Capital of Western Australia and home to 77% of the state’s population, Perth lies on the banks of the Swan and Canning Rivers between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Ranges. It is served by the port of Fremantle (‘Freo’) which is 20 km away. Located far from any other Australian city, Perth is an important transport terminus. The discoveries of gold in the nineteenth century and of iron ore and nickel in the twentieth century made for a booming economy. The city’s favourable climate and natural environment make it a popular tourist destination.
Nyoongar Aboriginals moved into the region 40,000 years ago but it was not until 1697 that Dutchman Willem de Vlamingh named the Swan River. By the 1820s there was a heavy British presence in Australia but much of the west coast remained unclaimed. Fearing French and American expansion, the British sent Captain James Stirling to choose a settlement site. The town was established 2 years later when Captain Sir Charles...