Living in Australia

Thinking about moving to Australia?

Choosing where you want to live in Australia is not straightforward. Australia is a big place, as if you didn’t know. Australia has big cities, it has small towns. It has beautiful beaches and it has barren outback. Australia also has a good selection of islands.

Where are you going to live?

You can click on the links above in the navigation menu or further below to find out more about Australia’s Cities and Australian States. But for a quick roundup of the major cities and help with choosing a suburb, check out:

It is not so much the content on my pages that will help you decide where to live in Australia, but the hundreds of comments that have been added by those who do live here. Do be sure to join in on the conversation wherever you can.

More useful links:

I also have a more comprehensive roundup, which includes annual weather charts and more, for each of the following cities. Please click on any of the links below to read more:

Want to live outside of the capital cities?

You will find information on many of the smaller towns in our states and territories on the following pages:

I do hope the information I have here helps you; good luck with your search.

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Open a bank account in Australia
{ 757 comments… add one }
  • Marcelo Porto June 6, 2017, 2:25 am | Link

    Hi Bob!

    Just to say thank you for your great job over here!

    That helps me a lot to know more about my destination!


    • BobinOz June 6, 2017, 7:05 pm | Link

      My pleasure and good luck with your plans.

  • Andries Erasmus May 22, 2017, 7:03 pm | Link

    Hi bob. great page. I am a New Zealand citizen looking to move to Brisbane. I have a job offer but I want to be sure I will get PR in Australia as the long term will be to get citizenship. Any help or pointers? Cheers

  • Israel Diaz April 27, 2017, 8:22 am | Link

    Hi Bob, I am very interested in initiating an inmigration program to live and work in Australia. I am from Mexico and I have experience in customer service and logistics, so I will look to work in something related to those fields, I have a degree in Business Administration. I will be moving by myself, I am single and without family, so I will appreciate any recommendation of the best cities that fits my experience, I am also looking to pay a low rent, it can be apartments or a small house. Cities with good transportation services, some entertainment, bars, culture, etc. and not living by side health and education services.

    Thanks in advance, great page.

    • BobinOz April 28, 2017, 6:05 pm | Link

      Have a read of my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia to see if that helps you narrow it down. Then have a look at the individual pages for any cities you like the sound of and you will see that the comments are full of information about transport, and payment, culture, all sorts of things.

      If you want low rent though, forget about Sydney and Melbourne.

    • BryAn young May 4, 2017, 3:54 am | Link

      I hAve heard there are places that help you get a job And get on your feet there please msg me back Bryan Young thank you

      • BobinOz May 4, 2017, 6:43 pm | Link

        I don’t know where you heard that from, but I am not aware of any such service. If you have any further details, I’d be happy to look into it and maybe write a post about it if it appears to be useful for my readers.

  • Daniel April 25, 2017, 7:15 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    We are preparing on pulling the trigger and get the ball rolling with our applications. I work in the financial sector and my partner in architecture. I know Sydney is the financial hub of Australia but the sheer size of the city + the cost of living turns me off of hanging my hat there (we currently live downtown Toronto and want to avoid moving from one box in the sky into another). We are both outdoorsy and appreciate a more laid back lifestyle. If I had my way I would move to a small town in the countryside but the reality is I need to be close to a city for jobs in our respective fields. I’ve been eyeing Brisbane, as I like the looks of the lower housing costs and smaller population. Are there any other cities or suburbs in Brisbane you would recommend given our wishes? Thanks!

    • BobinOz April 26, 2017, 5:16 pm | Link

      Firstly Daniel, I just want to say I pretty much agree with you, Sydney is pricing itself out of the market as house prices continue to race out of control. Brisbane and surrounds would offer a much more laid-back lifestyle and extremely reasonable house prices.

      Brisbane has hundreds of suburbs, but it is just one city. What I would suggest you look at though is Sunshine Coast, and in particular any suburb easily commutable to Maroochydore which is currently expanding, I’m told. Please check out the comments made recently on my pages about Queensland and Sunshine Coast to find out more about that.

      Sunshine Coast has a great climate, beautiful golden beaches and stunning hinterlands, it is most definitely the outdoor lifestyle and very laid-back. If you can find work in the area, I think it would be a great place for you to live. And it’s only an hour a half drive away from Brisbane.

      • Jim A June 25, 2017, 3:38 pm | Link

        My Brother lives in the Hinterland on acreage in Qld. He is 1.5 hour drive from Brisbane or the same by rail. He is 1.0 hour from the Sunshine Coast by Car & drives there for a Swim in the ocean, Lunch & Coffee. His Family live in a 3 bedroom Home which was recently valued at $285,000. He has 5 acres, 2 dams, electricity & septic tank & approx 400 Native Trees. The Kanagaroos visit twice daily & abundant Native Parrots visit regularly. His Home is Cyclone Proof & about 22 years old. He loves swimming in the fabulous new Council Pool & cycling. He has retired & is really enjoying his new relaxed lifestyle. His Property in Sydney would be worth millions$$$$.Some of the locals do commute by Train to Brisbane daily for work!

