The flight from Singapore was pretty good and as there is no time difference we arrived mid afternoon into Perth, ready to go and explore. The pilot had informed us the temperature was a cool 33°C. After we dumped our bags and prepared ourselves for the heat, we had a meander round the main town and were surprised to find it was actually a very small city! Literally, there are 4 main blocks to the centre and not a lot else! However, the riverfront is beautiful and there are lots of walk ways and running and cycle trails, so we enjoyed a lazy walk along the front!
We had booked into a dorm room here for a few days to get ourselves sorted with a hire car and plan our route. There are plenty of travel shops set up for backpackers, so the amount of information was endless; we seemed to go home with arms full of pamphlets for this place and that! We decided on heading south of Perth first for about a week and then back up to the north of Perth after that.
After all the important stuff was sorted, we had the rest of our day to go shopping in Perth centre. It is quite bizarre seeing all the Christmas decorations up, while we are wearing our summer clothes and basking in the sun! But it is lovely to feel all Christmassy now, after Asia where there weren't many traces of the festivities, even though it makes us a little homesick!
The main attraction, it seems, in Perth is the bell tower - a very modern, glass building containing bells that, well, get rung. We couldn't really figure out what they were for and why they ring them - it wasn't attached to a church or anything so obvious! The surrounding gardens and water features are pretty and there is also a giant Ferris wheel (not quite on a parr with the London Eye, but with good views of the city and the Swan River).
Perth seemed to be pretty dead by night, with everything going quiet by about 9 - 10pm (well, we were there on a Monday and Tuesday, but even so!). We had a few drinks in our hostel both nights and, naturally (!), got talking to some Irish guys; one of whom turned out to be from Warrenpoint and an old friend of James' younger brother!
Our first encounter with the land down under was a little underwhelming; Perth not being quite what we had expected! But alas, we are now ready to get down to the good stuff and the big road trip! With 2 months stretching ahead of us, we're sure we will have some more adventures to report on soon!