Perth - Sightseeing
Perth’s compact city centre makes shopping a pleasure - and its selection of markets, malls and shop-lined, pedestrianised streets only add to the enjoyment.
For big-name brands, Australian department stores and fashionable boutiques, the city’s core – between Hay and Murray Street – is the place to head. The Murray and Hay Street Malls come complete with the usual suspects, including large fashion, jewellery, home furnishings, electrical and sportswear stalls.
The city’s delightful shopping arcades have tonnes more character - each specialising in a different type of shopping experience, from fashion to accessories, art to antiques. The London Court’s Tudor architecture (fake, of course) is particularly effective.
King Street is the centre of Perth's sophisticated West End, and it’s here you’ll find up-and-coming designers, world-famous fashion houses and watches with price tags of $20,000 - if that’s your thing.
At the other end of the scale, the town’s markets offer great fun and plenty of bargains - head to the Subiaco Pavilion Markets, or the Galleria Art and Craft Markets - at the Museum - for crafts, bric-a-brac, pottery and art.
The Forrest Chase complex and the two major department stores, Myer and David Jones, are good places to hunt out Australian precious gemstones such as the famous pink Argyle diamonds, Broome pearls and Kalgoorlie gold.
Nearby Fremantle enjoys a hip collection of funky boutiques, bookshops, craft shops and bustling weekend markets.
The Aquarium of Western Australia, Hilary’s Boat Harbour offers a fun way to spend half a day. This multi-million dollar attraction is your one-stop introduction to the colourful inhabitants off Western Australia's coastline. Kids will love entering The Dangerzone, home to some of the ocean’s deadliest and strangest marine creatures. The 98m glass tunnel is the largest in Australia.
Perth Mint, Hay Street is where the heady days of Australia's gold rush come to life at this light-hearted historical attraction, a 100 year-old mint where pure gold ingots are still made. And you can, should you have the funds, even buy one!
Parks and Gardens. Perth is a city in love with lawns, manicured borders, ornamental beds and specimen trees: you’ll never be far from a city park, wherever your travels take you. Harold Boas' Gardens even feature ornamental lakes and a waterfall. Other lovely spots to spend a sunny afternoon of wandering include: the Supreme Court Gardens - home to Opera in the Park and Carols by Candlelight in the summer months; The Esplanade Reserve - with its hothouse home to rare palms; the water lily-filled lakes of Queens Gardens.
For less ordered formality, the huge expanse of Kings Park features 400 hectares of mature trees, lakes, bushland and fabulous views back to the city. Here, Mount Eliza’s tracks and footpaths offer great hiking and cycling opportunities close to the city.
Scitech. This state-of-the-art science and discovery centre on Sutherland Street is a lively museum, featuring over 160 hands-on, interactive attractions and a high-tech Planetarium with a regularly-changing programme of shows and talks.
The main street in Perth, Saint George's Terrace is a handsome thoroughfare, complete with a sprinkling of attractive buildings - look out for the stucco splendour of the Treasury Building and – set in the pavement – 150 bronze tablets commemorating notable figures from 150 years of Western Australian history.