Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A day with them roos, koalas and wombat

It's never complete to visit any of the Australian states without meeting the kangaroos, koalas, wombat and the Tasmanian Devil or commonly known as tazzie. So yeah, I made it a point in our to-do list while in Perth to visit them. And I specifically want to see them not at just any normal zoo but at their enclosures, at Caversham Wildlife Park at Whiteman Park. I know for a fact that visiting these animals at a normal zoo won't guarantee me to be able to get close up and personal with them. You know, zoos and their iron/glass cage.

We started moving around 9'ish, earlier than usual because we need to follow two buses to get to that place. We started off from James St (in front for the State Museum) and hopped onto bus No.60 to Morley Station. Actually, you can hop to any buses that stops at Morley Station. We found out that later when we saw a few buses that passed by us were all stopping at Morley Station. At Morley, we waited for bus No.336 to go to Ellenbrook. Whiteman Park is along the way to Ellenbrook so be sure to let the driver know that you're gonna off at Whiteman Park so that you don't have to anxiously looking for Whiteman Park sign board to press the button for the bus to stop.

In Malaysia, even with that signage, most people would just ignore it.

Sharing biscuit crumbs with this lil birdie.

At the Whiteman Park huge sign board at the main road.

Thia particular plant is EVERY WHERE in Western Australia. Hubby said it is called the Black Boy. No idea why. Probably because its trunk is black in color.

When we arrived at Whiteman Park, little did we know that in order to get to the Caversham Wildlife Park, it is another 2.5km distance from the main entrance. There's an intercom at the entrance to page the admin in charge if you need transportation to fetch you at the entrance to go insde. But, thinking it'd be best to walk to enjoy the scenery...so yeah, we walked a total distance of 2.5km to the wildlife park. But it was worth it. The scenery along the way was simply breath taking. Of course we felt our legs sore but it wasn't really that tiring since the weather was kinda cool with the sun shone brightly in between the thick and dark clouds that hovered above our head. Our only fear was that it would rain but luckily it didn't rain while we walked.
The main entrance to Whiteman Park.

Looks quite isolated this place. What can I expect? It's a wildlife park for goodness sake.

Cape weed flowers every where forming like field of gold meadow.

Some pretty wild blooms we saw along the way.

Finally, Caversham!

Breakfast before meeting them animals!

Colorful budgie and one cool 'rocka' cockatoo..


A long way to go for my Egypt trip, so the camels here can pretty much do...

A Llama and Terense the turkey.

Wombat is cute! But unfortunately ain't as huggable as koala and the roos.

Here we go! Them roos! Aren't they adorable?

Their fur is surprisingly soft. I bet, if they are well-bathed, many would love to hug them.

We were indeed very lucky that day cos the koalas were up and awake for their feeding time. Even managed to see mommy koala and its baby on its back. Cuteness!

We've touched a real koala! Period.

And this is the devilish Tasmanian Devil although I don't think it is that scary. Hubby overheard a visitor next to us saying, "Now, that's a look only a mother could love!" LOL. It is only about the size of a grown up cat. However, it does produces sound that would be quite eerie especially at night.

We have basically covered all 'Only in Australia' animals. So we are pretty contented and were not bothered to go for the Farm Show which covered activities like sheep shearing, whip cracking and lamb feeding. We ended our tour around 4 p.m. and headed back to Perth City. Don't worry if you find it a long wait for the bus to arrive. The bus will come.

And that's a wrap on our hunt for authentic Australian animals.

Day 6 Itinerary

  • Bus ticket (Perth St - Morley St - Whiteman Park :2 zones) AUD3.70 per pax last for 2 hours. (you can hop to any bus using the same ticket so long the destination is within 2 zones and not exceeding the 2 hours period)
  • Entrance fee to Caversham Wildlife Park AUD22.00 per pax.
  • Breakfast (refer photo above) - approximately AUD15 for two.
  • Bus ticket (Whiteman Park - Morley St - Perth St: 2 zones) AUD3.70 per pax last for 2 hours.
  • Dinner Roast Take Away at Old Shanghai, Northbridge AUD14.00, Maggie noodle AUD1.95 per cup.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The way to history learning - Perth Museum

Day 5 in Perth welcomes us with Spring shower from early in the morning. The thing about the rain is, it comes and it goes. One minute you saw blue sky, then the minute after you'd see dark clouds followed by drizzled of rain. And that happened throughout the day. So, we didn't do much except doing in-door tour. We decided to visit Perth Mint as well as the State Museum. Both are in the city centre and within walk. But with weather like that, we sure wouldn't want to get freeze in the cold.

