Perth, Oz. Thoughts?

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  • Perth, Oz. Thoughts?
  • Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Very early days, just a seed of a thought about emigrating to Perth. We have a young family, three kids so not a decision we can rush into. Wife is in medicine so visa shouldn’t be a problem.

    We would be looking for a slightly more relaxed lifestyle,.more outdoor time and a healthy place for kids too grow up. We have a fair few friends in Perth but no family over there.

    Any real life experience of living in Perth? (and more importantly, what is the riding like?)

    perthmtb
    Member

    I moved to Perth with my wife and 3 year old daughter 4 years ago, but not from the UK so can’t make any direct comparisons.

    Perth will certainly give you the relaxed lifestyle you seek, and is a very outdoorsy place. It’s a great place to bring up kids – safe and healthy, if a bit unexcitimg! The weather can be too hot in the height of summer, but for the rest of the year its wonderful for spending time outdoors camping, swimming, surfing, hiking, biking etc. etc.

    The MTB scene is small compared to the UK, but growing very rapidly, and I’ve been hitting the trails every weekend for a year now, and still haven’t got bored!

    The lifestyle is typical Ozzie suburban (think Neighbours!) and can be a bit parochial, but that all depends on whether you like to spend your time at the theatre & galleries, or at the beach & BBQ. The rest of Australia is a long flight away, but if you’re on a good salary then this isn’t a problem, and all the possibilities of Asia are on your doorstep.

    The economy is currently booming in WA because of the resources industry, which has created a “two speed economy”. Meaning that if you work in mining or related industries you’ll be very well off, but for the rest of us its a bit of a double edged sword in that it forces rents, prices etc higher. Migrants in the medical profession used to have to do their time in rural communities before living in Perth, which is a whole different world, so better check how the current rules would apply to your wife.

    Whether you’ll settle well in Perth or not will probably depend on your attitude more than anything else. They may speak English, but its still a foreign country with its own culture and way of doing things. In many ways its more like suburban America than England, but without the poverty & crime! And don’t forget you are the guest in their country – too many Brits come over with a superior attitude thinking they are ‘owed’ something, and quickly crash & burn.

    If your life is at a natural crossroads, you’re looking for a change and a fresh start, and you’re willing to make the effort to fit in, then you should thrive. However, if you’re leaving behind a very strong network of friends and family, then you may not survive the transition period where you have to build up a totally new support network from scratch. Don’t worry about the kids, they’re the most adaptable, its you and your wife who will need to think carefully whether you’re really ready to start all over again, because thats the reality of moving half way around the world.

    Hope those thoughts are of some help – I’m sure you’ll get a variety of views from others on here…

    FWIW – no experience myself, but have family who moved, and what ^^ he says is what I’ve heard – apart from the bike bits, because they’re not that into biking, and the Asia bit because they stay in Oz, but doubleplustrue on the Brits with superior attitdue (minority) getting short shrift

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    A quote I heard was
    “Perth is like Australia for Brits”

    3 hrs closer sun sea and all that.

    Very expensive though!!

    Had some interest over there but too far from the missus’s family to go for.

    Worth considering eastern states also Queensland is in the same boom as WA and the NT are doing very well (if you like digging holes)

    Access is the biggest issue for MTB out here though and you will end up buying a road bike.

    In Tassie looking for work at the minute but the missus is well paid so getting there.

    Drop me a mail if you want to know anything else

    konabunny
    Member

    I’m at the wrong end of Australia to comment specifically on Perth but I agree with all of the rest of perthmtb’s comments.

    When you say “in medicine”, which stream? Nursing, radiotherapy, physio…?

    BTW – if “in medicine” means radiology, you’ve got it made

    Perth MTB has hit the nail on the head. I have been here for 5 years and just got my citizenship, moved over with a local who is most disappointed I want to stay :).

