'A tourist's delight'
Located in the south west corner of the Australian continent,
Perth sits gracefully on the banks of the Swan River,
like a monarch surveying her realm.
As the capital of the state of Western Australia,
Perth’s domain is huge, the Perth metropolitan area accounts
for nearly 90 % of the state population. The most isolated capital
city on Earth, Perth lies upon a similar latitude to Sydney but
over 3,400 kilometres (2110 miles) to the west, as far away as
London is from Beirut.
Boasting a remarkable skyline, the inner city
seems to have been designed with people in mind. Perth's attractive
malls and elevated walkways make it pleasant to navigate on foot.
Having grown up in isolation from Melbourne and Sydney, Perth
has neither the pretensions nor the hustle and bustle of these
eastern Australian cities.
Many of Perth’s earliest buildings are
still standing and its quiet pace of life recalls peaceful former
times, showing that the city has a solid sense of history. But
with 4 universities, a modern, well designed city centre and a
culturally diverse population, Perth manages to project a cosmopolitan
atmosphere while at the same time being very friendly and laid
The Swan River area was occupied by Australian
Aborigines for at least 50,000 years prior to the arrival of British
settlers, who declared the new colony in June 1829, led by Captain
With the help of convict labour, convict built architecture
can be seen all around Perth and its port of Fremantle, the colony
prevailed over harsh conditions and Perth was finally declared
a city in 1871.
1000's of immigrants flooded into the area during
the Gold Rush of the 1850's, on their way to the rich gold fields
of Kalgoorlie. Before World War II immigration swelled Perth’s
population even further, and today it is home to 1.4 million people.
Nearly 200,000 of these are migrants from the United Kingdom,
there is also a considerable number of New Zealanders, Italians,
Malaysians, Indians and South Africans.
Commercially, Perth provides the distribution point for West Australia’s
wheat industry, the rapidly
increasing wine industry and the state’s vast mining operations.
Tourism is roaring and the city also is an education centre for
a large number of students from Asia.
The long, wide streets of central Perth follow
an orderly grid pattern. Perth Railway Station is situated next
to the major east west avenue, Wellington Street, south of which
lies the city proper, extending for 5 blocks down to the lake
like expanse of the Swan River.
The central shopping and business
areas together with historical buildings including 2 cathedrals,
His Majesty’s Theatre and Government House, are located
here. North of Wellington Street is Northbridge, home to important
museums, galleries and the centre of the city’s nightlife.
Perth’s location and warm and dry climate,
the best of any Australian state capital, with hot summers and
mild winters, favour outdoor pursuits. Inner city parks and gardens
are a delight, most notably Kings Park, which offers beautiful
views of the city and the river.
To the east of the city lies a pleasant rural
hinterland, whilst just minutes to the west is the Indian Ocean
and long, white, sandy beaches extending for several kilometres
along the ‘Sunset Coast’. A stop at nearby Fremantle,
regarded the best-preserved 19th century port in the world, is
an essential part of any visit to Perth.