Laid-back, liveable Perth has wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an easy going character. About as close to Bali as to some of Australia's eastern state capitals, Perth combines big-city attractions and relaxed, informal surrounds, providing an appealing lifestyle for locals and lots to do for visitors. It's a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city, with myriad bars, restaurants and cultural activities all vying for attention. When you want to chill out, it's easy to do so. Perth's pristine parkland, nearby bush, and river and ocean beaches – along with a good public-transport system – allow its inhabitants to spread out and enjoy what's on offer.
Basking under a near-permanent canopy of blue sky, Perth is a modern-day boom town, stoking Australia’s economy from its glitzy central business district. Anchored by the broad Swan River flowing past skyscrapers and out to the Indian Ocean, the city boasts recent developments like Elizabeth Quay and Perth Stadium, which have added a more cosmopolitan sheen to this traditionally laid-back town. But Perth’s heart is still down at the beach, tossing in clear surf and relaxing on the sand. The city’s beaches trace the western edge of Australia for around 40km, and on any given day you can often have one all to yourself. Perth has sprawled to enfold Fremantle within in its suburbs, but the raffish port town with a great food and arts scene maintains its own distinct personality – immensely proud of its nautical ties, working-class roots and bohemian reputation.
Fringed by the Indian Ocean, Perth has many fine beaches.
Cottesloe Beach A beachfront esplanade and good restaurants and bars.
City Beach Featuring new cafes and easily accessible by bus.
Scarborough Beach Recently redeveloped and popular with surfers.
Modern and Indigenous art are both standouts in the city.
Art Gallery of Western Australia The state’s most impressive collection of art.
Indigenart Featuring Indigenous art from around Australia with strong representation of WA artists.
Perth’s diverse neighbourhoods host many excellent cafes and restaurants.
Northbridge Innovative bistros and Asian cheapies.
Leederville Daytime cafes complemented by good shopping.
Central Perth New openings in the State Buildings include Long Chim.