Perth

Perth is the Capital of Western Australia, and with a population of 1.6 million (and growing rapidly) it is not a huge metropolis like Sydney or Melbourne, nor is it a hick town, although the locals (of which I am one) call it Dullsville because nothing much seems to happen here. Don’t let the Dullsville tag put you off coming to Perth, as it is a place that many people fall in love with and often return here to live.

Perth City

The city centre is located close to the magnificent Swan River, making Perth a very pretty city.  In fact, there is some stunning scenery around the river, and we get some awesome sunsets at all times of the year. Magnificent views can also be seen from Kings Park which overlooks Perth and the Swan and Canning Rivers.  Perth is also fortunate in that it is well-planned, so is relatively easy to get around.

Given that Western Australia is such a huge place, it should come as no surprise that Perth, with its relatively small population, occupies a vast area.  Perth is a place where home ownership is encouraged and where new estates are being continuously developed, although house blocks are getting smaller the houses themselves are getting bigger, reflecting both the strong economy and relative affordability of land. The metropolitan area is now 90 kilometres in length from South to North and 50 kilometres wide from East to West, giving a metropolitan area of 6,100 square kilometres, and it continues to expand, which means that car ownership is very high in Perth.

One great reason for living in Perth is because it has an almost perfect climate.  Perth averages eight hours of sunshine per day for 365 days of the year.  That doesn’t mean that it never rains here, our winters are normally very wet, and that’s when we receive most of our rain, but our winter is also relatively short and mild, so that for about nine months of the year we enjoy warm, sunny days.  Perth is also one of the world’s windiest cities, but even they work in our favour for most of the time.  We get two main types of wind.  In summer the easterlies blow in straight from the desert.  These occur mainly at night, and are hot winds which blow with a ferocity.  From

Swan River

inside they sound like a very large gale is blowing, but when you walk out to see it, the skies are perfectly clear with no cloud cover, and you can enjoy the blanket of stars which illuminate the skies.  The other wind blows in from the Indian Ocean and is called the Fremantle Doctor.  Our summers can be very hot, I had some friends from Germany stay with me at the height of summer recently, and they took photos of my thermometer showing 44 degrees centigrade.  Not every day is that hot, but we do get several 40+ days a year.  Just as the city starts to get too hot, the Fremantle Doctor blows in around late afternoon and cools us all down, so although it can blow hard, the Doctor is always very welcome.

The question arises, why would anyone actually want to visit Perth?  I have to say, as someone who lives here and really likes the lifestyle; I simply don’t know what it is about Perth that would attract visitors.  To be honest, as a city, it’s really quite bland.  It is pretty, but there is no wow factor.  A visit to Perth is a must as a starting point to visit other parts of Western Australia, and this State as a whole is a uniquely interesting destination.  Really, if you limit your stay in Perth (including Fremantle) to two or three days, then that is probably enough to satisfy the most curious of visitors.  Having said that we sandgropers (that’s the nickname for West Australians – based on the fact that Perth is built on sand) are pretty friendly people, but tourists are after attractions, and rarely do much mixing with the locals.

If you have visited Perth, and you can think of a million and one reasons why it’s a great place to visit, please add them to the comments section.

To discover the best ways to get around Perth, just follow this link.

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