It has been over 30 years since I last visited Perth, far too long between drinks I now realise. Needless to say the skyline of the city has changed in that time quite considerably and the resources boom is quite evident with many of the mining companies having the tallest buildings in the city. That said the skyline is not as dominated by tall buildings as many comparably sized cities worldwide.
The overall relaxed feel of the city has not changed in my time away and the best way to experience this is by a walking tour with 2 feet and a heartbeat. Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining while showing us some of the quirkier side of the city and explaining the history and best places to eat. Speaking of which Market Grounds had a fabulous selection of food and drinks and every member of our 12 woman group managed to find a meal to die for. Pro Tip: opt for the prawns.
Perth book-ended our trip so on our last 2 days we had a chance to check out Optus Stadium on a behind the scenes tour. This state of the art stadium, currently the home of The West Coast Eagles and Freemantle Dockers, cost $1.5 billion to build and has the capacity for 30 000 people to live stream games simultaneously. One of our group decided to check the speeds and they were lightening fast. The tour is well worth the $25 cost as we have no idea how much behind the scenes work goes into the events we take for granted. The level of detail taken to make sure everything is perfect was impressive and something I have not seen to date in stadiums outside the USA.
The 1003 acre Kings Park is an asset to this city, it is a short walk from the CBD and provides spectacular views of the city over the Swan River. The native bush and wildlife make you quickly forget how close you are to a major metropolitan area. If you do not have a chance to make it down to Margaret River then Kings Park in wildflower season (September to November) is a riot of colour but be prepared to share this with the many visitors who arrive in Perth at this time of year.
With daily direct flights from Auckland and seasonal services direct from Christchurch provided by Air New Zealand Perth should be an addition to any Australian holiday and is my pick of the cities I will go back to. As the gateway to all Western Australia has to offer Perth should be on your must visit list.