Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world with close to two million residents. What makes it so appealing is not just the variety of attractions which makes it typically Australian like Cottesloe Beach, but the location of the city itself. The Pinnacles Desert and Kalbarri National Park are within easy reach of Perth’s northernmost suburbs. Closer to the city centre, the Fremantle district offers fine dining and a vibrant nightlife. The overall atmosphere that visitors experience while in Perth is one of relaxation and leisure, while being less rushed than its larger cousin to the east, Sydney.
A slice of criminal history
Begin your tour of the city at the Perth Mint where you can witness gold being heated at high temperatures and transformed into gold bars. The Mint has the world’s largest exhibit of gold bars, and the nugget collection is the largest in Australia. The Golden Beauty, which weighs 11.45 kilograms, is one of the largest in the world. The first 1899 gold sovereign made in Perth, and the first copper penny made in Australia in 1966 are some of the most valuable additions to the Mint’s historical collection. On June 22, 1982 Perth’s most daring robbery took place at the Mint. Known locally as the Perth Swindle, the Mickelberg brothers were convicted of stealing over 60 kilograms of gold.
A walk in the park
Kings Park, one of the most impressive in Australia, contains several memorials dedicated to the men of the ANZAC corps who died in the Boer War and the First World War. On a clear day if you climb to the top of the DNA Tower, named because it resembles a molecular strand of DNA, you can catch a view of the Indian Ocean to the west. Fraser’s Restaurant offers fine dining, and for more informal, less expensive snacks and drinks head to Stickybeaks Cafe. Barbecuing is free in Kings Park; this option might be more tempting since the weather in Perth is just right for enjoying an outdoor meal.
Rottnest Island and its attractions
Fremantle, known by the locals as “Freo,” is where you catch a boat to Rottnest Island. 17th century Dutch explorers gave it that name because of the quokkas they mistook for large rats. The name rotte nest or rat’s nest eventually became Rottnest. Quokkas are marsupials which suckle their young in a pouch like kangaroos, and today thousands of them live all over the island. Visitors are reminded not to feed these animals since they can’t digest foods consumed by humans like bread and meat. The island has lots of other attractions like Wadjemup Lighthouse and the Rottnest Museum which has lots of information on marine wrecks and aboriginal history.
Perth hums after dark. The Metropolis Club in Fremantle is the most popular spot in this area. In Northbridge, the Brass Monkey is a lively pub where locals get together before hitting the clubs.
You can plan excursions from Perth to other parts of Western Australia. Buses also depart regularly for Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.