Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is situated on the banks of the Swan River and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. Residents and visitors enjoy an easygoing lifestyle with a fantastic climate, beautiful beaches, numerous parks and reserves and a focus on outdoor recreation and entertainment.

In the city centre you’ll find pedestrian shopping malls, free public transport, hotels to suit all budgets and cafes and restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine reflecting the cultural diversity in the state.Northbridge, just north of the city centre, is renowned for its art, entertainment and numerous restaurants, bars and clubs. The Perth Cultural Centre is located in Northbridge, and consists of the Western Australian Musuem, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. On the banks of the Swan River there are numerous grassed areas for recreation and paths for walking and cycling.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia. The Park is located 1.5 km from the central business district and adjacent to the Swan River. It boasts outstanding views of the city, river and Darling Ranges. The 406 hectares consists of parkland areas ideal for picnics and recreation and natural bushland containing 319 species of native plants. The Aboriginal Art and Craft Gallery features Aboriginal cultural experiences and is located on Fraser Avenue.

Western Australia’s coastline is called the sunset coast, and a visit to Perth would not be complete without watching the sunset from one of Perth’s famous white sandy beaches. Cottesloe is one of the most popular beaches, and is easily accessible by train. Fremantle, the port city at the mouth of the Swan River, has a vibrant cappuccino strip, heritage buildings, a market and the new Maritime Musuem. Sampling the fresh local seafood at one of the many restaurants is a must.

Other attractions in Perth include Bold Park, the Perth Zoo, the Perth Mint, Scitech – a hands on science discovery centre, His Majesty’s Theatre and numerous golf courses including Burswood Park Golf Course only 5 minutes from the CBD. Just off the coast, you can visit Rottnest Island, a half hour ferry trip from Fremantle, and Penguin Island, where you can meet Little Penguins.

Transport options in Perth include bus, train, ferry and taxi. All buses in the central business district are free, and there is a free shuttle-service known as the Central Area Transit (CAT). Timetables for bus services can be obtained from Transperth. There are four train lines which service the Perth metropolitan area, these lines all service Perth city. The train lines terminate in Armadale, Fremantle, Midland and Joondalup. Ferrys traverse the Swan River. Taxis operate 24 hours a day.

To the east of Perth is the Swan Valley, a wine producing region where you can sample wine at
the cellar door, or visit art and craft studios. Further east is the Darling Ranges which rises above theSwan Coastal Plain, and encompasses heritage sites and national parks. John Forrest National Parkdisplays the natural beauty of the Darling Range, with bush trails, granite outcrops and waterfalls.

In August, it’s winter/spring in Perth. The average daily maximum and minimum temperatures are
20°C and 10°C and the monthly rainfall is 90 mm. Further information about the climate can be found at theBureau of Meteorology.

The currency is Australian dollars. Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and coin denominations are 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, as well as $1 and $2. Tipping is generally not expected. A delegate-friendly exchange rate ensures that the cost of food and drink for international visitors is comparable to elsewhere.

Shops are generally open from 9am to 5 or 6pm Monday to Saturday. Late night shopping until 9pm is on Thursday in the suburbs, and Friday in Perth city. Shops are also open on Sunday from 12 to 5pm in Perth city. Some shops in Perth and Fremantle have extended opening times.

Perth International Airport is situated 12km from the city centre. Some hotels provide a transport service, and taxis are readily available. Perth Domestic Airport receives daily flights from other Australian capitals, major cities and regional areas.

Western Australia covers an area of 2.5 million square kilometres, roughly equivalent to the size of continental Europe, hence there is a huge range of landscapes and climates. Why not visit the South West, with its world-class wineries and forests. The North West is a true wilderness with ancient landforms and deep gorges. Along the coastline you can swim with dolphins at Monkey Mia in the Shark Bay World Heritage area, or snorkel at Ningaloo Reef. The interior of the State contains deserts, national parks, pastoral land and gold mines.