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Perth is the capital of Western Australia and the state's largest city. Founded in 1829, the city experienced a boom during the Western Australia gold rushes in the 19th century and continues to flourish today. There are countless things to do in Perth, from visiting the sandy beaches of its Sunset Coast and cruising the Swan River to exploring the port of Fremantle and the wineries of Swan Valley. Whether you want to enjoy the modern luxuries of the city or delve into its long history, Perth offers endless opportunities for discovery and excitement.
Perth was built up around the Swan River, and the region is full of unique culture thanks to influxes in population throughout history. The capital and its neighboring areas offer distinct experiences that are unique to Western Australia.
Fremantle - Also known as Freo, Fremantle sits at the mouth of the Swan River and acts as the port of Perth. The city is known for its Australian Convict Sites, which claim a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and its colonial-era buildings, including the oldest building in Western Australia, the Round House. Fremantle's beaches, such as Port Beach and Bathers Beach, are popular kite and windsurfing spots thanks to the strong afternoon sea breeze locally called the Freo Doctor.
Kings Park - Kings Park is the largest inner city park in the world, occupying the western edge of Perth's central business district. Covering 1,003 acres (406 ha), the park contains the Western Australian Botanic Garden, which is home to over 2,000 species of flora. Kings Park is also home to the State War Memorial and several tree-lined Avenues of Honour, which commemorate service personnel who died in the World Wars.
Rottnest Island - Just off the coast, Rottnest Island is an A-class reserve where you can find coastal birds, native (and adorable!) quokka, and endemic tree species like the Rottnest Island pine and teatree. Go diving to explore the island's vibrant coral reefs and fascinating shipwrecks, and visit the Wadjemup Lighthouse-the area's first stone lighthouse. Also take time to learn about the Aboriginal Australians of the island, including their turbulent history with European settlers.
As the largest city in Western Australia, Perth is full of culture and home to a bustling art scene. The city hosts the annual Perth International Arts Festival, which highlights both performing and visual arts, and the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, where sculptors from around the world showcase their creations along Cottesloe Beach. The West Australian Ballet, Opera, and Symphony Orchestra all make their home in Perth alongside groups like the Black Swan State Theatre Company. Sports fans can catch a match by the West Coast Eagles or Fremantle Dockers Football Club in Domain Stadium, also known as the Subiaco Oval.
Take advantage of all the exciting activities Perth has to offer. Western Australia's capital is filled with museums showcasing regional history, such as the Western Australia Maritime Museum and the Army Museum of Western Australia, as well as local landmarks like the Swan Bells or Perth Bell Tower. The Perth Zoo is a fun outing for families, boasting over 1,200 animals across 164 species, including uniquely native animals such as kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, and emus in the Australian Walkabout zone. The Swan River is a popular recreational spot as well, and cruises on its calm waters offer fantastic views of Perth's skyline. Outside the city proper, parks like the John Forrest National Park and Avon Valley National Park offer a serene, nature-filled break from the bustle of the metropolis. Foodies and wine lovers can get their fill of local flavors as well by visiting the Swan Valley, whose fertile soil has given rise to a number of wineries, breweries, and fine restaurants.