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Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Perth is the capital city of the state of Western Australia, Australia. Perth has long been a popular tourist destination for both locals and overseas visitors. Perth is renowned for its beaches, weather and attractions. This article will provide readers who plan on visiting Perth information that they may find useful when visiting the city.

Geography And Climate

The city of Perth is located in the south west corner of Western Australia. It faces the Indian Ocean and has a population of approximately 1.75 million people, and is currently the fastest growing city in Australia 1). The Swan River flows through the centre of the city, and the central business district is 12 kilometres from the ocean.

The climate of Perth is classified as Mediterranean. It has warm to hot summers and mild winters, with relatively low humidity all year round. The yearly average temperature is 24.7 degrees Celsius (76 degrees Fahrenheit), with the warmest month being February with an average monthly temperature of 31.6 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit) and the coolest month being July with an average monthly temperature of 18.4 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit). Most rainfall occurs in the winter months, with July being the wettest month with an average rainfall of 146.4mm (5.75 inches) and the driest month being February with only 8.5mm of rainfall (0.3 inches)2).

History

The first inhabitants of the Perth area were the aboriginal tribe called the Nyangoor people. They are thought to have been in the area approximately 40,000 years. The first white visitors to the Perth area were the Dutch, who briefly landed near what is now known as Cottlesloe Beach in 1697. The area was then settled by the English in 1829, with Captain James Stirling declaring the area as a penal colony 3). Perth was officially declared a city in 1856 by the then Queen Victoria. The late 1800's then showed fast progress for the city, with railway lines and roads being built around the city. The early 1900's saw the first university opening in the city, along with the Perth Mint. In 1962 Perth was in the world spotlight when it hosted the Commonwealth Games. The 1960's and 70's also saw the construction boom of the time, and Perth started to expand as a city. The mining boom which started in the 1990's also increased the rates of construction in the city in order to cope with the population demand 4).

Perth

Transport

The transport options in Perth are plentiful. There is an excellent public transport network which includes buses and trains, and a well planned road network for those who want to hire a car and drive. There are several arterial express ways which ensure quick travel times, and the well planned roads minimise the amount of traffic congestion. For tips on driving in Perth and Western Australia, please see this site http://www.drivewa.com.

Accommodation

There are many types of accommodation available for people visiting Perth. The accommodation areas are not centralised, so you can book your stay according to where you want to visit. There are many options for all budgets, ranging from caravan parks to 5 star hotels and resorts.

Food

Perth is a multi cultural city, so you can find dining options from all types of cultures. There are restaurants and cafes all around the city centre, and also the major suburbs. South Perth and Northbridge have a great variety of bars, cafes and restaurants.

King's Park

King's Park is a must see destination whilst visiting Perth, and is located only 1.5 kilometres from the city centre and is adjacent to the Swan River. It is a vast park, which has several attractions, such as a botanical garden, war memorial and native bushland. King's Park also has some beautiful views, which overlooks Perth and is particularly stunning at night.

Beaches

Perth is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. You can swim at any of the beaches most of the year, with maybe an exception during the winter months. Cottlesloe Beach and Scarborough Beach are the two most popular, and have life guards patrolling these beaches most times of the year. There are also surf schools for those who want to give it a try or you can choose to do some snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. Please note that Western Australian beaches can be subject to rips and strong currents. It is advised to only swim between the flags at patrolled beaches and follow all signs. For more information please see this site http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Australia_and_Oceania/Australia/State_of_Western_Australia/Warnings_or_Dangers-State_of_Western_Australia-TG-C-1.html.

Swan River

The Swan River runs right through the heart of the city and flows down near Fremantle. There are many things you can do on or around the river, such as water skiing, kayaking or rowing. There are also many tour operators who run cruises along the river, from short cruises that last a few hours, to all day cruises or evening dinner and party cruises. It is also a great location for land based fishing, with many varieties of fish living in the river.

swan_river_perth.jpg

Swan River

Fremantle

The city of Fremantle is located 20 kilometres south of Perth. Fremantle has a vast history, and is also the port that services the greater Perth Area. For those who enjoy history, you can visit the old Fremantle Gaol, the shipwreck museum or the Maritime Museum which has a fully sized submarine which you can tour. The city is also know for its iconic main street, which has some of the finest restaurants in Wester Australia, along with old pubs and many boutique micro breweries. Fremantle also has some great swimming and surfing beaches, such as Port Beach and Leighton Beach. For those who enjoy golf, Fremantle is home to a world class golf course.

Main Street of Fremantle

Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour is located in the northern suburbs of Perth, approximately 20 kilometres from the city centre. This harbour has long been a popular recreation destination for locals and tourists, with many attractions and things to do. You can visit the aquarium, which is home to many marine animals, including sting rays and sharks. There are a large range of restaurants and cafes, and also activities for the children such as a water park. The entire family can also swim in the calm waters of the marina, or take them out on a fishing charter, with many different package options.

Hillarys Boat Harbour

Rockingham

Rockingham is a small town located approximately 60 kilometres south of Perth. It is a coastal town, and is renowned for its beaches and scuba diving. On Rockingham beach you can scuba dive in the shallow reefs, which are accessible off of the beach or take a ferry ride to Penguin Island, which is home to a penguin and seal colony. The town is also renowned for its seafood, so it is a great idea to enjoy some of the local fish and chips whilst sitting on the foreshore.

Rockingham Beach

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is located 18 kilometres west of Perth. There are many operators who run ferry and boat services from Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour. Rottnest Island is home to some beautiful beaches, and the eastern beaches are renowned for their calm and crystal clear water, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The island is home to many unique species of flora and fauna, including the odd marsupial, the Quokka, which looks like a cross between a miniature kangaroo and a rat. You can hire a push bike and see the island at your leisure, or partake in one of the many guided tours. There are some great restaurants and cafes on the island, and if you would like to stay here longer than a day there are many accommodation options, from resorts to secluded cabins.

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Rottnest Island

Australia | Travel

1) Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011, 'Census Quick Stats', Available: http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/5GPER Accessed 11th of February, 2014
2) Weatherzone, 2014, 'Perth', Available: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/station.jsp?lt=site&lc=9225 Accessed 11th of February, 2014
3) Heritage Perth, 2014, 'A Short History of Perth', Available: http://heritageperth.com.au/make-history/history-for-perth/ Accessed 11th of February, 2014
4) Perth Australia Com, 2014, 'Perth History', Available: http://www.perth-australia.com/perth-history.html Accessed 11th of February, 2014

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