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Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Perth, Australia's coastal boomtown

Nov 23 2012, 17:52 IST
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SummaryPerth is the centre of the country's iron ore and oil and gas boom.

The hometown of Australia's richest citizen, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, Perth is the centre of the country's iron ore and oil and gas boom. with some of the largest resources firms churning out billions in profits here. But Perth has a laid back side too-- there's a saying that W.A., the acronym for Western Australia, actually stands for "wait awhile.

"And why not take it easy in this city with a sunny Mediterranean climate and miles and miles of coastline where even on a busy summer weekend, you have a good chance of having a big stretch of beach all to yourself.

Closer to Asia than it is to Australia's main population centres on the continent's east coast, Perth is often described as the most remote city in the world with the Indian Ocean at its doorstep and miles of Outback at its back.

Correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a 48-hour visit.

FRIDAY 5 p.m. - Arrival and hotel check in. The central business district is a convenient and central location to stay, with more public transportation options on offer, including the free Central Area Transit (CAT) buses if you decide not to hire a car. There are several hotels along the Swan River with beautiful views. Coastal neighborhoods such as the ritzy Cottesloe neighborhood and the less exclusive Scarborough offer beachside accommodation.

6 p.m. - Head over to the Old Swan River Brewery. Beer is no longer made onsite, but the restaurant does have several tasty house brews and a view overlooking the Swan River, where you might spot a dolphin popping up for air if you are lucky. Enthusiastic carnivores can try the tomahawk steak, an Australian cut that generally weighs around 1.5 kg (just over 3 lbs) and can feed up to four. If you opt for the giant steak, the riverside promenade is a lovely spot for a walk after a heavy dinner. Look for Western Australia's state flower, the kangaroo paw, along the esplanade during the wetter months of the year.

9 p.m. - From here, you can head north up to the Northbridge neighborhood, the center of the city's nightlife, just a few minutes away by taxi. The area is renowned for being one of the places where mining workers belly up to the bar to spend their hard-earned cash after spending weeks digging minerals out of the ground in the Outback.

SATURDAY8 a.m. -

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