Western Australia

Western Australia is the country's largest state, and is home to approximately 1.5 million people. The capital city, Perth, is situated on the Swan River, and many social activities are planned around the river and the 80km of stunning beaches, which have fine white sand and sparkling blue water.

Suburbs of Western Australia

Located in the Chittering Valley, Bullsbrook is a rural township minutes from RAAF Base Pearce. Only a small number of private rentals are available. Outer suburbs within the Pearce posting locality provide a diverse lifestyle to suit all families. However, proximity to beachside suburbs tends to drive the rental prices to the higher end of the property market.

Rockingham is 10-15 minute drive from HMAS Stirling and is a relatively large city, including the suburbs of Secret Harbour, Port Kennedy and Baldivis. Rockingham is predominately a 'blue collar' area and has a medium to high-level of rental properties available to suit all budgets.
Swanbourne (‘Seaward Village’) is a small Defence community, located on the edge of Campbell Barracks. Homes in the surrounding suburbs are sought after due to proximity to the inner city and the beach. As a result, rental prices are higher than average.

Remote locations

Remote locations in Western Australia include Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton, Dampier, Karratha, Port Hedland, Bunbury and several others. Due to the remoteness of these localities, the market value in these areas is greater than that in metropolitan areas. The prices are driven by mining and tourism. The general cost of living (food, fuel etc) is considerably higher due to the remote location and freight costs associated with delivering these items.

Broome, often called the 'Gateway to the Kimberleys' is located 2,200km north of Perth. The town was founded as a pearling port more than a century ago and still produces the world’s finest pearls. Beaches, including the famous Cable Beach, have pure white sand and crystal water.
Dampier is a major industrial port in the north-west of Western Australia, 1,555km north of Perth and 15km from Karratha. The port services petrochemical, salt, iron ore and natural gas export industries. Dampier is a pretty settlement, with an offshore island chain that is home to whales, dugongs, turtles, coral and sponges
Geraldton is the fourth biggest city in Western Australia and is located 425km north of Perth. The unspoilt beaches in Geraldton attract surfers, kitesurfers and other aquatic sports enthusiasts such as fishing and diving.
Port Hedland is the largest town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, approximately 1,320km north of Perth. Since the 1960’s, Port Hedland has been the centre of a thriving iron-ore industry; its natural harbour handles the largest tonnage of any port in Australia. Its pristine beaches and mangroves are home to an abundance of fish and other wildlife.
Bunbury is situated on a peninsula approximately 175km south of Perth. It is a cosmopolitan city, but still offers a relaxed, coastal lifestyle. The fishing, swimming beaches, warm climate and proximity to areas such as Margaret River make Bunbury a popular destination.
Exmouth is located on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia, approximately 1,270km north of Perth. Exmouth is an extremely popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. Exmouth boasts a beautiful climate, excellent fishing and both a national park and marine national park.
Karratha, 1557km north of Perth, was built in 1968 to service and accommodate workers mining iron ore in the Hamersley Ranges. Now the busy centre of the Pilbara district, Karratha is a large and modern town. Nearby is the magnificent Millstream - Chichester National Park with its deep gorges and palm-fringed rock pools.

Major Defence Bases in Western Australia

  • HMAS Stirling, Garden Island
  • Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne
  • Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta
  • RAAF Base Pearce, Bullsbrook

Public transport

Perth's public transport system consists of buses, trains, ferries and taxis.
  • The Transperth website provides information on routes and timetables for the Perth metropolitan area.
  • Free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses shuttle frequently along popular routes around the CBD. 
  • The rail system services most areas via six lines running from Armadale, Fremantle, Joondalup, Midland, Rockingham and Mandurah.


Western Australia has both public and private schools. It is important you decide on your housing arrangements before finalising schools as Defence does not regard choice of school as grounds to limit your search for a property.

Child care

There are a large number of child care facilities in Western Australia. The resources below may help you locate the right childcare service for your family.


There are a number of hospitals that service Perth, the surrounding suburbs and country areas.


The Department of Sport and Recreation website has a complete list of sport, leisure and other social outlets in Western Australia.