Perth perhaps by Maggie Videan
By Maggie Videan
Depending on where you live, Perth is a decent old flight for us Easterners. It is five hours over and, with tail winds, about four hours back. So, ideally, you may want to spend more than a few days there or try and work in another Western Australian destination to make the trip worthwhile.
Perth and pretty much all of Western Australia is booming due to the natural resources that are concentrated in the vicinity. In the lasttwenty years of travelling back and forth to visit my family there, the growth and change has been obvious. The infrastructure has improved and the restaurants and bars have exploded through the city. Perth even has a decent night life these days.
However, there are some constants that are the real draw cards. Perth in summer is hot. Damn hot. Hot and NOT humid. Often a cool breeze, called the Freemantle Doctor, whips up in the evening making any beach activity impossible, though is most welcomed when the temperature sizzles. The beaches are another big hook in visiting the West. They have had some issues with big fish with big teeth but fortunately all the beaches are well patrolled. For the daring and unashamed pre-baby bodies, there is Swanbourne Beach which is on Commonwealth land meaning that you can exercise your civil rights and wear nothing at all but sunblock.
Cottesloe Beach (unfortunately where that big fish with big teeth made an unscheduled appearance some years back) is great for families and has lots of cafes and activity. Further up the coast is my favourite; City Beach. The flags are near a place called ‘The Groin’, though the beach is quite extensive and, at one point, is dog friendly.
Observation City is further up the coastline and is another busy metropolis with a beach thrown in for good measure.
Perth City is fairly flat, so, hiring a bike and cycling around the river is quite do-able. Finish your trip at the Bell Tower and stop off for a cool drink at a pub called ‘The Lucky Shag’, referring to the fishing fortunes of the local water birds, of course.
There is a well-sized, comfortable shopping hub in the centre of the CBD with satellite areas of Northbridge and East Perth which are full of good eating spots. Subiaco is a trendy inner city spot where the Subi Hotel is a highlight. A popular drinking hole, it is also great for a long, long lunch.
A visit to King’s Park is very worthwhile, with its spectacular view across the city. There is both a cafe and a restaurant at the top of the park. Of note is ‘The walk of remembrance’, a line of trees planted to commemorate our servicemen and women.
Perth also has a casino, Burswood, which has a most authentic Chinese restaurant; dining there preferable to time on the tables. Another cuisine gem, hidden away under the Hyatt Hotel, is Jimmy’s Diner which is a quaint Asian style eatery that has a well priced and interesting Chinese hot pot. The size for two will actually feed four, so go easy on the ordering!