New South Wales

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s fifth biggest state and covers an area of 801,428 km². If it were a country in its own right, it would probably be the 37th biggest in the world, just behind Pakistan but ahead of Turkey. The UK could fit into NSW about 3 1/4 times and it is bigger than California and New Mexico put together.

It has a population of around 7.41 million people. It is known as “The Premier State” and the residents are known as “Cockroaches” – very nice!

NSW New South WalesThe second most visited location in NSW is why Byron Bay, Australia mainland’s furthest point east. But the main attractions are, of course, Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, both in Sydney.

Famous Australians originally from the state include Clive James, satirist, Paul Hogan, comedian turned Crocodile Dundee, Kerry Packer, media magnate and film directors Baz Luhrmann and Peter Weir.

Places in New South Wales

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales, but there are plenty of other towns and localities with a population in excess of 10,000 people. Here’s a list….

  • Newcastle – about 289,000
  • Gosford – around 283,000
  • Wollongong – about 235,000
  • Maitland – over 60,000
  • Albury 48,000
  • Wagga Wagga – about 47,000
  • Port Macquarie – roughly 40,000
  • Tamworth – about 33,000
  • Orange – just over 31,000
  • Dubbo – around 30,000
  • Bathurst – 29,000
  • Nowra-Bomaderry- over 27,000
  • Lismore- about 27,000
  • Coffs Harbour – 26,000
  • Richmond-Windsor – 25,000
  • Goulburn – just over 20,000
  • Armidalle – nearly 20,000
  • Broken Hill – 19,000
  • Forster-Tuncurry 18,000
  • Cessnock – 18,000
  • Grafton – 17,000
  • Taree – 16,000
  • Ballina – 16,000
  • Griffith – 16,000
  • Sawtell – 15,000
  • Singlet – nearly 14,000
  • Raymond Terrace    – 12,000
  • Kurri Kurri-Weston – 12,000
  • Kiama – 12,000
  • Bowral – 11,000
  • Lithgow – just over 11,000
  • Batemans Bay – about 11,000
  • Ulladulla – just over 10,000
  • Muswellbrook- just over 10,000

Then, of course, there are all those towns with a population below 10,000, including the already mentioned Byron Bay, which has about 9,000 residents. Perhaps you live in one of these towns, and if you do, why not tell us about it in the comments below…

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

ALAN WATTERSON June 6, 2011 at 5:31 am

Hi Bob,
Just thought I would drop you a line and say what a mine of info you are and a brilliant website you have, nothing fancy just the truth as you see it, keep up the good work.
I am hoping to move out to ozz after I retire in august 2011 and be nearer to my son and his family who live in ulladulla. My wife passed away last year and we went out to see our son and family in December 2007 and both of us loved the place and the way of life and of course the people, and we both wanted to retire in the sunshine and put our feet up,but the big man decided i had to go on my own, but she will be with me.


BobinOz June 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hi Alan

Thanks for the compliments about my website, I truly appreciate it. So sorry to hear about your wife, but I do hope your plans to retire in Australia come off. I’ve actually driven through Ulladulla, my wife and I had a small debate about how it would be pronounced. I went for exactly as it’s written, ull-a-dull-a and my wife went for oolah-doolah.

I asked the girl in the petrol station, and I won!

I don’t get many of those :-)

Take care Alan.


Anowar Hossain June 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Have a nice time


chistian gilbride July 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

hi bob, great site, loads of great honest info. My family and i are moving to campbelltown in november as soon as the army are done with me hehe. Ive heard a few rumours that campbelltown (nsw) has a bad rep ? Whats your take on it ?


BobinOz July 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hi Christian,

I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one, I’ve never been.

Maybe someone else knows some information about Campbelltown in New South Wales?


alan watterson September 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I have lived in Campbelltown area for the last ten years and have found it to be no better or worse than any other part of Sydney.Best advice ,there are so many places to live better than Sydney,actually just about anywhere in Australia.Your pick.


christian September 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

cheers alan, not got a lot of choice though coz my new job is at the airport, campbelltown seems to be a cheap option, my friend has bought a house in the currans hill area, we will rent for two years and have a good nosey around…… beach life seems unattainable so we gonna look at something affordable and with a pool (is that too much to ask for these days), would like to go to wollongong but everything seems far too expensive ?


BobinOz September 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

That’s a thumbs down for Sydney from Alan, and I’d agree from my very limited knowledge of the city. I don’t really know enough to vote, but this is coming from a resident.

That said, I know some people who love it there, hopefully you’ll be one of then christian.

Thanks Alan!


