Choosing a city to move to is hard. Choosing a city in a new country is harder! For anyone looking to move to Australia, here are the pros and cons of picking the capital of Western Australia to help you know if you should move to Perth.
Perth is not always on people’s list to visit when they come Down Under, let alone a top choice city when deciding to move to Australia!
Note: Australia’s borders are currently closed to foreign visitors & new work visas. Plan now, do later.
I’ll admit, the only reason we moved to Perth was circumstantial. My partner’s job relocated him here and I was lucky to have the chance to work remotely so location wasn’t an issue. However, we are SO glad we decided to accept the offer and move to Perth. It’s been a wonderful city to live in. For anyone out there wanting to move to Australia but they’re not sure where to be based, here are a few of the benefits and disadvantages of moving to Perth.
I imagine that many of these pros and cons for living in Perth would be similar for those looking to move to elsewhere in Australia. BUT as I’ve only experienced moving to Perth I can’t account for cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Plus, Perth is better anyway… Kidding. But seriously, it is.
Benefits of Moving to Perth
If you’re asking yourself “where should I move to in Australia?” then I have the answer for you. Here’s why you should consider moving to Perth above the likes of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
High Quality of Life
Is Perth a good place to live? Heck yeah.
It’s undeniable that people who live in Perth experience great life balance. It’s one of the main driving factors that have people wanting to move to Australia in the first place! But in Perth, you’ll really reap the benefits of a higher quality of life.
Being a smaller city you’re that much closer to the beautiful coastline that make WA so enticing.
Fancy a quick surf before work? In Perth you can do just that!
I’ve really come to admire the lifestyle here. Your activities don’t take a backseat to your work, in fact they enhance your life. Having the time and means to enjoy what you love around working hours is a real privilege. In London, I barely had enough time to hit the gym in the evenings what with a commute, working late, crowds, and trying to have a social life. But here, the laid back Aussie attitude makes room for the things that matter most.
Quality of life is especially high as we’ll see later when it comes to your salary. Part time workers can still earn decent wages which means they have more time for the activities that give them meaning. Add on the fact that locals earn more at weekends and during public holidays, you can rake in the money comfortably rather than submit to the 9-5 that society dictates.
If you could choose to work fewer hours for the same pay, would you?
Overall, I love that the life balance in Perth is just that: balanced. Work and play are in tandem rather than fighting for your attention. Commutes are shorter, hobbies are more accessible, and work days are flexible. By giving yourself more free time when you move to Perth you’ll feel happier, be healthier, and just get to enjoy your time here!
That’s not to say this is the case for everyone, but it certainly seems to be a lifestyle that Perthites appreciate in general.
Keeping Active is Easier
Living in Perth has come with lots of time spent outside. Locals are really outdoorsy, and there are lots of ways to explore nature. Whether you enjoy hikes in the hills, swimming at the beach, running down the coast, or cycling along the river there are so many ways to get your body moving while enjoying the space around us.
I’ve found being more active and sporty so much easier since the move to Perth.
It’s an important part of the lifestyle here and it’s easy to get involved. With such gorgeous weather nearly year-round, it’s hard to say no to time spent outdoors and the exercise that comes with it feels so natural.
Even better is that there is truly a way to keep fit that suits everyone. There is a wide variety of activities to try so you’re sure to like one of them! The most popular are water-based sports like swimming, kitesurfing, surfing, paddle boarding. Just pop down to Cottesloe Beach at the weekend to see what I mean!
Golf and hiking are more laid back alternatives to enjoy too. Many recreational activities are intertwined with socialising and daily routines in Perth.
And of course, we have the Aussie’s favourite team sports such as soccer, AFL, and netball!
WA has the Best Beaches
Sorry, East Coast. WA wins the beaches game. The stretch of beautiful white sand from Fremantle alllll the way up the coastline as far as Burns Beach is perfect.
It’s here that you’ll get to experience the quintessentially Australian way of life.
Swim in the morning, lunchtime ice cream, paddle at sunset. Lovely.
For those who are interested in becoming more active when they move to Australia, the beaches around Perth are the best place to exercise! As mentioned, Perthites looooove their water sports. And, there are a handful of outdoor gyms around the coastline so you can watch the waves crash against the shore while you workout. Does it get any more magical?
