Perth – Australia
Perth is not one of the cities in Australia that immediately comes to mind for travellers – most will think of Sydney or Melbourne first. However, that does a great injustice to a city which has a lot to offer. Perth is less crowded, cheaper, and in some ways more exciting than the more-visited Australian cities. Here are five attractions that you won’t want to miss if you choose to visit for yourself.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
We’ll start with the chance to walk around and enjoy nature at its finest. The park and gardens have a stunning view over the Swan River and the Darling Range, serving as a great introduction to the area. The natural bush here boasts native plants and birds that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. There are also displays of plants from international destinations, including South Africa and California. There’s a Place of Reflection for peaceful thoughts, a water garden, and an acacia garden as well as a poignant war memorial. After your walk, head into Aspect of Kings Park. This retail area is full of galleries which contain work by local artists, as well as gift shops to help you remember your visit. For couples, a romantic evening stroll to Fraser Avenue Lookout can’t be missed.
Swan River Cruise
Get on board a boat and enjoy a Swan River cruise for some of the best views of the city. This winding river wraps around the city and many of the more expensive homes are along the waterfront, so you’ll enjoy spotting the lavish complexes on your tour. If you have time to spare, take a full-day tour upriver to the Swan Valley, where you will see the oldest grape-growing region in Western Australia and try a glass or two of local wine. You can enjoy artisan restaurants in this region too, so the day trip is often well worth it. If you prefer to stay local, there’s more fun to be had on the river too: you can go kayaking, sailing, or even swimming. If dry land suits you better, there are biking and hiking trails which follow the river’s curves.
If you love relaxing in the sun, you can’t do much better than Cottesloe Beach. It’s just 15 minutes away from the city centre, and fringed with pine trees that make it a beautiful place to stop. There are clear waters here and a lot of cafes and shops for those who plan to stay all day. It is a popular favourite, so if it’s too crowded for your liking, there are alternatives. Port Beach is another popular option. Families will enjoy the children’s playground at City Beach, sheltered inlets in the form of Point Walter, Crawley Beach, and Como Beach, and Hillary’s Boat Harbour. If you’re into surfing then head for Trigg Point or Scarborough Beach. Book a day trip to Penguin Island if you want to go further afield (and see the little penguins, a true highlight for any stay).
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Close by to public transport links, the Art Gallery of Western Australia focuses on art from 1829 to today. The emphasis is placed on works which come from Australian artists, though there is a smaller collection of international work as well. Indigenous art is featured extensively, as are eminent artists – including Frederick McCubbin and Hans Heysen. It’s closed on Tuesdays, so plan ahead to ensure your visit goes well. You should be able to get directions from your hotel as it is right in the heart of the city.
Perth Zoo has been around since 1898, but you’ll be pleased to know it’s had a few upgrades since then. The Australian Bushwalk and Wetlands areas will be your favourite, with kangaroos and koalas vying for attention with other Aussie natives. You can also visit international animals such as giraffes, elephants, and orangutans. This is a perfect option for families as kids will want to stay all day long.
There are a lot of great attractions to try in Perth, and these are only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever your tastes and interests, you will find something you love – from the aviation museum to the Perth Mint to St Mary’s Cathedral, there’s something for everyone.