Why go? Closer to Asia than Sydney or Melbourne, Perth’s isolation is one of its greatest lures. Now, its remote wilds are a kangaroo hop away as Qantas launches the first direct Heathrow-Perth flights from March, transforming what was once a multi- day, multi-stop route into one 17-hour journey.
Many will eye the connection possibilities to Australia’s east coast, but Perth deserves more attention. It’s a city that blurs nature with its urban sprawl like few others and a case in point is Kings Park – one of the planet’s largest city parks. Its bushland trails are more like leafy wilderness than a city centre, affording fine views of the Swan River and brushtail possum sightings.
Elsewhere, Mettam’s Pool affords fine reef snorkeling. Gaze out to sea and you’ll spy the care-free (and car-free) Rottnest Island, a mix of heath and scrubland webbed with cycle trails and ringed by limpid-blue bays and reefs. Make sure you say hello to its chirpy resident, the quokka. Perth isn’t just wild thrills.
Its Art Gallery of Western Australia boasts a collection of Aboriginal works, nearby Fremantle has rich convict history and the sprawling Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest winelands: the perfect place to toast unsung Australia.
Where to stay? The 19th-century Terrace Hotel is on Kings Park’s doorstep.
Get there now! Qantas will fly from London Heathrow to Perth 14 times a week from 25 Mar.
Or how about this… Easyjet will launch twice-weekly flights from London Luton to Reus, Spain, from 27 Mar.