Friday 05 May 2017. Photos.
Highlights: Qantas Business Class Flight, Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Today saw the start of a short four day break to Perth just as the cold weather commences back at home in Melbourne. I booked a cheap economy class seat on Qantas back in January and used my Qantas points to upgrade to Business Class on the International standard A330-300 so a great start for the four hour transcontinental flight (see Flight Review Melbourne to Perth).
For this trip my Brother-in-Law Jason joined me, or more accurately I’m joining Jason. The trip was centred on seeing Essendon play Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on the Sunday.
Early morning I cleaned up my house before leaving given my nephew Andrew and his fiancée Danelle will be moving in shortly. For this trip I’m only taking a daybreak making packing more interesting but hopefully I have everything I need. From here it was a walk to Flinders Street Station for a train trip to Broadmeadows. Unbelievablely Melbourne doesn’t have a train to our major airport but Broadmeadows is fairly close and my mum happily picked me up from the train station and took me the 10 minute ride to the airport.
I meet Jason at the airport and quickly took him into the Qantas Business Lounge. A very late breakfast for both of us (11.20 am) and some drinks saw us set for the transcontinental trip. We were at one of the furtherest away gates and there was a big line in the economy lane but quick boarding for business class. Turning left on entry felt good and the Business Class seats have a large pitch of 78″ and are 21.5″ wide basically perfect for a long flight. I enjoyed the seat, the wine, the food and the entertainment system (see Flight Review Melbourne to Perth for more details).
The Perth Airport has done a bit of an upgrade over the last few years and lots good. After Jason picked up his checked bag we headed outside and caught the local bus (number 40) for a cost of $4.60 (you can pay in cash on board) and it took around 40 minutes to get us to the centre of the city (so great value). We are staying at Perth Ibis which is very central for our activities over the next few days. Walking to the hotel we passed a pub which was humming along at 4.15 pm – seems like the locals have no problems leaving work early on a Friday!
After a brief break at the hotel we headed off to Gloucester Park for a night of harness racing fun. This track is right next to the famous WACA cricket ground which I’ve watch many Test Matches on TV. Entry costed $12 with an extra $4 for racing book. The meeting started at 5.24 pm which is extremely early but I guess they are trying to line up with the East Coast which is 2 hours ahead of Western Australia.
Jason and myself positioned ourselves near the winning post and got on TV for most races according to my brother back home. The Harness racing here doesn’t have bookies so it was betting on the TAB only. Despite this the venue was magnificant, having been built in the late 1920s it’s smaller than most but that’s the charm, you are close to the action. The setup was good as well, lots of good spots to watch races, music act between races, kids having fun, the food cooked at the venue looked very tasty for reasonable cost. Maybe I’m a little bias since I left the night $5 up for the night when I expected at one point to loss everything I came with, so very happy :).