Lesser Known Perth—Family Capital of Australia
Where else can you marvel at kangaroos (safely from a distance, of course), try a taste of Vegemite (if you’re brave enough), go diving with sharks (in a cage, but still!), or tour Western Australia’s world class wineries? You guessed it—we’re going to the land down under! (But not where you’d expect.) This week’s travel guide is all about Perth, Australia. So why not Australia’s better known attraction, Sydney? Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is Australia’s most family friendly city, and while Perth may not have the world famous Sydney Opera House, it does offer 19 pristine beaches. If you’re a surfer, you’ll find an abundance of surfing options from beginner to expert along Western Australia’s 8,000 miles of coastline. In Perth, you’ll find no shortage of shopping, walking trails, surfing spots, restaurants, and cultural events. So, pack your bags, you’ll want to stay for awhile.
Located on the coast, Perth offers a mediterranean climate with warm, sunshiney days (it’s the sunniest capital in Australia!). If you’ve ever been to California, the weather in Perth is comparable, so if you’re looking for a break from harsh winters or humid summers, Perth is the perfect destination for your travels. Fun fact: Christmas Day is often the hottest day of the year because Australia’s seasons are the opposite of ours here in the States. It’s the third windiest city in the world (so you’ll probably want to pack a hairbrush along with your kites and wind-surfing gear). Expect year-round temperatures from 46 to 86 degrees fahrenheit. Although Perth landed a 9 out of 10 on the Pasha Allergy Scale, don’t let it deter you from visiting. We’ll offer some great tips to help you get the most of your Australian getaway.
In Perth, pollen will likely be your biggest allergy offender.
Pollen—Perth’s Allergen and What to Do About It
Don’t be deceived—even though there’s only one major allergen we’re focusing on in this blog, the pollen in Perth is quite the aggressive beast. The grasses and vegetation thrive all year long in Western Australia, which sure is beautiful, but coupled with the heavy winds, this means that pollen counts are typically very high. The allergy situation may seem dire, but don’t click away just yet! If you suffer from pollen allergies, your vacation to Perth can still be the one that makes all of your friends jealous.
If you have the option, avoid visiting from July to August because the White Cypress (a major cause of allergies in Western Australia) flowers during this time period, which means pollen counts will likely be higher. You may also consider avoiding travel during October through December, as allergenic grasses flower during these months.
Bring plenty of antihistamines and take them before spending prolonged periods of time outside to prevent symptoms before they pop up. We highly recommend visiting an allergist to see if immunotherapy is right for you before you leave for your trip. Immunotherapy (shots or sublingual drops) can be used at home or while traveling, and can potentially cure your allergies altogether—which, to us, sounds like a great start to your getaway.
Now That Your Allergies Are Under Control, Let’s Have Some Fun
If someone said there was nothing to do in Perth, they’d be lying, or they’ve never been there. On Australia’s western coast, you’ll have your pick of more activities, sights, and attractions than you could even fit in a two week vacation!
Pack up a picnic and spend the day (or two, or three…) at Kings Park and Botanic Garden. It’s one of the biggest city parks in the world, and boasts stunning views of the city. There are over 70 bird species here, so bring your binoculars and enjoy a day in the park! The kids may be holding a grudge because you dragged them on a 22 hour flight, but you can earn your way into their good graces again by bringing them to play at Kings Park.
Slather on some sunscreen and head to Cottesloe Beach. This white, sandy beach is a short 15 minute drive from the city. Enjoy brunch at a charming beachside cafe, then lay out your beach towel and relax with a good read. Or, if surfing is more your thing, the swells offer great surfing conditions. When in Australia, do as the Aussies do, right? Surfing is famous in Australia. Grab a board and hang ten! Swimming and snorkeling are great activities for Cottesloe Beach as well. End the day with a gourmet meal at one of the many nearby restaurants and take in the sunset reflecting off the sparkling turquoise waters.
If you love museums (or even if you don’t), Perth has some must-visit museums to offer. One is the WA Shipwrecks Museum. See original ship pieces and artifacts from a number of shipwrecks that occurred off the coast of Western Australia. Another you won’t want to miss is The Art Gallery of Western Australia. To enhance your experience, take a (free!) guided tour.
Have you always wanted to visit Sonoma? Margaret River is Western Australia’s breathtaking version where you can experience various food and wine events throughout the year. One notable event is held in November, called the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, so if you’re in Perth around this time, it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Of course, a trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without some kangaroo spotting! Here’s a great list of places to see kangaroos in Perth. You can head to a place where you can see wild kangaroos, or you might opt instead for a wildlife park where you can pet and even feed a tame kangaroo. Either way, sounds like an unforgettable experience to us!
What to Know Before You Go—A Guide to Medications in Perth
Before you hop on the plane, here’s what you need to know about bringing medication into Australia.
- Bring a doctor’s letter stating the name of the medicine and the dosage required.
- Keep medicine in original packaging.
- Do not bring more than a three month’s supply. If your trip will last for longer than three months (lucky you!) find a healthcare provider in Australia that can write a new prescription for you when your supply runs out.
There are many over-the-counter allergy medications available in Australia, including some you’ll probably recognize from pharmacies in the United States. Zyrtec is one example, and Claritin is another (although, it’s spelled “Claratyne” in Australia).
An important distinction to make is that in Australia, the pharmacy is called the chemist. So, don’t be confused if you ask one of the locals for directions to the nearest pharmacy and they look at you like you’re crazy (or “off the rocker” as the Aussies might say).
Doesn’t Perth just sound like the most unforgettable adventure? What are you waiting for? Grab your favorite sunglasses and a windbreaker and leave the chaos of daily life behind. Bon voyage, mate!
Be sure to check out the Pasha Travel Guide to see this year’s top 12 travel destinations, and learn tips for traveling allergy-free. Next week, we’re featuring Chiang Mai, Thailand, and covering allergens to watch out for, fun activities to do while you’re there, and important medicine restrictions for travelers. Stay tuned later this week to learn our best tips for sleeping on a plane so you’re ready to take on your destination when you land. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!