Spotlight on Perth
A trip to Western Australia isn’t complete without a stopover in its capital city. Perth exudes beauty with its white sandy beaches, large numbers of vineyards and an energetic and lively city centre.
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
As one of the largest inner city parks in the world, Kings Park is a highlight for many travellers. Whether you’re looking for a picnic in the park or you’re keen to do some activities, the 400 hectares of greenery are sure to tick every box. Overlooking the city centre and the meandering River Swan, the park’s location makes it an ideal place to sit back and take in the surrounding views.
Perhaps the most impressive feature within the park is the Botanical Garden which houses over 3000 species of flora found within Western Australia. With two thirds of the area protected as bushland it’s a fantastic way of combining a leisurely day in the sun with a cultural experience. There are free guided tours through the park or self-guided tours where you can stop at the various plaques en route to discover more about the history of the park and the area.
Swan Valley and Margaret River
For travellers who are keen to sample the local produce, a trip to Swan Valley is well worth a visit. Just 25 minutes east of Perth lies the town of Guilford. The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is located here, equipped with brochures mapping out over 200 food and drink activities along the 32km route. Whether you’re a Shiraz fan, or a Cabernet Sauvignon lover, with over 40 local vineyards the area is tailored for every taste palate! Along the route be sure to stop off and take part in local activities at the pottery studio near Guilford or, admire the local Aboriginal artwork in the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery.
Visitors who are prepared to travel further afield are encouraged to take a day tour to Margaret River and Cape Leeuwin. This trip includes a visit to Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the world and a chance to visit the most south-westerly point of Australia at Cape Leeuwin, home to the iconic lighthouse. Take a guided tour to hear about its construction back in 1895 and if you’re lucky enough to be there from May-September the area is renowned for whale sightings. The town of Margaret River features hundreds of caves, several of which are available to explore including Mammoth Cave, home to the remains of million year old fossils of extinct animals such as the Australian Megafauna. The town is also a surfer’s paradise with a collection of beautiful sandy beaches where visitors can spend their days basking in the sun.
Two hours north of Perth lies the Pinnacles Desert, located within the Nambung National Park. In juxtaposition to the soft flat sands of the desert, the limestone pillars are a striking image. While most visitors choose to visit them in the day, the pillars can be just as spectacular at dusk, where you can witness the strange shadows cast by the many hundreds of pinnacles, some of which stand at up to three and a half metres tall. If you happen to be there between August and October, the desert is also littered with an array of wildflowers such as New Norcia.
If the idea of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat appeals to you then head to Kangaroo point, an area on the beach where the animals gather at the start and end of each day. Or, if you want to wash off a hot day in the sun, the additional beauty of The Pinnacles Desert is that it’s surrounded by a variety of beaches which are perfect for swimming, surfing or snorkelling.
Off the coast of Perth lies Rottnest Island, a firm favourite among travellers. The island has a no car policy and bikes are the preferred mode of transport. The island is a breath of fresh after visiting the bustling city of Perth. Water activities are a main attraction here and the coral reefs are a wonderful excuse to try and discover the 135 different species of fish. Also popular is the native Quokka, an Australian marsupial known for its adorable smile and cheeky manner. Be sure to come equipped with a selfie stick in order to capture your time with this native Instagram star!
With a wide variety of activities and sights, this city, and its surrounding area, is a joy to explore. Whether it be a relaxing few days on the beach or day trips to the desert, Perth really has it all.
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