Sitting pretty on the banks of the Swan River, Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital city – home to 19 metropolitan beaches, one of the world’s largest inner city parks, two wine regions, a port city, and an island paradise.The city’s spectacular natural surroundings are rivalled only by its vibrant city life, particularly following a major transformation that continues to deliver new hotels, bars, restaurants, public spaces, and more recently, cultural offerings.
Formerly disused heritage buildings and laneways are now home to bustling bars and street art. A new central city neighbourhood, Cathedral Square, has as its centerpiece, the State Buildings, a wining, dining, retail and accommodation precinct, all housed in 140-year old heritage buildings.
The revitalised Barrack Street Jetty and new Elizabeth Quay, on the shores of the Swan River, has riverside bars and dining venues amongst promenades, public art and event spaces.
Nearby, the eclectic port city of Fremantle has its own distinct bohemian vibe. This “city on the fringe of a city” is known for its maritime history and well-preserved Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian era architecture, including the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison which was built by convicts in the 1850s and decommissioned as an operating maximum security gaol in 1991, and today is a popular visitor attraction in Perth.
Perched on the Indian Ocean shore, the WA Maritime Museum records Fremantle’s history as a coastal city and port. The Museum explores WA’s maritime history and is home to the America’s Cup-winning yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine, HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and other iconic vessels.
If shipwrecks of the past are your thing, don’t miss the WA Shipwrecks Museum, the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere. Housed in a restored 1850s-era commissariat building, it has artifacts documenting shipwrecks and their relics.