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Travel guide Perth Region

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  • Wildflower Festival
  • Swan Lake
  • Shopping on Perth's trendy King Street
  • overlooking the Indian Ocean

The city of Perth is a gem nestled on the banks of the Swan River and its marvellous location is at the heart of the character of this most unusual of Australia’s capital cities.  The nearest large city to Perth is Adelaide, which lies over 2000 km away and it is this isolation that has allowed Perth to develop such a distinctive personality.

Lying about 20 km inland from the sparkling Indian Ocean, Perth enjoys an unparalleled climate and is classed as one of only five Mediterranean climate regions in the world. Summers tend to be hot and dry, and most rain occurs in winter, however the temperatures still hover around 18-19 degrees C, so winter is still a fine time to visit. The city enjoys a wonderful quality of light, making it a favourite with artists and photographers.

Even summer – which can be very hot, is made more bearable by the arrival most afternoons of the Fremantle Doctor, a cooling sea breeze.

What to do
Allow yourself at least a week, as you are really spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do.  And there are activities to suit everyone … families, singles, adventure travellers, couples … Perth has a range of attractions and activities to keep everyone happy!

Here are just a few suggestions – you will certainly find more as the city and region reveal themselves to you.

•    Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is a treat not to be missed.  World-famous for the Spring Wildflower Festival, this park is set high on Mt Eliza with breathtaking views of the city and the Swan River.  Comprising over 400ha of gardens and parklands, there is the opportunity to use the park in a number of ways … learn about the flora of the region, cycle or walk through the magnificent gardens, enjoy the moonlight cinema, and so much more!
•    Perth’s climate makes it ideal for sports, but it is famous for a love of cricket so a visit to the historic Western Australia Cricket Association Grounds (WACA) is a must for those with a passion for cricket.
•    The Swan Bell Tower has been a popular attraction since its opening in 2000, and houses 18 bells in the green glass spire surrounded by copper “sails”.  The bells – from the Parish of St Martin in the Fields in London – were a gift to celebrate the Australian Bicentennial.
•    Cottesloe Beach is only 15 minutes from Central Perth and while it is famous for its beach and aquatic activities, it also has a thriving pub scene, for those who want more than a dip in the ocean.  There are a number of other beaches to choose from, some better for surfing, some for families and some not, such as Swanbourne Beach, a well-known nudist beach.
•    The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest mint still in operation and while it no longer produces gold sovereigns for the British Empire, its precious metal coins are highly regarded by investors and collectors alike.  There is a wonderful collection of gold nuggets, so take a tour and see gold bars being poured – or try making your own memento from gold or silver.

Perth has much to offer the shopper, both casual and committed!  The city centre has the flagship department stores, and also offers high-end choices such as Gucci. There is a wonderful choice of jewellery utilising the local bounty, such as gold, Broome pearls and the incomparable Argyle diamonds.

There are a number of different shopping areas and one with a difference is London Court, which is a pedestrian mall, which seems to belong more to Tudor England than modern Perth.  There are a number of small shops and cafes to enjoy in this fascinating precinct.

For those who love to eat well, Perth will seem like paradise.  From small cafes to pubs to fine dining – the city has it all, and that is without venturing to Fremantle, which is now viewed almost as Perth’s most southern suburb, rather than a city in its own right.  “Freo” is famed for its al fresco dining and the freshness of WA seafood is legendary.

Museums & galleries
The West Australian Art Gallery is home to the state’s art collection and hosts many visiting exhibitions each year. There are also a number of reputable indigenous galleries throughout the city such as the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery, which is owned and operated by local Aboriginal people.

The  Holmes a Court Gallery has a remarkable collection of early colonial art and hosts many visiting exhibitions each year.

The Perth Concert Hall is the main concert venue and presents ballet, theatre, opera and orchestral performances.

What about the kids?
If you can drag them away from the beaches, a must-see is Perth Zoo, which is only 5 minutes from the city and where one of the favourite exhibits is the Australian Walkabout.  Burswood Park has everything for kids to burn off some energy and also has BBQ facilities, picnic spots and great playground facilities.

They will love the Aquarium of Western Australia and there are some wonderful water parks and amusement parks to keep them happy, such as the Armadale Reptile Farm.

How to get there
An international airport, international port, railways and major highways make Perth easily accessible, despite its distance from other capital cities. All major airlines and bus companies travel to Perth.

Whether you are hoping to relax in a self-contained apartment, luxury hotel, quaint bed & breakfast or prefer the adventure of towing a caravan around Perth and its stunning surrounds, you will find the perfect accommodation for you at TakeABreak.com.au

Ideal length of visit
Perth has so much to do and see that you really need at least a week to make the most of the many choices available.  If you have more time at your disposal, you will never run out of things to do as Perth is rich in history, culture and attractions.

Further information
Head to Perth Tourist Centre for more ideas on what to see and do in this gem of a city.


Lisa Monk is a marketing communications writer with a diverse background that includes experience in travel, hotel, finance, public relations and advertising. She has worked with Club Med, the Holiday Inn group and on a number of other travel projects on a freelance basis. Lisa has travelled throughout Asia Pacific, North America and Great Britain.
Lisa now works with TakeABreak.com.au as editor of the Holiday Inspirations newsletter and other publications. She lives in Sydney with her husband Andy, and sons Joseph and Nicholas.


About the author
Find out more about Lisa at http://bit.ly/h_experts

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