Australia, Living in Western Australia, Travel diaries

Travel Diary: Life on the West Coast

IMG_4850 We have been busy bees over the last few months and I haven't had a chance to catch you up on what we have been up to.  The Cape Le Grande National Park post covered our journey from the south coast of Western Australia up to Perth.  We have been in Perth for a few months now and have really settled into life here.  So here is a round up of the important things.

Where we live

On arrival in Perth we spent a couple of nights in the nearest caravan park to the city whilst we found our feet.  After a few, very expensive, nights in Forrestfield we found a good deal on the internet and moved down to Woodman Point Holiday Park where we stayed for a month. Living in the van whilst working was going to prove difficult so we invested in a tent.  And I do mean 'invested', the tent cost over $300 (and that was half price)!  Of course, Shaun wouldn't have an average tent and we ended up with a huge 10 man fold away mansion. We camped comfortably until it started to get a little chilly.  Up until this point our poor tent was feeling the affects of the harsh Perth sunshine and even started to melt a little. Woodman Point Holiday Park is a nice campsite with clean-ish bathrooms and a huge kitchen.  The location was brilliant being 5 minutes walk to the beach to dolphin watch and a lovely stroll along to our favourite coffee shop, Lazy Lizard. The bad part was the staff, they were so awful.  In the end I was glad to leave just so i didn't have to argue with them.  I ended up leaving a really bad review on Trip Adviser. June marked the beginning of 'winter'.  And by 'winter' I mean low-twenty degree days and around 5 degree nights.  As we started to feel the temperature drop during the nights we got on the hunt for a flat to rent.  We agreed we would stay in Perth and work for a few months until we could afford to comfortably get back on the road.  Turns out it is cheaper to rent a house-share than live in the campsite. We decided we didn't want to live in the centre of the city this time.  Mainly because there isn't so much going on in Perth and we could find a house to live in comfortably instead of an apartment. After looking at just one house we agreed to move in.  On 12 May we moved into a house-share in East Freemantle, near the Swan River.  We are living with a nice couple (a Kiwi and an Aussie) and share a 3 bedroom house.  We have the upstairs of the house all to ourselves including the main bedroom with balcony, a spare room, a toilet and a bathroom.  We also have a small garden and an undercover parking space.  The location is pretty good, just 25 minutes walk into Freemantle and Shaun is only 20 minutes drive from work.  Shaun is elated to get up at a reasonable hour for work.


As you may recall, we made a very quick dash for Perth to fix Delilah's diesel leak.  On arrival we booked in the van to get fixed.  By the time our appointment came round the leak had stopped.  Absolutely typical! We struggled with the decision whether to go ahead and fix the van anyway.  Considering the cost (a few thousand dollars), we decided to leave it and pray it didn't happen again. We had a thousand other things to fix on the van and we ended up spending a fortune on her anyway. In March Delilahs NSW rego (vehicle insurance) was about to expire and we had about a week to get a new rego.  We costed up renewing the NSW rego which would cost thousands.  Instead, we went down the path a registering Deliliah in Western Australia.  The annoying thing is that the states in Australia act like different countries.  The process for regos are completely different from state to state.  In fact, in WA it is called a vehicle licence not a rego.  This still ended up costing thousands anyway as we had to have a thorough pitt inspection before we were able to apply for the licence.  We had to install an immobiliser and fix a couple of things including the steering and indicator stalk costing over $500 before getting passed to apply.  In addition to this we had to pay for 2 pitt inspections, a licence to remove the rear seats and the application itself. We then made the tough decision to sell her.  She was draining us of cash every single week and she is pretty impractical driving around the city in a 2 tonne 2 meter high truck. After a few weeks on the market we took the first offer of $6,000.  The offer was made and the very next day she was gone.  We felt emotional as she drove away.  Our loving home that we had built and spent so much time and money on. With Deliliah gone we needed a practical car to drive around the city for a few months this is when we found Rex.


Shaun gave me a heart felt speech about how we should embrace the Australian way and blend in with a V8!  Yup he talked a lot of crap!  We started looking for V8 utes.  He wanted to drive around in a gold V8 ute!  I, surprisingly, wasn't as keen. We also looked at some Subaru Imprezas as they were around our price range and still have a cool factor.  And quite honestly you cannot get a reliable car in Australia for under $5,000. Every single car we looked at was falling to pieces.  One of the cars even had the exhaust on the floor when we arrived. The first car we saw that was in one piece we snapped up.  We bought a Subaru Impreza WRX named Rex for $5,500.  Rex needs a bit of work himself including a new set of tyres and breaks but considering the purchase price we went ahead.  Then we also realised it's coming up to it's big service at 200,00kms which will cost a whopping $1,500.  Subaru's are well made cars and awesome fun to drive.

Earning Dollars

It took us a long time to find work here.  The market is a lot smaller and a lot slower than in Sydney. Shaun searched for 3 weeks and finally got an interview and landed the first job.  He is working a similar job to his work back home in Guernsey welding and fabricating for a local company. As I said earlier, Shaun's work is only a 20 minute drive up the road so he is a lot happier with this commute compared to Sydney.  Plus he can get a drive-through coffee on route.  Australian's love a drive-through! I, however, took a little longer to find a job.  I applied for at least a hundred positions.  The minute I took off my 'Working Holiday Visa' status off I had lots of phone calls.  I ended up getting a call back from a company I worked with at my job in Sydney.  The director of the company knew me and asked me to go in for an interview.  Two months after we arrived in Perth I started working as a Business Analyst Consultant for one of the biggest companies in Western Australia.

What's next?

As you probably know (my poor mother sure does) we change our plans every week depending on how we are feeling.  We have been through every scenario and still haven't really settled on what comes next. The purpose of this trip was to live in New Zealand for a few years, but with a few months traveling Asia and a year in Australia on the way.  But now we are living the dream making money and travelling we don't really want to 'settle down' and live anywhere.  We belong on the road and will try and travel around as much as we can. So I will leave it at that ... maybe we will have a plan to share next time. À la perchoine, Jodie and Shaun x Don't forget to subscribe


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1 Comment

  • Reply Irene Mileham 08/07/2015 at 8:29 pm

    Your mum has kept so young looking all these years. This will probably give her her first wrinkle !! lol.

    Go for it, it sounds fabulous. Have fun


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