A Travellerspoint blog

Convicts & Colonials Trail, Perth - WA

sunny 27 °C

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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East Perth Cemetries
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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.
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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
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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
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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

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A gateway to Western Austrlia's natural and social history, from the beginning of the universe to contemporary times.
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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!

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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.
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This was an interesting bit of rock: Folded Banded Iron Formation.
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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 :)
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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.
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The Skull of a Killer Whale
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Common Spotted Cuscus
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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
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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
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Australian Kestrel
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Carnaby's Cockatoo
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Collared Sparrowhawk
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Wedge-Tailed Eagle
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Boobook Owl
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Tawny Frogmouth Owl
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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
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Little Corella
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Splendid Tree Frog
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They live in trees but are often found in rocky areas and caves.
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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
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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
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Little (Fairy) Penguin
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Honey Possum
...the little tiny animal next to this sign...
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Pygmy Possum
...the even tinier animal next to this sign...
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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
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Posted by charlystyles 13:19 Archived in Australia Tagged western_australian_museum Comments (0)

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park - WA

sunny 28 °C

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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.
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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.
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Visitors can take a 3km driving trail
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or a shorter walk we of course, did both!
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It was great to be able to walk between the pinnacles, and not be fenced off. so we had a bit of fun...
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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...
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Fossil Pupal Cases
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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.
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You can get an idea of scale in the image below if you can spot the cars (black dot top left)
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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
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and a beer on the way back
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with some great music in a great setting
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and the company of the usual seagulls
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and this magpie lark
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Other wildlife was possible
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but all we saw were these catapillars - no it's not Chinese writing!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:24 Archived in Australia Tagged the_pinnalces nambung_national_park Comments (0)

Dragon Boat Racing - WA

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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.
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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.
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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/
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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.
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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.
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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,
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and raced back following their team beating drum to the finish line
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there were up to 8 boats racing at any one time, and the other team members were on shore to cheer them on
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or maybe gain some tactics from the other teams
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When the race was one, the winners were cheered by the other teams
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later in the day, the races changed to a 2km distance with a staggered timed start
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It involved going round the course twice, so cornering was vital!
A great sport to watch on a sunny day
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regardless of this very Australian sign!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged dragon_boats Comments (0)

Horse Riding in The Hills - WA

sunny 28 °C

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With a lot of thanks to Jo for roping me into my first riding lesson in over 15 years!
This is Jo with Sally
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Although the stables seemed a little un-organised, and you were left to find your own horse, I was looking for 'Tom'
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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!
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Let's just say, standing trot is harder than it looks, and I was aching for days!
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However, we went for a little ride through the bush to cool down afterwards.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:35 Archived in Australia Tagged horse_riding Comments (0)

Hilary's Boat Harbour & Dog Beach

sunny 29 °C

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Hilary's Boat Harbour
Hillarys Boat Harbour was the first such major marina in the north metropolitan region of Perth.
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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.
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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.
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The dog beach at Hillarys is a designated beach reserve with plenty of space for dogs to run and enjoy the surf.
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Badger & Karma love it!
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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!
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Having picked Sammy up for a few days in the area, the first stop was Hilary's - welcome to the west coast!
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Nothing like some cocktails and fresh calamari to enjoy with the sunshine
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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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Whilst walking around the weir, we came across a few kangaroos, all seemed to have joey's with them
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Although they seemed to be chilling out, they weren't keen on me getting any closer than this
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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
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We did spot this little Bandicoot on the walk there
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What was spellbounding though, was the view over to the CBD of Perth, in the far distance.
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On the foothills below Lesmurdie Brook merges with Yule Brook that meanders across the coastal plain to the Canning River.
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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.
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A great day out with Sammy
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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Outside the Post Office is the Water Labyrinth where children play and try to avoid the ever changing walls of water
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Perth Central Railway Station
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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
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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
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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
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St Mary's Cathedral
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The Perth Mint
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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.
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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.

EXTRACT FROM THE
ROARING DAYS, BY HENRY LAWSON

Posted by charlystyles 16:27 Archived in Australia Tagged perth_city Comments (0)

Icons of Influence Trail, Perth - WA

Perth's powerful people and places in history

semi-overcast 20 °C

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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
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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
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Completed in 1888 this was where many of Perth’s prominent people worshipped on Sundays.
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Next to the Cathedral is Burt Memorial Hall,
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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.
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The Deanery
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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
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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
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As you enter Stirling Gardens, you are met by the statue of Alexander Forrest.
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This statue was sculpted by a young Italian sculptor, Pietro Porcelli, to commemorate Forrest’s life.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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This is the “top end” of the Terrace. Barracks’ Arch is all that remains of the Pensioner Barracks.
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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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Posted by charlystyles 15:11 Archived in Australia Tagged perth_icons_of_influence Comments (0)

Perth Hills, Mundaring - WA

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Moving on from Victoria, I'd had the wonderful offer to house and animal sit for a month in Mundaring, near Perth.

