Despite being more than 1,300 miles from any other conurbation, Perth doesn’t feel particularly isolated. A clean and prosperous place of some 2 million inhabitants, it seems like a city of the future. It was founded in 1829, but not much happened until the 1890s and the discovery of gold. The exploitation of Western Australia’s enormous mineral resources in the ’70s began a cycle of growth that continues. As an Australian acquaintance said to us, “Perth? It can be expensive — but they’re all rich there.”
We certainly saw this affluence in new upscale developments such as Brookfield Place, with its luxury shops and varied restaurants — “We’re going to give Melbourne a run for its money,” one restaurateur told me — the high-end retailers in the city’s malls, and lively sports and arts scenes.
During our time in Perth, we stayed at two hotels. The larger, the Duxton Hotel, has 306 rooms and suites. On the eastern side of the central business district, the property is within easy walking distance of most of the places travelers will want to visit.