrace.

The Cloisters
The Cloisters were designed by Richard Roach Jewell to house Bishop Hale’s School. The “Good Bishop” financed and built this school in 1858,
and was responsible for educating many sons of the colonial elite, including Alexander and John Forrest. The graduates from this school formed the
core of the governing group in Western Australia to the turn of the century and beyond, reinforcing the ties between the Anglican Church and the powerful residents of St Georges Terrace. The school closed at this site in 1872, moving to a number of different city locations until 1961, when it moved to its current campus in the suburb of Wembley Downs. Today the school is known as Hale School.

Trinity Church and Congregational Chapel
Two buildings of the Trinity Church are found at this location. Richard Roach Jewell designed the first building, now known as the Trinity Congregational Chapel, in 1865. The chapel is now concealed from St londGeorges Terrace by the newer Trinity Church (1893), built in a more ornate style to reflect the new found prosperity brought by the gold boom. The Trinity Church housed the Congregationalist denomination - many of whom were ‘small business people’ - artisans, shopkeepers and other members of the skilled working class. The chapel was a popular venue. Its uses included operating as a Sunday school and Hall – the Karrakatta Club held its first meeting there in 1894.
Trinity Arcade, built in 1923, connects St Georges Terrace to the Hay Street Mall.

The fountains below are just outside the train station. They alternate which 'side' comes on, to create a great game for children to play

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