1 Mar 2016

A Complete Guide For Families Moving To Perth

The capital of Western Australia, Perth is one of the most relaxed cities in the entire country. With a wealth of cultural activities, natural beauty and gorgeous weather, it provide a beautiful place to live. If you’re moving to Perth with your family, here’s a rundown of key things you’ll need to know so you’re not met with any surprises.


Perth is all about the outdoors with plenty of leisure activities on offer. Take the kids to meet the local residents at Perth Zoo, including koalas and kangaroos, or hop over to Rottnest Island to observe the quokka, a cute little marsupial that’s famous for it’s happy smile. If you want to keep fit, there are so many fitness activities to choose from, including running, swimming, snorkelling and surfing. You can also enjoy a night away from the kids with the bars and clubs in Northbridge, or try some coffee along Fremantle’s popular Cappuccino Strip. Speaking of which, Fremantle is also home to Fremantle Prison, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides incredible and insightful tours into Australia’s convict history.

Family Friendly Suburbs

When looking for the right suburb, there are certain things you need to consider, including school catchment areas, nice and safe surroundings and good access to the beaches and parks of Perth for family days out. Popular family friendly suburbs in Perth are Woodvale, Guildford, Tapping, Applecross, Canning Vale and Hillarys, with spacious houses perfect for young families.


From the age of four, children in Perth can go to kindergarten, but this is only voluntary and for about 15 hours per week. When your child reaches five, they will have to attend pre-primary classes, which prepares them for primary school when they turn six. Primary school lasts for six years in Perth, from grade one to grade seven. When your child reaches 13, they move on to high school, which is compulsory until the age of 16, when they can choose to leave or continue onto higher education. From 16 years old, your child can attend college, and university from 18. All public schools are free and lessons are taught in English. Private schools are available in Australia, and while the fees you pay do go a long way to provide high quality education, the fees can vary from school to school.


Should you or a member of your family fall ill in Perth, whether it be flu or serious accident, you want to know that you can get the best care, and for that you need a health insurance plan. Like the UK, Australia does have a public healthcare provider called Medicare. Permanent visa holders get automatic access to Medicare, which covers the cost of public clinic treatments, GP fees and any tests or examinations you may need to diagnose and treat illnesses. However, there are some things to Medicare doesn’t cover, including dental costs, glasses, hearing aids, private hospital stays and even ambulance services, which is why private health cover is important.


The public transport network in Perth is called Transperth, and provides train and bus travel. There are six lines on the suburban rail services, while buses mainly serve central suburban stops, train stations and the CBD. In Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup CBDs, there are free central area transit buses running during the day. If you think you’ll be using public transport often, buy a smart rider card for up to 25% discount on every journey.

Holders of tourist, student or temporary work visas can drive around Perth using their overseas license, but if you have a permanent visa, you need to apply for a local license after your first three months in Perth. To swap your old license for a new local one, you will need certain documents including ID and proof of address.

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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