Perth and Fremantle, WA

Apr 22 – Happy birthday Nickie!!! šŸ™‚

Well, I’m still in Perth and feeling kind of ‘ho hum’ with caravan life. Probably this has to do with the 3 income tax returns I’ve been juggling.

Taking stock, it’s 5 months since I moved into my home on wheels last November on the Gold Coast. Leaving out my travels in Tasmania and side trips here and there along the way, I’ve covered about 5,000k – Gold Coast to Melbourne to Adelaide to Perth still about 9,000k to go – Perth to Broome to Darwin to Alice Springs to Townsville to the Gold Coast.

My plan is on track – I planned to be heading north from Perth by the end of April, before the autumn weather begins to cool the south and the cyclone season should be finished in the north – well, I’ll get on the road north soon.

Too many words and not enough pictures. I’ll get right on that in a day or so when I’ve put the tax bureaucrats to rest.

Perth is the last big city on my radar and I won’t miss them, big cities that is.

Apr 27 – still in Perth with the tax returns – waiting for copies of receipts and I’ve decided to visit a tax accountant to help me through my 1st Aussie returns on Monday. So, with a little luck I’ll get on the road north in a week or so.

I took the ferry to Rottnest island yesterday, a 45 minute ride on a high-speed launch. The name Rottnest is a derivation of the Dutch for “rat’s nest”. They named it in the mid 1600’s when they came out to New Holland (Australia) and found all these little guys nesting on the island.

a quokka by the path on Rottnest Island WA

a quokka by the path on Rottnest Island WA

It’s a Quokka not a rat, a marsupial – carries its babies in a pouch like a kangaroo, very friendly. Don’t ask me where “Quokka” comes from. It’s pronounced like an Aussie says “cracker”, without “r” sounds – “pass the quokkas mate”.

Great day on Rottnest, lots of walking, picnic on the beach (I’ve spared you the photos), sunshine, hop on/hop off bus that circles the island … Waiting for the ferry to return to the mainland, I read a sign that talked about the “lucrative” salt business that was carried on in the 1800’s from several salt lakes on the island – free labour supplied courtesy of the Aborigine prisoners! It didn’t explain why they had been taken prisoner, beyond their value as labour that is. Today, apparently 50% of the prison population is aboriginal, when they represent only 2% of the country’s population overall (source Radio National Australia)!

Rottnest Island jetty - Perth on the horizon

Rottnest Island jetty – Perth on the horizon

My camp is a short distance from “Sunset Coast”, well named because there’s a different one here 365 days a year! A lot of water between here and South Africa, straight out there!

South Africa just ~8,000k over the horizon

South Africa just ~8,000k over the horizon

Apr 30 – taxes finished!! The accountant turned it all into a breeze – should have gone to one weeks ago. Laundry and stuff tomorrow, then on the road north Thursday morning – just need to decide where? Quo Vadis? Here are a few pics of Perth and Fremantle. As a 39-year-old, I was able to buy an all day pass for $4.40.

modern train service

modern train service

Fremantle Market open Fri-Sun, full of fun and good things – fruit & veges, meat, fish, coffee, cakes, food of all sorts, people, stuff …

Fremantle Market

Fremantle Market

On ANZAC Day the Aussie navy was in town and this pub was littered with sailors in whites, looking for …. missed an opportunity for a pic.

party central Fremantle

party central Fremantle

A lot of neat old buildings – you’ll notice a lot of them either are or were pubs!

some lovely streets in Fremantle

some lovely streets in Fremantle

Opened in 1831, it’s the oldest public building in WA. It was a jail with only 8 cells, each cell housing 2 prisoners. Built on a high promontory overlooking the sea with a metres deep (to below sea level) well dug in the very centre – quite a building for only 16? The tour guide I spoke with had a funny accent – he was from Vancouver.

the Roundhouse at Fremantle

the Roundhouse at Fremantle

Everyone told me I had to visit the Freo Prison and so I did. I believe it closed in 1991 (new one opened) and at that time it didn’t have running water in the cells. The tour guide told us that the prisoners weren’t prisoners, they were convict workers??? Yes, convicts were sent here too under the English ‘convict regime’ and then at some point it was used for locals. ~350,000 forlorn souls were ‘processed’ through these gates. It’s a world heritage site. No more prison tours.

Fremantle Prison, now closed

Fremantle Prison, now closed

I did most of my sight-seeing in Fremantle. Perth looked like it had a wonderful Vietnamese section, drove through it one day and meant to go back, but it didn’t happen.

Perth skyline

Perth skyline

Let’s pack up and get on the road north to …

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About durhamgjvoyageur

Retired guy, travelling and enjoying our amazing world!
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One Response to Perth and Fremantle, WA

  1. Sue says:

    I love that little quokka – could you send it to me for a present for Terry – what a cute face it has – as for the rest of the pics and stories – I have learned so much from you about down under – amazing journey and awesome to read
    xxoo

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