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West vs East Coast: Considering where to live in Australia?

 

Australia is a country like no other. A vast sandy land filled with incredible scenery, beautiful weather, vibrant cities and a lifestyle envied my millions around the world. However, like many other desirable emigration destinations, some of Australia’s hot spots tend to steal an unfair share of the media attention.

Sydney, Melbourne, Bondai, Brisbane and The Gold Coast are all too familiar places we associate with ‘The Australian Dream’. Many who make the life-changing decision to move ‘down-under’ too often immediately default to considering only East Coast locations. All of these locations are popular for good reason, but that doesn’t stop the West Coast of Australia being overlooked. 

Before you decide where your new life will start in Australia, consider some of these unsung qualities of the West Coast.

 

Weather

The weather is always one of the leading reasons people consider moving to Australia. The West Coast always wins on sunshine count. Perth is one of the sunniest cities in the world, delivering consistently good weather throughout the year. The area is famous among tourists for its hot dry summers, but many don’t know that it also boasts very mild winters with limited rainfall. In comparison to Sydney, Perth enjoys 22% more hours of sunshine, racking up an impressive 3,229 hours of sunshine per year. 

And if seaside sunsets are what you’re looking for, geographically the West Coast is at a clear advantage. Every day WA’s coastal towns and cities enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the Indian Ocean. The vivid colours and textures painted across the clear Australian evening sky are mirrored back in the ocean’s rippling surface. Those who have visited claim it is one of the best sunsets they’ve ever seen. 

 

Housing

Housing in Australia is typically considered inexpensive when compared to relative wages, but for expats it remains the largest purchase they will make and requires significant attention. If you’re looking to buy in Australia, the average house price in Western Australia’s capital Perth is less than half that of Sydney’s. Perth’s house prices fell 6.8% last year compared to both Sydney and Melbourne’s 5.3% rise. The average property in Perth costs an affordable $352,099 leaving settlers with more disposable income than in eastern locations such as Sydney ($746,017), Melbourne ($576,475) and Canberra ($439,496).

 

Beaches and National Parks

Whilst both coasts possess incredible beaches and parks, the West Coast’s critical difference is down to its lower population density and tourism numbers. Western Australia is simply less busy than many of the other states, meaning lucky residents have more outdoor space to share per person. Perth has over 15 national parks within a short drive from the city where residents can regularly enjoy bush walks, hiking trails and cycling routes. The city also lists 19 beaches on its shoreline with stunning views and a lively surf culture.

For those who want to experience more untouched locations further afield, the West Coast is home to some incredible locations. Challenging hikes and secluded camping can be found North in Purnululu National Park, where visitors can gaze upon the park’s distinct orange and black striped beehive-like sandstone karts. More unique rock formations, dramatic waterfalls and beautiful natural scenery can be found in other national parks such as Karijini, Nambung and the Stirling Range.

Also in the North of WA, both Coral Bay and Monkey Mia are home to some of the most diverse marine life in the country. Visitors, snorkelers and divers can come face to face with turtles, rays and the famed pods of dolphins who visit Monkey Mia’s Shark Bay every morning. 

 

Lifestyle

Australia’s laid back lifestyle charms so many of us when we first arrive. This relaxed nature is a prominent feature throughout the country, but many West Coast Aussies would argue that WA is the place for a more chilled pace of life. Overtime other cities, such as Melbourne and Sydney, have created their own hustle and bustle which is still something not really found in the West. With many international tourists focusing on the East, Perth enjoys a more gentile vibe. Locals enjoy a plethora of golf courses, water sports and restaurants to help them unwind. Your weekends may never be the same again. Within just a few hours drive, you could be surfing the crystal blue waves on Trigg Beach, spearfishing your dinner off Cape Peron or sipping some of the world’s finest wines in either the Swan Valley or Margaret River vineyards. 

Whilst many criticise the West Coast of Australia for being too isolated compared to other areas, this may actually be one of its biggest advantages. A fast growing local economy has seen many new developments and changes to the region. It continues to evolve whilst keeping its cool, which is a rare quality to find in these busy modern times. 

 

Moving countries is a big decision and you should find the location that’s right for you. Both West and East Coast locations rival almost anywhere in the world for quality of life. But Western Australia’s atmosphere is difficult to describe but easy to understand once you get a feel for it. Come and see for yourself.

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