West Coast Loyalty – Why I think Perth rivals Sydney and Melbourne

cottesloe-beach-perth-western-australia-Recently, I have been reminiscing about my 6 months living in Perth, Western Australia. Not a surprise given the ghastly spring and summer we have had so far in the UK. It also doesn’t help that I’m back to working longer hours for less pay.

Things I miss:

  1. Cottesloe Beach – A fantastically white sandy beach with crystal clear waters, easily reached from the CBD.
  2. Sunday Sessions – At the Ocean Beach Hotel, drinking all day before work on a Monday morning – truly an Australian institution, celebrating their stereotype.
  3. Australia Day Celebrations – Maximising their bank holiday by holding numerous parties all day long and dancing to triple Js hottest 100.
  4. ‘I’ll come pick you up mate’ – the hospitality of friends who will come drive round and pick you up so that you can be involved in any social event even if transportation is an issue for you.
  5. Rotto – aka Rottnest Island – a magnificant tropical idyll with no cars, stunning beaches and the fantastic quokka (google them)
  6. Swan River – a beautiful body of water that runs through Perth, sailing, rowing, kayaking all on you doorstep
  7. Health – everyone is just obsessed with being fit and healthy. I was always astounded by the number of cyclists on the roads and cycling paths early in the morning of all ages.
  8. Sun – vastly underrated unless you come from somewhere like the UK. Perth manages 300 days of sunshine a year, the sunniest city in Australia. I recall one day of rain in 6 months that I was there.

Many travellers hit the East Coast then move onto New Zealand completely bypassing Western Australia. Yes, it is an expensive place due to the boom of mining and the ridiculous pay that even the least qualified jobs earn. But, travelling around Perth can be done cheaply by using the free CBD transport, the excellent buses and staying in hostels in Fremantle.

it has so much to offer besides Perth. Margaret River is a world renowned wine region and the wilderness North of Perth is absolutely gorgeous – the likes of Monkey Mia and the Kimberleys.

I loved Sydney, Melbourne less so, but my heart belongs to Perth. To me, it is what I imagined Australia to be; relatively rural, amazing weather, gorgeous beaches, laid-back. Sydney is very much an international city in the same mould of other great cities of the world. Perth is really too small and quaint to be similar to other Western cities – and that is a positive in my eyes. Plus, my friends working in Sydney just had rain, rain, rain most of the summer.

Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world. Rumour has it that it is closer to the likes of Singapore than it is to Sydney and Melbourne. It’s proximity explains the large resident Asian population, predominantly university students. The Asians and Western Australians seem to live together in harmony. I’m not sure how much integration there is though.

The following is an amusing video that stereotypes Perth. For those that don’t know FIFO – fly in fly out, refers to mine workers who spend a week at the mines living and working and then maybe a week or two back in Perth.

So if you get a chance, do as the village people do…..GO WEST!