England’s cricketers may want to forget their efforts in Perth as quickly as possible, but for those visiting Australia’s unique west coast city, there is plenty to enjoy no matter who’s holding the Ashes.
For any England fan needing some peace and quiet after the trauma of the third Test, the Kings Park and Botanical Gardens – one of the largest inner-city parks in the world – provides magnificent views of the striking city skyline, and a picnic amongst the varied flora and fauna is an absolute must.
Keen sightseers can take in the very best of the city with a cruise along the Swan River, while those seeking a dose of civilisation after five days in the company of 20,000 blood-thirsty Australian fans can take a trip to Western Australia Symphony Orchestra or visit the Perth Mint where they have the world’s largest gold coin – a symbol of the mining past of the region.
If you think a little retail therapy might help you alleviate the trauma of watching an England batting collapse, then Perth can accommodate you too. King Street in the city’s West End is the place for the glamorous, high end, designer brands, whilst the nearby Murray and Hay Street Malls are pedestrianised areas with a wide range of shops. On the weekend a variety of markets pop up, including some fantastic Farmers markets giving you a chance to sample a great range of fresh food.
Perth’s finest cuisine, however, is fish, and a 30-minute drive to the port city of Freemantle is the place to go for some of the best fresh seafood restaurants in the area – from huge plates of prawns to octopus, Perth is a fish-lover’s paradise. Wine lovers should make a beeline to the picturesque Swan Valley vineyards – guided tours run regularly from the city centre.
Of course, if you’d rather doing nothing, just head for the beach. As shown by the gaping chasms in the WACA pitch this week, the sun shines and shines in Perth, and the Sunset Coast is the perfect place for the whole family to chill out. The sheltered strip at Cottesloe Beach is a fantastic place to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean – add a cocktail or two and any memories of Mitchell Johnson’s moustache will simply fade away. And when you’ve had enough of lying on your back, head to Western Australia’s surfing hotspot, Scarborough Beach – it’s a million (well, several thousand) miles away from the Yorkshire coast.
And if all of that doesn’t make up for the disappointment of an England defeat, nothing will!