When you think of Australia, your first impression may have come from watching Neighbours or Home and Away which is often quite close to real suburban life – but what lies beyond Down Under?
Often overlooked by travellers in favour of Sydney, Perth lays claim to the best weather in the country and has a very relaxed easy going pace of life, stunning wildlife, spectacular beaches, romantic sunsets and a vibrant foodie scene.
Top of the must do list for any visitor to Perth is a trip to Rottnest Island or “Rotto” as the locals call it. This tiny island is 11 miles off the coast of nearby Fremantle and accessible only by ferry, plane or helicopter whereas cycling or walking is the mode of transport on the island along with the island bus service. So, why ‘’Rotto’’? Aside from the very slow pace and relaxed vibe, Rottnest has beautiful beaches, great surfing & diving, and undoubtedly the biggest draw card are the Quokkas – which are small adorable marsupials.
If you want to see as many of the native Australian animals, opt for a fantastic day out at one of the wildlife parks. The wonderful Caversham Wildlife Park lays north of the city fits the bill. Wander about feeding the kangaroos and you’ll find all varieties from the small cute and cuddly wallabies to the giant ‘big reds’. If you’re very lucky you might see a little joey’s legs poking out of its mother’s pouch. There are koalas of course, wombats, echidnas, penguins and emus to name but a few.
Feeling hungry? Well the vibrant food scene in Perth has seen many European influences and in more recent years an increase in Asian cuisine on offer. With an abundance of excellent seafood from the nearby port of Fremantle, to the vast variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, the Perth food scene has exploded into a melting pot of culinary creativity. From local cafes with homemade favourites, niche ‘pop up’ food markets to high quality restaurants with a view, you’re never too far away from something mouth-watering and memorable in the city. Don’t miss lunch at a beach side restaurant, a day out in Fremantle at the “Freo” Markets, or dine at a city restaurant with a sunset view.
Everyone knows that Aussies love a BBQ and the South Perth Foreshore is a lovely stretch of shoreline along the Swan River with the stunning Perth skyline as a back drop – a perfect setting for everyone. There’s oodles of space to relax whilst drinking and eating under the shade of the many native Australian trees along this beautiful grassed open parkland. For the more energetic visitor you can hire a catamaran, ‘stand up’ paddle board or kayak, catch a ferry to the city (and maybe spot a dolphin en route) or relax in a riverside café or restaurant. Mister Walker, situated at the ferry terminal, have an outstanding variety of fresh seafood on offer and spectacular city views. (www.mrwalker.com.au)
If you are keen to take advantage of the excellent weather when its winter in England, it can be incredibly hot in the ‘summer’ months of December, January and February; however, respite is never far away in the cool waters of the Indian Ocean. For visitors who like to explore, the perfect time to visit the city is in their Spring (October/November) or Autumn (March/April).
Yes, travelling to Oz can be a daunting prospect but help is at hand as from March 2018, Qantas begin their non-stop service from Heathrow to Perth on their new 787 Dreamliner – so next time you’re thinking of a trip down under, why not consider stopping off in Perth?
For more information about Australia, Perth and Fremantle
Guest post by Travel Counsellor Leah MacKay