        • BobinOz June 26, 2017, 8:25 pm | Link

          Sounds like your brother is really enjoying a laid-back easy-going lifestyle, they do say that people who live in small towns are the happiest…

          There is a lot to be said for rural living, and if you don’t need to be in the city, whether for work or the better entertainment options that cities offer, then you can get so much more for your money by living out of town. Worth a try, I reckon and if you place yourself well, like your brother has done, you can easily get into the city for when you need to and also get to the beach pretty quickly. Perfect.

  • Robert Harbour April 17, 2017, 2:05 pm | Link

    I’m Australian, I’ve heard so much about Australian cities being world class and among the most livable in the world. As someone who has spent time in UK cities Would you agree that Australian cities are as beautiful, vibrant, clean, as livable, and with as many entertainment options and restraunts as those in the U.K.? I’m interested to hear your views.


    • BobinOz April 18, 2017, 9:20 pm | Link

      That’s a difficult one to answer really, all I can tell you for sure is that I really love living in Australia and it is very different from the UK. Both countries are extremely liveable, but both countries have their pros and cons.

      It would be difficult for Australia to have as many entertainment options as the UK, for example, simply because of the numbers. Greater London probably has a population the same as the whole of Australia, so would have more choices per square mile for sure.

      I’m sure London could boast some world-class entertainers who have never set foot in Australia, and you will never see an FA Cup final in Sydney 🙂

      Restaurant wise though I think Australia is every bit as good as the UK. Australia though easily wins out for its fantastic outdoor lifestyle and yes, most of the cities I’ve been to here are very clean, beautiful and liveable. Maybe the UK edges it for vibrant, but if it does, not by much.

      Personally I think Australia very much deserves its high-ranking in the city livability indexes.

      • Robert Harbour April 18, 2017, 10:54 pm | Link

        Thanks for the great answer bob 🙂

  • Roger Slatter April 16, 2017, 10:52 pm | Link

    Hey Bob I’ve heard a lot about Tasmania being green clean and natural with a booming foodie scene. I’ve heard it’s meant to be really beautiful. Would you recommend Tasmania as a place to visit or live? Or is it best stick to mainland Australia.? Interested to hear a fellow poms views

    • Mark April 17, 2017, 10:33 am | Link

      Depends on many factors…What you are looking to do either work or retirement wise…Weather preferences and lifestyle considerations ..Its too difficult a question to answer without all these if you are seriously considering living there…We decided not to live there As a place to visit ?
      es all day long is the answer!

      • BobinOz April 18, 2017, 8:49 pm | Link

        Yes, as Mark has said, whether you would want to live there or just visit very much depends on your circumstances. Work is hard to find in Tassie, but obviously that depends on what you do. If you can find work, assuming you need to, housing there is certainly cheaper.

        If you prefer your weather to have four seasons, then Tassie is also a great choice. If you like the Lake District, Tassie is your place. If you are retired and like fishing, Tasmania. I loved Tassie when I visited, but that’s all I will ever be, a visitor. I can’t imagine myself living there, I prefer a subtropical climate.

        Check out my pages about Tasmania and Hobart, and also have a read of the comments from people who do live there. Also worth a read is my post on Tasmania…

  • Eddie M April 9, 2017, 6:39 am | Link

    Hi Bob

    I’m in a quandary – I have an Australian citizenship and my wife has her partner visa (both a British born). Currently living in the US with my work and our next move is likely to be Oz.

    I work in Management in the Financial Services industry so would be looking at that or Tech or Consulting.

    Our current thinking of cities to focus on are:
    1. Sydney – jobs, beaches, international links, weather and location in Oz (between Melbz and Queensland)
    2. Melbourne – culture aka bars/coffee shops/food, jobs, nice and modern architecture
    3. Perth – where my mother is from, amazing beaches, weather, jobs (somewhat), closer to U.K./Bali/Dubai etc
    4. Brisbane – nice size, expat-friendly, nice housing, close to amazing beaches (Byron Bay has my heart…)

    Would love your thoughts on the above and if anything else you would add?

    Our big drive to move is: outdoor lifestyle, good job opportunities for people with global experience, starting a family in 2-3 years, beaches!

    Cheers and great site!

    • BobinOz April 10, 2017, 7:46 pm | Link

      Yes, it is a quandary isn’t it?

      Sydney, I would imagine, would offer you the most working opportunities as it is Australia’s financial centre. It is also Australia’s most expensive and crowded city, and doesn’t, for me anyway, really represent the best of Australia has to offer in terms of living the dream.