AndyWindow July 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hi Christian,
Campbelltown can be a bit on the hard side. Better than Blacktown or Mt Druit or Rooty Hill. It has a diverse cultural background and is typical “Westy”, where the people are fairly pragmatic about life and just on with living. Not particularly scenic. Probably a better area as far as rent costs go. Good access to the city via the M5.


christian September 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

hey andy, thanks for your advice, truley noted, im out in 12 days and the family follow in november so there is little choice to change my mind. campbelltown will do for now (gotta be better than england) will have a good look around before i make any commitments. my friend has bought up in the currans hill area and says its very nice ? i am staying at his house for 4 weeks until i get my own place for the family. its all a bit ooooeeer lol x


christian July 22, 2011 at 4:26 am

Cheers Andy,
I will be out 2/3 months before my family so can have a good look around….. a friend of mine has moved to the mount annan/curran hills area and thinks its ok around that area, think its camden and not campbelltown though.
Would there be a nicer area for the same rents in that area or do you simply pay for what you get !!!


Kaitlyn Gladiator August 4, 2011 at 11:15 am

i think you disgrace our country and your map of Australia is plainly RUDE expecially to Steve Irwin !

I dont like you



Isabella Swan August 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Bob,
I would like to say that i strongly agree with Kaitlyn !
I think it is totally disgraceful how you discribe your country !!!



Isabella Swan August 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Bob,
I would like to say that i strongly agree with Kaitlyn !


BobinOz August 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm


Kaitlyn and Isabella, I don’t know what you girls put into your coffee this morning, but I wouldn’t use it again. I’m really not sure what either of you are on about, unless you think this is my map of Australia. It’s actually a map to show people where New South Wales is in Australia.

My map of Australia, with all the Australian states on it, is on my page called, unsurprisingly, Australian States.

Great emotional use of Steve Irwin’s name, although I’m struggling to see why you brought him into it.

But I’m just guessing, maybe you’d like to pop back and explain what exactly your problems are?




ALAN WATTERSON August 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Bob, could not agree more with you, cannot see what they are talking about that is so offensive to ozz or the memory of Steve Irwin and look forward to their explanation which i am sure will be just as whacky as their complaint.
Keep up the good work.


BobinOz August 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I don’t think we’ll ever know what the problem was Alan, seems the girls are too busy to give us a response. Maybe they are posting more wacky messages on other blogs? Never mind.


christian August 6, 2011 at 2:58 am

Hi Bob,
Great news, our visa,s have come through and im flying out to NSW on 30th sept to set up shop prior to family joining me in November. Got a job at Sydney Airport but will be travelling to all Airports throughout Australia so you never know, best get that kettle on standby hahaha.
We all very excited now and i have been pleasantly suprised how smoothly everything went.
Keep up the good work Bob and standby with that kettle (and pg tips lol).
Take care


BobinOz August 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Congratulations Christian, and welcome to Australia. I hope everything goes smoothly and yes, the kettle is on standby. Long way to come for a cup of tea though, it’d be about 14 hours by car, hehe!


Veronica October 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Welcome?back to Oz Alan Watterson (are you the same AW who wrote he lived in Campbelltown for ten years?)! Sorry to hear about your wife. Who knows you may find another soulmate in OZ and your wife who has passed on, would be happy for you.

Best of luck and great times with your son and his family!


ALAN WATTERSON October 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Hi Veronica, there must be another Alan Watterson, surely not, as i am still living in Dunoon Scotland waiting to get approval to move to ozz to be nearer my son and his family in ulladulla.


BobinOz October 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm

“there must be another Alan Watterson, surely not,” – surely there is!

To the Alan Wattersons and Veronica, how bizarre is this? There are, indeed, two Alan Wattersons commenting here; there’s ALAN WATTERSON and then there’s alan watterson.

Veronica, it is alan watterson who lived in Campbelltown for ten years (see his comment dated 17th September 2011 above), not ALAN WATTERSON, who, as you now know, lives in Dunoon, Scotland.

There, I hope that’s cleared that up, I’m going to have a lie down.


Veronica October 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

So there is a soft alan watterson, and a shouting ALAN WATTERSON? OK.


Veronica October 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Sydney is IMHO the most beautiful city in OZ!

As it living here, some places are more beautiful and more expensive than others. I have lived in Eastwood, Lane Cove, Westmead and now am in Liverpool CBD. Liverpool is cheaper to rent than the other places mentioned, but it is not the best place to live in though. Of the places I have lived in, I have liked Lane Cove best, then Eastwood, then Westmead.


BobinOz October 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Thumbs up for Sydney there then! Thanks Veronica, very useful info about those suburbs.


Veronica October 8, 2011 at 10:18 am


Don’t get me wrong, my love for Sydney has to do with the fact it has been my only home in OZ. We all love our hometowns with all its warts, don’t we? Luckily Sydney has very few of them! ;)

I have heard that Melbourne is always in competition with Sydney. And loses of course, all the sophistication of Melbournites notwithstanding.

I have been to Brisbane a couple of times, and quite like the tropical air about it, but then it is something I am prepared to give up to live in Sydney, the most beautiful city in OZ.


Veronica October 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

Of course for those who can afford it, Vaucluse, Mosman, Potts Point etc are great places to live in. Way more classier than Lane Cove!


BobinOz October 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Veronica, I don’t understand what you mean by us all loving our hometowns. Even though I have only ever lived in Brisbane, I am in no way biased towards it at all.

