The Giants bid adieu to Perth

Staff reporters

The Giants have bid farewell to Perth after a three-day extravaganza that drew hundreds of thousands of people into the city.

The Little Girl and the Diver have now embarked on a boat journey in the Swan River, never to return.

The Giants slept in Langley Park overnight before a gargantuan performance leading up to their embarkation.

The snores of the sleeping Giants gave way to a pulsating didgeridoo as day three of their special visit got under way before massive crowds.

The rousing, extended playing echoed around the park and across the river as the Little Girl rested in the arms of her protective uncle, as the rest of the band came to life and the Lilliputians started work for the last time in Perth.

The Diver and The Little Girl embark on a barge for their final WA journey. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Farewell to The Giants, as they leave Perth aboard a barge, accompanied by a flotilla of pleasure craft. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Giants help cadets mark Anzac centenary. Picture: Robert Duncan/The West Australian

Premier Colin Barnett has thanked the Little Girl and the Diver Giant for coming to Perth and helping mark the Anzac centenary.

Mr Barnett tweeted a selfie from Langley Park where the Giants are making their final rounds before getting on a boat and leaving down the river.

Mr Barnett said Perth had transformed with the Fringe Festival and Perth Festival and the Dullsville tag was no longer relevant.

The pair reunited yesterday in a heart-warming end to a day which saw crowds of 400,000 turn out to see them.

After spending the last two days searching for each other in the CBD, the Little Girl Giant and the Diver Giant finally found each other last night, embracing at Langley Park about 7pm.

Slumbering: The Giants breathe and snore and open their mouths even when sleeping overnight. This Sunday morning they arose to get ready for their boat trip. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Many in the crowd appeared emotional as the six-metre Little Girl Giant was lifted into the air to greet the 11-metre Diver Giant against a picturesque Perth skyline.

The Little Girl Giant and the Diver Giant reunited. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The pair then sat across from each another while a welcome to country ceremony took place. The Little Girl Giant entertained the crowds with a lively dance before she sat on the Diver's knee.

The reunion follows an eventful day for the two marionettes, which form the main event of the Perth International Arts Festival.


After waking from a long sleep at Perth Train Station about 11.15am, the Diver Giant took a "flight" over the city and had two drinks of water with the help of firefighters.

In what was a talking point for the day, the Diver Giant was lifted into the air above the city to the Mission Impossible theme tune after a tour through the CBD yesterday morning.

Even during his siesta at Wellington Square this afternoon, thousands turned out to watch him "sleep".

The Little Girl is taken to greet the Diver Giant. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Lilliputians, who operated the enormous artworks, were an attraction in themselves and leapt into the air as the Diver Giant walked through the CBD.

In her second day on the move, the Little Girl Giant stirred from her plus-size bed at Langley Park this morning, to the shrieks of delight from children in the crowd.

She wore a yellow cap and raincoat and boarded a boat into the city this morning and, after a nap in Weld Square, she rode a scooter to meet her diver counterpart.

Yesterday, she had the attention of the crowds to herself while she showered, sunbathed, read and even urinated in the Perth CBD.

The diver walks through the streets of Perth. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

The Little Girl had dozens of children in awe, particularly during the sailing leg where those in her path were splashed by the boat's jets.

Meanwhile, most onlookers would have been wishing they had stuck with their French studies at school, with the Little Girl Giant's journey largely narrated in the language.

Onlookers again took advantage of any viewing spot they could, with people standing at office windows high above the street and tradies perched over balconies to watch the passing procession.

Libby Pardoe said she had "absolutely fallen in love" with everything about the giants.

The Little Girl exercises in front of the growing crowds. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

After driving up from the Ferguson Valley, Mrs Pardoe said she had never seen Perth as alive or engaging.

"I seriously love it," she said.

"I think it's fabulous and I really think it's energising."

Megan Mooney and her partner Paull Gibbs arrived in the city at 9.30am to see Little Girl Giant before getting into position along Hay Street to watch Diver Giant walk past.

"It was magical. The size of the puppets was amazing but watching the guys flying off the front on the pulleys was entertainment in itself," Ms Mooney said.

Despite extra train services, there was not enough capacity to bring people into the city to see the giants this morning.

On the Joondalup line, trains were full by the time they reached the inner city stations, causing frustration among passengers.

Suzanne Worner, from Mount Hawthorn, watched the diver nap this afternoon, waiting for him to start his second trip around Perth this evening.

