Perth: sitting pretty ….
At the western edge of Australia, Perth is reaping the rewards of the mineral wealth that surrounds it***
Travellers going to or from Perth are likely to come from, or travel to, four main airports: Singapore the top connection, followed by Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. All international passengers are processed in Terminal 1, while Terminals 2 and 3 are primarily used for domestic services.
In retail terms T1 has, by far, the best offer. The core airside duty free stores (of which there are two) are called F1RST Tax and Duty Free and act as a one-stop-shop for liquor, perfume, cosmetics, technology, watches, sunglasses and more. They are very promotion-focused which means that you can usually find a decent bargain and it’s worth checking the operator’s web site (www.firstdutyfree.com.au) to see the latest deals. The stores also operate both arrival duty free shops and a pre-order service that allows you to shop on the way out and pick up your purchases on return • obviously this service is geared to Australian travellers heading home.
Apart from these main stores the other retail units mainly consist of fashion and accessories shops • with a very Aussie focus. For example there is Australian Made, dedicated to products that carry the green and gold ‘Australian Made, Australian Grown’ logo • an assurance that what you are buying is bona fide Australian. The shop showcases everything from giftware and leather goods to apparel and travel accessories.Then there are two Australian Way shops which stock uniquely Western Australian gifts and souvenirs, and to confuse you further there is Purely Australian, the clothing company specialising in natural fibres such as Australian-grown cotton and pure new wool. The store also has Australian sheepskin products including footwear, home wares and accessories • and it stocks a kid’s collection too.
Outback sports a little more originality • at least when it comes to its name • although even it uses ‘Australia’ in smaller type in its logo! Here you can buy products “built tough for the rugged Australian bush” so check out the footwear, apparel and accessories if you are into the Crocodile Dundee look. Be assured that only authentic brands from top bush outfitters, like RM Williams are sold here.
Purely Merino showcases a vast range of fine Australian wool and sheepskin-associated products. But this large store also sells designer clothing from UGG, Icebreaker and Drizabone as well as luxurious home wares. Meanwhile Think W.A. • yes that stands for Western Australia • offers up the best of the state’s nuts, jams, spreads, oils, chocolates, and other locally-made nibbles.
Oddly, there is just one Aussie sports brand with its own boutiques and that’s Rip Curl. It has two units • before and after security • at T1. Rip Curl specialises in beach and surfing clothes from bathers, bikinis and board shorts to bags, watches and thongs!
The only two international brands are Guess and Sunglass Hut, both pre-security. The Guess store mixes apparel and handbags with watches and footwear while Sunglass Hut has a varied selection of shades from the likes of Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Ray-Ban, Versace and Vogue. Completing the picture is a Vodafone shop in T1 Arrivals which has starter packs, recharge cards, mobile phones and accessories for your stay in Australia. You can also rent a mobile phone or SIM card for your phone with daily or longer term packages available.
In the domestic terminals the retail picture is very limited but there is an exciting new Beach Culture unit in T3 which sells a mixed bag of surf and sports branded apparel and accessories from trendy labels like Billabong, Element, Havaianas, Nixon, Oakley, Seafolly, Tigerlily, and VZ.
- Airlines: Around 30 of which the biggest (by number of routes) are Qantas/QantasLink, Skywest Airlines, Skippers Aviation and Virgin Australia.
- Worth knowing: The booming minerals business in Western Australia means that a number of carriers serving PER provide charter services for mining companies.
See the Tax Free Travel shopping guide to: