|Population: 1,400,000, |
Height above sea level: 10,
Nearest Major Town: Capital
Nearest Airport: Perth
Touring Area: Perth & Surrounds
| PERTH - WESTERN AUSTRALIA - 6000|
Top Left: Perth Mint. Top Right: Perth Casino.
Left: Perth Panorama. Above: The Kangaroo Paw. WA State flower.
Perth is the capital of Western Australia and has a population of 1.5 million
people, the majority of the state's 2 million total. It is in the south western
corner of the state at Lat. 31 degrees 57' south and Long. 115 degrees 51' east.
Straddling the Swan River and situated on the golden beaches of the Indian
Ocean it is a spacious, modern and easy-going city and claims to be the world's
most remote capital city, Adelaide is 2,200 kilometres east.
It was settled in 1829 and the early settlers faced harsh times. Floods
and droughts were common and it was not until the 1850's when convict labour
was introduced to the colony that an infrastructure of bridges and roads began
to develop in earnest.
Very much a sun city, its lifestyle revolves around the beaches and the
outdoors. Burns Beach, Leighton, Floreat, Cottesloe Scarborough and Port Beach
are all popular, and the hinterland has many places to visit and explore.
Only 16 kilometres from Perth, the Swan Valley wineries include Sandalwood
and the famous Houghton's Vineyard. Houghton's first vintage was released in
1862 and their white burgundy was the first Australian wine to be listed on
the House of Commons wine list. It is a flourishing industry rivalling the eastern
producers of the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. There are also many fine restaurants
and some of the state's best golf courses in the Swan Valley. River cruises
leave the Barrack Street Jetty for a leisurely tour of the Swan Valley which
includes wine before, during and after lunch.
Off the coast of Perth is Rottnest Island, a 2,000 hectare island accessed
by plane or ferry from Perth or Fremantle. Only 19 km. off the coast the cruise
takes about a half hour from Fremantle or Hillary's and an hour from Perth,
but who's counting ? Golden beaches, rocky headlands and interesting coves and
inlets along a 40km. coastline skirted by a coral reef make Rottnest an ideal
escape for locals and a fascinating destination for visitors. The island has
accommodation and getting around is mainly done by bicycle, of which there are
some 2,000, including tandems, for hire, or by tour coaches. There is virtually
no motorised traffic on the island. Rottnest takes its name from the dutch for
'rats nest', a misnomer installed on the ialand by Dutch explorer Willem de
Vlamingh in 1696 when he mistook the indigenous 'quokkas' for giant rats. Quokkas
are a marsupial species which carry their young in their pouch until mature,
and will be occasionally seen. There are also many species of native and exotic
birds on the island including migratory swallows who couldn't find Capistrano
and have made Rottnest home. Details on the island can be obtained on telephone
08 9372 9752 from the Rottnest Visitor Centre.
Perth was the venue for the America's Cup Challenge in the mid 1980's after
local businessman Alan Bond won it from America for the first time in its history.
The growth and excitement generated by the challenge has remained and the enthusiasm
of the residents is reflected everywhere. The contrasts of the modern city and
the rural hinterland can be easily seen by a drive from Perth to the Avon Valley,
Swan Valley and the Margaret River area.
Perth is an exciting, sunny, interesting city to visit and its International
airport is a popular entry point for international travellers. It is well worth
a look at Australia's western capital.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Art Gallery of Western Australia: James St, Perth. Ph: 08 9328 7233
Creative Native: Aboriginal Art Gallery: Ph: 08 9322 3398
Energy Museum: Ph: 430 5655
Government House: St. George's Tce.
It's A Small World: 12 Parliament Place. Art and nostalgia in Miniature
Kings Park & Botanical Gardens
Old Perth Boy's School. 139 St. George's Tce.
Port of Fremantle. rejuvenated site of the America's Cup Challenge. (See Fremantle)
St. George's Cathedral: 38 George's Tce. Ph: 08 9325 5766
The Barracks Archway: St George's Tce.
The Perth Mint: 310 Hay St. The oldest mint in the world.
Tranby House: Peninsula Rd. Maylands. Ph: 08 9272 2630. 1880's National Trust building
University of Western Australia: Stirling Highway, Nedlands.
© Copyright Peter W. Wilkins