Perth, Australia

Built on WA’s thriving trade in diamonds and gold, Perth was destined to become a glittering urban hub. Its ascent has been rapid (indeed, some of Australia’s tallest skyscrapers tower over the city); however sun-kissed beaches Cottesloe, Port and Scarborough and an insatiable surf culture keep it chilled out. Like a row of seamlessly iced wedding cakes, the art deco buildings remain, dwarfed by the CBD’s cluster of glass monoliths. The city’s Cultural Centre draws in-the-know Perthites to galleries and theatres by day, and style-conscious bars and clubs by night. Foodies will fare especially well here, with excellent eateries, serious brunching and brews filtered by impassioned baristas.

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Areas in Perth

When to go

In September and October, the city is spring like with cooler nights; for mercury-ascending weather, visit in January or February – and pack light. Perth International Arts Festival (https://perthfestival.com.au) runs from Feb to March, the film festival from November to April, and the biggest surf waves swell from March to May.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Perth Airport (www.perthairport.com.au) is the city's international hub. Direct flights arrive from Asian hubs, including Singapore and Thailand, flights from the UK arrive via Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur, and US flights connect at Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Alternatively hop on a connecting flight from Sydney (roughly a four-hour trip).
  • Trains

    Transperth trains run from Perth's main train station to destinations along West Australia’s coast and inland. If you’re travelling from the east coast, hop on a Rail Australia (www.railaustralia.com.au) sleeper train; the journey from Sydney takes three days.
  • Automobiles

    Despite some congestion during rush hour, driving in Perth is fairly fuss-free. Follow National Highway 94 from the Airport to reach the city centre. There’s an Avis car-hire booth at the airport, and it’s worth securing a GPS – freeway exits can be tricky.