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Perth is often overlooked when people talk about Australia. Sure, Sydney and Melbourne attract more attention, tourism, and accolades, but Perth can more than hold its own on any list of Australia's best cities. Perth is the capital of Western Australia, one of the six provinces that make up Australia. To call Western Australia expansive is to underestimate it. At 965,000 square miles, it's three times the size of Texas!
Perth is similar to Sydney, with modern skyscrapers poking at the skyline, overlooking the brilliant Indian Ocean. Perth's beaches rival any in Australia, and the city's beautiful botanic gardens on the edge of downtown would be a highlight anywhere.Perth also affords the adventurous traveler with many exciting options. There's the port town of Fremantle, where you may end up spending all of your time if you're not careful. Rottnest Island is just twelve miles offshore, and some of Australia's best scuba diving and snorkeling sites can be found here.
Perth is exceptionally tourist-friendly, with a free transport zone in the middle of town allowing you to explore without having to worry about your wallet. The people are more than helpful, and the shopping and restaurants are top-notch. The city extends its warmest welcome to you, and after one visit, you're likely to return!
Docking & Local Transportation
The best places to see ships entering or leaving the harbour are on the western end of Victoria Quay. All cruise ships berth at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal or at D Berth on Victoria Quay. Transportation from Fremantle to Perth is easily accessible from the port. It is a short walk from the passenger terminal into the city of Fremantle where passengers can explore the city, shop, access services including optometrists, chemists, banks, currency exchange, wifi etc.
For many cruise passengers the first stop in Fremantle is usually the Fremantle Visitor Centre in Kings Square. Passengers can talk with one of the Fremantle Tourist Guides to help plan the day ashore. The Fremantle Tourist Guides know the best things to see and do in and around Fremantle and will be happy to answer passenger’s questions.
Getting around
There are several transport options for passengers arriving in Fremantle:
walking­-choose one of two walking routes from the passenger terminal into the city, shown on this map.
taxis-there is a taxi rank outside the passenger terminal
train-Fremantle Train Station is a short walk across the pedestrian bridge from the terminal with a regular service (every 10-15 minutes) to Perth City
shuttle service-the City of Fremantle provides a free cruise shuttle service into Kings Square and return for many of the international transit cruise ships. Cruise passengers should check with their cruise ship prior to arrival to confirm if this service is available.
Fremantle itself is easily accessible and walkable, but free Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle buses pick up and drop off right at the front of the terminal every 10 minutes until 6:10 p.m. each day. It's a hop-on, hop-off service that covers all the main attractions. The Red CAT covers the area north of Fremantle Station, and the Blue CAT covers major attractions south of Fremantle Station. Most of the major attractions are on the south side.
If you want to go to Perth, there are usually taxis waiting outside the terminal. If you need to phone a taxi, try Swan Taxis (131 330), Black & White Taxis (131 008) or Independent Taxis (9375 7777). A fare to the Perth Central Business District (CBD) can cost up to A$60. The easiest and quickest way to travel between Fremantle and Perth, however, is by train. They depart from Fremantle station every 15 minutes or so, and it's roughly a 30-minute journey. The train station is right next to the port, about a five-minute walk over the railway line, and the best landmark to look for is the E Shed.
Most of the major car hire companies have offices in Fremantle. They include Budget, Thrifty, Avis and Europcar. This is a good option if you have enough time to kill and fancy taking a drive south to Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury or Margaret River.
Perth has set up a fantastic free transit zone in the middle of town. The area is clearly marked, and you can get around this area entirely free of charge, using any means of public transportation. CAT buses run on a continuous loop through the free transit zone, with stops at most major attractions. You'll know it's a CAT bus by its silver exterior. Trains are another efficient way to get around Perth. Of course, taxis are readily available and very convenient. Contact Swan Taxis (08/131-330) to book your taxi. You may even be able to convince your cab driver to give you an impromptu tour!
Things To See and Do
King's Park and Botanic Garden
Boasting beautiful views of the Swan River and Darling Range, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is an oasis of peace near the heart of the city. Almost two-thirds of this sprawling 1,000-acre park is natural bush, which harbors a diversity of native plants and birds. Dedicated to conservation, the botanic garden spotlights plants from Western Australia and other Mediterranean climates such as South Africa and California. Highlights include an acacia garden, the peaceful Place of Reflection, and a water garden that recreates a Darling Range creek.