The house was s stunning property hidden away in the woods:
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However, looking after a place like this takes some work, and there is ALWAYS a job that needs doing! It was nice to be able to get through Yvonne's 'to-do' list while she was away, including...
polishing a jaguar..
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and the silver
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staining the outside furniture, and sign,
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and gym windows
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But at the end of the week, it's nice to look forward to the outdoor cinema, under the stars
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The Perth Hills offer a glorious mix of natural bush, wild flowers, waterfalls, creeks, towering trees, sensational views and vineyards.
Mundaring is in the heart of the The Hills, with six of the State's top Trails including the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail, Mundaring is perfect for walking and cycling.
It was great to be able to walk from the house into endless bush. They're some very lucky dogs!
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Beelu National Park is 3,000-hectares and abundant with flora and fauna. that is native to Western Australia. Some fo the most common wildlife includes Chuditch, Quenda, bushtail possum, echidna, grey kangaroos and the western bush wallaby. flora in the area includes jarrah, marri, grasstrees, bull banksia and sheoak.
On the first day, Yvonne took me to North Ledge, with stunning views over to Mundaring Weir.
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I walked the dogs here almost every day
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and saw some great sights, including this eagle (with a crow)
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and there was always the optin of hill training under the power lines
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Nearby to Mundaring is a place called Calamunnda Camel Farm] that have 10-15 camels they offer for trekking.
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but Sammy didn't seem too sure on the idea
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which I can understand, they're really quite ugly sometimes
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They did have some other animals to look at instead
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Whilst in Mundaring, I celebrated my 33rd birthday, and created some great memories of birthday cauliflower cheese (the result of living with a vegetarian!)
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a whole selection of cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Shop
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and thanks to Melanie and Yvonne for making it one to remember!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:29 Archived in Australia Tagged mundaring vernon_avenue Comments (0)

Fremantle - WA

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Fremantle is one of Western Australia's most historic cities. A wealth of 19th century buildings remains, including superb examples from the gold rush period.
Founded on the Indian Ocean in 1829, at the mouth of the swan River, Fremantle was intended to be a port for the new colony, but was only used as such when an artificial harbour was dredged at the end of the 19th century.

The town still has thriving harbours
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and, in 1987, it hosted the America’s Cup. Many sites were renovated for the event and street cafes and restaurants sprang up.
The America's Cup yachting race has been run every four years since 1851. Not until 1983 however did a country other than the United States win this coveted trophy. This was the year that Australia II carried it home.
My first venture into Fremantle was for the Street Arts Festival, Australia's biggest and best street arts festival held over the Easter long weekend. Performers from around the globe invaded the streets, turning them into over 11 stages to amuse, astound and amaze.
There was plenty of local and international acts, busking, street theatre, comedy, circus acts, cabaret and much, much more. The roads were closed to allow for the acts and the crowds to gather, giving people space to relax
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and restaurants room to expand
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This year performers took part from the USA, Japan, Italy, the UK, France, Cuba, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
I'm not sure where these guys were from...!
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Zap Circus gathered quite a crowd to show off daredevil acts
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Winterbourne were one of many live bands taking up a spot on the closed road
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there was music of all kinds around the city
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Some amazing street art was being done live
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This retro artist was using graffiti to produce his pieces of artwork
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and on a smaller scale, but still impressive this lady was doing pet portraits from people's phone images
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This chap wasn't just gazing into his crystal ball
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The Round House was built in 1930 and is Fremantle’s oldest building.
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It was the town's first gaol and, in 1844, site of the colony's first hanging.
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Beneath is a tunnel dug in 1837 to allow whalers to transfer cargo from the jetty to the High Street.
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The cannon at the Fremantle Roundhouse is manned by volunteers and fired at 1pm everyday except for Christmas Day and Good Friday
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The views from the top were great
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Fremantle Markets In 1897 a competition was announced to design a suitable building to act as Fremantle's Market Hall.
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The winning design still stands today, having been renovated in 1975. There are more than 170 stalls offering everything from fruit and vegetables to opals.
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E-Shed Markets are located waterside on Fremantle's historic Victoria Quay and have some 80 stalls. E-Shed Markets offer unique gifts and souvenirs, local arts and crafts, international food court and free entertainment every weekend
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Fremantle Prison - in the 1850's, when the first group of convicts arrived in the Saw River Colony, the need arose for a large-scale prison., An imposing building with a sturdy gate-house and a cold, forbidding limestone cell block was built by those first convicts in 1855. It is the largest convict built structure in Western Australia and is the most intact in the entire country. It was not closed until 1991.
In 1894 prisoners completed construction of the 1km labyrinth of tunnels located 20 metres beneath the Prison. water from the tunnels sustained thousands of people in the Fremantle area in the late 1800's.

