8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth

When it comes to migrating, it can be so easy to look at Australia with rose tinted glasses. You’ll actively seek out all the good things awaiting you in your new home country, but brush off any seemingly minor complaints from others, whether they be personal comments from friends and family, or posts on social media or blogs.

So I thought I’d help you out and prepare you for some of the not so fun things about living in Australia. Some of these may only be applicable to Perth (because that’s where I live), but I’m sure some will be just as relevant for other cities around Australia.

And before you get on your high horse about how lucky we are and these are stupid things to moan about, read to the end!

Without further ado, here are 8 annoying things about living in Perth.


1. The Internet Is So Bad

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Internet

And I mean bad. We used to live in a rural area of Gloucestershire in England and our internet was 4 x faster than the internet we have here in Perth (and I live in the metro area!).Want to watch Netflix? No one else can use the internet then unless you’re happy to wait for ages for pages to simply load.

When we Skype or Facetime with family, we have to make sure no one has Netflix on otherwise the video will constantly drop out.


2. The Flies In Summer

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Flies

OMG. The flies. Hitchcock must never have come to Australia because if he had he wouldn’t have made ‘The Birds’, he would have made ‘The Flies’. They are just insane. They will surround you and constantly land on you even if you swat them away.

Those typical Aussie cork hats don’t look so stupid now. You even get hats with nets attached to them so you can keep the flies off your face. They might look ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than non-stop arm waving and head shaking to get rid of the flies.


3. How Biased All The Aussie Sport Commentators Are

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Sport

If you’re a sports fan from South Africa or the UK, or possibly any other country, you may be surprised at just how biased the Aussie commentators are. This is based on watching a few different sports like cricket, rugby, soccer and golf – I’m pretty sure it would be the same across the board. During The Ashes we even turn the TV onto mute and listen to the BBC Radio commentary as some of the Aussies are just unbearable!

They’ll constantly big up their own team and berate the opposition, especially if it’s South Africa or England. Sporting rivalry is one thing, but sure commentators should have a modicum of respect for the opposition?


4. Really Bad Drivers

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Drivers

O.M.G. the drivers here are mental. OK nothing will ever beat the good old South African taxi driver in terms of unpredictability and ingenuity when it comes to driving styles and tools, but don’t come to Australia thinking you’re getting first world drivers that know the rules of the road.

I can’t begin to tell you how many debates I’ve got into about driving laws in Australia with Australians. They drive for themselves and don’t give a hoot (see what I did there?) about anyone else on the road.

I’ve nearly been taken out heaps of times on roundabouts (circles to us South Africans). And don’t even get me started on merging! No one here knows how to merge, let alone doing 100 km/h onto the freeway. The most memorable thing I’ve seen on the road was a woman driving with 2 young kids in the back while READING A MAGAZINE ACROSS HER STEERING WHEEL. I was a passenger in my car so I watched her next to us for around 4 kilometres, thinking, she has to stop soon, she’ll put it away, but nope, she was actually reading a magazine while driving 80 km/h with two kids in the bank. Crazy.


5. Restaurants Closing At 9pm

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Restaurants

If you want to go out for dinner on a week night, best not make a reservation for 8pm, otherwise you’ll be wolfing down your dinner while waiters stare at you willing you to leave so they can go home already.

I don’t know if this is just Perth or other cities in Australia too but if you’re heading for dinner Sunday-Thursday, best to check your restaurant’s opening times.


6. Free To Air TV & Radio

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - TV

Eish man, I know SABC TV was bad, but this is something else. Nothing is on time. NOTHING. I don’t know why they have TV guides here. Shows are often 20 minutes late. Probably because they shove so many ads into each show – seriously they can make a 18 minute sitcom into a 40 minute ordeal.

The most annoying thing is often they’ll cut to an ad break and come back to what is literally the last 30 seconds of the show. Yep. 5 minutes of ads followed by less than a minute of the show you were watching.

And then, because they often put 2 episodes of the same show in a row, they’ll go straight from the end of the first one, into the second one. You have no idea if you’re still watching the last bit of the first one, or the first bit of the next one! Often they skip the credits too so you really don’t have a clue that the show has actually ended!

Which is why, as soon as we could afford to, we got Foxtel. And then when we had good enough internet to cope (see point 1), we got Netflix.

Radio isn’t much better – again nothing runs on time. News on the hour? More like however many minutes past the hour because of the 5 minutes of ads after every song or inane 15 minute conversation between the DJ’s about what their 2 year old ate for breakfast. It really is painful. Hence, I still listen to BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans every morning. Hey, the news may be 24 hours behind but at least it doesn’t make me want to seal my ears shut!


7. Online Shopping

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Online Shopping

In the UK we used to shop online ALL THE TIME. It was so easy, postage was fast, and often postage was also free.

In Australia, postage is ridiculously expensive. Want to buy something small like a pair of socks or some hand cream or name labels for school stationery? That’ll be $10 please. Sometimes the thing you are buying doesn’t even cost $10!

eBay used to be a cheap way to buy stuff, but people here in Australia (on eBay, Gumtree and Facebook selling groups) will even sell things for more than what they cost. I saw someone selling IKEA side tables (which cost $10 in IKEA) for $15 each! OK I know you have to build them, but seriously, once it’s second hand, it’s not worth what you paid for it. So be careful when shopping for second hand goods – check the new price before parting with your dollars.