Atop Mount Eliza, with stunning views over the city, the King's Park War Memorial is a poignant tribute to servicemen from Western Australia. Walking trails, ponds, play areas, and viewpoints abound throughout the park, encouraging visitors to explore. After a stroll through the park, pop into Aspect of Kings Park, a retail precinct of gift shops and galleries highlighting local artists. Fraser Avenue Lookout dishes up delicious views of the city, and, at night, the park is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll with twinkling views of the city lights.
Hours: Open daily, year round Admission: Free Address: Fraser Avenue, West Perth Official site: http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/

Swan River
Local Aboriginals believe the rainbow serpent, "Waugal" created this winding river. To Perth locals and tourists alike, it's the perfect setting for outdoor fun. Visitors can picnic in the riverside parks, bike or hike along the many trails, cast a fishing line, sail, swim, or kayak. To see some of the posh houses of the riverfront suburbs, hop aboard a relaxing river cruise between Perth and the historic port of Fremantle. Another popular day trip is a cruise upriver to the fertile shores of the Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest grape-growing region. Here, foodies can sample fresh local produce and scrumptious artisan foods at the highly acclaimed restaurants. Most ferries and river cruises depart from Barrack Square Jetty.

Perth Zoo
About 3 km from the city center, Perth Zoo has been delighting animal-lovers since 1898. International visitors can experience some of the country's unique wildlife in the Australian Bushwalk and Wetlands exhibits. All the favorites are here: kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats, and Tasmanian devils. Other exhibits take visitors around the world to different ecosystems - feed giraffes at the African Savannah, ogle orangutans in the Asian Rainforest, enjoy an elephant show, or peer at a pygmy marmoset in the South American primate exhibit. The zoo is easily accessible by bus, car, train, and bike, and visitors can also hop aboard a ferry from Barrack Street jetty.
Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm Admission: Adults $24.50, children (4-15 years) $12.30, concession and seniors $20.50, family (2 adults, 2 children) $64.25, children (under 4) free Address: 20 Labouchere Rd, Perth --Official site: http://www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au/

Hillarys Boat Harbour
About 20 km northwest of central Perth, Hillary's Boat Harbour is an expansive marina with restaurants, shops, and family-friendly attractions. The Aquarium of Western Australia is a top tourist draw here. Sightseers can stroll through a glass underwater tunnel and observe more than 200 species of marine animals, including stingrays, manta rays, dolphins, and sharks. Bike paths, walkways, parks, and sheltered beaches make this a favorite spot for a fun family day out. Ferries to Rottnest Island also depart from here.
Address: 86 Southside, Hillarys -- Official site: http://hillarysboatharbour.com.au/

Aviation Heritage Museum
Even those who are not interested in aircraft will be surprised by the fascinating displays at the Aviation Heritage Museum, about 15 km south of Perth. Exhibits of more than 30 aircraft and thousands of artifacts cover civilian and military aviation and trace the evolution of aircraft from two-winged WWI planes to present-day passenger jets. For an extra fee, visitors can also book a personal tour of a Lancaster bomber or a Dakota C-47 and Spitfire Mark XXII.
