Perth 2012, transport

Railway lines down freeways: good idea? Only if there’s no viable alternative

Some people will tell you that rail lines down freeways are a great idea, because "the train overtaking cars is a great advertisement for public transport." Perth has done this, primarily because it's been the easiest way of extending the train network. So the Clarkson/Joondalup and Mandurah lines both run down the middle of freeways. And it's long been proposed to build Melbourne's Donc

Perth 2012

Perth day 7: Heading home

All good things come to an end, and so it was with our Perth trip. We had a sleep-in, then packed up our stuff into the car and headed out. The flight wasn't until lunchtime, but we had one more place to go before heading home: the boys have a strong interest in retro video gaming. (I can't imagine where they got THAT from.) There are two retailers you can buy this kind of stuff from: Cash C

Perth 2012

Perth/WA trip day 6: caves, wineries, and back to the big smoke

Tuesday 10th July We'd be heading from Margaret River back to Perth today, so we packed up the serviced apartment and loaded everything into the car, then headed to cave number two of our tour: Lake Cave. Lake Cave has guided tours, and while we waited for it to begin, we pondered the displays and the new-fangled terminology used. Their "Caveworks" display is not a museum exhibit -- it's

Perth 2012, transport

Perth’s CAT buses: lessons for Melbourne?

Another in a series of posts about Perth PT and how it relates back to Melbourne. Perth's city centre (and town centres of Fremantle and Joondalup) have CAT buses -- Central Area Transit -- free services running (reasonably) frequently in loops that people can hop on, hop off to get around. They are very popular; those I saw in Perth and Fremantle were often busy, and one Red CAT we caught i

Perth 2012

Perth/WA trip day 5: The dizzying heights of Pemberton’s climbing trees, Margaret River caves

Monday 9th July After breakfast we had a walk around the beach close to our accomodation. It was windy, and pretty bleak to be honest. What we hadn't seen the night before thanks to it being so dark was that there was a considerable amount of recent fire damage to the surrounding scrub. Apparently the fires late last year had got very close to where we were. We jumped in the car and

Perth 2012

Perth day 4: Heading south… Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River, Cape Leeuwin

Sunday 8th July We packed up the car and headed south along the Kwinana Freeway out of Perth. Heading towards Mandurah, my aunt gave me a pronunciation lesson: it's not pronounced "Mandurah", it's pronounced "man-drah". Eventually we left Perth's suburbia behind us. Farmland and forest predominated, with the occasional huge billboard, including for something you don't see advertised so much

Perth 2012

Perth day 3: CBD, Whiteman Park, stargazing

Saturday 7/7/2012 After running some errands, we were dropped at Cannington Station, which unlike some of the others we'd used, is unstaffed. A small group of smoking teenagers was hanging around the station, but they didn't get in the way of the actual passengers. I bought tickets for the kids, and pretty soon the train arrived, and zoomed us into town. Happily the weather was much nicer th

Perth 2012, transport

Perth’s SmartRider vs Melbourne’s Myki

So I thought I'd compare Perth's SmartRider against Melbourne's Myki card. Short term ticket options This issue is critical for tourists and other occasional users of the system, who may have no wish to buy a reusable card. Judging from the initial response to Myki's withdrawal of short term ticket options, I suspect there's something of a pyschological barrier to buying a Smartcard for

Perth 2012

Perth day 2: touring Fremantle’s prison tunnels, fish’n’chips, red/blue CATs and central Perth

Friday 6th July Fremantle Prison We were dropped off in Fremantle at the Prison, where we'd booked for the Tunnels Tour. The Tunnels Tour, perhaps unlike more conventional prison tours, involved getting a safety briefing and an alcohol test, and then we donned gumboots, coveralls, helmets and safety harnesses and headed down a 20 metre shaft to tunnels underneath the prison. Tristan, ou

Perth 2012

Perth trip day 1

(Scroll down to skip the words and get to the pics) Before we left I prepared by cancelling the newspaper (oddly, by phone is actually better than online; the deadlines are more relaxed), pre-purchased a Skybus ticket (you can print it yourself; very handy), and totally failed to even start packing before departure day. Thursday 5th July We got out of the house a little later than planned