Brits going Down Under usually head to Australia’s east coast, but fewer visitors go to Perth, the capital of Western Australia. And with return flights from £799 from Qatar Airways, why not go west? Perth is a relaxed, cosmopolitan city on the Sunset Coast with beautiful beaches on its doorstep. There’s more to Perth than sun, sea and surf – but that’s a great start! We’ve picked just five reasons to check out Perth.
1. The sun
Everybody loves the sunshine, and with winter approaching, if you have started dreaming of fleeing the country for a couple of weeks for somewhere hot and sunny, consider that the average January temperature in Perth is a really rather pleasant 29°C. Perth boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, making it the sunniest capital city in Australia.
2. The beaches
Having a Mediterranean climate means plenty of days when you can hit one of the 19 city beaches. Australian beaches rate among the best in the world and Perth’s are no exception. If you want to watch the girls and the guys go by or show off your own buff bod, head to Cottesloe, one of Western Australia’s most popular stretches of sand. This isn’t called the Sunset Coast for nothing – make sure you catch the unforgettable sight of the southern sun sinking into the Indian Ocean.
3. The surfing (and snorkelling)
Of course, you might be perfectly happy soaking up that sunshine from the beach or by the pool, but if you want to get a bit more active in true Aussie style, go surfing. If you’re after serious waves, join the surf dudes getting gnarly at Trigg Island beach, just 20 minutes up the coast from Perth. See the world under the waves at nearby Mettams Pool, a sheltered spot which is the ideal place to try our snorkelling if you’ve never done it before.
4. The food (and wine)
All that outdoor activity will get you thinking about dinner. You’ve come to the right place – cosmopolitan Perth is a foodie’s delight, offering a range of dining choices that spans the globe, from modern gastropub grub to top-end gourmet. Sample fresh local seafood like rock lobsters and barramundi, washed down with a bottle of chardonnay from the famous Margaret River region, which boasts over 200 vineyards.
5. The wildlife
Wildlife lovers will be in their element in Perth. Take a whale-watching tour to experience the thrill of seeing humpback, southern right and blue whales as they migrate along the coast. With seals, sea lions, penguins and dolphins to see, you could easily spend your whole time by the sea, but for a (dramatic) change of scenery, head inland to the Yanchep National Park to see indigenous wildlife like koalas, kangaroos and cockatoos.
Qatar Airways operates flights three times a week from London Heathrow and Manchester to Perth. Daily flights will commence from December 2012. Find your flights to Perth with Qatar Airways.