It might not look like we are, but it definitely feels like we are, one of the world’s most isolated cities. With a population of just under 2 million people (Population Australia 2017), there is no city of comparable size to Perth that is in fact, so remote. The nearest city to Perth is Adelaide, wow (no offence) about 2,104km across the infamous Nullabor Plain. (Glen 2012) Us ‘Perthians’ have to endure a three-hour flight MINIMUM to get to any other major city. It is no doubt, faster and cheaper for us to travel to Bali, yes a foreign country… than to fly over to the east coast. The logic??? My boyfriend and I just got back from a 5-night getaway to Seminyak, Indonesia for $999 per person… the equivalent cost of my business class return ticket to Melbourne over Christmas last year. I’d also like to point out, most people in Perth have never even driven to another city, but if you have, I take my hat off to you.
For me personally, isolation is a key travel motivator, especially when you Google ‘extreme points on earth,’ and Perth is actually featured. Why not climb the rankings of the world’s most expensive cities while you’re at it Perth? Oh wait, we are. We are certainly not used to large crowds of people in one restricted area, nor can we handle it. Organisers and staff members are left dumbfounded and overwhelmed every. single. time. the outcome of an event exceeds the numbers expected. I can speak on behalf of those who have lived here their entire lives, so I’m not lying when I say, you wouldn’t really expect anyone to come and see Perth as a ‘touristy’ destination. Although they shouldn’t worry, we are generally delighted when they do!
This, what I like to call, “geographically lonely” reputation of ours, has led to a number of missed opportunities. The Perth Arena for example, was a $548 million project (ABC News, 2011), promising a facility that allows more touring acts than ever before to choose Perth for shows and events. This was evidently irrelevant, when huge artists like Taylor Swift, Cold Play and now Ariana Grande announced performance shows on the east-coast only. We get it. Bit selfish if you ask me, you’ve made it this far from the United States, what is an extra three hours?
We do have a growing reputation for cultural events here in Perth; you cannot deny the success of Perth’s International Arts Festival, and what about Fringe World! It was affordable entertainment, Northbridge lit up spectacularly, and I don’t use that word lightly. Oh and who can forget The Giants of Perth? a #wtf moment for us all, but we’ll just pretend that one never happened. There are obviously significant improvements and developments under way, in terms of infrastructure, transport and so on. It’s safe to say, we’re not total advocates of failure, with more than 6.6 million people visiting Elizabeth Quay since opening in December (Campbell 2017) and Perth’s new multi-purpose 60,000-seat stadium opening soon! (Government of Western Australia 2017) Let’s hope the world is no longer deterred from coming to visit.
The isolation has not impacted our daily lives, come on guys, let’s not be dramatic. There are things in my city I simply will never complain about, not today, and not ever. Perth’s weather, local proximity, pace of life and so much more. We are so underrated, just because we are that little bit further away. We occupy over 12,500km of coastline (Outback Yarns 2017) , naming some of the world’s most beautiful beaches but don’t stress, your towel will not be touching anyone else’s. We get so much sun and that aussie rep for having all the time in the world to take advantage and enjoy life. I live no more than 25 minutes away from the main shopping centres, and my closest family and friends live if not, in the same suburb but the next suburb across, and it surprisingly, isn’t too much. People create a city, and your city is what shapes you as a person, and Perth has not failed to do that. Okay no, living here does not prepare you for big-city living, but what’s wrong with that? It’s not Perth’s job, go and find out for yourself! It is a liveable and loveable city, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Population Australia 2017, Perth Population 2017, 21 April 2017.
Glen, 2012, ‘Is Perth the most remote city in the world?’ id: The Population Experts, blog post, 8 June. Available from: http://blog.id.com.au/2012/population/australian-population/is-perth-the-most-remote-city-in-the-world/
ABC News 2017, States-and-territories, 21 April 2017
Campbell, K 2017, ‘Elizabeth Quay attracted more visits than Rome’s Colosseum,’ Available from: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/elizabeth-quay-attracted-more-visits-than-romes-colosseum/news-story/0495e5460ccc474515b3188b75253bcd
Government of Western Australia, Perth Stadium, 21 April 2017
Outback Yarns 2014, ‘ 15 of the biggest facts about Western Australia,’ Adventure Tours, blog post, 25 November. Available from: http://www.adventuretours.com.au/australia-outback-yarns/15-biggest-baddest-facts-western-australia/