Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is one of the most remote cities on earth, being separated even from the other cities of its own country by the hazardous wastes of a desert and the sheer distance of a continental landmass. However, once you have made the journey, Perth is a city that is laid back, cosmopolitan and one of the most attractive places in Australia. This has not, yet, been reflected in terms of visitor numbers although there are signs that this is beginning to change.
photo by Twodogz photography
For most of its history the remote location of Perth meant that it was almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world. This necessitated the emergence of a unique character for the city that has been preserved despite today’s ease of communication. The tolerant and relaxed atmosphere, combined with stunning location, has attracted artists for generations and made Perth one of the most attractive yet under-appreciated cities in the world.
Although Australia’s east coast is more famous for its fabulous beeches, it is actually generally considered to be the west coast that has the more beautiful and unspoilt coastline. Perth is the ideal base for exploring this, whether your want to get wet and wild with some watersports or enjoy a more relaxing sunbathe then there will be something for you within easy reach of the city.
Visitors can experience more of the laid back culture of the Perth area by taking short trips to Freemantle, the old port that is now a suburb of the city and Rottnest Island, just off the coast where the locals head to enjoy the beach or take a bike tour. Freemantle is easily reached by bus or local train while Rottnest is a short ferry trip away from Freemantle or Perth itself.
One reason for the increase in visitor numbers to Perth over the past few years has been the increase in popularity of wine tours. For general visitors the Swan Valley is probably the best option as it is closer to the city. Connoisseurs, I’m told, may prefer to travel the extra distance to try the wines of Margaret River area, which has over 200 vineyards producing acclaimed wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Semillon.
Although Perth is remote, a trip there does allow visitors the chance to experience one of the great railway journeys of the world. The Indian Pacific Transcontinental Railroad runs across Australia from Perth to Sydney, crossing the fearsome Nullarbor desert on the way and taking four days from start to finish. This option is clearly not for anyone short on time or money, as tickets are much more expensive than a budget airline flight. However, the experience is one that is unlikely to ever be forgotten.
Hotels in Perth
Average Price: €105
Average Rating: 9.8
Palms Bed and Breakfast
Average Price: €82
Average Rating: 8
Miss Maud Swedish Hotel
Average Price: €127
Average Rating: 8