Wednesday, 13 July 2011

PERTH - the city I live in

I have been living in Perth for the past four years, having moved here from Portugal, and before that South Africa.
PERTH is a modern city divided by the Swan River, and spread out along the Indian Ocean, extending to about 140km from north to south. The most expensive suburbs and the central business district are located along the Swan river banks.
It´s the 4th largest city in Australia with around 1,500,000 people, the capital of the state of Western Australia. It´s considered a sleepy city, very conservative, the most isolated in the world, but has also been voted among the top 10 World´s most livable city.

The black swans after which the Swan river is named 
Perth has had an enormous development in the last 15 years or so, due to the mining boom - the northwest is rich in petroleum, gas, iron and coal mining. Due to the fact that a lot of people working in the resources industry earn very well, and the strong Australian Dollar, means that Perth has become a very expensive city, now ranked in the top 30 most expensive cities. It´s obviously presumed that every one earns as much as the miners...
Late night shopping was only recently introduced, where supermarkets are open until 9pm on weekdays, on weekends it´s only until 5pm and in a few suburbs you will find the supermarkets will open on Sundays until 5pm. Every Friday all shops in the city centre stay open until 9pm, and in the suburbs that falls on a Thursday. It´s actually interesting to go into town and just sit around the pedestrian zone and watch the crowds, the clothing, the hair styles...
Australians are very relaxed about their way of dressing - shorts and thongs (or flip-flops made of rubber) are the usual attire. The mild Mediterranean weather helps for sure, as winters are very short and not too cold. Even in winter when I see people wearing shorts and thongs, I wonder if they don´t feel the cold like I do. I noticed when visiting Melbourne that the Melbournians dress a bit smarter.

Ferry from the suburb of South Perth to Perth just across the river Swan

The city has only a few skyscrapers in the city centre and a few apartment buildings for the people that like the convenience of living close to their offices or near restaurants and nightclubs. Apart from that, the suburbs are full of houses surrounded by gardens, and all suburbs have a small shopping hub where you can find most things. 
A mix of old and new in the city centre
The modern Queen Victoria I Building

There are a lot of parks in all suburbs and people like to take advantage of these, especially on weekends when they barbeque or play sports or just relax on the grass - and of course you are allowed to walk on the grass, unlike in most European cities. The beaches are very nice and clean, most have a strip of grass before you reach the sand, with free public barbecues and children´s play areas.

In the centre of the city is "Kings Park and Botanic Gardens" a huge 400 hectare park on a hill with beautiful views of the city, river and some surrounding suburbs. It´s so huge, and I have been there so many times but I don´t think I have ever seen the whole park. The Spring flower festival in September is the best time to visit when all the wild flowers are in bloom.
View of South Perth from Kings Park

Of course no city is perfect, but I enjoy living here, I find the city organized, it has a good public transport system, relaxed lifestyle, and good quality of life. I enjoy waking up to the sound of singing birds, to watch the birds fly across the streets from tree to tree, the friendly ducks in the park who are used to people feeding them.
When I ride by train to the city we cross the river and I just love seeing the blue waters with hundreds of white yachts and the beautiful mansions scattered along the Swan banks. It always brings a smile to my face. Bliss!!

            What makes you happy about the city you live in?


  1. When we read your texts,we feel nearby to you, just walking around the streets, visiting Kings Park. Even we can see the black swans in the river. Carry on. Congratulations. You can be a good writer, an author. Why don't you try? Have a nice day

  2. Celeste is right Sami, you are a briliant writer.Loved reading your article. If i didn't live here already i would be dying to come to live in Perth. And i totally agree with you Perth is a great place to live.xoxox

  3. Thanks Mena. We are lucky to live in Perth! xxx

  4. Hi Sami,
    Loved reading this post - it gives a real flavour as to what life is like in Perth.

    I look forward to reading more about Australia!

    I have tagged you on my blog :)and sent you an email.


  5. Thanks Piglet. Loved being tagged too and will certainly be writing more about my experiences in Australia. Next week will be visiting another city...will keep you posted!


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