So, we took the Perth Red CAT bus heading to Perth Mint first. But like many tourist attraction, there's fee for the tour to the Mint, which is still operating till now. The attraction at this site is that you can actually see a 200oz molten gold being poured to form a solid gold bar. You can also experience the 'I'm a rich person' moment by touching $400,000 worth of gold bullion. Not sure if they allow photos inside though since we didn't get on with the Mint Tour. However, if you wish to go, the fee for adult is AUD15. (http://www.perthmint.com.au)

perth mint

perth mint2

We just get to take photos in front of Perth Mint building.

Using the same Red CAT bus, we hopped in and stopped at James Street to visit the Western Australian State Museum.
At the time of our visit, an exhibition by the title 'A Day In Pompeii' is on going since May 2010. They charged fee for the exhibition so we didn't get onto that. We just went on with the normal museum tour - FOC.

Most people especially when traveling with kids will opt out museum tour from their itinerary because it is kind of boring for the kids. I am not a museum person myself but since we have a lot of free and easy time while in Perth, we decided one of the place to visit would be the museum. Of course, I did have my doubts of going to enjoy it as much as we enjoyed our wine tour. But, the Australian Museum has its way to spark interest even on people who are not keen on historical facts or the like. And that includes me.

It's amazing how they make the museum an interesting place to visit. This place has 9 different sections that displays exhibits from the T-Rex era to the world today.


The Discovery centre where people can learn facts about animals and insects as well as people.


The Wa Land and People section tells about the people and animal before pre-historic time.


Diamonds to Dinasours section - tells about how the earth is made and the many types of minerals found in this universe. A sure heaven for all the geology enthusiasts.

The human evolution and that's the Homo Sapiens today; Us!

The Mammal Gallery and the Bird Gallery

We also went to the Katta Dijnoon Gallery that houses the artifacts and stories of the first people in Australia - the Aborigins. We were not allowed to take photos there as it would steal the spirits of the Noongar (according to the Museum attendant). Whatever the reason is, it's kind of refreshing to be able to know the history and see the original inhabitants of this 6th largest country in the world.

After the museum tour, we went back to our hostel to re-fresh ourselves and getting ready to head for Murdoch. Tim, who treated us drinks the night before is treating us for dinner at his work place in Cockburn. We took train to Murdoch Station which is on Mandurah Line. FYI, Perth Train Station has 6 lines comprise of Armadale/Thornlie Line, Fremantle Line, Mandurah Line, Joondalup Line, Midland Line and Transwa Australind. If you want to go anywhere using train, just look at which lines does the place falls and purchase ticket according to that line.

Tim brought us here, Cafe Nocello, the place where he works. The owner, Lorenzo, is a very friendly and funny guy. He even opened a bottle of wine for us at the end of our meal although to be honest, after our main course I felt so full I couldn't occupy even a sip of wine.

Our entrees; Antipasto Plate - a combination of Italian sausage (yum), Prosciutto, smoked salmon, fetta, olives, dips and crisp flat bread (top L), Chilli Mussels serve with garlic bread which is a two thumbs up (R) and our dessert Profiteroles (bottom L).

Our main course; mine was Osso Bucco ala Milanese which means veal shanks serve with risotto and seasonal vege (L), hubby had Grilled Lamb Rum (top R) and Tim had Braise Beef Cheeks (bottom R).They are all in big portion and for tiny stomach like me, I can only eat so much. What more when I've indulged too much on the entrees. Add that with few glasses of red wine...let's just say, no more rooms for the dessert.

I told Lorenzo that I'm gonna feature his restaurant here in my blog and would like to have some photos of him and the staffs. Here they are.

Bloated and satisfied, we went home with hearts singing of happiness.

