About Perth

The City of Perth and Why It's a Great Place to Visit

International tourism to Australia is on the rise, with figures showing an increase of 3% in the number of visitors from 2011-2012. With the addition of Perth Airport's new terminal, it seems likely that more of these tourists will be heading directly to Western Australia to see what the state has to offer. The International Visitor Survey also showed that spending is increasing too, with a 4% increase in spending by visitors to the country over the course of the year, and $1.9 billion of the total being spent in Perth. So what is it about the city that makes it appeal to visitors?

History and culture

There is plenty to explore for those wanting to learn more about the history of Perth, with the Western Australian Museum giving you an interesting insight into Aboriginal culture and offering a vast range of long-term and short-term exhibits. The long-term exhibits include the butterfly and bird galleries to demonstrate just a small part of the fascinating wildlife that can found in Australia, as well as exhibits exploring the relationships between people and the environment in which they live. Entry to the main exhibitions is free, with a suggested donation of just $5.

Perth is also home to two stunning cathedrals – St George's Cathedral and St Mary's Cathedral. St George's serves Perth's Anglican community, and follows the Gothic revival style of architecture, made from local handmade clay bricks and featuring contributions from Italy, England and France. St Mary's is a Catholic cathedral, and presents an interesting aesthetic contrast to St George's, with limestone as its primary building material.

Another key aspect of Perth's culture is the wine growing region of the Swan Valley. Here you can cycle, drive or walk through the beautiful trails to discover the wonderful tastes for which the region is famed. As Western Australia's oldest wine growing region, it is sure to offer you something different and of the highest quality.

Activity and adventure

The Great Escape in Perth will leave the active explorer spoilt for choice. There is a whole host of activities to try, including rock climbing, trampolining, crazy golf, waterslides and an exciting high ropes adventure. The high ropes obstacle course takes place 10m above the ground, leaving you to traverse rope bridge, manoeuvre your way around platforms and clamber up and over nettings. While full training and safety harnesses and helmets are provided, it might be worth investing in some travel insurance before you go, just to be on the safe side. It might also come in handy if you try out a bit of body boarding or surfing at Trigg Beach. Whether you're a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner, Trigg Beach in Perth's suburbs is a stunning place to learn. It is also home to Mettam's Pool – a beautiful, sheltered lagoon that's great for snorkelling. You can also visit the beaches at Cottesloe and Scarborough for a more relaxed seaside experience (although surfing is still available) where you can soak up the sun and take a quick dip in the warm ocean.

The natural world

A city holiday may not sound like the best place for any nature enthusiasts, but there's a lot in and around Perth that will be of interest, including a selection of gardens and John Forrest National Park, just 24km east of the city. The park has a variety of attractions that will suit everyone, from brilliant waterfalls and rock pools to mountain biking trails, native birds and wildflowers. More wildlife can be found a little further away at Penguin Island – a 45 minute drive and a 5 minute ferry from Perth will take you to this aptly named island, where you can find not only around 1000 pairs of little penguins but also dolphins, Australian sea lions, and over 50 species of sea birds. You can combine a nature tour of the island with coastal activities such as a sea kayak tour or a kite boarding lesson.

Closer to the city centre there are a number of gardens to enjoy, such as Kings Park and Botanic Garden. The garden overlooks the Darling Range and Swan River and is the perfect location for a relaxed day out, with a combination of natural bushland and cultivated gardens. A slightly more hidden gem of the city is Hyde Park with peaceful lakes to sit by and public barbecues for friendly gatherings.

There is so much to experience in Perth that everyone is guaranteed a fantastic holiday, whether they prefer to soak up the culture of a new city or enjoy keeping active in the sunshine. When you go, be sure to visit the Lotterywest Federation Walkway for the best views of this marvellous city.