Explore the New Elizabeth Quay in Perth 30


There has been much debate about Perth’s new Elizabeth Quay during its construction.

150 000 of soil and clay had been removed from the ancient river bed to make way for the Quay; resulting in blocked traffic, altered road thoroughfares and costing the state $440 million.  During construction of Elizabeth Quay everybody in Perth had something to say (positive and much negative).  I was even one of the nay sayer’s and I’m all for tourism.

Then on the 29 January 2016 with much fan fare the new Elizabeth Quay was officially opened.  So last weekend we went to see the beginnings of the state governments new vision for Perth.

Would I be able to see our premiers vision of how Elizabeth Quay will help make Perth a welcoming and vibrant city?

Elizabeth Quay

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We park at the City of Perth car park on Terrace Road and walk a short distance along the Swan River.  For those who don’t want to drive the Esplanade (now called Elizabeth Quay) train station is adjacent to the Quay.

We are greeted by the Bell Tower that houses the 12 bells from St Martins in London.

Elizabeth Quay

Bell Tower

Walking across the street we notice that the black fencing that barricades off the future apartment development blocks/plots surrounding the Quay has been drawn and coloured on like a giant blackboard.  It doesn’t look like graffiti it just looks like kids have had fun.

As we walk down the wavy cobbled stone path the lively Elizabeth Quay opens up to us.

Elizabeth Quay

I see that not only is the South Perth ferry (that has had to double its service since the opening) chugging through the water but there are several luxury launches putting about.

Elizabeth Quay

To the city side of the Quay the Fringe Festival is going strong (29 Jan – 6 Mar).  There are a few food vans and people have made use of the sun shades provided – which are needed as the recently planted native gum trees are all still quite immature and not providing any shade at this stage.

We continue along to the BHP Billiton Water Park that I had told Mr7 would be a highlight of our trek (I have even packed a towel and spare clothes).  But alas it is to no avail.  We arrive just as the water has stopped.  We stand and wait.  Then one small section of water bubbles out a foot high, another section to the far side is doing the same, water spurting up a foot high – wow (eye roll).  Mr 7 is not impressed – at all.  However the hoards of tiny tots that are playing in the water are having fun.

Elizabeth Quay

We pass the Embargo Bar and Food an open air bar and coffee area – but there is virtually no one in there, probably because there is little shade.  I mean it should have been full in there as thousands of people are walking around the Quay.

There is some art works along the water front and the main art called First Contact – symbolising how the Indigenous saw the first Europeans when they arrived is getting the most attraction.

Elizabeth Quay

First Contact

We enjoy walking across the winding footbridge that spans the inlet to the Quay,

Elizabeth quay

taking in the vistas looking back into the city, across the Swan River and over to Kings Park.

Elizabeth Quay

Spanda Art

The footbridge takes us to the Island Playground.  Little ones are playing in the water, sand pits and on the climbing towers.

Next to the playground is the old Kiosk.  It was originally located on the reclaimed foreshore that has now been dug away to make way for the Quay.  The Kiosk is historic and has had a varied life and so it was taken apart brick by brick and rebuilt on the “island”

Elizabeth Quay

Having looped around most of the Quay we are now back at the revamped Barrack Street Jetty and in front of the Bell Tower.  I have never seen the Bell Tower from this angle and am enchanted to see the thousands padlocks of love chained to the balustrade along the entrance to the tower.

Elizabeth Quay

On the way back home we reflect on what we each thought of the new Elizabeth Quay.

  • Lewis (aka Mr7) to say the least is extremely disappointed as the activities for kids are focused towards toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Steve questions if the trees once fully mature will provide enough shade.
  • As for me?  I feel a bit under-whelmed.  At the moment I question how much Elizabeth Quay will be utilised after the initial rush has worn off.  However I can see the potential of what it will become when all the apartments are built with plenty of restaurants and bars to attract visitors to the area.

It will become that vibrant attraction for both tourists and locals to enjoy.

What do you think?  If you are in Perth would you visit Elizabeth Quay?

Please tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Elizabeth Quay

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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