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Perth walkabout

21 March 2016 by News Desk

Laid-back Perth is one of the most popular destinations for travellers worldwide, boasting more sunshine hours per day than any other state, writes Elizabeth Todd.

Perth walkabout

Elizabeth Todd in Perth

Perth Walkabout – Situated on the coast in Western Australia and voted one of the Top Three ‘most live-able’ cities in the world, Perth’s climate attracts a thriving ex-patriot community, a trend that continues as it moves onto another decade of boom economy to become the fastest-growing state in Australia.

There’s no shortage of jobs with skills desperately needed across the board, from accountants to swimming instructors; medical staff to boat repairers and business administrators to mining engineers. You name, they need it.

I’ve really fallen in love with Perth – it’s just FAB. I can’t get over the ‘lifestyle’ on an everyday basis. To meet up with an ex-pat is reward enough when they say ‘never, ever to return to the UK. Life’s never been better… it’s home’. Looking around Perth I can see why. I’m sold.

I’m staying in a lovely hotel in central Perth. I hired a car with Sat Nav as my guide but for the visitor a car is not essential, as the free CAT buses in and around the city make it so easy to get around. My advice for newcomers is for the first few days after you arrive just use the public transport. It’s so easy – and cheap!

I took a train south to a place called Mandurah and for the price of a coffee back home in UK I was travelling in comfort and style during the 40-min journey. Mandurah is a paradise, a place I think I could live very happily. Many ex-pats I’ve met praise it beyond words. It’s definitely worth considering as a destination.

Perth walkaboutI met with migrants new and old in Mandurah during my Perth walkabout . Some are in business, most are just enjoying the fact they go to work happy in the morning and come home by 5.30 to enjoy the family life. It’s the reason they all migrated: to enjoy a better lifestyle. And Perth is LIFESTYLE writ large.

I was invited to many a BBQ and even went ‘prawning’ one night. The boys with nets caught prawns then cooked ’em fresh from the sea. We ate them on the beach with a chilled lager – an amazing night it was. But it was nothing out of the ordinary for the locals.

A lot of clients ask if the POMS are welcome. Let me tell you, I do not have a bad word for anyone I’ve met here. Everyone is so welcoming and more than happy to please. Remember… Australia is a Migrant country and we POMS represent a very large percentage of the population, so we are most welcome.

Got to admit, I got lost in Fremantle. I went to the market on Friday and was blown away by the choice available. The place was simply loaded with fresh food of every description, so I bought bags of fruit and veg. Living healthy is not an issue here – you’ve no choice. Forget the supermarkets, these fresh food markets are all over the place and you can lose yourself in sampling every tasty morsel on offer. It was yummy to the point where I’ve promised myself never to buy daily staples from a supermarket again.

Arriving back in Perth, I needed some retail therapy. Many stores in the city are much the same as home with lots of well-known brands, but the thing that struck me most is how relaxing shopping can be here. It’s actually a real pleasure, unlike back home in UK.

Walking around the city shops is a doddle on my Perth walkabout . There’s a total lack of crowds, even at peak times. No pushing and shoving or dodging people in the street. I had shops to myself and the main streets are anything but crowded.

It’s worth remembering that the ENTIRE population of Australia is about the same as London (20 million) so it should be no surprise to find a lack of hustle and bustle on the streets.

The whole of Western Australia has a population of just 2.2 million and geographically the state is TWELVE times bigger than the UK. Plenty of room to breathe and to live a better life.

Another great discovery is a combined travel ticket. Purchased by the day, you can travel on all buses, trains and the River Ferries – and it’s so cheap. I travelled to Fremantle by ferry, returned by train then took the bus to my hotel. Can’t get easier than that.

Okay, so having gone Perth walkabout, checked out the city, met happy migrants, eaten my way through the markets, caned Darrell’s credit card in the shops – it was time to get a suntan. Not a ‘quickie’ in a ‘zap shop’ of blue light, but the real thing. So me and my pal TomTom head for the endless blue water and the amazing white sands of the coast.

Soon as I’d parked up the ‘cockies’ (white cockatoos) gathered around seeking a handout, like noisy parking attendants. I had nothing to give them so they called me all sorts of names (in cockatoo language!)

I sat on the sands of paradise thinking just how lucky I really am. Then I took a swim – a beautiful experience – and made myself another promise, ‘I will do this every day’. Perth – it’s just another world. For nature-lovers, swimming with the dolphins is a regular experience while getting a suntan happens with no effort whatsoever. Laying out on the warm sand, life and the struggle back in UK seemed like an entire universe away. And it’s like this EVERY DAY.

Perth walkabout

As my Perth walkabout drew to a close I decided that me an TomTom would park up in Kings Park – 1000 acres of pure bush, smack in the middle of Perth. Walking with the kangaroos as the sun went down, I sat overlooking the city at the end of my Perth walkabout. The lights of the began to glow. Los Angeles – eat your heart out!

Click here for info on travel visas: Travel to Australia

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