Perth: Main Sights
Wonderful weather, pristine beaches and an easy-going character
You’ll never struggle to find something to do in Perth. There are a multitude of fantastic attractions and activities to suit every holidaymaker. Discover its award-winning museums, magnificent gardens and beautiful bushland as well as its stunning and sparkling cityscape. From the Adventure World and Karijini National Park to the picturesque Margaret River, Perth has a wealth of world class attractions and sights that will engage and enchant ani holidaymaker.
For the young and the young at heart; Adventure World is Located in the outer suburb of Bibra Lake. This fun park features five waterslides, various rides for the adventurous (and some for the timid) and a special 'Kids Cove' for children. Picnicking is encouraged or you can buy food on site (no alcohol is permitted). The easiest mode of transport is the car however Adventure World is only a short bus ride (#520 from either Cockburn Central train/bus station or Fremantle train station - frequencies range from half-hourly weekdays, hourly Saturdays and two-hourly on Sundays and public holidays - zone 3 fare). Best of all, unlimited rides are included in Adventure World's entry fee. Over summer, Adventure World also hosts several "Adults Only Pool Parties," which are held on either a Friday or Saturday night. The park is closed to children, and becomes a fully licensed venue, serving alcohol as well as hosting bands after dark.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Comprised of over 988 acres of parkland and gardens, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is one of Perth's most popular attractions for locals and tourists alike. Set on Mt Eliza, the park offers breathtaking views over the city and Swan River while over 80 species birds can be found enjoying the indigenous bushland. Kings Park also features the State War Memorial, the Royal Kings Park Tennis club and a reservoir and the streets of the park are tree lined with individual plaques dedicated to Western Australian Service men and women who died in WWI and WWII. Kings Park is the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon, picnic, sightseeing, walking cycling or just exploring the various lookout points. During the summer months, the park hosts a number of events such as outdoor concerts, moonlight cinema and the Kings Park Wildflower festival each spring.
Karijini National Park
Karijini is the second largest national park in Western Australia, situated in the Pilbara region. It features breathtaking gorges, crystal clear rock pools, waterfalls and stunning scenery. A system of walking trails designed for hikers of various levels of fitness, from beginner to experienced, have been laid out. There are picnic and camping areas and a visitor information centre with interactive natural and cultural displays. The park boasts 50 varieties of Acacia, Eucalypts and Melaeluca in its gorges, 133 types of bird and 92 species of amphibians and reptiles can be seen, not to mention the dingoes. It is situated about 900 miles (1,435km) north of Perth on the Great Northern Highway. Tours operate from Tom Price, Port Hedland, Karratha and Auski.
Despite having been absorbed into Perth's urban sprawl, Fremantle, popularly known as 'Freo', retains its own strong identity and is a popular destination for day-trippers from Perth. Its harbour was built in 1903 by CY O'Connor, who also constructed the Goldfields pipeline before killing himself on a beach near Fremantle. A bronze statue in CY O'Connor's honour stands in front of the Fremantle Port Authority. The harbour has been substantially revamped in recent years and is now filled with outdoor bars and restaurants and has a laid-back, arty character. In 1987 the port was the site of Australia's unsuccessful defence of the America's Cup yachting trophy.
The Goldfields to the east of Perth is a region steeped in history and legend, where visitors can see relics of the gold rush and the mines that have made the area famous. It is possible to tour the Super Pit, Australia's biggest open-cut-mine, which is an impressive sight at more than 853ft (260m) deep, one mile (2km) wide and two miles (4km) long. The Super Pit can be found at the edge of the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It forms part of the 'Golden Mile', reputedly the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world. The total amount of gold recovered from the Super Pit between 1989 and 1999 was incredibly over five million ounces (142-million grams), and the total is still growing. From the lookout near the Pit visitors can watch trucks carry rock up to the refinery from the bottom of the pit, and sometimes witness carefully controlled mine blastings.
Built in 1937, Perth's London Court is set amongst modern skyscrapers in the heart of the city. The small pedestrian 'street' is located between the Hay Street Mall and St Georges Terrace, and is reminiscent of the Tudor style buildings of England. Walking through London Court, visitors can experience the charming small shops and cafés as well as the clocks on either end of the lane. London Court is brimming with dozens of small details, which can be easily missed such as the statues of Sir Walter Raleigh and Dick Whittington, wind vanes and stairways leading to fantastic viewpoints looking out over the court.
Southwest of Perth, the Margaret River Region is an area characterised by dairy farms and wineries set within a picturesque landscape, and is Western Australia's most popular holiday destination. The area was initially discovered by surfers, but now holidaymakers head here by the thousand for the tranquil atmosphere, clean beaches and excellent restaurants, often attached to wineries. The area also has more galleries, craft studios and potteries than in the rest of the state put together. Margaret River is also well known for its 350 caves; four of the best are open to visitors and feature extraordinary formations.
Monkey Mia Resort
At this remarkable resort, situated near the town of Denham about 525 miles (830km) north of Perth in the Shark Bay Heritage area, visitors have the opportunity to interact and hand-feed the local wild dolphins who visit the shore each day. Several bottlenose dolphins regularly visit the beach at Monkey Mia, sometimes up to three times a day, while others who are less tame wait just offshore. Visitors are encouraged to enter the water to gently touch and feed the dolphins, under the watchful eye of local rangers who advise on how best to approach and handle the animals without causing them stress. Monkey Mia also has a Dolphin Information Centre, and offers good bathing at Shell Beach, unique in that it has a four-mile (6km) stretch of tiny white shells stacked up to 33ft (10m) deep. Some of the buildings in the nearby seaside town of Denham are built out of shells from this beach.
The Perth Mint
Established in 1899, the Perth Mint is Australia's oldest operating mint. Originally built to make gold sovereigns for the British Empire, nowadays the mint produces precious metal coins for collectors and coin investors. Visitors to the mint will see the largest collection of natural gold nuggets in Australia, including the Golden Beauty nugget, as well as watching molten gold being poured to make bars and the pressing of precious coins. A unique range of gold jewellery and coins are also available at the Perth Mint Shop.
One of the world's best small zoos and conveniently located just five minutes from the Perth CBD on the banks of the Swan River, a day out at the Perth Zoo is a must for anyone visiting this city. Home to more than 1800 animals and 230 species, the zoo also has an extensive botanical section to explore, such as the 'African Savanna' 'Asian Rainforest' or the 'Australian Walkabout'. With exciting animals such as numbats, red pandas, Sumatra tigers, dingoes and otters, the Perth Zoo will appeal to all animal lovers.
The mid-west section of Western Australia is known as the wildflower region, particularly between late July and early September after the seasonal rains, when the spectacular fields of yellow, pink and white everlasting daisies emerge. The most popular site for wildflower viewing is the Kalbarri National Park, which boasts 800 species of flowering shrubs. The park is 370 miles (590km) north of Perth near the mid-west town of Geraldton and can be accessed by car from the North West Coastal Highway. World-renowned botanists, photographers and film-makers visit the region for the flowers, particularly around the Eneabba and Arrowsmith River areas. The mid-west is also rich in history and offers visitors a variety of outback experiences and coastal activities.