Royal Perth Yacht Club

The Royal Perth Yacht Club is Australia’s third oldest yacht club. It belongs among the world’s most prominent yacht clubs. It is the home of America’s Cup. It is located at Australia II Drive, Crawley. The Club was founded in 1841 when some sailors held a small regatta in celebration of the Foundation Day. Similar events were held in 1851 and in 1859, until the group of sailors who initiated the first regatta made Perth Yacht Club official in 1865. The Club has since then focused on sailing, training champion sailors, and hosting premiere events.

In its early years, the regattas only included races for yachts and gigs. It was not until 1880 when a jetty was constructed on the place where the Club was originally situated, at the end of William Street. The year 1889 saw the opening of the Clubhouse. In 1890, the name “Royal” was added to the Club’s name upon Governor Sir Frederic Napier Broome’s advice to Queen Victoria. It was also around this time that the Lords of the Admiralty awarded the Royal Warrant to the Club to carry the Blue Ensign in its undefaced form.

The following year, the club members decided during one of their general meetings to drop the Club’s old burgee. The new burgee they adopted was colored white with the St Georges Cross in red. The St Edwards crown is displayed on the upper part, also in red. The Club established the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1920. This organization, now defunct, became the Royal Australian Navy’s reserve force. During this time, sailing was already recognized as a sport, not just in Royal Perth Yacht Club but in other yacht clubs in Albany, Fremantle, Geraldton, and Esperance as well.

The Royal Perth Yacht Club has produced many champions. Among these were world champion Gordon Lucas, America’s Cup 1983 winner Steve Ward (for Australia II), and another America’s Cup winner Alan Bond, who won in 1983 and put an end to the New York Yacht Club’s record as consistent winner since 1851. The Club hosted America’s Cup in 1987 in Fremantle. To this day, it is considered to be one of the most successful America’s Cup based on overall event, promotion, and of course corporate success. Champions from Royal Perth Yacht Club who have become internationally known are Iain Murray, John Bertrand, Colin Beashel, Peter Gilmour, and Jon Sanders. Other celebrated members of the Club are Sebastian Destremau who belonged to the top 3 Australian match racers, David Dicks who is the youngest person to sail alone and nonstop around the world, and Noel Robbins who won a Gold medal in the Paralympics Sonar class.

Playhouse Theater Perth

Established in 1956, the Playhouse Theatre is conveniently found at the hub of Perth’s central business district. It is often the venue of choice for dance production and drama tours. It is also a favorite venue for conferences, seminars, meetings, conventions, and other special events. Every year, performance productions for the Perth International Arts Festival are hosted in the Playhouse Theatre. The theater, having been built 50 years after His Majesty’s Theatre, has witnessed the evolution of popular culture through the years.

Its existence has persisted even if many other theatres have closed down. The Playhouse Theatre has a raked main auditorium that seats 189 people in the stalls and 238 people in the dress circle, having 427 seats in all. In the backstage area, four dressing rooms, a green room, and laundry can be found. The theatre is equipped with excellent lighting facilities, superb speakers, and integrated multimedia control system.

The stage comes equipped with a “flying” system. At present, the Playhouse Theatre is the home of Perth Theatre Company, a Western Australian group that produces professional theatre. Originally known as SWY Theatre when it was founded in 1983, the group transferred from Fremantle to Perth in 1987. Its name was changed to Perth Theatre Company in 1994 and the Playhouse Theatre became its home. Perth Theatre Company has received several nominations and awards from prestigious award-giving bodies, such as best female actor (Nicola Bartlet) and Best Production for ‘The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?’ and Best New Script (Mel Cantwell) for ‘Marmalade and Egg’.

The works of many Australian playwrights have been featured in the Playhouse Theatre. Among these playwrights are Jack Davis, Dorothy Hewett, Heather Nimmo, and Tom Hungerford. Many famous and acclaimed actors have also performed in the theatre, such as Judy Davis, Googie Withers, Frank Thring, and Jill Perryman, a native of Perth.
The Playhouse Theatre is located in 3 Pier Street, Perth. It is 2 minutes away by foot from the city’s shopping district and just 12 km from the domestic and international airports. If traveling by public transport, you can take the bus and go down on St Georges Terrace.

