A few months ago I moved to Perth from Sydney. Most of my friends in Sydney think I've lost the plot. They're forever coming up with questions like "Isn't Perth just a small country town?", "Is there anywhere to go out?", and "Do they have Uber over there?".
Yes we do have Uber, but that's not even important compared to all these beautiful reasons to visit Perth and the West Coast of Australia.
1) Meet a quokka at Rottnest Island
Just off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is home to the cutest marsupial on earth, the quokka. These little guys were made to be social media stars, so if you want to snap a quokka selfie you'll have to come to Perth.
2) Relax at Cottesloe Beach
Characterised by its shady Norfolk Pine trees and chilled out vibes, Cottesloe is Perth's iconic beach destination. Cottesloe also levels up against east coast rival Bondi by having its own edition of Sculpture by the Sea every summer.
3) Be amazed at the Pinnacles Desert
It doesn't take long for the west to get wild. Drive just 2hrs 15mins north of Perth city centre and you'll find the Pinnacles Desert. No one really knows how the Pinnacles came to be here, set in bright yellow sand, while all surrounding areas are either white sand or red dust. The more you look at these curious limestone structures the more you see, with animal shapes, faces and more seeming to reveal themselves on the surface of the rocks.
4) Taste all of the wine at Margaret River
When it comes to wine, the Margaret River region is renowned for some of Australia's favourite drops. The area is also packed full of popular surf beaches like Injidup, Yallingup and Three Bears, and it's only 3hrs drive south of Perth.
5) Catch a game at Optus Stadium
Recently voted the most beautiful sports facility in the world at the Prix Versailles 2019 international architecture awards, Perth's 60,000 seat Optus Stadium is a whole new experience for sports fans.
6) Dance the night away in Northbridge
On a Friday and Saturday night, Perth's main party district has a huge choice of venues and streets packed full of party goers all the way through the night. There's also a big underground party scene in Perth, and without the lockout laws that have been imposed in some Australian cities a night out really can mean a whole night. Start your night with a beer and a pizza at the Northbridge Brewing Co.
7) Frolic among the flowers at Kings Park
Kings Park is Perth's largest inner city open space, with a multitude of gardens to explore and breathtaking views across the river to the CBD, South Perth and beyond.
8) Sip a fancy coffee in Fremantle
An entire destination city in itself, Fremantle's markets, cappuccino strip cafes and harbourside restaurants attract locals and tourists on every sunny day. Visit Fremantle Prison for a history lesson with the chance of a supernatural presence.
9) Catch some waves at Scarborough Beach
Scarborough's pristine white sand and excellent surf breaks are a big draw for beach lovers from all around the city. Spend your evenings drinking at the many bars along the beachfront, checking out the view from the perfectly located Sunset Hill or shopping at the Sunset Markets.
10) Swim, snorkel and dive in paradise at Ningaloo Reef
Australia's most beautiful marine life is right here on the West Coast. Walk just a few steps into the ocean from the virtually untouched beaches to swim amongst stunning corals, brightly coloured tropical fish, turtles and whale sharks.
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Nicki Ranger is a freelance writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia.
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