Perth City Centre
Perth like many capital cities has its share of skyscrapers but it also has the world's largest inner city public park, Kings Park. Perth also hugs the Swan River and as such it has some inspiring views of the river especially from vantage points such as the tall office blocks and open spaces where you can enjoy the unblocked views of the Swan as far as the eye can see, all the way to the Darling range and the mouth of the Swan River. This is one city where open space is an integral part of its personality and feel. Besides Kings Park there are other beautiful areas of green within the city such as Stirling Gardens, Queens Gardens and the Supreme Court Gardens.
Photo of the Perth city skyline as seen from Kings Park
The heart of Perth's city has seen a revitalisation in the past year and formerly drab areas have become chic and very much in vogue. St George's Terrace was always known as Perth's financial centre where all the big banks are located but it is also home to the office towers built by the large resources companies such as BHP Billiton. Nowadays St George's Terrace is known for Brookfield Place where the Old Perth Boys School and other surrounding buildings have been successfully restored to their present glory to become home to the city's latest fashionable eateries and bars such as the Print Hall and Heritage.
Photo of the Bell Tower where there was a treasure hunt event
Nestled on the bank of the Swan at the southern edge of the city centre is Barrack Square which is home to the Bell Tower. Barrack Square is also the jetty where many of the cruise ferries depart for Fremantle, Rottnest Island and the cruises up the Swan River. The Transperth ferry operates from Barrack Square jetty to Mends Jetty in South Perth.
Photo of the Cactus at Forrest Place
For those in need of retail therapy, the Hay and Murray Streets pedestrianised malls which stretch across the heart of the city, offer a plethora of shopping options. Both malls are traversed by a myriad of connecting streets which have evolved into shopping arcades such as the Trinity Arcade, London Court Arcade, Carillion Arcade and Piccadily Arcade. All the big retailers are represented in the shopping heart of Perth including the high end retailers, the electronics and camera shops as well as the more budget end of the shopping spectrum - there's something for everyone. There are also many places of historical interest including the former Central Fire Station which now houses a museum and St Mary's Cathedral as well as St Georges Cathedral. The Tourist Information kiosks where you can join the free guided walks are located at the top end of Forrest Place, in front of the old Commonwealth Bank building. In summer, the Twilight Hawkers Delight is held on Friday nights and you can savour a wonderful mix of international food at Forrest Place from 4 pm till 9 pm. Kids will love the new waterworks right in front of the old General Post Office building - a great way to beat the summer heat.
Photo of the Perth Cultural Centre in front of PICA
There is even more history in the Perth Cultural Centre. This precinct is the area bound by William Street, Beaufort Street, Roe Street and Francis Street; it includes the Western Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the PICA (Perth Institute of Comtemporary Art), the State Library and the Perth Gaol. This area is the cultural heart of Perth and is home to many arts venues such as the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, the Blue Room Theatre and others. The Perth Cultural Centre is connected to the Wellington Street train station by an overhead bridge which is probably one of the most used thoroughfares in Perth. To the west of the cultural precinct is the belly of Perth where Chinatown, Northbridge and all its favourite restaurants and bars are located. To the south and south west of the cultural precinct is the Perth City Link project which is currently being built and will link the CBD with Northbridge for the first time in 100 years. The spanking new blue Perth Arena has risen up right next to this area along Roe Street.
Photo of Claisebrooke Cove as seen from Victoria Gardens
East Perth is home to Claisebrooke Cove where many sought after inner city apartments have been built. There are also nice places for coffee, cake and tapas along the bank of the Cove. The beautiful Victoria Gardens which overlooks the Swan River is an idyllic spot for a picnic or "barbie" and is popular with locals as well as foreign students. The Queen's Garden is home to some of the most beautiful roses in Perth and is also the ideal nesting ground for a variety of water birds. On Saturday mornings you can buy organically grown vegetables and other produce from the City Farmers Market which is located next to the Claisebrooke train station and is at one end of the Yellow CATs bus route. Across the road from the Queens Garden is the WACA which is where cricket games are played in Perth. If you like to see molten gold being poured, head for the Perth Mint where you can buy and sell gold too.
Photo of the Pioneer Women's Fountain in Kings Park
On the other side of the Mitchell Freeway is Kings Park, Parliament House as well as other places of interest such as Scitech which is located in City West. Harbour Town which offers outlet shopping is also located here. On Friday nights, late night shopping is available in the city including Hay and Murray Streets and most city shops are open till 9 pm.
Photo of South Perth seen from Kings Park over the Old Swan Brewery
South Perth, which can be seen from Kings Park, is home to many apartment blocks for those who want to live near the city and have speactacular river views. It is also home to the Old Mill and the South Perth Esplanade where you get brilliant views of the Perth city skyline both in the day and at night. South Perth's Mends Street is where you can find a quaint cappucino strip with the best coffee, ice cream, gelato and cake from breakfast and into the evening. Of course if you need something stronger there is a well known and popular pub at the top end of Mends Street. The Perth Zoo is just a stone's throw from Mends Street.