    I had no mining experience before coming over, just sales and managed to get a role for a large supplier to the mining industry, Green Edges new key sponsor as it happens! They have sponsored all my visas too so pretty sweet.

    You get used to the heat in summer although it s a bit much. Spring, Winter and Autumn are amazing. Always plenty of outdoors stuff to do, beautiful coastline, the SW is lovely. Mountainbiking is just getting better and better, with lots of great cheeky stuff and loads of legal trails being developed, and all just 30-40 mins from the middle of town.

    It is expensive though, but I’m earning 3 times what I was when I left the UK so not really bothered us. On the plus side for you the Aussie dollar has weakened a bit of late. Perth is also shaking its backwards tag with some great developments going on, like shops staying open past 6pm….

    Pigface
    Member

    I lived in Perth for 2 years in the late 80’s, impressions then were hot and pretty small but a nice place to be, it seems to have quadrupled in size since then. eg Freemantle was considered a dump and you only went if you had to now it is big bustling and vibrant.

    Compare with the east of Oz it felt almost like a seperate country 😉 I have still got some friends there who tell me I wouldnt recognize the place.

    I like Perth the best of any of the Australian cities I went to.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    like shops staying open past 6pm….

    On weekends?
    How is the daylight savings going still people worried about the cows and faded curtains 😉
    at least you have little creatures….

    perthmtb
    Member

    Here’s a little taster of the kind of trails you find around Perth…

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT67TMkXgVI&feature=player_embedded[/video]

    jet26
    Member

    Shameless plug but two good friends from perth days run kalamunda cycles in the hills.

    Well worth dropping in if ever you’re that way and in need of anything – Tim is a very good mtber and Jo can hold her own too…

    James

    Very good Mike, no chance of that… But being able to buy groceries after work in the week is a plus! The daylight savings argument is very funny, all part of Perths charm 🙂

    That is nicely produced little vid… Makes mine look totally shite!!

    Not quite as good as above but a little vid from a place called Pemberton 4hrs south of Perth, so very close 🙂

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDJ_28BgD6c&sns=em[/video]

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Been pissing down in Perth all day. Same again tommorow.
    Seems a little more chilled than Melbourne. Not seen the riding.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Great, thanks for all the feedback

    The video was great, reassuring to see that nobody got eaten by big snakes

    We live about 5 hours away from family at the moment, so although we have great families we don’t rely on them as such. Likewise, we don’t really depend on our friends in anyway and, to be blunt, can cope fine without them. Sounds a bit rubbish really but we are quite independent.

    Mrs Sinatra is a GP and I do Project Management and Social Care type work. We are also considering going for a year on a ‘try it and see’ basis. We could rent our house out here and see how things go.

    Lots to think about

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    And don’t forget you are the guest in their country – too many Brits come over with a superior attitude thinking they are ‘owed’ something, and quickly crash & burn.

    As an Englishman living in Scotland I think I know where you are coming from here!

    konabunny
    Member

    Mrs Sinatra is a GP and I do Project Management and Social Care type work.

    From what the TV says, there is a literally infinite number of rural towns across Australia that need GPs. Perth and Broome might be different – I don’t know. Social work – well, we’ve got a whole ton of social problems if that’s any use…

    You’ll have seen this, then: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/medical-practitioners/visa-options-doctors.htm

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Project Management and Social Care type work

    Loads of that coming up on job sites right now. Have a look out for the jobs expo in the UK

    aphex_2k
    Member

    Spent 2 years there (across the road from Little C’s brewery in Freo). Came back last May.

    Just waiting for my nursing reg and visa to be sorted and we’re moving back in August.

    I worked as a psych nurse at Alma Street, Freo and my missus ran a kids service called “Buster the fun bus”.

    Yeah it’s a bit more expensive to live there, but I got paid twice as much as I do here. I love being close to the sea, epic road trips, the sun (and the freak hail storms). I also love being close to south Asia. Heaps of Brits over in Perth. Camping is ace too and we spent lots of time down in Dwellingup.

