Last month I had my first opportunity to visit the southern hemisphere by traveling to Australia. From February 5th – 16th, , my girlfriend (April) and I visited both Sydney and Perth. Since there are plenty of articles written on Sydney, I’ve decided to focus this article on two of the more popular beaches in Perth.

Ordinarily when you talk to individuals about Australia, you will hear plenty of information on Sydney, Melbourne, and the Great Barrier Reef, however Perth is rarely mentioned. Our main reason for visiting Perth was to see April’s aunt and uncle, who have been living in Perth for the past 30 years. So not only did we get to reunite with family, but we had the opportunity to get a personal tour of the city, beaches and local customs over the course of 5 days.

Situated on the western coast of Australia, Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. With a population of approximately 1.6 million, it offers the unique opportunity to enjoy some big city charms without the overcrowded hustle and bustle feel of Sydney.

Though we enjoyed various aspects of the city, some of our most memorable stops were visiting the beaches of Perth. While Bondi and Manly beach in Sydney gets most of the publicity, Perth has several of it's own beautiful beaches to offer.

One of our favorites is cottesloe beach, which is only 15 minutes from downtown Perth. The beach offers a scenic view of the Indian Ocean, and is very clean. However, If your not a big fan of the sand they have neat grass shelves that offer a great spot to relax on those lazy summer days and people watch. The beach is a very popular spot for surfing, snorkeling and body- boarding.

While we did get a chance to enjoy a little shopping at the local stores, we missed the famous Sunday session, when throngs of visitors and locals jam the seaside pubs to enjoy a drink and ocean view.

Scarborough beach was our next stop, as it was highly recommended by family members. Similar to Cottesloe beach, Scarborough beach is only 20 minutes north west of downtown Perth, with plenty of local seaside restaurants and pubs. The atmosphere is very relaxing with crystal clear water, and plenty of locals soaking up the sun. There are several small reefs which allow for snorkeling and enjoying the underwater scenery.

I spent a large part of my time at Scarborough beach working on my body-boarding skills, which need plenty of work, as I live in Arizona. The water was warm, the locals were friendly and the overall experience was fantastic. After wards, we had dinner with family members at the Island Cafe Restaurant near Trigg beach- just a short drive from Scarborough. We enjoyed a fantastic seafood dinner, I had the chili prawns, and after wards watched the sunset over the Indian ocean. The experience was superb, and I look forward to going back soon.