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Perth History

Life was no bed of roses when the British first settled in Perth, but the discovery of gold and minerals transformed this city into a glittering boomtown.

Before the Brits arrived in town, the area was home to the Noongar, who arrived from the north 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. The first European visitors were the Dutch, who hit the coast of Western Australia entirely by accident in the early 1600s, when they were blown off course en route to Jakarta.

But when the British suspected the pesky French had their eye on this part of Australia, they made their move west, arriving in 1827 and establishing a colony at the mouth of the Swan River before officially declaring the foundation of Perth in 1829. Families were enticed to the area with free plots of land, but Perth’s isolation made it a hard sell.

Relations with the aboriginal population started off well enough, but soon deteriorated, and it wasn’t long before settlers forced the indigenous peoples to move elsewhere.

A boost to Perth’s population and labour force came when convicts were introduced in 1850. And the city hit the big time when gold was discovered in the 1890s. Post-WWII migration and the minerals boom of the 1960s and 70s saw further growth in the city’s population and skyline.

Today, Perth is home to a diverse population drawn from waves of multicultural migration. The resources and mining boom has continued and ensured that Perth continues to grow and develop as a bustling and interesting city. It is now one of Australia’s most desired places to live.

Did you know?
• When convicts were brought in to bolster Perth’s labour force, the first construction project they worked on was their own jail, the UNESCO-listed Fremantle Prison.
• Perth became known as the ‘City of Light’ after the city’s residents turned on all the lights as US astronaut John Glenn flew overhead in 1962. They did it again for him in 1998.
• Inaugurated in 1953, the Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Featured Hotels


The Great Southern Hotel

This hotel is located in Northbridge, the main cultural and entertainment neighbourhood in Perth, and a short walk from the city centre. The mid-size, affordable hotel features 94 rooms, a no frills restaurant and late-night bar.

Royal Hotel

Located right in central Perth this quirky hotel offers comfortable accommodation with a reasonable price tag. Perhaps the best part of Royal Hotel Perth is its location steps from transportation stops and close to major shopping malls boutiques art galleries theatres cinemas and other local attractions.

West Beach Lagoon

Leisure travellers will get bang for their buck in the self-contained one-or two-bedroom apartment at West Beach Lagoon, located off Scarborough Beach on Perth's Sunset Coast. The resort offers a spa, waterslide, and beautiful scenery, with Perth's city centre only a car ride away.

Hotel Northbridge

Hotel Northbridge is a comfortable boutique Perth hotel in a renovated old Australian pub with wide verandas. The studio-style rooms have a large double corner spa in every room. Stylish and with great service and an award-winning restaurant, the hotel is a very convenient place to stay as it is located just minutes from Perth's city centre and the Northbridge cultural district.

Miss Maud Swedish Hotel

Miss Maud Swedish Hotel is a slice of Sweden in the middle of Perth. A boutique family hotel, it has a charm and character all of its own, and guests are made to feel welcome and appreciated. The rooms are cosy and comfortable, and the ground floor restaurant serves a hearty Swedish smorgasbord, including free breakfast for hotel guests.

Rendezvous Observation City Hotel

Situated right on Scarborough Beach, Rendezvous Observation City Hotel offers panoramic ocean views of the Indian Ocean. There are 333 guest rooms (including six suites), two restaurants and four bars, a heated tropical lagoon pool and spa, a health club, steam room and tennis courts. Perth city centre is only 15 minutes away but you'll feel a million miles away.