Perth, Western Australia


It’s been nearly four months since we last updated our blog – a very busy four months.

When we last spoke, we had just arrived in Perth and were looking for somewhere to live. Simon had just started a short term contract with Rio Tinto, and Sarah was looking for work. Since then, we have moved into a beautiful apartment in East Perth, Sarah has started a new job, and our travels took us out of town for a couple of weeks…

East Perth

We are enjoying our time in Perth – Sarah loves it here, and Simon is growing to love it. Perth is a small city, without the hustle and bustle of somewhere like Sydney or London, and without the wow factor too – there’s no Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Houses of Parliament or Big Ben here. However, there is also no traffic, which is great! A colleague mentioned something about the ‘busiest road in Perth’ the other day; she was referring to William Street, which can be likened to Sydney’s George Street or London’s Piccadilly. Sure, there are a couple of sets of traffic lights, but busy? Traffic? No – the busiest road in Perth is just not busy! And, the motorways are no exception. Sure, the Mitchell, Kwinana and Graham Farmer freeways can get a bit “stop-start” in rush hour, but they are in no way as painful as the M25, M4 or M1.

We’ve also found that there is relatively little to do here, and we regularly struggle to find anything to do at weekends. Having said that, we are, however, starting to visit a few bars and restaurants; and with summer approaching we will, no doubt, start taking picnics to the beaches and parks; there are even a couple of concerts that we are planning to attend over the next couple of months. We have been to the theatre a couple of times, to see Wicked and Tender Napalm, and we’ve [finally!] found a decent curry house.

Perth is almost notorious for being cliquey, but we are starting to make friends here. We went out for drinks in the city on Friday night,  to a barbie at a fellow Pom’s house last weekend, and we have also been taken to our first AFL (Aussie Rules) footy match.  When we first arrived here, we met up with a couple of Simon’s mum’s friends, who live in a beautiful home in the hills to the east of Perth. Very kindly, they invited us to spend the weekend with them at their house, and we are meeting up with them again for lunch in a couple of weeks.

Soon after arriving in Perth, Sarah started work on a 3-month contract with a newspaper publication, with a particular focus on improving the link between their online and offline content. She did a great job, and has just been offered a permanent contract with them. Simon’s 7-week contract at Rio Tinto was extended until the end of the year, but he is leaving at the end of next week to start work in a 12-month recruitment role with Chevron. Once again, we are now both rocking the “corporate look” with our dread free hairstyles.

Claisebrook Cove, East Perth

Our new home, a 2-bedroom apartment, is about 15-20 minutes away from where we work, and as we live within Perth’s free transit zone, we are able to catch the train into the city every day for free, and then take the short walk to our respective offices. We are also situated less than a 5 minute walk from the multi million dollar homes on the banks of the Swan River, where we often go for evening walks; and the riverside bars and restaurants at Claisebrook Cove, where we sat watching the dolphins a couple of weeks ago whilst having lunch. Truly amazing! We do have a spare bedroom, and a very big bbq, so if any of our family and friends are planning a trip to Perth, we would love to offer you a bed and a barbie – just let us know when you’re coming!

Little Creatures

One of our favourite suburbs is Fremantle, or Freo as it is more commonly known, which is where the British first settled in the 1800s. Freo is renowned for it’s well preserved architectural heritage, and when we first arrived in Perth we went on a ghost walk around many of the convict-built colonial-era buildings, including the old jetty, port, and prisons. Little Creatures, based in Freo, brew one of Simon’s favourite beers, Bright Ale, and we (Simon!) are looking forward to doing their brewery tour and eating at their well regarded restaurant.

We are currently in the process of selling our van, as we have decided that we are unlikely to use it for more travel, and to leave it sitting in the underground car park would, therefore, be a waste of a good van. We have advertised it for sale, along with everything else that we bought with it, and hope to sell it all for a good price. We may end up replacing it with a small run-around car at some point, but for now, we don’t really need anything.

Back in July we did leave town for a couple of weeks, leaving the campervan at home as we were heading to Mexico to surprise Sarah’s mum on her 50th (sorry Karen!) birthday. Cutting a very long story short, we had a few problems with our flight out of Sydney, but we had a great time with the family when we finally arrived in Mexico. We are now looking forward to seeing them again next Easter when we are all heading off on a mini tour around Australia, visiting Sydney, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast. Unfortunately there is not enough time for us to include a trip to WA, but we are looking forward to spending Christmas in Perth and New Year in Sydney with Sarah’s dad and brother at the end of this year.

When we arrived in Perth, we were excited about starting work again. However, we are now four months in and I think it is safe to say that the novelty is, very quickly, starting to wear off. We are now ready for our next holiday!

Click here to see a selection of photos that we have taken since arriving in Perth. We have been a bit slack, so watch this space for more pictures…

Lots of love to everyone.