Fremantle and the Journey South

This memorial to the great a Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is located in the Esplanade Reserve, across the railway line from Fishing Boat Harbour. Its creation was inspired by the strong Portuguese community in Fremantle.
Ceramicist Edgar Nailor
Sculptor Ciare Bailey
Designer John Kirkness

14634 km (9093miles) Keynsham to Fremantle
Possibly the best fruit market stall in Australia.
The Coastals Scottish Pipe Band rehearsing in the Esplanade Reserve.
Esplanade Youth Plaza, we watched some great antics performed on bikes and skateboards.
Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 is the flagship of Cunard Line. She was constructed to replace the then ageing Queen Elizabeth 2, which was the Cunard flagship from 1969 to 2004 and the last major ocean liner built before Queen Mary 2. Queen Mary 2 had the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix conferred on her by the Royal Mail when she entered service in 2004, as a gesture to Cunard’s history.

Our happy hut and the Angry Bird in Fremantle
The galley from the up ladder bed loft.
We had to reinvent the dumb waiter to get things up to the sleeping loft! i.e. the green shopping bag on a string!
Fremantle Maritime Museum and the shipping container installation.
The Parry Endeavour. Parry Endeavour
The America’s Cup
Western Australia Maritime Museum, Fremantle
Memorial Hill
The Angry Bird at the Worsley Alumina Mine.
Tea in the Wool Shed, Williams, on the road south to Albany.
Leaving Williams
The End

Queens Park and the Matagarup Bridge

A little way from our hotel we found Queens Gardens established in 1899 on the site of a brickworks. An oasis of green amongst the flood lights of the WACA , tall office blocks and hotels of the city. Situated as it is just across the road from the WACA it must be a busy place on match days. The Western Australian Cricket Association was officially established on 25 November 1885, the WACA ground was officially opened, occupying a site of old swamp land to the east of the city. The association has a 999-year lease over the land (which expires in 2888).

The black swan is the emblem of Western Australia and it adorns many public buildings and it is featured on the Western Australia State Flag.

There’s a replica of Sir George Frampton’s famous statue of Peter Pan, which was presented to the children of Western Australia in 1927 by the Rotory Club of Perth. the original is in Kensington Gardens London, only 4 copies have been made from the original mould.

Little Egret

In November 2017, the Government announced that the bridge would officially be named “Matagarup Bridge”, where “Matagarup” is the Nyungar name for the whole area – waters included – around Heirisson Island, and which means “place where the river is only leg deep, allowing it to be crossed”. It had previously been referred to as the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge.

The structure is designed as a 3-span steel cable-stayed bridge, with the two piers in the river bed. The bridge maximum height of 72 metres (236 ft) is reached in midspan of the central span. The length between the abutments is 400 metres (1,300 ft), with a 160-metre-long (520 ft) central span. The total length of the pedestrian crossing is 560 metres (1,840 ft), which includes a 100-metre (330 ft) ramp at the East Perth end to route pedestrians away from nearby residential areas.

The bridge’s structural shape resembles two flying swans, with the bridge arches representing the wishbones, but it can also be seen as a swimming dolphin, a Wagyl serpent or a ribbon. 900 metres (3,000 ft) of multicolour LED lighting cover the bridge. (The Wagyl is the Noongar version of the Rainbow Serpent in Australian Aboriginal mythology, from the culture based around the south-west of Western Australia).

Design modifications were made to allow bridge climbing as a tourist attraction. The modifications include the addition of handrails along the wishbones and a viewing elevated platform. The structural design already included stairs for bridge inspection and maintenance works. The addition of a zip-line from the top of the bridge to the ground is also being considered.

The estimated cost of the bridge, as of June 2015, was $54 million by January 2018, the construction cost had increased to $91.5 million.

Cormorant drying out.
Detail of the chest feathers
Bright red bottlebrush (Callistemon).
No seafood for supper then!
Another view of the bridge.
The End

A Few days in Perth WA

After a great deal of research we decided after many years with Avis to try No Birds car rental. At half the price of the airport based hire firms our city based company was a no brainier.

Our wheels
for the trip

We picked up our Hyundai i30 in the morning two streets away from out hotel and set off to find Woolworths to buy essential supplies… we had in impromptu tour round the WACA stadium as we missed the turn for the freeway across the Swan River.

WACA Ground from Queens Gardens.

