5 min readAccording to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the population of the South West region grew by 1.5 per cent 2011 to 2017- and honestly, there are no surprises there.
Boasting pristine beaches, exceptional produce, quaint country towns and some of the state’s most beautiful forests, it’s no wonder people are packing up and making the move to the South West corner.
If you have ever entertained the idea of leaving the hustle and bustle of Perth for a sea or tree change, these five reasons to make the move might just convince you to make it happen.
5 reasons why you would want to move from Perth to the South West
Making the move is not as difficult as you might think
The thought of packing up your city lifestyle and moving to a slower paced regional town a few hours south can be overwhelming. It’s different, uncertain and seemingly a heck of a task. Sure, packing up and moving isn’t exactly the most exhilarating or easiest of jobs; but relocating to the South West really isn’t all that much more trouble than moving a few suburbs over when you have the right help.
Most good removalists in Perth offer removal services outside metro bounds, so getting out to your new country town is not an issue at all. Some even offer all-inclusive packages having you covered right from the pre-packing of all your belongings, through to unloading and placement of furniture at the other end. All you have to worry about on the move is getting acquainted with the people and the lifestyle in your new hometown. Piece of cake!
A more relaxed lifestyle
Whether you choose to keep to the coast or opt for a town a little more inland, moving to the South West means you are leaving the rat race in the city behind. Everything moves at a much slower pace in the South West. Say goodbye to bumper-to-bumper peak hour traffic, and say hello to short commutes, more space and a more relaxed lifestyle.
Bunbury is the biggest city in the South West, with some 67,000 people living in the city and immediately surrounding areas. At around one quarter of the population of Perth, the largest South West centre is already substantially slower paced than the big smoke. Start moving even further south along the coast, or south-east towards towns like Balingup, Bridgetown and Donnelly River, and the population and pace drop even more.
But this isn’t a bad thing. With lesser populations, there is less requirement for major urban development. As such, one of the biggest drawcards of moving to the South West is the space (and the sweet little heritage corner stores). There are no big, built-up city centres full of high rises (in fact, there is only one high rise in the whole South West), and big backyards are just part and parcel with living in the region.
A strong sense of community
In smaller towns, the focus is on community relationships. You don’t just go to the hairdresser in a South West town; your hairdresser is your friend and probably your neighbour too.
With smaller populations and fewer distractions, there are a lot of familiar faces around town. People in the South West value community engagement and forming friendships with locals, and often know just about everyone living in the immediate area. In fact, there is a good chance that everyone in the community is connected by either birth, family or marriage.
Being a part of such small, close-knit communities is great for friendships and building a support system, but where it becomes particularly important is in business. It can be rather hard to find your way into an industry in an established place like Perth, but in smaller South West towns you might just find the break you need. Everyone rallies around local businesses, making for opportunities for fruitful little ventures.
The beaches in WA are quite something, but the beaches in the South West corner really are unmissable. The coastline from Bunbury through Albany is exceptional; from the calm, protected waters of Eagle Bay and Hamelin Bay, to the famed surf beaches of Cowaramup Bombora (affectionately known as Cow Bombie) and Yallingup. Whatever your preference, there is something to suit everyone.
If you’ve ever wanted to live coastal, the South West is the place to do it. There are hundreds of small communities dotted along the coastline, but if you aren’t ready to jump straight into a community of only a handful of homes, try somewhere like Busselton, Dunsborough or Bunbury. These larger coastal towns have more ‘happening’ town centres and a few more creature comforts than towns like Augusta or Denmark.
Outdoor leisure activities galore
With the great outdoors comes plenty of opportunity to get out and explore. The South West is prime camping, fishing, mountain biking and bushwalking country. If the idea of camping under the stars is far more appealing to you than finding the newest hidden bar to have an after-work tipple at, then perhaps a move to the South West is on the cards.
You can go camping just about anywhere in the South West, but setting up camp in a unique spot like Barrabup Pool – a calm fresh water pool in an ex-timber milling town just 10-minutes outside of Nannup – makes for a special weekend escape. Not only can you camp by the waterhole, you can swim, canoe, go fishing for marron or explore the surrounding bushland on the 22 kilometre bush walk and cycling track.
There are also plenty of great bushwalking trails running through the South West, including the famed 1,000 kilometre Bibbulmun Track. For a different hiking experience, you can wander amongst the canopies on the treetop walk in Walpole, or climb up to the peak of Porongorup’s Castle Rock and marvel at the view from the granite skywalk. If mountain biking is more up your alley, then taking up residence in either Bunbury, Collie or Margaret River gives you prime access to some of the state’s best trails.
For more ideas on where to move for a slower paced lifestyle check out the seven best Australian towns for a treechange and the best coastal regions for a seachange.