It’s been 11 months since we last boarded a plane on our flight from Melbourne to Sydney (aside from a few seaplane trips on Hayman), but it’s time to say goodbye to the east coast as we fly across the continent to Perth. When we first planned our Australia trip over a year and a half ago now, we hadn’t considered the west coast as a must see in our itinerary. However, once we decided to add Asia into our plans it made sense to have a stop over in Perth with flights to Bali considerably cheaper than flying direct from Cairns.
Five hours and two time zones later, we arrive in the wild west of Australia. I’ve forgotten that Australia isn’t all tropics – it’s sweater weather this far south, a little reminder of our Canadian autumn with the cold crisp mornings and sunny afternoons. We have treated ourselves to a two night stay at the downtown Sheraton hotel thanks to our friends and family discount. After almost 3 weeks in shared dorm rooms, I am definitely in need of a good nights sleep.
The city of Perth is bound by the Swan river to its south, which provides for great walking and ample tourist opportunities. The outdoor Hay Street mall is the main shopping district with two blocks of pedestrian only walkways and underground malls connecting the main intersections. You can easily spend a day strolling through all the shops here, not to mention several hours in the Apple store playing on the new iPads and iPhone 4’s.
We spent our second afternoon in the city taking in the cultural center by visiting the Western Australia Museum for an exhibit on the last days of Pompeii – a city buried by one of the worst volcanic eruptions in history. Both the museum and the art gallery are free (except for special exhibitions), and are a great way to spend an afternoon. Tomorrow it’s back on the road again for 5 days before returning to Perth for our last days down under.