From the Playhouse Theatre, you can visit other nearby sites such as the Art Gallery of Western Australia, His Majesty’s Theatre, the Barracks Arch, London Court, the Fire Safety Education Centre and Museum, Perth Concert Hall, and the Supreme Court Gardens. If you fancy a good meal after watching your favorite show in the theatre, you can choose from the different restaurants in the area like CBD, Shun Fung on the River, Joe’s Oriental Diner, and Matsuri Japanese Restaurant. The theatre itself has its own licensed bar, which is open to theatre goers an hour before, during intervals, and after the show.

Perth Concert Hall

The Perth Concert Hall is considered as one of the best of its kind in all of Australia. It serves as a venue primarily for musical performances like concerts, recitals, musical dramas, dances, and ballets. It is also used for conferences, conventions, graduation ceremonies, and other gatherings. It is located between Terrace Road and St. Georges Terrace and affords a good view of the Swan River. It is just near the Supreme Court Gardens, the Government House, and the famous Swan Bells. The building was designed by Jeffrey Howlett and Don Bailey, the same architects who designed the Perth Council House.

It was intended to hold 2,000 people at most. Perth Concert Hall was opened in January 1973, on a day that was marked with a ball that started on midnight and ended on the early hours of dawn. This festive occasion, attended by about 1,700 people, featured a performance from the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.

The location of Perth Concert Hall, which is on the area lying between Government House and Stirling Gardens, was originally chosen as the site for a town hall and was already set aside since 1950 for this purpose. However, the decision to build a town hall there resulted in a lot of disagreement among the people, as there were three other sites being suggested by different groups. Finally, the town hall was constructed on the corner of Barrack Street and Hay Street, and the site intended for it was used for Perth Concert Hall.

Displaying the brutalist architecture design, Perth Concert Hall has a distinctive opaque interior and a large roof projecting on the sides. It was fitted with a 3,000-pipe organ and a choir gallery that can accommodate 160 persons. The pipe organ alone cost $100,000. A pit was also built for a 60-piece orchestra. When not being used, the pit can be covered. An art exhibition foyer displayed various kinds of artwork such as paintings and sculptures, and the first paintings ever displayed there were Sydney Nolan’s wildflowers collection.

A number of experts were involved in designing Perth Concert Hall. These included consultants for structural design, acoustic design, stage machinery, lights, and even escalators. The structural design was spearheaded by D H Fraser while the acoustic design was led by Harold Marshall, who employed computer modeling methods to determine how well the sound can be heard from the different seats. The building was the first concert hall in Australia to have television screens installed in the foyer where latecomers can watch the show and wait for the best time to enter.

Perth Concert Hall had been the venue for performances of the Chicago Symphony, the London Philharmonic, and the Israel Philharmonic, and for the concerts of Harry Connick Jr., KD Lang, BB King, Ray Charles, and Melissa Etheridge, among others. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra holds most of its performances in Perth Concert Hall.

Miss Maud Hotel Perth

The Miss Maud Swedish Hotel belongs to the Miss Maud Hospitality Group collectively known as “Miss Maud”. This consists of the Smörgåsbord Restaurant, 14 pastry houses, the Miss Maud Swedish Hotel, and a bake house. So who is Miss Maud? Her real name is Maud Edmiston, a Swedish migrant to Western Australia. She loved to travel and had toured Europe, Africa, USA, the Far East, and even the Middle East, and eventually, she traveled to Perth.

She fell in love with the place and the people immediately so she decided to stay. From time to time, however, she would long for home and its charming restaurants and cafes by the sidewalk. She missed home all the more when her mother went to visit her in Perth. Maud Edmiston realized there was no place they could go to for a fine meal or a relaxing afternoon tea. They had to be contented with eating at the local pub, which she discovered was not at all the kind of place that two ladies like herself and her mother can hang out in for some chat.

This is when she thought of an idea to bring in some Swedish color to Perth. She started with Miss Maud, a pastry house that sold Swedish food, cakes, pastry, and tortes prepared the old fashioned way. She cooked and baked using the recipes she learned years ago in her grandmother’s kitchen. The pastry house opened in 1971 and became an instant hit to the people of Perth. After two years, she opened the Smörgåsbord Restaurant, which featured more delicious Swedish tastes. The restaurant served traditionally prepared dishes like meatballs, pickled herring, pates, eel, and mimosa salad.

Maud Edmiston sought to continue to bring the best of Sweden to Perth, and she opened the Miss Maud Swedish Hotel about 30 years ago. It is located right in the heart of the central business district, along Murray Street. It was designed to make guests feel like they are in a homey European hotel. The hotel staff are known to be very friendly and warm. In the last few years, many rooms in the hotel have been rebuilt and redesigned. Some were given the Scandinavian look with new blue and gold furnishings, while others sport the Nordic ambience with pale blue and cream fixtures.

