Jun 11, 2009
The Western section of Australia is two times the size of Texas and spans over a million square miles. Within those miles you’ll find parks, beaches, wineries, restaurants, and landscapes you will only wish you had enough time to explore.
Image: Ole Reidar Johansen
Perth, because of its location in Western Australia, is one of the smaller cities in the country. It’s the perfect destination for travelers who want to experience life in Australia without feeling as though they’ll be crushed by the hustle and bustle of city life in one of the more popular destinations. Be prepared for a relaxing experience in Perth.
When to Visit Perth
Contrary to some of the other global cities we’ve visited, there’s really no bad time of year to visit Perth or any other section of Western Australia. During the spring months (September through November) the wildflowers are in full bloom, whale watching season occurs during the fall months (February – May), and even the winter, despite the rain, is incredibly beautiful.
Image: In Veritas lux
The summer months (December – February) are very hot and temperatures can climb up to 40 degrees Celsius (or 100 degrees Fahrenheit), but there are still plenty of attractions to enjoy and air conditioned restaurants, hotels, and distractions are not hard to come by!
Visiting Ningaloo Reef
Image Credit: rosswebsdale
Just off the coast of Perth at the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park is Ningaloo Reef itself. Every March the whale sharks, weighing in at 11 tons and around 40 feet each during adulthood, migrate to the reef. During the latter portion of the 1980’s it was assumed that only 350 whale sharks were left living in tropical oceans around the world. While scientists have no exact numbers, they assume there aren’t many more than 350 living today.
The best way to visit the whale sharks is by taking a boat operated by a tour group such as Ningaloo Blue Charters or Coral Bay Adventures. Once you reach the other waters of the reef you’ll be welcome to put on some snorkeling gear, hop overboard, and enjoy the company of these gentle sharks.
Believe it or not, whale sharks are not carnivorous. They filter sea water through their mouths in order to eat krill, plankton, and other small sea animals. They’re not dangerous at all and humans have nothing to fear when visiting with these incredible animals.
Where to Eat in Perth
Most of the restaurants you’ll visit in Perth will offer menus infused with European, African, and Asian flavors. The higher-rated first-class restaurants will top off their menus with decadent wines and beers from some of the most famous local breweries and wineries as well.
If you’re dining on a budget you’ll enjoy the Istanbul Turkish Restaurant in the Fremantle section of the city. The menu features dishes from Iskendar, Samsun, and a number of other Turkish cities and each meal is served with traditional Turkish flat bread. Don’t forget to save room for some baklava at the end of your meal.
Mid-range diners will enjoy Dylans on the Terrace in the Albany section of Perth. The menu here covers your breakfast, lunch, and dinner needs and features favorites like steaks, burgers, and lasagna. You can either eat your hearty portion at Dylan’s or take it with you to go.
Looking for something a bit more upscale? Loose Box in Perth is one of the finest French restaurants in the entire city. Chef Alain Fabregues had earned several awards, including French knighthood, and makes incorporating French culture with Australian bounty his business. This upscale restaurant features cozy dining rooms and, if you really don’t want to leave, they offer accommodations for overnight stays as well.
Don’t forget to check out at least a few of Perth’s museums while you’re there, too. One of the most popular is the Art Gallery of Western Australia. The museum features over 1,000 artifacts depicting various stages in the history of the state. There is also an incredible collection of Aboriginal artwork including crafts, sculptures, and paintings.
Image Credit:Nick Atkins Photography
The Western Australian Maritime Museum is another favorite. The museum itself, located on Fremantle Harbour, looks like an upside down boat. Visitors to the museum will enjoy touring the famous Ovens submarine and exploring the myriad of hands-on exhibits.
Whaleworld is the place where whalers docked when bringing sperm whales back to Albany’s harbors until the practice was outlawed back in 1978. The site of the old whaling station has been turned into a museum which now features incredible marine life displays, a restored whaling brig, and displays depicting the history of the art of whaling.
Perth may not be the loudest or most crowded city in Australia, but it is certainly one of the most interesting. Look around and you’ll always find something new and incredible to keep you occupied!