Perth is the fourth largest city in Australia and the state capital of Western Australia. Named after Perth in Scotland, it was originally founded in 1829 by Royal Navy Captain James Stirling, then in command of the HMS Success. Perth was to be the administrative centre for the Swan River Colony, which was the early name for the state of Western Australia.
After gaining city status in 1856, Perth began to see a rise in its population when gold was found in Western Australia and, much like Melbourne on the other side of Australia in Victoria, became a major boom town in the late 19th century. After the Second World War, the immigration of people from the likes of Britain, Italy and Greece led to a rapid growth in the population and assured its status as a major city of Australia.
Today, Perth is still a major boom town with many mining operations and Petroleum companies headquartered in the city and this has contributed greatly to the city having a steady economic growth and a low unemployment rate. Tourism in Perth is also equally important to Perth’s economy, with an estimated three million domestic and over a million international visitors a year. Perth is usually the first destination international tourists will be arriving at in Australia and one of the more popular domestic routes is flights arriving in Melbourne from Perth.
Perth’s major attractions include Fremantle, which is a separate city to Perth but its harbour serves as the port of Perth, so the two cities are extremely close. Fremantle boasts the oldest building still standing in Western Australia; The Round House, built in 1830 it was used as a prison until 1886. Another former prison is Fremantle Prison, built by convict labour in the 1850s, Fremantle Prison took over from Round House as the main prison in 1886 and remained a working prison until 1991.
There’s also the original Fremantle railway station, which was built in 1881 and moved to its present location in 1907. Rottnest Island is located 11 miles off Fremantle and is an A Class reserve devoted to tourists and recreational activities.
In Perth itself, there’s the Old Mill, which is a restored tower mill located on Mill Point in South Perth, the mill is also known as Shenton’s Mill. Sunset Coast is another popular destination for tourists wishing to see Perth’s stunning coastline, the Marmion Marine Park is here and is a protected area inhabited by all sorts of Marine life such as tropical fish, dolphins and Australian sea lions, the area is also visited by Humpback Whales on their migration travel. This is a brilliant area for families and kids of all ages will be amazed at what they see.
Shopping is another great past time in a big city like Perth, in its Central Business District there are streets that are pedestrian only and the harbour town area features over 120 specialty stores so if you’re looking to pick up a bargain or pay full price, you won’t be disappointed.
Joondalup is another shopping hub of Perth, Joondalup’s central business district, centred on Grand Boulevard, is largely a shopping and retail area lined with townhouses and apartments. Lakeside Joondalup is located right next to the Joondalup railway station and backs onto Grand Boulevard. This shopping centre contains three supermarkets, three large discount variety stores, a cinema, and numerous other smaller shops. Joondalup was granted the status of “tourism precinct” by the Western Australia State Government in 2009, allowing for extended retail trading hours. So if you are someone who likes shopping, then you’re in for a real treat.
If you are on holiday with a family in Australia and are looking for something to entertain the kids, then there are plenty of childrens’ areas in Perth. Synergy Parkland is one of two children’s playgrounds in Kings Park, which is just to the west of Perth’s CBD. Children can play for hours here and might never want to leave.
So, is Perth worth a visit? The only way you’ll know is if you go there and find out for yourselves.