If you need any info on Perth heres some...
Hi! I am a Perth girl (lived there all my life, up until a year ago )living in San Diego so I have some pointers for ya. WA is the best state in Australia, glad to hear of an American going somewhere other than Sydney. Head down to Margaret River, its the best spot 'down south'. Northbridge is the nightclub and restaurant district in Perth, lotsa fun. There are some great dive bars and clubs. Geisha, Ambar and the Aberdeen are great clubs. Actually downtown in the city the shopping is great and there are some sweet the little bars.
If you can, take a trip up the coast for about 5 days up to Broome. Its absolutley beautiful and very cultural, I lived there for a year, amazing. There are a tonne of towns up the coast, a great one is Geraldton. Its a big town right on the water, alot of fun. Also, head inland to Kalgoorlie. If you want the ultimate Aussie experience, thats it. Its a huge gold mining town with some of the best bars and best characters this side of the moon.
Scarborough beach, where I have always lived, is a great city beach area. There is shopping, bars, clubs and a beautiful water and waves. The people are also beautiful.
If you are heading into town, there are heaps of great backpackers hostels. Perth is a biggish city, 2.2 million, but its so spread out, u would never know. We dont have a problem with the homeless like the USA does, so you will feel very safe, and most likely never be bothered by weirdos. The city itself is great and you can get anywhere is Perth within 15 minutes, its very convenient. The trains are clean, safe, quick and easy too, so grab a schedule for that in the Perth (downtown) station, which is quite large and is the hub of the trains. The buses are great, there are a million different routes and you can get anywhere easily.
Here are some website for you...
If you need any more info, lemme know, I am glad to help.