I’ve been in Perth, Western Australia for nearly three weeks now. I am slowly ticking off a few sights in and around the city, taking my time to explore my new surroundings.
The first thing on my must-see list was Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens, which apart from being a beautiful place to explore, gives you a fantastic view of the city. This struck me as the perfect introduction to Perth: the whole city spanning out in front of my eyes. Nothing says welcome better than a good vantage point from which to view your new, temporary home.
I explored the Botanical Gardens first. This was opened in 1965, spans 17 hectares and contains a vast array of Western Australian species. There are several lovely walking paths through parts of the Gardens, with the central area being given over to mainly wild bush land.
Over a raised bridge through the trees, the breeze rustled the leaves and the glass sides meant that you felt as if you were walking through the foliage.
After exploring the Botanical Gardens I joined a free walking tour of Kings Park. These tours depart three times a day from the Visitor Centre and are run by volunteers who share their knowledge of the park’s history, the founding of the city and the flora and fauna. You can learn about the strong connection to Aboriginal culture and the role Kings Park plays in Perth’s social history.
One thing I enjoyed learning about was that Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens have more memorials, statues and honour avenues than any other park in Australia. Everywhere you walked there were commemorative pieces dedicated to outstandingly brave people and it felt a fitting location in which to enjoy them.
A prominent memorial is the State War Memorial Cenotaph, which sits on the edge of the park overlooking the city and is one of Perth’s most iconic features.
And if you are not enjoying your stroll around this lush, green haven, then there is the view.
I don’t know about you, but a cityscape always leaves me feeling many emotions: invigorated, inspired, optimistic. You can’t help but look at a strange city and not feel the hint of a promise about what you mind find there, do, see or achieve.
Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens are open all year round and are free to visit. They are walkable from the city centre or you can take the free buses from the city centre to the front gates.
Have you just arrived somewhere new? What do you like to do when first getting to a new city? I love a good view – the higher up the better – but what about you? Share your thoughts with me!