But, it is the best city in Australia :-)


ALAN WATTERSON October 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Hi Bob, Very bizzare and wait till i get over to ozz next year hopefully and there are 2 of us living in NSW.
And another strange thing is that Dunoon Scotland where i live is just a few miles away from Cambeltown Scotland.
What a small world indeed.

Alan { Dunoon Scotland } Watterson


Veronica October 9, 2011 at 9:17 am

ALAN WATTERSON October 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Hi Veronica, there must be another Alan Watterson, surely not, as i am still living in Dunoon Scotland waiting to get approval to move to ozz to be nearer my son and his family in ulladulla.

Alan (Dunoon, Scotland) Watterson

When I wrote, shouting ALAN WATTERSON, I was simply referring to nettiquette which states: ALL CAPS = SHOUTING.

So there is a Cambeltown in Scotland? But we have CamPbelLTown, he! he!

Two Alan Wattersons in NSW? Now that is a lot of Alan Wattersons for a state like NSW. We are going to run into Alan Wattersons on every street corner.

Jokes aside, I wish you luck with your visa and your chance to live nearer your son and his family, especially since you are now a widower. But do not lose hope of finding a new soulmate in Ulladulla.


BobinOz October 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Alan: yes, small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it. (The old jokes are the best).

Veronica: yes, agreed. We all wish Alan good luck with his visa.

Both: Ulladulla, I’ve been there, only bought petrol though.


Veronica October 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

BobinOz wrote that people of NSW are known as “cockroaches.” I didn’t know that!

Where did you get that info from BobinOz?

Anyway those who live in Sydney (a number which btw makes up a quarter of the whole population of Australia!) are known as Sydneysiders. So non-Sydneysiders from NSW are known as cockroaches? But why? Because they live forever or what?

To all prospective migrants to OZ: every state and every city in OZ has its charms. Just go where destiny leads you and bloom where you are planted.



BobinOz October 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Initially, I heard all these nicknames from my Aussie mate, Pete. But I got the full list from Wikipedia. Check it out here.

As for why, well, Queenslanders are called either cane toads or banana benders. We have a lot of cane toads and bananas up here. You wouldn’t happen to have a lot of cockroaches down there, would you?


Linda July 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

You have never heard of “cockroaches?” Well you must be living in a different country than I am – check out the State of Origin…


BobinOz July 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Quite right Linda, check out the picture on my post about State of Origin. Would that be the cane toad fighting a cockroach?

Nice time to mention Origin to a New South Waleser, 7-0!


christian gilbride December 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

hey bob,
well we are here………eventually lol. all going very well, my job at the airport seems good, the wife loves the place and the teenagers hate the place as per hahaha ! managed to rent a nice house in harrington park not far from nerrellan/camden but the hike to work on the M5 can be emotional. having a few issues with getting a phone line/adsl broadband connection, just had a huge row with telstra (big pond) who turned me down on my credit check… 8 weeks of it ???? so no landline and no decent internet for us apparently ??? and i thought BT were rubbish. we get the dog on 23rd from quarantine so he’s with us for christmas hurray, they have been very strict with the visiting times, tuesdays and thursdays 1300hrs to 1500hrs so we have not managed to see him since he has been here : (. Took the family to bondi beach on sunday and it rained constantly hahaha, least we had the beach to ourselves ! weather has been pretty poor since my wife and girls joined me although i have promised it will improve, they think I’m telling porkies ha ! All in all a pretty smooth ride up to now and i must thank victoria at 4 corners immigration for all the help she has given us, now its time to get christmas over and done with and get out there and see what this huge place has to offer !!!!! hope all is well with you and yours bob, take it easy, no doubt you will lol x


BobinOz December 16, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Congratulations! Glad you made it.

I think having an argument with Telstra is part of the initiation when moving to Australia. I don’t want to frighten you, but the longest blog post ever written in the whole wide world was written by me, about Telstra. You can read it by clicking this little blue link called #$@&!! Telstra!

Some day your teenagers will love you for bringing them here, but that they will probably not be whilst they are still teenagers hehe. Hope you are settling in, the first few months can be a bit tricky, hang on in there.



Anna May 14, 2012 at 2:44 am

Hello all
My hearts desire is to get a job i an office in Sydney -my son lives and works there and I so want to move from the UK and put down roots in Sydney -I need the 457 visa and sponsor.I speak fluent Spanish and French -if anyone knows of an employer who has jobs going please let me know as I could do with a few miracles!

Love and thanks



BobinOz May 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I hope something turns up for you Anna :-)


Cristina August 18, 2012 at 3:37 am

Hi, i’m planning to move to Australia and i have two questions:
1) What is the best city to live for an engineer? I mean, a city where you can find engineer related jobs . (Industrial Engineering)
2) What is the best city to live near Sydney? the one whith good quality of life, afforable and some how close to Sydney.

Thnaks =)


BobinOz August 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Not being an engineer or living anywhere near Sydney, I’m not best placed to help you. Hopefully someone else might be able to help out here. What you could do though, you check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and click on the links to the three top online employment agencies in Australia the research the sort of work you want to do. That will tell you where most of the jobs are.


