You say Perth; we say pink lakes and old prisons. You say quizzically, wondering what you’re going to do after the United Arab Emirates Vs India match on the 28th “Fear not,” says Sumitha, who spent her undergrad years here, there is so much to do, you’ll have a hard time leaving.
The Color … Pink!
For starters, let’s talk Pink. Not the singer, but the Lake Hillier which turns a lovely bubble gum, candy floss pink courtesy of the Dunaliella salina, an algae that supposedly causes the salt content in the lake to create a red dye. The Pink lakes of Western Australia are located in the largest of the islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance, a good eight hours drive from Perth and a two-hour flight – one of the reasons why dear Sumi doesn’t include it in her WhatsApp list to me. The other is that it’s best viewed from above. There’s another lake near Esperance that has a lookout point but that only turns pink under the right weather conditions. You’ve gotta give it to mama earth; she makes you work hard to get at the good stuff.
Day at the Beach:
Not ready to travel that far? Head to Cottlesloe Beach, a mere 15 minutes away from the city center; the perfect family way to spend the morning before the match begins at 2:30 pm local time. The birthplace of surfing, this beach has turquoise waters, breakfast cafés and shady spots to unfurl a picnic blanket. If you prefer a touch of history, we suggest a trip to Freemantle, known as ‘the place of crying’ – an unfortunate name given to the place by the Whadjuk Noongar people, original settlers of the port city located at the mouth of Swan River. Walk the footsteps of the first convicts by following the Convict Walking Trail, which takes you to the Pensioner’s Barracks and Essex Street. Once filled with tales to frighten the kids, today the Round House is the oldest public building in Western Australia and harmless to boot, like many of the convicts that made their way to Australia’s many penal colonies- Mary Wade was only eleven when she was transported to Norfolk.
Wine and More:
If you’re a wine enthusiast and love Masterchef Australia, you must get into the car and drive 280 Km south of Perth to the Margaret River wine region and harvest grapes. As the name suggests, wineries roll against the backdrop of forests and the winding river that Indian’s have become so familiar with because of the cooking show that takes over our homes for four months a year. This is the perfect season as the grapes are still on the vine, bursting with flavor – they get harvested between the end of February and early April. Call early and ask if you can be part of a harvest and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime. Local union rules can make it difficult but there’s no harm in trying. If nothing, you can taste.
In the event you’ve just arrived from Adelaide and have had you’re fill of wine, we suggest water, azure and bursting with 135 species of fish and over a variety of dazzling coral. Only 19 Km from Perth Rottnest Island (Rats Nest), another unfortunate name this time courtesy of the Dutch who mistook the native marsupials, Quokkas, for rats. But this is no case of a ‘rat by any other name’ as they remind me of midget Kangaroos hopping around on their tiny hind feet. Head to the basin to snorkel; diving enthusiasts have a vast graveyard of shipwrecks to explore.
This year when cricket’s biggest event rolls up be where the action is! Plan a trip to Australia and New Zealand with Eventraveler’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 page. For more on Perth visit our guide for Perth and the WACA stadium. If you happen to make the trip to Perth, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how pink the lakes really are!
Reshma Krishnan Barshikar is a travel writer and contributes to National Geographic Traveller, India Today Travel Plus and Helter Skelter. When in Mumbai, she can be found at the NCPA library researching her next novel. Her debut novel, Fade Into Red, is a romantic ode to wine and Tuscany and was published by Random House India in August 2014. For more details visit her website www.reshmakrishnan.com.
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