10 things to do the moment you arrive in Perth
If you are planning to migrate to Australia, you will be joining millions of families from all corners of the globe, and many of them head for Western Australia, specifically Perth. This vibrant city has a very busy CBD, where many multi-national companies have offices and many expats can be found in the business sector. The months leading up to the relocation have been keeping you busy, and now you are almost ready to board the plane, so here is a list of things you could do as soon as you arrive.
- Take a Tour of Swan Valley – The Swan river runs through the valley, proving the essential water for the fertile soil, which happens to be the home of Australia’s best wines. The valley is only 25 minutes from Perth Airport and with many tour operators offering a range of winery tours, you will soon be on your way to one of the nicest areas in Western Australia.
- Visit Kings Park – This idyllic park is located on the western side of the CBD, and set on the banks of the Swan River, the park is a combination of grassed areas, botanical gardens and bushland. Larger than Central Park in New York, this is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a hectic flight.
- Perth Dinner Cruise – Your first evening in Perth should be spent on a dinner cruise down the Swan River, where you can enjoy the stunning views as the boat slowly moves down the river. The 3 hour trip is a perfect way to relax after that long flight, and with all your luggage safely installed in your new home, you and your partner can contemplate your new life in the sun.
- Tour the CBD – This will more than likely be your new work location, so it makes sense to scope out the area. The central business district has an array of shopping malls, cocktail bars and fine restaurants, and with many expat groups meeting on a regular basis, you will soon find others from your home country who have also taken the plunge and started a new life in Western Australia.
- Check Out the Wildlife – Perth Zoo will give you an insight into the varied wildlife that this part of the country hosts, with more than 1,800 species on display. Not only do they have local wildlife, there are fine examples of animals from all parts of the world, so don’t be surprised if you see animals from your native land.
- Rent a Car – If you already have an employer, you will more than likely be given a car to use as soon as you arrive, otherwise there are competitive rentals available. Australia is such a huge country that a car is absolutely essential, especially if you want to really explore and sample the best attractions. Don’t forget to bring your domestic driving licence, which entitles you to drive for the first 6 months of your stay. After that, you will need to apply for an Australian licence, which should be easy if you are in possession of a valid licence in your home country.
- Meet your New Boss – It might be that he or she actually meets you at the airport, but failing that, you should arrange a meeting within a few days of arriving. Most companies would not expect an expat worker to start immediately, and you would be given at least a week to get accustomed to your new surroundings. If you are moving into a management position, it is likely your boss will meet you within days of your arrival and he or she would introduce other team members.
- Accommodation – No doubt this would already be arranged and it will take a few days to have everything in place. If you are living in the suburbs, get acquainted with the area, paying attention to the various routes into the city. There is always something to do when you first move into a new living environment, and a shopping trip to buy some essentials would be a good idea. The local amenities offer a wide variety of services and with many parks and nature reserves, you are never short of a quiet place to relax.
- Register with a Doctor – You can use the Internet to source a nearby clinic and register the whole family with a doctor. You might not require any treatment at the moment, but there will come a day, so registering now is a good idea. If you have an existing medical condition, now is the time to bring this to the doctor’s attention, and if you require any medication, a prescription can easily be arranged.
- Source Schooling – If you have brought your family with you, there are several international schools in Perth, and an online search will reveal their whereabouts. Discuss the options with your partner and children, and make an appointment to go and view the schools you are interested in, which will give you the chance to see first-hand, the learning environment. This might need to be arranged prior to your arrival, as it is never a good idea for children to spend more than a few days off school. The British or US curriculum would be followed, so your children can begin a new academic year without having to adjust to a different learning system.
The quality of life in Perth is very high, and although the cost of living is rising, it is currently lower than that of Sydney or Melbourne, and with sprawling suburbs that offer great living conditions, you can have the best of both worlds. It is perfectly natural to feel a little out of place at the beginning, but you will soon make new friends, especially as there are many expat groups that regularly meet in a social environment. The Internet will help you find the expat forums, where there is a lot of useful information for the expat in Perth.