Perth reminded me a bit of Calgary. Both are heavily resource based cities, have a similar population, similar problems with sprawl, have a central hi-rise downtown and flat suburbs surrounding those hi-rises radiating out from it and both cities have a more laid-back approach compared to their larger sister cities.
It's getting to be winter in Australia and not the peak tourist season but the hostel I went to the first night only had room for that one night and the next day a different hostel again only had a bed for that one night. It appears there are a lot of long-term residents in Perth - staying at the hostel for months on end while they work full-time.
I thought I would rent a scooter in the Perth area since the city is so spread out and to get an idea if it would be useful back in Canada in a city setting vs. the beach roads of Goa in India. I went to the tourist info office to get some maps and asked the guy working if he could recommend a scooter place. He knew one. Sweet. It was a little out of the way but I hoped on a city bus then walked about 45minutes through what looked like Perth's Chinatown. Address was 213 x street.
When I got there there was a new building with addresses from 201 to 209, an empty lot, and an older building with a 215 address. I doubled checked my info and double checked the addresses. They hadn't changed. When I popped into one of the local stores to ask I was told the scooter place had closed a couple years ago. When I told them the tourist office had sent me they thought it was hilarious and suggested I take a photo of the empty lot to show them. I didn't.
Nor did I find it as hilarious as they did. Instead I gave up the scooter search and headed to Fremantle the next day on the train. 25 minutes and $3.20 later I was in, essentially, a suburb of Perth - just don't tell the locals that. They are rather proud of Freo and the fact it is, technically, its own city.