Saturday March 16, 2013
Gateway of delight
The first stop for any tour of Western Australia should include the city of Perth and its environs.
FORGET yearning for a scenic glimpse of white swans on your travels – that’s rather passé. Instead, check out the black swans that call Perth their home.
Just like a little black dress, these beautiful creatures will always be a must-see no matter what the season may be. Perth’s Swan River – named after the black swans that reside there – is truly the heart of the city, and it comes with a surrounding catchment of the city’s best tourist gems.
A ferry from Barrack Street Jetty is one of the best ways to enjoy Swan River, as well as to see some of Perth’s best real estate. But there’s more to do here, of course.
Perth’s small bar and dining scene will leave you spoilt for choice. Howard Lane, Wolf Lane and Queen Street are all flanked by great places where you can stop for a quick bite or drink; the bars there attract a rather hip crowd on any given day.
You can also spend a lazy afternoon at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. The park epitomises Perth’s relaxing atmosphere. It is considered one of the largest inner city parks in the world. Pack a picnic, watch a movie at the open-air cinema during summer, or marvel at the colours of native wildflowers as they bloom in the spring.
The city of Perth is very much alive throughout the year. No matter what the month or season your visit is in, you are assured of interesting events; for example, the Perth Fashion Festival in September.
Fashionistas flock to King Street to pick-up the latest designer looks or stop at the city’s suburban precincts for some local trendy finds. If vintage is what you are looking for, then check out William Street in Northbridge where all the smaller boutique shops are located.
Meanwhile, easily accessible from the city, the high streets of Leederville, Mount Lawley, Subiaco, Mount Hawthorn, South Perth, and Victoria Park all present their own unique flavour of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Take a stroll around and indulge in a little intrepid city exploration for all your different needs.
One thing you mustn’t miss is the world’s oldest gold mint. The Perth Mint is home to the world’s greatest collection of investment gold bars, as well as Australia’s largest gold nugget collection. It also offers a combination of exhibitions and demonstrations that enable visitors to experience the astonishing allure of gold.
If that’s too much glitter for you, then you might want to repair to the city’s Cultural Centre, home to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australia Museum, State Library, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and State Theatre. It is the perfect place to spend the day if you need to awaken your cultural senses.
Also, have a look at Perth from the sky, and you will soon realise just how spectacular it is. Nothing beats having an aerial view of the various locations within the city, which includes Swan River and the encompassing white coastline.
There are plenty of destinations within easy reach of the city centre. Take a ferry to Rottnest Island; tantalise your tastebuds in the Swan Valley wine region; enjoy the historic sights of York; explore the seaside city of Mandurah; or mix with the locals on the “cappuccino strip” in Fremantle.
And getting there will be easier as Singapore Airlines has signed an agreement with Western Australia to facilitate and promote travel to those states, and this starts with an additional flight to Perth from the current three daily.
> Source: Tourism Western Australia