We arrived in Perth at about 7pm and thought after dropping our bags off at the hotel we’d head straight out for some food. We asked a local on the plane and the Uber driver from the airport where the best place for us to get a bite to eat, they both suggested an area called ‘Northbridge’. We headed off to Northbridge and had some Asian street food inside a small street food/food court area. After getting through as much as we could (they were packed to the brim) we had a walk around the area and headed to Yagan Square. We thought with a tv tower and nearby fairground it’d be a cool place to sit and watch the world go by for a bit. How wrong we were, at night this area should be re-named ‘Drugan Square’ everywhere we looked there were large groups of people dealing and taking drugs, in plain sight. We became a bit worried after they started shouting abuse at random people and got an Uber back to our hotel. Our Uber driver on the way back made us aware that recently they have seen a spike in crime and only a few weeks back a fellow Uber driver was waiting at traffic lights when a group of 7/8 teenagers attacked this guys car, and tried to smash the windscreen so they could drag the driver out of it… how friendly.
After digesting all of this information overnight and agreeing to not go back to Yagan Square at night we decided to go on our now routine city bus tour, in this case, the Perth Explorer. We booked this bus tour from a tour place in Elizabeth Quay along with a hop on hop off tram tour in a nearby town called Fremantle. As the day we booked our tour coincided with a bus breaking down we decided after having some brunch we would go over to Fremantle for the tram tour and use this as transport to a tour around the Fremantle Prison. Our lunch in Elizabeth Quay was great and we got to watch Jellyfish in the water whilst having our lunch. Just to add, the Riverside bar (where we ate) does the best vanilla milkshake known to man, if you are around there, just go, milkshakes and jellyfish, nothing better.
When we arrived in Fremantle we headed straight for the tram tour, we just managed to hop on to the last tour of the day, the driver also agreed to drop us after the tour at the prison. We learnt all about the buildings, local heroes of Fremantle and how they have a submarine from WW2 as part of their Maritime museum. We got to the Fremantle Prison ready for our guided tour. This prison closed in 1991 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour lasted for about an hour and a half and we were told stories of each area, shown cells and communal areas that inmates would of used. We were shown images of the aftermath of a riot that basically brought the prison to it’s end and told stories of how that day unfolded. We love watching prison programmes and to see it in the flesh was really shocking, especially as this prison ran without toilets in the cells. Even in 1991 prisoners had buckets in their cells instead of toilets. We really enjoyed the tour and we overheard the true crime tour going on at the same time where ex-prisoners would tour you through the prison and tell stories from their time in the prison.
The next day we used our Perth Explorer ticket to become Perth Explorers. It’s fair to say… there isn’t much there. We saw the local sights namely the Bell Tower and the WACA for any cricket fans, but other than that we were mainly looking at old buildings and soaking up the sun from the bus. The bus does take you through Kings park which has amazing views of the city. We would of gone to the beach but it was quite far out and expensive to reach so we stayed in the city.
If you do go to Perth make sure you visit Fremantle as it’s a really cool little town! Perth… not so much.
Next up Melbourne!