I am made of photography,stories from the road and a good dose of passion. I am Ophélie, French-born traveler always on the go. My travel photography blog is about sharing my travel experiences, tips and my addiction for adventure. To help you explore countries on your own… as an independent and curious traveller.
Backpacking Perth – savvy, Nature and chill vibes!
Costs of living in Perth – made for the savvy backpacker
As backpacker, traveling on the cheap is a lifestyle. And living in Perth on a working holiday is one of the best places in Australia for that.
First of all, Perth Western Australia’s public transports give two options to take the bus for free – and in a legal way! Free busses take you in and around the CBD.
Backpacker accommodation is also less expensive in Perth compared to other cities on the East Coast. You can get a bed in a hostel dorm from 18$ and, even better, from 100$ a week in share houses.
Living in Perth – share house or backpacker hostel?
Hostels in Perth are an option… for the first days. Because they are either oldish or not very sociable places, better is actually living in Perth in a share house with fellow backpackers or Australian roommates. Perth is my favourite city regarding living in share houses. Why that? First, you can find rooms for a good price. Which means from 100$ a week – a very good deal for Australia. Then, don’t think that share houses are all at crappy locations. Even for 100$, I lived myself in a house 20mn away by bus from the centre. And the best of the best… I didn’t need to pay a bond at all. That’s to say that the landlord don’t ask for a deposit! It’s very handy when you don’t know how long you intent to stay and on short term basis. So, for less money than a hostel, you get the comfort of a house. And for those who arrive a bit stressed, it is a good way to keep a feeling of home sweet home and avoid the impersonality of hostels.
Buy your backpacker car in Western Australia
Another top reason for backpacking Perth as starting point of your Australian adventure is buying a vehicle. Because the state of Western Australia has less annoying registration rules than the others. Buying your car, van, motorbike or minibus (yeah, it’s also a cool way of road tripping!) in Perth will make your life easier. Especially when selling the vehicle later on. The paperwork is doable online, on the contrary of the other states.
Nature, emptiness and Australian laidback style
Definitely, Perth has got something different than the other Australian cities. Its reputation of lost oasis is well-earned… since it is the only big city on the 20,800 km long West Coast. To reach any other “big”place, you will have to fly for 3 hours to Adelaide or Darwin. To drive is… many, many, many hours. I don’t want to scare you, so I won’t tell you the exact number.
But Perth comes also with a way of life. Laid back, even sleepy some people would say, the city on the Indian Ocean has got the bluest river I’ve ever seen. And did I mention the impressive white sand beaches almost right in town? Or the colourful sunsets you can see even in the city centre? Backpacking Perth will make you wonder about Nature gems every day.
Closer to Europe and Asia
You wouldn’t think about the isolated Perth as gate from and to international destinations. But, when coming from Europe, Perth as backpacking destination has got two advantages. First, the flights are cheaper since Perth is at the closest end from Europe. Second, the time difference is less than on the East Coast – +5 hours between Western Europe and Perth, against +8 hours for the East Coast. Your jetlag feeling will be lighter.
And for all backpackers who already think about making the step either from Australia to Asia or reverse, Perth is also a good bet. To name the most popular ones, flights from and to Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam are cheaper than from other Australian cities. It will make the difference in your travel budget.
Is Perth for you? Yes?
Get your free guide on how to backpack Perth on the cheap!
Backpacking Perth – this is about Nature, chill vibes and dancing
Of course, backpackers think of road trips on the West Coast when speaking about Perth, the biggest Western Australian city. If you were told that it is the most beautiful part of Australia… it’s not wrong! To swim with wales, dolphins, turtles in complete freedom and without tourists in turquoise water is the rare privilege you’ll have while traveling from Perth to the North. The city is the gate to many road trips, either to the South direction Esperance and the pink lake, or up North to the mythic Darwin and the desert in the Northern Territories. If the Australian East Coast has plenty of amazing nature spots, the West will blow your mind by its emptiness and surrealistic desert landscapes.
The backpackers community in Perth - chill and authentic!
If you are a traveller looking for easy-going and open-minded travellers I would highly recommend Perth to you. Of course, it always depends on who you meet but I have noticed one big difference between the backpacker on Australia’s East Coast and the one at the West. It’s about the mindset. The backpacker coming to Perth loves outdoors and simple Life. This is what I like here – being surrounded by authentic people. It feels relaxing in Perth. For me, the backpacking community reflects the wilderness and simplicity of the West Coast. To note as well that the backpacker in Perth tends to be older than the 18 years old of Australia’s busy East Coast!