The hotel has 52 rooms, several of which have WI-FI access. Miss Maud Swedish Hotel boasts of facilities like bar and restaurant, pastry shop, tour and car rental desks, airport shuttle, babysitting, laundry service, dry cleaning service, and of course room service. It is conveniently within walking distance from Perth’s attractions like the Bell Tower, the Swan River, Perth Mint, and the central business district’s shopping center. Other tourist destinations such as Kings Park, Rottnest Island, and Perth Zoo can be easily accessed by public transport.

Langley Park Perth

This park is a grassed open space situated in the central business district of Perth. It was created sometime between 1921 and 1935 when a need arose for a large open space not far from the city proper. As an answer to this need, the land was reclaimed from the nearby Swan River and the park was birthed. Major Norman Brearley, a pilot from the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, used the park in his efforts to promote commercial or civil aviation. He was responsible for breaking new grounds in this field to establish commercial aviation in the state. And he did so during the 1920s, a period in history when aviation was still considered unsafe and dangerous.

In his undertakings, the park was utilized as an airstrip. Major Brearley was issued a pilot’s license for civil purposes in 1921. In the same year, he founded the West Australian Airways, Ltd., which is the first commercial airline established in Australia. Major Brearley’s use of Langley Park as an airstrip became some sort of tradition in Perth.

To this day, small airplanes continue to fly in and land in Langley Park, and sometimes airplanes use the park for emergency landings. The park has become a convenient landing strip for smaller airplanes because it is in the central business district. In 2003, during a celebration held to commemorate 100 years of flying, 10 airplanes, each representing one decade, landed in the park. And in 2006, from November 2 to 4 and November 17 to 19, the grand final competition for Red Bull Air Race utilized the park as an airfield. Langley Park, though, is officially not an airfield. The park got its name from a man named TW Langley. On August 3, 1937, Langley, who was Acting Lord Mayor of Perth, opened Riverside Drive.

After this momentous event, the park was given the name Langley Park. The park is spread on the length of Riverside Drive, between Plain Street and Victoria Avenue. Langley Park is a wide rectangular open space with an area of 90,000 square meters or a dimension of 900 x 100 meters. Its size and location make it the ideal place where the public can watch the Lotterywest Skyworks, which is held in neighboring Swan River every year. Other events are held in Langley Park such as the championship games for the Telstra Rally Australia from 1992 to 2002, and again in 2005.

His Majesty Theater

Popularly known as “the Maj”, His Majesty’s Theatre stands on the junction of Hay and King Streets. It is a common venue for musicals, opera, plays, and ballet. This grand theatre is the home of the West Australian Ballet and the West Australian Opera. Designed in the Edwardian style by architect William Wolfe, His Majesty’s Theatre was built during the ‘gold rush’ period in the early 1900s by contractor Gustav Liebe. Its total cost of construction amounted to £42,000, and it took 2 years to finish it. The theatre was opened on Christmas eve of 1904.

At the time that it was built, His Majesty’s Theatre was referred to as one of the finest theatres in the Commonwealth. It features a unique, specially designed roof that can slide open on the side to allow the cool evening wind to come in. The elegant marble staircase at the stalls entrance added beauty to the structure. A hotel was also constructed adjoining the theatre. The theatre got its name from King Edward VII who was on the throne when it was opened.

His Majesty’s Theatre was privately owned by a string of different entrepreneurs from the time that it was built until the late 1970s. In 1977, the government of Western Australia bought the theatre. At that time, it was no longer in good condition because of many years of neglect. It needed major improvements. The government refurbished the building, a process that took 2 years to complete and cost a whopping $11 million. The theatre was restored and the facilities were made more modern, although the traditional feel of the original structure was retained.

The marble staircase was moved to the stall foyer’s western side. The dome roof was closed permanently. The adjoining hotel was separated from the theatre and converted into a backstage. During the early 1980s, His Majesty’s Theatre faced the possibility of demolition. However, various groups from the theatre society were able to protect it, and eventually the building was listed as a heritage site. By this time, the building again needed some major repairs. The size of the stage house was no longer large enough for bigger shows, the fabric used in the building was already old and weak, and the electrical facilities needed some fixing.

