For those of us who know this little treasure and make use of it on a day to day basis we are indeed lucky, and for those of us who are still to stumble upon it here is a short introduction.
Hyde Park is known for its unique twin lakes and its grand old plain trees which line the lakes and provide a wonderful canopy whether it is summer, autumn, spring or winter. It is the place where many people come to get married, take family photos, enjoy birthday BBQs, and where some seek solitude and rest from the stresses of everyday life.
The very name Hyde Park has a distinct call to it. It is the name of a few wonderful parks around the world: London, Sydney, and Adelaide all have their Hyde Park, and our city of Perth in Western Australia is no exception.
Perth has many interesting native birds right on the doorstep. You can walk to some of the locations mentioned below or catch a free Central Area Transit (CAT) bus*.
John Oldham Park - a series of lakes near the Narrows Bridge interchange. Hundreds of birds breed or visit here including cormorants, ducks, darters, coots, grebes, swamp hens, egrets, herons and black swans. A pair of black swans regularly breed here when conditions are favourable. Amazingly they often take the growing cygnets safely across 4 lanes of traffic to feed in the Swan River. Directions: get off the free Blue CAT bus at stop #19: Mount Hospital.
Kings Park - an internationally renowned bush treasure with a huge range of flora and birds - magic in spring but worth a visit all year round. Just some of the birds here include parrots, cockatoos, pardalotes, wattlebirds, honey eaters, wagtails, bronzewings, swallows, kingfishers and kookaburras. Birds Australia has a complete list of birds in their online guides** - including for Kings Park. On hot summer days it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it is cooler.
Public Outdoor Ping Pong is POPP. We make outdoor ping pong tables from 700kg of steel and we get local artists to do their artwork.
Each table is a non-porous steel canvas and we encourage the artist to do whatever they feel would be most daring. There are no briefs or limitations. Sean Morris illustrated a beast with a severed head and severed limbs and Jae Criddle trapped a man with wings, or a pheasant on his back - depending on the angle.
The tables then end up in public - parks, open spaces, town squares. People kind of look at them at first, ponder the artwork and sometimes they work out that they can play ping pong on them, too.
In a city built on the banks of a large river bordered by 90 km of coastline, it would be a sin not to partake in some kind of water sport.
Perth is a water baby’s playground and for most of us, being in or on the water is part of our lives from a very early age. We swim and surf in it, dive under it, sail on it, jetski over it… the choices are only limited by our imaginations.
For visitors to the city, it is a matter of working out what you want to do in the time you have available. For our family, jetskiing on the Indian Ocean was top priority and far from anything they had ever tried in the cold waters of England.
Here is just a small taste of what is on offer around the city that you may wish to consider before you grab your towel and head to the beach:
The day had finally arrived for my swim with the dolphins adventure, and the Perth weather was perfect – a bright and sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. My adventure with the dolphins started in darkness however, as I had set my alarm clock for an early wake up call; to get to my pick up point before 7am. My chosen pick up point was the Wellington Street Coach Tourist Stand in the Perth CBD.
For those who have not been to the Tourist Stand in the city, it is located between William Street and Queen St on the bus port side of Wellington Street. Look out for the prominent sign Wellington Street Coach Tourist Stand next to the glass bus shelter. You can’t miss it!
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