St Patrick Catholic Church - built in 1900, decorated gothic style and constructed of limestone.
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and some other church...
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The Port of Fremantle operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is the states; principal general cargo port, handling 74% by value of WA's sea-borne imports. Total trade through Fremantle Ports in 2013-2014 was 33.5 million mass tonnes, worth more than $28.4 billion.

Other sites included the Post Office
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The Technical College
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Esplande Hotel
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Even the bike shelter seemed interesting
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'Freo' has retained its migrant driven cosmopolitan culture. There is always something happening around the town and it is a hub for art lovers with local musicians and street performers out to impress.

One of my favourite spots was suggested by one of the shearer back in Victoria - Little Creatures Brewery.
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One of many small scale breweries along the waterfront in Fremantle, but with a great atmopshese,
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stone pizza over, and a perfect view from the garden.
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Posted by charlystyles 13:32 Archived in Australia Tagged fremantle Comments (0)

King's Park, Perth - WA

sunny 27 °C

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My first trip up to King's Park was for my birthday outing with Yvonne and her friend Lesley.
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It's a great way to see the city of Perth and appreciate it's location on the river.
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A perfect day to enjoy the view with a few fluffy cotton wool clouds
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Cenotaph - An 18m granite obelisk commemorates all Western Australians who gave their lives in the service of their country.
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The internal walls of the undercraft list the names of more than 7,000 members of the services killed in action or who died of wounds or illness in WWI.
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Bronze plaques on the outside walls list the names of nearly 4,000 Australians who lost their lives in WWII.

Flame of Remembrance - dedicated to Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, the Court of Contemplation commemorates the confliscts in which Western Australians have been involved.
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The Flame of Remembrance, located within the Pool of Reflection, was lit by Her Majesty in 2000. Burning continuously the four torches of the flame represent the Navy, Army, Air Force and Women's Services.

As we were leaving Kings Park one evening, we caught the beginning of the daily sunset service.
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A beautiful and timely reminder as Anzac day was only two days away - and I would not be getting up for the traditional sunrise service!
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Anzac Day is one of Australia's most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War
As the sun set over Perth
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it was something special to listen to the bugle and the bagpipes
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to be surrounded by men representing all uniforms
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and to listen to the stories of a particular few men that lost their lives
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something quite humbling
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Owers' Corner is the starting point of the Kokoda Track.
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From here the troops caught their first glimpse of the daunting Owen Stanley Range. Across these mountains the Japanese South Seas Army Force had advanced until they were halted only 9km from here.
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The Darling Scarp - forming Perth's Eastern Hills, the Darling Scarp is the edge of a vast area of granite bedrock 2.5billion years old, making it one of the oldest landscapes on earth.

The tranquil Water Garden Celebrates a Darling Scarp stream system.
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These streams are a vital water source for plants, animals and people in Perth's dry climate.
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Beyond the Water Gardens is a fountain pool, which alternates between the features and sculptures
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Western Australia is unique. It has half od Australia's 25,000 plant species and most of those are found nowhere else on earth. the western Australian Botanic gardens is an ever-changing, living research centre committed to the conservation of Western Australia's flora. There are several walks you can take around the gardens that highlight it's different aspects.

Saved from demolition, this 80-year old Dragon tree was relocated from a private property in Dalkeith in 2014.
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Under police and pilot vehicle escort, the 9km journey to Kings Park took over three hours, starting at midnight to minimise traffic disruption. Safely upright in Kings Park, the Dragon Tree's extensive canopy was preserved during the transplant. Support anchors will remain until the root system re-establishes.

Queen Victoria Statue
- Presented to the peopled of Western Australia by Mr A.Stoneham in 1902.
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Lotterywest Federation Walkway glass bridge
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Since opening in 2003, it has become one of Kings Park and Botanic Garden's most popular tourist attractions.
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The 40 minute return journey begins at the State's Centenary of Federation floral emblem mosaic - the Kings Park Federation Flame Kangaroo Paw. It travels through the Western Australian Botanic Garden and over the spectacular elevated 52 metre glass and steel arched bridge to the Beedawong amphitheatre. The journey extends 620 metres through the Western Australian Botanic Garden over an arched bridge suspended among a canopy of tall eucalypts. Along the way, visitors can enjoy views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the diverse Western Australian flora, Aboriginal art, the Water Garden and Marri woodland forest.
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Interpretive signage details Kings Park and Botanic Garden's connection to Federation and the importance of Lord John Forrest's involvement in the Park's history.
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The rusted steel structure finish was designed to blend in with the trees in the gardens. It provides a potent reminder of the rusted steel of camps, farms and mines in the Western Australian bush at the time of Federation.