Hours: Open 10am-4pm daily, closed major holidays -- Admission: Adults $10, children (4-16 years) $5, family (2 adults and up to 4 children) $25, students and concession $7.50
Address: Air Force Memorial Estate, Bull Creek Dr, Bull Creek -- Official site: http://www.raafawa.org.au/museum/
St Mary's Cathedral
Constructed over three centuries, St Mary's Cathedral is a grand neo-Gothic church consecrated in 1865 and renovated extensively over the years. The site for the cathedral was included in the first plan of Perth in 1838. Evocatively lit at night, the cathedral is a soothing spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Interested tourists can join a tour of the building every Tuesday at 10:30 am for a $5 donation. Tickets are available at the Church Office across the road. Address: 17 Victoria Square, Perth

Art Gallery of Western Australia
In the Perth Cultural Centre, a one-minute-walk from the nearest train station, the Art Gallery of Western Australia houses a collection of both international and Australian art from 1829 to the present day. Special emphasis lies on works from Australia and the Indian Ocean Rim. As well as an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary indigenous art, the gallery displays works by eminent artists such as Hans Heysen and Frederick McCubbin
Hours: Open Wed-Mon 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays, Good Friday, ANZAC Day, and Christmas Day -- Admission: Free, donations welcome
Address: James Street Mall, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth -- Official site: http://artgallery.wa.gov.au/

Western Australian Museum
Near the Art Gallery of Western Australia in the Perth Cultural Centre, the Western Australian Museum unveils the region's natural and social history with a range of exhibits designed to delight and inspire. Perhaps the highlight of the attraction is the large collection of aboriginal artifacts. Other exhibits range from diamonds to dinosaurs and butterflies to birds. Also within the museum complex, visitors can see the old jail, built by convict labor in 1853 and used as a prison and place of execution until 1888.
Hours: Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm, ANZAC Day 1-5pm, closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), New Year's Day, Good Friday -- Admission: Free, $5 donation suggested Address: James Street Mall, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth -- Official site: http://museum.wa.gov.au/

Perth Mint
Perth Mint, where coins are struck and gold bars cast, welcomes visitors. In the Melting House visitors can watch pure gold being poured to form a solid bar. The original vault, from 1899, houses the world's largest collection of gold bars and natural nuggets. Address: 310 Hay St, East Perth -- Official site: http://www.perthmint.com.au

Steeped in maritime and convict history, Fremantle (or "Freo"), at the mouth of the Swan River, is the port of the Western Australian capital and a popular day trip from the city. To access Fremantle, sightseers can hop aboard a ferry and enjoy the scenery while cruising along the Swan River. In the city, fine buildings with richly decorated façades, such as the Italian-style Town Hall, bear witness to the town's late 19th-century wealth. One of the top things to do here, Fremantle Prison is the only World Heritage-listed building in the state. Sightseers can take a guided torchlight tour of its subterranean tunnels.
Built by convict labor in 1851 as a commissariat store and customs house, the Western Australian Maritime Museum houses the winning America's Cup yacht, Australia II, while the Shipwreck Galleries display relics of old ships that met their fate along the coast. Other highlights include the art exhibitions and concerts at Fremantle Arts Centre, heritage trails, and the Fremantle Markets, which began in 1897 and are still held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Rottnest Island
For an idyllic island escape, hop aboard a ferry from Perth or Fremantle to beautiful Rottnest Island, a car-free nature reserve. Glittering reef-fringed bays and white-sand beaches are the top attraction here, but the island also has an interesting history. In 1696, Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and pronounced it an earthly paradise. Confusing the little rock wallabies or quokkas for rats, he named the island Rottnest ('rats' nest'), a name which doesn't do this beautiful island justice. Built by convicts, the limestone cottages around the harbor are among the oldest buildings in Australia. Besides excellent swimming, snorkeling, and fishing, other top things to see include Rottnest Museum in an old barn and threshing mill, the Parker Point Marine Snorkel Trail, and Vlamingh Lookout. Stop by the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre for details on other things to see and do.

Yanchep National Park
Yanchep National Park, about 50 km north of the city, is a favorite weekend escape and the perfect spot for a family picnic. Catering to a range of abilities, scenic walking trails wind through the coastal plain and around the large lake. The park is also rich in wildlife. Nature lovers can wander along a boardwalk to view koalas in their natural habitat, photograph kangaroos, or spot the many species of birds that make their homes in the woodlands and wetlands. Other adventures include cultural tours of the park's rich Nyoongar aboriginal heritage and guided tours among the stalactites and stalagmites of spectacular limestone caves.Official site: http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/yanchep

Caversham Wildlife Park
About a 30-minute drive from Perth, Caversham Wildlife Park is a great place to take the kids for a wildlife fix. All the loveable Aussie animals are in residence here, including koalas, kangaroos, kookaburras, echidnas, and wombats. At Molly's Farm, kids can pat a pony and feed an assortment of farmyard friends. Food is provided. Koala cuddles, keeper talks, sheep-shearing, and whip-cracking demonstrations add more fun to the mix.
Hours: Open daily 9am to 5.30pm, closed Christmas Day -- Admission: Adults $25, Children $11, Students and concession $18 -- Location: Whiteman Park, Whiteman -- Official site: http://www.cavershamwildlife.com.au/
To get a good overview of Perth, you should visit the Western Australian Tourism Centre (Forrest Place, 1300/361-351). The information center will be happy to provide you with maps and brochures, along with some suggested itineraries. One great way to accomplish a lot of sightseeing in a short time is by booking an organized tour. Australian Pinnacle Tours (08/9417-5555) is one of the more reputable tour agencies.
Perth is home to a wide variety of cultural attractions. The Art Gallery of Western Australia (47 James St., 08/9492-6600) houses a fantastic collection of Aboriginal art. The Western Australia Museum (James St. Mall, 08/9427-2700) also houses Aboriginal artifacts, with a great archaeological display on dinosaur fossils found in the area.
As is the case in most of Australia, Perth also has lots of attractions dedicated to nature and the environment. Kings Park and Botanic Garden (King's Park Road, 08/9480-3659) is a Perth highlight. With almost one thousand acres of beautiful gardens and trails right outside of the city's center, the gardens are as popular among the locals as they are with tourists. The Perth Zoo (20 Labouchere Rd., 08/9474-3551) houses all of your Aussie animal favorites, including wombats, kangaroos, crocodiles, and more. Keeping with the animal theme, Cohunu Koala Park (Mills Road East, 08/9390-6090) gives you the opportunity to cuddle a koala, a definite Aussie must. The Aquarium of Western Australia (91 Southside Dr., 08/9477-7500) has a small touching pool, so you can really get up close and personal with the sea life.
Perth has some fantastic beaches. Although you're more than welcome to stake out your own favorite stretch of sand, some of the better places to go include Scarborough, Trigg, and Cottesloe. Bus service will take you right to the shore.
Cottesloe Beach
Sun lovers can choose from a bevy of beautiful beaches in and around Perth. Less than a 15-minute drive from the city center, pine-fringed Cottesloe is one of Perth's most popular strands with its clear waters and thriving café culture. Port Beach is also a favorite, and City Beach has a children's playground and plenty of picnic nooks. For families, the sheltered inlets on the snaking Swan River such as Como, Crawley, and Point Walter are top choices as well as Rockingham Beach, and the sheltered shore at Hillary's Boat Harbour. Trigg Point has one of Perth's best and most reliable surf breaks and Scarborough is another top spot to ride the waves. Further afield, the shores of Rottnest Island and Penguin Island offer excellent snorkeling and are great for fun family day trips.
Perth's superb bike-track network stretches for miles along the Swan River, through Kings Park, around Fremantle, and all the way along the beaches. A great 9.5km (6-mile) track enables a complete loop around Perth Water, the broad expanse of river in front of the central business district. The state's cycling division, Bikewest, publishes a range of useful bike-route maps to the city. They are available in bike shops, from most newsdealers, and at Perth Map Centre, 900 Hay St. (tel. 08/9322 5733).
Rental from About Bike Hire by the Swan River at Point Fraser Reserve (Causeway Carpark; tel. 08/9221 2665; www.aboutbikehire.com.au), about 2km (1 1/4 miles) from the city center, is A$10 for an hour, or A$36 for a 24-hour day for adults, and A$7 or A$22 for children under 12. The day rate, which reduces the longer you have the bike, includes a helmet (required by law in Australia), lock, and pump. Road racers, tandems, kayaks, and other specialized bikes can also be hired. It's open daily 9am to 5pm (8am-6pm in summer).
Most convenient to the city is Burswood Park Public Golf Course, adjacent to (but not part of) the Burswood International Resort Casino, across the river on the Great Eastern Highway, Burswood (tel. 08/9362 7576 for bookings; www.burswoodparkgolfcourse.com).
