Perth is the capital city of state of Western Australia. In 2012 – there is a fair chance that if you are moving to Australia anytime soon to work you will end up in Perth or the state of Western Australia. This is because the state is undergoing a sustained boom in the minerals sector and the projects associated with it have created a skills shortage throughout most of the economy. So even for those not directly associated with mining, the infrastructure, services education and health required to service a growing working young population are substantial.  

Weather: Perth has the most sunshine hours of any Australian capital city. Enough said!Perth itself is an unremarkable city, suffering from a planning regime that encourages outwards sprawl. As the world’s most isolated city (along with Honolulu), there is plenty of space and this seems to have to created a mentality of building and developing outwards. This means very few new apartments and homes are built in the nicer established suburbs. But before you get any ideas of the desert expanse of the Mad Max movies – there are some great things about this place. So let’s look at them:

People: Perth people are generally very welcoming and friendly. There are a high number of migrants from the UK, particularly in the health sector who are drawn to the weather and the outdoor lifestyle available.

Sports: Mountain based and winter sports asides – Perth is a paradise for sports people.  There is plenty of space and parkland for running around in and also plenty of organized sports. There are empty tennis courts and half empty golf courses throughout the suburbs. So if you want to go and play something – it is very easy. The mild climate and the warm currents (current name?) that flow from the north mean that you can swim in the Indian Ocean comfortably all year around. The one improvement that could be made is more Ocean pools (like Sydney) but these are difficult to design because of the higher tide movements in Perth – but despite this, there are a few of these ocean pools in the planning stage which would be a great and welcome addition to Perth – especially in the summer months where the popular beaches like Scarborough can get very crowded and the tricky waves can keep the beach life guards very busy rescuing people.

There are some bad things too

Expensive: international people and tourists often get a shock because the price of eating out and buying drinks is quite high. This creates a little bit of a myth that Perth is outrageously expensive because these are often the first (and maybe only) things tourists and guests will do. The reality is Perth is no more expensive than any other Australian city. Basics like electricity and public transport are cheap and although there is serious shortage of hotels, rental accommodation and apartments, the prices are not outrageous.

Isolation: part of the reason you can pay more for things in Perth is the isolation. And the distance to get things via road and rail. The Port of Fremantle means that most goods that arrive by ship via Singapore (which is pretty much everything) dock first in Perth – but in some instances the goods travel all the way to Melbourne where they might eventually find themselves coming back 4,000km across the desert by rail or road. The issue of isolation as become far less pronounced in the last decade as Australia has developed a genuinely efficient and ultra competitive aviation sector which means cheap flights to other Australian cities as well as the relatively close Asian destinations (Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Kuala Lumpur) are now well within reach and budget even for a weekend trip.