Laid-back, liveable Perth has wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an easy-going character. About as close to Southeast Asia as to Australia’s eastern state capitals, Perth’s combination of big-city attractions with relaxed and informal surrounds offers an appealing lifestyle for locals and a variety of things to do for visitors. It’s a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city with myriad bars, restaurants and cultural activities all vying for attention. But the best bit is that when you want to chill out, it’s easy to do so. Perth’s pristine parkland, nearby bush, river and glorious coastline allow its inhabitants to spread out and enjoy what’s on offer.
Most of all, Perth's heart is down the beach, tossing around under clear ocean surf and stretching out on the sand. The city’s famous royal-blue and chalk-white beaches trace this outermost point of Australia for some 40km, so you can always be assured of a spot to spread your towel.
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Our top picks for Perth
Kings Park & Botanic Garden
The bush-filled 400-hectare expanse of Kings Park is where the city's good burghers head for a picnic under the trees or to let the kids off the leash in one of the playgrounds. Its numerous tracks are popular with walkers, while the steep stairs leading up from the river support a steady procession of masochistic middle-aged joggers. Apart from buns of steel, the exertion is rewarded by wonderful views from the top.At the park's heart is the 17-hectare Botanic Garden, containing over 2000 indigenous plant species. In spring there's an impressive display of the state's famed wildflowers. A highlight is the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, a 620m path through the gardens that includes a 222m-long, glass-and-steel bridge that passes through the canopy of a stand of eucalypts.Free guided walks leave from Kings Park Visitor Centre.
Kings Park Visitor Centre
Western Australian Museum
The Western Australian Museum includes an excellent ‘land and people’ display that examines both ancient history and the more recent past; a gallery of dinosaur casts; a good collection of meteorites; and galleries dedicated to mammals, butterflies and birds.
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