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Fueled by an almost eternal sunshine (3,200 hours annually), Perth is the laidback capital of Australia. This western city invites you to enjoy long evenings outdoors riding a wave, a poolside dip, or a cold one (or two) at a backyard barbecue with friends. A post World War Two migration has resulted in an influx of foreign arrivals, adding a youthful vibrancy to a city known for its easygoing nature. Enjoy winelands, bushlands and beaches, as well as a kaleidoscope of personalities when visiting Perth.
This decommissioned prison is now a historical monument (and heritage site) that welcomes tourists to explore its expansive grounds (15 acres). Built to house British convicts and opened in 1855, it has since become a popular attraction that offers tours of the prison, as well as hidden underground tunnels. Learn about the slightly macabre past of this fascinating institution, and how life was for those contained by its walls.
There’s an almost overwhelming amount of flora and native species (3,000 and counting) at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. But fear not: tours offer insight that allows one time to stand back and admire the grounds of this inner-city park. Within its 990 acres is also a bushland, and a botanic garden that has an international reputation. It’s a no-brainer why five million people visit each year.
Described as one of ‘the world’s largest instruments,’ The Bell Tower stands at over 269 feet tall and is considered a city icon. Panoramic views can be enjoyed from an observation deck. Partake in The Bell Tower Experience and learn about the history of these 18 incredible bells.
Swan River provides city dwellers and sporty types a place to explore or simply sit back and relax. Popular activities include sailing, canoeing, and a swim in well oxygenated waters. Views by the embankment provide an opportunity to people watch. Enjoy a bite under the shade of hanging trees.
The seamless blue waters of Cottesloe Beach are mirrored only by the summer skyline. 30 minutes from downtown Perth, the beach attracts tourists and locals alike for its cooldown Indian Ocean waters and amber sunsets. The usual outdoor offerings are all here—as are tasty fish and chip shops.
Offshore Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride away and considered an essential summer trip by locals. Once you’re here, you’ll quickly understand why: a car free environment means the best way to explore the island is by bike. A quick sighting of the cuddly Quokka, which has been dubbed “the world’s happiest animal,” is a delightful moment to experience.
The Pinnacles are located 120 miles north of Perth. These towering limestones protrude from the desert surface of Nambung National Park, giving one a feeling of the extraterrestrial kind. Take a hike to Thirst Point Lookout and quench your thirst on the surrounding views of Cervantes before heading there to enjoy some local lobster.
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