Day 5 itinerary
  • Breakfast - I forgot where we had breakfast today. No photos. Our bad.
  • Perth Red CAT bus to transfer between places - FREE
  • Perth Mint - entrance fee for tour AUD15 per pax (adult). http://www.perthmint.com.au/
  • Western Australian State Museum - entrance fee FREE except for special exhibition. Go to http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/museums/perth for on goings exhibition.
  • Train tickets to Murdoch Station from Perth Train Station - AUD3.70 per pax. This ticket covers up to 2 zones so you can use the ticket for 2 hours to transfer between services. http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au
  • Dinner at Cafe Nocello in Cockburn (about 5 minutes drive from Murdoch Train Station) - total expenditure unavailable as it was a dinner treat by our friend. You can check their website here for the menus and pricing. http://www.cafenocello.com.au/

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Perth - Go Freo!

Today's entry will be a combination of our two days visit to Fremantle or Freo as the locals call it. I'm just going to sum it all in one entry.

So yeah, on the third day we decided to head to Fremantle as most of the locals suggested us going there during the weekend. But since I've been wanting to visit at least one Catholic church while in Perth, we went to attend mass service prior going to Fremantle.

We were informed that the nearest Catholic church to our hostel is St Brigid. It is just a walking distance of about 10 minutes. Church service starts at 8.30a.m. for English mass. We arrived half an hour early and it surprised me to see the church was still empty. I mean, if this was in KK, church will already be filled up as early as half an hour before service starts. We decided to take some photos around while waiting for church mass to start.

st brigid

Fifteen minutes before service supposed to start, we only saw two people arrived at the church. Then hubby told me that he wouldn't be surprised if there were only us and that two people attending the mass. How sad.

Five minutes before service, we saw a few more people arrived and by then we decided to get inside the church. Only when the priest made his entrance to the altar that I saw some more people coming in. But all in all, I could actually count the congregation by fingers. Seriously, with the church capacity almost similar to our St Micheal church in Penampang, the congregation that day was only about 5% of the whole capacity. Sad isn't it?

st brigid2
The aisle to the altar.

st brigid3
St Brigid (statue) is the patron saint of this church.

We went to Fremantle by train. It costs us AUD9 per pax for Day Rider. Day Rider means we can hop on and off the train as many times as we can for one whole day (24 hours). The journey to Freo takes about 20 minutes for a one way route stopping at all stops (15 stops altogether before reaching Fremantle).

Arriving there, we straight head to Fremantle Market. We were supposed to go to E-Shed Market but we didn't know that the market is a total different from the Fremantle Market which is situated right in the heart of Freo. E-Shed Market on the other hand is situated at Victoria Quay Wharf, right in the centre of Fremantle Port. Anyways, Fremantle Market itself has a lot to offer and see. It is like the Petaling Street Market or the Gaya Sunday Market enclosed in a building.

freo market
Some nice chapel right in the smack of the city.

freo market2
Sidewalk cafes a normal sight in Freo and Perth as a whole. (Bottom left pix)
Baking essentials shop (Top left pix) - you just have to buy something from here. They are all too cute to resist (but in my case, I was able to resist).

freo market3
In front of Fremantle Market main entrance.

freo market4
Inside Fremantle Market

freo market5
Fresh veges, fresh fruits, fresh bread, fresh flowers and even fresh oysters!

After the market, we wanted to go straight to Victoria Quay Wharf, not knowing that Fremantle Prison is actually a walking distance from Fremantle Market. We were trying to find the Fremantle CAT stop when we stumbled upon the signage with an arrow telling us where Fremantle Prison is. So, Freo Prison it was first!

freo prison

Luckily someone was nice enough to offer to take photo of us in front of the prison building.

This is the earliest block of the prison and was built by the convicts themselves.

Inside the earlier block. Notice the nettings above our heads? That's to prevent prisoners from attempting suicide by jumping from the upper gangways.

