Kings Park Segway tour with Segway Tours WA
Perth’s Kings Park is renowned as one of the world’s great urban oases. Larger than New York’s Central Park or London’s Hyde Park, it provides respite from the hustle and bustle of the Western Australia capital and a tantalising escape to the Australian bush for locals and visitors alike. Many love to explore the park on foot, but why stride when you can ride? Climb on board a Segway for a guided tour. Duration: 90 mins (approx.)
I’ll be honest: when planning my recent visit to Perth, a Segway tour was not on my bucket list of must-dos.
The thought of riding a Segway has always made me feel a little nervous, so when I found myself arriving at the Segway Tours WA Barrack Street Jetty office for a Kings Park Segway tour, I wasn’t feeling hugely confident. That may sound strange to those who know that I’m a licensed skydiver, but the thought of giving up my two feet for two wheels wasn’t one I relished – and my anxiety kicked up a notch when I realised I would have to ride the Segway through the CBD to get to the park!
There are four other guests on the 10:30am tour: a couple from Darwin and two friends from New Zealand. After we each don a radio ear-piece, a branded high-vis vest and a brain bucket, our smiley tour guide Paul leads us to a training area in front of the office. So it begins.
It’s clear from the outset that Segway Tours WA takes safety seriously (and let’s face it, my biggest fear is crashing this thing!). Paul explains how the Segway works and gives a demo: weaving in and around a set of orange cones. ‘It looks easy enough’, I think to myself and when it’s my turn, I gingerly step up onto my Segway. I cautiously look for my balance sweet spot (not too much on the toes, and not too much leaning back on the heels) and when I find it my anxiety begins to lessen.
We each have a go at starting and stopping; going forward and turning. The longer I’m on the Segway, the more comfortable I become. Once Paul is satisfied that we are all competent driving on the pavement, he takes us to a larger training area; this time on grass to learn how to handle rougher ground and small inclines. After we all ace Segway training 101, it’s time to get on the road to today’s main event: stunning Kings Park.
Paul guides us through the walkways of Elizabeth Quay – Perth’s riverside public space and ferry terminal. As we exit the area, we come to our first street crossing, and it’s a big one. The corner of Mounts Bay Road and William Street is always busy with foot and vehicle traffic so the prospect of navigating through it on a Segway is somewhat nerve-wracking. However, we all pull it off like champs and continue on our way.
Before we know it, we’re climbing Mount Eliza and entering one of the world’s largest inner-city parks. Kings Park is renowned for its impressive display of Australian and exotic horticulture, and the fragrance of lemon-scented gums embraces us as we enter. The sudden transition from concrete jungle to pristine natural landscape is calming and wondrous. I’m no longer anxious about exploring via Segway – just excited to be a part of it all!
The six of us zip down quiet pathways alongside avenues lined not only with trees, but also memorial plaques honouring fallen soldiers. Paul provides interesting historical insights via our headsets as we make our way towards the riverside edge of the 400-hectare park.
After a city view photo stop, we continue on to our main stop at the Forrest Carpark to view the giant boab tree. The iconic Aussie boab is native to Western Australia’s Kimberley region and this particular specimen made a journey of over 3,200 kilometres in 2008 to its new home here at the Two Rivers Lookout. We have a little time to walk around and smell the flowers, but the clock is ticking and we still need to Segway ourselves back to home base. Sadly, it’s soon time to go.
The time spent in Kings Park isn’t extensive and the tour can only access certain areas, but it’s enough to get a glimpse of several of the park’s highlights. What’s amazing about the experience is the Segway itself – and if you’ve been thinking of giving it a go, there would be no better excuse than this Kings Park Segway tour in fabulous Perth.
Jennifer travelled as a guest of Segway Tours WA.
About the writer
Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book or zooming in on a beautiful scene. She’s also likely to be boarding a plane – or jumping out of one.