- The capital city of Western Australia, with a population of 1.8 million.
- Centred on the Swan River and bounded by the Indian Ocean in the west.
- One of the most isolated cities in the world, Perth is also one of the sunniest – with an average of 8 hours of sunshine every day of the year.
- The cosmopolitan city is home to a wide variety of cultures thanks to its proximity to Southeast Asia and Africa.
- Nicknames: City of Light, City of Black Swans
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Spoken languages: Australian English.
- Best time to visit: from September to March to make the most of the pleasant spring weather and the hot summer climate.
- Arriving via airport: Perth Airport (PER) operates four terminals for domestic and international travel. Connections to the city centre are made with Connect shuttles for $18 one-way or by taxis with fixed fare at $38 for the Central Business District.
WHERE TO STAY
The CBD is home to the widest selection of accommodation, although most hostels and budget hotels are found in Northbridge. The well-heeled choose the attractive suburb of Subiaco for its trendy concoction of restaurants, cafés and boutiques. Those looking to make the most of Perth’s unending coastline might want to head to Cottlesloe, a quiet and pleasant retreat outside the city centre.
- TransPerth operates the public transportation network in the city, which extends to bus, train and ferry services. The ticketing system uses cash tickets or the SmartRider Card, which stores value for payment of fares. Tickets are purchased based on travel between zones.
- CAT buses are a high frequency free public service offered within the free transit zone. Routes are colour coded and do not require the purchase of a ticket.
- Taxis operate on a meter system that charges $4.01 at flagfall and $1.66 per succeeding kilometre plus applicable surcharges such as weekend and public holiday tariff. Call 13 13 30 or 13 10 08 to book.
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 3 AM.
- Northbridge is home to a spectacular amassment of nightclubs, pubs and drinking establishments that cater to every taste.
- Fremantle hosts an alternative scene favoured by pub goers.
- Mount Lawley attracts the hip crowd with extensive cocktail lists and stylish lounges.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Art Gallery of Western Australia hosts exciting exhibits on Western Australian art and craft dating back to 1829.
- The Aviation Heritage Museum is run by the Royal Australian Air Force Association and documents the history of Australian aviation history (exhibits include 30 aircraft).
- Perth Mint opened in 1899 with the discovery of the gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie and remains one of the world’s most trusted mints of pure gold, silver and platinum bullion .
- The Western Australian Museum runs six sites across Greater Perth and functions as the state’s premier cultural organization. Features extensive exhibits, including Aboriginal art.
- Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the world’s largest inner city parks, a remarkable expanse of bushland and parkland that highlights the diverse range of Western Australia’s flora.
- Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride from the city, a playground of over 60 stunning beaches and world-class surf breaks, coral reefs and shipwrecks.
- Riverwalk Trail starts at the Goodwood Boat Ramp in Belmont and winds along the banks of the Swan River with a highly scenic route that includes the special wildflowers of spring.
- Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park is the most environmentally responsible cemetery in Australia and a natural environment for many native species such as kangaroos.
- Perth boasts some of the country’s best and most isolated beaches – no visit to the city is complete without a trip to Cottlesloe Beach.
- The area of Perth is known to be home to the Redback spider, a poisonous and dangerous spider easily recognizable by the red mark on its back. While not fatal, a bite is very painful.
- Sunscreen is essential during the daytime even if only walking around the city, while insect repellent is recommended for use in the evening especially if planning to be outdoors.
- Swan Valley is well-known for its wineries and micro-breweries (among the oldest in Australia).
- Where to find good cheap eats: Highgate and Victoria Park offer low-key dining with unbeatable prices.
- Dangerous areas: the most trouble is seen over the weekend outside the busy nightclubs, although police is quick to respond.
The Best Perth Guide Books:
- Lonely Planet West Coast Australia (Travel Guide)
- Fodor’s Essential Australia (Full-color Travel Guide)
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days