Perth Australia Places to Visit
Perhaps no Australian capital has changed as much in recent decades as Perth, capital of Western Australia. Thanks to the state's mining boom, Perth is now the fourth largest city in Australia. Bounded on the west by the Indian Ocean and on the east by the foothills of the Darling Range, Perth sits aside the winding Swan River. Not surprisingly, water sports such as surfing, swimming, and sailing are part of everyday life. Top beaches include Cottesloe, Scarborough, Peppermint Grove, Rockingham, and the surf breaks of Trigg Point. In the city center, Perth flaunts its new wealth in a profusion of high-rise office blocks, gourmet restaurants, glitzy boutiques, and galleries. Top attractions include Kings Park and Botanic Garden, home to the Kings' Park War Memorial, where visitors can admire more than 1, 200 species of native plants and a spectacular display of wildflowers in the spring. The Perth Cultural Center encompasses excellent museums and galleries, and the popular Tudor-style shopping arcade, London Court, between St. George's Terrace and Hay Street Mall, sports a clock tower modeled on Big Ben in London.
About 20 km northwest of the city center, Hillary's Boat Harbor, home to the Aquarium of Western Australia, is a large and well-equipped marina packed with shops, restaurants, and attractions. Ferries to beautiful Rottnest Island depart from here. At the mouth of the Swan River, Fremantle is Perth's port city and a great place to learn about the area's rich maritime history.
2 Margaret River
Home to galleries and gourmet restaurants, Margaret River is a much-loved holiday resort and a hotspot for surfers. This pretty town lies about a 3.5-hour drive south of Perth, making it a popular weekend escape from the city. Surfers flock here for the consistent big-wave breaks as well as more than 40 surf spots sprinkled along the coast. Tourists love the region's beautiful scenery with tall timber forests and sparkling white-sand beaches. The area is also noted for its impressive limestone caves, such as Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, and Mammoth Cave, with glittering stalactites and prehistoric fossils. Other popular activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, and whale watching tours.
3 Broome and the Kimberley
Australia's pearling capital, multicultural Broome is now a thriving tourist town in the south of the magnificent Kimberley region. One of the town's main attractions is Cable Beach. Backed by striking red cliffs, this impressive strand stretches for 22 km with sweeping white sands and turquoise waters. Visitors can ride camels along the shore at sunset.