Perth is the capital of Western Australia, and lies on the west coast where the Swan River feeds into the Indian Ocean. Perth claims to be the most isolated city in the world, and it is in fact closer to Singapore than to any other major Australian city. There are many reasons to visit Perth, but perhaps the three most important ones are the beautiful weather, the gorgeous beaches and the delicious food.
The weather in Perth is fantastic. On average the area gets around 3000 hours of sunshine each year, more than any other capital city in Australia. Perth has a Mediterranean climate, with sunny summers and mild winters. Most of the rain comes in the winter, between May and September, but there are occasional storms in the summertime. Summertime temperatures average about 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with low humidity, though occasionally the thermometer tops 100 degrees. Winter temperatures average about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but sometimes they can dip down to near freezing. If you want to avoid both the rains of winter and the heat of the summer, then the springtime months of October and November are excellent times to visit, especially when the flowers are blooming.
Perth boasts some of the best beaches in Australia. One of the most popular is Cottesloe Beach, which is easily accessible using the city’s mass transit system. Scarborough Beach is also conveniently located near the bus lines, and is known as a great surfing beach. Swanbourne Beach is suitable for the most adventurous and least shy individuals. Just off the coast of Perth is Rottnest Island, which has several fine beaches of its own and is accessible by ferry. Here you can see many species of the local wildlife, including the quokka, an indigenous marsupial that looks like a cross between a kangaroo and a squirrel. Cars are not allowed on Rottnest, but you can explore its nature preserve by foot or on a rented bicycle. When visiting any of these beaches bring along plenty of SPF 30+ sunscreen, and have water available to avoid dehydration in the dry climate. Swim only within designated areas, as the currents can be very strong.
Perth is a coastal city, so naturally there is an abundance of seafood. Menus tend to be expensive near the beach, but are much more reasonable in the inland suburbs of Perth. Some of the local specialty dishes include crayfish – also known as western rock lobster – and chili mussels. Truffles are grown in nearby areas. This region of Australia hosts many vineyards, so homegrown wines can be found in abundance, as well as local microbreweries. Much of the local food and beverages are celebrated nearby at the Spring in the Valley Food and Wine Festival.
Richard works for a Perth travel agency and recommends you travel for these reasons and more. He says Perth hotels range greatly in price, so it pays to do your research before travelling with some luxury hotels offering better deals than 3 star ones in the same area.