Adventures in Australia, Part 1

After nearly two days of travel, I was finally in Perth!

After getting settled in, we headed to the store to purchase some clothes to get me by until my luggage arrived. Then after nightfall, we headed into town to check out the sights.

 

Kings Park and Elizabeth Quay

The 1003 acre Kings Park overlooks the Perth Central Business District and is the biggest inner city park in the world. We only got to explore a small part of it, but from the fountains to the unique trees to the views of the city, it was spectacular.

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The view of Perth from Kings Park

After exploring Kings Park, we drove down to the city and checked out Elizabeth Quay. Along with a bunch of restaurants, there were multiple sculptures, a ton of lights, some pretty great views.

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Elizabeth Quay
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Elizabeth Quay bridge
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A sculpture called First Contact

 

Rottnest Island

The next morning, we awoke at the crack of dawn and headed to Fremantle to catch the ferry to Rottnest island. None of the seats are assigned, so once you cast off, you can roam around the ferry at your leisure. The ride was rather smooth on the way to Rottnest, as the waves hadn’t picked up yet, and after a 25 minute ride, we arrived at the island.

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The Rottnest Express
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The view off the back deck of the ferry as we departed

Once we arrived, we immidiately headed to breakfast and I was introduced to my first sausage roll.

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Sampling a couple sausage rolls

Next, we made our way down to the beach. One amazing thing about the beaches in Australia is that the sand is so incredibly fine. Every beach in Western Australia that I visited had the silkiest sand my feet had ever touched.

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Making our way down to the beach
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One of the gorgeous beaches on the island

For our lunch on the island, we checked out the restaurant at Hotel Rottnest, which overlooked the bay. All the food and drink everyone ordered was absolutely amazing, but I was especially happy with the squid ink seafood risotto. I was expecting something light, but it took a real effort for me to finish every last delicious bite.

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The amazing squid ink seafood risotto I had for lunch
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The view from our table

After lunch, it was time to get what I came for: a selfie with a quokka!

For those of you who are unaware (and understandably so), the quokka is a cat-sized marsupial that lives only on the island of Rottnest. The adorable little creatures are very friendly and will happily pose for a selfie with you. They even smile.

After a lot of searching and a few dozen photos, I finally got a selfie with a Quokka!

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Taking a quokka selfie

After walking several miles all over the island, it was time to head back. The sea had picked up, but the ferry handled it like a champ. After an exciting ride, we were back in Fremantle.

 

My First AFL Game

So I had read up on Australian Rules Football before my trip and everything seemed rather complicated, but in all honesty, it was easier to follow than American football. The game is very fast paced and without helmets or pads, is absolutely brutal. Sending the ball through the center goal is worth six points and sending it through one of the adjacent goals or bouncing it off one of the posts is worth one point.

The Fremantle dockers were 29 points down shortly into the third quarter, but made a great comeback and ended the game 67 to 62 against the North Melbourne Kangaroos. We were seated directly behind the goal posts, which made for a great vantage point for the game winning goal.

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Out on the field after the Dockers win

 

Fremantle Prison

The next morning, we took a tour of the Fremantle Prison. Active for 136 years, much of the prison was constructed using the remnants from old ships. Even the railings in the cell block were repurposed from the railings from the retired vessels.

The tour covered the prison grounds, the cell blocks, kitchen, the prison chapel, and even death row and the gallows.

You can even get married in the chapel from what I’ve been told. Apparently, after you say your vows, they can even attach a ball and chain to your foot.

The basic tour is pretty awesome itself, but a more lengthly tour of the tunnels underneath the prison is also available, which I hope to do the next time I visit.

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Walking around the prison yard
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The cell blocks in 3 division
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The prison chapel

 

Fish & Chips and a Sea Shepherd Tour

After exploring the prison, we made our way to Cicerello’s for some authentic fish & chips. It was hard to say what my favorite food was during my time in Australia, but this definitely made the top of my list.

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Freaking delicious fish & chips

Afterwards, we checked out Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior, which was parked at one of the nearby docks.

My sister is a huge fan of the show Whale Wars, so I definitely had to take a tour to get some photos for her.

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The remotely controlled water cannon on the stern of the ship
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Checking out the bridge
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The rear facing seat that controls the cannon

The tour was very interesting and informative. Saving the whales is definitely cool and all, but I’m not sure if I could ever survive off the strictly vegan fare that they serve on the ship!

So thats my first 48 hours in Australia. More to come in the next post.

 

 

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