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Study abroad in Perth

Introducing Perth

On experiencing Perth's vibrancy and bountiful beaches, with the rich southern wilderness and wineries at its feet, some visitors wonder why Australians settled for the east coast at all. The southwestern coastline and its capital the world's most remote city of its size have all you could want. Most Western Australians (around 80%) agree by choosing to call Perth home. Its riches include constant sunshine, great food, a relaxed pace, natural beauty and space. Even the dogs have their own beach here.

Perth is situated around the wide Swan River. To the east it stretches towards a gentle backdrop of hills and the vineyards of the Swan Valley. In the city centre, the towers of the central business district dominate St Georges Tce. North of here, the Hay and Murray St Malls and arcades are filled with shoppers who spill over into the neighbouring suburbs of Northbridge, Leederville and Highgate. 

The high green expanse of King's Park overlooks Perth's western end. Beyond, to the northwest of the city, are the Indian Ocean, stylish Subiaco and the busy beachside suburbs of Cottesloe and Scarborough. Fremantle ('Freo') is only 20 minutes south by car see 'Don't Miss...' for more information on this fantastic spot.

Perth's Weather

Perth has a long and hot summer where little rain falls and the temperature can stay up around 30°C, especially in January and February. Winds off the sea, known as the 'Fremantle Doctor' help cool the city. Winter brings coolish weather and rain, with a pleasant average temperature of 18°C.

Cultural Overview

The dominant culture in Perth is an outdoors one: it seems most Perthites are devoted to some kind of outdoor activity, whether it's swimming, surfing, fishing, yachting, windsurfing, snorkelling or sunbathing. But this is not all they're about; the city also has a b artistic community, as is evidenced from its Cultural Centre (see 'Don't Miss...'), with its fabulous museum, galleries and library all in the one place, and its many festivals and events devoted to the arts and the city's rich cultural heritage (see 'Perth Events'). It also has some great bookshops, including the All Foreign Languages Bookshop.
All Foreign Languages Bookshop:  101 William St, City Centre.  Phone:  08 9321 9275

Don’t Miss...

Perth's attractions are all within easy reach of the city centre, and many have their own stops on the free Central Area Transit (CAT) bus service (maps of these buses' routes are readily available all over the city). Here are some ideas of what's in store:

Get cultured at the Perth Cultural Centre, where you'll find the WA Museum, the Art Gallery of WA and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts – all within easy walking distance of each other, and all excellent.
WA Museum:  James St Mall.  Phone:  08 9427 2700  Website:
Art Gallery of WA:  47 James St.  Phone:  08 9492 6600  Website:
Institute of Contemporary Arts:  51 James St.  Phone:  08 9227 6144  Website:


Don’t Miss... (Con’t)

Catch a ferry from Perth's Barrack St Jetty to fabulous Fremantle, a gorgeous historic port town on the mouth of the Swan River, where you'll find quality museums, a great music and arts scene and excellent cafes and pubs. While there, be sure to check out the lively Fremantle Markets (open Fri-Sun).
Fremantle Markets:  cnr South Tce & Henderson St

Jump on another ferry for a day trip over to lovely car-free Rottnest Island for superb snorkelling and scuba diving, swimming (Longreach and Geordie Bays and The Basin are best), surfing (head to Strickland, Salmon and Stark Bays), cycling and spotting quokkas (cute nocturnal marsupials of the wallaby family, native to southwest WA).

Have a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with humpback whales as they pass by Perth on their annual journey to Antarctic waters from September to December – for details on whale-watching cruises, contact Rottnest Fast Ferries.
Rottnest Fast Ferries:  Phone:  +61 08 9246 1039 Website:

Get a sun tan in the middle of a pub at beautiful Cottesloe's open-windowed institution the Ocean Beach Hotel. Make sure you stay long enough to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
Ocean Beach Hotel:  1 Eric St.  Phone:  08 9384 5111

Eat & Be Merry At...

Perth has more restaurants per head than anywhere else in the country. Northbridge is the best place to treat your taste buds, Oxford St in Leederville has its fair share of decent cafes and it's also worth the trip to Beaufort St in Mt Lawley (catch bus No 67 or wander up from Northbridge through Highgate). You won't be in Perth long before you hear about the legendary 'Sunday Sesh' (Sunday Session) – this is when just about everyone heads to the pub for an afternoon of beer and conversation. Here are a few favourites for eating and being merry:

Start your day right with a 'belly full' breakfast at wonderful Tarts, where delicious local Western Australian produce is used in the cooking – yum.
Tarts:  212 Lake St, Northbridge.  Phone:  08 9328 6607

If you like your Indian food with a kick, don't miss the authentic, spicy Southern Indian delights of Maya Masala, especially the dosa (huge crepes with delicious fillings).
Maya Masala:  cnr Lake & Francis Sts, Northbridge.  Phone:  08 9328 5655

For an extra special occasion, try all 10 dishes on the famous degustation (small tasters) menu at Jackson's – afterwards you'll want to kiss the excellent waiting staff, or chef Hugh Jackson himself.
Jackson's:  483 Beaufort St, Highgate.  Phone:  08 9328 1177  Website:

On a Sunday afternoon, watch the yachts bob at the marina while sampling the fantastic beers at Little Creatures. This outstanding waterfront brewery in a converted warehouse also has an excellent wine list and is great for pizza.
Little Creatures:  40 Mews Rd, Fremantle.  Phone:  08 9430 5555  website:

Another good place for a Sunday Sesh is Brass Monkey Bar & Brasserie, which has fantastic indoor and outdoor areas, including a great beer garden.
Brass Monkey Bar & Brasserie:  209 William St, Northbridge.  Phone:  08 9227 9596


Perth Events

Like other Australian capital cities, Perth loves to celebrate. Here are a few ways you can join in:

Perth Royal Show This typically Australian agricultural show is a must for overseas visitors. Held in late September, there's a huge amount of entertainment, including sheep dog trials, stunt car jumping, racing pigs(!), stilt-walkers, fireworks, cooking demonstrations, the Grand Parade of animals, heaps of amusement park rides and much more.
Perth Royal Show:  Website:

Artrage This contemporary arts and local culture festival occurring annually in October around Northbridge, is a month-long celebration of WA's most innovative new talent, along with interstate and overseas guests.
Artrage:  Website:

Gay Pride March On the events calendar since 1990, this Pride Parade is a colourful night-time march that marks the end of October's Pride Festival. It starts at the Brisbane & William Sts intersection, just north of Northbridge.
Gay Pride March:  Website:

Fremantle Festival & Street Arts Festival Held in November, the Fremantle Festival celebrates the town's colourful culture, while the Easter Street Arts Festival attracts 100,000+ visitors to see the world's best buskers in action.
Fremantle Festival & Street Arts Festival:  Website:

Perth International Arts Festival Also held in November, this is Australia's oldest international arts festival with an aim to bring art into everyday life, not just to those who are art-lovers. The extensive programme covers music, drama, film, dance, visual arts and literature.
Perth International Arts Festival:  Website: