Adventuring Australia: Perth, Western Australia

When it comes to the U.S., the differences between the east coast and the west coast are pretty pronounced. There was a brief moment when I thought about heading out to the laid-back west coast after high school, but alas, my heart already belonged to Boston and so I joined the hustle and bustle back east.

Here in Sydney, I’m on an entirely different east coast, and it got me wondering how different the west coast of Australia is. So, a few weekends ago Alex and I headed to Perth to check out the west coast vibe.

To the ends of the Earth! AKA Perth

Perth is known as ‘the loneliest city in the world’. It’s a pretty dubious distinction, but look at it this way, it’s about 2,692km away from Adelaide, which is the closest Australian city that even compares in size. In fact, Perth is closer to the capital of Indonesia than it is to Australia’s capital in Canberra. So, yes, it might be a little lonely in that respect, but in reality it has plenty of company.

The shiny modern buildings that make up the Perth skyline

Perth is at the center of Australia’s mining boom, which has the city expanding by leaps and bounds. The Central Business District is right on the banks of the lovely Swan River. You don’t have to go very far at all to hit the Indian Ocean, and after a drive around the city, that’s exactly what we did.

Looking out over the Indian Ocean in Sorrento, WA

It was too cold to swim, but I think this counts. And with that, another ocean has been checked of my list!

After my jaunt in the ocean (Alex watched from a safe, and considerably warmer, distance), we headed over to Aqwa, the Aquarium of Western Australia. Here we met many of the creatures that were sharing the water with me only moments earlier. The aquarium was a bit on the small side, but it was very well done, and a little slice of heaven for an aquarium geek like me.

My what big teeth you have!

Our visit to Perth was a quick one which included a couple of additional destinations (which you’ll hear about soon enough), but we still managed to get some sightseeing in before heading back to Sydney including the Bell Tower. This has to be Perth’s most unique attraction. It sits right on the Swan River, and boasts beautiful views of the city as well as, you guessed it, bells!

The Bell Tower

All in all, Perth had a lot more to offer than the bit of time we had to spend there. It’s an absolutely beautiful city and the people we met there were easy going and friendly.  It sure seemed to have a more laid back vibe than Sydney, but I’m probably going to need to go back a few times just to make sure.

I was thinking the same thing, Perth!

For more pictures of Perth, join me over at Flickr!

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