The Gems of Perth, Australia

Mia Gifford

           When it comes to cities in Australia, everyone tends to know about Sydney, but few are aware of the gem that is Perth, Australia. Located on the West Coast of Australia with 2 million residents, it is the largest isolated city in the world and a five-hour flight from Sydney. It provides residents and visitors with vibrant nightlife, popular beaches, gorgeous parks, easy access to the outback, and unique getaways while being much less touristy than Sydney. Some of the most popular places to visit here are Rottnest Island, Cottesloe Beach, and Kings Park.

Rottnest Island

           Located 11 miles offshore from Perth, Rottnest is a small island and nature reserve laden with beautiful white sand beaches and the famous marsupial, animals that carry their babies in a pouch, known as the quokka. These little creatures are prominent across  the island as they have no natural predators and are not afraid of humans. Originally believed to be large rats by the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh who found Rottnest, it was originally named Rat’s Nest Island. These critters are much cuter than rats, however, and look more like small round kangaroos. You can see them dotted around the island throughout the day but once the tourists have left and the sun sets, they hop around the port in fairly large numbers, picking up scraps of food.

Only 100-150 people actually live on the island and most, if not all, of the residents, are tied up in the tourism industry of the island. A few hotels are located at the main port of the island while the remainder of the island remains bare besides paved roads. Tourists can bike around the island or take a bus to the multiple white sand beaches, though the bus is often preferred during the hot summer months when temperatures can get up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But one can always cool off in the crystal-clear waters, where snorkeling provides a look into another world of underwater animals and vegetation. 

Cottesloe Beach

           For a perfect beach day, Cottesloe is the place to go. In the middle of Perth’s coastal stretch, there lies white sand beaches perfect for frisbee, volleyball, and soccer, a multitude of restaurants from local fish and chips to ice cream parlors to fancy Italian restaurants, and clear blue water perfect for swimming. From time to time, large enough waves for bodysurfing grace Cottesloe Beach and bring some excitement for swimmers. The beach also provides some of the most beautiful sunsets over the Indian Ocean that look more like a painting than real life with vibrant colors of pink, yellow, and orange over the deep blue ocean. And, if you’re lucky, you can see the flash of green light as the sun finally slips beneath the horizon.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

           Set high above the Swan River that runs through Perth, this park provides not only beautiful walking paths through flora and fauna but glorious views of downtown Perth and the Indian Ocean. Large patches of grass also provide the perfect place to picnic with friends or family. One can spend hours here, wandering along the paths and soaking up the natural beauty 

 of Australia as well as modern sculptures that mimic the plants around them, glass bridges that skim the tops of trees, and memorials to fallen war heroes.

           Perth is a beautiful city that deserves just as much popularity as Sydney. With its easy access to nature and an island with some of the cutest creatures on the planet, it’s a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list. It may be isolated, but it has not fallen behind.