Kathryn October 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Hope this link will help you locate a good engineering job within Australia:


Patrick February 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I have lived and worked in Sydney for the past 20years and can honestly say I wouldn’t live anywhere else, the energy and buzz of this place just gets you in unlike any other Australian city, it’s got that big city feel and is the finance, fashion and food capital of Australia and has Australia’s first arts and culture precinct in Walsh Bay. The inner suburbs of Sydney have a very cosmopolitian feel and social cafe culture.
You will never run out of things to do in Sydney, it a 24/7 city like New York.
The longer I live in Sydney the more I love this town.


BobinOz February 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Big thumbs up for Sydney there, thanks for giving us your input Patrick, it’s appreciated.



mohammed August 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

this site is awesome !


BobinOz August 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Thanks :-)


Leanne September 19, 2013 at 2:39 am

I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered a job in shoalhaven and will be moving as soon as my visa comes through!
It’s very exciting! If anyone has any info or advice I’d be thankful.


Mike October 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

G’day Leanne,

Shoalhaven is a nice spot south of Sydney around 2.5 hours..I am guessing you would be working somewhere around Nowra as it is the biggest population centre..I used to have a holiday home down there in Jervis Bay..It is a pretty big holiday spot for people from Sydney. Many of the smaller areas in the Shoalhaven region are almost entirely dependent on the tourist/holiday trade. Nowra is like any other city it has its areas with problems and it’s nicer areas. It is usually pretty easy to tell what is what in an Australian town. generally around train stations, industrial areas is not so good.


Leanne February 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Hi, sorry, I’ve just realised there was a reply on this post. I am here now living & working In jervis bay near vincentia. We totally love it here.
It’s beautiful.. We are settling right in. Kids are enjoying school..loving life so far!


BobinOz February 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

That’s great news, congratulations Leanne, glad to hear you love it.


Charlotte January 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I live in Albury and am a little confused why it’s not on here?


BobinOz January 6, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hmm, so am I. It should be on here, can we call this one a clerical error?

I’ll fix it tomorrow, promise, and thanks for pointing this out to me Charlotte.

Cheers, Bob


Rosanne February 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hi Bob,
Have taken your advice and re directed my ques to NSW section of your absolutely amazing site/blog. You just can’t but this sort of honest info and feedback.
Anyway, we are on with Visa 186,PR Visa. Phase one complete, 2 more steps to go. We are heading to a rural part of NSW, an area called Crookwell. It’s about 2hrs from Sydney and 1 hr and 30 min from Canberra. We have done a fair bit of research on the area but I was just wondering if anyone was familiar with the area of if anyone lives in a rural part of NSW and what that lifestyle is like?. We currently live in a very rural part of Ireland so isolation or remoteness wouldn’t be too much of an issue for us. We have a young family, 3 boys under 6 and there seem to be lots of amenities and facilities in Crookwell as well as very good schools.
Would appreciate any feedback from your loyal and trusty fanbase!!!!


BobinOz February 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Thanks Rosanne, glad you like my site. I’ve only just realised how amusing this town’s name is, Crookwell. Here, and you’ll need to know this, in Australia, the word crook means sick or unwell. I’ll let you do the rest :-)

Anyway, anyone from over this part of the country know anything about Crookwell? Can you help out Rosanne?


Mike February 8, 2014 at 5:30 am

I have stopped in at Crookwell a few times it is a small town only a few thousand people from memory so it would still have a village feel. I live near Grafton in the North of the State, which is a large town but in a rural setting (Read farms and mooing cows in the morning) generally if you have a job already you can get a much better lifestyle in the smaller towns for children in their younger years, when they get older (High school) and up they won’t have the same opportunities as someone in a big town or city with things like subject selection and the like. If you don’t have work, then the chances of getting work in a small town is close to zero. I have always lived in small towns as villages and find the lifestyle much more to my liking, I did have to do my high school in a near by town and university studies though a few hours further from home.


Rosanne February 10, 2014 at 2:24 am

Hi Mike,
Thanks for taking the time out to answer my question. Wasn’t too hopeful that anyone out there would even have heard of Crookwell. It’s still bigger than where we are at the moment and has a lot to offer us, particularly, as you mention, for our young family. My husband has a job and as I am a teacher and there are lots of schools in the area, I’m hopeful of securing work!!!! Thanks again, nice to know we are hopefully heading to somewhere that does exactly as it says on the tin!!!!


Elisa February 11, 2014 at 4:00 am

I came across your website, probably like many, trawling for information about moving to oz. my family and I are based in the uk currently but are looking for a better quality of life. Moving to oz is def. in our 5 year plan! My husband may be able to get a transfer with his job to NSW. His office will be based in padstow ( not a great place to live I hear!) could you suggest some suitable areas around there which may be good for a young family?

Also, what’s the situation like for a teacher?mits my profession but I heard there is currently a glut of qualified teachers in NSW who can’t find jobs!
Just to add, I have found your website very informative and extremely useful! Many thanks for all your hard work with it.