These boxes are prisoners' second privilege that would be removed if they violated their prison custody. I forgot what the Blue Forms and the C63s for but the Spend Slips was for prisoners to insert their 'pay slip' in exchange for items like cigarette etc while the Mail Box was obviously for mail sending purpose. While in prison, prisoners and convicts will be given a job (depending on their trust-worthiness to work) at the boiler room, as kitchen staffs etc. Their method of payment was in the form of slips. Each slip was equavalent to a certain amount of money values. These slips were the one the prisoners would insert in the Spend Slips box.

freo prison4
It feels odd to see prison with such proper toilets. I've always imagined that prison toilets are terrible. And these toilets are somewhat better than some of our toilet here in Malaysia. However, during night time when prisoners were only allowed inside their cell, this small bucket (R)) was their so called toilet and had to be shared with their cell-mate every night.

freo prison5
The earliest cell (L) and the solitary confinement cell (L). The view inside the solitary confinement (Insert)

During day time, prisoners who have no job would spend their 8 hours time here. No roof, no shades. You can pretty imagine how the prisoners be when it is in Summer season or Winter.

freo prison6
The gallows.
Death by hanging was the only legal form of execution in this prison up until 1965. 43 men and one woman were hanged here. The blue painted wall (R) was purposely painted that way cos psychologically blue color can calms the mind although I can't imagine how one can be calmer when faced with a death sentence.

Flogging or whipping was also one of the punishments used for lesser crimes. Prisoner who were sentenced to whipping would be strapped to this wooden tripod, flogged and upon completing their numbers, they would be put to lie on the floor with stomach on the floor. A bucket of salt would be immediately poured on their wounded back. This was not done for mere punishment but to prevent the wound from getting infections.

freo prison7
The women cell.
Apparently, women prisoner were treated badly compared to their male counterparts.
On picture right is the bathroom. We were asked to identify what's lacking in that bathroom and all I could find was, there's nothing wrong to it. Everything's there. Until another lady pointed out there's no hot shower in it. For me(and probably most of us in Asian countries), having tropical climate all around the year, we couldn't be bothered so much about having hot shower installed at home. But for countries that experience the four seasons, a cold shower on winter season is definitely torturous.

freo prison2
When you have been enclosed in a building for too long with nothing much to do, you'd definitely want to do something to kill the time. And even better, sharpen the skill you already have. That's what happened here. Those in the pictures are some notable art drawn on the wall of some prisoners' cell. Impressive!

freo prison3
More drawings on the walls outside the cell.

This 'escape-proof' cell belonged to a convict named Joseph Bolitho John or famously known as Moondyne Joe famed for being an escape artist. The cell was built from stone, lined with jarrah sleepers (one of the hardest wood in the world) and over 1000 nails so that Moondyne Joe won't be able to escape again. Somehow, this cell looks cool don't you think? Read HERE for more of Moondyne Joe's story.

It was nearly 4 p.m. when we finished the prison tour and our hungry stomachs were yelling for food. We hopped on the Fremantle CAT and got off at Marine Terrace and walk another 5 minutes before we reach the eateries area along Mews Road. Having been told that while in Perth, must try the Chilli Mussels there, I was already plotting my way to find a place that serves Chilli Mussels. However, I failed to find out details of which place has the best Chilli Mussels. So relying on our Perth's Visitor Guide, it says that The Mussels (duh!) Restaurant has the best Chilli Mussels to offer in Fremantle. But the resto looked too posh to have good but reasonable price Chilli Mussels. I insisted on checking out the menu nonetheless. Yep, the price is too expensive for our budget. So we decided to walk further to check out other eateries. And that's when we found Cicerello's, said to have the best Fish and Chips in Western Australia. And I had my Chilli Mussels there with pricing that our pocket could handle.

freo dinner

You know, what I like about eateries in Perth or perhaps Australia as a whole, every eating outlet has a list of menus put up outside their premise. People would look at the menus and the pricing first before deciding to go in or not. And if by chance while you are looking at the menus, a waiting person greets you but you apologized for not going to dine there, they will politely and jovially say, "Ah oukay, no worries!" It makes you feel at ease to 'browse' around the eateries trying to find a place that suits your palette and pocket.

Stomach filled and feeling more than happy, we continued sight seeing around Mews Road, taking more photos before we decided to head back to Perth City around 6 p.m.

