Monday, June 06, 2011

When Western Australia was the Swan River Colony ...

That's the Swan River in the background!
Here in the western third of Oz today we've got a public holiday. It's one of those not-as-important public holidays - in other words (a) about half the people you ask won't remember why they didn't have to go to work, (b) some people still do have to go to work (universities, for example) and (c) our rubbish bins are still collected. But fortunately I belong to the proportion of the people who know what it's all about (for once!) and so I can tell you that today we are celebrating Foundation Day. In other words, the day that Western Australia was (kind of) first settled.

I say "kind of" because in fact there was already a British Army outpost in Albany (down south) when, on 1 June 1829, the Swan River Colony was founded. This - or the closest Monday to this date, I should say - became the day that we celebrate the founding of our state.

To celebrate, I wanted to bring you some beautiful pictures of the Swan River. It winds it way through Perth, dividing us into "north of the river" (NOR) and "south of the river" (SOR), and there are many gorgeous spots along it - not least of which can be found in the Perth city centre, because we managed to get something right by building our CBD close to the river. Kings Park is a fantastic bushland and park area (bigger than Central Park in New York) and it's the "crowing jewel" looking down over Perth and the Swan River.

I said I wanted to bring you some Swan River pictures - until I discovered that I take this river so much for granted that I've almost never taken any pictures of it. The one above is a couple of years back when my father-in-law visited - and the fact that it's a picture including my husband will be a good test of whether he's reading my blog or not! I'll make it my mission now to do some more Swan River explorations with camera in hand and share some of the results in the future.


  1. Did you know that Captain Fremantle had been perched at now-Fremantle for quite awhile before Stirling made it back with his first lot of settlers? So there was a military garrison on the coast here before the 1929 date too. Today is really just a bit of Stirling worship....course we should mention that there were also quite a few other people living here before then too!

  2. So in fact Foundation Day is a load of rubbish for multiple reasons, not just the fact that the first Australians were here for many thousands of years first? - OK, now I know. So it really does deserve to be the public holiday that nobody knows about! (Not that we'd ever give up a public holiday of course!).

  3. Great place Perth and like many the Swan River is taken for granted.
    Another place your readers might also like is Margaret River with wine, surf, caves, food, walking trails, horse riding and breweries to mention a few everyone is pretty much guaranteed to find what they like.

  4. True, Margaret River is a great spot. You forgot to mention the chocolate factory! That's the highlight for me ;-)


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