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Perth (Australia) - Overview

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia. It is also the largest city, in terms of population and size in Western Australia. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, taking up almost a third of the entire Australian continent, making Perth one of the most isolated cities in the world. In terms of geographical location, Perth is situated at the southwestern tip of the Australian continent, between the Darling Ranges and the Indian Ocean.

Perth city is divided by a river - the Swan River divides the Perth Central Business District (CBD), and many locals orientate with reference to it – North of the river are regions such as the affluent Mosman Park and Cottesloe. South of the river are regions such as Applecross and Victoria Park. The Central Business District (CBD) area of Perth city is bounded by the Swan River to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the west. Perth's CBD itself is smaller and less complicated than Sydney or Melbourne – the 4 major roads within Perth's CBD are St George's Terrace, Hay Street, Murray Street and Wellington Street. Although Perth city itself is not very large, locals also distinguish the CBD further – West Perth (where King's Park and the parliament houses are located) and East Perth (where Hay Street is located).

Expatriates living in Perth will quickly discover that Perth is a city with tremendous natural resources. Wide stretches of isolated beaches, flat land, abundant fresh produce, made in WA (Western Australia) goods and fresh unpolluted air are liberally enjoyed by its inhabitants. On the flip side, Perth is considered the world's most isolated metropolitan city – distances to other major cities are far, and trading hours can be limited to daylight hours.

Although the majority of residents living in Perth are Australian citizens, more than a third of citizens were born overseas – this means that there is a fairly multi-cultural mix of ethnicity that is reflected in Perth's colourful restaurants and supermarket offerings.

The relaxed, laid-back attitude of many Australians is epitomized in Perth: the sheer extent of space provided for each person means that few places ever become crowded. This in turn explains its slower pace of life. The expatriate with family, especially young children, is more likely to appreciate Perth's family-friendly, relatively pollution-free type of living. The single expatriate, on the other hand, hoping for a social life akin to that of London for example, might find it more challenging to adjust to Perth living.

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