8. You Can’t Buy Alcohol In A Supermarket

8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Alcohol

In South Africa you can buy wine in the supermarket. In England, you can buy wine, beer and spirits in the supermarket. In Australia – nooooooo.

Why would we make shopping convenient for you? We’ll make you go to a completely separate store to buy your booze. And we won’t sell it to you if you have your kids with you either. Thanks, thanks a lot Australia.

All I want is a nice glass of chilled Sauv Blanc with my dinner but it’s a total pain in the butt to get it – which is why most people buy wine by the case here so you don’t have to go out of your way every week to get your tipple of choice.


So Why Would You Want To Live Here?

Now you’ve heard my complaints, hopefully you’ll see that while these may be annoying things about living in Perth, these are clearly first world problems.

I have a roof over my head, my child sleeps safely in his bed, we earn enough money to survive, save and have a couple of holidays a year (although it’s taken a few years to get to this point!).

I have beautiful beaches just a few minutes away, stunning national parks, excellent schools, amazing friends and best of all, I get to share it all with you, and hopefully inspire some of you to take the plunge, knowing that while it might be bloody difficult, it is totally worth it.

What are your first world problems in Australia? Or what do you love about living here? I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment below.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of my other blogs like 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Migrating To Australia and 50 things you need to know before you migrate to Australia.



8 Annoying Things About Living In Perth - Proudly South African In Perth

About Author

Helping you move to, settle in, and explore your new home in Australia. Avid reader, beach lover, and horse addict. As someone who has emigrated, not once, not twice, but three times, I know exactly what you’re going through. The ups and downs of emigration are faster than a rollercoaster and I’ve been there – three times!


  • Tracy Williams
    21st January 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Woolies has connecting BWS in many of their stores.

    • Reeva Cutting
      23rd January 2018 at 8:50 am

      Indeed they do, as does Coles with Liquorland, but you still need to go into a different shop and do a separate transaction. I don’t know about you, but I’d be too terrified to push my full shopping trolley around those teeny tiny aisles!

  • Bev Huntly
    25th January 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Having had an excellent education in Rhodesia, my biggest bug-bear here is the poor spelling, especially the incorrect use of an apostrophe & s.

    • Reeva Cutting
      25th January 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Yes! But unfortunately I think this is everywhere – as phones and predictive text and spell check have become the norm, knowing how to actually spell has fallen by the wayside. Still annoys me too though!

  • Amanda Kendle
    25th January 2018 at 5:05 pm

    This is a great list! Reminds me of many of the things I had forgotten about Perth before I returned here from living abroad. Was just complaining about the lack of alcohol in the supermarket (it was highly prevalent in Germany!) the other day. And the internet – it’s tragic.

    • Reeva Cutting
      25th January 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Oh that reminds me of our time in Sweden where the alcohol is only sold from government regulated bottle shops! I felt some serious judgement buying wine there!

  • Michelle
    26th January 2018 at 5:18 pm

    The “No Bluddy Network” is my pet hate. No one gets the speeds they were sold… NO ONE!

    • Reeva Cutting
      26th January 2018 at 6:05 pm

      ???????????????????????????????? I’m still on ADSL2!

  • Dewald
    8th February 2018 at 9:03 am

    Can’t agree with much on this list unfortunately.

    The ones I do agree with.

    2. The flies are really annoying, but usually only really bad for a couple of weeks a year. The rest of the year it’s more a game of trying to keep them outside but they always find a way inside. Get a nice swatter and teach the kids to chase them around.

    5. The restaurants closing early. This is even worse in some suburbs. In our suburb the food court of the massive shopping centre closes at 5:30. So no chance to get anything to eat after work.

    7. If you shop around you can still get great deals and free deliveries on most items, but due to Perth’s isolation this is an issue. Most of the online shops have homebases on the east coast and it takes a couple of days or up to a week to reach us from there. Same goes if you shop on ebay etc.

    The ones I don’t.

    1. Not if you live in an area with proper NBN like the Labor party wanted to build for everybody until the liberals smashed it and implemented the mixed technology model. Say thanks to your local liberal party member for that. Even if you are on FTTN (the crappy NBN) you can contact the NBN and ask them to quote you to upgrade you to FTTP (the proper NBN).

    3. Can’t say I’ve noticed that the commentators are more biased than any other countries own commentators. With most of the international players now actually playing in the BBL as well for Australian teams I’ve found that the commentators have a healthy respect for them.

    4. Not sure where the writer lives, but that’s definitely not an issue here. I have never felt so safe on the roads. Go back to SA for a week and drive there and you’ll think the roads here are paradise.

    6. Buy a $30 DVR and record what you want to watch then fast forward through the ads. Problem solved. As for quality of shows it is vastly superior to anything offered in SA, and if you have a smart TV the catch-up services are just awesome. There are also a ton of channels, so if you can’t find anything on any of the channels or any of the catch-ups then it’s on you.

