Historic Perth is the capital of Western Australia and offers soft sand beaches strewn alongside the dazzling Indian Ocean, a compact urban metropolis and access to Australia’s 36,000 year old Aboriginal culture.
Perth has a hot Mediterranean style climate with few days of rainfall and many sunshine hours. The average January temperature is 31 degrees and the July average is 19 degrees. It rarely falls colder than this but in summer temperatures can become so intense that Perth has developed a complex underground tunnel system to escape the heat. A refreshing sea breeze invigorates the city most summer afternoons.
Transperth operates a superb public transport system. Students should purchase a Smartrider card for travel on all buses, trains and ferries. There are also free buses on high frequency routes within the inner city between City West Station, Elizabeth Quay Station and Claisebrook Station.
Western Australia is rich in natural resources. Miners flock here and work can be gruelling but lucrative. This type of employment is not suited to students as the work entails long periods away. However, the economic hum of this city mean there is a reliable flow of recruitment in many types of fields. Positions as receptionists for large corporate firms are possible. BHP Billiton is headquartered here and is a significant regional employer. Internships in mechanical engineering are not uncommon and positions in junior data entry offer an hourly rate of around $18.25. Gumtree, SEEK and Indeed.com are the best sites to find the most diverse opportunities and do not underestimate the fortune of dropping your CV in person.
Hostels, shared rentals, private rentals and university accommodation are all possibilities. Prices vary but this is a good city to consider is price is a factor for you. A hostel can be as cheap as $100AUD per week, homestays range from $110-270 and shared rentals are about $175-200.
The distinctive atmosphere at the Freemantle Markets is an invigorating way to connect with the community’s past and present as it has been a weekend tradition for over 100 years. Sit back and watch local musicians perform for the crowds or browse through art and sculptures as a souvenir. Escape the city by heading to the serenity of the Swan Valley and the Darling Range, This is Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region. Lancaster Wines is one of the most down to earth vineyards and serves its specialty dessert wine and accompanying gourmet chocolates from a rustic tin shed. Oakover Grounds is a youthful establishment. Its lakeside views make it a popular festival venue. Snorkelling at the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is less than an hour’s drive from Perth. For an epic ten day adventure, The Indian Ocean Drive entails charting coral reefs, sea kayaking with tropical fish, swimming with great white sharks and scaling the precipitous Charles Knife canyons. The ISIC student card offers numerous deals across Western Australia, such as 20% off many restaurants. It can be used throughout Australia and NZ so is worth the $30 cost registration fee.