Rosanne February 11, 2014 at 7:28 am

Hi Eliza,
Can’t comment on padstow. I am also a teacher. If you check out NSW .teach. think that’s address), you can subscribe to a jobfeed where you get an email notifying you about jobs in the area. I have also figured that you need to register to teach with the equivilent of Teaching council before you can teach in either public or private system. None of this can be done till you get over there.
Not sure where you heard about a glut of teachers, it’s quite the opposite, just look at jobfeed and you’ll see how many jobs there are every 2 weeks. You can also register to be on a casual teachers list where you sub on a day to day basis in schools within a certain area.Great pay but unreliable. Some schools allow a rental subsidy of up to 90% and you get allowances for cold weather and bad roads!!! Imagine. All in very rural places though, there had to be a catch!!!
Hope this is helpful. Best of luck with move;don’t delay!!!


BobinOz February 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Good information Rosanne, thanks for helping out.

Elisa, hope that helps, as for Padstow, I’m afraid I have no idea, maybe somebody else can help you out with that one as well. Anybody know anything about Padstow?


Shaun April 5, 2014 at 7:54 am

I’ve just been offered a job in Bega, and am considering living in Merimbula. I currently life on the UK. I’m pretty nervous at the prospect. What do you think?


BobinOz April 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I’m not sure what you are nervous about, but I’d go for it. It’s probably a bit quiet down that way, but it is a great part of the country, beautiful scenery. Good luck, Bob


Shaun April 11, 2014 at 5:30 am

Cheers Bob

We’re a little nervous, because it doesn’t matter how much research you do, there’s always the fear the grass isn’t going to be any greener on the otherside. That being said, we live to the philosophy that’s it’s always better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven’t; so our visa application is now underway.

Wish us luck … Shaun


BobinOz April 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm

That’s exactly what I say Shaun, if you don’t try it, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering “what if?”

I’m wishing you luck, do let us know how it goes.

Cheers, Bob


saska May 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Hi Bob, could u plz name top 3 livable places in NSW except Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong ?


Mike May 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Hi Saska

It would depend what you are looking for in a place to live. If you love city life you have named the biggest cities in NSW, if you like country life away from the coast, you have Tamworth, Armidale (Inland towns west of the Great Dividing range) or Albury on the border with NSW and Vic they have universities and as they are large better job prospects. Coffs Harbour has a good year round climate in the Banana Growing Region of northern NSW. It just depends what you are looking for. Outside of the Newcastle,Sydney, Wollongong trio houses tend to get cheaper and you will get more for your money.


Shaun May 27, 2014 at 12:06 am

I wonder if anyone can help answer a question about South NSW weather. We’re moving from the UK to Merimbula, and wondered how the weather compares in that area to the UK. I’ve heard some say the weather is similar to the UK (which would be disappointing), does anyone have experience of that area?

Many thanks … Shaun


Mike May 27, 2014 at 7:42 am

I think it is still warmer than England..summer it gets to the 30’s winter probably as low as 5-10 ish. So warmer than England at least the England I remember. It just isn’t hot nor is it even close to as wet as England……my memories of my childhood in England is rain almost every day..Merimbula probably 50 or so days a year of isn’t a high rainfall area.


Milly June 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I want move to Sydney for daughter go to high school. Can you advise which area around Sydney is good for girls go to high school and also good for living. Thanks!


BobinOz June 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I can’t help but hopefully someone from Sydney will chime in, other than that you can do some research on my page called Which school?.


Mike June 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

Hi Milly

It would depend on how much money you have and what type of living you like to do, if you love inner city areas or would rather be in the suburbs. Also if you are thinking about sending your daughter to a private girls only school and private co-ed or a government school.


Shaun Favell July 18, 2014 at 9:41 am

Well, we started this journey in March and I’m pleased to say I now have my visa and professional registration sorted. Flights are booked for August the 4th. See you soon :-)


BobinOz July 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Congratulations Shaun, hope the move goes well and you get to love this place is much as I do.


jess healey August 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi there,
I’m currently living in Victoria and looking to make a move to the upper NSW coast somewhere where it will be warmer all year round and have enough for my two girls (12 week old & 2 yr old) to keep them entertained. Along with good schools, parks/playgrounds, walking/riding tracks are there any suggestions you could give me on where to relocate to? Don’t mind being a bit back from the coast either, about half an hour out.


BobinOz August 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Yamba is very nice, that is on the coast, or a little further inland is Maclean, bit of a Scottish town, but a decent looking place. Byron Bay is very much a hippie/surfer dude type of town, plenty going on if you like that kind of thing.

That’s about all I know, maybe someone else from the area can give you some tips.

Good luck, Bob


jess August 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

Thanks bob. Will look into those areas first. Cheers.


usa2oz September 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I live in the U.S. but have been reading Australian websites for many years now, mostly so while never having visited I have done a lot of research (including number of daylight hours in winter, average temp, rainfall etc) so I thought I had a good start..and I guess I do..but your website was a great find, thank you for all your work!