    Saw very few snakes and only a few humungous spiders.

    The health service paid for our visas flights, relocation costs, 6 weeks accomodation and car rental last time. They are doing the same again this time.

    Have just given my 4 weeks notice in at work – man that’s such a good feeling. See ya in Oz!

    ooo-roo!

    chewkw
    Member

    Spread your wings!

    Just store some antidote for snakes and spiders …

    Oh ya … you can also build your dream home Grand Design style.

    The old world is in the sun set …

    🙂

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Final point Visas can take an age to come through! Pushed mine down to 5 months. Factor that into any planning. Also try and avoid blurting it out all over the internet!!

    Premier Icon WildHunter2009
    Subscriber

    Currently living in Fremantle and working as a fly in fly out geologist up in the mines. I would echo what a lot of otheres have said. I was expecting it to be basically the UK but with better weather…. Its totally totally different and yes I would say more like America in some ways. If you can live near the river or the coast its amazing (Cooler in summer which you will really REALLY appreciate)otherwise some of the suburbs are really generic and pretty dull.

    Its very expensive and the rental market is pretty brutal right now. The comment about a 2 speed economy is pretty true. If your not in or related to the resources industry it could be a bit tough. As an example most young perth people are still living at home well into there mid/late 20s as rents vs wages are v v high.

    Everyone seems to have a road bike and the network of cycle paths etc is pretty comprehensive. This is a good thing because the roads and motorists are pretty terrifying…. Everyone seems to have a massive ute and on the odd occasions the roads get wet it turns into a bit of a bloodbath.

    The mountain biking is actually pretty awesome. The kalamunda trails are ace and some pretty good trails in the SW (margaret river etc. I would say the trail grading is fairly stiff… Blue trails here are frankly harder than most UK trail center red routes and some blacks. Riding in dust is a novelty but beware pretty much every australian plant is spiky so the offs really hurt!

    And breathe…..

    slinkybike
    Member

    Just to throw a spanner in the works have you considered moving to Melbourne. Weather isn’t as nice with fairly wet winters and damp trails, but with a bit more stuff going on a well orgainised mtb race scene lots of events (two dirt crit style races a week at the moment. I was born in Oz live in melbourne but spent 9 years in the UK and I think melbourne is closer to the UK lifestyle than Perth depends how layback a life you want I guess. Also a short trip away from the Tasmania which is amazing.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    but with a bit more stuff going on a well orgainised mtb race scene lots of events (two dirt crit style races a week at the moment

    Must bring bike next time I’m over

    konabunny
    Member

    Final point Visas can take an age to come through! Pushed mine down to 5 months. Factor that into any planning.

    Which visa were you applying for?

    I am not an expert but the impression I had was that most nurses etc were coming on 457s (don’t know about doctors, who seem to have a special class). Once you get the skills assessment/licensing (if applicable) sorted, that’s only 8 weeks:

    http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/3.0.htm

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Partner visa. Took a while and cost a lot but here now.

    There are also some tax changes to do with “living away from home payments” on the 457 going on.

    The 8 weeks will be from the lodging of all the paperwork and stuff. (Mine was approved in about 5 days just had to wait for official granting.)

    I found Immi a little incredibly bureaucratic to deal with. Nothing could deviate from the script….

    There is also a bit of a backlash here about foreign workers again due to rising unemployment and the locals not wanting to go out the arse end of nowhere to work

    konabunny
    Member

    I found Immi a little incredibly bureaucratic to deal with. Nothing could deviate from the script….

    I’ve always found them pretty efficient and responsive (they answer email!) remotely and in person, even if the system is a little clunky at times. They’re certainly about 98,000 times nicer and better than their US counterparts.

    There are also some tax changes to do with “living away from home payments” on the 457 going on.

