This vast state is – by far – Australia’s largest. To traverse is comparable to driving from LA to Dallas. All this space means that, sure, much of it looks a lot like people’s preconceptions of Australia: hot, dry and flat. But you’d expect this large chunk of Australia to look like Australia, right? Wrong. It’s also got magnificent valleys, rivers and forests in the southeast and extraordinary forest terrains in the north. Add the capital Perth into the mix – a city of 2 million people – and you can forget the cliches and relax in the knowledge that WA is as interesting and diverse as it is just straight out massive.
Chances are, if you’re living in Western Australia, you’re living in Perth. It’s not your usual sort of place. With over 2,000 km to the nearest city of Adelaide, once you’re there, you’re there. But once you’re there, it’s brilliant. For one thing, the weather is brilliant. It’s sunny and warm, all the time. Even by Australian standards, which is saying something. For another thing, the entire western seaboard is more or less 2,000 kilometres of uninterrupted, gorgeous, white, soft-sandy beach. So that’s gorgeous beaches, and weather to match. Perth is also Australia’s most cosmopolitan city. As a result, it has many fabulous ethnic eateries.
Perth is also home to its own world-renowned symphony orchestra and ballet, an opera company and numerous dance and theatre companies. Sports and leisure facilities are first class and with more hours of sunshine than any other Australian capital city, there is plenty of time to enjoy outdoor activities.
The largest single source of ancestry in Perth is England. Australia itself comes second. After that, there are numerous well established European communities including Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Croats. Since the 1970s, Perth’s close proximity to Asia has made it more attractive to migrants from India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. All these communities enjoy support from the Australian Eurasian Association of Western Australia. There has also been a surge in recent years of migrants from South Africa, earning Perth the colloquial moniker “the Aussie Capital of South Africa.”
Economically, Western Australia is something of a heavy hitter. Despite its small population, the state pumped $250 billion into the Australian economy in 2014-15, accounting for 15% of the total. This equated to a gross per capita product of $96,000, a whopping 50% higher than the national average of $68,000. And almost half of all Australian exports leave the country through Western Australia.Not a bad result for two and a half million people!
While some extraction commodity markets are becoming volatile, The Western Australian Government predicts strong growth for its iron ore and LNG exports between now and 2020. And while WA’s mining industry continues to serve global markets, it also drives a growth industry in world-class mining technology and manufacturing.