The beach-side city of Perth in Western Australia is famous for its blue skies, stunning natural setting and friendly locals. With more hours of sunshine than any other Australian city, it is the place to enjoy the great outdoors. You can sail on the sparkling Swan River which runs through the city, visit one of the 19 metropolitan beaches or hop on the free central bus service to Kings Park for wild bushland.
A local’s favourite, Rottnest Island is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Fremantle. Except for a hop on hop off bus there are no vehicles here, so hire a bike to explore. Rottnest is perfect for snorkelling and whale watching. Also look out for the quokkas, a pint-sized and very cute marsupial found only in WA.
If all that swimming and cycling makes you hungry, you are in luck. Perth’s dining scene has exploded in recent years. Northbridge and Mt Lawley offer great value Asian restaurants and late night bars. For the freshest seafood, head to local institution Cicerello’s in Fremantle where families eat alfresco fish and chips overlooking the harbour. Finish off with a drink in the famous Little Creatures, a boutique brewery next door. Also look out for the free public BBQs at some of the beaches and at Kings Park, where locals gather for picnics on the weekend.
Visit Perth in January to see the city party on Australia Day (26th January) or in February when the Perth International Arts Festival takes over the streets. If you want to avoid the crowds, then visit during September when it’s cooler, quieter and you can see the world’s biggest collection of wildflowers at Kings Park.
And the good news is it is closer than you think – you can fly from the UK to Perth in around 18 hours – four hours less than the quickest flight to Sydney, making it the perfect place for an Australian getaway.
If you book a trip with Qantas Holidays before 31 August you can also get free flights within Western Australia. Choose between free flights to Broome, an exotic pearling town where the outback meets the ocean or Exmouth for access to the pristine Ningaloo Reef, which has just been given UNESCO World heritage listing. Visit www.qantasholidays.co.uk for more information.