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Perth is the capital of the enormous state of Western Australia and it sits out alone on Australia's West Coast, a staggering 3000 miles from Sydney! Thanks to the lack of people and urban areas in this part of the world, Perth has become a spacious city and it also has numerous beaches to its name. The people live a laid-back lifestyle, so hop on a flight to Perth and join them!
The city has a subtropical climate, with beaches that lie on the Swan Coastal Plain - which is close enough to the Indian Ocean as makes no difference! When you arrive on your Perth flight you will be able to sample a great mix of city living and lovely beaches that aren't crammed to the hilt with other people also trying to relax.
Although Perth has a small population, there's a vibrant cultural scene thanks to immigrants from across Asia as well as from Africa. This makes for a diverse range of arts, food and entertainment.
There are a variety of airlines that offer flights to Perth, so be sure to use our simple search to make sure you get a great deal. All flights will include at least one stopover, with Kuala Lumpur, China and Hong Kong the usual destinations for this. Don't be fooled into thinking that you have to have two stopovers to get a cheap flight to Perth - there are plenty of cheap one-stop flights too. Make sure you check your itinerary carefully and you'll be able to make the delicate trade-off between travel time and price. Expect to be underway from the UK to Perth for at least 20 hours, no matter how expensive your flight is!
Flights to Perth will take upwards of 20 hours from the UK, and include at least one stopover along the way. If you're interested in exploring along the way you could look for deals with overnight stays, which sometimes bring the costs down to boot. Perth is generally the cheapest destination in Australia to get to so it may also be worth thinking about getting yourself some internal flights to see more of the country. There is only one airport in Perth and it serves much of the state of Western Australia.
You have a choice of options for onward travel once your flight arrives at Perth, depending on whether you arrive from the UK or from Australia. Note that although they are the same airport, the International and Domestic terminals are pretty far apart with an infrequent shuttle connection.
International Perth Flight Arrivals: When you arrive on your long haul flight to Perth, you have two choices. There are shuttle buses that visit the major hotels in the city and there are taxis. If you're travelling alone then the shuttle bus is definitely cheaper, but if there are two or more then it's a good idea to take a taxi. The cost will be the same or cheaper and you'll get there a lot quicker.
Domestic Perth Flight Arrivals: There is also a local bus service that connects the domestic terminal to the centre. This is a cheap way of travelling, and services run every 30 minutes. There may not be very much space for luggage though.
Another option once you land, whether your flight to Perth touches down at the International or Domestic terminal, is to get a hire car. Bear in mind that you will have to drive and navigate it after a long flight to Perth from the UK, but it will give you plenty of additional freedom too.
You can travel around the centre of Perth for free on the dedicated CAT buses as well as on the Transperth buses within the designated area, so it's really easy to see more of the central areas. Further afield, the buses and trains stretch out into the suburbs so it's not very hard to travel around on public transport. The free travel is aimed at reducing the traffic at the centre so using your hire car to take you into the busiest areas might be a little stressful, and taxis can often be hard to come by so make sure you plan your journeys in advance. There are plenty of cycle routes and lots of pedestrianised areas so Perth is a great place to kickstart that exercise regime and do some sightseeing at the same time.
Domestic flights are the best way to travel vast distances in Australia but if you prefer a slower pace of life there are plenty of options. You could drive the coastal road from Perth to Melbourne and take in some of the most dramatic coastline you could ever hope to find, but be warned, it's not a short trip! With your hire car you could also head north to the Coral Bay area of the state to combine your city trip with some great diving. Alternatively embark on one of the world's greatest train journeys from Perth to Sydney via Kalgoorlie, Adelaide and Broken Hill. You can also head up to Darwin or Broome on the greyhound coach but this trip is also not for the faint of heart or the easily bored!
Perth's weather is similar to the Mediterranean climate with short mild winters and long hot and dry summers. Summer starts in December and end in March, with February being the hottest month of all. Temperatures average around 30°C and although these months tend to be pretty dry, very wet days with huge downpours aren't unheard of so be sure to check the forecast or take your umbrella just in case. If you aren't a fan of really hot weather then spring and autumn could be perfect. These two seasons are very similar in Perth, with plenty of warm sunshine and just a little more rain than in the summer. With average temperatures of around 22°C in the daytime there will still be plenty of chances to enjoy the great outdoors. Winter rarely brings very cold weather but rainfall is much more common, with July tending to be the rainiest month. Temperatures around 15°C in the daytime won't have you reaching for your winter coat but at night it can get a little colder, but with the mercury hovering around 8°C it won't feel anything like as cold as winter in the UK.
