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08 April 2009

Walking the Blues in Perth

By Derek

It must be spelt out that Perth is absolutely boring. So boring that you can’t help but be impressed. The pace is in a time zone of its own that you can’t help but be captivated and be swayed along with the tide. Located just by Margaret river and the sea, the view is absolutely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious with the sky so blue that it had to be fake. Trust me when I had to rub my eyes a few times. The sky was so bare and huge. The stars at night simply twinkled back. If you had one long weekend to unwind, Perth is something that you ought to consider. (Disclaimer: The Blog holds no responsibility if you fall in love and decide to abandon your life to settle down in Perth)


The view of Perth from King’s Park.

Was sent down to check out V-Festival during the weekend and its been a short yet fantastic trip. Stepping out of Perth Airport, the whole entourage was severely bitten by the chilly wind, otherwise known in these parts as the Fremantle Doctor. Its actually one of the most consistent wind flows in the world and things did not start well. We came to appreciate the Doctor later in the day. Perth weather is simply a love hate relationship in autumn. The wind bites you to the bone but the sun hits you hard as well. I remember having one foot on the sands of Cottesloe beach (which is just 10 minutes drive from Perth city) under the sun and the other just behind a tent. I was one foot in hell and the other in heaven. The weather is actually a good mix with fiery sun balanced with cool breeze. My take is to have sun tan and bring an extra layer wherever you go.


Just hop on a train, or ride the free city bus.

Perth city is divided by Margaret river and you can take the ferry across which is a pretty short trip of about less than 15 minutes. On either side of the river, theres simply stuff to do and sights to see. One end is the financial business district and where the hotels are. If you’re into shopping, harbour point is great to visit to simply splash cash. If you want an unmatched view of the city, get on number 11 (your legs i mean) and trek up King’s Park. People have picnics here and the view of the entire landscape will steal your breathe away. The city bus tour stops here as well.

Food variety is abundant and if there is one thing you must try is the Apple Struddle and oh, make that two things actually, the fish and chip at Cicerella’s is simply in a class of its own. Cicerella’s stands out among the competition and its located next to a brewery called Little Angels if you’re into looking how beer is produced. Cicerella’s is by the port and you can kick back and relax with either a gorgeous seafood platter and watch the boats come and go or have the fish fillet and bait the countless sea gulls which rest on top of your table’s umbrella.


Street performances are aplenty.

The Perth Lighthouse is just nearby and they run a simulation of how they used to signal 1 pm in the ages before the radio was invented. Ships in the past had difficulty telling longtitude although latitude was fine so the lighthouse would actually shoot a cannon to indicate the time (heard not many ships sank because of this which is surprising). By the time the cannon blast could be heard however, 1 pm would have passed so the lighthouse would also drop an enormous black ball. Navigators would keep their eye on the ball to measure the exact time. The phrase ‘keeping your eye on the ball’ was actually born from this.


Fremantle Market is one of the coolest markets I’ve visited. Great stuff to buy. Fremantle pies are really one of the best.

Take the ferry across the east side and visit the Perth Zoo if you’d like. This part is also where Cottesloe beach is. Locals and tourists hang out on the beach and enjoy gelato ice creams. Another point to note is that gelatos in Perth is another wonder on any afternoon. Theres a wave/tide breaker that really keeps the incoming waves calm and plays continuous sea music to your ears. Locals and tourists seem to like this beach a lot as theres plenty to do on a beach with great weather.


Cottesloe Beach bustling with activity.

Perth town itself isn’t huge but the mystic lies beyond the walls of the town and beyond. To the north, theres the animal sanctuary where you can opt to hop with the kangaroos or hug a koala. Its roughly 25 minutes from the city. Great to get in touch with widlife on a personal basis. There are countless wineries up north and down south of Perth. These visits could last an entire day.

V-Festival was simply the icing on the cake for a great trip. The Clairemont Field was enormous and the atmosphere was ‘elektrikifying’ with Perth all ready to rock the set. We were snuck into the VIP backstage and I was sipping drinks with the artists which was too crazy to believe. They look so normal and laid back in reality. V-Festival which is in its third year is a strange beast that seems to be getting better with time- it tries to be a lot of things to appeal to as many people as possible – the mainstream crowd (The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs), the slightly older crowd (nostalgic acts which included the heritage bands of Madness and the Human League), the indie hipsters (The Kills, M83) and everyone in between. It was the total ecletic mix of upcoming Aussie bands and the current hot superstars like Duffy.

