Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
14-15 May 2006 - Perth

Location map We have moved a fair distance north of the south coast and yesterday was certainly warmer but the night was as cold as any we experienced in Albany with a minimum of eight degrees overnight.

After lunch on Sunday we drove to the Caltex Woolworths petrol station at Midlands which FuelWatch had reported as the lowest price petrol (from the major suppliers) in the area - 129.9 cents per litre not including the 4 cents per litre voucher discount. There was a queue at the pumps confirming the claim that many WA motorists use FuelWatch to keep track of petrol prices. The caravan park is in the Swan Valley near Guildford which was a favourite destination for Mothers Day outings so traffic was quite heavy in Guildford. The immediate vicinity of the park is rural with vinyards and wineries nearby in one direction but with suburban housing about a kilometre away in the other direction.

FuelWatch operates under state legislation requiring petrol stations to report their next day fuel price by 2 o'clock in the afternoon; they must implement that price by 6 o'clock next morning and are not allowed to change the price during the day. FuelWatch uses the reported prices to prepare e-mails it distributes at 5 o'clock in the evening. Anybody can obtain prices from the FuelWatch website and lowest prices are reported with television news on some commercial channels.

There is officially no Sunday trading in Perth and the large shopping centres were closed but some smaller shops/supermarkets were permitted to trade.

On Sunday night there was very heavy rain beginning with a few pings on the roof at about 2 o'clock in the morning; sound reverberates inside the van when anything hits the aluminium A'liner roof and we are wary of parking under trees which shed nuts. A heavy downpour of rain has to be heard to be believed. The minimum temperature overnight was 15 degrees and the rainfall was about 15 to 20 mm judging by the water left in a dish left out overnight. I put out the rain gauge at 8 o'clock and it recorded another 2 mm before the rain stopped in mid-morning.

On Monday we went to Morley shopping centre to complete pre-departure shopping - this was a very large shopping centre with Myer, Target, K-mart, Coles and Woolworths under a single roof with a multitude of smaller shops. While we were driving back to the caravan park we heard a noise from the wheels and I found a screw in the tread of the front left tyre. There wasn't a hiss of escaping air when I screwed it out but the future didn't look good. Shortly after we got back to the van that tyre had lost 15 psi so after lunch I replaced the wheel with the spare.