(BPT) - Imagine mornings exploring Australia’s rich culture, afternoons playing on warm, white sand beaches and evenings savoring the country's award-winning wine, incredible local produce, and impressive nightlife.
If a jaunt to the friendly, unique and enormously diverse nation of Australia is at the top of your bucket list, you’re far from alone. As of March 2018, in fact, American visitation to Australia was up nearly 10 percent over last year.
The Down-Under nation is a dream destination for many Americans thanks to its near-perfect weather, natural beauty, bountiful wildlife, cultural offerings and rich history spanning some 60,000 years. Though the vast country has much to offer, one of the best places to experience it all is in Western Australia's capital city of Perth.
Ready to make your dream a reality and start planning your next trip to Australia’s sunniest capital city? Consider the following suggestions:
If you seek urban luxury: An astounding 31 new or refurbished hotels — many lauded for their architectural significance — have opened in the past six years, with 10 more coming by 2021. Consider the QT Perth, Westin Perth, COMO The Treasury, Crown Towers, InterContinental Perth City Centre, or Alex Hotel, or check out the $500 million, 204-suite luxury complex Ritz Carlton at Elizabeth Quay set to debut in 2019.
If you enjoy wildlife and nature: The Indian Ocean’s warm waters invite travelers to swim with dolphins in Rockingham, catch the great humpback whale migration, gush over the furry locals on Penguin Island, spot fur seals, and more. Interact with the kangaroos regularly sighted in the city’s national parks and wineries, and view prolific wildlife on the car-free (but bike-friendly) Rottnest Island and its 63 stunning beaches. Be sure to take a photo with the small, ridiculously cute marsupials known as quokkas, famous worldwide for the #quokkaselfie. Perth is also home to Kings Park and Botanical Gardens; in fact, Western Australia's 12,000 wildflower species constitute the largest wildflower collection in the world.
If you appreciate sophisticated cuisine: Restaurant options in Perth range from comfortable pubs to al fresco rooftop bars and high-end dining rooms, many featuring fantastic sunset views over the water. Try the excellent fare at Wildflower, Garum, Petition Kitchen, the Meat & Wine Co., Lalla Rookh, Long Chim, and more. Award-wining vintages can be found across Perth, including labels from the famed southwest regions of Margaret River and Great Southern and from Perth’s own Swan Valley.
Excellent culinary experiences can also be found in the historic port of Fremantle and along the Swan Valley Food and WineTrail, where winery Mandoon Estate has joined the Ultimate Winery Experiences Signature Experiences program and now features riverfront accommodations, private cellar tastings, and degustation dinners.
If you’re into great entertainment: Perth rings in the new year with the annual Hopman Cup mixed doubles tournament at the 15,500-seat RAC Arena, where American tennis icon Serena Williams is set to play the legendary Roger Federer. Other key events in 2019 will include the creativity of FRINGE World; the artistic splendor of Perth Festival; the dazzling Australia Day Skyworks display; and the multitude of international musical acts and sporting rivalries showcased at Optus Stadium. Seeking a glimpse into Perth's Aboriginal culture? Local companies such as Go Cultural Tours at Elizabeth Quay offer a variety of experiences. Take a walking tour on the treetop walkway at Kings Park and Botanical Gardens, or visit Maalinup Gallery in the Swan Valley to experience native foods known as "bush tucker" and buy authentic Aboriginal art.
Learn more about making lifelong memories in Australia’s sunniest city at WesternAustralia.com.