Most of Perth’s main beaches have excellent facilities. There are toilets, showers, and almost always a great cafe or two. You can choose to embrace the surf life at Scarborough, or take your dog for a walk at Mosman-Leighton, or kick back and relax at Cottesloe. The choice is yours.
With gorgeous beaches in Western Australia comes amazing sunsets! I cannot begin to explain how soul soothing it is to watch the peachy sun melt into the horizon. It’s a ritual that happens daily, but one that never fails to calm and bring gratitude for our beautiful Earth.
It’s Cheaper to Live in Perth
Many people want to move to Australia because it’s affordable and you’ll earn more money than places like the UK. Yes, it’s true the minimum wage is higher in Australia $19.49 (£9.93) compared to $17.12 (£8.72) in the UK. And, compared to other Aussie cities Perth actually has a higher average hourly rate than other major cities:
- Perth: $25.78
- Sydney: $25.46
- Melbourne: $25.18
- Brisbane: $25.08
Add to that the fact that living costs are also cheaper in Perth, you’ll be pleased to see your bank balance when you move to Perth.
Estimated monthly cost for 1 person per month:
- Perth: $2,844
- Brisbane: $2,959
- Melbourne: $3,185
- Sydney: $4,196
Overall, Perth is around 34% cheaper to live in than London.
Of course, we all know London’s living cost is extortionate. But even compared to other Australian cities Perth is cheaper. Perth living costs are 19% less than Sydney, 11% cheaper than Melbourne, and 8% less than Brisbane.
Besides the stats, the move to Perth has without a doubt resulted in lower cost of living. Compared to London: rent is cheaper, food is a fraction more expensive (but that’s easily made up for with lower eating out costs), and transport is a completely different ball game.
Yes Perth is a smaller city, but that only comes as an advantage when you’re comparing the financial benefit. In my opinion, it’s a huge advantage to move to Perth and save some hard-earned money while you live here than anywhere else in Australia. As we’ve seen, you won’t be compromising lifestyle for cash either. What’s not to love?
Perth has it’s Own Unique Vibe
When you’re moving to Australia, it’s really worth considering the type of city you want to live in.
It’s no surprise that Perth is a smaller city than elsewhere in Australia. Perth has a lower population of around 2 million people which puts it as the 4th largest city in Australia ahead of Adelaide and behind Brisbane.
For those that are trying to escape the crazy cities and settle into a calmer way of life, moving to Perth might be for you.
What’s even better is that although Perth is smaller you still have all the expected conveniences of any modern city. And more. Yes, living in a smaller city has some serious advantages.
Forget the lengthly and arduous commutes in the big cities. The free CAT bus in town will get you where you need to go. With less than half the population of Sydney, life in Perth gives you room to breathe.
Aside from small city life, Perth also has a ton of character. You’ve got some amazing culture and arts right on your doorstep. There’s the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Fringe, Sculptures by the Sea… And so much more. Top it off with the incredible nature I keep banging on about, and you’ve got yourself a cocktail of features that make Perth so special.
This all contributes to Perth’s own unique vibe. You get small town benefits without compromising comfort. There’s always an event, festival, or occasion going on. Small doesn’t mean boring by any means!
Perth is one of the Most Remote Cities in the World
Yes, Perth is far away from pretty much anywhere. It’s closest Australian city is Adelaide 2,600km away, and if you head west then the next closest cities are in Indonesia.
Some might say Perth is too isolated. For me, it’s liberating.
Being in Australia’s largest state which is so sparsely populated is a strange thrill. You know you’re not far from complete freedom and endless outback drives, yet you have the familiarity of the city (where 80% of the state’s population live) to return to.
I’ve found Western Australians to be very proud of their state. Historically, they were reluctant to join the Commonwealth of Australia and preferred the idea of complete independence. Although this may not be so true now, I’ve noticed a “homegrown” attitude and strong support for local, WA businesses.
This independence is certainly not a bad thing! There are more locally-run shops and cafes. The fact that there are no Starbucks in WA at all is proof too!
