Saturday, September 6, 2008

Perth City and Wave Rock

My third day in Perth was spent in the city itself. The first stop was at the Tourist Information Centre at Forrest Place in the city centre. The office is choked full of tourist brochures and information plus the staff is very helpful. Forrest Place itself had a giant TV screen showing the Olympics (what else?) and this is where people gather with for their favourite coffee or beer to cheer their athletes. After getting some touring company brochures, I went to one of them, Aussie Perth Tours, where the prices were cheaper than others. Since it was winter, some of the tours that suited my dates could not be confirmed since they do not have sufficient number of participants yet. But the next two days' tour were confirmed. The rest of the day was spent window shopping in the mall areas of Hay Street and Murray Street. London Court arcade is very English as the name suggests. Lunch was at the food court at Carillon City, another of the shopping malls.

After lunch we strolled to the Esplanade and the Gerrard Street jetty where all the ferries and cruises depart. This is also where the iconic Bell Tower is located.

Today is the first of my tour using the local tour company. Since we must be at the pick-up point in the city by 7.30am, we have to get up early to catch the 6.30am bus from the Morley bus station. In was very cold in the early morning but we made it to the city ahead of time. The tour today is to Wave Rock near the town of Hyden which is more than 300km from Perth, hence the need to start off early. There were only 8 of us on this trip including the driver, Keith. We went past Guildford and Mundaring valley before we made the first stop at York. We cross over the picturesque river Avon via a small suspension bridge by foot and we continue our journey.

We continue our journey through vast farmland of wheat, barley and canola and some dotted with sheep. At Corrigin, there was a cemetery dedicated for dogs who had help in the rounding up of sheep in the farm. Finally we arrived at Wave Rock and it was a wonderful sight.

On top of the Wave Rock there are many rock formations with unusual shapes that looks like creatures whatever your imagination fancy to be.

There were also many unique flowers and vegetation on the top and around that area and many types of tiny orchids, including the spider orchid that has just starting to bloom. I suppose it will be a more beautiful sight when the flowers are in full bloom later in spring.

Keith was very knowledgeable on the various types of wide flowers that were growing in the area. He must be, since they have wide flower tours in the springtime and Western Australia has many type of wide flowers unique to the state.

We had lunch in a picnic spot near Wave Rock. This consists of bread, salads, cold meat cheese, etc that you have to turn into sandwiches yourself. From here, we drove to a natural rock formation called Hippo's Yawn Cave nearby. It does look like a hippo's mouth at certain angle as seen below.

On the way back we drove past many fruits orchids and some were already flowering. We got back to Perth at about 7 and I was looking forward to another tour the next day.

Ronald Kwok

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