One of my favourite places in the world – Kings Park

Whenever I go to Perth and need some time to myself, I head to Kings Park. This amazing park has been my favourite since I was a child. Kings Park helps me clear my mind, and relax, escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. It was originally opened in 1965 and has been one of my favourite parks in the world. I would rate it an equal first to New York’s Central Park. When you stand opposite the modern Fraser’s restaurant, you can see the spectacular views of Perth city and the Swan and Manning rivers.

What I love best about King’s Park is the Botanical Gardens. There’s 17 hectares of wonderful garden displays to enjoy and has the largest display of Western Australian flora in the world. One of my favourite garden displays is the Conservation Garden. The plants are grouped according to their region or type of country and was designed to preserve Western Australia’s precious biodiversity. I love taking photographs of these garden displays, enjoying the beautiful colours.

      

Also when I need time out to clear my head, I like going on long bush walks in Kings Park. There’s the Bushland Nature Trail which is about a 1km loop walk with raised sections of boardwalk and is assessable to all the park users. When you take this walk you would need to wear appropriate footwear as it’s very sandy and bushy. I like taking my time doing this bush walk and just stroll, enjoying the peacefulness and mother nature at its best. Many others who visit this area like to exercise by jogging or cycling by.

   

Kings Park also has two wonderful art galleries. First, the Aboriginal Art Gallery which has traditional Aboriginal art exhibited. It has beautiful paintings, sculptures and sometimes pottery. And on some days you can actually meet the Aboriginal artists and observe them as they work or listen to their intriguing stories. It transports me to their land whenever I go inside and talk to them. This gallery has a high reputation and is substantially recognised in the Aboriginal community and amongst collectors of fine Indigenous art from around the world. There’s also the Aspects of Kings Park Gallery, which is more modern and commercial. I love spending a good hour here, looking at their unusual gift collections. They have unique books, homewares, jewellery, stationery – especially cards and trinkets. I always end up buying one or two items here for my friends as gifts.

Whenever family and friends arrive to visit me in Perth, I always take them to the Botanical Cafe for lunch and we can just sit outdoors for a good two hours and talk and enjoy the view over Perth city and the Swan River. They’re open from 7am to 6pm, breakfast, lunch and dinner. My favourite food on their menu is the Beef burger and the beer battered fish and chips. They’re both priced around the $20 mark and are delicious. All my family and friends who dine here with me say this is one of their favourite dining out places in Perth, not only because of the company, but because of the good service and the outdoor views – it’s spacious and the decor is casual, giving you that home-away from home feeling.

For families with children, there are a lot of picnic areas around the beautiful fountains and gardens and a lot of people pack blankets and picnic baskets full of foodie treats and enjoy the trees and just sit and talk for hours. This is total bliss for me. Personally I love lying down on the luscious green grass and breathing in the fresh outdoor air. And depending on what season you visit Kings Park, you can sometimes smell flowers like lavender. Research shows that the scent of flowers and walking through nature, like a park, can help you feel calmer and happier and that spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people. “Nature is fuel for the soul, ” says Richard Ryan (Researcher and Professor of Psychology).

So, if you’re ever heading to Perth and need time out to relax….head on down to Kings Park for the day. There’s so much to do and explore. I highly recommend this – it’s one of my favourite places in the world!

My Holiday to Perth

Last week I went to Perth, Western Australia, where I always seem to visit the same old places…simply because of the joy these places bring to me. I’d like to share them with you!

1. Scarborough Beach – This is a beautiful beach with a great outdoor amphitheatre. Many surfers and windsurfers come to this beach because of the fine white sand and great surf.

It’s also the beach where I held the best of the Joy House Film Festival.

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2. Rendezvous Grand Hotel (48 The Esplanade, Scarborough
(08) 9245 1000), has a delicious smorgasbord buffet breakfast. There’s also Dome cafe, another favourite place of mine, located on the same level, which has a great selection of cakes, breakfasts and lunches. My favourite is the chocolate cake or the lemon tart (pictured below).

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3. Kings Park is one of my favourite parks in Australia. My parents brought me here for picnics as a child. I love throwing a coin in the wishing well and making a wish – a childhood tradition. There’s also great view of Perth city from this park (pictured below).

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4. Cottesloe Beach is the beach where the yearly Sculptures by the Sea outdoor art exhibition is held. You have to arrive early if you are planning to see this exhibition (Suggestion – arrive before 8am before the crowd rolls in after 9am, as it’s hard to get parking. Otherwise it’s a good 20 minutes walk from the train station).

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5. Perth city is filled with a great selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. My favourite is Jamie Oliver’s – Jamie’s Italian Restaurant on 140 William Street, Perth WA 6000 (08) 9363 8600. The only drawback is that you have to line up as they don’t take reservations. It is however worth the half hour wait.

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6. I love going to Subiaco markets on Saturday morning (44 Station St, Subiaco) right next to Subiaco station. There’s a great selection of bakeries, fresh food market stalls and The Flower Market. Also just a short 15 minutes walk away, along Rokeby Road (which is just two streets away from the markets) is Chokeby Road, Subiaco’s famous chocolate shop – one of my favourite chocolate stores in Perth. (175 Rokeby Road, Subiaco).

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7. Just 30 minutes from Perth’s city centre is Fremantle (by train), the bustling, dynamic port city of Fremantle renowned for its eclectic mix of the arts and foodies adventures – buskers, the side walks filled with a wild collection of art and trendy cafés and bars.

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My favourite is the fish and chips at Kailis’ Waterfront Fremantle

You need only spend a day in Fremantle’s colourful port city. There’s a
little book of BIG savings where you can save on restaurants, tours, shopping, cafe’s and more.

My Holiday to Singapore

Those planning a trip to Asia should definitely look up Singapore. It’s not only a wonderful foodies destination but a great cultural experience. Singapore’s rapid development is bringing more and more shops, offices, business and hotels to the area for travellers to explore. Stepping out of the modern and super-efficient Changi Airport and travelling downtown in a cab when I first arrived to Singapore was truly memorable. The greenery outside is simply captivating and one cannot go past the pristine cleanliness of the place.

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Orchard Road

I enjoyed my foodies adventures from China Town to the upmarket smorgasbord at Marriott hotel where my taste buds experienced Durian creme brulee for the first time- it was heaven.

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China Town meals $10

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Smorgasbord at Marriott Hotel

My adventure to The Birds Park at Jurong was worth the one hour journey getting there. I had to take a 40 minutes MRT train ride to Boon Lay and then a 20 minutes bus ride to Jurong. I stress that you must carry coins with you when traveling on the buses in Singapore. I got caught out when I caught the bus for the first time and put five dollars in the bus box expecting change in return and was then told by the bus driver afterwards that they don’t give out change. Apart from that hiccup at the start, the Birds Park was a highlight for me. I particularly enjoyed the penguins and lorikeets.

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My visit to The Singapore Museum was truly memorable and a great way to end my three day holiday. There were three levels to explore. The first level had a wonderful multi-media video piece of Singapore people eating. Each person was projected onto a human cut out- this was not allowed to be photographed. The second level had photographs of an artist covered in rice and the third level had an intriguing moving mechanical installation and a display of what looked like Christmas decorations strategically positioned to create a three dimensional art piece.

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Singapore Museum

I rate my trip a 9/10. I loved the cultural experience and it was so safe to travel, when I got lost walking around the city on my first night, the locals were so friendly and willing to help me find my way back to my hotel – drawing me a map or taking out their mobiles with GPS etc.