Cicerello's at the back

freo dinner2

freo dinner3

The next day, we headed back to Freo for another round of sight seeing since we weren't able to visit the Maritime Museum as well as the Shipwreck Galleries. Again, we took the Day Rider train ticket. We had Subway sandwiches for brunch and ate it while sitting at street bench surrounded by various cafes and absolute gorgeous day. It was in fact a very sunny day that I was brave enough to just wear sweat pants, two layers of tops, scarf and my pair of Crocs. Then, we straight away hop on the Fremantle CAT heading to Mews Road for the Shipwreck Galleries.


Western Australian Museums has 6 branches in Perth, two sites in Fremantle, Albany, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. We only visited three of which the Perth Museum itself, the W.A. Maritime Museum and the Shipwreck Galleries. The Shipwreck Galleries housed hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along WA’s treacherous coastline, including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh plate, and also countless artefacts from the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. (http://www.museum.wa.gov.au). It is actually amazing to be able to see relics of over hundreds years of age searched, collected, analyzed and display at the gallery. It sort of bring you to a journey deep down the sea, viewing all those wrecked valuables and understanding why they ended up down there. In short, it tells you the story behind every ship that have sunk along W.A. coastline.

Some relics being displayed.

Yes, you can take photos inside. Just, no flash please.

Goofing around...

Long time ago, when Sabah and Sarawak were yet to exist and when Borneo was still FAT.

The thing that made the hubby went wild. Underwater photography gears.

We spent quite a while at this place, mesmerized by the relics and artifacts found from the sea bed. Unfortunately, we had to rush ourselves to the next destination, which is the W.A. Maritime Museum due to limited time.

Western Australian Maritime Museum houses several unique galleries that explore WA's relationship with the sea. From leisure boats and handcrafted sailing boats to commercial pearl luggers, the Museum inspires visitors to discover WA’s affinity with the ocean. The Museum is home to the winning America's Cup yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine — HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and many other iconic vessels from WA's maritime history. (http://www.museum.wa.gov.au). It has seven sections or galleries which are named as below;
  • Tin Canoe to Australia II
  • Hooked on Fishing
  • Indian Ocean
  • Swan River
  • Fremantle
  • Cargoes
  • Naval Defence




You can actually get a tour inside the submarine but of course that would be another AUD to burn.

We ended our tour at almost 5 p.m. and quickly rushed back to the city to get ready to meet up with a friend who is working in Perth.

belgian beer
We had dinner at Fast Eddy's, an American style diner. Hubby used to frequent this place when he was still studying in Perth.

Tim, hubby's friend while studying Culinary have been working in Perth for few years already. He treated us for drinks at one of the famous drinking place called Belgian Beer Cafe.
belgian beer2
It was our first time tasting a handcrafted flat beer (gas-less beer). This is Belgian made. 14% alcohol and tasted sweetish. Tim also made us try a few selection of beers that come with explanation of each beer. I love the Hooegarden beer and Stella Artois. Suits the feminine taste buds.

We bid our good bye to Tim with promise to meet again the next day for dinner and that's a wrap for our Fremantle visit. By the way, Go Freo as in on this entry title is actually a tag line for the Fremantle team who is in the finals for the Australian Football League.

Freo Day 1
  • Day Rider (return trip) train ticket AUD9 per pax
  • Breakfast at Pallot's Pie for two (less than AUD15)
  • Fremantle prison tour (Doing Time Tour and Great Escapes Tour) fee AUD25 per pax. For booking and enquiries,  please call (08)93369200 or check online at www.fremantleprison.com.au
  • Fremantle CAT bus - FREE
  • Dinner at Cicerello's ; Chili Mussels AUD22, Fish & Chips AUD18.50, drinks AUD7.70 = AUD48.20

Freo Day 2
  • Day Rider (return trip) train ticket AUD9 per pax
  • Brunch take away at Subway for two (about AUD16)
  • Fremantle CAT bus - FREE
  • Shipwreck Galleries - FREE entry but a donation is required (at least AUD5). For more info, visit http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/museums
  • W.A. Maritime Museum - Entry fee AUD10 per pax. For more info, visit http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/museums
  • Dinner at Fast Eddy's ; Main Ribs AUD26.95, Chicken Teriyaki AUD17.95, drinks AUD8.95 = AUD53.85
  • Handcrafted flat beer AUD60, beer platters (N.A.) treated by friend.