Western Australia's often-overlooked capital, Perth, has a style all of its own: a laid-back coastal lifestyle, vibrant café culture, sprawling parklands and famed local beaches.
The banks of the mighty Swan River offer great spots from which to view the central cityscape and nearby Darling Ranges. For a taste of nature and aboriginal heritage in the heart of the city, visit King's Park and take a walk on the Bushland Nature Trail, or take in the vibrant displays of native wildflowers in the Botanical Gardens. And, for close-up encounter's with Australia's famed marsupials, head to the Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary.
When you've enjoyed all Perth has to offer, consider a wine tasting tour in the picturesque Swan Valley. Many of the 40-plus vineyards are still run by the original families who started them many years ago. Nearby Fremantle is well worth a detour, too, not least for its convict history and for the chance to sample artisan coffees on its famous Cappuccino Strip
And, just a short ferry ride from the mainland is tranquil, car-free Rottnest Island. A popular holiday destination for visitors and locals alike, there is fantastic diving on vibrant coral reefs and historic shipwrecks and you can spot wild seals, whales, dolphins and the island's quirky mascot – the Quokka.
Top itineraries in Perth
Spend time in Perth, enjoy a gourmet getaway in the Margaret River region and discover the spectacular scenery of Western Australia's southwest corner.
Travel across Australia’s vast outback as you journey coast-to-coast from Perth to Sydney on this luxury rail journey aboard the Indian Pacific.
Explore Australia’s natural landscapes as you uncover ancient Aboriginal lands, yawning gorges, lush rainforests, sweeping beaches and billabongs.
Top places to stay in Perth
Shop in luxury on nearby Kings Street, spot historic buildings, find a hidden bar or catch the train to Cottesloe and some of the most iconic beaches of Western Australia with clear, blue water ideal for swimming, snorkelling and surfing.
The Richardson is Perth’s premier luxury boutique hotel, designed by renowned London architect Sir Terry Farrell.
The Indian Pacific is named after the two oceans it connects on its three night cross-country journey between Perth and Sydney. Covering 4,352-kilometres, it's one of the world's longest and most memorable train journeys.
When to go to Perth
Perth experiences 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. What rain there is generally falls between May and September. Summers can be hot, with temperatures averaging 31ºC in February, although the sea breeze helps keep things bearable. Spring is the best time to visit the Southwest, when days are warm and the countryside is awash with wildflowers. To swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo, you’ll need to visit between April and July.
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