Australia is far away. The city of Perth, Australia, is even farther. It’s the most isolated capital city in the world, and I’m going to tell you why you need to go.
Picture what you already know about Australia: sun, surf, kangaroos, koalas. Perth has all that and a whole lot more. Approximately 2 million people live in Perth. But what makes this city attractive to students, businesses and immigrants alike? Could it be the free Wi-Fi in the city centre? The free bus service (CAT lines) around the city, too? The fantastic, clean beaches so close to the town? The safety, good public transportation and relatively little traffic on the roads? To me, Perth ticks all the boxes.
I’ve spent months in three major cities in Australia – Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. In my opinion, Perth has the friendliest population. They are super welcoming to foreigners, which is a vital part of travelling or moving abroad. At least for me, I remember my experiences abroad based on the people I met. But not only are the locals welcoming; the city itself is also very cosmopolitan. I once heard that 1 in every 4 people in Perth was born overseas. How cool to live in a place where you can meet people from many different countries on any given day!
Perth is also a great place to study. It has five universities, the oldest and most prestigious being The University of Western Australia, ranked #87 in the world. Unfortunately, many people picture Australia as a place just for tourism. Still, it is actually a country with one of the highest quality education systems in the world. Western Australia also offers free education for children of postgraduate international students studying there, an excellent initiative to attract more students to the region.
Western Australia is the state that drives the Australian economy. Recently, a considerable movement of investments has been coming to Perth for mining, energy, agriculture, construction, technology, research, and more projects. Because of this, there is also a massive demand for workers, and Perth generally offers higher salaries than in other cities. Looking for work? Chances are, Perth is the place to be.
Perth is considered the sunniest capital city in the world. Its Mediterranean climate is why it offers clear, blue skies 70 per cent of the year. So naturally, this means lots of barbecues, swimming, running—and if you’re not careful, sun burning, too!
But Perth also has the best beaches in Australia in my opinion, especially the famous Cottesloe Beach. I spent countless hours there after work, enjoying a smoothie, watching the sunset with friends. And let’s not forget the beautiful dog beaches. I used to bring my golden retriever at least once a week to run and play with the other dogs in the ocean. The quality of life in Perth is just incredible.
In the past, people used to say that Perth was boring. Stores weren’t allowed to be open on Sundays until a few years ago. They still don’t change their clocks for Daylight Savings. It was a conservative place to live, designed for an older generation. That has all changed. New bars and clubs are popping up all over the city, and Perth is now the cool place to be.
Australians are becoming increasingly interested in American sports, but theirs are still the most popular ones—rugby, Australian Rules Football (which is not soccer) and cricket. In Perth, Aussie Rules “Footy” is the most popular sport, which I consider a strange combination of soccer, volleyball and American football—definitely a must-see.
Melbourne has a reputation for having the best food and coffee in Australia, but Perth is not far behind. Aussies love their “flat whites,” a twist on the latte that even Starbucks and coffee shops in both North and South America are starting to promote (however, I don’t think they got the taste right yet). I never drank coffee until I lived in Perth, and now I can’t get enough of it. My favourite places were The Tenth State, a boutique store that served terrific coffee, and Greens & Co in Leederville, where you can always run into someone you know.
Fremantle: Catch a 30-minute ride on the Perth train system. You arrive in Fremantle, a historical port city filled with funky cafes, restaurants and pubs, the most famous of which is called Little Creatures. Oh, what I would give to drink a Rogers beer right now!
Rottnest Island: This is a MUST-SEE. Also, 30 minutes from Perth city (by boat), this tiny island about 12 kilometres around is one of the most beautiful places globally. There, no cars are allowed, so everyone gets around by bicycle! The place is also full of funny-looking, and cute little marsupials called quokkas, who always seem to be smiling. But why wouldn’t they? They live in a paradise…
Western Australia: Like to travel? Like wine, surfing, hiking, camping? You could spend weeks in the state of Western Australia and not see everything (it is Australia’s largest state, after all). But with more than 10,000 kilometres of pristine coastline, WA is also one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, similar to the Amazon. In fact, around 80 per cent of the marine life in WA cannot be found anywhere else in the world!
Perth is the ideal place to study, start a career, have a family or just visit during the holidays, and it will always have a special place in my heart. So when you’re booking your next trip down under, I beg you-don’t even think twice about booking that extra leg across the outback and go see one of the most fascinating places in the world.