The theatre found a rescuer in Mike Walsh, a popular media personality in Australia who himself was passionate for theatre. He bought His Majesty’s Theatre in the year 2000 and began the much needed restoration work. New equipment were brought in. Major work was done, bringing the building was back to the magnificent structure that it once was.

Hyde Park Perth

The Noongar people used to call this site Boodjamooling while the early European settlers called it the Third Swamp Reserve. It is situated 2 kilometers north of Perth’s central business district and is bordered by Vincent Street, Glendower Street, William Street, and Throssell Street. In 1897, a portion of the Third Swamp Reserve (5 hectares, to be exact) as declared to be a public park, which was later given the name Hyde Park.
The park is found in the Town of Vincent, and it is frequented by the neighborhood community for recreational purposes. People would meet there and just walk leisurely or sit down on the benches under the shade.

Hyde Park is made even more beautiful by two groundwater lakes set amidst rolling green grass and old trees. The calm ambience makes the park an ideal place for family picnics. Children can play in the water playground and in the adventure playground. There are also barbeque areas and two public gazebos. Drinking fountains and public toilets are installed. The site where the park is now found used to be the middle portion of freshwater wetlands extending from Claisebrook to Herdsman Lake and touching Lake Monger on the Swan Coastal Plain. This entire area, which also encompasses Georgiana Lake and Lake Sutherland, is called the Great Lakes District. At present, the wetlands area is no longer as extensive as it used to be, and only a small part has been left intact. When Perth underwent a restructuring on July 1, 1994, three additional local governments were birthed, namely the Town of Vincent, Shepperton or Victoria, and Cambridge.

The Town of Vincent, where Hyde Park is situated, is a local government area spread over about 10.4 square kilometers in Perth. It has a population of only 25,795. The total length of roads in the area is 139 kilometers. The Town of Vincent is home to 104 hectares of parkland and gardens. The Town of Vincent got its name from Vincent Street, a main road that cuts through the town’s center. Vincent Street, on the other hand, was said to have gotten its name from George Vincent, who named the street after himself in 1876. He worked as Chief Draftsman in the Lands Department.

The land on the northern area, eastward from Charles Street, was originally given to him. Many administrative offices, including the Town’s Council Chambers, are found along this street. Hyde Park is the venue for the yearly celebration called Hyde Park Holiday. This festival serves as the platform where people learn more about ethnic cultures and activities.

Perth Burswood Park

Burswood Park is a public park that surrounds the commerical complex and the grand Burswood Resort. It is a popular park in Western Australia and a must-see for tourists visiting Perth. The area where the park now stands used to be a garbage dumping since the 1940s. Now it has been converted into a scenic park and recreational facility. The transformation of the place not only gave way for a public park but it also had a positive impact in wildlife, especially birds. About 40 kinds of waterfowl and birds now have the park as their habitat. Burswood Park is perfect for outdoor activities like walking, jogging, and riding bicycles.

You can also enjoy picnics here, as there are numerous picnic areas available. If you love to play golf, then you can head off to the Burswood Park Public Golf Course. The golf course was built on the place where the Perth Golf Club was originally established in 1895. The park features several lakes. Citizen of the Year Lake is considered as the most beautiful and serves as the park’s main attraction. It is named after a prestigious and important award in Western Australia. The recipients of the Citizen of the Year award are displayed in plaques near the lake. Burswood Park gives a wonderful blend of art, recreation, and local history. The Heritage Trail, for example, provides bits of Western Australian history through bronze sculptures and tableaux as you follow the path. These sculptures displayed along the Heritage Trail mostly depict famous figures from the history of Western Australia and are recognized as remarkable artworks. The trail itself, winding through sculpture gardens, gives you the feel of walking through one of the famous sculpture gardens of Europe.
Fitness buffs frequent the jogging and bicycle trail also found in the park. This trail is laid out along the banks of the Swan River and the lakes.

Its total length is 3,400 meters, and it is surrounded by wonderful scenery. A famous landmark within Burswood Park is the Swan Shell, a majestic structure patterned after a flying swan. The site of the Swan Shell is a favorite reception for weddings. It is also used for different outdoor events such as concerts. Another landmark within the park is the Swan Fountain. It is a sculpture of black swans regally taking off from their nest. You can ask for a free tour of Burswood Park from the Visitor Information Centre. The Park Board offers a daily tour that leaves at 11:50 a.m. and takes about 40 minutes. Burswood Park can be found at Resort Drive, just off the Great Eastern Highway. It is only about 3 to 5 minutes drive from the central business district of Perth.

