Perth Travel Guide

Geography

Central business district

The central business district of Perth is bounded by the Swan River to the south and east, with Kings Park on the western end, while the railway reserve formed a northern border. A state and federally funded project named Perth City Link involves sinking a section of the railway line, to link Northbridge and the CBD for the first time in 100 years. The Perth Arena is a building in the city link area that has received a number of architecture awards. Also, an inlet on the Swan River is currently being built to connect the city to the river. St Georges Terrace is the prominent street of the area with 1.3 million m² of office space in the CBD. Hay Street and Murray Street have most of the retail and entertainment facilities. The tallest building in the city is Central Park, which is the seventh tallest building in Australia. The CBD has recently been the centre of a mining-induced boom, with several commercial and residential projects due for completion, including a office building for Australian/British mining company BHP Billiton.

Geology and landforms

Perth is set on the Swan River, named after the native black swans in 1697 by Willem de Vlamingh, captain of a Dutch expedition and namer of WA's Rottnest Island. Traditionally, this water body has been known by Aboriginal inhabitants as Derbarl Yerrigan. The city centre and most of the suburbs are located on the sandy and relatively flat Swan Coastal Plain, which lies between the Darling Scarp and the Indian Ocean. The soils of this area are quite infertile. The metropolitan area extends along the coast to Two Rocks in the north and Singleton to the south, a total distance of approximately . From the coast in the west to Mundaring in the east is a total distance of approximately . The Perth metropolitan area covers .

Much of Perth was originally built on a series of freshwater wetlands running from Herdsman Lake in the west through to Claisebrook Cove in the east.

The coastal suburbs' placement is advantageous due to proximity to Perth's oceanside location and clean beaches. To the east, the city is bordered by a low escarpment called the Darling Scarp. Perth is on generally flat, rolling land – largely due to the high amount of sandy soils and deep bedrock. The Perth metropolitan area has two major river systems; the first is made up of the Swan and Canning Rivers. The second is that of the Serpentine and Murray Rivers, which discharge into the Peel Estuary at Mandurah.

Climate

Perth receives moderate though highly seasonal rainfall, making it the fourth wettest Australian capital city after Darwin, Sydney and Brisbane. Summers are generally hot and dry, lasting from December to late March, with February generally being the hottest month of the year, while winters are relatively cool and wet, making Perth a classic example of a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Summer is not completely devoid of rain with sporadic rainfall in the form of short-lived thunderstorms, weak cold fronts and on very rare occasions decaying tropical cyclones from Western Australia's north-west which can bring significant rainfall. The highest ever recorded temperature in Perth was on 23 February 1991, although Perth Airport recorded on the same day. On most summer afternoons a sea breeze, also known as the "Fremantle doctor", blows from the southwest, providing relief from the hot north-easterly winds. Temperatures often fall below a few hours after the arrival of the wind change. Perth is a particularly sunny city for a Mediterranean climate, with an average of 8.8 hours of sunshine per day, which equates to around 3200 hours of annual sunshine.

Winters are relatively cool and wet, with most of Perth's annual rainfall between May and September. The lowest temperature recorded in Perth was on 17 June 2006. The lowest temperature within the Perth metropolitan area was on the same day at Jandakot Airport.

The rainfall pattern has changed in Perth and Southwest Western Australia since the mid-1970s. A significant reduction in winter rainfall has been observed with a greater number of extreme rainfall events in the summer months, such as slow-moving storms on 8 February 1992 which brought of rain, the highest recorded in Perth, and a severe thunderstorm on 22 March 2010, which brought of rain and caused significant damage in the metropolitan area.

Isolation

The nearest city to Perth with a population of more than 100,000 is Adelaide, South Australia, which is away. Author Bill Bryson states that Perth is the most remote city on earth, which he justifies by noting that the population of metropolitan Perth is greater than the combined populations of the rest of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia, west of Adelaide. However, other measures suggest that Honolulu (population 900,000), which is from San Francisco; or Auckland (population 1.5M), which is from Sydney, New South Wales, are more isolated.

Perth is geographically closer to both Dili, East Timor, and Jakarta, Indonesia, than Sydney, Brisbane, Queensland, or Canberra, Australian Capital Territory .

source: Wikipedia

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