It goes without saying, Perth is a big place. Even for those born and raised here, a suburb on the other side of the river might as well be another country. We’re a city that loves its cars, so public transport doesn’t necessarily cover all bases, and you’ve got everything you need in your cosy little suburb anyway. It’s not uncommon to get a bewildered response of “Where?” from a fellow Perth native when telling them what suburb you live in. We've become used to the surroundings we grew up in, and often don’t venture too far out even when we do leave the nest.
What’s often overlooked when it comes to Perth, is that such a massive place is bound to adopt a plethora of different identities and environments that may or may not cater to you and your situation. You could be a dynamic, early 20’s upstart looking to be where the action is, a couple that’s looking to start a family in a laid back but safe suburb with all the services you need, or maybe you’re recently retired and finally have the chance to get out and enjoy the idyllic Aussie open spaces. No matter which one of those people you may be, or any other, we’re lucky to live in such a diverse location where all those options are available to us, so why not spread your wings and take advantage!
For better or worse, us West Aussies love dividing our capital city by our beloved Swan. We bicker over which side is best, and defend our home turf to the death (even if deep down we prefer the other side ourselves!). Truth is, what’s best depends entirely on who you are.
North of the river may very well be best for those who simply want to be where it’s at. You’ve got the City, Northbridge, Mt. Lawley and Leederville just to name a few. Even in leaner times for businesses, you can always rely on an exciting new venture opening its doors to have a go fairly frequently. Further out, there’s also a lengthy stretch of coastline running well beyond the metro area, complimented by up and coming suburbs with fresh new infrastructure and attractions. So for any young buyers, living near the beach may not be the unattainable pipe dream you think it is!
South of the river meanwhile, has many similar characteristics, namely the extensive coastline with up and coming suburbs. However, you’ll find the lack of hustle and bustle in certain areas opens up options you may not have had up North. There’s much easier access to the riverfront in central areas, along with entertainment precincts such as Fremantle and Victoria Park offering an atmosphere that’s equally as enjoyable but far more family friendly. In fact, the Souths ability to cater to new, young families seeking a safe suburb with multiple choices for education and activity is probably its main selling point. Further out of the metro area lies various suburbs where the Aussie lifestyle of backyard cricket and barbecues is still a realistic aspiration. Couple this with the aforementioned entertainment precincts, and you have the perfect place for those who wish to grow up but not grow old.
Lastly, and this may come as a shock to some people, there are more options than just North and South! Head out East towards the hills and you’ll find many peoples idea of paradise. Large blocks with amazing views of the entire city, dense bushland and minimal public transport connections, it’s certainly ideal for those who value their home as a sanctuary; a place to disappear from the world and perhaps live out your golden years if you’re lucky enough.
So there you have it! Don’t worry about moving interstate or overseas for that change of scenery. There’s every chance the place you’re looking for is just up or down the freeway. Not only that, all the best parts of Perth; the beaches, weather, attitude, space, are all either side of the river anyway!