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Epic wilderness regions, an astonishing reef and friendly wildlife, Western Australia's biggest wonder is the lack of tourists

First things first... From the sunset camel rides in Broome in the north to Margaret River’s surf region to the south, diving with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef or spotting southern right whales off the Eyre Highway, Western Australia has plenty to offer the nature enthusiast.

Meanwhile the capital, Perth, is a laidback city, where the locals enjoy a strong music scene, a great beach life and cruisy café culture.

 

Perth

Situated on the banks of the Swan River, Perth is a modern, lively, youthful city, much like a smallerscale Sydney.

Over 80 per cent of WA’s population lives here and you don’t need a fat IQ to see why.

Boasting an impeccable year-round climate – with more sunshine than any other Australian capital city – Perth’s fabulous Indian Ocean beaches and chilledout atmosphere make it a relaxing place to stop.

Although it’s one of the most isolated cities in the world, visitors can enjoy an active nightlife, a fresh club scene, plenty of attractions and museums, a buzzing café culture and a renowned live music scene.

 

Arriving in Perth

Perth’s main airport is 12km north-east of the city centre.

If your budget won’t stretch to the cab ride, an airport shuttle operates between the international and domestic terminals and the city and hostels.

Cheaper still is the public transport option with a standard bus service. See transperth.wa.gov.au for more info.

Getting around Perth

Like most Australian cities, Perth’s suburbs are rambling, but its centre is relatively compact.

TransPerth (Ph: 13 62 13, transperth.wa.gov.au) runs frequent train, bus and ferry services, radiating from the train and bus stations in Wellington St.

Worth noting is the Free Transit Zone in the city’s centre, which allows passengers to travel fare-free around the area.

Particularly useful is the free Blue CAT bus service, which runs in a loop from Barrack St Jetty to Aberdeen Street in the city’s top backpackerspot, Northbridge.

Perth accommodation

Finding a hostel in Perth is no problem. If you want to find a room to rent, the best way is to check out hostel notice boards.

Accommodation sections in local newspapers and the city’s free press. Northbridge is the suburb that attracts most independent travellers.

As a consequence, excellent room and dorm deals are found here and in neighbouring Leederville.

Things to do in Perth

Art Gallery of WA: The state’s premier gallery, exhibiting national and international works of art. James St. Free.

Beaches: Scarborough Beach is the most popular and is only 15 mins from the city. There’s great nightlife here as well.

Don’t miss the other beaches close to the city centre, like Triggs, Cottesloe and City.

Diving
: You may well spot seals or dolphins as you dive around WA’s reefs and wrecks.

Or try your luck at catching a lobster or netting prawns at night along the Swan River.

Kings Park: Over 400ha of beautiful parkland overlooking the city. Catch the CAT or exert yourself and take a 25-minute walk from the city centre.

Northbridge
: Five minutes from the city, Northbridge is known as the liveliest and most cosmopolitan suburb in Perth, home to outdoor cafés, buskers, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
 

Perth Zoo: Home to native and African wildlife. WA Museum: Good collection of natural and human history, including a 25m whale skeleton. Francis St. Entry is free.


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