Introduction to Perth
Located in Western Australia, Perth is a modern western city, its Central Business District and Fremantle (the port) spreading around the shores of Swan River. The first European settlement dating back to early 19th century, Perth was named after the namesake Scottish city.
A vibrant metropolis, the city is located close to outstanding beaches and houses some fascinating museums and parklands, which promote it as a popular destination for both local and foreign visitors. Lovely cafes, sophisticated restaurants and hip bars liven up the city’s daily routine.
Perth’s public transport system includes trains, buses and ferries. Bus and train routes a zone oriented, but most city attractions are located within the first zone. There is a free bus service for travellers, which covers the area around the city centre. This service offers three routes, which vary in frequency from 5 to 10 minutes.
Ferries mostly cover the riverside areas of the city and operate from 6.50am to 7.24pm. Taxis are widely available, but prepare to spend a considerable amount if you use them as your primary way of moving around.
Things to see and do in Perth
Three of the branches of Western Australian Museum are located within the greater area of Perth. Start with Perth, the museum’s branch on natural history. Here you will be able to take look at dinosaurs and other mammals, as well as displays focusing on the area’s indigenous tribes. Move on to the branch of Shipwreck Galleries, where you can admire authentic recovered wrecks from colonial times, as well as accurate replicas and a vast variety of artefacts from the ships’ loads. Located in Fremantle, the Maritime section occupies an extraordinary building which resembles the shape of a sail. This branch hosts collections of all sorts of sea related exhibits, from yachts to ancient fish traps.
Those interested in marine wildlife should pay a visit to the Aquarium of Western Australia. Divided into five sections, each of which represents a different zone of Western Australia’s coastline, the aquarium houses hundreds of different local fish and marine creatures, from tremendous sharks to colourful corals. Walk down the 100-meter acrylic tunnel and touch some of the aquarium’s residents at the special pool.
Take the ferry to reach the Perth Zoo, where you can see and photograph local species such as kangaroos, koalas and dingoes. All endemic animals are gathered to the Australian Bushwalk sector, which resembles their natural environment. Other such sectors include a re-creation of African Savannah and Asian Rainforest.
Fremantle Prison, which was in use until 1991, is now turned into a city attraction and enlisted in Unesco’s World Heritage Sites. The prison was built in the first half of 19th century by the convicts who were later imprisoned there. The on-site gallery and gift shop are free to enter, but the rest of the complex is only accessible by joining an organised tour. There are several different types of tours, varying in duration and value. Most tours have a certain theme, such as great escapes, prison daily life, or hard labour sentences. Tours are available at both day and night hours.
Once in Fremantle, it is worth taking a long stroll to discover the many bronze statues which are scattered around the area. The sculptures are the work of local artist Greg James and feature a series of both famous and anonymous people related to the area, from AC/DC singer Bon Scott to random local fishermen. While you walk around Fremantle, look out for some lovely 19th-century architecture. Thriving during the Gold Rush, the area features several outstanding buildings from that era.