Kings Park

Kings Park should be the first port of call for all visitors to Perth. Kings Park is, even against an international yardstick, an exceptionally large park. The uniqueness of Kings Park is that it is, literally, a few minutes from the Central Business District. Visit the Kings Park web site http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park.

The panoramic views from Kings Park, even from a stationary vantage point, extend across the city, to the hills, and down the river.

Kings Park offers far more than breathtaking views. Of its 400 hectares, approximately two thirds are unspoilt bushland, which during the wildflower season (September and October), comes alive with colour. The remaining third is beautifully landscaped gardens, picnic and barbeque areas and playgrounds.

There are many paths and trails through Kings Park. You can explore them yourself, or take one of the free, walking tours. They start every day at 10 am outside the Aspects gift shop. You don't need to be a botanist to identify the flora - most of the flowers and trees are identified by their scientific and common names with small plaques.

Kings Park is also a testament to certain aspects of Western Australia's history. In addition to the main war memorial, which contains the names of all solidiers lost during the first and second world wars, the Park's roads are lined with trees, at the base of which there are plaques laid in memory of individual fallen solidiers.

In 1993, the old tea rooms were converted into three new eating establishments - the casual Kings Park Restaurant, the Tearooms and the five star a la carte Frasers Restaurant. The latter is unsurpassed for night time views of the city lights.

In summer, Kings Park must be enjoyed at night. The drive up the main road in Kings Park lined with uplit gum trees is just the beginning. Recent Summers have seen the people of Perth treated to cinematic and thespian delights in Kings Park. The Sunset Cinema, which screens outside in the Lakeside Picnic Area shows classic, arthouse and cult movies. Also, local and interstate theatre companies often put on a production, usually Shakespeare, in the idyllic surrounds of the Park, including recent productions of Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet. Take some nibblies, a bottle of wine and a picnic blanket.