Barrack Square Perth

Many years ago, when Perth was just being developed, this place served as the gateway for transportation through the Swan River. The Barrack Square was the landing area for goods and for people from other places. Now, Barrack Square has been developed to be a large, open public square sitting along the Swan River bank. It is considered as the center of tourism in the state of Western Australia. This place is also called Barrack Street Jetty because of the many ferries available here. From Barrack Square, you can take the Swan River cruises. There are also many ferries here that you can take to reach different destinations, such as Rottnest Island, South Perth, Carnac Island, Mends Street, Fremantle, and Perth Zoo. If you are a lover of marine life, you can even go on whale watching trips. Barrack Square is famous for the Swan Bells, a uniquely designed bell tower that is considered as one of Perth’s major tourist attractions. It was constructed in 1999 and was finished in 2001.

It stands 82.5 meters high having a total of 6 levels. The topmost level serves as an observation deck and gives a breathtaking view of Perth and then Swan River. Twelve of the bells in the tower were originally from St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, a famous church in Trafalgar Square, London. These bells are famous and significant as they have been rung during historic moments of world events, such as England’s victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and victory over battles in the World War II. They were presented as a gift to Western Australia in 1988 during the bicentenary celebration of Australia. Six more bells were added, five of which were also given as gifts. All in all, there are 18 bells in the tower.

You will hear these 18 bells ringing all together in Barrack Square every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. The Square is decorated with different kinds of artwork such as sculptures and mosaics. Reflection pools, lush gardens, and beautiful fountains are also found in the Square. The State Images, which adorn the central pool and the fountains, feature colorful mosaics gathered from 10 regions in Western Australia. On the garden pathways, you will find the signatures of Western Australian students being displayed. This is part of a community project called Sign In 2000. There are many waterfront restaurants and cafes in Barrack Square where you can dine and relax. You can also visit souvenir shops and buy keepsakes such as crocodile leather products, woodcrafts, paintings, wine, and dried wildflowers. Barrack Square is just near the central business district of Perth. It will only take you about 10 minutes of walking through a footpath on Barrack Street going toward the river. If you are commuting, take the Blue CAT bus and alight on Barrack Square.

Perth Observatory Dome

Perth Observatory was constructed in 1896 in its original location at Mt. Eliza and was opened in 1900. Back then, the observatory was responsible only for gathering meteorological information and for keeping Western Australia’s standard time. The government astronomer had his own quarters in the original observatory. Even during its time, Perth Observatory was considered to be among the world’s best and advanced observatories. During the 1960s, the observatory had to transfer to a different site because of light pollution in the city. Thus a new building was constructed in Bickley at Mt. Gungin over the Darling Range, 25 kilometers east of Perth. The new building opened its doors in 1966.

Still fully operational to this day, Perth Observatory is the oldest observatory in Australia. The observatory has persisted despite the number of times that the State Government tried to close it down. Such a time was in 1987, when the observatory was still under the jurisdiction of the Department of State Services. However, the public and certain groups from the scientific community challenged this move. They raised their voices against the closing down of the observatory and effectively helped to keep it alive. During Perth Observatory’s centenary celebration on January 1966, its management was turned over to the Department of Environment and Conservation. In 2005, the observatory was registered as a Heritage site in Western Australia. At present, it is the only observatory in Australia that is being run by the State Government.
The researches undertaken by Perth Observatory have greatly diversified since its establishment in 1900. It now conducts Near Earth Asteroid Tracking or NEAT, from which other institutions like the Minor Planet Center in the USA have benefited. Other researches conducted by the observatory include studying comets, watching for changes in stars, and detecting, tracking, and monitoring comets, asteroids, and other minor heavenly bodies. Perth Observatory is famous for its large telescope dome called the Perth-Lowell Automated Telescope dome. It is a 24-inch (61-cm) telescope built in 1971 in partnership with Lowell Observatory, the biggest nongovernment observatory in the USA. The telescope stands on a 15-meter tower.

A new telescope, to be named A. Montgomery Ward Telescope, is presently being built for the Lowell Observatory. The construction is underway at the site of the Perth Observatory. When finished, both the Lowell Observatory and the Perth Observatory will each have 50% observing time. This telescope will have a diameter of 1 meter (40 inches). The telescope’s bigger size will enable scientists to study the spectroscopy of the novae, supernovae, nebulae, comet, and asteroid, something that the 24-inch telescope could not do, plus a lot more.