Our home base, when we’re not travelling, is in Western Australia, a place many people know little about. It’s a vast state with a diverse landscape, from the tropical north to the spectacular coastline in the cooler south. Perth is its capital city with a population of just under 2.1 million, a considerable proportion of the State’s 2.7 million. John Glenn, the astronaut, described Perth as the City of Lights when he orbited earth with the Space Shuttle “Discovery” in 1998.
1) The capital city, Perth is the most remote city on earth
Just to clarify that, before you all email me to tell me it’s not true, I’m talking about compared to other cities with a population of over 100,000. The nearest place with that criteria is Adelaide, which is 2,100 km (1,305 miles) away.
2) The longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere is in Western Australia
Busselton in the South-West of Western Australia, a couple of hour’s drive from Perth, is where you’ll find the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere (2nd longest in the world). At 1.8 kms long, the jetty was completed in 1865, but back then the jetty was only 176m long. It was gradually extended over the years with the final 16m added in the 1960’s. The jetty now has one of the few underwater observatories in the world. It even has an underwater restaurant!
3) The Redback Spider
Western Australia’s most venomous spider, the Redback, is a relation of the Black Widow spider of North America. The Redback likes to hide under window sills, eaves of houses. You can usually tell they’re around by their webs which are usually very messy and strong. Their bite, whilst it can be painful, is rarely fatal unless the victim is elderly, infirm or a child.
4) Western Australia is HUGE
W.A. is the 2nd largest State in the World. It has a coastline 12,500 kms long and is 2,400 kms from north to south. The land area is 2.646 million sq. km whereas the land area of Texas is 678,000 sq. km. If Western Australia was a country, it would be in the top 10 largest in the world.
5) King’s Park in Perth is the largest inner city park in the world
Again, before you all write in to correct me here, I’m talking INNER CITY park. King’s Park covers an area of 400 hectares. To compare, London’s Hyde Park is 121 hectares and New York’s Central Park is 315 hectares. Perched on the top of a hill, Kings Park has some amazing views over the City and the Swan River. In spring, it is a glorious riot of colour when the wildflowers bloom.
In July 2008 this giant boab tree, “Gija Jumulu” travelled over 3,200 from the Kimberley region in Western Australia’s north, to Perth on the back of a truck. It was replanted in King’s Park where it thrives to this day.
6) Western Australia is where you’ll find cute marsupials, quokkas.
These cute friendly marsupials, about the size of a cat, can only be found in the wild in Western Australia, mainly on a small island just off the coast near Perth called Rottnest. The island was called that because early settlers thought the quokkas were a type of large rat. Quokkas are well used to visitors and will usually pose for photos.
7) Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital city.
With on average 8 hours of sunshine each day, Perth is the sunniest capital city in the world.