Kings Park WWI Memorial

We had 2½ days left to spend in Perth and we made the best of every minute of them.

We spent the first morning we visited King’s Park, a 400ha park which comprises a Botanic Garden, a war memorial, café and a large gift shop. It is situated high on a hill above Perth.

The memorial is a WWI Memorial and there was no room for any more information for future wars as WWI was believed to be the war to end all wars due to the very high loss of life. While standing at the memorial one has a stunning view over the central city, the Swan River and the harbour filled with yachts and tourist boats. As we were there in November, Remembrance Month, all around the memorial were red crocheted poppies which looked quite beautiful. On 25 April each year ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is marked by a service at this memorial. Originally it only remembered those who had been killed in WWI but since then there have been a number of wars and now all have died in wars or peace-keeping activities in areas of conflict. Below the original memorial which is on a hill, an area has been opened up and the names of those listed were killed in WWII, the Crimean War, the Korean War and other conflicts in which ANZAC troops have been involved.

Kings Park WWI MemorialWWWi Memorial

poppiesBeds of crocheted poppies

Kings Park WWII and other wars Memorial 2Entrance to Memorial for WWII and other wars

Kings Park Names of those died in warsJust a small section of names of those who died

There was one very annoying activity happening by a group of people from an Asian country and, because the memorial clearly had no significance for them, their only interest was in taking photos of themselves with the city of Perth in the background. All were adults but they climbed all over the site, took photos and left.

Once we had spent some time at the memorial taking in the enormity and horror of war, we began our walk around the Botanic Gardens. The whole park is wheelchair friendly and the paths are not steep. The only problem is choosing which one to take as one cannot cover the whole garden in a few hours. We crossed the Glass Bridge which is a bridge with glass sides and a sloping floor. From the centre of the bridge are, once again, wonderful views of downtown Perth. At the end of the bridge was a large gazebo where one can just sit and enjoy the view or can bring a picnic lunch as there was plenty of room and grassy area for children to play.

Ent to WA Botanic GardenEntrance to Botanic Gardens

Kings Park glass bridgeThe Glass Bridge

Kings Park gazebo and viewLarge gazebo and view of Perth

From there we made our way around a variety of gardens including those with plants from different regions and countries, plants in their categories and types, water plants in pretty ponds and many more. There were a few birds including some Kookaburras sitting a tree.

 Kings Park cacti 2

Candle Cacti in the Cactus garden

Kings Park Kookaburras in treeKookaburras in a tree

One section which was fairly new but very special honouring women in all walks of life. There was a path with names and occupations or contributions to everyday life leading to a circular area with more plaques in the shape of books.

Kings Park Memorial to womenMemorial to women

At the top of the gardens is a carved mural which honours mothers. Another Memorial within the Gardens was a statue of Lord Forrest, a Statesman and Explorer and the first President of the Botanic Gardens. What is really attractive about this statue is where it is situated – in a wide area of grass surrounded by trees.

Kings Park Memorial to mothersMemorial to mothers

Kings Park Lord Forrester statueStatue of Lord Forrest

At one spot there was a set of boards describing the SW Australian Aboriginal Nyoongar seasons of which there are 6 based on the rains and the growth of plants. It made very interesting reading. The tribes in other parts of Australia have different seasons based on the weather patterns and plants in their particular area. After a cup of coffee at the café we visited the gift shop where we could have spent a good long time as it had such a large variety of things on offer. The only thing that I could not find was a magnet that I liked. Altogether the Botanic Gardens are magnificent and a real joy to visit.

Kings Park Aboriginal seasonsThe 1st 4 seasons of the Nyoongar

Kings Park Aboriginal seasons 2The other 2 seasons (with the Season of the Young repeated)

We drove down to the Restored Waterfront known as Elizabeth’s Quay or colloquially as Betty’s Quay. It was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II for the Diamond Jubilee of her Coronation in 2013. One of the first things we saw was a tall tower, the Bell Tower, on a wall of which is the name of every child who was in school in Perth in 2012. It has a set of 18 bells, the 2nd the largest in the world of which 12 come from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London and are pre 14th Century. The other 6 are more modern made in the Whitechapel Foundry. Sadly, we didn’t get to hear them ring.

Perth TowerThe Bell Tower 

We walked across the Queen’s Quay Pedestrian Bridge which was beautifully designed. We followed the boardwalk around to the other side of the portion of the Swan River from where the yachts and pleasure boats were moored. It was an extremely hot day which had not been a problem at King’s Park as there was plenty of shade but here on the Quay, surrounded by buildings and walking on concreted paving, it was very uncomfortable.

There were some really interesting pieces of art around the boardwalk. From the bridge we could see a very striking sculpture which looked like a rising set of hoops called Spanda. As we walked on the other side we came across another silver coloured sculpture which made me think of a Dodo and it was standing in a boat. It was called First Contact. Then there was a statue of a woman named Bessie Rischbieth was born in 1874 and an early activist for women’s and children’s rights.

Bird sculpture on quayFirst Contact

Sculpture on QE2 QuaySpanda

Once we came back to where we had started we were very glad to see an ice-cream shop which offered umbrellas over the tables. A well deserved treat.

We returned to the main area where the Bell Tower is situated and stopped at the office where one buys tickets for boat trips on the Swan River to get prices and times of departure. Trevor and I planned to do this on the day we would be leaving, which would be in the late evening, so there was plenty of time to do so.

As we were leaving we saw a group of people having camel rides around the square. I wasn’t at all envious as we had ridden camels in Dubai and it’s not something I wish to do again. It is a very uncomfortable form of transport.

Camel ridingtourists riding camels

To get back to the car we walked through another lovely small park.