But It’s Closer to the Rest of World Than Other Australian Cities…
Although it’s far from any other Australian city, being in Western Australia gives you easier access to the rest of the world.
Popular holiday destinations like Singapore and Bali are often cheaper to fly to than Sydney! As well as being cheaper, flights are also shorter. There is now the Qantas 17-hour flight direct to London which sounds so much better than 2 flights over 24 hours from the East Coast.
So although some might say Perth is isolated, you can’t deny that geographically it’s in a prime position to reach the rest of the world.
There are Fewer Backpackers
There’s nothing wrong with backpackers of course, but Australia is such a popular destination for the young travellers it’s hard to find authenticity in areas around the East Coast! In Perth you can mix with actual locals and get involved with a community that will last more than a fleeting visit.
While there is a booming expat community in Perth, they make up roughly 1/3 of the population of WA overall. And, unlike backpackers, they’ll be scattered around the city and beyond making it much easier to integrate into local life instead of staying in an expat bubble.
You’ll Find Lots of Aussie Culture
With fewer people to dilute the history and traditions of Perth comes a strong culture that retains its charms and facts. In the larger Australian cities there are so many more tourists, expats, and backpackers around you might wonder where the real Australia is!
To be honest, visitors comment on how many more Australian’s they meet in WA than anywhere else on the East Coast.
In Perth there are plenty of acknowledgements of the Noongar people who are the indigenous people of the land. There are also lots of places to see and experience the colonial heritage that is rich in Western Australia.
The Weather in Perth is Ideal
When you think of moving to Australia, you immediately think of the sunny, all-round summer weather. Sadly, this isn’t completely accurate! Places in the south east of Australia often see a southern-European style winter.
Comparatively, a major reason to move to Perth is the climate. We have a sub-tropical climate without compromising the beautiful Australian landscapes. Think soft white sands as well as expansive outbacks. Sweeping deserts and rugged cliffs. Western Australia has it all!
We arrived to “winter” and 25 degrees celsius in June. I mean, cmon. Isn’t that the dream?
While winter in Perth can be unpredictable and we encountered a lot of rain and storms, it’s pretty short lived. And when bad weather does come around, it’ll serve to nourish the land and give you stunning waterfalls to explore!
Yes the weather can get scorching at times, but the infrastructure is designed to cope with extreme heat. Aircon is in almost all buildings, and public transport is well ventilated. Those sweaty tube journeys are a thing of the past.
Disadvantages of Moving to Perth
I won’t pretend that Perth is perfect. It has its quirks and flaws like any other city! Here are a few of the downsides of moving to Perth.
Distance from Other Places
I know I said being in a remote city has its advantages, but the distance can be hard too!
Living in Perth you need to be prepared to travel. You need to plan further in advance if you want to take a trip somewhere further than a few hours drive.
The reality of living somewhere like Australia is that journeys will take a long time, especially internationally. Gone are the Ryanair and Easyjet flights to a new country in Europe for less than £50. You gotta work for your travels here!
It’s Expensive to Visit the Rest of Australia
While a trip over to Bali might come cheap, if you wanted to visit other Australian destinations you’ll be forking out a small fortune!
When you move to Australia you want to SEE Australia, right? Expect high prices for domestic flights. I’m talking hundreds of dollars.
And driving isn’t much better… Car hires can be extremely expensive, or if you own a vehicle already a roadtrip won’t come cheap. Factor in petrol, stops (maybe accommodation overnight), and food to see it soon adds up.
Tougher Job Market
Being a rather remote city there are fewer jobs around Perth than cities like Sydney.
The main industry in Western Australia is mining, so if this is your area then yay! If it’s not, then the opportunities might be more sparse. I’m not talking 1000’s of people fighting for one job, but it’s notably harder if you’re used to a very broad job market.
Another point to consider is the overall economic state of WA. A few years ago businesses started to really struggle, particularly in the CBD. Not just small shops and local businesses, but corporations too. Never fear though, there are regular reports stating WA’s economy is getting back on track. Let’s hope so!
Have I convinced you to move to Perth? What about moving to Australia overall? If you have any questions or would like to know more about our year living in Australia, I’d be happy to help.
Pin it for later!