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Our early days in Perth


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Having seen a similar thread in PiO I thought I'd add my own to this in the hope that people find it useful.


Before we left

  • Sold just about everything. We knew that furniture is pretty cheap here; check out Gumtree or eBay if on a tight budget but there are a lot of retailers selling stuff at very reasonable prices. (Then there's always Ikea if you really have to)
  • Negotiated with airline for an increase in baggage allowance. We weighed our cases and they would have taken us over our limit. We managed to talk them into allowing us an extra 15kg each which was just excellent.
  • Put our house on the market but not nearly early enough. We thought it would sell quickly and we'd budgeted to have some of that cash available now and it's still not sold
  • Checked out the forums to get to know the place, areas, schools etc. This place is great for info but a couple of weeks in it's important to note that everyone has an opinion and they very often differ. Obvious, I know but it's best to get here and discover. (*smirks at the irony*)
  • Booked a stopover in Singapore. We had 5 days there and the kids loved it. Great start to the adventure, helped with jetlag, lovely safe city to explore, we thought it was fab.


  • Booked a holiday let for the first month for all of us. This was fully furnished and reasonably well equipped but because it's in Freo it's staggeringly expensive. We offset the rental cost with proximity to public transport, restaurants etc and things to do with the kids. This has worked out well, I think the extra money was well spent as I could wander to the beach with the kids, enjoy the cafe culture and access Perth either on foot or by the excellent Transperth.
  • Network, network, network. I needed a job and it is estimated that 78% of job vacancies in Perth never reach advert and just 12% go up on the net. This place is all about who you know so get out there. People have a very egalitarian attitude so it's easy to pick up the phone and speak to the MD or CEO of an organisation. Asking directly for a job won't go down well but explaining your situation may get you 15 minutes with them which can easily turn into an hour.
  • Relax. After the stress of moving I felt it was really important to ease myself and the kids into life here. We treated the first two weeks as a great adventure and despite my efforts there was a lot of rebellion from my 8 and 4 year olds - it was massive for us so very difficult for them. In the end they craved two things - TV and friends. All of our day trips out and adventures were just overwhelming for them and they just wanted to veg out and play with other kids.

General stuff

  • Within a week of arriving I'd started doing some voluntary work which led to a contact for the house we're moving into but whilst there I was offered three different places to live. The first day I left the voluntary job I drove away when I'd arrived on foot - someone just lent me their car! I've found people here to be incredibly warm and generous but you have to muck in and help out.
  • If you have no broadband get a 3G dongle but check the coverage first. I'm paying a lot for it but the coverage is good, some of the providers had great prices but absolutely no signal in my area.
  • Get a WA driving license. ID is really important if you want anything but if you're not keen on hauling birth certs, marriage certs, passports, via etc everywhere then get the driving license as soon as you can - it seems to be accepted over everything
  • Bring more than just shorts and T-shirts. In the winter the nights are blooming freezing and in our place there's just a wood burner in the lounge. We bought leccy blankets for the beds but make sure you get the ones you can keep on low all night and invest in some Ugg slippers for the morning. Gore-tex is also really handy, the rain can be torrential so you'll need something waterproof that isn't thick.
  • Parks are great. BBQ's at the weekend, clean and well maintained.
  • Eating out can be costly. The first night we arrived we decided to go for seafood in Freo harbour. One course and a bottle of wine cost the same as three with cocktails and wine in London. It was a real shock but there are also some great places that are dirt cheap; you pay a real premium for location.
  • Don't speed and make sure you get the right child seats. You know how 43 in a 40 is ok in the UK or how 85 is generally accepted on the motorway? Well here if the limit is 60, 61 and you're fined. You just don't do it and if you do, know you're going to be fined. Similarly don't bother bringing your child seats. The laws are different as well as the regulations and there is no leniency because you've just arrived and didn't know. You can hire them here short term but there are loads of booster seats on Gumtree and it's ilegal to sell a seat that doesn't comply with the new regulations.
  • Everyone says thank you to the bus driver.
  • Not everyone smiles when they're happy (that may just be my observation but I have been weirded out a couple of times), service can be a little "tough sh*t" sometimes and I've found a lot of people to swear in public and around children which is not something I'm used to. I have also been surprised at the levels of racism and sexism openly displayed but maybe I'm just naive.

Hope this is useful to someone, sorry if it's long and rambling, I could go on.


We love it here. It feels like home already.

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Guest Shiela88

Thanks for the advice :smile: especially about bringing more then shorts and tshirts. I am going to Perth in september and have a suitcase full of summer clothes. I suppose i'll have to unpack and pack again for the 10th time. Thanks

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Thanks for sharing your newly arrived experiences with us. Just wanted to add though that I think a lot of peoples experiences are based obviously on where they end up living. Freo is an expensive part of Perth and is not indicitive of some of the more outer suburbs. I certainly have not experienced the poor service, here everything is service with a huge smile. and I have not heard any sexism or racism at all in and shape or format, far from it. Good luck to all who are embarking on this journey x

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Thanks for the practical advice - we due to arrive early Oct and the pure fear is kicking in so this is really helpful! Cheers X


Hey smoggie, don't sweat it, there are loads of people who've been in your position and most will be able to offer some kind of advice and guidance and a lot of it you'll already find here.

What you're doing is incredibly exciting and pretty stressful but you'll get there, time will go so quickly and when you arrive Spring will be in full swing.


I bought a couple of cheap fishing rods and this morning took my son fishing in the Indian Ocean! Six weeks ago I was shopping for suitcases in Croydon, it's just so surreal, I still can't get over the awesomeness of this place.

Good luck and PM me if you need anything, happy to help if I can.

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The great thing about sites like these are there are people who are going through or gone through the same process - It's a bit daunting especially if you don't know anyone when you arrive. Go with the flow and enjoy your new experiences. Don't be afraid to ask something - the only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked.

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