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Welcome to Perth…the city with lights, sun and surf. With silver skyscrapers glinting in the sun, a remarkably blue sky, energetic outdoorsy vibrancy, and the sparkling Indian Ocean and glorious white beaches just a bus ride from downtown. It likes to boast that it gets more sunshine than any other city in Australia, some 300 days a year.

The site that is now Perth had been occupied by groups of the Nyoongar tribe for thousands of years. They, and their ancestors, can be traced back some 40,000 years (verified by discoveries of stone implements near the Swan Bridge).

In December 1696, three ships in the fleet commanded by de Valmingh - Nijptangh, Geelvinck and Het Weseltje - anchored off Rottnest Island. On 5 January 1697, a well-armed party landed near present-day Cottesloe Beach then marched eastwards to the Swan River near Freshwater Bay.

They tried to contact some of the Nyoongar to enquire about the fate of survivors of the Ridderschap van Hollant, lost in 1694, but were unsuccessful. They sailed north, but not before de Vlamingh had bestowed the name Swan on the river.

Perth was founded in 1829 as the Swan River Settlement, but it grew very slowly until 1850, when convicts were brought in to alleviate the labour shortage. Many of Perth's fine buildings, such as Government House and Perth Town Hall, were built using convict labour.

The city is a must see destination for all visitors. It is the State's centre for the arts, for business, government and entertainment. The Perth Cultural Centre, featuring the State Library, Museum and Art Gallery is one of the most popular attractions for visitors from near and far.

Shopping enthusiasts will be easily satisfied by Western Australia's largest range of shops and boutiques, while sports fans will be delighted in cricket and football fixtures at the WACA ground and Gloucester Park harness racing.

You can find here a number of riverside and beachside restaurants and cafes to dine at, world-class golf courses, over 80 kilometres (50 miles) of white sandy beaches to sunbathe on and a mecca of outdoor activities and experiences to enjoy

The line-up of water-based fun includes boating, fishing and all dialogues of surfing. Fremantle's majestic historic architecture takes you back in time, while its marine heritage draws you to the ocean and a short ferry ride to Rottnest Island.