An introduction to Perth
For a taste of truly Australian sophistication there’s nowhere better than Perth. With an impressive selection of fine-dining options that could rival most major cities on the planet, and not to mention the awe-inspiring natural beauty of literally miles of sandy beaches, you can rest assured that Perth’s relaxed atmosphere lives up to the hype. This is a city confident in its own charming, cosmopolitan style.
It might be far smaller than the likes of Melbourne and Sydney, but as the capital city of Australia’s largest state, Perth has a strong array of shopping opportunities. The Murray and Hay Street Malls represent the most obvious city-centre options – they’re both traffic-free – while for designer clothing, King Street cuts across both of them and plays home to luxury boutiques from brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Out in the suburbs, Karrinyup Shopping Centre (200 Karrinyup Road) and Galleria (corner Collier and Walter Roads) are both large malls with an extensive range of different stores.
Food & Drink
Australia’s gastronomic star has been rising for decades, and Perth is a great place to enjoy some of the country’s best food and wine. The Margaret River region on the city’s doorstep is renowned for its vineyards and fresh produce, making acclaimed restaurants like the Rockpool Bar & Grill (Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway) and Jackson’s Restaurant (483 Beaufort Street) enticing prospects for visitors. The city’s location means seafood is a big draw – take note of the fact that Sweetlips (125 Oxford Street) was recently named the best fish and chip shop in the whole of Australia.
Taking place at Ascot Racecourse each New Year’s Day, the Perth Cup is Western Australia’s top horse race, drawing a crowd of some 35,000 every year. It was run for the first time in 1887.
Fringe World Festival
Serving up four weeks of entertainment across dozens of different city venues, the Fringe World Festival is a veritable smorgasbord of art, cabaret, music and comedy, providing an enjoyable showcase for all manner of local talent.
This is the country’s longest established cultural festival, with a month-long programme that incorporates theatre, opera, visual arts, dance, film, literature and both contemporary and classical music. It was founded back in 1953, and is still affiliated to the local university.
Perth Comedy Festival
Only inaugurated in 2012, the Perth Comedy Festival is now a yearly occurrence, bringing local and international comedians to the city across a busy fortnight of performances, awards and events. All venues are within five minutes’ walk of each other.
Perth Fashion Festival
Now more than 15 years old, this annual programme is the state’s largest premier fashion event. It takes place over a week in September and includes catwalk shows, exhibitions and other consumer events. Many of the designers are local.
One look at Perth’s modern skyline arrowing into the Western Australian sky tells you that this is a sophisticated city. Its hotels bear this out – the five-star Richardson Hotel & Spa (32 Richardson Street) is a fashionable boutique property with an award-winning spa and a location a short walk from the CBD, while there’s hospitality of a more time-honoured kind at the Terrace Hotel Perth (237 St Georges Terrace), set in a building that’s been standing since 1892. Other good options include Rydges Perth (815 Hay Street), a 245-room well placed in the city centre.