Moving to Perth

by Bob Sheth on December 23, 2009

in Australia Travel


The capital and the largest city of the state of Western Australia is the city of Perth. It is nearly 5,000 square kilometers wide and is quite far from the other capital cities Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney. In 2009, the city was populated by a million six hundred fifty thousand people, making it the fourth largest among the capital cities of Australia. It is also one of the most isolated metropolitan areas on earth but the current government is now undertaking a massive public works project to make Perth easier to access either by rail or motorway.

The city was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the center of the Swan River Colony. From that day, the city remained the center and the seat of government for Western Australia. The port of the city, Fremantle is its prime commercial hub from its creation until the present day.

Currently, the central business district of Perth is located on the banks of the Swan River. The city itself is known as the “City of Lights” as the city turned on its house and streetlights last February 1962 as Friendship 7 piloted by American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead. This was repeated in 1998 when the Space Shuttle passed overhead while in outer space. Aside from these achievements, the city of Perth has been hailed as on of the World’s Most Livable Cities.

The city started to develop and boom to prosperity starting in the 1960s due to its role as commercial center of the state’s industries. The city produced gold, iron ore, nickel, alumina, diamonds, mineral sands, coal, oil and natural gas. Aside from the mineral resources, other non-base industries provide both income and employment to the people of the city of Perth.

The most famed street in the city is St George Terraces as it provides more than a million and a quarter meters of office space in the Perth Central Business District. Other streets that are must-sees are Hay Street and Murray Street. On these streets are found many of the retail and entertainment facilities of the city. The tallest edifice in the city is Central Park and is the seventh tallest in all of Australia. As of late, the boom in commerce in the city driven by mining business with many commercial and residential projects for completion to assuage the seeming shortfall in homes and offices in the city.

Moving to Perth

Once issued a visa to Australia, you need to choose which city to start your life. If you do choose this city in Western Australia, this is but the start of the long process of moving to Perth. The following is but a short list you need to be on top of once you start moving to Australia.

  • Booking your Flight. The travel is across time zones thus coordinating your flight requires precision. You thus need to book your flight and determine the amount of baggage you are allowed to bring aboard. Another part often forgotten is transportation to and from the airport. This can all be a breeze with the help of a patient travel agent.
  • Transporting your Belongings. This step is done box by box as you place what you would need in your new home in Perth and leave behind what is unimportant. You also need to find and hire a professional moving company to be able to bring your personal items in moving to Perth.
  • Inform Everyone. In moving to Perth, you are in essence picking up your life and re-starting in another part of the world. Every part of your life is going to change, from your employment to your finances and even your personal life. You need to inform everyone of the changes in your life to wind up matters and obtain the necessary documentation to prove the closure of your financial as well as professional relationship.
  • Getting References. References provide both proof and recommendation for your benefit. The time difference between Australia and your old home may prove to be difficult so having documentation to that effect can make it easier for your to find gainful employment.
  • Doctor’s Records. This is an important part of your ability to avail of immigration benefits in Australia. These benefits include being covered under Medicare and PBS, without which life can be quite expensive in Australia. You thus need to have complete doctor’s records when you are moving to Perth.
  • Being Accessible. When moving to Perth, you need to coordinate a lot of items, from your personal belongings to your home and financial transfers. Thus you need to be accessible at all times to make quick decisions when the need arises.
  • Updating Records. The most common problem is being able to remember that your personal address is different now. You also need declare your status as Permanent Resident Immigrant in all your applications and documentation when in Perth. Unlearning your old address and phone numbers and learning the new ones takes time, but it has to be done.
  • File Copies. One of the travails in moving is losing important documents or items. It is best that you have copies of all your important documentation and files. Also, to give it credence and effect, it is best that you have these copies duly certified under law. When you do start moving to Perth, it is best that you send copies to your new address by post, then carry the originals with you and keep some of the copies in your other luggage. These would ensure at least one of these copies would still be with you when you do arrive in your new home.
  • Winding Up Accounts. As you are re-starting your life Down Under, it is best that you close and pay for all the outstanding payables in your old home. These include utilities, mortgages, loans and other financial debts. If you fail to wind up affairs, this may end up as a blemish and become a hindrance to your start in Perth.

In moving to Perth, you are essentially starting from the bottom run all over again. It is in essence restarting your life and this is in a new home in one of the most inaccessible places in the world. It is going to be an uphill climb and to make the journey a bit easier. Here are some of the items to look over to assuage the changes that would be undertaken.

1)    Fixing Finances. Opening a bank account is one of the first steps you need to take to fix your finances in Australia. You need to submit all your clearances as well as your credit report to be able to avail of the same privilege Down Under. Once they see you are a good investment, then financial doors would be opened to you. You would also need to register as a taxpayer in order to be fully provided an individual account in Australia’s many financial institutions.