    TBF, I never saw much of a reason for LAFHA (esp when they’re trying to stop FIFOs) and every recruitment agency in the country was encouraging their clients to take the piss. It was inevitable.

    aphex_2k
    Member

    If your job is on the skills migrant list then they tend to speed the visa process up. 457’s for people on the list are taking 6-8 weeks once all the paperwork’s in.

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Pissed down again all day. Traffic was crap and could not find goats milk anywhere.

    2hottie
    Member

    I’ve friends out in Perth and the two tier economy is true. One couple consists of a nurse and her partner works in a local golf shop. They bring in a good wage together but it’s blown out of the water by another friend who works in the oil and gas industry. He’s on $110,000 a year and he’s only 28. Not bad.

    Perth has everything you will ever need and the proximity to exotic places in Asia is another plus.

    My wife has gained employment via South Australia Police (SAPOL) as they did a recruitment drive in the UK last Spring. We are on a 119 visa which is a regional sponsored migration type. SAPOL didn’t help us with anything in terms of costs which made it a tough year for us; however we now have permanent residency so we are happy with that.

    I am still looking for work in my field but I made the mistake of assuming that my UK degree would be acknowledge in Australia. I spent a few weeks running around between many different organisations and governing bodies but have finally been able to get a definitive answer which has helped. (it is recognised and now I have a letter confirming this which should support any future applications)

    Even getting a job in the local supermarket has been hard for some and I’ve been knocked back from low paid casual jobs as the recruiter can see that it’s merely a stop gap for you and what’s the point taking you on. Harsh but it is to be expected.

    I certainly have eaten humble pie as I assumed that I should gain employment within a matter of weeks. I think my confidence when I first arrived was high due to being told on websites and UK based migration specialists that jobs in my profession were easy to come by. This hasn’t been the case especially as I’ve no real experience to back up my qualifications due to only graduating last June.

    Besides all of this I still do believe that I am in a better position than I was in the UK. It’s hard at the minute with only one wage but we are getting by and when I do start earning we will be able to fully enjoy Australia.

    Since moving here in April I have had friends in the UK emailing saying that they are seriously looking at coming over. Give it a go I’m certainly not going back to live in the UK as Adelaide and Australia are now my home.

    It’s winter here and it does get cold at night 4-5degrees but the day temps are still around 14-15degrees and mainly sunny. So perfect biking weather.

    I’d suggest doing as much research as you can and if you are serious then get organising jobs and accommodation now. Also start saving asap you’ll need all the money you can get to cover unforeseen costs and they will happen.

    Good luck.

    konabunny
    Member

    We have a young family, three kids so not a decision we can rush into.

    One thing you should be aware of: WA doesn’t currently charge fees for temporary resident children attending public (state) schools. Other states do. I don’t necessarily think it’s likely but you should bear in mind it is a least a theoretical possibility that WA will follow suit in the future. As reference, NSW charges $4-5000 a year: http://www.detinternational.nsw.edu.au/schools/study_options/temporary_residents/temporary_residents.htm

    @uphillcursing tried loose produce in como or peaches in freo? My missus will have more recommendations if you need them.

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the goats milk tip

    corroded
    Member

    Back to the OP, I don’t have kids out here (I live in Melbourne now and have spent time in Perth and Adelaide) but I have expat friends who have large families and yes, it definitely seems to be a healthier, happier place to bring up kids. It’s more outdoorsy if you want it to be, though I’m not sure it’s more relaxed.
    It’s also more expensive than the UK – a loaf of nice bread is $6+, a bar of chocolate $3.75. More if you’re out in the sticks. But then I found out the other day what a cleaner in the mines earns: $2700 before tax. A week. The two-speed economy is very much true.
    It also amuses me how Aussies can find something to whinge about. It’s the strongest growing economy in the developed world, more or less, and will continue to be until China collapses in on itself, yet they continue to think it’s all going to pot. Fact is, it’s a well managed economy and a great place to live, wherever you go. Riding is also good, plus you’re a short flight from New Zealand. Only negative – a limited choice of brands unless you buy online abroad. It’s mostly Giant and, er, Giant. Plus a tyre will set you back $100.

    konabunny
    Member

    HG 7-speed chain – $38!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Having moved the “current” UK comparison on prices is bad but the $ was 2.5/£1 last time I was here. Cost of living has kept pace with the UK but if you price it at 1.5/£ then it looks bad.

