How is Perth different from Sydney?

Sydney and Perth, two vibrant Australian communities separated by 4,000 kilometers of coastline, could not be more dissimilar. Sydney is one of Australia’s largest and most famous tourist destinations, whereas Canberra is regarded as the country’s secure city and is almost half the size.

Sydney is renowned for its yacht-filled harbor, iconic Opera House, expansive beaches, and energetic atmosphere. The city with the highest population in Australia has a high quality of life and is likely the first location that comes to mind when imagining Down Under. Perth, however, is best known for its sandy suburbs, charming bars, creative atmosphere, and raw natural beauty, despite being the largest city in Western Australia.

Continue reading to learn how the two cities differ from one another.

Perth harbor

Weather in Perth vs Sydney

Sydney is located slightly further south than Perth, but the cities are approximately 4,000 kilometers apart and on opposite coastlines, so their climates are distinct. Compared to the northern regions of Australia, both Sydney and Perth have relatively mild winters. The average daytime temperature is between 16 and 18 degrees, and the average nighttime temperature is 8 degrees.

However, Perth’s winters are drier than Sydney’s, with an average of thirteen days of precipitation per month, compared to seven or eight in Sydney. Sydney’s winters are generally sunny and mild, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking if you don’t like to overheat. I was not expecting to appreciate Sydney’s winters so much!

Perth is substantially hotter than Sydney during the day during the summer months. Perth’s average maximum summer temperature in January is 32 degrees, while Sydney’s is 26 degrees (I know, frigid)! However, the overnight temperatures in both capitals are between 17 and 18 degrees.

Sydney receives approximately nine days of rain per month in the summer, compared to only two days in Perth. Since I’ve been a resident of Sydney, we’ve experienced considerably drier summers. Especially in years when La Nia occurs!

Even though Sydney’s summer temperatures are lower than Perth’s, the city’s humidity is significantly higher, so it can still be quite uncomfortable. Sydney also receives nearly twice as much precipitation annually as Perth, so when it showers, it pours!

Perth has the most sunny days per year of all the state capitals in Australia; it receives approximately 30% more than Sydney and three times as many as Melbourne! It is also considered the sunniest city in the globe in terms of annual sunshine hours!

Daylight Savings Time in Perth vs Sydney 

Western Australia does not observe daylight savings, which is one of the disadvantages of residing in Perth. This means that in the height of summer, Perth becomes black around 7:30.

Sydney’s summer sunset is approximately 45 minutes later than Perth’s, as New South Wales, like the majority of Australian states, observes daylight savings time. However, Perth is approximately half an hour lighter than Sydney during the winter. 

Property Prices in Perth Compared to Sydney

The vast disparity in property prices between Perth and Sydney is likely to be a deal-breaker for those of you considering a permanent move to Australia, as it makes living in Perth significantly less expensive than in Sydney.

Perth is one of the most affordable capital cities in Australia in terms of real estate, with prices roughly half those of Sydney. Note that these prices include both houses and units (flats), and that the prices can vary significantly between the two property classifications as well as between suburbs.

Buildings overlooking Perth swan river

East Coast vs West Coast living

One of the most significant differences between Perth and Sydney is their geographical isolation. Sydney is located on Australia’s east coast, which is by far the most populous and developed section of the coastline. Brisbane and Cairns are to the north of Sydney, while Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmania off the coast of Melbourne are to the south.

Along the south and south-east coasts are numerous smaller coastal villages and cities that are easily accessible via paved roads and motorways. While driving distances can be lengthy, you can quickly reach Queensland, Victoria, or South Australia from Sydney via a brief flight.

Perth, on the other hand, is located at the southernmost tip of Australia’s west coast and is frequently referred to as the world’s most isolated metropolis. The west coast of Australia is significantly less developed than the east coast, especially north of Darwin.

The closest other state capital to Perth is Adelaide, which is only a 30-hour nonstop journey away! I took a five-week road journey from Perth to Adelaide, and while I saw many incredible locations, the trip was filled with red dust and unpaved roads!

It takes approximately five hours to fly from Perth to Brisbane for some winter sun, but you can save a few hours if you’re returning to Europe or anywhere in the west.