Question, the video here:

says every city over 10,000 is profiled…but for Coffs Harbour I only found (via google) this page (and a few others like the climate and ugly side of Australia meet, and such that didn’t seem relevant) is there a profile somewhere that I’ve missed?

I use wikipedia and other searches to find out a lot but if there’s profile by you or even if you “farmed it out” to have readers (but you created a page for each one) I’d love to read that…as a place to ask questions and share info, for every city over 10,000….I’m actually looking at Grafton but Coff’s Harbour (which wikipedia says is now over 70,000 metro area and the city proper is over 45,000 it says) is the nearest larger place…But would love to see individual pages for each of those and others…or even just “over 30,000″ which wikipedia says there are only 45 or so…sorry if I missed the page (url please…?) otherwise if your video meant brief mensions and it’s too much then please accept this humble suggestion to just create a page for each of them and let commenters submit posts with info, questions etc?

Also a map would be great – for where each of these several dozen cities are in NSW…seeing largest cities on wikipedia did not give me any clues where…which were 7 hours away which were shorter…over time I leanred that Yamba is NE of Grafton, Coffs is SE, where Lismore is, and a few others..but a map of each State with the state’s top 20 or even 40 largest cities/towns would be great..I couldn’t even find one of those old style “driving distances” charts, you know where the row and column is found to find the distance between…so just slowly I learn each one, but it would be nice to have a quick glance map…so when one hears a list of 3 other interesting towns, one doesn’t have to look up each one separately on googlemaps but immediatley know which ones are nearer to where one is thinking of having one’s “base” at least initially, and which ones are way farther off…

Sorry for the length here, and thanks again for the website!


BobinOz September 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Firstly, let me clear it up for you Harry. This is the only page I have that mentions Coffs Harbour, the video refers to the fact that I have simply listed all the major towns in all the states with a population in excess of 10,000, and this page, for example, has the list of towns for New South Wales.

In the comments on this page people can talk about what it’s like to live in any of those towns, and if you look through all the comments that’s what most people are talking about. Some of the towns you mention, including Coffs Harbour, have been mentioned briefly here.

I’m trying to give people a platform here to tell us what it’s like where they live, and many people have done that. But if I try and isolate small towns onto single pages, then some of these towns simply don’t attract enough comments to make it worthwhile.

If you do want to ask any particular questions about Coffs Harbour, this is the page to do it, and hopefully someone who knows the area well will help you out. I have been there once myself, but stayed for just one night. Not really enough to offer an opinion.

I hope you find the information you’re looking for. Cheers, Bob


Hilary September 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

Hi Harry
Why don’t you try a good atlas? Alternatively you can order more detailed maps of populated areas/towns/cities of most states in Aus through Amazon. Both these are far better than Googlemaps in my opinion. Gmaps are fine for getting a vague idea about location but I find them disorientating. In spite of the zoom facility, they tend to show towns/cities in isolation from the surrounding area. Therefore difficult to get a sense of perspective on a place. Everything exists in a context. Without this it can be mighty confusing. Also reading a map exercises the grey matter, use it or lose it…


usa2oz September 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for your reply Hillary :o)

I did figure I’d eventually invest, probably, in a NSW paper map…In the meantime, along with using gmaps, I just might create a (more humble initially) version of a distance map, and share it here. See, when I go to meetup to look for NSW events or other websites, I can go to the NSW section usually and they list events, groups, and so on…but I have no idea most of the time if it’s a suburb of Sydney (or 7 hours away!) or else 2 hours away or what have you. This is something a distance chart can do…some old fashioned (paper) maps do have that, so I’ll eventually have it on paper..I still want to create an online version now that I know it’s not so easy to find, will share url here if I do.

The friendly nature of this website is such that I will post some questions about the Northern Rivers region of NSW at some point, and Grafton and Coffs Harbour in particular…

Might take a few or few though..I need some time to organize my thoughts, questions, and to do a bit more research to eliminate at least reduce the number of embarrassing questions (things I should have known the answer to by easy search) before I post, but I do plan to do so :-) Thx,


usa2oz September 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

“might take a week or few” I meant..


USA2OZ September 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for clarifying Bob! You make a very reasonable point. I started thinking after I posted (and during) that I might have been reading too much into (wishful thinking? :-) the “Every major city in Australia is covered, every major city,..and every town with moe than 10,000 population” but I do see your point that one town would risk a rather empty page or one with just one or two comments, that does make sense. And since you’re clearly open to questions and so are your readers, that’s cool :-)

Speaking of wishful thinking, maybe as the website grows, while one town is too small, a subregion of a state might get it’s page? Well if not then I hope it’s ok to post here what I find out about the region in question, I think it’s called the Clarence River Valley, or actually wikipedia says the this region of NSW is called “North Coast” with two subregions, “Northern Rivers” being the one containing Grafton and Woolgoolga. I guess if anything I “know” from the past several years on wikipedia and elsewhere is wrong (or technically right, but misleading) you or a commenter can correct me. But if there’s never a “North Coast” page that’s cool, I will hope it’s ok to post here what I find out about it, and maybe ask for info/tips, from whoever might be reading who might know :)

I really have been impressed with your website – and I can tell it’s a labor of love not just a business. In fact it’s the first website I’ve found that along with free info offers nonfree but also non-shady extras. Other websites that offered help/info for money looked questionable.

