Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, is situated on the mouth of the River Swan, twenty kilometres from the inland port of Fremantle. Perth was founded in 1829 and was nominated a city in 1856. It grew rapidly, following the arrival of the transcontinental rail link and the discovery of a gold mine at Coolgarde-Kalgoorlie. Perth is a young,dynamic city; surrounded by large splendid beaches, whose shores are lapped by the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. The city centre is both tidy and welcoming and Perth’s suburbs are not lacking in wide open spaces. The itinerary of a city tour should include: the historic buildings, the modern and dynamic centre and Kings Park, 400 hectares of botanical gardens, which houses numerous examples of the flora of Western Australia, together with examples of flowers from those areas, whose climate matches that of Perth’s.
Travelling around Perth does not present any major problems. The city possesses an efficient road system and its public transport is fast and reliable. The entire public transport system is managed by Transperth and one ticket is valid for travel on buses, trains and ferries. The timetables and tickets are available from the Transperth Infocentres.
Buses run from 6am to 11:30 in the evening. The Central Area Transit (CAT) buses are free and run along three different routes in the city and Northbridge.
The Transperth trains run from 5:30 in the morning to Midnight during work days. The trains depart from Perth Railway Station and run northwards to Currambine, southwards to Armadale, eastwards to Midland and westwards to Freemantle. The timetable is extended on Friday and Saturday until 2am during the winter and until 3am in the summer.
The ferries cross the river from Barrack Street and Mends Street quays and provide a service connecting the city with South Perth. The ferries run from 7am until 7:15 pm during work days and until 11:10 on Friday and Saturday.
The fares are calculated on an eight-zone system. Pre-paid fastcards can be purchased in advance from newsagents and InfoCentres.
Taxis are reasonably priced and can be found at the major hotels, and the train and bus stations, they can however be hailed along the street. Some companies offer a telephone booking service (White taxis- tel: 131 008, Swan Taxis- tel. 131 388) Tips are not necessary but it is general practise to round up the cost of the fare.
Hotels and lodgingEdit
His Majesty’s Theatre, splendid in its original state, is one of the oldest theatres in Australia. The building, decorated with golden foyers and marble staircases, has a three-plateau auditorium. The theatre often hosts operas, ballets and musicals and has a permanent display of theatre memorabilia.
Perth Mint, a fine reminder of the bygone days of the gold rush, offers an interesting guided tour , where the visitor can help in making gold, silver and platinum coins, together with gold ingots worth A$200,000.
The recently renovated Aquarium of Western Australia offers spectacular dolphin shows, three times a day. The Aquarium’s 100 metre glass tunnel, the longest in Australia, takes the visitor into a magical world of fish and marine life.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to PerthEdit
Australia's National Highway One passes through the city. Highway 2 passes in the form of Perth's busiest road, the Kwinana and North Freeways, pass right through the CBD, south to Mandurah and north to rural areas. Many other roads also cross the Perth area, serving local neighborhoods.
Train lines run areas in the city, but most of them are freight. A new passenger railway that will run down the Kwinana railway's corridor, will be completed in a year or two's time.
A bus departs twice a day from Thomson Bay and takes the visitor on a two-hour guided tour of Rottnest Island. The island, with its beautiful scenery, possesses an unfortunately sad past, having been the site of an old Aboriginal prison. The island which in Dutch means “rats nest,” is a stretch of sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. The “rats” are in fact quokkas, small and harmless marsupials; although innocuous, they can be a nuisance during picnics. It is possible to practise a wide range of water-sports on the island and riding one of the easy to rent bikes, is the most popular means of transport. Rottnest is a popular bird-watching zone home to numerous species of birds: cormorant, heron, curlew, swans and various birds of prey.
Other trips include a train or ferry ride to Fremantle, or “ Freo” as it is referred to by the locals. This port, now encompassed within the ever-increasing limits of Perth city, was the site of the 1987 unsuccessful Australian attempt to clinch the Americas Cup. Yachting is an important past-time of Fremantle and attracts large numbers of boating enthusiasts to its crowded bars. Trains leave every 15 minutes for Fremantle from Perth Station, there is also a shuttle service from the airport and numerous ferry links.
Crossing the Darling Ranges, the visitor arrives at the colonial town of York, home of the famous Wave Rock; an imposing granite formation, eroded by the winds of millions of years. In order to visit other impressive rock formations and see ancient aboriginal paintings, the visitor should take a guided tour of the Humps, Hippo’s Yawn Cave, Mulkas Cave and Aboriginal Cave.
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : Australian dollar (AU$)
Electric supply: 240/250 volts 60 Hz. The plugs are flat, three-pinned and necessitate the use of an adaptor.
Climate : The climate in Perth is midway between a Californian climate and that of the Mediterranean. The winter is mild and the summer is hot and dry. Perth is Australia’s sunniest city, and the skies are almost always cloudless and blue. The summer months are hot with an average temperature of 29 °C during the day and 17 °C during the night. The hot summer days are refreshed late in the afternoon, thanks to the “ Fremantle Doctor”, a strong, fresh breeze that blows from the ocean. The winter months, from June until August, are mild, with an average daily temperature of 18 °C and 9 °C at night. The wettest month is July, but the temperature rarely drops low enough to provoke snow and frost.
Language : English
Opening hours : Shops are open from Monday to Friday: 9am until 5:30pm. Saturday from 9am until Midday. The banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 4pm, Friday from 9:30am to 5pm.The public offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
TQR (Thach's Quan Restaurant) is a high-end Vietnamese restaurant on Stirling Highway, Nedlands. The decor is contemporary and bright. The ingredients are always very fresh and the ginger fish is absolutely mouth watering.
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