Even more scenic are the 27 championship fairways at Joondalup Resort, Country Club Boulevard, Connolly, a 25km (16-mile) drive north of Perth (tel. 08/9400 8811 pro shop; www.joondalupresort.com.au); and the Vines in the Swan Valley (tel. 08/9297 3000 resort, or 08/9297 0777 pro shop; www.vines.com.au), which has two 18-hole championship bushland courses. Bookings are essential at both courses, and dress standards apply at all courses (in general, shirts with collars, closed footwear and socks; no jeans or running suits; dress shorts are acceptable).
The tallest Tall Ship in Australia, the barquentine (three-masted) SS Leeuwin II  (tel. 08/9430 4105; www.sailleeuwin.com), sails from B Shed at Victoria Quay, Fremantle, when it is not on voyages around Western Australia. You get the chance to try your hand at sailing the way it used to be, even clambering up the rigging. The ship takes 3-hour daytime, twilight, or brunch trips at A$95 adults or A$60 children 3-13. Check the website for longer, live-on-board ocean voyages.
Experienced sailors can sometimes find a spot in Thursdays' summer twilight events with members of the Royal Perth Yacht Club, Australia II Drive, Crawley (tel. 08/9389 1555, ask for the sailing administrator), if there is a place available. It's not spinnaker sailing, so the action is at an easy pace. Dress standards apply. Funcats Catamaran Hire & Sailing Centre (tel. 04/0892 6003; www.funcats.com.au) rents simple, small catamarans from the South Perth Foreshore.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Just 19km (12 miles) off Perth, Rottnest Island's corals, reef fish, wrecks, and limestone caverns, in 18-to-35m (59-115-ft.) visibility, are a gift from heaven to Perth divers and snorkelers. Contact Perth Diving Academy (tel. 08/9344 7844; www.perthdiving.com.au), to rent gear and/or join a dive trip.
You will find good surfing at many city beaches, Scarborough and Trigg in particular. See the "Hitting the Beaches" section, earlier in this chapter. Rottnest Island also has a few breaks. Surfing WA (tel. 08/9448 0004) runs classes in Perth and around WA; check http://www.sasurfschools.com.au/wa-surf-schools.php.
Eating Out
An array of upscale choices plus terrific cheap ethnic spots make Perth's restaurant scene as sophisticated as Sydney's and Melbourne's -- which is to say, excellent -- though often more expensive. You'll find a great range in "restaurant city," Northbridge. In addition to the eateries listed here, many hotels have excellent restaurants, including the Globe at the Parmelia Hilton and Opus at the Richardson. The Burswood casino complex has numerous restaurants, including the newly opened Rockpool Bar & Grill (tel. 08/6252 1900; www.rockpool.com.au/rockpool-bar-and-grill-perth).
For an excellent introduction to WA's restaurant scene grab yourself a copy of The West Australian Good Food Guide from any bookshop.
There's been major growth in both the cafe culture, and the availability of small bars (often with tapas-style menus), such as the sophisticated Andaluz Bar & Tapas (tel. 08/9481 0093), 29 Howard St., just off St. Georges Terrace. For excellent coffee and cake, inexpensive pasta, or a Turkish bread sandwich, you can't beat Perth's homegrown DOME chain of cafes. Look for the dark green logo, with its CBD outlet at Trinity Arcade overlooking St. Georges Terrace (tel. 08/9226 0210.
Western Australian law bans smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as bars and restaurants. Some licensed premises have smoking zones in outdoor areas.
In Northbridge -- The area is jam-packed with cafes and restaurants, many reflecting the Italian, Greek, Chinese, and Vietnamese migration that has made this part of Perth a staging point in their assimilation.
Looking for a Late-Night Bite
Eating after midnight in Perth can be a problem. Fast Eddy's is an option; otherwise, try Chung Wah Lane in Northbridge. It's more "China Alley" than Chinatown, with several Chinese restaurants, including Uncle Billy's (tel. 08/9228 9388; http://unclebillys.blogspot.com), tucked behind a red-gilt Chinese gateway at 60 Roe St. (behind the Bus Station, btw. William and Lake sts.). The restaurants on this strip mostly open daily between 5 and 6pm and close at 4am.