      Melbourne is everything you say it is, and would also probably offer some good working opportunities, but is also quite expensive. The weather is a bit up and down as well and can change quite quickly. Somebody from Melbourne once told me that it’s almost impossible to plan to go to the beach, because it might be hot when you set off, but cold by the time you arrive. Maybe an exaggeration, but Melbourne doesn’t have a climate that too many people rave about.

      Perth would be a really nice place to bring up your family when you start, and does have some gorgeous beaches. It would be living the Australian dream, albeit rather isolated from the rest of Australia. Jobs, I’m not so sure, Perth appears to be struggling on that front at the moment.

      Brisbane, I love Brisbane, that’s why I live here. I love Byron Bay as well, I go there quite often, it’s a beautiful drive by the back roads. Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beaches are also good for a day trip. Housing costs are very reasonable compared to the other cities and much cheaper than Sydney and Melbourne. Bigger houses as well.

      All of these places, one way or another, will give you a great outdoor lifestyle experience.

      That’s my 2 pence, but you still have your quandary. I hope my additional points help you to decide, but if getting work is a high priority, then maybe you need to make sure that, wherever you choose, you will have the best chance of finding a job. And that, ultimately, might dictate your destination.

      Hope that helps and good luck, wherever you decide.

      • Eddie M April 10, 2017, 8:39 pm | Link

        Thanks Bob, very useful indeed…so helpful to have other people’s perspectives. It’s quite daunting as I’ve been with current employer since graduation!

        A couple more quick questions if you don’t mind:

        1. Do you know of companies are open to recruiting from overseas? It’s fair to say popping to sydney for an interview from US/UK isn’t so easy…unsure how that might work!

        2. How does parental leave compare with the UK, especially if working in a big company? Most people in my current company can take c.6 months off paid which staggers down to statutory/unpaid for the period between 6-12 months…so a lot of new mothers will be off for 9-12 months in total

        3. As mentioned, I currently live on the East Coast of US in a very seasonal city, however we get lots of sunshine; even when cold! Is Melbourne REALLY that bad in terms of ‘4 seasons in a day’ and much lower hours of sunshine?

        Thank you!

        • Mark April 10, 2017, 10:35 pm | Link

          My tow cents worth on Melbourne..its not as bad as many make out…We can on some days have four seasons in one day…Never seen snow here apparently since 1865 It dropped as low as 7 degress 45 last winter, one night I hail from home of the West Coast Whitehouse so its not as great as there but having done 20 plus years in UK when my car dashboard read – 17 in 2010 its positively warm… The weather forecasters are despite this pretty good and If your on the Eastern
          Seaboard USA I cant imagine many places better than Melbourne. Certainly nowhere near the winters of New York. so depending on how far south from the Jersey shore you are closer to Key west. I dont think you’ll be worse off…I didnt wear a sweater all year last year…thick shirt maybe, waterproof odd occasion yes.
          No idea on maternity sick leave here, haven’t looked into it…Interviews Skype is a favourite of many. Hope this helps!

  • Em12 April 5, 2017, 6:20 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Im looking to study in oz as an international student but was wondering where the best place would be for someone who’s not so much into the drinking scene and prefers a more relaxed lifestyle with beaches relatively nearby and overall sunny weather.
    Thanks for the help, your websites a great help in learning about the different cities.

    • BobinOz April 5, 2017, 6:57 pm | Link

      Well, I don’t know what the universities are like in each place, but I’d suggest you look at Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and maybe Perth. If it’s sunny weather and beaches you want the most, I think Sunshine Coast would come top on that.

      Perth also has some fantastic beaches, but accommodation would probably be a little more expensive than the other two cities. Adelaide would probably be the cheapest, but a bit colder in the winter than the other two.

      Probably the downside of all three though is if you are hoping to find part-time work to help you with your finances, opportunities will be limited. Work is easier to find in Sydney and Melbourne, but then these are our two biggest cities with the kind of nightlife you are looking to avoid. They are also our most expensive cities.

      Hope that helps you a bit and good luck.

      • Em12 April 6, 2017, 5:26 am | Link

        Thanks for getting back to me that’s great, I’ll look more into the universities in those three cities. Is there much else to do at Sunshine Coast or are the beaches the main attraction there?

        • BobinOz April 6, 2017, 8:45 pm | Link

          Yes, there’s plenty of things to do on Sunshine Coast, it has Australia Zoo, for example. You may have heard of the late and greatly missed Steve Irwin, he opened that zoo.

          Maroochydore is the hub, and expanding fast I hear now, there’s also the massive Eumundi Markets, stunning hinterlands, and tourist hotspots of Maleny and Montville. It’s just not big on nightlife, although there are quite a few pubs.