There were four stages, aptly named This Stage, That Stage, The Other Stage and the Virgin Mobile Stage and most ran at the same time and the production was simply awesome. There were standout performances and the equal mix of lackadaisal shows. Could see that the organisers dumped a lot of cash in this corporate festival to give people their money’s worth in terms of production. Duffy was the first to set the stage on fire earlier in the afternoon which drew the first crowd with her hit single “Rain on your parade”. The rest that followed was simply a roller coaster ride with non stop familiar hits blasting throughout the night. My personal favourite among the line-up would have to be Snow Patrol. They had great stage presence, got the crowd involved early and their songs were great. Just couldn’t stand them dedicating each song to every band/performer before them. Everyone was hyped and we were in for a party. Too bad the festival was only for 18 and above.

The band everyone seemed to be really geared up for was the Killers. From the start go, people were really into it. Belting out hits by hits from Somebody Told Me to Bling and Spaceman, it was simply an experience to be remembered with people singing along and just getting into the entire episode. Are We Human or Are We Dancer was huge and go people really crazy. We rocked on as well but had to leave early before the concert curfew at 10.30pm.

Had to catch an early flight to be back in the office which was a bummer but all good things had to come to an end (I’m still asking myself why though). The flight back was on schedule and it was pleasant although I was hoping for free food. Had to pay for Bruce’s BBQ chicken but it was heartwarming and an excellent finale to a great holiday. Am so paying for the trip and countless nights of inadequate night right now.

  • Hare

    I have never been to Perth or any other country in my live. My only trip was one that I flew to Sarawak for a National Forum Competition. I would be happy to write and contribute if I happened travel to other destinations anytime soon…..

  • Low

    Actually, what is V-Festival? Googled it, says Virgin Festival. Sponsored by them?

  • Derek

    Yeah Low. V-Fest is Virgin Festival, one of the many music festivals. The other biggie is Big Day Out. V-Fest is organised by Virgin group

  • Colin

    You sure you were in Perth? Could have sworn the last time I was there, that the river was the Swan and Fremantle and Perth were too separate cities. The brewery was known as Little Creatures!

  • Derek

    Hey Colin. Youre absolutely right. Fremantle is generally considered another town but due to the proximity its considered part of Perth which the residents of Fremantle are not too happy about. And you’re absolutely right that the brewery is actually Little Creatures. Great to have another comment from someone whose visited Perth before.

  • Low

    Argh, I wanna go! I didn’t such festival existed hehe, kodok dibawah tempurung

  • Derek

    Perth and Australia in general has great music festivals and great heritage bands and artistes that visit nearly every month. Its lucky its affordable to just get away but I’m speaking from a staff perspective. For a normal guest, its also affordable to simply get away for a weekend and just relax.

  • Chee Keong

    well, australia is definitely a great place to visit…

    when i was in secondary school in the tourism club, we managed to invite an australian over to talk about Perth & Sydney…

    from my understanding, its just that place where you’d like to go for a vacation, and it will just make you fall in love with it…

    kangarooooooooo!!!

  • Calvin

    Looks great. Going to Perth during Hari Raya for a short break. Will dfinitely check out this small town

  • Amirah Kausar

    Boring is the word definitely for Perth .. Last year i went Gold Coast and i was expecting Perth to be 110% better than Gold Coast .. Big wrong !!!but yessszzzz, i must agree the sceneries of Swan River is impressively amazing … those who have plans to Perth, do make sure u pack ur food and relax along the Matilda Bay, overlooking Swan River .. you .. you’ll be mesmerised .. and those who dont mind second hand goods, can spend all pennies at the yardsale in Belmont and a shop named Good Sammy .. but i missed Belmont yardsale as it was Easter Day .. another must go place is Rottnest Island .. phewww !!! the sea is simply breathtaking ..[i wish i can post Rottnest pic but i dont know how ??] stay overnite there, take a bike and cycle round d island, more than worthwhile .. Mandurah too, the miniature garden of coz .. all in all, not bad holiday .. but would love to visit Sydney and Melbourne as next destiny .. would dat be in AA list ???

  • Winnie

    Can you recommend which hotel to stay at?
    Thank you.

  • Winnie

    Can you recommend which hotel to stay at?