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  • Aileen

A Day at the Botanic Gardens xx

Over the past year, LMM and I have visited Kings Park over half a dozen times, each time to go to one of the many parks that they have there. One thing we have never thought to do is go for a walk along the Botanic Gardens. All I can say is this; I should have gone sooner, a mistake I'm glad I rectified while my brother was over from Melbourne.

The best time to go to the Botanic Gardens is definitely during the week, it's much easier to get a car park spot, and it's not as busy. It is also easier to get a bite to eat at the cafe, if I were to go on a weekend I would take a picnic as it's near impossible to get a table otherwise.

Once we had applied our sunscreen (or LMM had demanded to put it on all of us as well as her baby), we set off in the direction of the Gardens. As we entered the Gardens, we were able to look at some beautiful photographs done by well-renowned nature photographer David Bettini of Western Australia's epic landscapes and exquisite flora. I'm not sure if this is a permanent feature or if the photographs are only available to see for a limited time.

We headed straight for the Glass Bridge, which we all thought sounded lovely to see, and well it was, it was well worth the long walk down to it. Once we got there, we were looking at a stunning view of the Swan River. As you stand on the bridge, you look at the beautiful blue crystal waters with the bobbing of boats on the surface, and blue skies overhead. Along the edge of the waterline are the stunning houses on one side and the Perth City on the other with the mountains in the distance. While the glass bridge alone was worth walking to the stunning scenery is a bonus.

We kept walking along; there are a great many things to see while walking through the Gardens - we came to the Beedawong Meeting Place (meaning celebration) an amphitheater where you can go for quiet reflection, or hold cultural activities (storytelling and dance performances) or even have a wedding. In the center of the space is a large rock that reminded me of something from Stone Henge - I wondered if I placed my hands upon it if I would end up 200 years in the past like the old stories from Scottish folklore.

One of the things that I loved most about the walk was the things I was able to learn and talk to LMM about. As you go along the gardens, there are little plaques that tell you about the flowers and plants and even other bits and pieces of information like fauna that is on the extinction list. As you walk along at different points, there are also plaques that tell you about the history of Mount Eliza (which is what the Botanic Gardens sits on) and the history of the people that inhabited it and their part in forming Western Australia.

There are so many other things to see in the Gardens like the beautiful fountain that cascades large streams of water at different intervals - which all the kids were thrilled with (little squeals of delight emanating from many children nearby). There is also the Wildflower Pavilion, Water Garden Pavilion and quite a few walks to take.

After an exhausting walk, we went to a little cafe for a cold drink and something to eat. While you can take a picnic with you and enjoy any part of the grounds while you eat, it was lovely to have a view of the city skyline and the chatter of people around us. The food was great, the service quick and efficient and I can recommend this place highly (the only cafe in the area with waiter service.)

Just before heading home we went for a quick walk around the State War Memorial - this is where the Anzac Day Dawn Service gets held each year. The area comprises of the Cenotaph, Court of Contemplation, Flame of Remembrance and Pool of Reflection, with memorials to various battles, military units, and prisoners of war and other groups throughout the parklands. It is a truly special place where you can feel the strength of the area and those it represents.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, and a great place to visit and I highly recommend you head there as quickly as you can. One thing I did notice on the way out which I think is worth mentioning is that there are different types of guided walking tours that you can book in for, all different lengths of time as well depending on your motivation level.

P.S - Bring a pram even if your child is four years old, between my brother James and I we carried LMM for miles because, in the end, she refused to walk anymore xx

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