I'm a chef and a writer and love being inspired. What inspires you?
Published May 5th 2012
Kings Park. If you're coming to Perth, you've probably heard about it. If you live here, you've probably been there at least once, but I thought I'd take a moment or two of your time to explain why it's so worth another visit.
The views for one - outstanding views can be had from the park of the city of Perth, the Swan River and the inner Perth foreshore. When you get into the park, right in the middle of the thing, you could be anywhere. You wouldn't know you were within walking distance of the fabulous free Perth buses and surrounded by car parks to make your visit more enjoyable.
The trees. Yes, I am a tree-hugger - have you ever tried hugging a tree? It's a living thing and you can spookily feel it breathing. The trees in Kings Park are graceful, magnificent specimens, growing and providing homes for scores of birds. Some of the trees hold special significance, like the huge one my kids and I took shelter under one hot day, which was planted by HRH Queen Elizabeth. Probably the closest we'll get to Royalty. There is a botanical garden, extensive natural bushland and plenty of places to rest, relax, picnic and let the kids run amok.
Kids? Did I hear someone say kids? One of the most awesome places (my kids tell me this) in Perth is the Rio Tinto Naturescape. Strangely named but a fantastic place to let the kids get into everything. If you're like me and you hate telling your kids, "Don't go there, don't touch that!" then you'll love the Naturescape.
They can climb, crawl, get wet in the billabong, make little rock dams in the water, make cubby houses, scale the huge lookout towers and, unbeknown to them, get close to nature and learn along the way. There are heaps of other kids areas within Kings Park, but this one is the best.
My personal favourite, is the old Tea Pavilion on Fraser Avenue. It was originally situated at Mount Eliza in 1899 and opened in 1900. Moved to Fraser Avenue in 1919 it was used as a rest pavilion for the Returned Servicemen. It was refurbished in 1998, and still retains many of the original tiles imported from Marseille in France. Just sitting inside, eating our humble picnic sandwiches, I felt the gracefulness and charm of the 1900s.
This is but the tiniest tip of the iceberg for things to do in Kings Park. I haven't mentioned the awesome Aboriginal walks, the many pavilions to stop and rest in along the maze of walks, the spectacular Federation Walkway, the weird looking DNA climb, the very refined 'Aspects' gift shop, the restaurant and snack bar, the very moving War Memorial, I could go on and on.
Take it from me, if you've been there, you need to go again and find that bit you haven't been to yet. Trust me, it's there. How could you have seen everything when there's 400 hectares of nature to explore. If you haven't been there yet and you're in Perth or planning a visit, make sure you take at least a day to see this spectacular place.