IF YOU were thinking of visiting Australia for a holiday and had to pick one city, I would strongly advise that you try the western city of Perth.
Perth, renowned for its clear blue skies and sunny climate, is truly one of Australia's most beautiful cities.
Situated on the banks of the Swan River it offers the perfect location from which to start a proper Western Australian holiday.
Perth is home to one and half million of the two million Western Australian population, meaning that only half a million people live in the outlying areas.
The massive portion of inland Western Australia is mainly desert and rock, which is very rich in minerals, including diamonds, pink diamond and massive reserves of iron ore.
WA is also self-sufficient, with agricultural and fishing industries included.
The region produces enough cereal, fruit and vegetables, fish, dairy and sheep (a total 75 million a year, the bulk of which is exported to North Africa).
The city has a myriad first-class hotels situated in just the right places. One such, the Somerset St Georges Terrace, is located in the heart of Perth's business district, the perfect position for doing business.
Its prime location is within walking distance of art galleries, restaurants, bars and other stores in Murray Street and the Hay Street Mall.
For added convenience the free city bus service is on the hotel's doorstep.
The 84 contemporary rooms range from spacious studios, spa studios and one-bedroom residences.
It is one of a premier collection of the Ascott Limited serviced residences in more than 60 cities in the Asia Pacific, Europe and Gulf region, and has more than 25 years' experience in supporting travellers who work and live away from home.
One could put aside a day to visit the local shops and browse through exclusive boutiques and other departmental stores.
At the end of the day one can enjoy an exciting nightlife as well as an extensive choice of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in nearby Northbridge.
A day trip into the Swan Valley and you will discover world famous wineries, quaint boutique restaurants, chocolate factories and art galleries scattered throughout the scenic valley.
The valley is WA's oldest wine region located 25 minutes drive from Perth.
A daylong tour of the valley under the guidance of one humorous Claude of the Out and About Wine Tours starts as a boring tour that holds no promises of any improved activity.
Claude starts by giving you the city scope, boasting about the medium style climate, the water restrictions, transport that includes the five-pronged train link, until you get to the first winery where you will discover that the first vineyards were transplanted from our own Cape province by one Thomas Waters a long time ago.
The tour reaches a crescendo as tourists continue in their wine-tasting road map, until one starts to feel a slight inebriation.
There are more than 500 wineries in the whole of WA, but the tour will only take you to four or five, after which you are served a light lunch before the final trip to a brewery, where the choice is between pilsners, lagers and so on.
The final stop will be at a chocolate factory, where one can taste as much as one can and make purchases before being driven back to the hotel.
The most visited attraction in Perth is the Kings Park Hill. The place is good for day and night visits.
The Kings Park and Botanical Garden is rich in indigenous history, which features in many of the Dreamtime stories of the Wadjuk people. The unique one-hour tour offers one of the most accessible indigenous culture in the southwest of WA. During the tour you will learn about bush plants used by the Wadjuk people for food and medicine and about traditional tools and implements including the ancient way of making a fire.
As a form of entertainment one can attend the local football games, though I must admit the game appeared to be without rules.
The Subiaco Oval was packed to capacity when the local team Fremantle was pitted against North Melbourne in a Premiership game. I was knocked over by the enthusiasm displayed by the fans.
My problem, however, was catching up with the rules as the game progressed and I am convinced there is little brain power applied on the field of play. A plus was that the match ticket is inclusive of a public transport ride to and from the stadium.
Perth will offer you a relaxing holiday of an entirely different nature.