Perth is a pretty city yet, at the same time, a little curious. There are walkways and cycle routes all along the river banks, providing zero excuses not to have a fantastic outdoors lifestyle. The city centre is neatly laid out, all thoroughly modern and regular. It is clean. The gardens are lush and exceedingly well maintained. There are amazingly tall buildings (some growing taller by the week) that give me that strange feeling – like I’ve got vertigo, but in reverse.
There are also walls filled with potted plants.
Then there are cute, older buildings tucked in amongst the shiny and newer ones that give just a hint of what Perth might have looked like back in the boom days of the gold rushes in Coolgardie (1892) and Kalgoorlie (1893).
My two favourite examples are the Perth Mint (built in 1899 as a direct result of the gold rushes) and the Old Perth Fire Station, built around 1900.
In some places just a façade remains; a colourfully painted colonial front to a shiny, glassy, monstrous office or apartment block behind. I’m still not quite sure what to make of them.
Much of what you see in Perth today is the result of the mineral wealth (specifically gold) of Western Australia.
Perth is also home to the highest population (per capita) of self-made millionaires – usually having had something to do with mining i.e. the financial backing of a mining/exploration venture.
Perth is also a very expensive city to visit. You’d be lucky to get change from $20 for two pints of the local Swan Draught, which I enjoyed (a lot). On the other hand, the minimum wage is relatively high (ok, vastly higher than in the UK!!).
It’s also (usually) really sunny in Perth (on average 8 hours per day) – quite different to its namesake Perth, Scotland!