perth swan river

This Christmas I thought that rather than go over old ground I would write something constructive.

During the year we have seen an exodus of families from Sydney and Melbourne due to the end of low fixed rates and the gargantuan rise in repayments when the Covid fixed interest rate penny finally drops.

We have an almost 1,000 men women and children crossing the Nullarbor each month, and they seem to be somewhat baffled by our language and culture.

net interstate migration

Fear not my financial refugees, we welcome you with open arms (mostly) and have prepared a quick guide to all things…Western Australian.

Where to start… hmmm…ok, right, let’s begin.

Geography: Perth is roughly divided into two camps by the Mighty…brown…no, we don’t swim in it much either
Swan River: you either live North or South of it (except for “Easties” just like your “Westies, but, yeah you get it).

You cannot overstate the difference that this waterway has on our psyche: North of the River has great wealth, wonderful beaches, The City, Northbridge, a reasonably well-functioning road network and a public transport system that doesn’t require a degree in Astro physics.

The northside has our famed beachside pubs: The Cott, The Obee, The Breakwater, The Mullaloo and stares out at the jewel in our crown, Rottnest Island (Rotto) with The Quokka Arms pub (Yes Southies, it ours: Fight me).

cottesloe beach hotel

Drinking at these fine establishments on a Sunday afternoon is encouraged, but you have to go home by 10:00pm (used to be 9:00pm) to get to work on time Monday.

Over the bridge (can you see my bias yet??) they have none of these things yet insist on superiority regardless. Sickos.

Moving on then.

Food: Time to forget what you’ve being calling processed pork sausage in the past (Devon, Byron sausage, Belgium sausage, (Huh?) fritz (Weird) or Windsor Sausage in…Queensland: whatever) It’s Polony here.


A bulk package of 24 beers is a carton. C’mon, say it with me: A CARRRR-TON of Beer. Not a slab, not a brick, a block, or a crate, it’s a Carton, and in it are CANS, not tins (That’s just weird, they’re aluminium).

Stubbies are stubbies and a “long neck” is a King Brown.

Crayfish are Crays: not Lobsters. Lobsters have claws, and these do not have claws. They are only referred to as “Western Rock lobster” so the Japanese and Chinese will buy it. And they do, quite a bit.

Lastly, You better hope that snake is not a Dugite (joo-gi-te) or you well and truly rooted.

The Weather and its effects.

Here’s your next shocker: It rains in winter, not summer (ok maybe once or twice but it’s a really big deal when it does). We have sprinklers (Retic in normal parlance) to keep what passes for a lawn green..ish.

We are the called The Golden West because frankly most of our plant life is dried out and dead by December.

perth rainfall

The summers are hot, and I mean really hot. Perth has the hottest average temperature in Australia (Take that Darwin) and the sea breeze most days (no one calls it “The Freo doctor, seriously, they really don’t, we just tell you that..) and winter is (by your standards at least) warm but “rough and windy”.

Consequently, we love the beach and just about all of us live on it or within 20kms of it. Sure, there’s loads of sharks & snakes, but that’s part of the charm.

Fun fact: Perth is the longest city… in the world.

perth heat

Language: My family moved to north Queensland in the 90s and I spent the first 6 months baffled by the gibberish… but that’s Queensland.

Here, you swim in “bathers” or “Boardies”, “old mate” is slang for that guy whose name you can’t remember. When the huge pile yellow sand your folks put on the “lawn” goes hard and forms a kind of hard almost rock you throw at your mates is a “Boondie”, a skid on your bike a “Broa-gie (or Broggie for the Eastie’s)”.

We speak through our nose, so everything is a bit nasally and we shorten everything: Fremantle is “Freo”, Rottnest is “Rotto” and Willagee is just “The Gee”.

To look at the sparkling Indian ocean you’ll need Sunnies and if you don’t, you’ll have a prang, and your car will be munted.

So there it is. WA in a nutshell.

Merry Christmas and Welcome one and all….if you can find a place, just don’t bring ya mates.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!