After Kings Park on my birthday, Yvonne took us to Mill Point
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for lunch at Blue Water Grill.
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the view to Perth city was stunning
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and the local magpie lark was pretty too :)
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Posted by charlystyles 13:34 Archived in Australia Tagged kings_park anzac_day Comments (0)

Leaving Mansfield

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It seems everybody is involved with part of the community somehow. Fenella is a great support to the Pony Club, and the week after I left was the annual event. One of the jobs that needed doing was to update all the show jumps (of which there's many!). So, either using sump oil, or decking oil, we set-to painting them.
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I'm hoping the horses appreciated this lovingly painted train jump!
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After a great, busy, educational three weeks, it was time to head over to Western Australia.
But not without a great send off / birthday meal.


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With thanks to Lorri for organising it, although it wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't used a metal detector to find the lost keys in a 240kg bale of wool earlier in the day! How could you loose these?!
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and Carol for a most yummy Birthday cake (even if I have now got a new Australian name!)
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Joint birthday shared with Claire
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As I was going to live with a vegetarian, I made sure I got my fill or meat,
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and a photo of Mark's steak to keep me going
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I'm going to miss these beautiful mornings
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these noisy cockatoos
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this great group of ladies; Jutta, Kammy, Steph, Sammy, Claire and Mel
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and going to miss this doggie in particular; Cannie
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my little helper
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Posted by charlystyles 13:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Puppies - Delatite Farm

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Part of the menagerie at Delatite Farm was 6 Kelpie puppies. 2xgrey, 2xred and 2xred and tan.
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Even over the three weeks I was there, they grew so much!!
Not much else to say on this one...just some cute pictures...
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Posted by charlystyles 16:21 Archived in Australia Tagged kelpie_puppies Comments (0)

Mount Stirling - Victoria

sunny 20 °C

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Making the most of the beautiful scenery, I headed up to Mount Stirling for a day of alpine walking with my trusty rusty truck
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Along the way I passed several huts,
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mostly used by the local schools for educational trips
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Mount Stirling is 1,749m above sea level. Looking back down to Mansfield and the Kings Country it feels high!
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Although this sign didn't seem to apply in the summer, it highlights just how remote the trails can be
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The view from the top boasts 360degrees of the surrounding mountain ranges.
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Foremost is the view of Mount Buller to the South, where you can see the village, north side ski runs and terrain from a different angle.
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The false summit, home of the 500 year old snow gum compliments the scene giving Mount Stirling the appearance of a saddle, with a well defined tree-line from afar.
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However, the evidence of passed fires is obvious.
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About 30 million years ago lava flows formed a layer of Basalt, seen today as a basalt cap upon which the Mt Buller village is built. A long period of erosions has left the present-day landscape characterised by a high open plateau and some sharp peaks, bounded by sharp ridges and deep sheltered valleys.
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Much of Mt Stirling consists of granite formed during the Devonian period, about 370 to 400 million years ago.

Alpine and subalpine environments, which are defined as regularly experiencing persistent snow, occupy approxomiately 0.15% of Australia. Many of the plants and animals that occupy the alpine and subalpine environments are not found anywhere else.
Thankfully, having discovered on the summit that my lunch (a pie left by the previous inhabitant of the shed) was mouldy, I found some yummy blackberries to keep me going
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Cross-country skiing at Mt Stirling became popular in the late 1970's. Logging roads were cleared in the winter, so enthusiasts would drive as far as possible and ski from the snowline.
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In summer, it looks like it'd be a great place for mountain biking
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In1982 Mt Stirling was declared an Alpine resort, and today employs a team of full-time volunteer winter ski patrollers. There are over 70km of ski trails.

Much of the forest in the sub-alpine region is re-growth forest of Alpine Ash, changing to Snow Gums in the higher areas.
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Many of these gums above the snow line may be hundreds of years old. Alpine plants and animals have evolved to survive the extremes of their environment - low temperatures, high winds, snow cover for long periods, and seasonal inundation.
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The trail was varied, due to the differences in altitude, but Wombat's Wander was particularly pleasant
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not that I saw any wombats!
I wouldn't want to guess what size monster has munched on this tree though
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I did come across this feisty fella though
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On the way home, I took a detour to investigate 'Sheepyard Flat' and came across my first sight of wild kangeroos
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Though the residents of this house probably don't look at them so favourably
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A little closer to home and the sun was setting over Mansfield
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Anther top day out
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Posted by charlystyles 13:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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