(Was goning to post some questions here about a town or two, but will post separately)

Already appreciate also the friendly replies I’ve seen to others’ posts and one already (Hillary) to mine. I won’t take another 5 years to move to Oz, or I hope not…but this will be process for me at a measured pace.. so while I may not visit pages on this site every day, I do plan to become a reglar, and interacting more over time. Thanks for creating this online venue :o)


P.S. I’m a very slow reader but even I loved your free 100 page eBook, already skimmed it and have started delving in greater detailed into several sections, working my way through it..Good resource, text, pictures, summaries and all!


BobinOz September 25, 2014 at 7:18 pm

When I first started this website I did have a section called “Own Your Town” and I really wanted people to write in reviews of the town they lived in and send in photographs and stuff like that. I had hoped to map out the whole country.

I had lots and lots of people email me to say they wanted to own their town, and I would say “it’s yours” and wait for them to send in their review and pics. But that’s where things ground to a halt, people just never got round to it. So I abandoned the idea.

I have been to Yamba myself and also Grafton, no link to Grafton though, I didn’t actually write a post about it. Maybe I will try and dig out the photographs and do that sometime soon.

Cheers, Bob


Mike October 16, 2014 at 6:48 am

G’day USA2OZ

I live in the Clarence Valley, In Grafton, most of my unit lives in Yamba (they like the beaches) with a few living down towards Woolgoolga or Coffs Harbour.

I have a load of photographs but I guess it depends what sort of things you are looking for when you move to Australia, I much prefer it here on the Northern Rivers rather than in Sydney (I moved from Sydney around 2011)


usa2oz October 17, 2014 at 6:04 am

G’day Mike,
Definitely Clarence Valley or thereabouts is of more interest since big cities are not a favorite to put it mildly, and also climatewise so it’s great to hear from a local! (It’s interesting, not long ago I watched a youtube video on Australian slang, and one commenter said very few except older Australians use the slang words…but another Aussie quickly chimed in and posted that they were young, and they used most of the words, including G’day :-)

I have heard of and have been on the map all the towns you mention, Yamba, Woolgoolga (have researched enough that I’ve heard of their curry-fest) and Coffs Harbour…it seems that not only are prices often higher at the coast but climate wise (if wikipedia can be trusted) the number of sunny days is often lower and the number of outright rainy days much higher (e.g. Coffs Harbour versus Grafton) are among the reasons I’ve been putting Grafton at the center of my mental plans (which remain moving forward, but at the rate of a koala …slow :-) but those plans could change. Not into big city move, but could evolve towards looking at the coast, such towns at you mention, conceivably.. (Yamba in particular I saw some short term holliday type units that were very small and minimal and affordable for a few months while one shops around for a more permanent rental, whether in Grafton or elsewhere, if I remember right, though that was 3 months ago when I looked)

I’m puzzled by one thing, I think it may be slang that I am not familiar said you live in Grafton but most of your “unit” lives in the three named coastal town…here “unit” would mean your apartment building or the like, and it’s probably not what you mean (for the people who live in your apartment in Grafton to *also* live in other towns, doesn’t seems like that would be what you meant..) so does it mean “circle of friends” or something else, when you refer to your unit? Tried to find Aussie slang page but they same as here, apartment….don’t see how your Grafton apartment/building neighbors would live in Yamba etc …so I guess I have go ask for some slang help already..? :-)


Mike December 15, 2014 at 8:03 am

Sorry about that

by unit I mean the people I work with, I live in Grafton, one other lives in South Grafton, the rest live in Yamba. We all live in Houses, not that there is anything wrong with units/apartments, for the price of a unit in Sydney or Brisbane you can buy two houses in Grafton or one really large one.


USA2OZ October 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for this update, sorry for taking a week+ to reply, the “there is a new comment in…” auto-notificadtion got lost in the inbox as they say…

I can totally understand what you mean, it happens sometimes that people are excited but then life gets busy when it comes time to pitching in their part of the idea they were rooting for (or cheering for? not sure the Australian expression) The website someone posted elsewhere (which I thought surely must be spam to be .cn but was very legitimate) is very detailed, though I also like the one you mentioned ( for looking at rentals.

It’s not until late summer or early fall (USA seasons) of 2015 before (if all things go well) the move but still peeking a bit now at rentals; realize they will be gone by then but just getting to know general prices, locations, amenities etc.

On housing a question or two – and let me know if this is better moved or copies to one of your housing specific pages and I can re-post there instead but: I have long ago figured out from all the listings that it’s weekly rather than monthly rent that is listed, but what is a) typical payment schedule; does one write a check once a week rather than once a month? Would they find it odd if I/we wanted to pre-pay 4 weeks in advance? and b) for apartment and house rentals are 12 months leases still the norm, even if rent is listed in weeks? a mixture of some week-by-week, some 12 months, some (??? in-between? 6 month?) leases?

