Category Archives: Oceania
Last week I was invited on a road trip from Perth down to the south-west coast of Western Australia. The big highlight of the journey was to be a whale watching trip in Augusta. I’ve previously been on a trip to see orcas from Vancouver Island which is one of my favourite memories of my Canadian adventure, so I wasn’t going to miss out on this opportunity to view more whales in their natural habitat. However as my travels across the globe have taught me, things don’t always go to plan. The old wives tale of bad luck comes in threes certainly held true for me.
If money is tight Fremantle’s bohemian atmosphere make it a great destination by Australian standards. This compact city can accommodate backpackers even on the tightest budget. Here are my top 10 cheap ideas ranging from completely free activities stretching to bargain $10 prices.
Fishing Boat Harbour
Take a stroll along the boardwalk at Freo’s working harbour, home to hundreds of fishing vessels. Enjoy the waterfront lined with restaurants and find the statue of Bon Scott from AC/DC. In winter keep warm with a bag of hot chips, just keep an eye out for the hungry seagulls!
In central Perth a unique and unmistakable tower of glass and copper rises majestically above the Swan River. This modern landmark is home to the time-honoured tradition of change ringing. A recent visit gave me the opportunity to become a bell-ringer myself.
Fremantle Prison is Western Australia’s only UNESCO World Heritage listed building. Built using convict labour in the 1850s, the prison was in use up until 1991. That means you may be lucky enough to be given a tour by a former guard or even to be joined by a former prisoner. I was given an extremely informative and entertaining tour through the maze of courtyards and cells by guide Matthew, giving an insight into prisoners’ lives within Fremantle Prison.
I have a tendency to wander around graveyards. Reading epitaphs can give away much about a place, its people and history. It may seem like a morbid activity but cemetery’s aren’t really the dark, scary settings from horror stories but rather memorials to life and individuals’ achievements. In fact Fremantle has designed a signposted trail around its cemetery highlighting notable and notorious Western Australians for who this is their final resting place. As part of the Heritage Festival I took a guided tour of Fremantle Cemetery, including a few speeches by the ‘residents’ themselves!