The Cappuccino Strip
Don't leave Freo without a "short black" (that's an espresso) or a "flat white" (coffee with milk) at one of the many alfresco cafes along South Terrace. On weekends, the street bursts at the seams with locals flocking to Italian-style eateries that serve good coffee and excellent focaccia, pasta, and pizza. DOME, The Merchant, and Gino's are three to look for.
Perth's diverse dining scene rivals anything you'll find in Sydney or Melbourne. Perth is often overlooked because it lies so far west, but whatever you're hungry for will be on the menu here. Miss Maud Swedish Restaurant (97 Murray St., 08/9325-3900) has a motto that explains everything you need to know about this place. Good food and plenty of it. 44 King Street (44 King St., 08/9321-4476) has become a local favorite. The seafood dishes are particularly delicious here. The Cockatoo Island Café (329 Murray St., 08/9324-1272) offers delicious and healthy meals for lunch or dinner. Vulturés (Francis St., 08/9227-9087) has a unique name to befit this eatery's unique style. You'll just have to experience it to understand. The Blue Duck (151 Marine Parade, 08/9385-2499) couples a fantastic menu with a fantastic view.
Perth's nightlife sparkles with options. You could catch a symphony at Perth Concert Hall (5 St. Georges Tce., 03/9231-9900) or an opera at His Majesty's Theatre (825 Hay St., 03/9265-0900). Just outside of the city is the Burswood International Resort Casino (Great Eastern Highway, 08/9362-7777). For great mixed drinks, try The Brass Monkey (209 Williams St., 08/9227-9596). If you would prefer to dance the night away, go to Margeaux's (14 Mill St., in the Perth Parmelia Hilton, 08/9322-3622).
Northbridge houses most of the city's lively pubs and dance clubs, while Freo has good pubs, too. For a take on the traditional pub, head to the Brass Monkey, 209 William St., at James Street, Northbridge (tel. 08/9227 9596; www.thebrassmonkey.com.au). Downstairs are several bars, and there's a refurbished grill room upstairs. The Laugh Resort comedy club performs upstairs in the Glass House at 8pm on Wednesdays for a A$12 cover.
The Subiaco Hotel, also known as the "Subi," 465 Hay St. at Rokeby Road, Subiaco (tel. 08/9381 3069; www.subiacohotel.com.au), is a popular historic pub with great cocktails, live music on Wednesday and Saturday nights, and an eatery.
The Perth International Arts Festival has a vibrant, jumping music scene, nightly, for the entire 3 1/2 weeks, at Beck's Music Box, a specially created and licensed open-air venue on Perth's Esplanade. There are ticketed headline acts at 8:30pm, followed by varied performers from 10:30pm until late with free entry, but numbers limited by capacity -- check www.perthfestival.com.au.
The biggest place on the nightclub scene is Metro City, 146 Roe St., Northbridge (tel. 08/9228 0500), with 10 bars over three levels, open every Saturday night from 10pm. The cover of A$10 increases to A$15 after 11pm. It opens on other weekend nights for special events with visiting bands and artists; check www.metroconcertclub.com for details.
In Fremantle, the Metropolis, 58 S. Terrace (tel. 08/9336 1880), is a complex of two dance floors and eight bars on several levels. It has disco nights Fridays 9:30pm-4am, and Saturday 9pm-5am; the cover is usually in the A$15 range. See www.metropolisfremantle.com.au for schedules.
Several jazz clubs are run on a not-for-profit basis, including the Perth Jazz Society, with modern contemporary music played Monday night at the Charles Hotel, 509 Charles St., North Perth (www.perthjazzsociety.com), and Jazz Fremantle, with "crossover" music played most Sundays 4 to 7pm at the Navy Club, 64 High St., Fremantle (www.mediahighway.com.au/jazzfremantle). The Ellington Jazz Club, 191 Beaufort St., Northbridge, Perth (tel. 04/0806 9867; www.ellingtonjazz.com.au) is a dedicated jazz establishment with a performance and cabaret area, and bar, upstairs (Tues-Sun and some Mondays).
