Perth - The Capital Of Paradise
Western Australia's capital city is widely known for its pristine beaches which stretch up and down the coast. This region is an underwater paradise, with the whale shark (the world's largest fish) an attraction for divers, and friendly dolphins that swim to the water's edge. There is every type of landscape within driving distance in a campervan hire Perth. And you can return to Perth to relax and enjoy the culture of the city before you start another day trip filled with adventure.
One attraction you can't miss is the Perth Zoo, featuring over 1600 species. Located just five minutes from the city on the banks of the Swan River, you will discover interesting animals such as the Lemur, Siberian Tiger, Western Quoll and the cute Numbat. The children will love it here and it is open every day of the week.
The majestic Swan River meanders into the Swan Valley offering extensive wineries and art galleries. This is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or day trip. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a drive into the lush valley which is such a contrast from the beaches and aquatic attractions closer to the city. Spring is also a wonderful time to visit this region with the 'Spring in the Valley' festival bringing life and colour to the valley, and wildflowers literally everywhere you look.
Another great picnic idea is to head to the famous King Park, only a short walk from the city spreading over Mount Eliza, and enjoy the panoramic views of the river dotted with catamarans and yachts. Take a stroll through parklands or enjoy the magnificent botanical gardens.
Just across from Perth is Rottnest Island, which is just as popular with tourists as locals. The clear waters, fishing spots and the cute quokkas seem to own the island. The best way to see Rottnest is on push bike, which adds to the peace and tranquillity of the island. You are bound to find your own private beach with over sixty to discover, or visit the Rottnest Musuem for a walk back in time. Bring your snorkels and you will be delighted with the underwater world albeit with shipwrecks and coral reefs.
If you are staying at Rottnest overnight at one of the villas or camping sites, make sure you watch the spectacular sunset from the Quokkas Arms Pub. It truly is one of the best spots in the world to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
Less than half an hour from Perth is Fremantle, which is a port city that needs to be seen for its heritage buildings, museum and authentic shopping. The markets here are very popular with locals and tourists alike, with every type of cuisine available, and trendy café's lining the streets.
South from Perth you will find Mandurah, known for its Ocean Marina surrounded by cafes, shops and parklands. This is a great place to enjoy a day cruise out into the ocean to watch for dolphins, pelicans and water birds. There is every type of water activity available here, and it is a fisherman's delight with an abundance of marine life.
Rockingham ahas everything for families and water lovers, with plenty of safe beaches, and sailing, snorkelling and surfing all enjoyable past-times. Two of the favourite attractions are the dolphin viewing tours which have a platform so you can see the dolphins swimming alongside you. Also taking the ferry out to Penguin Island is a must to see the fairy penguins in their own environment. This is a wonderful city to stay for a while to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and aquatic life.
Perth is also known for its swans, and a unique place to see the white swans is a Northam, which also has the longest suspension bridge in Australia. Nestled on the Avon River a lot further inland from the city, you can also enjoy white water rafting, canoeing and hot air ballooning in this region.
Further into the hinterland, the Avon Valley National Park is fantastic for a day trip of weekend escape. Drive inland to York, where you will find an array of museums, galleries and old buildings. There is plenty of bush camping here and friendly towns scattered throughout the valley. Another scenic drive is from Beverley to York via County Peak, with panoramic views over the lakes and countryside.
Perth is beautiful in so many ways. The friendliness of the people, the diversity of wildlife and marine life so close together, and the loveliness of the country make this a destination that will capture your heart. Fantastic as a base to visit Western Australia more extensively, make sure you start planning a self drive itinerary here soon.
Jenny Brewer 2007
Swan Valley Tours If you like to indulge in wine, beer & great food, then this is for you. We provide gold medal winning daily indulgence tours and cruises of the Swan Valley.