What should have been…

You should have been visiting Perth, Western Australia!

It was announced in April 2019 that Dr Kellie Pendoley had been voted as the President-Elect of the International Sea Turtle Society and would be hosting the 41st International Sea Turtle Symposium in Perth, Western Australia in 2021. In response, Kellie and her excited team started organising, and were getting as ready and prepared as they could be! Even the Western Australia State Environment Minister got involved, and was also excited about welcoming you to Perth:

But wait...

Then 2020 and the COVID-19 global pandemic arrived...and, as per all of our experiences in that year, things changed quickly! It started with the cancellation of the 40th International Sea Turtle Symposium in Cartagena, Colombia, meaning that Perth would now host the 40th symposium in 2021 (cue logo change!). Then, due to the ongoing international border closures in Australia and the unpredictability with inter-state travel within Australia, the decision was made by Kellie and the rest of the International Sea Turtle Society Board of Directors to delay the symposium by a year to 2022 and to host it entirely online (cue another logo change!).

Despite not being able to visit in person, we still want to showcase Perth and show you some of what you are missing. The purpose isn't to increase your disappointment or frustration at the closed status of our border, but instead to encourage you to put Perth and Western Australia on your travel bucket list and come and say g'day to us when we open up!

What is Perth like?

We may be a little biased, but Perth is a ripper of a place! Boasting stunning white sand beaches, clear blue skies, and exciting once in a life-time experiences, Western Australia’s sparkling capital is one of Australia's fastest growing urban centres, offering cultural diversity and sophistication combined with a relaxed lifestyle and friendly vibe. Beyond the city you can discover the breathtaking and unparalleled beauty of our natural attractions in the regional areas of Western Australia offering a diverse range of travel experiences.

Below are some of our favourite places to visit and ‘must-do’ sights and attractions in and around Perth:

The free park is the most visited attraction in Western Australia, receiving over 5 million visitors each year. At 400.6 ha in size, it is also one of the biggest city parks in the world (larger than New York's Central Park at 315 ha and London's Hyde Park at 121 ha). The park provides fantastic panoramic views over the Perth CBD and Swan River and hosts over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora. For more information visit www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park.

Situated at the mouth of the Swan River, Fremantle is a lively port city situated 25 minutes drive southwest of Perth. The city is rich in history and culture and features many impressive heritage buildings, including the Round House which is the oldest remaining building in Western Australia. Fremantle is also home to a number of museums and attractions including the WA Maritime Museum, the Old Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Markets, Little Creatures Brewery, and the WA Shipwreck Gallery. For more information visit: www.visitfremantle.com.au.

The A class Nature Reserve, Rottnest Island is just a short ferry ride from Perth. Perfect for a day trip or an overnight stay, the island features some of the world’s finest beaches and bays, as well as unique flora and fauna. The best way to see the island is by bicycle that can be hired on the island, alternatively there is a hop-on-hop-off bus that can take you around the whole island. Be sure to bring your snorkel and mask as there are some amazing spots to take in a diversity of fish, coral species, and even shipwrecks. The Island is also home to a famous marsupial, the Quokka, so remember to bring your camera for some happy snaps. For more information about Rottnest Island and how to make the most of your visit head to: www.rottnestisland.com.

Swan Valley is one of Western Australia's best-known wine regions. Home to many award-winning wineries, breweries and food producers you can spend the day sampling delicacies or embrace the outdoors admiring the wildlife and historic walking trails. Local galleries also offer an abundance of artwork, including indigenous art, pottery, painting, and jewellery. For more information visit: www.experienceperth.com/region/swan-valley.

Perth is home to some of the most pristine beaches in Australia with Leighton, Cottesloe, City Beach and Scarborough being some of the city’s favourites. You can spend the day swimming or relaxing in the sun at these premier beaches and end the day watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean. There are also a number of spots that provide excellent snorkelling opportunities including the Marmion Marine Park, Mettams Pool, and the Cottesloe Fish Habitat Protection Area. For more information visit: www.perthisok.com/best-of-wa/perths-best-beaches.