For music lovers, especially those into electro music and raves, living in Perth will make you dance like crazy. From November on and through the summer, festivals and the so cool bush doofs take place every weekend. Bush doofs, do you need an explanation? They are these electro techno psy trance and co parties… in the middle of the bush, that’s to say in the middle of nowhere! Often one to two hours away from Perth, you dance for two days long on a remote beach or a secret spot in the forest. It’s a travel experience you will love, I guarantee you!
One of the biggest rave events, the Burning Man Australia, actually happens every year end of March near Perth in Western Australia. Another reason to come by!
Living in Perth on a working holiday – the downsides
At the end of the world… literally
Perth on the West Coast is a city surrounded by Nature… and nothing else! Backpacking Perth actually equals to backpacking the most isolated city in the world… it doesn’t come without some inconvenient!
Pert is a city surrounded by Nature… and nothing else! Smaller towns are spread along the West Coast, north and south from Perth. But if you need to reach bigger Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, you will have to fly for at least 3 hours. It is also not a particularly cheap flight. Perth is not even on the same time zone! If living in Perth as a backpacker is for sure a real change away from the europeanized East Coast, we should not forget the geographical situation of Perth.
Not without your jacket while backpacking Perth
To you, the backpacker who came to Australia with the firm intention to leave trousers and jackets behind… here is my little warning!
For having lived in Perth both in winter and in summer, I have experimented all weather situations in Perth. In winter, I felt some days like in Germany. Windy, rainy and not that warm! In summer it can get hot during the day – up to 35 degrees or more. However, one thing is consistent in Perth – the wind! Conclusion: don’t forget trousers and a jacket. But don’t worry, the sun never goes away for too long!
To move around, better to have a 4W4
Backpacking Perth is already cool when you don’t have any vehicle. By bus, ride share or cheap taxis like Uber and Ola, you can explore the most seen of Perth and its surroundings. Kingspark, Fremantle, Serpentine, Launceston or Margaret River… these nice backpacker spots are accessible easily. By living inside Perth and not doing a lot outside, you won’t need anything else than maybe a car to go to work.
But, and it’s not a little but, it’s a fact that you will miss amazing places to see further from Perth without the beloved vehicle of all Australian who respect himself… the 4w4. In the outback or further up North, the 4w4 becomes quickly mandatory. National parks on the West Coast or even the Power Line next to Perth require a 4w4 to explore them. It’s a lifestyle on the Australian West Coast… it’s pure wilderness and the Nature is so untouched that normal cars don’t make it. If you don’t want to invest into a 4w4, don’t worry. Plenty of backpackers look for travel mates to go to these famous spots from Perth.
Money, money, money… not easy in Perth!
What to expect when looking for backpackers jobs in Perth?
To get a job while living in Perth as a backpacker depends on several factors.
First, there is the period of the year. Because Perth is so isolated, it gets very quiet in winter. That’s to say, roughly from April to November. Now, writing these lines, we are in summer and the busy touristy season is starting… raising other difficulties for us backpackers. It is of course easier to find a job but there is also a lot of concurrence. Especially French backpackers fill the city and everyone is looking for the same – a job! Since Australian employers know that they have plenty of backpackers at disposal, they are picky.
Second, your job search will get difficult or easy according to the industry you are looking for. Hospitality in summer is a good bet. Loads of restaurants, bars and venues spring up like mushrooms across the city.
For the guys backpacking Perth, the above options are of course there. But I would say that they can find opportunities quicker. In Perth in summer, a lot of construction and also demolition are going on.
And let not forget the famous backpacker farm jobs. For that, you will have to get out of Perth. However, the region just two hours south from Perth offers quantity of farms. Here is a list of the nearest ones:
- Margaret River – grapes
- Dunnybrock / Manjimup – apples, pears
- Albany / Denmark – cherries
Think also aout the mining sector which garanties a very good salary.
In a nut, to find a job while backpacking Perth is not simple and takes time. As a backpacker living in Perth, I know now some tricks on how to search and apply for jobs. I share them with you below.
How to find jobs for backpackers in Perth – the survivor method
First have an Australian resume ready. Adapt it to each industry you are looking for. Explanation: make a tailored resume especially for hospitality, sales or construction and put forward relevant work experience.
Then, do cross-searching using all the links and platforms I give to you in Perth survival guide. And apply, apply, apply! Without losing motivation.
Congrats, you’ve got your first job interview! Prepare it, research a bit about the place you applied for. Make sure you know some basics for the backpacker job you will have. Be on your best the D day.
Keep an eye on Unepoudredescampette because a full article on how to find a backpacker job in Australia will be coming soon!
And if you shared me?