Wednesday 2 March: My first view of Perth's skyline was from the ship, now it's close up and tactile. Central Perth is a modern shopping-centre based around the train station with the state library, cultural area and bars just north in lively Northbridge. I'm booked into Perth City youth hostel which is comfortable and modern with a bar, splash pool and well equipped kitchen. This week there are several tasks I need to complete. Food shopping and mailing various packages home: diaries, keepsakes, CDs from the main post office in the large Regency Commonwealth building. I end the day in a British bar paying $11 (about 7 GBP) for a pint of English bitter - exchange-rate robbery.
Thursday 3: The Austrail pass I buy today covers nearly all of Australia's rail network for a three month period, from Perth in the west to Sydney in the east, Melbourne in the south to Darwin and Cairns in the north. At AU$747.52 (about 470 GBP) it's a geat deal for overseas visitors. I want to go to Sydney but unfortunately I can only reserve a seat as far as Adelaide, that will have to do. I must see some of Perth so take the ferry across the Swan river to north Perth for fine views back to the city. Various riverside bars look inviting but I press on to the Medicare centre to apply for a reciprocal NHS healthcare card. Sunday 6: Grabbing a Perth walking map, off I go to find places of interest between the modern boring facades. St Mary Cathedral is quiet and restful and there's a pretty old fire station is nearby, the slender bell tower is a modern city icon and I end up climbing Jacob's ladder to the Botanical Park with views back across the Swan river. In the evening I find an old pinball machine in one of the Northbridge bars, I didn't know these still existed. Tuesday 8: I finally get a bed back at the Central YHA after spending three nights in rather less salubrious accommodation elsewhere.
Photos of Perth.