Saturday, December 14, 2013

Should I move to Perth?

I personally think Perth has got to be one of the ultimate expat destinations.  Angela and I often discuss that it will be hard to top Perth with the next assignment.  I can tell you for certain we don't regret the decision for a second.

The family on the South Perth Foreshore

The upsides are:
  • Weather - I challenge you to find a place with better overall weather
  • It's safe
  • People are friendly
  • Good health care
  • It's an outdoor city - Bike, Run, Swim, Sail all year round
  • You are maximum 40 minutes to an endless coastline of beaches.
  • Language - If you're coming from an english speaking country....Aussie's speak English even though sometime it doesn't seem like it.
  • Good schooling is available
  • There are tonnes of expats that are in the same boat as you.  They are coming in and out just like you in large number.

Cottesloe Beach - 25 minutes from the Perth CBD

The downsides are:
  • It's far from everything.  Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world.
  • Cost of living.  Perth is poke a stick in your eye expensive.  It's drop f bombs, swear out loud in the middle of the restaurant expensive.
  • The sun is vicious.  2 out of 3 people in Australia will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer.  
  • It's not a cultural mecca.  I often hear Perth called boring.  I disagree but it is not London, New York, or even Edmonton when it comes to cultural goings on.

A great place to raise kids
So when making the decision the major thing to consider is:  What standard of living will you have in Perth?

If you're coming on an expat / foreign service package that includes housing etc. which is common among the Energy and Mining expats then you're all set.  On the other hand...if you need to cover all of your costs, I highly suggest you do research on the costs of living.

What have I missed?


  1. Mike, thanks and congratulations for your blog. As a mother of two daughters almost same age as your kids, I am really appreciating your posts. We are waiting for our Visa 189 (Permanent Resident), then looking for a job (my husband is a mechanical engineer and actually works as a project manager for a consulting firm in the power/oil&gas market)...and then we will make the big move, we hope by the beginning of 2015. Do you have any more suggestion for us? Thanks

    1. Thanks Gigio, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback. I'll be continuing to add posts as time allows and would be interested to get feedback on topics that may be of interest.
      One of my key comments is that regardless of how great Perth is these moves are tough and require patience. It's worth it in the long run.

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  3. Thanks for your reply. Although we have started 1 year ago our papers for the visa, I am trying to continue to be patient... but it is really hard! ;). I would like to read your suggestions about suburbs where to live in Perth, also related to public schools quality, commuting to CBD and distance from the beach/parks. Furthermore, my older daughter next year will turn five and she should attend the pre-primary school in Perth: is it a service offered by public schools? And do you know which could be the price? thanks a lot

    1. I've considered posting about Suburbs but it would probably misleading as I've only lived in 3 and one of them was just for 3 months.

      Commuting to the CBD by vehicle during rush hour is a major hassle especially if you are using the freeway or commuting from one of the Ocean suburbs. The trains are very good and a good strategy if you work in the CBD. Many people ride their bikes if they leave close enough. My favorite neighborhoods near the CBD are South Perth, Leederville, Wembly, Subiaco, Mount Lawly, Kensington, Mount Pleasant, Applecross, Rossmoyne, Como, Manning and Salter Point. The only problem with all of these is given their distance to the CBD they are all very expensive.

      On schooling. If your daughter turns 5 before June 30 she will be eligible for Pre-primary. If she turns 5 after June 30 then she will be eligible for Kindy which is normally part time. Both are free for all children of Permanent Residents and Citizens. For Short stay (457 and other) visas like my family there is going to be a cost next year.

  4. Thanks for your reply. We are waiting for a permanent resident visa 189, so we should be fine with public school. My daughter will turn 5 in November 2014. I'll keep you updated with our move and for sure I will ask you more auggestions ;)

  5. It is official that we are moving to Perth: my husband quit is job yesterday! We are really excited and scared at the same time.
    I booked our flight ticket on 18th January and now I am looking for a furnished apartment to rent temporary.
    Once we will be in Perth, we will look for a long-term apartment and for our daughter's public school.
    According to your experience, how long does usually take to find a nice apartment to rent? 3 weeks could be enough?

    As we don't have any job yet, which guarantees we have to provide to the owner of the apartment?

    Thanks a lot for your support

  6. Hello Mike.

    I am glad that google directed me to your blog when I googled about moving to Perth.
    I must say, your blogpost about moving to Perth is exactly what I am looking for. The do and donts and what to expect haha!

    I am pretty stoked about my new adventure in a month! Can't wait to actually experience Perth and the rest of the parts of Australia.

    Thank you :)

    1. Thanks for making my day... comments like that make the blog worth the effort. Let me know if I can help and /or if there are subjects missing that you'd like to know about.