What is Special about PerthAugust 08, 2014
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is founded on August 12, 1869. Dirk Hartog, a sailor from Amsterdam, sighted this part of Down Under in 1616. More Dutch ships passed by the western coast the following years. They called it New Holland, but they turned to other islands after stumbling into Nullabor Desert. Holland's loss was Britain's gain, the city's founding coincided with the settlement of the colony.
Perth is the fourth most populous metropolis in Australia, after Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Most of the important institutions - and happenings - are found in Sydney and Melbourne. Perth isn't far behind, though. The time will come when it will be as significant as its eastern counterparts, but locals and tourists have been coming here for years.
Perth is located near Swan River, the main watercourse in the south west of Western Australia. Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh came in 1697, enthralled by the abundance of black swans in the area. In fact, the settlement was first named Black Swan Colony. Visitors find the vista of the river with swans and the city captivating. It's not surprising that the swan is found in the emblem of Western Australia. But it isn't called the City of Swans.
Perth was the most isolated community in Australia back then, with the Indian Ocean facing the metropolis and the Nullabor on the east. U.S. Astronaut John Glenn found out that it was the only shining thing on the west of Australia. So it was called the City of Lights, but some would be confused. Paris is also called the City of Lights, but the reasons are far and different.
The city overlooks Kings Park, one of the largest in the world. It's also the top attraction in this part of Oz, its land area bigger than New York's Central Park. It's swarming with people every September, as it's the venue of the Kings Park Festival. Australia's largest wildflowers are on display, which attract horticulturists and florists.
Tennis fans flock to Perth during the first week of January, as the city is the venue of the Hopman Cup. It's a unique tournament, with eight teams of two players, male and female, play two singles matches and one mixed doubles match for seven days. The winners get tennis balls encrusted with diamonds from the Argyle Diamong Mine. The tourney was named after Harry Hopman, one of the great Aussie players before the Open Era. He captained the Australian team in the Davis Cup for nearly thirty years, winning sixteen times. Hopman's widow, Lucy, travels to this tournament from her home in the US.
There's also something to look forward this time of the year, as the Winter Arts Season takes place. Events related to theatre, film, dance, and literature keep everyone happy and entertained. Those who have missed the happenings these past two months can plan their weekends for this month's shows.
How about telling us the one thing you like most about Perth.
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