Friday, 2 April 2010

Australian travellogue: Kings Park

7 Nov 2009. There were two more places in my itinerary on the final day of our visit to Western Australia. We were back at Perth, staying at the same Comfort Inn that we had used when we arrived seven days earlier. And because time was at a premium to us, we checked out of the hotel early and drove across the Swan River to the Kings Park and Botanic Garden.

Kings Park, located at Mt Eliza which is to the west of Perth. From here, it is possible to take in a panoramic view of the city
I suppose if anyone wants a simple overview of the Western Australian flora and landscape, visiting the Kings Park should not be missed. It's probably the biggest park in Western Australia and summarises most everything that you would want to see and experience within the confines of 400 hectares of land. Nearly two-thirds of the Park is natural bushland with more than 300 species of native plants and around 80 bird species. The balance of the Park is made up of cultivated gardens and open recreational space. However, there is really no substitute to going out of Perth to see the great outdoors for yourself.

Top of the list of what we did at the Park was to admire the brilliant display of wild flowers. Of course, it helped that we were there in spring and the flowers were really competing for attention. Then there were the many interesting tracks through the Park. However, we felt a little disappointed with the tree-top walk. I guess the expectation was different after having experienced the one at the Valley Of The Giants near Walpole. Nevertheless, the tracks through the Park proved very educational.

We were impressed by the huge trees that looked like they had been uprooted and then planted upside down into the earth. The Aussies call them baob but I clearly remember that in school, we were taught to us as the baobab trees, native of Africa.

This is the Gija Jumulu at Kings Park, a 750-year-old boab tree. Jumulu simply means boab in the Gija aborigine language. It made a 3,200-kilometre journey from Kimberley in the north of Western Australia because it stood smack in the middle of a proposed highway. It was gifted to the Park by the Gija people.

And finally, no visitor could ever leave the Kings Park without admiring the Perth skyline and noticing the war memorials and monuments. The latter were a-plenty and all over the place.

The most pompous among them was that of Victoria. Here's old Queen Victoria with one of her cannons. I know that the sculptors were trying to make her look as regal a possible but unfortunately, I think she looked like suffering from a mild bout of indigestion. From her vantage point up there, I don't regard her as looking amused. Not at all.

Next: Wild flowers
Previous: Sunset dinner

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