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Moving to Perth will be an exciting time, but make sure you find out all you can before you arrive – so the move is as easy and stress-less as possible. Here is a guide that gives you everything you need to know (and a bit more).

For those looking to move to Australia, Perth, in the western part of the country, has been increasingly popular thanks to its several positives. The local economy is strong, which promises a good job market, which is a main draw to the region.

sailing in perth

It is the capital of Western Australia. In terms of size, it is the fourth largest city in the country. Projections show that by 2050 it will have approximately 3.9-5.4 million people. A large number of these people will be expats who have been lured with well-paying jobs and the great Aussie lifestyle.

A good job market, a balanced population, and great opportunities make Perth a wonderful choice for immigration, however, here are some things that you should also keep in mind:

  1. Perth is geographically one of the most isolated cities of the world and is surrounded largely by ocean on one side and desert on the other. Impromptu roads trips to the nearest town could take a long time.
  2. Perth has been officially classified as a ‘regional hardship area’, since 2011, which essentially means that the city is in need of people to fill jobs. It therefore is one of easiest cities in Australia to secure a Skilled Regional (provisional) visa for. But, this still means that you require a nomination that says you are a worker who is needed. This will have to come from a State or Territory government agency. And you will be required to stay within specific regions as well.

The Job Market
For well qualified individuals, Western Australia has a very promising job market in the primary and tertiary sectors. If you are looking for jobs in primary markets such as mining and construction, though they are on the decline they still offer quite a few opportunities for those with specific qualifications. Projections by the Australian government show a good amount of growth in these sectors. Combining agriculture, forestry and fishing, Australian farmers are responsible for 93% of the country’s food, and as a result there is a thriving job market in these areas.

The tertiary sector includes retail, healthcare and social assistance, and this is where the most opportunities lie at present, to service the local population. It is a sector that supplies over 50% of the state’s GDP and is responsible for over 80% of the state’s employment. Qualified individuals coming into the country will find several opportunities here.

Tourism is also a huge sector at present and offers a range of opportunities. Western Australia has some beautiful weather and sunny beaches, and Perth enjoys being a major tourist destination. There is a lot of scope with Perth’s beautiful landscape to tap potential tourism opportunities.

Getting a Visa
Kiwis get a visa on arrival, the SCV – Special Category Visa. It allows you to work and live in Australia for as long as you want. However it does not give you the same rights as the locals. In order to receive welfare or full Medicare, you will need to become an Australian citizen. This is a long process, but if you come to Perth on a skilled labour visa, the process can be quicker.

Housing
When you are looking for housing, research the areas you want to live in and then narrow down on accommodation that best works for you in those neighbourhoods. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. Demand for rental housing is the most in the summer months in Perth. This is between November and March.
  2. Real estate transactions move fast in Perth. If you like a place, it’s best to arrive at a final decision quickly. Ensure you have your documentation showing your financial stability, tax returns, bank information and requisite permits in place, to show your prospective landlord.
  3. Remember that there is a currently an oversupply in the market and so renting and buying costs have dropped and are projected to drop further. Look around for a good deal, within your budget and you are sure to be able to negotiate one.
  4. REIWA is a good site to begin your search with.

kings park perth australia

The Cost of Living
Perth falls somewhere in the middle of ranking when it comes to expensive cities to live in. In the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Perth ranked 61 out of more than 200 expat cities reviewed. In comparison, Auckland was in 81st place. So if you’re moving for Auckland to Perth, you’ll have a great lifestyle.

Here are some figures to help you plan:

  1. Monthly rent for a 2 Bedroom home – AUD 2700
  2. Monthly Rent for an apartment – AUD 2100
  3. Average monthly grocery shopping – AUD 300
  4. Average monthly utilities – AUD 340

Besides these, you also have to plan for healthcare costs, this especially if you are not eligible for the public health insurance plan of Medicare. Kiwis have some Medicare benefits after six months of living in Aus, so you’ll need private healthcare/ insurance for the first six months, at least.  

The People and Communities
The Perth metropolitan area has a diverse population of around two million inhabitants. Most Australian-born folks in Perth are from English, Scottish, Irish or Italian ancestry. Portugal, parts of Europe, Anglo-Indian, Anglo-Burmese as well as people of Chinese descent find a home here.

In recent years, Asian communities as well as people from Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands have been coming in as well. From the religious perspective, there is a sizeable diversity. After Catholics and Anglicans, the Buddhists as well as the Muslims are a sizable community each.

There are a lot of Kiwis too, with about 70,000 of us living in WA.

 Life in Perth
The weather - Perth has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, cool and wet winters. One thing there is plenty of all through the year is sunshine.

School System

A few things to remember about the schooling in Perth and Western Australia, although the system is very similar to NZ:

  1. There are a limited number of international schools and around 8 that offer the International Baccalaureate system.
  2. Home schooling is an option but you will have to speak with the regional education office in your area to fulfil requirements.
  3. Perth has five universities and several options for professional and vocational training. You will find something that suits your personal needs.

Child care – In cases where expatriate parents are both working, there are quite a few options for child care available. Up to the age of five years you will find the care you need at any of the not-for-profit community centres or even a private day care. You also have options for at-home day care or the services of a nanny or au-pair.

Healthcare
NZ has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Australia, which means Kiwis and Aussies can live in each other’s respective countries and get free healthcare. After six months of living in Australia, Kiwis will have to prove that they intend to stay in Australia long-term (i.e. show proof of buying a home/ employment) and then they are eligible for Medicare.

Public Transport
Perth’s public transport network is called Transperth and comprises a comprehensive network of trains and buses. The suburban rail services have six lines and the Trains run from 5:00am to 0:00am-2:00am with frequency ranging from every half hour to every 2 minutes (during rush hour).

Buses are the best links to suburban stops and train stations, giving you direct connections to the CBD area. You also have free central area transit (CAT) buses to CBD stops during the day.

Buy yourself a smart rider card if you are a frequent passenger on public transport. Use the auto load option so that you can top up your card directly from your bank account and not have to worry about buying a ticket each time you use the transport.

Getting a license

If you are looking to get a license to drive, your Kiwi licence will do for the first three months. After that, you’ll need to go into the local Department of Transport and get a WA licence. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take long.

What to do for fun
There are lots of interesting things to do in Perth when you have the time on your hands. Here’s a look at some options:

  • Animal lovers can spend some time observing quokkas, small marsupials that are common to Western Australia. Head over to Rottnest Island and check out the friendliest fluffy marsupials on earth.
  • Bird-watching is another great pastime. Especially along the coastline there are many birds, and of course Aussie is famous for their cockatoos, parrots and other screeching wildlife.
  • For those who love the sun and sand, the many beaches of Perth are great for some family fun, or water-based sports. It’s got white sandy beaches and the Freo area is fantastic in the afternoons for kite surfing.
  • Perth has a great nightlife with some great bars and night clubs. Fremantle and Subiaco in particular are suburbs with great bars and restaurants that are open into the night.
  • Indulge the Cappuccino Strip, famous for the number of cafes and restaurants it houses. Here is where you take part in open nights, enjoy some cabaret and even listen to some great live music.
  • Perth has a lot on offer for local culture and history buffs. Freo has some of Perth’s oldest buildings and there is plenty to explore, both for Aboriginal and European history.
  • Expat families in Perth will spend a several great weekends touring the many wildlife sanctuaries and even camping in the area.

Perth is a great place to live and there is plenty to do. With a warm climate, great beaches and plenty of friendly locals, Kiwis will fit in easily and Perth will feel like home straight away.

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Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

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Our Service Promise:

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Free In-Home Consultation:

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