Published on May 31st, 2012 | by john.weir0
Royal recognition in Australia’s sunniest city
Perth, Australia’s sunniest capital city, is transforming its river landscape with a new $440 million development at the heart of the city.
Western Australia’s Premier, Colin Barnett, has announced the new waterfront precinct will be named Elizabeth Quay, in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her Diamond Jubilee year. Premier Barnett said the name was a fitting tribute following the Royal Visit last year, the Queen’s seventh to WA, which culminated in a Big Aussie Barbecue for the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and 100,000 Australians on the site of the new waterfront.
The development will include a mix of hotels, apartments, shops, cafes and restaurants, all set around a 2.7ha inlet and connected by promenades and boardwalks. Works to construct the inlet are scheduled to start in late 2012 with the waterfront on track for completion in mid-2015.
The changing face of Perth
The new Elizabeth Quay is part of a major renaissance in the beachside city of Perth which is seeking to establish itself as one of the major cities in Australasia and boost tourism numbers. Other developments include a major new sports arena, performing arts complex as well as a number of new hotels, such as the 5-star 15-room Terrace Hotel, which will open its doors in July and the A$200 million new Fraser Suites, offering studio, one and two bedroom apartments overlooking the Swan River opening at the end of 2012. The introduction of more relaxed licensing laws has also led to a flood of small bars and restaurants opening in previously forgotten laneways.
New flights – one of the fastest routes to Australia
It has also never been easier to get to Perth. Qatar Airways is launching their first ever flights to the WA capital on 3 July 2012. Flights from London Heathrow and Manchester will operate three times a week before moving to a daily service in November 2012. The new service via Doha is set to be one of the fastest Down Under, taking just over 19 hours. Perth is four hours closer than Sydney for British travellers.
Flights from the 5-star carrier cost from £765 per person (www.qatarairways.com/uk).
Perth receives more hours of sunshine than any other Australia state capital and has 19 city beaches to enjoy it on. A surfer’s and snorkeller’s paradise, it also has one of the largest inner city parks in the world. Kings Park combines untamed bushland and ancient Aboriginal history with botanical gardens housing one of the largest collections of wildflowers in the world. Wildlife lovers can spot quokkas, pint-sized kangaroos, on Rottnest Island or swim with wild dolphins at Shoalwater Islands Marine Park near Rockingham. A 30-minute drive east of the city is the Swan Valley, WA’s oldest wine growing region, where visitors can enjoy free tastings at its vineyards, microbreweries and boutique food producers.
- · Mundaring Truffle Festival, Perth surrounds: Every July the Perth Hills come alive with the scent of truffle. Western Australia is one of the rare places in the world where the black truffle grows in abundance. Indulge your senses at a cooking master class, the gourmet produce market or over wine and truffle tastings. (28 – 29 July 2012)
- · The Avon Descent, Perth surrounds: Competitors pit themselves against the mighty Avon River in a variety of power and paddle crafts in an exciting two-day time trial over 134 kilometres. The Avon Descent attracts participants from throughout Australia and overseas. (4-5 August 2012)
- · Kings Park Festival, Perth: Western Australian blooms are on show for the month of September in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. Colourful wildflowers will be coupled with the Festival’s packed events programme including gardening workshops, art displays, and live music. (1-30 September 2012)