The Basin of Rottnest Island, Perth, Australia (Pat Ong/Flickr)

Perth City (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Perth

Perched on the southwestern edge of the vast Australian continent, Perth has a reputation that has suffered from being considered a gateway rather than a destination in its own right. It used to be the place where silver-haired retirees went to enjoy the mostly dry, sunny climate, or where travelers spent a night before lighting out to explore the beautiful Indian Ocean coastline and vineyards to the south or arid, desert hinterlands to the north. But this city of one million is no sleepy backwater, with lively bars and clubs, a vibrant performing-arts scene that’s attracted the likes of Ewan McGregor and Donald Sutherland, and a sparkling-new $400 million redevelopment effort to revitalize the Swan River corridor close to the city’s business district. Grab a cocktail and let this San Diego of the Outback cast its spell.

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