Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia, and the fourth-largest city in Australia, with a population of about 1.5 million. (2045 miles/3290 kms from Sydney) It’s a handsome city on the coast with a modest-sized gay community. Just south of Perth is the resort coast town of Freemantle, a popular casual getaway place with beaches, harbor, cafes and art galleries.
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A Long Way - Perth is a long way from Adelaide, so it’s advisable to fly on one of the many inexpensive airlines that operate connections throughout Australia.
A Bird’s Eye View - As you come into Perth by air, you can just about make out the mouth of the illustrious Swan River.
Out West - Much younger than the states to the east, Perth is a lot less populated – this means more land at a lower cost. For this reason, many people have substantially large properties.
Two Kids and a Car - The flipside to its relatively recent development as an urban center, is that Perth abounds with this 50s style suburban ‘dream home’ sprawl.
The Great Eastern Highway – One of the many road wonders in Australia, stretching across the entire continent to the more populous east.
The Feel of Perth - There’s a certain charm about Perth that’s evident the moment you step off of the plane; there’s also a certain wildness lurking, too.
Modern Perth - A lot of corporate development has been concentrated into Perth over the last 20 years, resulting in the multitude of contemporary skyscrapers like these.
Futuristic Perth – This influx of investment has made more experimental architecture a norm here in Perth.
The New Look - Today architects have an array of inexpensive, but durable, alloys at their disposal. These materials allow them to incorporate shapes, curves, and slopes into their design that were impossible only 20 years ago.
Crystal Clear - Another material, but by no means a new one, that is used often in modern design and architecture is glass, as this tower exhibits.
A Free History Course - A city’s buildings are sometimes as good as a history book. The old and new collide or blend together, reflecting the changes its people have experienced.
Cafe Culture- Like many cosmopolitan cities in Australia, Perth is full of independently owned cafes and tea rooms.
Visit Perth - A proud and robust city, Perth seems adamant on its urban identity. This is evident in the promotional material throughout the city encouraging a range of tourist initiatives.
Out of Nowhere - Architecture of all periods and cultures suddenly appear in this quiet city, like this Hapsburgian-styled villa.
I’m dreaming of a… - No, it’s not going to be a white Christmas this year. The Christmas-in-the-summer idea can feel rather strange to inhabitants north of the equator.
Canals - Like all the cities in Australia, Perth resides on the coast. Calm, peaceful canals dip into the city, lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Open and Friendly - This late Victorian hotel is one example of the many LBGT-friendly establishment on offer in Perth.
Friendly Perth - After meeting so many nice people throughout Australia, one is afraid that the next city will disappoint. Well, Perth doesn’t. Locals are kind and inviting.
Best of Both Worlds - It doesn’t take long to forget that you’re in a city in Perth. Take a relaxing walk along the shore or, if you can, take out the boat for a sail.
Fremantle City - On the other side of the quasi-bay known as Swan River is Fremantle City, a more low-key suburb with a thriving community feel.
Worth Fighting For - The Arts are important to the residents of Fremantle, that’s why so much money was put into funding the renovation of this Victorian building, an old college.
Being Neighborly - The community plays an important part in how Fremantle is run, not unlike other cities, such as San Francisco.
Happy Kids - Fremantle is a great place to raise children. There’s an abundance of green, open spaces; parks are everywhere and there is always something to do.
All Aboard - Fremantle, like much of Australia, is proud of its British heritage, and works hard to preserve classic Victorian buildings, like this train station.
A Small World After All - Even though a map might make you think you’re off of the edge of the world, you never are. Australia is full of all the conveniences people enjoy anywhere else.
Walk This Way - There are any number of shops and boutiques, all independent and unique, throughout Perth and its larger metropolitan area.
Per(th)fect - Perth is a safe, walkable city, and often reminds one of Europe. The weather is pleasant, too, making it an enjoyable city to spend time in.
Bohemian District - Many “sandgropers” (people from Western Australia) stop into Fremantle to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in its many cafes, bookshops, boutiques, or even to catch an art-house film.
Oh Rosie - As seems evident, Rose O’Grady’s is Fremantle’s Irish pub. What may not be obvious is the very careful and detailed restoration of this colonial building to appear as it would have 150 years ago.
Good Eats - One of the nicest ways to pass the day in Fremantle is beside the waterfront at the restaurant of your pick from the hundreds on offer.
A Brighter Brighton - Much of Fremantle resembles Victorian cities in Britain. In particular, the city reminds the visitor of Brighton, a seaside down in Sussex, on the English south coast.
“Buskers” - It’s never boring in Fremantle. Street performers, jugglers, clowns, musicians, and a host more are all busy vying for your Australian coins, or what’s called “busking”.
A Still Life - Believe it or not, this is not a statue, but a real person. She’ll stay still like that until someone gives her some change. Not one of my top job choices!
Did you forget something? - If you forgot to pack your sandals, take sunscreen, or even a bathing suit, don’t worry. Perth is prepared for the ill-prepared tourist.
Uh-Oh - Bad news for lovers of the fattening world, Perth is absolutely chock-full of ice cream shops, candy stores, sweet shops, and a whole lot more tummy-plumping treats.
Cool Running Water - A nice aspect of Perth’s feel is the attention to detail; the hot sun is made bearable by well-placed fountains, an old air conditioning technique dating all the way back to the Babylonians.
See What They Have - Elizabeth’s is just one of the many excellent used bookshops in Fremantle with a special focus on local authors.
Industry - The Swan River outlet is a major shipping point for the continent-nation; Western Australia exports a number of mining products.
What is a dingo? – Famous for stealing the babies of settlers and modern families alike, the dingo is a wild dog native to Australia that figures often in both indigenous and contemporary Australian culture.
Tiled Roofs - The strong sun of Western Australia means people do not use the tin roofs common to the southeast, but instead employ a tiled roofing inspired by Mediterranean home design.
A Global Issue - Housing prices have dropped considerably in WA, due mostly to its declining mining industry and dropping numbers of people moving to the Perth area.
Past Glory - Many early settlers to the Perth area during the colonial period made their money through the once immense mining industry in the interior of the state.
Australia House - Here is, perhaps, one of the most original and authentically Australian housing designs, blending various elements (the Victorian, the modern American) with a sensibility uniquely Australian (such as the full wrapping porch).
Picnic at the Beach - Spending time in Perth is easy. And one great way to that is to have a picnic on the beach, watching surfers brave the waves and wind.
Walk the Boardwalk - Another reminder of Perth’s affinity with Brighton (England) is this extensive boardwalk along the coast.
Soak up the Sun - People in Perth love heading out to the beach and taking it easy in the Sun, even if it’s just for a few hours or during a lunch break.
A Nice Combo - Unlike most beaches in the United States, the Australian beach combines the soft sand and natural feel with the convenience of the European coast.