    Still looking for work but with what the GF earns and what I should be able to would leave us better off in Tassie. Would need a good bump up for WA but seen that in the jobs I’ve looked at.

    Premier Icon chaos
    Subscriber

    If you do go, try out the windsurfing. WA has some of the best spots on the planet and it’s a good excuse to head down to the Margaret River area and get a wine tour in while you’re there.

    chewkw
    Member

    chaos – Member

    If you do go, try out the windsurfing. WA has some of the best spots on the planet and it’s a good excuse to head down to the Margaret River area and get a wine tour in while you’re there.

    Watch out for Jaws!!! 😆

    Premier Icon WildHunter2009
    Subscriber

    Its the $10 + dollars a pint I still find hard to take……

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    yep that and the fact petrol is half the price

    zokes
    Member

    Bike stuff there is usually more expensive (though I got a pair of crossmaxes for about the same price as the uk). But remember: crc do free international delivery over $300, you don’t have to pay uk vat (so 20% off), and if it’s under $900 you don’t pay any Aussie import tax or gst either. Basically this means that if you’re organised, bike parts are actually cheaper than the uk!

    aphex_2k
    Member

    Wildhunter..Yep some pints are close to a tenner but you know, it’s nice cold beer. Little Creatures, Sail and Anchor, Coopers… All really nice stuff. I’d rather pay a little more for a couple of nice pints than a fiver for 2 pints of Carling or Carlsberg.

    A box of 24 bottles would probs be around 40 bucks from the bottlo. Drive through, pick up a box and off to a house party or bbq. Simples.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    This is all good stuff, really interesting and very helpful.

    Just returned form a weekend trip to a friends wedding, they came back form Oz for the wedding. Grooms family is from Perth and they currently live near Darwin, soon to move to Gove (Gove is seriously remote, no road access for 6 moths of the year!)

    Spent a lot of time talking to his family who are all Perth based. Chatting with them really reinforced what has been said by most people in this thread. great economy, well functioning town, good lifestyle, mining, mining and mining.

    I think we do have the start of a longer term plan. Going to concentrate on getting things organised here with a view to looking for a move in the next couple of years. I don’t have those rose tinted specs that some potential expats have where they expect easy life, loads of money and daily bbq’s on the beach. I know it is still the real world but i do love the idea of the whole family just spending much more time outdoors. That is the message that keeps coming through. I do love the lush green hills of the UK though, I love the history, the accessibility and beauty of where I live so plenty of reasons to stay!

    Will see how things pan out. Thanks again.

    zokes
    Member

    I think the bit that puzzles me most about brits moving to Oz has to be the assumption of spending more time outdoors. For all the great weather there can be in Oz, I can’t say the rain in the UK put me off being outside more that 40C and no ozone layer does in Oz.

    Not meant as a dig, more a quizzical observation. If it’s cold you put more clothes on. If it’s hot you take them off, but only to a point, then you just get hotter…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Not meant as a dig, more a quizzical observation. If it’s cold you put more clothes on. If it’s hot you take them off, but only to a point, then you just get hotter…

    When we traveled we found several aspects of this. 40c is not he annual temperature and sunscreen works quite well – so does the right clothes.

    In WA we ate outside nearly all the time – the garden was another room in the house.

    Night riding was very popular in summer.

    Over here in Tasmania the trails are still dry and firm in most places despite a fair bit of rain so far. Winter is nearly here and I can still ride in shorts.

    There are just less grim days really.

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