And does a slash, the / symbol, just mean apartment number, because I saw it for houses (not just apartments) for rent…like “2/444 Such and Such Street” or a house that is “153a such and such St” even though it’s a house…so the “2” in “2/444″? the “a” in 153? Probably a very ignorant question but might save me (and some others) a bit of time unraverling. Thanks (if someone knows answer before BobInOz needs to jump in to save him time on this very “basic, noobie” question, go right ahead :-)


USA2OZ October 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm

And while I’m looking for a bit larger population than Yamba, and looking probably for non-coastal I’ll definitely have a look at the Yamba post, it’s always good to be able to delve in more detail are surrounding areas and this one is within an hour so definitely of interest. :o)


BobinOz October 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Yes, whilst rentals are quoted weekly payment is usually four weeks in advance, or five weeks if it’s a five-week month and 12 months is the standard term of a lease, although other periods can be negotiated. Six months is probably the lowest you will usually be able to get, but at the end of the day it’s up to the landlord to decide.

And I think the slash you refer to is probably the apartment number, or maybe when a house has been divided up into units. The only way to know for sure would be to look at the full details for the property.

Hope that helps, Bob


usa2oz October 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Very helpful indeed! In fact there is a woman I have been seeing here in the US and it was she who asked me about lease periods, frequency of rent payments and so on. I knew that rent was quoted in weeks, but didn’t know the answers (and couldn’t easily find, either) to her good questions, which you’ve now answered :-)

Incidentally, I’ve been doubly blessed, in that I’ve not only met this woman, but that when I shared with her my tentative plans to move to AU (with some hesitation if not trepidation..) she indicated she was at a time and place in her life where she was very open to doing the same (which is far from a given, what with family friends and so on over here in the U.S.) Hence my solo research project slow but over some years now, has recently started becoming a ‘team’ research project to learn more about Oz and possibilities of moving a year or two. Thanks again.


BobinOz October 6, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Well good luck with your plans, I hope it all works out well.

Cheers, Bob


michelle October 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Hi usa2oz,

The number before the slash (ie 2 in the sequence 2/144) is the apartment or unit number of the property. When it reads (for example) 22a it usually refers to a stand alone house but the original block of land (number 22) has been subdivided for two separate and often unattached residences. They might be a battle axe block with one house in front of the other or situated next to one another (and the original block would still be 22 and the new block would be 22a.

Also rents are per week but they are usually paid fortnightly in advance. Most landlords wouldn’t have a problem with monthly payments and often automatic bank transfers are used for rent payments (cheques are generally not accepted much in Australia anymore). Leases are usually 12 months but can be signed for 6 months (although 12 is usually preferred). Any less and you may find it harder to secure a property for lease.
Hope this helps…


usa2oz October 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Thanks, Michelle..


usa2oz October 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm

that’s helpful and I’ll keep this page and your comments marked as my plans going forward evolve..thx :-)


Kerry November 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Hi Bob,

What a wonderful website you are running here :) Well done! It certainly has been a pleasure reading through the bits n pieces.

I have a question for you particularly about the Central Coast, NSW. Currently my family (hubby, 3 young kids and I) live in Adelaide. It was challenging moving here a few years ago (from Sydney) and I always missed my family and friends back in Sydney but we were fortunate to find excellent jobs, great childcare and health facilities. We are now planning a move to Terrigal, Central Coast soon.

I know you cannot give me specifics but I am hoping maybe some of your readers can help out an apprehensive mother? I keep reading a lot of negative stuff about the central coast – high crime rate, bad schools/childcare, lack of good medical facilities. Although these websites don’t like they have been updated recently. So I am hoping that the central coast isn’t all bad??

Secondly Bob my question is to you – I thought that I would be excited to be moving back a bit closer to those family and friends I left behind a few years ago but I certainly am not feeling that way. I am quite apprehensive about the move & starting my life all over again (with young kids) hence I am beginning to doubt my decision to move. Do you have any advice?

Many Thanks


BobinOz November 19, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Hi Kerry

Thanks for the complimentary words about my website, much appreciated. I can’t help you too much with the Central Coast and what you’ve heard, but hopefully some of my readers from that way will be able to help you out with that.

As for the apprehension you feel about starting all over again, I think that’s understandable, but moving can also be looked at as a new and exciting challenge and an opportunity to meet new friends and enjoy new surroundings.

And those young kids, they can only help, they are your key to meeting and talking to other adults simply by taking your kids to school, waiting at the gate, picking them up from play dates and taking them to parties which they will no doubt end up getting invited to.

And of course, having your own party for their birthdays and inviting all their friends and possibly parents. And as a plus, you will only be a much shorter drive away from your old friends and day trips to Sydney will be quite easy for you.

Something has made you want to move again, embrace it and see where it takes you. That’s what I think.

Whatever you do in the end, I really do hope it works out well for you.

Cheers, Bob


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