New arrivals in Perth will find that the city has a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle and shopping. Whether expats prefer browsing designer outlets, enjoying a cold beer by the river, trying some culinary delicacies, or hitting the beach, there is something to suit every taste.
Shopping in Perth
Perth has a wide range of shopping opportunities. Expats can find everything from shopping villages and sprawling malls to quaint weekly craft markets and independent boutiques. The Hay Street Mall and the Murray Street Mall run parallel to one another in the city centre, and together they house more than 900 shops.
Visiting local markets in Perth is also a pleasant experience. Shoppers will find that many successful small businesses begin their journey showcasing items at one of Western Australia’s marketplaces. Most suburbs have their own farmer's markets, where residents can purchase fresh produce throughout the year.
Nightlife in Perth
Perth is home to a large number of pubs and nightclubs that cater to a variety of tastes. As the main nightlife district in the city, Northbridge has a great atmosphere on weekends. Joondalup, Scarborough and Fremantle also have a selection of party venues.
Eating out in Perth
Whether newcomers are after an elegant dining experience overlooking the river, tasting locally crafted wines, or eating humble fish and chips while watching the sun go down, Perth has it covered. The city’s vibrant multiculturalism is evident in its culinary offering. Naturally, seafood plays a major role too. Expats looking for a taste of home will be sure to find a range of international cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Ethiopian, Jamaican, French and Italian. The favourable climate allows for al fresco dining and it's common to see people congregating outside bars after work.
Arts and culture in Perth
Expats will find a whole host of museums, art galleries and exhibitions scattered throughout the city to keep them entertained during their spare time. A favourite activity among Perth residents is catching a classic movie at one of the city’s outdoor cinemas.
Outdoor activities in Perth
Belts of waterways, green parkland and miles of white sandy beaches exist in perfect harmony with a compact central business district. The result is an airy and easy-going culture shaped by stunning landscapes and a good work-life balance. The city’s Mediterranean climate makes for great outdoor options. Expats who enjoy picnicking, water sports, hiking and jogging are sure to find plenty to do in Perth.
See and do in Perth
Expats who relocate to Perth will discover that, along with glorious weather, the city plays host to a multitude of sights and fun attractions. Here are some of our top picks.
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Visitors to this historic gallery can view traditional and contemporary indigenous Australian art as well as some international pieces. Best of all? Entrance to the gallery is free.
London Court features beautiful Elizabethan architecture providing a glimpse into the country’s colonial past. Visitors should also make a stop at one of the charming small shops and cafes on either end of the lane.
Located in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park just south of Perth is an unspoilt reserve that houses a penguin colony of more than 1,000 birds. Visitors may also spot dolphins, sea lions, stingrays and pelicans while on the island.
The Perth Zoo is home to more than 1,200 animals of over 160 species and is involved in a number of conservation efforts including breeding and protection programmes. Visitors can catch a glimpse of rare species such as Tasmanian devils, red pandas and lemurs.
What’s on in Perth
There is always something happening in Perth. Below are some of the city's most exciting annual festivals and celebrations.
Fish and Sips Festival (February)
This festival brings together the best of West Australia's wine and seafood for a truly delicious weekend. Renowned local chefs whip up local seafood dishes, including oysters, barbecued crab, ceviche and squid. Guests can also enjoy paired seafood-and-wine tastings.
Perth Festival (February to March)
One of the longest-running annual cultural festivals in Australia, the Perth Festival sees some of the world's greatest artists in theatre, contemporary music, classical music, opera, visual arts, literature, film, jazz and dance take part in this spectacle over a four-week period.
Fremantle International Street Arts Festival (April)
Australia’s only dedicated street festival has local and international street artists flocking to Perth every year to take part in a celebration of comedy, busking, street theatre, thrilling circus acts and more.
Kings Park Festival (September)
This spring festival celebrates the beauty of Australian wildflowers and native plants. Visitors can view spectacular displays of wildflowers throughout the area of Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens. The city also puts on an array of free entertainment and market stalls.
Where to meet people and make friends in Perth
Perth is full of opportunities to meet people. From sports clubs to social clubs, below are some of the best options for new arrivals.
Have fun on the volleyball court while making new friends. With programs ranging from competitive indoor leagues to outdoor social volleyball games, any expat can fall right in and begin playing.
Get out on the water every Sunday morning with the SRRC's Learn to Row program. Hardened rowers can join one of the more experienced rowing squads and even compete in Masters tournaments.
Break away from the bustle of the city and join the Perth Bushwalkers as they take in the natural beauty of Western Australia. Newcomers are always welcome and expats will have no trouble making new friends.
►Take a look at our list of pros and cons of moving to Perth
"Perth has some beautiful open green spaces and we’ve really embraced the outdoors lifestyle. It’s nice to be able to spend so much of our time in parks, playing sports or swimming." Read more about Lara's expat experience in Perth.
"I’m not much of a beach person, but I enjoy a picnic or barbecue in a park with some friends. Kings Park, our botanic gardens, is truly beautiful and the views over the city are just fabulous." Portuguese expat Sami shares her thoughts on living in Perth.
Are you an expat living in Perth?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Perth. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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