The car fuel gauge was on empty so first stop the petrol station. Filled up after a challenge finding the release button for the fuel cap. Returned to the hotel and enjoyed the air conditioning whilst we rested.

Perth has an excellent free bus service with 4 routes. Any one planning a visit would be wise to book a hotel near one of these routes.

In about 28° sultry heat and the threat of rain we decided today to take the Red and Blue routes to visit the Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, housing the Anzac Centenary Bell the largest swinging bell in Australia. The Anzac Bell commemorates the Centenary of Anzac 2014-2018, marking 100 years since Australia’s involvement in the First World War. Weighing in at 6.5 tonnes, the bell is the heaviest of its kind ever to be cast in Australia.

The bell was designed by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, one of the oldest and most well-known bell manufacturers in the world that was also responsible for the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and Big Ben in London.

The bell was cast in Western Australia with a number of local businesses contributing to the manufacture.

We had a go at ringing the other bells as part of our tour, including two of the original St Martin’s bells dating 1795 reflected that it was very pleasant in the airy light air conditioned tower, with ear defenders and all the health and safety rues of the 21st century…what must it have been like for the ringers celebrating the defeat of the Spanish Armarda 1588. The St Martin-in-the-Fields bells can be traced to before the 14th century. They were recast in the 16th century by order of Queen Elizabeth I and again between 1725 and 1770 by members of the Rudhall family of bell founders from Gloucester.

The Bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields rang across London when Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. They rang again for Sir James Cook’s homecoming about 200 years later. They feature in the children’s nursery rhyme, “Oranges and lemons say the Bells of St Clement’s; You owe me five farthings say the Bells of St Martin’s.” So how did these bells find a home in Perth, on the bank of the Swan River? In 1986, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers decided on a major overhaul of the nation’s bells, nearly half of which were either derelict, out of tune or difficult to ring. As part of this project, association president and Perth businessman Laith Reynolds also wanted to buy a major peal of bells for the University of WA’s School of Music as part of the City of Perth Bicentennial program. After two unsuccessful attempts to buy British bells, Mr Reynolds became aware of a controversy surrounding the bells of the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square and a plan to recast them. Conservationists believed the bells were too important to destroy, but church bellringers said their quality had deteriorated. So in a deal that appeased all sides, the old bells were sent to Perth in exchange for 12 tonnes of tin and copper to make new bells for the church. They were welcomed to Perth in a ceremony on April 13, 1988, when the Anglican and Catholic Archbishops handed over the bells, after more than 700 years of Christian use, to their new secular future. They stayed in storage until 1998 when premier Richard Court announced plans for a new tower to house the bells as part of a redevelopment of Barrack Square. The 18-bell peal finally got a permanent home when the tower was opened on December 10, 2000.” The peal of change ringing bells in the Bell Tower is one of the largest instruments of this type in the world,” said manager Gerry Lyng.

Probably the only bell tower in the world where ringers can see the bells n real time via cctv whilst ringing.
Copy of a plaque hanging in st Martin in the Fields, London.
The Carillon
The Swan Bell Tower Perth.
South Perth from the Tower
Supreme Court Gardens From the Tower


New South Wales

Wollongong was founded as a village in 1816; its name is an Aboriginal word meaning “sound of the sea.” It became a town in 1843, a municipality in 1859, and a city in 1942. It was amalgamated with other municipalities and shires in 1947 to form the City of Wollongong, which extends for some 30 miles (50 km) along the coast. Originally dependent on grazing and lumbering, the area early became the focus of prosperous dairy farmers.

Cows in the Illawarra Region.

Wollongong was once a centre of heavy industries, such as steel production at Port Kembla, which were attracted by the rich Bulli coal deposits nearby. Steel production declined in the late 20th century and with it coal mining. Coal is still mined, but by the early 21st century it had been supplanted in importance by other economic activities, among them construction and manufacturing.

In addition to steel, Wollongong’s industries manufacture other metallurgical products, including copper, as well as bricks, fertilizers, machinery, processed foods, chemicals, clothing, and coke. A fishing fleet operates from the artificial harbour of Port Kembla. Wollongong is linked to Sydney (50 miles [80 km] north) by road and rail.

It is the site of the University of Wollongong (1975; originally [1951] a division of the New South Wales University of Technology), which is a major local employer, and of a college of technical and further education. The Science Centre and Planetarium is a popular attraction, and the Illawarra Museum, housed in a 19th-century post office building, has exhibits on the life of that period.