As Western Australia’s only major city, Perth has a culture all of its own. Once thought of as a slightly dull alternative to Australia’s more lively eastern seaboard, Perth’s recently blossomed as an artistic centre, spawning plenty of high quality rock music and the world’s best selling drum and bass act of all time, Pendulum.
Quality of life, though, is perhaps the city’s biggest draw. Some find it surprisingly empty, though most prefer the term spacious: you can find your own beach to relax on in the height of summer or head out into mile after mile of stunning countryside, but when you get back there’ll still be a BBQ heavy, bar-focused city life to slip into.
The odd, almost colonial style of architecture found around Perth’s centre is well worth a walk around, with notable buildings including the Cathedral, Post Office, Town Hall and Perth Mint (where you can watch molten gold formed into bars), each of which is chunky, columned, and impressively unusual. At the other end of the spectrum there’s Swan Bells, a glassy modern cone that hides the twelve bi-centenary bells (plus a 13th to mark the new millennium). Aside from its buildings, Perth’s greenery is also noteworthy, and includes some luscious gardens and even the 200 species of animals hanging out at Perth Zoo.
If you fancy something a little bit more lively, there’s a notable selection of vineyards just outside the city (and plenty offering samples, too), as well as a speedway track and casino to enjoy. You can take a Captain Cook boat trip up the Swan River, or explore Australia’s oldest colonial settlement and oldest church at Swan Valley, just up stream.
It’s some way short of the glitz and glamor of Australia’s headline attractions to the east, then, but Perth is a relaxing and enjoyable place to be, and a fantastic place to live. Let go of the sightseeing tours, head west, lounge on the beach, and get a sumptuous (and wine-infused) taste of the real Australia.
Fremantle used to be your typical port town but has undergone a bit of a facelift in recent years.
There are a number of historical sites (Roundhouse, Prison, Markets, etc) and a few muse…