          • Em12 April 7, 2017, 5:41 am | Link

            Thanks for all the information you’ve been a great help!

  • Mohamed Abobakr April 1, 2017, 8:36 am | Link

    Hi Bob.
    I am wondering if you can help me.
    My fiance and I are both pharmacists , and we started to study for the board exam, and I have some options :
    1) Queenland.
    2) Cannbera.
    3) Northern territory.
    I appreciate If you can help me with a little comparison.
    Thanks in advance.

    • BobinOz April 4, 2017, 6:08 pm | Link

      The information you need is already here, I have pages accessible from this very page for ALL states, territories and major cities. I also have my A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia and then of course, each of those pages has hundreds and hundreds of comments from other people and many are about what these places I like to live in.

      Please do have a good look around, you will learn quite a bit about your three options.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Theuns March 20, 2017, 11:29 pm | Link

    Hi I am interested to immigrate and have twins and would like to move to Brisbane . I am I tested to gets business up and running and currently looking at various franchise oppertunities . Can you offer me help as will be without family or friends and feel my kids deserve a more stable environment to grow up and live in a country that is established and from my experience have proper family/ children based systems in place .

    • BobinOz March 21, 2017, 7:50 pm | Link

      No, this isn’t something I can help you with, you would need a business advisor for that. You will also need a valid visa to come to Australia and set up a business, so you really need to look into that first if you haven’t already. See my page about Visas.

  • Sami February 27, 2017, 1:44 am | Link

    Hi bob, me my husband and my 4year old are wanting to move to oz. we did a bit of traveling back in 2010 and loved it. We have a house in the uk which we were thinking of renting out. We need some advise on what to do and where to start. A skilled worker he is a carpenter/joiner he also fits windows and doors he has been doing this since leaving school he is now 31 I’m also a hairdresser which I do part time as well as working in a pharmaceutical warehouse picking and packing and doing the Administration side.

    We are a family now and we are wanting somewhere that is a family friendly town. We have been thinking about the Gold Coast or Brisbane we enjoyed both of these when we travelled .

    Could you give us some information on where to start and things to look at.

    We just need to know a process on where to start we seem to go round in circles and it’s frustrating with all the information online thank you for your time and looking forward to your reply.

    • Mark February 27, 2017, 6:39 am | Link

      Hi Sami If I may pitch in for now as Bob is having internet problems after moving house,.. Yes we have a company as bad as BT here… Technically you need to start with an Expression of interest (EOI) you can read through the details of that on Bobs site you could also argue you need to get all your paperwork together as you will need it for that EOI..
      You may with your job scenario be better speaking with a MARA agent Bob has again one on this site,,Any will do. They will assess your chances or tell you what you need to do extra to have an EOI accepted…Now I said technically as what you are trying to do within the EOI is create 60 or more points…There are several sites that you can do points calculations on beforehand as a test … Now it may mean that before you submit your EOI youd be better doing say an IELTS, PEARSON language test, you will see it in the points score, so working backwards check your points, see where you can improve if you dont have the 60 . eg x points for age (and dont hang about there 33 and you lose 5 points) if your husband is the main applicant… He may have to have his skills assessed and so on these will all add your points up..

    • BobinOz February 28, 2017, 1:03 am | Link

      My internet problems have now been solved and yes, as Mark has said, the place to start is with a MARA registered migration agent because without a visa to move to Australia nothing is going to happen.

      You can try to do it yourself, and my pages which are linked from my Migration Advice page will help you with that, or just use a migration agent. You can one of those from my page about Migration agents..

      As soon as you know where you stand on the visa side, that’s the time to start thinking about where to live in Australia.

  • Mark February 23, 2017, 6:22 am | Link

    Hi Niicola Ill pitch in for now as Bob is in the middle of moving house and may be suffering….Melbourne a hrte place I live there… Te other places worth I think looking are Sydney, Brisbane and the newly fast growing Wollongong…. Perth feels isolated to me as does Adelaide though thats because its quiet. If you have picked Melbourne give it a go..As to where? what would you look for Beach city nightlife quieter country style. do you have a budget for rent etc etc just so we can guide you better…Melbourne is a really big place have a look on at some properties to give yu an idea for an answer…
    As regard the application process Id start now if you are looking at a full vIsa but I believe you may still at your age be able to come on a working visa which may be quicker application times….Have a look at working visas I think they may only be 12 months .

  • nicola February 21, 2017, 9:41 pm | Link

    Hi bob,
    I am wondering if you can help. Both me (age 21) and my boyfriend (age 21) are hoping to move over late next year from the UK when I finish my degree. I will be a qualified midwife and my partner is a software developer. From what we have found we both quite like the sound of Melbourne, would you recommend looking at somewhere else? Also where is best to look for possible apartments/flats and when should we look at starting the application process?

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