Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, is a vibrant, energetic city whose claims to fame includes picture-perfect beaches, exotic wineries and expansive parklands.
But this wonderful city also has many secrets of its own. The following is a collection of quirky facts about Perth that you may have never encountered before. Happy reading!
1. Before it was Perth it was Boorloo The land on which Perth lies now was once known as Boorloo. Boorloo formed part of Mooro, the tribal lands of Yellagonga, whose group was one of several who lived around the Swan River, known as the Whadjug. The Whadjug was a part of the greater group of 13 or so dialect groupings which comprised of the south west socio-linguistic block still known today as Noongar (The People).
Perth houses the oldest operating mint in Australia. The Perth Mint in Hay Street is Australia's oldest operating mint that still runs from its original premises. This mint was established in 1899 and has carved out a niche in producing gold, silver and platinum coins.
The mint also provides refuge to a museum. Every year the Perth Mint welcomes 120 000 visitors who can watch molten gold being poured into bars and see how gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins are made. Visitors can also take up the opportunity of striking and engraving their own medallions.
4. City of Light Perth is also known as the 'City of Light'. The naming is the result of the fact that when astronaut John Glenn orbited above back in 1962 he could identify Perth because everyone turned on all their lights, making Perth highly visible.
5. Biggest Number of Millionaires
The booming mining industry in Perth has blessed it with the highest per capita number of self-made millionaires in any city in the world. Now that will certainly turn non-Perth inhabitants green with envy.
6. Walk to Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island (Image by Cookaa via Wikimedia Commons)
It may seem stupendous but about five thousand years ago one could travel from Perth to Rottnest Island on foot. A lot has changed in the last five thousand years which means nowadays you need to take a ferry to the island.
These are only an overview of interesting facts about Perth. The next time you pay a visit to Perth or encounter a bored looking guide, ask them some questions - you'll certainly learn more stories about this fascinating and gorgeous city.
Do you know any quirky fact about Perth which should have made it to the hall of fame above? Feel free to share them with our avid readers.
Kings Park is the largest inner city park in the world (yes, even larger than Central Park).
Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world. And I'm not sure of the accuracy of this but I've heard that when the urban sprawl spreads out to Two Rocks and Mandurah Perth will be one of the longest cities in the world.
Rottnest Island houses the only remaining 9.2 inch Naval coastal defence gun out of the 7 gun sites in total - based all around the Australian coastline - that were designed to defend Australia in the 1930's from attack by foreign warships!
The only other 9.2 inch coastal defence gun left out of all these, is at East Point in Darwin. However, the 9.2 inch gun on Rottnest is still almost 100% complete, whereas the Darwin one has only the barrel and some fortifications left.
These guns were installed when military thinking believed that wars were won, and countries conquered, by warships!
It was inconceivable to military men in the early 1930's, that air power would win all wars in the future!
The 9.2 inch gun on Rottnest never fired a shot in anger - as did all the 9.2 inch guns around Australia.
The 9.2 inch guns in Darwin were utterly useless in the defence of Darwin when it was heavily bombed in February 1942, by the same huge Japanese bomber and fighter force, that had bombed Pearl Harbor just 2 months earlier!
More interesting reading on the Rottnest gun installation here -http://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/sites/default/files/shado/Learned%20Groups/Interest%20Groups/Engineering%20Heritage/EHA%20WA/RIWW2_Coastal%20Defence%20Facilities_Program_Final.pdf