Sydney has a much faster pace of life than Perth, which is to be anticipated for a major city. There is a sense that more is happening and that everyone is going somewhere. Walking around the two cities, it is clear that Sydney is significantly larger and more populous, while Perth’s downtown is more compact and easy to traverse at a leisurely pace.

Perth’s laid-back ambiance is more typically Australian, whereas Sydney is a major international tourist destination. Approximately four million immigrants visit Sydney annually, compared to only 700,000 in Perth. However, Perth receives roughly the same number of domestic visitors as Sydney does international tourists, as Australians from all over the country seek out Perth’s slower pace and sunny climate.

The center of Perth may be tiny, but the city as a whole is extremely dispersed. The affluent districts of Perth stretch from the north of the river to the west of the beaches, and feature charming, family-friendly suburbs. If you’re not staying in the central metropolitan area of Perth, you’ll need a vehicle, but there’s an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding areas. On the other hand, due to Sydney’s typical urban layout and congested modern streets, you will not need to drive. Still, Perth’s wide, deserted roads can make driving a pleasure.

As opposed to the tranquility and lack of enthusiasm of a riverside setting, which is frantic, stressful, and full of tasks. Which is better? It’s a matter of personal preference. Nevertheless, Perth exemplifies the laid-back Australian lifestyle that so many tourists and expats seek, whereas Sydney’s energy can be found in other megacities around the globe, making the Western Australian capital more distinctive.

Surfing in Trigg Beach

Nightlife in Perth vs Sydney

It should not come as a surprise that the party atmosphere in Perth is much more subdued. There is a decent selection of bars throughout the city, but they are rarely crowded and close relatively early by European and American standards. The trendy inner suburb of Mount Lawley has a scattering of nightclubs playing chart songs, but quaint beer gardens and gay bars predominate over rowdy parties.

In contrast, Sydney’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse. Even though “lock-out laws” have placed some restrictions on partying, with clubs in the CBD, Darlinghurst, and Surry Hills closing before 2 a.m., you can still have a good time every night of the week.

The homosexual clubs and live music events in Kings Cross and Newtown are popular. Due to the performances and drag acts they host, these venues have special late-night licenses, so you can party until four or five in the morning. There is an abundance of classical music shows, concerts, live comedy, and street performances, as well as local and international DJs performing at venues throughout the city.

Activities in Perth vs Sydney

There are many things to do in and around Perth if you have a car. In addition, many of the top attractions are centered on the area’s exceptional natural beauty, which is fantastic for nature enthusiasts but less so for city dwellers.

The King’s Parks and Botanical Gardens, the Swan River, the Perth Mint, the historical Bell Tower, and the State War Memorial are all authentic highlights. In Perth, you can learn a great deal about the history of Western Australia while taking in the natural beauty. Mount Eliza is a wonderful hike that offers panoramic views of the city, and the Perth Cultural Center is the home of the state’s ballet and opera companies. This building houses a theater, a library, and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

Still, it pales in comparison to the Sydney Opera House. Sydney has much more to offer than its harbor front cultural center with its recognizable sail design, Darling Harbor, Harbor Bridge, and Royal Botanic Gardens. It reigns preeminent in museums, art galleries, and concerts, but there’s something for everyone in its shopping, high-rise architecture, street art, zoos, and gardens. Don’t overlook the Sydney Tower’s Skywalk platform, which provides 360-degree views of the city. Unquestionably, Sydney is the more fascinating capital, and you are less likely to be bored there.

Concert at Rosemount Hotel, North Perth, Australia

Travel Destinations in Perth vs Sydney

Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world; it takes less time to fly to Bali than to Sydney. However, Western Australia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful locations in the world, and there are numerous travel destinations within the state. Rottnest Island is only a forty-minute ferry journey from Fremantle and is essentially an island paradise. 

There are also Bustselton and Margaret River in the south, Yallingup and Albany, and Esperance, where kangaroos relax on the shore and there is a pink lake. A couple of days of traveling will get you to Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, and Exmouth, where you can swim with whale sharks.

Driving, not flying, is the only way to get to other locations in Washington, and road vacations are extremely popular! In terms of traveling to other countries, it takes only 3 hours to reach Bali, 5 hours to reach Singapore and Malaysia, and the flights to Europe are shorter from Perth than from Sydney, but it costs roughly the same. From Sydney, it is very simple to reach other East Coast cities, as flights generally take less than two hours.