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Swan River

Home > Western Australia > Escape the City | Frugal Friday | Fun Things To Do
by Victoria Button (subscribe)
Join me as I explore this great city!
Published June 7th 2012


It's the Swan River but it may as well be called the Berlin Wall – so few are the Perth people who cross the river at weekends.

The divide between North and South of the River is so well known the sides even come with their own abbreviations, NOR and SOR. Perth residents are united in using these terms, to the confusion of outsiders.

According to the vitriolic stereotypes to be found online, those who live North of the river are 'pretentious ****s' who steal all the new trains, with one chap starting an anti-NOR Facebook group.

Meanwhile, another writer, claims SOR is 'full of scum bogans who hang around Kwinana doing burnouts in their *****y VT Commodores with… 18" inch or larger rims'.

One bemused commentator noted "the two halves of Perth were so divided that two people from the north side wanting to have an extra marital affair need only meet up south of the river and they were unlikely to be seen by anyone they knew."

The local newspapers perpetuate the great divide, splitting their real estate listings into the regions rather than alphabetically, as is common elsewhere.

Perth Divided - in the Sunday Times


Two employees from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Phil Smythe and Paul Burns, wrote an article about the statistical differences between those on either side of the river.

Despite declaring themselves to be "devoted South of the River residents" they found that NOR people were, on average, richer, more educated, and better able to access the internet.

There were more prostitutes South of the River, but more lawyers in the North, they noted, commenting: "It is debatable whether this can be interpreted as a point for or against the North."

Those looking for love should focus South, the pair concluded, based on the 2006 census, with the highest proportion of singles in Waterford and Murdoch but little chance of "success in Success".

The folks at HBF used the North-South rivalry to inspire people to join their 2011 'Run for a Reason', which, for the record, was won by the North.

This weekend why not visit The Other Side of The River? It's cheaper than an overseas trip, but, for many, just as foreign.

You can find NOR ideas here and SOR here.
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Why? Cheaper than an overseas trip, but just as foreign!
When: Any time
Where: The Opposite Side of the River to Where You Live
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I have recently moved here from Scotland and live in South Perth. I had no idea that this rivalry existed! Guess when the whole place is foreign you'll just go where you like :D
by Shivas (score: 0|8) 2629 days ago
Haha, just like in London.
I love both myself.
by karen256 (score: 1|14) 2575 days ago
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