Burswood Entertainment Complex, on the Great Eastern Highway just over the river from the city (tel. 08/9362 7777; www.burswood.com.au), houses WA's only legal casino. It operates 24/7 except Good Friday and December 25 (closed 3am-10pm), and April 25 (Anzac Day; closed 3am-noon), and is open to everyone over the age of 18. Dress code is "neat and tidy," with smarter standards after 7pm. There are multiple restaurants and bars, a 1400 capacity nightclub, and a 2,300-seat theater which features frequent major international acts. It's an A$15 to A$20 cab ride from the city, or take a train to Burswood station.
The best shopping in Perth is found in the city center. Most major chain stores can be found within close proximity of one another in the Hay Street Mall or Murray Street Mall. Exclusive Gold (Plaza Arcade, Hay St. Mall, 08/9325-8396) is one place to go for excellent prices on jewelry, particularly opals. If you're looking for something a little more off the beaten path, consider Indigenart (115 Hay St., 08/9388-2899). A collection of work from Australia's Aboriginal artists can be found here. South Sea pearls are world famous, and Western Australia is the place to get them. Consider trying Linneys Jewelers (37 Rokeby Rd., 08/9382-4077), where you can get a custom-designed keepsake.
Most major shops are downtown on the parallel Hay Street and Murray Street malls, and in the network of arcades running off them, such as the Plaza, City, Carillon, and Tudor-style London Court arcades. Off Murray Street Mall on Forrest Place is the Forrest Chase shopping complex, housing the Myer department store and boutiques on two levels. The other major department store, David Jones, opens on to both malls. Add to your collection of international designer brands on posh King Street, in the west end. Harbourtown, at the western edge of the city, is a large complex housing "factory outlets" of numerous retail chains.
If you want to avoid the chains, spend half a day in Subiaco or "Subi," where Hay Street and Rokeby Road are lined with smart boutiques, galleries, and cafes. The Colonnade shopping center at 388 Hay St. showcases some groovy Aussie fashion designers.
Fremantle's shopping is mostly limited to a good selection of crafts, markets, and Aboriginal souvenirs, with several galleries in High Street.
Local Arts & Crafts
Two shops showcase contemporary ceramic, textile, glass, and jewelry products: Form, at 357 Murray St. just round the corner from King Street (tel. 08/9226 2161); and Aspects of Kings Park, behind the Visitor Centre in Kings Park (tel. 08/9480 3900).
Aboriginal Arts & Crafts
Creative Native, Shop 58, Forrest Chase, opposite the Visitor Centre (tel. 08/9221 5800; www.creativenative.com.au), stocks Perth's widest range of Aboriginal arts and crafts, and includes a gallery that sells original works by some renowned Aboriginal artists. Another branch is at 73 High St., Fremantle (tel. 08/9335 6995). Also in Fremantle, Japingka Gallery, 47 High St. (tel. 08/9335 8265; www.japingka.com.au), is dedicated to encouraging and exhibiting Aboriginal Australian art, a large stock of it certificated.
Indigenart (incorporating the Mossenson Gallery), 115 Hay St., Subiaco (tel. 08/9388 2899, www.indigenart.com.au), stocks works on canvas, paper, and bark, as well as artifacts, textiles, pottery, didgeridoos, boomerangs, and sculpture, by Aboriginal artists from all over Australia.
Western Australia is renowned for farming the world's best South Sea pearls off Broome, for Argyle diamonds mined in the Kimberley, and for being one of the world's biggest gold producers.
Kailis Jewellery, 29 King St. (tel. 08/9422 3888; www.kailisjewellery.com.au), sells elegant South Sea pearls and gold jewelry. Another branch is located at the corner of Marine Terrace and Collie Street, Fremantle (tel. 08/9239 9330).
Some of Perth's other leading jewelers, where you can buy Argyle diamonds, Broome pearls, and opals set within locally designed WA gold jewelry, are Linneys, 37 Rokeby Rd., Subiaco (tel. 08/9382 4077; www.linneys.com.au), and Costello's, Shop 5-6, London Court (tel. 08/9325 8588). Linneys also has locations at 39 King St. and Burswood Resort. For opals to suit all budgets, head to the Perth outlet of Quilpie Opals, Shop 6, Piccadilly Arcade off Hay Street Mall (tel. 08/9321 8687).

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