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Arts and Culture in Perth

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Tucked away in the state of Western Australia, Perth may be far-flung but it provides all the museums, galleries, and all-round cultural distractions you'd expect to find in any major city. In fact, you might even argue it gives the likes of Sydney and Melbourne a run for their money.

 

Theatres

 

There's a busy calendar of live theatre, music, and performance across Perth, with big venues and small, discreet spaces playing host to local and touring shows alike. It’s also the headquarters of Western Australia's own symphony orchestra, as well as the region’s opera and ballet companies.

 

His Majesty's Theatre

 

Notable for its beautifully preserved Edwardian Baroque architecture, His Majesty's Theatre is home to some of the city's biggest productions, from the family friendly to the unashamedly highbrow. “The Maj”, as it's known locally, is also a venue for live music, workshops for kids, and the Museum of Performing Arts which is full of memorabilia including colourful costumes and vintage playbills.

 

825 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000. Tel:+61 8 9265 0900

 

His Majesty's Theatre website
Perth Concert Hall

 

Perth Concert Hall is a contemporary venue where music of all genres is celebrated. The main hall is known for its excellent acoustics, bringing a richness and depth to classical music, and you'll find the hall's calendar full of events from world music to rock gigs. The venue is home to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and also hosts performance art and daring dance performances.

 

5 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000. Tel:+61 8 9231 9900

 

Perth Concert Hall website

 

Museums

 

From the days of the dinosaurs, to its time as a prison colony, and up to the present day, you'll find many fascinating attractions dedicated to preserving and telling the story of Perth.

 

Western Australian Museum

 

Set over 6 sites, the Western Australian Museum covers a huge chunk of the state's history, and the centre in Perth focuses on ancient times, the indigenous people of Australia, the surrounding ocean, and the beauty of the natural world. From dinosaur skeletons to Aboriginal artefacts, there's many well curated exhibits, and the museum takes up part of the Old Gaol, which is a fascinating historical site too.

 

James Street, Perth WA 6000. Tel:+61 8 9212 3700

 

Western Australian Museum website

 

Libraries

 

Perth’s students converge on the libraries, but visitors will also discover some fascinating finds, whether you’re a rare book fiend or have ancestors who lived in Western Australia and fancy tracing your family tree.

 

State Library of Western Australia

 

With an unrivalled collection of manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, and oral history projects; the State Library of Western Australia is an essential stop for budding researchers and book lovers. The book collection spans over 300,000 titles, with fiction, non-fiction, sheet music, and excellent genealogy resources. This bright, modern building is also home to many exhibits and events, from local artists showing their work, to readings and lectures from authors.

 

25 Francis Street, Perth WA 6000. Tel:+61 8 9427 3111

 

State Library of Western Australia website

 

Religious sites

 

Perth is becoming an increasingly diverse city, and these changes mean that there's a wide mix of religions and cultures. A great place to learn about these faiths is in the city's impressive religious buildings, from the older churches to the modern mosques and synagogues that have risen in the state.

 

St John's Pro-Cathedral

 

Dating back to the 1840s, this humble cathedral was the first Roman Catholic church in Western Australia, and was used by some of the earliest Catholic settlers. Later replaced by the grander St. Mary's next door, the charming St John's Pro-Cathedral remains an important site for Catholic visitors, and has simple, clean architecture that has been lovingly restored.

 

18 Victoria Square, Perth WA 6000. Tel:+61 8 9223 1350

 

St John's Pro-Cathedral website