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What is Perth like? Nicest, friendliest oz cities?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific What is Perth like? Nicest, friendliest oz cities?

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Perth
1. Posted by Allysa81 (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I am planning on going to Austalia next September/October time to do a tour from Darwin to Sydney for a month then stay in Melbourne & Adelaide on my way to Perth.

Can someone let me know what the city is like? Is it farly easy to get a shared house, job? What is it like to live in? Cost of living and wages?

Sorry to ask alot of questions


2. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 339 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I only spend a couple of weeks in and around Perth, and think it is a lovely city. Like all Australian cities it embraces the outdoor life style, and has good weather most of the year round.

However I did find it to be, along with Sydney, the most expensive Australian city I visited (which is saying something!), but I would imagine salaries would reflect that.

I am sure you will love it!

3. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I found Perth pretty easy going, it doesn't have the pace of Sydney or Melbourne which I quite liked. I stayed near Rockingham which isn't really close to the CBD and there wasn't much of a nightlife but it was chilled out and relaxing in summer.

As Steve mentioned it seemed like a fairly expensive place to live and the pay working in IT wasn't as good as what I get in Sydney. There were a number of backpackers and tourists around so you might be able to find a shared house by looking on hostel boards or on gumtree.

4. Posted by nicolac34 (Budding Member 18 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


Me and my husband are living in Perth for 10 months on a WHV (saving up to travel around in a Camper van & then doing a RTW trip).

We've found it a laid back City, although for us we haven't really been in the back-packer frame of mind, so we haven't met any like minded people. My brother lives here so we lived with him and then have rented our own appartment, we looked at sharing but decided that we liked our own space too much :) we are living in the Subiaco/Shenton Park area which is really nice, right opposite Kings Park and within walking distance of lots of resturants and bars. And it's only 10 minutes on the bus into the City for work, so the commute is a breeze. We're paying $420 a week for a 2 bed place with a big garden, but if you are looking to rent a room there are loads on Gumtree for varying price ranges - but look to pay around $200+ a week for somewhere decent.

Cost of living is very high in Perth as I'm sure most people will tell you, we were very shocked at the price of things, but then that's because compared to the £ the exchange rate is shocking! For us as a couple we have a weekly budget of $400 for food, entertainment and anything else we fancy spending our money on, we usually spend every penny of this, but that's usually because we are doing touristy things on a weekend. It covers our travel and going out for a meal at least once a week and a takeaway.

As for jobs, we haven't had a problem finding work. Office temping seems easy enough to come by, I started off as a PA on $32 p/h and hubby was doing admin for the same. I decided I wanted to actually use this year career wise - so I wrote speculatively to some companies and have been offered another job paying $37 p/h but I get paid holidays and all the benefits of being full time (they even said they'd sponsor me if that's what I wanted). Hubby's new job as a document controller is paying $40 p/h.

So in conculsion the pay usually makes up for the high cost of living. We are saving one whole salary and living off the other very easily.

Hope this helps!

5. Posted by Allysa81 (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, thankyou for all your information, it's really helpful to me :)

I've heard alot that Perth is expensive! But i've been doing a litte researching on pay and things and i'd get nearly double there than what i am getting here in the UK. iI'm hoping the cost of living isn't double though?

Yes Nicola, i'm thinking of Kings Park or Cottesloe as preferred area's id like to find a houseshare. I recently came back form America on a Contiki tour and one of the girls i met comes from Perth and she said that i can stay with them til i find a houseshare, hopefully i'll be fine but its less worrying that i have somewhere to stay til i find a job and houseshare.

Planning on saving enough to live on for at least three months just in case i don't find a job or i get homesick but if i give it that time than at least i'd have a pretty good idea...I'm hoping i'll be able to talk myslef out of it if i do as it's an amazing thing to do and i'd have ticked another thing off my long list of things i've dreamed about.

Is everything cost wise like double out there hence why the wages are nearly double compared to the UK?

Thankyou again everyone for your tips and information, it makes me even more excited and a little less scared. I'd love to go with a firend but most of my friends are buying houses or starting families and my one firend that could come is 33 now so wouldn't be able to get a work visa plus i'm not sure she could afford it as much as i'd love her to come! But i've said to all ym friends that if they want to visit i'd love that.

I saw on a friends FB page (who lives in Perth) the other day that she found plane ticket to London with Air Asia for like $450! I'm not sure if it was a return but even still so cheap!

I'm doing a tour first from Darwin down to Alice Springs then over to Cairns then down the east coast when i first arrive in Australia. Hoping to stay in Sydney and Melbourne for a week each then Adelaide then onto Perth :)

Your plans sound amazing Nicola, what made you both decide to do it? Where will you go after Australia? The very best of luck to you!

I know it sounds picky but i'd prefer to have an ensuite room and for there to be a back garden in my house share and nice people too. At least of i do stay with my friend i can ring around so i'm not in a huge rush as soon as i get there to find somewhere to live.


Allysa :)

6. Posted by nicolac34 (Budding Member 18 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Allysa

I also did a Contiki Tour back in 2005 of the East Coast of Australia and met some amazing people, many of whom have also now made the move down under! I spent two weeks in Perth before I went on that tour and just had the best time, so ever since then I've always had a hankering to come back and live here - and then there's the obvious 'advertisement' on tv in terms of "Wanted Downunder" and "Phil Downunder" which just made me drool over the tv even more

I never thought it would happen though - and it was pure chance and determination that caused us to move over here in the end. My husband was made redundant from his job in April this year - the second time in two years. It was such a stress last time and it took him 10 months to get another job, we just thought - lets do the WHV thing before we're 30, pack everything up and go - we had nothing to lose!

