Life in Perth and what to expect in Western Australia.
Life in Perth is quite different to anywhere else in Australia, especially the Eastern seaboard.
It’s quieter this side of the country, the roads aren’t as hectic, we have vast open spaces and awesome, often deserted beaches.
Perth might strike you as a large country town rather than a frantic city, although the traffic is definitely getting worse.
We arrived in Perth from South Africa in late December 2008, and the first thing that struck me was the heat. It was blistering.
It isn’t that I don’t like hot sunshine, and originating from England I’m actually quite partial to sunny weather, but the scorching summer heat of January and February in WA takes some acclimatisation and it was definitely a different sort of heat to that of Cape Town.
Immigrants make up a large part of the population in WA
It’s actually quite hard to get one’s head around that about one in four people who call Australia home were born in other countries.
“The number of settlers arriving in Australia between July 2010 and June 2011 totalled 127 460,” according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship “They came from more than 200 countries.”
Most were born in one of the following four places, in order of percentages :-
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- The Phillipines
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
Once settled I did get used to the heat though, and also ways to avoid it (think glorious beaches, swimming pools and air conditioning). I love living in WA now, and can’t think of uprooting to go anywhere else.
Looking back there were some strong first impressions that I’ll always remember.
- The cerulean blue of the sky, without a cloud in it.
- The languid beauty of the Swan River snaking under the impressive Perth city skyline.
- How clean Perth was, and how uncrowded.
- The peaceful walk trails and cycle paths.
- The expansiveness of King’s Park and those amazing city and river views.
- The gorgeous citrus smells of the lemon scented gums leading into King’s Park.
- The colourful parrots flying about un-caged and wild.
- The olive greens of the trees and how golden brown everything looked in mid summer on our drive down to the South in January.
- The tummy tickling cackle of a Kookaburra.
First impressions of Western Australia and what’s Awesome too
Some wonderful Facebookers have generously offered some of their first impressions too, which I love … and I can relate to nearly all of them. To protect their privacy I haven’t included names.
“I found the constant noise that the crows make took a while to get used to.”
“Gas Barbies in the public parks…. AND THEY WORK! Awesome!”
“Yip the crows. I thought there were sheep at the airport…so funny. Other things that struck me was that no people were riding on the back of UTE’s and all the robots (traffic lights) all worked.”
“When we arrived at the airport and I saw ‘that’ carpet… I. thought I was on the 70’s show …. and when we arrived, 8 years ago, all the cars looked older [than where we'd come from] too.”
“We were not too impressed with the international airport when we arrived. I guess we expected something larger and more efficient…We are happy here though…”
“Lol… Heat… Arrived in February and thought I had immigrated to hell.”
“Yes heat, still can’t get used to it – especially in February.”
“I’ve loved King’s Park since the first day I saw it! Spectacular views and you don’t feel as if you’re in the city.”
“Love that it’s clean and I feel safe. Amazing public transport, well-behaved dogs, wonderful service levels, rubbish collection trucks (with only 1 person operating them)and well organised recycling stations. “
“Doggie bags on dogs’ leashes… Thought, “Oh how cute all the dogs have yellow ribbons!”
“Things that struck me: The rainbows, the crows, the sunsets, the train line in the middle of the “highway” not freeway! Cars with stickers saying milf hunter….
“So many cul de sacs. The colloquial term, “See ya later” – huh??? Don’t think so???”
“I found that finding a doctor was a mission. But now I’ve found a good one that I see regularly. Having to wait 6 hours in the emergency section of the hospital was a bit of a shock one day.! So too the price of food. But the beaches – well. they made up for anything that’s not good. And the weather – it’s awesome in Perth!?
Do you have a first impression of arriving in Western Australia – we’d love to hear about it in the comments section.