Spring tends to be the peak of the tourist season for Perth holidays, before the heat of the summer really kicks in. If you want to visit during the height of the hustle and bustle it might be worth thinking about booking your flights and accommodation well in advance, and you'll probably have to be more planned as well to make sure you get to the main sights before the crowds really hit. Consider autumn as the best alternative, the climate is very similar but the prices will be a lot easier on the pocket, perhaps meaning you could stay longer. Sun worshippers can't beat summer for their holiday to Perth, although you'll want to take a leaf out of the locals' book and make sure you've got plenty of suncream on at all times. Winter is great if you want to see more of the cultural attractions and get to know the heart of the city as you probably won't want to be heading out to the park in the pouring rain!
Perth has a great music scene, with Indie bands, electronica groups and dance music DJs regularly coming to the city between October and March, so check out the local listings if you want to get involved. Alternatively, you could plan your trip around February's Big Day Out music festival. January sees Australia Day as well as the Perth Cup horse race so you can enjoy lots of nationalistic partying to accompany these events. If you fancy something a little more diverse then the Festival of Perth in February-March could be the ticket, with concerts, theatre events and dance citywide. March is the month for getting to know the island of Rottnest better, as the Rottnest Festival offers plenty of events for the whole family, or you could explore Western Australia's origins at West Week in June. If you're more interested in the delicious food and wine that they have, the June is the time to go, with the Burswood Wine and Food Festival. Celebrate the return of spring in September-October with both the King's Park and Botanical Gardens Wildflower Festival and Spring in the Valley. October sees the alternative arts festival Artrage as well as the boastfully named Awesome Festival which concentrates on more child-friendly art projects. Festival Fremantle in November brings the carnival to town and you won't want to miss the RAC Channel Seven Christmas Pageant or Shakespeare in the Park is you're Down Under for Christmas.
GMT +8 hours
English is the official language, although you may come across a couple of unfamiliar phrases now and then!
+61 to call Australia followed by 08 92, 08 93 and 08 94 all in use for Perth. Mobile numbers all start with 04 and must be dialled in full.
The voltage in Australia is 220V as in the UK, but the sockets are shaped differently so you will need an adapter. These will be three-pronged but the bottom two will be at an angle instead of vertical.
Australian Dollars (AUD). You will find that the Australian rates don't tend to be very favourable so make sure that you take at least some currency with you on your travels. Alternatively, you can get a prepay credit card and then use it like a normal chip and pin card whilst you're Down Under.
A holiday in Perth is on a par with visiting a city in the UK.
Tipping isn't encouraged and the workers are all paid a fair wage but that needn't stop you if you want. Restaurants are the most common place to leave a tip, with more people doing to than not, and when using taxis rounding the price up seems to be the way to go. Be aware that in restaurants it's actually illegal for them to make you pay a service charge that is a percentage of your bill, but be prepared to pay the Goods and Services Tax which will be 10% on most things that you buy.
Customs by and large are very similar to the UK so we should have no problems fitting in. If you're asked to bring a plate to a barbeque though, make sure you bring enough food to fit on a plate, not just the empty plate or you could be going hungry!
There are some poisonous animals in Australia but they very infrequently harm people. If you're heading to the beach make sure you choose one with a lifeguard patrol and stick to the rules, like swimming between the flags. The lifeguards are always on the lookout for sharks and jellyfish and will alert you if there is any danger. Other than that, the normal precautions apply such as being on the look out for pickpockets in busy city areas and using your common sense when it comes to heading out at night.
You don't have to have any vaccinations but you might like to check with your doctor before you travel that you are up to date with all your jabs. Make sure that you have health insurance that covers you for all the exciting things that you plan to do, and you are also entitled to some subsidised health care as a UK national.
You need to apply for an electronic visa here prior to flying to Perth. There is no fee but some visitors may also need a medical check before they can enter the country.
When you've picked up a cheap flight Perth there are plenty of attractions on your doorstep as well as beyond, if you want to hire a car. Visit King's Park and Botanical Gardens, climb Swan Bell Tower, and marvel at the creatures on view at the Aquarium of Western Australia. Find out how much you're worth at Perth Mint, and get to know the animals at Perth Zoo. If you want a day trip, then Rottnest Island is great - it's got cute critters and stunning beaches.
Get out and about in the area too and see Fremantle, a trendy town nearby where you'll find the Berndt Museum of Anthropology, home to one of the country's best collections of Aboriginal art. Wine tours and visits to some of the coast's remote beaches are also fantastic ways to make use of your car.
Perth has some big events happening in 2014 and 2015 so why not take this opportunity to see what all the fuss is about?