Perth is the capital Western Australia and the continent’s fourth largest metropolitan area, packed with an estimated population near 1.74 million. Known worldwide as “The City of Lights,” Perth garnered this nickname when citizens lit up homes and streetlights as an orbiting John Glenn passed over the city in 1962. Discover the unique history, sights, sounds and eateries to enjoy in the ever-changing and highly dynamic city of Perth.
Prior to the colonization by Europeans in the 1829, the sight of present Perth was inhabited for over 40,000 years by the Aboriginal tribe, the Whadjuk Noongar. After years of violent battles between the colonists and Whadjuk Noongar, the indigenous tribe eventually scattered into nearby swampy areas and later settled in the city’s outskirts. A gold rush in the 1890s brought several travelers to the area in search of fortune. The city continued to grow well into the 20th century and is considered prosperous today, because of Perth’s involvement in the gold, diamond, coal, oil and natural gas
The weather in Perth, and the majority of Western Australia, is extremely diverse. The summers are generally hot and dry, reaching temperatures in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, the winters can be cool and wet, with a higher average rainfall in comparison to surrounding regions of Australia. When traveling to Perth, be prepared for the weather and pack accordingly.
What to See, Eat and Do in Perth
The district considered Perth “city” is centrally located on the majestic Swan River and the sight of several shopping centers, restaurants and nightclubs. While exploring the city, stop by the King’s Park and have a picnic while enjoying the lush landscape and views of the Swan River. The Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Western Australia Museum are both located near the park. The Perth International Art Festival is also held in this region during February.
– Hit one of the several luxurious beaches surrounding Perth by visiting the area affectionately called “The Coast,” which lies west of Perth city. Take a break from swimming and rent a boat at Hillarys Boat Harbor or escape the heat and get an up-close-and-personal view of local sea life at the Aquarium of Western Australia.
– The first area inhabited by English colonists in the 19th century, “The Hills” features several historical buildings and the John Forrest National Park. The park is a popular Western Australia destination and boasts picnic areas, camping and a variety of native flora and fauna. Houghton Wines is a well-known spot to sample a glass of locally produced spirits, before exploring the rest of this lush and breathtaking area.
– Located north of the Swan River, the Northern Suburbs is mostly a residential area, although it boasts several attractions and festivals. Among them is the Royal Show, which is held every September or October and features a variety of equestrian events, sheep dog trials and lumberjack games.Southern Suburbs
– Just south of the Swan River lies Perth’s Southern Suburbs. Once again, this area is predominantly residential, but there are still several attractions to witness, including the Perth Zoo. The zoo recommends setting aside at least half-a-day to visit this expansive attraction that features many of the indigenous animals of Australia. The zoo is very hands-on, allowing guests to get up close and personal with the animals and exhibits.
– Learn about the rich maritime history of Perth or simply enjoy another relaxing day at the beach by visiting the Fremantle area, which is considered a suburb of Perth proper. Visit the maritime museum, whale watch or stroll through the outdoor markets, shopping centers, boutiques and restaurants. Fremantle is the ideal spot to simply wander around and soak in the local atmosphere.
– If you’re looking for more adult-oriented entertainment, visit the Northbridge area, which is a short jaunt from the central city. Northbridge features a variety of upscale restaurants, shopping centers, bars and nightclubs that come alive after the sun goes down.
When planning your next Australian vacation or adventure, make sure to set aside a few days to explore the history, entertainment and wonders that Perth, Australia has to offer. You’ll never have a dull moment once you step inside this amazing city and don’t be surprised when you want to come and explore it again, next year!
This article was written by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance media consultant for Duxton Hotel Perth. She enjoys traveling throughout Australia and writing about her experiences.