After the nightmare of our van breaking down in the outback bringing an abrupt end to our adventures, you’ll be pleased to know that our stress levels have reduced to normal! The last three weeks have been spent in Perth recuperating. A massive thanks goes out to Emma’s cousin, Natasha, who’s put us up and put up with us!
Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is closer to Singapore than it is to Sydney. It’s winter at the moment so we’ve gone from promised 30 degree heat up in Darwin to temperatures that would ordinarily constitute a British summer. Looking at photos from back home, all I can say is that I’m slightly jealous it’s so warm.
When we first arrived in Perth, the plan was to look for jobs and, maybe in a month or two, continue our journey back round to Melbourne. Truth be told, we haven’t found it easy to find work that isn’t close to slavery or work that no Australian would want to do. We applied for about ten jobs each since we’ve been here. I heard back from a legal job within a few hours turning me down. Other than that, nothing has come to fruition.
I honestly think that as soon as someone reads a job application that says ‘Working Holiday Visa’, you’re immediately turned down for being a ‘backpacker.’ There are thousands of young adults out in Australia constantly looking for work. Some people are really fortunate to find something decent but it really isn’t the promised land out here. I spoke to an Australian recently who kept saying that Australian jobs should be for Australian people. Obviously except the farm work. The farm work can be for the foreigners.
With this in mind, we both agreed that we should cut our losses and move on. We want to end this adventure on a high. I’m pleased to say that everything is now sorted and a new post will be coming shortly!
We haven’t done too much whilst here in Perth. We’re quite enjoying aspects of ‘normal life’ that I’ve always taken for granted. I think I’ve spent longer in the shower than out of it. We’ve been watching Netflix and Stan. Having constant Wi-Fi is incredible for productivity on this blog and social media but also terrible for wasting time.
The highlights of our time in Perth though are below.
Rottnest Island is situated just 18km off shore and is home to probably the cutest animals in the world; the Quokka. Luckily, we were treated to some hot weather (the skies are always blue even in winter) for a day on the island.
We decided to hire bikes to try and see as much of the island as possible. It turns out riding the lap of Rottnest Island would be about 20km. Not far at all in my cycling days but I haven’t ridden since my hip operation. Emma’s never ridden that far.
Starting at the east of the island at Thomson Bay, we rode along the northern shore stopping at Geordie Bay before cutting across to the central lakes. On the way, we had to be careful not to run over thick black lizards as well as one angry looking snake. The lakes were meant to be pink but were far from it.
Back on the northern shore, we tried to swim at Little Armstrong Bay but the water was absolutely freezing.
We eventually made it to the western tip of the island where we watched seals, sea lions and dolphins playing in the water. The only problem we faced was that there was no water available pretty much outside the main settlement. We rode most of the 22km with no water which probably made everything 10x worse than it actually was. There were a few times that we thought we wouldn’t make it back for the ferry!
The best part of the day however was reserved for the infamous quokka selfie. These little marsupials look so happy thanks to their upturned mouth. It makes them look as though they’re smiling constantly. It’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists to get a selfie and, honestly, the pictures are absolutely hilarious.
Freo is a port city at the mouth of the Swan River just a quick thirty minute train ride from Perth’s CBD. It’s full of heritage buildings all built by convicts and is beautiful. Going on a Friday meant that we were able to wander around the Freemantle Markets before drinking a few beers at the Little Creatures Brewery.
If you ever head to Perth, you HAVE to go to Little Creatures. It’s kind of a big deal around here and across the world. The beer itself was fantastic for craft beer; my favourite being Elsie a WA ale. It’s made purely for locals and is only available in Western Australia. I wish it wasn’t as I think the world would fall in love!
They also do amazing wood-fired pizzas. We shared a pumpkin, goats cheese and spinach pizza whilst watching the sun go down.
Whilst there might not be too much going on in central Perth (you could have it all done within a day!), King’s Park is a highlight. One of the largest inner city parks in the world, it has incredible views from up high over Perth itself. We took a few wrong turns and ended climbing Jacob’s Ladder, 221 steps up the side of a cliff. You don’t need a gym round here, just run up and down a few times and you’ll be ripped.
Sweating and with our leg’s shaking, we wandered around King’s Park for a few hours. It reminded us of being out in the proper Australian bush yet we were so close to the city.
My First AFL Game
I hadn’t managed to catch an AFL (aussie rules football) game beforehand as the season had ended whilst we were in Melbourne and, since then, we’ve always been on the move. Luckily, everything came together whilst we were in Perth. The Freemantle Dockers were playing the Brisbane Lions at the brand new Optus Stadium which I’d wanted to go to anyway. For $25, you couldn’t not go!
I’d seen a few games on TV so had a general idea of what to expect. The atmosphere for the first quarter of the game was non-existent. It grew a little afterwards but the Dockers were getting absolutely dominated so I’m not surprised it was so quiet. The game was good though, if a little confusing. If I had to describe AFL it’s a bit like rugby and netball combined. Weird.
Other than that, we’ve just been exploring the city (didn’t take long) and had a good few drinks to help us de-stress.
It’ll be a sad day when we finally have to leave Australia three months early but, in a way, I’m excited. Excited to explore new countries and new cultures but also to just go home!