Perth is the largest city of Western Australia and is the main stop over for tourists wanting to explore the rest of the state. Not many of the flash packers now a days venture to this side of Australia, preferring to spend their days on the East Coast, visiting beaches which every European dreams what Oz is like, filled with.. well.. more Europeans. Although the east coast is nice, don’t get me wrong, it’s not real Australia (well around Brisbane isn’t anyway), and to really immerse yourself into nature and the good ol Aussie lifestyle, head over to Perth to start your new Aussie Life. Being one of the destinations where long term backpackers head to to search for a job, you get a real mix of people here: Aussies, Europeans turned Aussies and Europeans wanting to turn Aussies, the result? A hell lot of happy people!
The first reaction we both had to Perth is its cleanliness. Secondly, what is there to do here? Wandering the city centre we found it just to be like any other city centre with boring buildings, large boulevards and business districts, with little unique character to the place, (it’s no Melbourne I can tell you), although taking a stroll around the Botanical Gardens meant we could relax and look out at Perth’s skyline.
Whilst we looked out onto the horizon of Perth, we looked out past the city and onto the state of Western Australia, where we realised, there is little to do in Perth’s city centre itself, but if you venture out past the pretty suburbs with neat gardens and bbqs out the front, there are more tourist attractions to see and be done. We took a bus to Freemantle, a funky seaside town with bars and restaurants with a much more relaxed vibe to the place, and where you can watch the beautiful sunset on the beach.
Head to the most famous and beautiful beach in Perth: Cottesloe Beach. We could see why it was the most beautiful beach, as it had strict rules including, no drinking, no smoking and shockingly; no digging holes. Although the funny rules, we spent a day toasting ourselves in the sun and freezing ourselves in the sea.
Further afield to Perth and heading more out to the state of Western Australia, there is much more to see and do, so I would advise hiring a car, and riding the long and empty road with the sun on your arms and the wind in as your face, as you head to Darwin. This type of adventure means you can stop off at any place you choose, experiencing natural beauty- with no other tourists or minivans, and heading to real Australia, the outback, with the twinkling stars and stray kangaroos leading you there.
Unfortunately, we had organized our stay in Perth already, thus we were limited to day trips around Perth. If driving your own car, or on a similar itinerary, do not miss the Pinnacles. These strange looking limestone foundations in Nambung National Park amuse and entertain many visitors a year. Although quite far away from the Perth City Centre we broke our journey up by sand boarding where large pillars of sand stand tall and driving over sand dunes (in a tour bus cum four by four), both interesting experiences of both tumbling down fast shifting sand either alone and vulnerable or a heavy vehicle filled with numerous tourists, each provided entertainment for any adrenaline seeker.
If you have never seen a Wombat or Kangaroo, head to Cavesham National Park where you get to meet these friendly animals, and see Australia’s main mascots live in the flesh. Patting these cute jumpy kangaroos with babies popping out of their pouches really was one of the highlights of my trip in Australia, and is a moment I will always remember. This attachment you make with these animals, makes it much harder to deal with when someone tells you that Kangaroos are pests, or someone feeds you a Kangaroo burger!
Our final “outing” was on our friends boat to Rottnest Island, an island famous for its leaver’s parties and strange animals called quakkas. Similar to rats and wallabies, this is the only location in the world which these mammals inhabit. Leave your boat behind and explore the island on foot to search for one of these unusual creatures.