It claims to be Australia's sunniest capital city, with 3000 hours of sunshine a year. In Feburary'2011 Perth was voted the eighth most liveable city of the world.
To me Perth has a feel of Sydney in its early days, before it is what it is today. Can't quite explain it; maybe it is the Swan River.
Its CBD consist primarily of two main roads with high rise buildings on either side of the road and outside of these road, most buildings are just two storey high. Moving around within the CBD is easy and it's FREE! Yes, it cost nothing to take the bus around the city.
These buses are called Perth CATS (central area transport service) and service the free transit zone (FTZ). The buses have a set route and arrive approximately every 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the route, time of day and day of the week. The CAT routes are either a red or blue route from Monday to Friday or a special modified route for weekends.
So off we went looking for Perth's shopping malls. The two main shopping malls in Perth are the Murray Street and Hay Street malls. Both of the malls are closed to traffic, that means no cars. It is a pedestrian only shopping precinct with a wide variety of specialty stores.
There are several arcades that run off either Murray Street mall or the Hay Street mall and link the city from St George's Terrace to Wellington Street. In our walk about at the mall, not quite knowing where to begin, we found London Court, a very English arcade that links St. George Terraces to Hay Street. It took almost an hour to walk that very short London Court, but Margaret thought it was just only 15+ minutes.
There are also other places of interest within the CBD, a number of them are single or two storey historical buildings with high rise buildings next to them.
The Perth Mint is one such place of interest. It is the permanent home of the world's greatest collection of investment gold bars. A good place to spend a couple of hours; they do conduct guided talks and there is always the Perth Mint shop that not only sells gold, silver and platinum coins and jewellery, it also offers precious stones including Argyle Pink Diamonds.
The reddish colour Miss Maud Swedish Hotel cum Restaurant building looks like an odd historical building, in the middle of the CBD many modern commercial buildings. While it may look old, I could not find it listed in any of Perth's heritage or historic building web-sites.
St Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. It is located at the peak of a hill in East Perth, at the centre of Victoria Square. It had recently undergone repairs and expansion which finished in July 2010.
It was our walk back to the hotel from the shopping mall, when we notice this cathedral in the evening light and we pause to take a few photos of it. We then heard music and the choir singing, so we decided to attend the evening service which must have just started. We notice the people were very well dressed for an evening service. We were not troubled by this, after all we are tourist to the city and we found the message from the pulpit interesting. It was towards the end of the service that we realise that it was a private girl's college graduation service.
We gate-crashed a private party!
Another place of interest is The Bell Tower, home of the Swan Bells located on Riverside Drive overlooking the picturesque Swan River. It is one of Perth's most unique and must see tourist attractions, an icon for Perth and Western Australia. The building is an architecture marvel.
View Larger Map