Perth, capital of Western Australia with a population of two million, sits where the Swan River meets the southwest coast. Sandy beaches line its suburbs, and the huge, riverside Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Mt. Eliza offer sweeping views of the city. The Perth Cultural Centre houses the state ballet and opera companies, and occupies its own central precinct, including a theatre, art galleries and the Western Australian Museum.
Australia is both an island country and a continent, lying between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Its varied landscape includes a hot, dry centre (known as the Outback), tropical rainforests, snow-capped mountains and beautiful beaches. It is the smallest and lowest lying human-inhabited continent on Earth.