The discovery of gold lured early visitors to this Western Australia state capital, but today travellers flock to the city for its sunshine, scenery and laid-back charm. Situated beside the Swan River, Perth has an appealing blend of big-city buzz and relaxed surrounds. Lose yourself in the sculpted gardens and natural bushland of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world and larger than New York’s Central Park. On its doorstep, Perth has miles of sublime coastline washed by the Indian Ocean. Pack your togs and head to iconic Cottesloe or the surfing hotspot of Scarborough. With little effort you can feel like the last person on earth. Consider arriving or departing in style on the epic Indian Pacific train journey that traverses Australia from Perth to Sydney.