2)   Acquiring a Home. When in Perth, with the ongoing boom in construction, there are many options to find one best suited to your requirements. Once you have all your financial documents in order, get in touch with a real estate agent as these experts can help you in your quest to find the best possible residence for your stay in Perth.

3)   Getting to School. When moving to Perth, you need to arrange it in such a way that your children would not get shell-shocked by getting to school in the middle of the term. Thus, a little long range planning as to the school they would be attending is important because quality and proximity are premiums for your stay in Perth, Australia.

4)   Getting Insurance Coverage. Moving to Perth, or any place for that matter, means a lot of risks for you and your family. One way to allay your fears on these grim possibilities is having insurance coverage as soon as you reach Perth. These include accident, medical, car and the many others that are being offered which can provide you with the safety and security when you start living out your new life.

5)   Having Transportation. There are two factors that are important when opting to have transportation. First is the financial aspect of purchasing and maintaining a vehicle. Secondly, it is your capacity and need for such when cheaper alternatives are available such as public transportation. Ultimately, you need to decide one in order to be able to move around in Perth.

6)   Budgeting Costs. Perth, being off the beaten path requires a little more expense when it comes to day-to-day substinence. Thus it is important that you get used to the costs in Perth and be able to budget your needs with the available funds you have.

Cost of Living in Perth

The first things an immigrant to Perth must learn is that there is a 10% goods and services tax over and above the listed price for items. Thus items that are listed at a certain price would have to add on 10% when paying at the counter.

If you are looking for bargains in Perth, Harbour Town is the place to be as there are many factory outlets and many bargain centers that can be located nearby. There are also many shops offering Broome pearls, Perth mint gold and the famed Argyle diamonds. There are two Woolworth stores located in the city offering the best quality medication for your budget.

If you are looking to splurge, then the place to go to is King Street, where name brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci have set up shop. Near the northern end of the street is a haven of local boutique stores offering reasonable prices for top-notch goods. Further down the road are Hay and Murray Streets where there are many malls that can be found offering household items to clothes to branded appliances for your shopping needs.  Many other malls are located in the suburbs in and around the city. Another must go place is Northbridge where clothing lines for hip and young clients are ready and available off the rack.

Perth has but one blemish in its otherwise sterling status as a metropolitan area. There are not many places that offer food to go after ten pm, except for some out of the way eateries and cafes on Northbridge. On an early night, Northbridge is lined up with Continental, Southern European and Asian cuisine stalls, stores and restaurants. Another good place to dine in is Fremantle with its many bars and coffee shops. It also hosts many seafood restaurants and foremost amongst them is Fisherman’s Wharf.

To make up for the lack of late night dining options, Perth has become one of the most developed European style café culture in Australia. There are many coffee shops and cafes one can choose from lining up the Northbridge area, particularly William Street. For the alternative drinker, there are many pubs and bars that can become habitués not only for the tourist but also for the locals alike.

Choosing to Move to Perth

Once you have decided to immigrate to Australia and have undergone the process, it is easy to choose which part of the country you would choose to live in. If you want a low-key but very fulfilling life Down Under, then Perth would be the ideal place for you. Its developing economy and deep cultural traditions help shape the direction the city is taking. Born of a hardy existence, the city has matured and grown into one of the most vibrant and attractive communities in all of Australia.  There are many opportunities in the city, not just for employment but also for social as well as cultural advancement. The educational system is top-notch and if you choose to start your life anew in Perth, that is a decision well worth all the effort you have undergone in immigrating to Australia.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

eileen m dela cruz April 9, 2010 at 4:06 am

hi,I’m Eileen , 36 yo., married with two children ages 3 and 5 yo. I don’t know if this page is right and appropriate to share insights and concerns.I’m very intersted to migrate in Australia most specifically in Perth which I learned from my husband that its really worth staying for. He has been to Perth last August 2005 (for 3 weeks only) for Official Business. From then on , I’m encourage to consider this place as our future home with my family. My only apprehensions is on how to start and what to do in applying. My primary concern is employment. I’m a Medical Technology graduate but not practicing. Currently Im connected to a government agency catering the needs of the Filipino people/members. My work is related to Medical Services, accepting claims and listening to their concerns for almost 16 yrs. My husband too is a government employee. So, in our case its hard for us to take a risk though its our dream plainly because we are afraid we might end up loosing everything. I hope, you could help me in referring to a company that would fit to my qualifications and more so offers assurance and longevity and cheaper fees with regards to processing of my employment and immigration with our family. I’m very willing to work any jobs offered which would compliment to the need of my family as well . thank you very and God bless.


Macton November 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Would I be chasing wild horses if I tried to get myself a Fitter And Turner job. I got more than ten years experience in machining.


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