Perth is sun-soaked, laid back, and typically serves as a jumping point for scenic adventures outside the city. Western Australia consists of one third of the Australian continent, but maintains only one tenth of the total population at 2.5 million — with more than half of residing in Perth. The region was developed as a penal colony for the British Empire in the mid-1800’s and there are many colonial vestiges found all throughout, including Rottnest Island and the Fremantle Prison. Perth has recently seen increased infrastructure development due to a mining boom and increased cultural development, thanks to its youthful population. Once a sleepy city with little nightlife, it now comes alive with street art, craft bars, and international cuisine. The city is located along the Swan River which feeds into the Indian Ocean to the west and is bordered by a strip of forests and huge swaths of desert to the east. Due to its distance from the more famous eastern Australian cities and location on the Indian Ocean, international delights like Bali, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Madagascar are favorite destinations for both locals and globe-trotters.