    8. If alcohol is really that important to you, then just go to one of the drive-through bottle-o’s on the way home. Also, the real shocker here is the price of alcohol. Prepare to pay $15-20 for a six-pack.

    One’s you missed.

    9. Hooning drivers

    10. The endless North vs South debate

    11. Trying to get your lawn to grow well on sand.

    12. Trying to stop your dogs from escaping your yard because of said sand.

    13. Trying to stop your neighbors dogs for coming for play dates because of said sand.

    • Reeva Cutting
      11th February 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Love 10! 🙂 That will never end, even amongst the Aussies!

  • Johnny
    10th February 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Complaining about Aussie drivers? Reeva, when you arrive in South Africa, I shall take you for a quick drive in Pinetown. That should be enough to cure you of any gripe you may have. And if I were to take you for a drive through the old Transkei, particularly to Umtata, you shall never complain about any driver anywhere in the world ever again

  • Will
    16th March 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Just thought I’d leave my two cents.

    When you go to a supermarket, all the products on all the shelves can by purchased by anyone. Why? – Because these items are not age restricted. Australians when we shop tend to do our grocery shopping and alcohol buying separately.

    Alcohol and tobacco are by definition age restricted products. As such we want to limit their access to minors as much as possible. Hence why their sale can only be done in certain areas. In other words when you go to a bottle shop to buy beer it’s assumed you’re over 18. If you not then there is no reason for you on those premises.

    It’s a system that we’ve had in place for a long time and works well for us. It’s a source of frustration for those who come from overseas but we won’t to keep both the access and sale of these goods limited to those who are allowed to have them.

    • Reeva Cutting
      20th March 2018 at 7:39 am

      That’s a great point, Will. It was even more restrictive when we visited Sweden – all the bottle shops there are government regulated and I felt really awkward just buying a bottle of wine there! At least it isn’t that bad here in Australia 🙂

  • Beazle Teats
    17th March 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I live in Sydney so don’t really experience any of the issues you have. Shame on you for not supporting Australia. After all this country’s given you and your kids, the least you can do is support the national cricket and rugby teams. or are you a “when we” who lives in a South African enclave like St Ives in Sydney?

    • Reeva Cutting
      20th March 2018 at 7:37 am

      Thanks for your invaluable comment Beazle. It’s a shame you obviously haven’t taken the time to (a) read the blog properly and (b) read anything else on my blog before you hop to making such a ridiculous statement about me personally. Perhaps do a little more research before launching such a misplaced personal attack. Have a great day!

  • Steven
    2nd December 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Ive read your 8 annoying thing about Perth, first of all, why write this, are you that much of an attention seeker that you need to be negative about the city that has provided you a polar opposite of safety to what you would normally expect in South Africa. You just don’t need to do it, how about stating the 8 best things about Perth. We live in such a negative world, why, if your such an academic wouldn’t you start promoting the good things about this country. Every Country has its way of doing things & way of life, & when your there, you respect it. Sad that you need to even write this stuff, maybe, if you feel being negative is the best way to describe your adopted city, then I imagine your home town or city must have been a wonderfully fun, safe place to live, why on earth would you have wanted to leave. Proud South African living in Perth, maybe embarrassed & bitter South African living in Perth. It’s simple, love it & promote it, Don’t winge about it.

    • Reeva Cutting
      5th December 2018 at 8:04 am

      Thanks for your comment on my blog.

      You must have missed the conclusion so I’ll paste it here below.

      The whole point of the blog was to show that moving to Australia isn’t all sunshine and roses – but if these are the worst things about living in Perth, then clearly we have it pretty good!

      I’m sorry you didn’t seem to get that so hopefully that explains it.

      Here’s the final paragraph:

      “So Why Would You Want To Live Here?

      Now you’ve heard my complaints, hopefully you’ll see that while these may be annoying things about living in Perth, these are clearly first world problems.

      I have a roof over my head, my child sleeps safely in his bed, we earn enough money to survive, save and have a couple of holidays a year (although it’s taken a few years to get to this point!).

      I have beautiful beaches just a few minutes away, stunning national parks, excellent schools, amazing friends and best of all, I get to share it all with you, and hopefully inspire some of you to take the plunge, knowing that while it might be bloody difficult, it is totally worth it.”

      Have a great week! 🙂

      • Lalie
        24th January 2021 at 6:19 pm

        I want to say that I appreciate your list of “cons” about living somewhere – because some people are looking for information about what a place is like to live in! I don’t understand why people take it so personally. In my opinion you could have made it even more personal, because that’s what I would like to know. No-one tells you how emotionally challenging it is to move abroad, but all people have to say is to be greatful for everything you have in your new country, completely ignoring how you feel like you are being torn into pieces between old and new.

        I do have a question for you – which industry do you work in? You said in one of your posts that you struggled to find work for a few months.

        • Reeva Cutting
          21st February 2021 at 7:43 am

          Hi Lalie, thanks for your comment – nice to see someone understands the point of my post 🙂 I used to work as a business analyst but now I’m a freelance digital marketer – you can find me at 🙂


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