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Perth, Western Australia: Parking and Public Transport Inconveniences, Empty Malls, London Court, One60 Cafe, and the Bell Tower - Day 8

A view of London Court Mall, Perth, WA.
London Court Mall, Perth WA.

Day eight of our trip to Perth, WA, and my partner, Enigma, had made plans to go on a solo mission into the city, on public transport, while I went off to visit my sister for the afternoon.


Public Transport Inconveniences (Always Have Change)

Turns out buying public transport tickets in Perth is not as straight forward as it is in Adelaide, SA. For buses you need exact change cash fare (drivers don't give change) or a prepaid travel card (similar to SA's metro card). Enigma had used up most of her coins on parking, when we went to the Swan View foreshore, and only had a $20 note. I only had a $5 note.

For trains it is possible to use credit/debit cards if you buy a ticket on the platform, so devised a plan to drive Enigma to the nearest train station at Victoria Park. 

Platform 4, Perth City Train Station, WA.
Perth City Train Station, WA.

Since I hadn't planned to go to my sister's until nearly 2:30pm we decided to both catch the train from Victoria Park, I could then head to back after lunch. Enigma would continue to explore Perth and then catch the bus home that stopped not too far from our apartment.

While the day mostly went to plan, it got a bumpy start, with the original car park at Vic Park station being replaced by a bus pick up/drop off point, and the new car park being relocated about 50 meters down the road. 

Which would have been fine but, it was paid parking, and the ticket machine was at the entrance to the station. Just in case it was the variety that required you to enter your license plate I took a photo of our plate. Enigma waited in the car.

Getting to the ticket machine I discovered it only accepted coins or a 'Pay Stay' card, which you had to sign up for online. The cost was only $2 for the whole day but neither Enigma or I had enough change.

I asked a man nearby if he could split a $5.00 note but he didn't have any cash on him. He did however direct me to a nearby coffee shop down an off shoot road from the station that I probably would not have seen otherwise.

I was able to have them split the note into gold coins. Went back to the station, bought the $2 ticket, put it in the car then Enigma and I made our way onto the train platform.

Buying a ticket on the platform for the train proved to be a much easier affair. Our credit/debit cards worked without any further issue.


Perth City, Empty Malls, London Court

London Court, North Entrance, Perth, WA.
London Court, North Entrance,
Perth, WA.

In the city we walked from the station through the Myer centre upper walk way, and Carillon Arcade (where not a single shop had a tenant, it's basically a through way). to London Court in the Hay Street mall. This was the main thing Enigma wanted to see.

If you're not familiar with it London Court is an open air mall where the entire area looks like an old English Village. A very clean village with modern shops and wares but still has that kind of step back in time charm. I noticed that, where once all the buildings had been painted white (like your typical Elizabethan village) they were now a darker cream color.

While London Court is a great photo opportunity, if you're not there to shop, or try one of the cafes, there's not a lot to do. So, after locating the stand Enigma needed for her bus home, not far from the bottom entrance to London Court. We then walked back through Trinity Arcade looking for somewhere for lunch.


One60 Café

Trinity Arcade had a small food hall but it looked mostly like spicy food and it was pretty busy. We kept walking through the malls (noting most of the shops in every undercover mall we walked through was empty) until we ended up on the corner of Forest Place Mall and Barrack street at a café called One60.

Exterior view of the One 60 Café, Perth, WA.
One 60 Café, Perth, WA.

I ordered a Cajun chicken wrap with a white tea and Enigma ordered a Chicken and Avocado Panini (sandwich). The food was very nice, even though the wrap was unexpectedly green in color? Haven't seen that before but tasted like your regular cream colored wraps.


The Bell Tower

From One60 we were a short walk, down Barrack Street, to see the Bell Tower, a purpose built tower on the edge of the Swan River to house some bells that were gifted to the city (for reasons that escape me) many years ago.

We mainly went for the photo op, and Enigma wanted to visit the gift shop at the base. You can browse the upper floors - which are a museum about the bells - and see the view from the top. Neither of us did as we've actually been up on a previous trip and tickets are a little too expensive if you really just want to see the view from the top.

The Bell Tower, Perth, WA. Seen from Behind.
The Bell Tower, Perth, WA. Seen from Behind.

After that we headed back to the train station where Enigma and I parted ways. I headed home on the train to then go on to my sister's. Kathy was going to look around the WA Art Gallery but apparently it closes on Tuesdays? We're just having no luck with galleries after Wireless Hill.


I spent the rest of my afternoon with my sister at her home. We went on a bit of a walking tour of the area where she lives so she could show me a new skatepark that had been installed, and so she could have a nosey around a new housing estate being built on land across from her street that was formerly a primary school.

Ramps at the skate park were metal frame with wood surface. All about 4 feet high with likely a six to seven foot transition. I'd be able to drop in and roll around but not do much else.

The housing estate was interesting. It had some weird design decisions like random public furniture, ping pong tables, and even a climbing wall placed around the streets rather than altogether at a park. It looked like they were trying to encourage community interaction but felt more like you'd end up with the neighbors kids hanging out in front of your house a little too much.

That was the end of our day. I headed back to the apartment around 6pm where Enigma had made it back safely with no further public transport dramas.

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