It was easy because my brother lives here, he had us sorted out with bank accounts, driving licences, tax file numbers and medicare and we'd only been off the plane 6 hours!!

We are enjoying our time here, and very much looking forward to summer - the weather has been hit and miss over the 4 months that we've been here so far. Today's been good - it hit 30 degrees!

Come January is when we are going to have tough choices to make, stay and be sponsored or continue with the original plan of travelling (planning on UK-NZ-AUS-Malaysia-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-India-UK) and head back to the UK with fingers crossed we can get a job....

So that's us in a nutshell!

Regarding living costs being double - well it's mighty pricey and I might even hazard a guess that it is nearly double. I think the exchange rate everyone says to use is $2.50 to the £1 to work out whether the salary is good enough, rather than comparing $1.50 to the £1 which it is at the moment. Here's some examples:

Pint of Beer $9.50
Spirit & Mixer $10
Loaf of Sliced Bread $4
Block of Cheese $8.99
Small pot of yogurt $1.50
Lurpack (my fave!) small pot $6.99 - sadly too expensive for us now
2 pack of chicken breasts $8.99
Cereal $5.49
Petrol $1.45 per litre

Second hand cars are expensive - we've got a clapped out Hyundai Excel that's covered in dents, paintwork is terrible, the passenger side door you can't open from the outside, the drivers door handle is broken and on the verge of snapping off - and we bought it for $1,500! Something I wouldn't have paid £500 for in the UK, but it was the cheapest we could find and the air-con is cold which is all that matters really!

Bus fare (from Zone 1) $1.95 - so my travel is $20 per week
Optus pre-paid (we have iphones) $30 per month lasts well enough with a couple of calls back to the UK.
Average meal out for two $100 (inc 2 alcoholic drinks) expect much more if you have wine as well.

I find clothes very expensive out here, so I still buy my clothes from the UK and get them shipped out, even with shipping costs it's still cheaper! I also buy a lot of body shop things, again this is double the price of the UK out here so I get it from eBay and shipped out for much less!

Those are all the random items that popped into my head! Feel free to message me if you want any more info !

Nicola xx

7. Posted by Allysa81 (Budding Member 35 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Nicola,
Thankyou for you information 
Can I ask what it is about that you really like? I’ve been told by some people that it’s the best city to live in Australia, albeit most remote  I’ve read online some people say there’s not a lot to do… I don’t know those adverts? 
That’s great you did a Contiki tour, I think they are quite popular? Which places did you go on the east coast?
I know that feeling, it’s a big thing to do and you do need to be a little determent even if it is scary calling somewhere else home for a while. But I think for me it’s scarier if I don’t do it as I know it’ll be a regret of mine. I think sometimes it’s good to go out of your comfort zone and be a little random, it’s helped reading these posts on the forum and also I know someone a little bit that’s just followed her boyfriend out to Perth. She was scared and no she’s like ‘you must come, don’t be scared, you will be fine’ She was out there a week and managed to find a job.
Does it get cold in Perth? Your brother sounds like a saint doing all those things for you, at least it was a few things less to worry about! Is it quite easy to set those up?
That is tough choices, all you can do is see how you feel in January….you may want to stay in Perth and make it home or you may take it as an amazing experience and continue on your travels….What do you feel like doing so far? Even if you still do a little travelling, could you ask your work for a month off at least to do the travelling and then go back?
Wow those prices unbelievable, just as well the wages seem to be double!  I’m hoping I’ll manage to find a job pretty soon from when I get to Perth as I’d like to still have some savings left in the bank just in case.
How do you find the locals? How is work? Is it laid back? That’s what I’ve heard about Australia….
I’m planning on making sure my cv is up to date before I go and then once I’m nearly at perth maybe email my cv to some agencies, is that the best thing to do to find a job? What did you do?
Thankyou 

Allysa x

8. Posted by B'packingSpirit (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


I have been in Australia for 2 years, on a 1st working holiday visa and then a second. I spent 6 months living in Perth.

Your questions: yes it does get cold (not like the UK cold where I am from though...!) but the winter from April - August time gets chilly, though you will need no more than a jacket and jeans. Then in the summer, Perth sees some of the hottest summers in Australia.

It is laid back... but then everywhere (maybe not so much Sydney) is in Australia. The locals are friendly and you will meet lots of other travellers. Check out Gumtree for accommodation - there is always loads on there.

Good idea to update your CV before you come out, and yes also a good idea to email it through to agencies before you come out. I have got most of my jobs out here from SEEK, check that out as you can also submit your CV to jobs directly.

And dont worry about the expense - if you get a half decent job the wages will MORE than make up for the cost of living!!

Good luck!


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9. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Perth is a pretty nice place but I'm not sure it has a lot going for it as a tourist destination, although there are some decent places to see in that part of Western Australia. It's isolated and expensive. Still, the weather's good and the people are nice enough and it's certainly easy to get around. I'm just not sure there's too much to see.

Cottesloe is an expensive, up-market area so I don't know whether there'd be too many house-share opportunities there.

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