Laid-back, liveable Perth has wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an easygoing character. About as close to Bali as to some of Australia's eastern state capitals, Perth's combination of big-city attractions with relaxed and informal surrounds offers an appealing lifestyle for locals and lots to do for visitors. It's a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city with myriad bars, restaurants and cultural activities all vying for attention. When you want to chill out, it's easy to do so. Perth's pristine parkland, nearby bush, and river and ocean beaches – along with a good public transport system – allow its inhabitants to spread out and enjoy what's on offer.
Relaxed doesn't mean static, though. Western Australia's mining boom continues to see Perth blossom like WA's wildflowers in spring. Those on the gravy train are out eating, socialising, spending money and flexing their muscles in the sun.
The city of Perth lies along a wide sweep of the Swan River. The river borders the city centre to the south and east, and links Perth to its neighbouring port city, Fremantle. Follow the river north from the city and you'll reach prosperous nooks such as Claisebrook Cove, lined with ostentatious houses, cafes and public sculpture.
Train tracks divide the city centre from the Northbridge entertainment enclave, immediately to the north. Here's where you'll find Perth's cultural institutions, most of its hostels and the lively Little Asia restaurant strip.
Continue northeast along Beaufort St and you'll reach the sophisticated suburbs of Highgate and Mt Lawley. Heading west there's Mt Hawthorn and hip Leederville. To the west of the central city rises Kings Park, with well-heeled Subiaco beyond it. Go further west and you'll hit the beaches.
Best places to stay in Perth
Perth & West Coast Australia travel guide
The open road, beaches, gorges, brilliant surfing, caves full of fascinating limestone formations and world-class wine and beer – it’s all here in Australia’s west coast.
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Perth & West Coast Australia - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Perth and West Coast Australia starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus in-depth info on outdoor activities and the Margaret River and Southwest Coast region.
Perth & West Coast Australia - Margret River & The Southwest Coast (Chapter)
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Perth Beaches and Fremantle Coast Helicopter Tour
See the city of Fremantle and Western Australia's beautiful beaches on this exhilarating 30-minute helicopter ride! You'll fly to the historic port city of Fremantle, along the coast to Observation City, skimming the surf beaches before heading south again to Fremantle then returning to Jandakot.
Perth Helicopter Tour
See the city of Perth and its surroundings like never before by taking a 15-minute helicopter ride over the city! You'll fly along the Swan River to Fremantle, zoom over Cottesloe Beach then swing inland to fly over Perth, the world’s most remote capital city.
Perth & West Coast Australia - Understand Perth, West Coast Australia & Survival Guide (Chapter)
All the info you need on everything from history, mining, local produce and wineries, mining and the environment, and indigenous art to flights, public transport, climate, money, the internet...you name it. Get hints on the gay and lesbian...