Set on the beautiful Swan river, Perth is a laid-back sunny capital lined with beautiful sandy beaches and dotted with skyscrappers. Perth is an ok place to visit, but living there would be a different matter. Perth is the most isolated capital in the world, it is more than 4400km from Sydney. Perth is a bit like a big country town, relaxed and friendly but lacking the grit, ethnic diversity and charm of a big city.
The area now known as Perth was inhabited by an indigenous tribe of Australian Aborigines known as the Nyoongar for 40,000. The area was first visited in the early 1600 by Dutch, but was not made a colony until the British decided to expand their hold on Australia. It was used as a convict setttlement from the 1850s and the area boomed when gold was discovered in the 1890s. In 1901 the nation state of Australia was created, and Perth was named the capital of the state Western Australia. Perth continued to grow in the 20th Century, which was fuelled by Western Australia's extensive mineral resources. There was an economic boom in the 1980s, and at one stage Perth had more millionaires per capita than any other Australian city.
Things to see :
The Art Gallery of Western Australia, the state museum and the state library make up the Perth Cultural Centre. The gallery has permanent exhibitions of European, Australian and Pacific art, including a good Aboriginal art collection. There are also regular temporary exhibitions.
The Old Town in Perth is a nice place to wander round, the Perth Mint, Stirling Gardens, the Old Courthouse and the Town Hall are popular with sightseeing tours.
Rottnest Island, eighteen miles west of Fremantle is a great day trip from Perth. 'Quokkas' are wallaby like marsupials which are native to the island Rottnest Island is the only place you can see them in the wild. Affectionately called 'Rotto' by locals, the island is a lovely place to hire bicycles and have a picnic. There is also a dive centre which organises diving and snorkling around Rotto's beautiful inlets.
Located just south of Perth is the lively port town of Fremantle. Fremantle has is own distinctive character, with a lovely harbour, beautiful old buildings and relaxed atmosphere. The Fremantle markets are a great place to wander round and check out the local art offerings. The cafe-lined South Terrace is a lovely place to sip latte's and soak in the city. The Old Fremantle Prision and Round House date back to the early-mid 1800's and are rich in history.
Perth summers are quite hot and dry, with the average daily temperature in summer sitting around 30C and the city experiencing very little rain. The winters are wet and mild, with the average temperature of 18C. The best time to travel to Perth would be late march and april when it starts to cool down a bit, and the rainfall is still low.
There are international flights to Perth from the larger Asian cities as well as from Southern Africa. The most common way to fly into Perth though is from the eastern capitals of Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide. There are also flights from the larger regional centres of Albany, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Darwin and Alice Springs. There are buses from Adelaide or Darwin, the latter taking a gruelling 56 hours. The Indian Pacific runs from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide and is a spectacular journey.