Located on Australia’s southwestern coastline, Perth is the country’s fourth-largest city and the capital of Western Australia. The winding bends of the Swan River run through the sprawling metropolis. Isolated from other major cities in Australia, Perth has developed its own unique character. Although the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, there’s a youthful atmosphere and a fun-loving attitude in this city of nearly two million people.
Many of Perth’s attractions are located near the water, whether it’s the beaches stretching along the Sunset Coast to the north or the parks, walks and picnic spots edging the Swan River. Fremantle, known as “Freo” by the locals, is the city’s port, a bustling marina that has recently gained a reputation as a haven for artists and students. Cottesloe Beach, just a few miles north of Fremantle, is Perth’s most popular beach.
One of the largest city parks in the world, the thousand-acre Kings Park encompasses Mount Eliza, a hill overlooking the city, and boasts a botanical garden with aerial walkways as well as the State War Memorial park. The Perth Zoo offers visitors up-close encounters with kangaroos and other animals native to Australia. Ferry service in Perth takes visitors to car-free Rottnest Island or the closer Penguin Island to watch daily feedings of the flightless birds.
Whether swimming with dolphins, firing up a barbie on the river’s shoreline or exploring the Aquarium of Western Australia, the country’s largest aquarium, aquatic adventures abound in sun-and-sea-loving Perth.