"We can't wait to see him stand up," Suzanne Worner of Mount Hawthorn said.

"We have been looking forward to this for such a long time and it is great to see it finally happening," she said.

Hundreds of volunteers, including Francis Mott, are helping the Giant's journey through Perth.

"It's too good an opportunity not to get up close and personal to," she said.

The lilliputians in action. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

One woman said she and her son had been waiting at Leederville station for an hour because they were unable to board a train.

A huge crowd of people gathered around the diver as he slept outside Wellington St station at 9am.

But the diver's awakening was delayed until 11.15am in a bid to separate the crowds also in the city to see Little Girl Giant.

Yesterday, crowds gathered early in the morning, enchanted by the little girl sleeping peacefully among the city buzz.

By midday, their numbers swelled and thousands gazed upwards in awe as they followed her on one of her strolls around the Perth CBD.

The initial excitement built as the Little Girl Giant - who is six metres tall - woke from her slumber, showered and dressed for the day ahead in the first part of a three-hour journey through Perth.

As she strolled along Hay Street, the little girl astonished onlookers as she crouched in a lady-like fashion and urinated in front of the crowds. She then sat down on a deck chair in Wellington Square, where she was surrounded by the crowds as she read a story and took a nap under an umbrella.

Beth Mills celebrated her 76th birthday with a 6am trip with her son David.

"I've followed it all through the newspaper and know all about it," she said. "I wouldn't like to be her sleeping companion with the noise she's making, though.

The Diver Giant walks the streets of Perth. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

The Giants marionettes created and operated by French street theatre company Royal de Luxe will walk the streets of the CBD over three days this weekend, marking the start to the Perth International Arts Festival.

In a special ANZAC-themed production to commemorate the centenary, a six-metre-tall marionette will play the little girl on Breaksea Island off Albany who farewelled the first convoy of Gallipoli-bound troops.

Lilliputians operate the Little Girl Giant on day two of the Giants' three-day tour of Perth. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

The Deep Sea Diver appeared in Perth in the early hours of this morning - a three tonne giant sleeping under the city lights.

Keith Miller, of Sorrento, said his family had been urged by friends in Liverpool to see the Giants.

“They said it was just brilliant so we have been waiting to come,” Mr Miller said.

He said the $5.4 million expense of bringing the Giants to Perth, including $2 million from the State Government, was well worth it.

“You have got to have a balance, he said. It is brilliant for the WA public,” he said.

How big is the diver? This big. Picture: Stephen Bevis/The West Australian

Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

"I think I will come in tomorrow with my wife. Now I have seen it and got a feel for it."

Following the Little Girl during the morning session from Langley Park to Wellington Square was 60-something Jack Scott, of Subiaco.

“Anyone who is disappointed is a party-pooper,” Mr Scott said.

“It is a one-off thing and you will never see it again.”

Early risers paused as they passed the diver on Wellington Street, surprised to see diver giant snoozing in the middle of the CBD.

Sgt. Wayne Godwin gets in on the act, sleeping with the Giant Diver outside the Perth Train Station. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Graham Fetterroll circled the Diver after he stumbled across him during his shift working on the railway track.

"It's impressive, both the size and the detail," he said.

Commuters reached for their phones as they walked out of the train station yesterday, surprised by the welcome change to their morning routines It was the Diver's lifelike features that appealed most to Claudia Quan.

"I think it's just fabulous that they've brought them here," she said. "To have it here, especially for ANZAC, it's just perfect timing."

The massive marionettes require a team of 70 people to move the machinery that suspends them, while more than 300 volunteers will help them navigate the streets of Perth.

There will be a series of rolling road closures as the “bubbles” of activity surrounding the two colossal characters move through the streets in what has been billed as the biggest public arts spectacle in the city’s history.

Organisers expect about one million people to walk the streets with The Giants over three days or watch them for long intervals at Langley Park and other parks around the city.

Stretches of St George’s Terrace, Hay, William, Murray, Wellington and Beaufort Streets were among the vantage points for five extended morning and evening promenade performances in which the girl and the diver searched for one another through the city.

Each day concluded with a spectacle at Langley Park, ending on the Sunday with an Anzac commemorative spectacle involving present-day servicemen and women and the Returned and Services League of WA.

Little red men: Lilliputian helpers after the Giants depart on the boat on Sunday. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian