Canberra

Living in Canberra

Canberra Lake Burley GriffinCanberra is the capital of Australian Capital Territory and the capital of Australia. It has a population of around 380,000 people, making it the eighth biggest city in Australia. But it is Australia’s biggest inland city. What does that mean?Canberra Location

No beach!

We’ll get to that in a minute. First, a little history. Early in the 1900’s, the Commonwealth of Australia was formed and the search was on for somewhere to call Australia’s capital.

The story goes that both Sydney and Melbourne wanted the job, but because of the fierce rivalry between the two, some wise men decided to go for somewhere in between. It ended up being Canberra, not quite in the middle, and the town was built almost from scratch.

World War One slowed things up a bit but by 1927, federal government had moved in. Further development didn’t pick up speed until about 1950, thanks to the Second World War. It is pretty much all finished now, and it’s what is called a “planned city”. It didn’t grow naturally, everything was worked out before it was all started.

At the centre of the city is the artificial Lake Burley Griffin, named after the Chicago architects who designed the city. It is good for rowing, fishing and sailing but it’s really not suitable for swimming.

So, still no beach!

But if beaches are your thing, don’t despair. You will need to drive for around 150 km, which will take you a couple of hours (ouch) before you reach the Tasman Sea on Australia’s south east coast. There you will be able to choose from the beautiful Bateman’s Bay, or the nearby beaches at Durras, Maloney’s Beach or Surf Beach.

But if beaches ARE your thing, you probably wouldn’t want to live in Canberra.

Canberra’s biggest employer, easily, is the federal government. Unless you are going to be working for them, it’s difficult, as far as I can see, to make a case for moving to Canberra. Perhaps somebody who does live in Canberra, and loves it there, can get in touch with me and tell me why I am wrong.

Whilst Canberra is described as an “outdoors” place, most sources quote the top attractions as being the National Gallery and Old Parliament House. But Canberra is also home to the Australian Institute of Sport, a world class training facility that churns out our Australian sporting hero’s.

What’s the weather like?

Canberra Annual WeatherAs you can see from the weather chart, Canberra is distinctly colder than most other major cities in Australia. Winters really are winters.

Occasionally it snows in Canberra, but not very often. The nearest ski resort to Canberra is probably Selwyn Snowfields, about 90 kms away.

Severe weather that can affect the area include bushfires and flash flooding along with the usual gale force winds.

West Canberra consists mainly of forest.

Here’s a map of the area…..

Canberra Map
Canberra can be divided into four main areas…..

  • Inner Canberra – including City and Inner North Canberra and Inner South Canberra
  • North Canberra – including Outer North West and Outer North
  • South Canberra – including Mid South West and Mid South
  • East Canberra – includes Wamboin, but NOT Queanbeyan, (which I originally suggested) as some in the comments have pointed out. That town is just over the border in New South Wales.

Questions about Canberra?

If you have any question about living in Canberra, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 227 comments… add one }
  • AK December 29, 2016, 4:38 pm | Link

    Hello,
    I am a mother of 3 boys aged 15, 12 and 7 and who are bilingual. We got our PR and are planning to move to Australia soon. We have been to Sydney as tourists and were amazed by this beautiful city. But we are now considering Canberra to live in since it is the only city in Australia having a governmental French School. I am wondering if there are any Lebanese/Arab, like us, in Canberra, since this will make finding a job (translation…) easier for me. If so, where do they mostly live? Another question please, I have read some reviews regarding crimes/insecurity, could you provide me with a list of the suburbs with bad reputation in this regard?
    Thanks

    • BobinOz December 30, 2016, 5:45 pm | Link

      That’s a question I will definitely need to leave to the locals, hopefully somebody will be along soon to help you out AK.

      • Lexa January 17, 2017, 4:41 pm | Link

        Hi AK

        Crime isn’t an issue in Canberra generally, despite what you have read. There aren’t enough people for that! I can tell you however, that crime tends to be more around the government housing estates, but most of these government places are spread out throughout all suburbs and therefore you need to think more specifically about where within a suburb you live, not which suburb. With regard to the Lebanese populations, I couldn’t tell you any specifics, except that Canberra generally is very multi-cultured. The multi-cultural festival is held in Canberra every year, (this year 17th-19th Feb) and it might perhaps be worth your while to go and see whether any Lebanese activities/stalls are around.

        • AK January 18, 2017, 3:32 pm | Link

          Thanks for the answer, it really relieves me to hear it from a local. I am definitely targeting a complete mingling of my boys within the Australian society, but the transitional period is very crucial so they won’t face any cultural shock.

    • Faraz Khan January 18, 2017, 3:14 pm | Link

      AK, I agree with Lexa. Canberra is quite a multicultural place and most of the people are lovely, helpful and honest. We are in Canberra since 2 years and found it a great place to live. Our first community contact we had in the Multi-cultural festival in 2015.

    • Elise March 13, 2017, 4:07 pm | Link

      Canberra is very very diverse in cultures. We celebrate it. There are a few suburbs that I wouldn’t want to live in. Just google worst suburbs in Canberra for violence.
      We aren’t a violent city but it’s good to check the areas as some suburbs have more public housing than others and they can have a higher rate of crime.

  • Lisa November 25, 2016, 2:58 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I am hoping to move to Canberra for a new job (waiting for a phone call). I am not picky as to where I would potentially live, I am just curious whether it it is worth finding somewhere in ACT to live or look at properties along the NSW/ACT boarder or even Yass. I do have a car so transport is not an issue.
    Cheers and thanks in advance

    • BobinOz November 25, 2016, 9:15 pm | Link

      Hi Lisa

      I really don’t know the area well enough to advise, hopefully a local reading this will give you an answer. From the comments we have had here though, I find that lots of people who live in Canberra really love it, they speak very highly of their city.

      So from where I am, I’m not sure there is an advantage to living just the other side of the border. What you may want to do though is window shop for houses, you can do that through links on my page called Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

      I’m only saying that because I think houses in Canberra can be quite expensive and so they maybe a little cheaper elsewhere. Good luck, Bob

    • Lexa January 17, 2017, 4:33 pm | Link

      Hi Lisa

      I’m currently looking for a house in ACT at the moment. I can tell you that Yass is a nice town, but you would be looking at a one hour plus commute from there. There are some other nice border towns near the ACT like Bungendore which I also think are lovely. It depends how much you have to spend and what sort of lifestyle you want. Most of the inner ACT is quite expensive now but the price you would pay for an outer suburb isn’t going to be too different from places like Bungendore anyway. Hope you got the job.

    • Faraz Khan January 18, 2017, 3:02 pm | Link

      Lisa, if you are looking for an accommodation which is close to civic, have all amenities and shopping centres available then I would say Curtin, Lyons, Chiefly or surrounding suburbs might suites you. It is just 10 minutes drive to civic as well as it has Woden town centre nearby. In general, it is a little bit expensive but a place that can connect you other areas easily.

  • Kev November 9, 2016, 10:59 am | Link

    No beach? Oh dear. How sad. Never mind. I grew up in mostly inland small towns and provincial cites and the lack of a beach here in Canberra never bothered me at all. If you think the place is dull with no nightlife, try Ipswich in Queensland.

    No soul? One Saturday in January 2003 more than 450 Canberra houses and businesses were destroyed in a wildfire. By Monday noon a large double classroom in the local high school was knee deep in donated household and personal goods. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised locally in the next couple of weeks.

    A local businessman did an automotive apprenticeship in western Sydney. He found himself in Canberra for six months. That was twenty years ago. Why did he stay? I quote, “The people are nicer and they pay their bills”.

    No city on Australia with the possible exception of the Gold Coast exists for the entertainment of anyone.

    • BobinOz November 10, 2016, 1:18 am | Link

      The no beach thing Kev, it’s tongue in cheek humour, sorry you didn’t get it. Every other Australian capital is close to the coast, Canberra isn’t; get it now? As for the no soul and no nightlife thing, I think you must be talking to someone else in this thread about that?

      I have never said Canberra has no soul, I’ve also never personally said it has no nightlife, but at one stage I did quote a very close friend of mine somewhere on my website who was born and raised in Canberra who did say there was nothing to do there. That’s why he lives in Queensland now, close to Ipswich actually.

      I’ve been to Ipswich, it’s got a really nice microbrewery 🙂

      Talking of Queensland, you have heard of the mud army, haven’t you? After the Queensland floods in 2011 armies of volunteers showed up with brooms, wheelbarrows, vans, sandwiches, drinks, muscle and kindness to do whatever they could to help people whose houses had been inundated with water.

      Nice people live elsewhere in Australia, not just Canberra.

  • Anusha November 7, 2016, 6:34 pm | Link

    Hi there,
    Thanks for giving us useful information!
    I am actually planning to come for studies at the University of Canberra next year and hence wanted to know whether 1) Part Time/casual/FT jobs are easily available in Canberra for international students to support the Cost of Living and the uni fees and 2) how the transport system works. If ever I finish late e.g. 11 pm, are the transport options readily available and is it safe?
    Thank you.

    • BobinOz November 8, 2016, 5:10 pm | Link

      I can’t tell you specifically what the market is like in Canberra at the moment, hopefully somebody local knowledge will be able to give you an insight.

      Jobs don’t seem to be so easy to find in Australia these days though, you can use the links on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship to search to see what might be available.

      I’ve also heard public transport isn’t great in Canberra, but again, hopefully someone who does know will let you know about those late transport options. Thanks, Bob

      • Anusha November 9, 2016, 2:01 pm | Link

        Thank you. 🙂

        • Andy November 9, 2016, 2:18 pm | Link

          Hi,
          In terms of public transport, Canberra is not the best, but there are buses that are affordable and run reasonably frequently if you manage/happen to live near a bus route that goes the right way. Check out the information at https://www.transport.act.gov.au/routes-and-timetables.
          It’s not a massive city, the way Sydney and Melbourne are, and that probably contributes to it being a fairly safe place and also rather car heavy for transport.
          Consider that from Univesity of Canberra Belconnen town centre is probably a better place to visit than the CBD / city centre.

  • Mahyar` October 20, 2016, 7:16 am | Link

    Hi everyone,
    I have a question in urgent. I am Iranian and I have been accepted for continue my education at PhD level of Physics with full scholarship by the four world leading universities in Australia which my choices are Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra and Swinburne University of technology in Melbourne. About University, without a doubt, ANU is the best. However, I am really worried about the living in Canberra. I have come across many websites which note that Melbourne is the best.
    I do not know which one could be selected. Please, if it is possible help me.
    I would be most grateful for your comments in advanced

    • BobinOz October 20, 2016, 7:06 pm | Link

      Canberra has a population of around 400,000, Melbourne 4 million. They are two very different cities, without doubt. Melbourne is the most popular destination for international students in Australia.

      Melbourne probably has the best nightlife in all of Australia, although I suspect some people in Sydney would disagree with that. Canberra cannot even come close if it’s nightlife you are after.

      So I suppose it depends what you want from your studies, the best possible university, or some good nights out?

      Good luck, whatever you decide. Bob

    • krupa December 16, 2016, 10:03 pm | Link

      Hi Mahyar,

      I have lived in Melbourne and can tell you that it is a very good place to be. The variety culture, festivals and events is huge. The best thing about Melbourne is the public transport. The coverage and frequency of trams and trains is outstanding. There are buses for the suburbs where trams/trains aren’t operational but the frequencies are lesser.
      I could easily manage without own vehicle for a long time.

  • Avani September 20, 2016, 10:50 pm | Link

    Hello,

    Plz help me ….
    I am from India …Ahmedabad
    I got condinitional offer letter from ANU for master of computing course and also got offer letter from UTS college for the same course..I am moving with my husband …Bt i am very confuse because ANU is top ranked college but what about Job ?? N can I survive in Canberra easily ? Or should I opt for UTS , Sydney which is good place for IT enginners….I want to set in Australia by getting PR …But cant take decision because of this reasons….

    Plz help me out…I have very short time…

    • Andy September 21, 2016, 2:01 pm | Link

      Avani,
      It mostly depends on what you are looking for. I don’t know details about the universities, but the cities are very different; Sydney has 10 times the population of Canberra for example!
      What kind of job are you looking for? If you’re thinking of a part time job whilst studying, there will probably always be something available. Sydney does have more jobs available overall as it’s bigger.
      In the IT industry there are jobs in any significant city, but you need to look online and see what jobs are being advertised that you might be suitable for.

      • BobinOz September 21, 2016, 6:17 pm | Link

        Andy is right, the best way is to look online for jobs in both cities to see which offers you the most opportunities for what you want. You can do that on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

        Also, do bear in mind that in Canberra a good percentage of jobs are with the government, and I believe that quite often it is a requirement that employees are Australian citizens, so that could hamper you a bit in that city.

        So you may want to look into that as well, if you check the rest of these comments I think it has been mentioned by others before. Good luck, Bob

  • Angie September 5, 2016, 5:47 am | Link

    Hi Bob and everyone,

    I would like to know where are the top public schools located in Canberra so it will be easier for me to decide where we gonna live. Also I’d appreciate if someone can help me with determining how much it will cost me to furnish a new 2 bedrooms apartment in Canberra. thank you

    • Faraz September 5, 2016, 3:17 pm | Link

      You can find top rated public schools in Woden and its surroundings such as Curtin Primary and Garren Primary. Woden is a good area to live, as it is close to civic. In term of furnishing a 2 bedroom appartment, it all depends how much you like to spend and how quickly you want to purchase items. In general, it may cost you around $ 5000 – 10000 if purchasing new items. You may also find second hand items in good condition.

      • Angie September 18, 2016, 10:03 pm | Link

        Thank you so much Faraz, appreciate it. We’ve applied last week pray for us : )

    • Kobi October 19, 2016, 11:03 pm | Link

      Hi Angie, as Faraz has mentioned, both Garran and curtin are great public primary schools.
      My kids fortunately attend Garran primary which is rated as the top primary school in the ACT.

      Secondary schools here are also great and Telopea high is well regarded ( in fairness most public schools here are of high standard )

      I would say that all the public schools here are very particular about catchment areas. You will not get a place at say Garran unless you can provide evidence that you are within its catchment ( most schools are bursting at the seams with big class sizes )

      Good luck

  • Emily August 10, 2016, 4:33 pm | Link

    Hi, i was wandering what is a good suburb for someone planning on going to uni in canberra, thats close to shops and no more than 15 minutes from ANU, that is also not very expensive??
    Thankyou

    • Andy August 11, 2016, 10:04 am | Link

      Hi Emily,
      I am not a student in Canberra, but I happen to work near the ANU. Expensive is very subjective; what kind of place are you looking for?
      No more than 15 minutes by what means of transport, will you have a bicycle or use the bus?
      If you look within Canberra’s inner north that will keep you reasonably close, you could choose to be in a suburb like Dickson or Lyneham that have their own shops.
      Check out allhomes.com.au opr gumtree to get an idea of accommodation cost and use google maps to check distances/times – you can check walk,bus, drive times that way.

  • Shamshad July 10, 2016, 12:43 am | Link

    My son moving to canberra for MBA course from Perth and to apply for P. R. during study,and he has another option to study in Sidney university. Which is suitable for him regarding odd Jobs and P. R

    • BobinOz July 10, 2016, 8:53 pm | Link

      I really couldn’t tell you for sure, but I wouldn’t think there would be much in it. I was suggest your son goes to whichever city appeals to him the most.

  • Saurabh July 3, 2016, 5:00 am | Link

    Hi…!
    I am Saurabh from India. We are coming to Canberra in Oct. 2016. Please provide me information about where most of the Indian’s like to live in Canberra? How is the job scenario in small jobs? I am a real estate agent and would like to continue in my line of work. How is the real estate market doing these days in Canberra. Also guide us about a reasonably good accommodation for a family of four. What should we come prepared for initial setup in Canberra? WHat is the normal cost of living in the city like Canberra? What i have gathered is that the city has mostly govt. jobs. How about private sector jobs? What are the main occupations in the city? Please provide your valuable inputs… thanks.

    • BobinOz July 4, 2016, 2:04 am | Link

      Lots of questions there Saurabh, and pretty much all the answers to them are available on the various pages around this website. May I suggest you have a look at the information available under my Migration Advice section?

    • Jimit August 21, 2016, 11:08 pm | Link

      Hi Saurabh, I’m moving to Canberra on similar timelines. Would be great to get in touch and share information. Regards.

    • Heli September 1, 2016, 6:00 pm | Link

      Hi Saurabh, even we are having similar queries. Can you please help me out as i am a recruitment agent here in India and moving on same base. What are my scope ?

    • Rushik Kansara September 21, 2016, 9:04 pm | Link

      Hi ,
      I am moving to canberra in october month and similar quries…Plz share contact of urs and if anyone is Indian SO that we can in touch….

    • Kobi October 19, 2016, 10:52 pm | Link

      Hi Saurabh,
      The building and housing market here appears to be booming at the moment, lots of new developments going on and new suburbs being planned and first phases being sold off.

      I often see ads for jobs in real estate. However be advised Canberra is a smallish city ( more of a big town ) and a lot of people seem to get work by having contacts, more of a case of who you know rather than what you know.

      A lot of the professional jobs Advertised here require you to be Australian citizens or P.R At least.

      As to where do the Indians live? There are largish ( not actually large perhaps a few hundred people ) Indian communities in the north of Canberra, try suburbs like Franklin and gungahlin.

      Good luck

    • krupa December 17, 2016, 2:52 am | Link

      Hi Saurabh,

      Not in Canberra, but I’ve lived in Melbourne for quite some time and can tell you that it may take some time for you to get any specific/preferred line of work initially in Australia. The best way to work around that, and what most migrants do is just grab whatever work you can procure. The most common excuse given is that you lack Australian work experience. having said that, Its not impossible to get work. There’s lots of opportunities available online and if you go door-knocking. If you are willing to really work hard at getting good jobs, focus wholly and network well and keep trying you will possibly end up with a decent job. There are many migrants who are doing very well at very good positions all around Australia.

      With regards to Canberra, it is a small place so avenues of getting work are relatively much lesser. Also most government jobs need you to be a citizen so that may be a hindrance.
      Hope this is helpful.

  • Shelly June 24, 2016, 11:15 pm | Link

    Hi If anyone could please give me information about Canberra. We are a family moving to Canberra from the Hunter Valley . We are looking for community rural suburbs within 1hr from city. Kids used to small primary school I would be looking for something the same. If anyone could please help I would be really grateful. Thanks

  • Salman May 18, 2016, 3:52 am | Link

    I am planning to move to canberra from brisbane.i have a job offer. If i find the place suitable my wife will join me later.
    We both work and are financially secure. What is a good suburb for me to secure accomodation. Ill be working in duntroon.
    Planing to rent initially.
    Im a bit choosy about suburbs..safety n infrastructure.. n good educated working class gentry.

    • BobinOz May 18, 2016, 11:24 pm | Link

      This is one I will need to leave to the locals, can anybody help Salman out here?

  • dymxy May 14, 2016, 8:48 am | Link

    My name is Philip, am from Nigeria, seeking to enroll for my masters degree in Canberra, can I really get a menial job to assist me pay my bills while studying???

    • BobinOz May 15, 2016, 9:32 pm | Link

      Plenty of students have done that in the past, but of course, there are no guarantees and I really don’t know what the casual job market is like at the moment in Canberra.

  • Mesh March 29, 2016, 8:25 pm | Link

    We are planning relocating from the UK to Australia in May. We are originally Nigerians. We were granted 189 visa last year. We are considering either Canberra or Melbourne. Canberra is our first choice.
    I have a BSc, MSc and a PhD in Architecture. My wife is a Nurse but needs to do 10 to 12 weeks bridging programme before she can be Registered by AHPRA as a Registered Nurse in Australia.
    We have two kids (3yr and less than a year). We have lived in busy cities (like Tokyo, Japan and London, UK) in the past but we prefer little quite city (but not isolated or regional Australia) hence we are considering Canberra.
    Which area in the best place to get a suitable reasonable accommodation to raise a family? Talking about job prospect, what are our chances since we are not citizens? Is it a wise decision to settle in Canberra instead of Melbourne? How expensive is temporary accommodation before we rent? Usually how long will it take to rent an accommodation? Is it possible to rent one within a week or two of arriving?

    • Faraz March 29, 2016, 9:45 pm | Link

      Reasonable accommodation is easy to find, however; cost may vary based on the distance from the city centre. More close you go to the city center, you will find expensive accommodation. I live in Curtin, which is abit expensive due to easy reach to city centre, closeness to Woden town centre and other amenities. When you choose to rent a unit/house on long term basis, try to consider school and amenities are not far from that location. You can find temporary accommodation using websites like Airbnb, Stays, AllHomes, etc. For a permanent accommodation, it may take upto 4-6 weeks time. You may use above sites for permanent accommodation as well. A job in hand can make it more easy to find accommodation quickly. Regarding the cost of accommodation, you may browse those site as the price vary depending on the number of rooms, furnished/unfurnished accommodation, and locality. In general, a decent one room accommodation can be found $ 200 – $ 250, I guess. Regarding job, I am not sure about your profession but your wife can get a job easily. I have seen several nurses, who have come from abroad and working in Canberra Hospital.

      • Mesh March 30, 2016, 9:23 pm | Link

        Thanks Faraz for your detailed response to my queries. I really appreciate.
        Do you have a fair idea of what the temporary accommodation might cost?
        Will definitely get in touch if I have any further query
        Regards
        Meshack

        • BobinOz March 31, 2016, 8:44 pm | Link

          As Faraz has stated, prices will vary, you need to Google the websites he has suggested and search for whatever accommodation suits you. Good luck, Bob

  • Dylan March 25, 2016, 12:08 pm | Link

    I am civil engineer by profession and I am eligible to apply under the skilled sub class 190.At present ,I am wondering weather which state would be more prefer as ACT,NSW and Victoria sponsorship are available.However, I am inclined to ACT Canberra but it is heard that to apply for the government vacancies only Citizens are eligible ,is this true?How about life in Canberra?

    • BobinOz March 28, 2016, 9:54 pm | Link

      I will leave this one to the people of Canberra, anybody have any ideas about this?

    • Faraz March 29, 2016, 8:58 pm | Link

      In general, job market is low in Australia. I am in Canberra from one year and still struggling to find work. Other than job market, I like this place. Canberra is good for families. Standard of education is very high. You are right, for federal government roles only citizens are eligible. However; for state government roles, permanent residents are eligible. In general, Canberra is a very quite, smooth and hazel free place. If you have option available then Melbourne will be the good place to live. People say that Sydney is very crowded and Canberra is very quite place. On the other hand Melbourne is in between and lively place.

    • alina May 29, 2016, 4:07 pm | Link

      To find a good proffessional job in ACT is not that easy but NSW and Melbourne has better chance. You need a 10 year history security to work in the govrnment service.

      • alina May 29, 2016, 4:11 pm | Link

        Which means you have to have already living in Australia for 10 years to have the 10 years security check.

  • Amila March 11, 2016, 8:01 pm | Link

    I am an civil Engineer with nearly 7 years of building construction and project management experience. Having expected the Visa grant somewhere in June, I would be able to move to Canberra by August. I have a few gray area to look at.
    1) What is the easiest way to reserve temporary accommodation for first 1 or 2 months before moving in
    2) Is that advisable to bring the family with me prior to secure a job?
    3) Does it work if I start looking for jobs before my arrival?

    • BobinOz March 14, 2016, 3:50 pm | Link

      I would look at AirBnB or Stayz or temporary accommodation, just Google them. Whether you bring your family with you before or after getting the job is a personal choice, it’s whatever suits you best.

      It’s always harder trying to secure a job before you arrive, but it is worth a try. Check out How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia for help with that.

  • Nams January 28, 2016, 4:15 pm | Link

    Hi.. I am an Indian and want to move to Canberra on a Skill Based Visa (190).I am a commerce graduate with more than 7 years of experience in Finance and accounting.My husband has an experience of more than 9 years in sales and marketting.
    We are afraid if we would be able to find a job for ourselves as we need to take care of a small 2 year kid.
    Also want to know abt the day care and pre schools in Canberra.

  • OMAR JAVED CHOHAN January 16, 2016, 6:12 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I am an international student exploring the chance to come to ANU, Canberra for an MBA. My wife and 2 kids will also be joining me later. Can you advise on the cost of living, rent, food, education etc for us. Need to budget before making the decision whether go there.

  • Maria December 30, 2015, 6:16 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,

    I would like to get some feedback/info from someone living in Canberra.
    I have been living in Sydney with my husband for 5 years. And we have visited Canberra 3 times.
    Since the first time we went to Canberra, we like it a lot. We saw the city is really organise, clean, the people is very friendly and it is perfect to do sports.
    The tow main reasons we have visited Canberra for, it is because we love Christmas and Canberra has the most beautiful decorated houses we have ever seen in Australia, and we love to rollerblade and Canberra is perfect for that.
    At this moment we want to buy a house and get very well established in Australia. Sydney has been a really good city but now we are thinking about Canberra (as we feel really happy there) also we saw the house prices are not that expensive compare with any place in NSW.

    The only think that we don’t know yet is how complicated could it be to find a job in Canberra. My husband works in telecommunications and has specializations in network security. I am a structural/bridge drafter also we both are citizens.

    In your experience living in Canberra, do you consider the city offers job stability considering that it is a small city but it is growing?

    I understand that the situation it’s different for every person but we will appreciate any experience you could share with us.

    Regards,

    Maria

    • BobinOz January 3, 2016, 5:49 pm | Link

      Hi Maria

      Yes, as you say, you need to hear from a local, I can’t help with this one. Can anybody assist Maria with this?

    • April January 14, 2016, 2:13 pm | Link

      Hi Maria,

      Jobs in Canberra have fierce competition as the population is fairly small, it is probably best to secure a job before you leave for Canberra if you can as it is quite expensive to live there. However it sounds like you’re both in fields that would have positions available to you.

      Canberra is a wonderful place for families, but the population consists mostly of public servants and that means it may be difficult to make new friends -Canberrans are not as friendly as some other Australian cities.

      All of Canberra is safe, however some suburbs have a bad reputation, like anywhere.

      You will need cars if you don’t have them, the public transport is reliable, however infrequent and doesn’t go very late into the night.

      Canberra is a very beautiful city, especially if you are looking for something quiet with some culture still, there are plenty of places to visit in town and the surrounding regions. It does get cold in winter, but if you are interested in the snow, it is very close.

      Flying in and out of Canberra is very expensive, if you intend to travel often, it may be worth driving to Sydney instead.

      If you have any questions, please let me know. I no longer live in Canberra, but I lived most of my life in Canberra until recently and I do love it there.

      • Maria January 21, 2016, 9:19 pm | Link

        Hi April,
        Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me.
        I also thought in find a job before moving so we are submiting applications.
        I would like to ask you what do you consider expensive about living there? From aour experience in Sydney, we know the public transport here is expensive, around 40$ per week. Food it is around $150 but there are supermarkets where can be cheaper. Rent it is around 500pw 2 bedrooms half an hour from the CBD.
        In my opinion Sydney has become really expensive in the last 2 year.
        About friends, are you referring to relationships at work? Here I noticed people it is a bit shi, one day you laugh talking with them and the next day they dont talk too much.

        We have had good experiences in Canberra but we know one thing it is visiting and another it is living. I really appreciate your time in reading my post and any experience you share with me.

        Thank you 🙂

        Maria

        • Andy February 8, 2016, 11:24 am | Link

          Hi Maria,
          Compared to Sydney, buses are economical in Canberra, using a MyWay card (https://www.transport.act.gov.au/catch_a_bus/myway/fares) you wouldn’t pay more than about $120/month, but that only works if you’re living near an appropriate bus route that goes where you need to. Buses from the outer suburbs to the centre are pretty good, but between outer suburbs can be harder.
          However driving is easier and more practical than Sydney, at least one car between you would probably be necessary.
          Food isn’t going to cost much different, the cities are not so far apart and Canberra is big enough to have pretty good provision these days.
          In terms of rental, take a look online, but for $500/week for a 2 bed apartment you could certainly reduce your travel to the CBD in Canberra (or look for more space, like a house and garden in an outer suburb, maintinaing about 30 mins to CBD).

          We’re quite new to Canberra having been here a little under a year, but really like it.

    • alina May 29, 2016, 4:21 pm | Link

      Maria,

      The job market in Canberra is bad, most young people are jobless and have to leave home to work other state.
      Since this is a small city most company do not setup their human reource, training, purchasing and major department here.
      Technically, the highest position in canberra is department manager, store manager or some other mnagers remote control by the senior manager in NSW or Melbourne.
      Alternately, you can work for the government but is really hard to get in management position as the pucblic servants stay in their job till they are tire or retire.

  • Oliver September 17, 2015, 7:03 pm | Link

    Canberra might not have a beach but there’s NO SHARKS and no sand in every single hole you can find oh also no polluted salt wanted and just one other no future tsunamis and not to mention no drunken flip flop wearers.

    Thanks….get wrecked bitch

    • BobinOz September 18, 2015, 6:05 pm | Link

      But they do have people that say “get wrecked bitch”, which is a shame.

  • moom September 4, 2015, 10:03 pm | Link

    PhD study is free for Australian residents. But the fees are very high for foreign students and so you need to get funding to cover them. There are some scholarships available including from the Australian government. Contact the department you are interested in and they can give you info. You could study at the ANU but I think you should also consider universities elsewhere, particularly in Melbourne. And for job opportunities in a specialised field a larger city is going to give more options.

  • Nirav September 4, 2015, 9:58 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I am from India. I have completed graduation Bachelor of science in Microbiology and post graduation Master in Microbiology. I want to know is there any scope for my subject in Canberra or any other city of Australia.how much average income i can earn. And if I want to study further for PhD how much it approximately cost me as international student. And if i get PR how much it cost me.Please provide me informartion on this course and other similar course which are suitable for me.In which university I can do such study?canberra is my preference. Other friends also provide me info for other major city of Australia for my Questions.
    I know that my list of questions are too long but i hope you will reply Bob and my other friends.waiting eagerly for reply from you Bob.

  • Felicia August 2, 2015, 5:41 am | Link

    Hi All,

    I am an NZ Citizen currently residing in Sydney and have been for almost 2 years now. I have been offered the opportunity to work in Canberra. Same company I am in, just another property (so the job itself isn’t my issue). I am 19 and my partner is 21 and I can not find any info of how couples our age find Canberra. My sister and dad have been to Canberra and said it is boring but cant say why. I guess it’s because they don’t know anyone or just find it is dull? My partner and I only really like shopping, movies and eating out a lot so I am hoping there is a lot of that to do? I will most likely only be there for one-year but I’d like it to be an enjoyable one year. I see rent is cheap but how is the cost of living? for essentials?

    • BobinOz August 2, 2015, 8:39 pm | Link

      I will leave that for the locals to answer you Felicia, but I think you’ll find that opinion on Canberra is very much divided, just look at the comments above yours. Seems to me it is a love it or hate it kind of city, I think you will only know how you feel about it if you actually go.

      I know that’s not very helpful, but hopefully some locals will help you further.

  • Mez May 31, 2015, 10:29 pm | Link

    Don’t move to Canberra
    As an Aussie from eastern coastal towns including Sydney and mid north coast, I can tell you it is an absolute dump. Nothing to do, everything is expensive and geared to public service incl over inflated house rental & sales prices, coffee is average $4.20 and I can say the people are over achieving weirdos breeding the most oppressive culture in the country. Yuck. Get me out of here!!

    • paul August 1, 2015, 1:54 pm | Link

      I moved to Canberra over 20 years ago. I like living in Canberra. I have been to Sydney. Which is better Sydney or Canberra? The answer is Canberra.

      • BobinOz August 2, 2015, 8:05 pm | Link

        Opinion on Canberra is clearly divided 🙂

      • Joshua Fensom September 28, 2016, 6:54 pm | Link

        To Paul can you please write 1 in Joy Burch box on the Candidate paper from all the people with disabilities in Australia

      • Joshua Fensom September 28, 2016, 7:02 pm | Link

        Hello Paul it’s Joshua Fensom the election is on the 15th of October 2016 in Canberra

  • bailey. March 25, 2015, 4:58 pm | Link

    Hi I am a Canberra resident and heres what I have to say:
    bad shopping.
    drugs everwhere.
    junkies everywhere.
    6 murders in 3 three weeks.
    bad public transport.
    spaced a lot out so its a while to get everywhere.
    highest homeless rate per capita in the country.
    a festy lake where fish wash up dead and you can only swim in like 2 months of the year.
    no celebrities.
    really boring for teenagers cause nothing to do here.
    thanks bro.

  • Philemon Olusegun March 20, 2015, 9:07 am | Link

    Hi,
    I am a Nigerian based in Qatar and just secured an Australian maritime crew visa Zm/988 and i should be arriving Canberra next month. I just wanted to have lots of first hand information before embarking on my journey to the land down under.
    I have 8years experience in Occupational Safety and Health and the visa comes with a job plus other fringe benefits.
    Please feel free to share any information that will help settle in nicely.
    I love Australia.

    • BobinOz March 20, 2015, 7:38 pm | Link

      This website has over 1000 pages of information Philemon, I think maybe you should have a good look around and then if you have any specific questions, ask them on a relevant page. Could luck with your move, Bob

    • pavan April 23, 2015, 6:07 pm | Link

      I have property ready for lease 410 per week… Do contact me if you need further information

  • moom February 19, 2015, 10:27 pm | Link

    I’m really a bit puzzled by the Australian government sending immigrants to the Canberra area who have specialised skills in industries that are not important here and when a huge chunk of jobs are in the Federal Government which require workers to be Australian citizens… that doesn’t mean there are no relevant jobs here but it certainly doesn’t make much sense to me. There isn’t much manufacturing industry here. Security related jobs presumably need a lot of security clearances. I had to go through a lengthy security clearance procedure as an Australian citizen in order to be allowed to work with people in the Department of Industry here in their building and maybe have access to sensitive information.

  • Keerthi February 19, 2015, 9:34 pm | Link

    I am mechanical engineer.I have worked in Sri Lanka Army as a captain.NOW i already got TR ur area.I have one child. I want to know I can find any capacity of related job.

  • Yuba February 11, 2015, 10:25 pm | Link

    Hi everyone,
    This is Yuba. I am planning to migrate Canberra this year from Doha. Since I have 8 years of experience in Civil Engineering field, what is the probability of finding job, and how would be the monthly expenses for the family of three.

  • moom January 30, 2015, 8:12 pm | Link

    I think you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week officially. It would be hard to make enough to pay fees and live on but could certainly help a lot with living expenses.

  • sibtain January 30, 2015, 7:09 pm | Link

    hello everyone..i just wanted to know that is it possible for international students to work and support themselves and even pay their study fees while studying..many of my friends are in perth and they are doing this..please reply soon..thanks

  • Faraz January 5, 2015, 11:49 pm | Link

    Hi,

    I am moving to Canberra in 10 days time. Coming from Pakistan on PR. I am qualified as Environmental Specialist and have over 9 years of work experience in environmental discipline. I have 02 questions to ask:

    1- Which is the best place to live in Canberra, considering the affordable rent (AUD 250/week) and closeness to amenities?

    2- Is the job market in my area of expertise still open? What should be my first step to get into the job, immediately? Although, I am applying online and have recruiter’s contacts.

    I will appreciate the early advice.

    Thanks and regards.

  • Birender Singh November 16, 2014, 5:40 am | Link

    Hi,
    I am Birender Singh from Delhi, India . My ambition us to work and settle down in australia with my family so I am planning to apply for PR in Australia , having more than 5 years of sales exp in pharma sales, b.pharmacy graduate.
    Can anybody let me know about the scope of pharma sales or linked job as per my experience and qualification. My wife also wants to work as a teacher in Australia.So pls advise me about the cities in Australia regarding possibility of getting jobs in pharma sales and teaching field. Any input will be highly appreciated .
    Thanks

    Birender

    • BobinOz November 16, 2014, 9:56 pm | Link

      Unless you are specifically looking to move to Canberra, this isn’t the best place to ask your question. I can’t help you with the scope of work you might find here, that’s too specific a question. You will find some advice on my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and if you want some tips about which city to choose, please check out my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Brad November 3, 2014, 9:21 pm | Link

    Hi,

    I am in the midst of deciding whether to move to Canberra. My husband, myself and 2 kids live in Sydney. My husband has a job offer in Canberra. My biggest uncertainty is with regards to mobility. Canberra is very spread out and I do not drive. Living in Sydney is easy because of its public transport system. I get everywhere by bus. They are frequent and very accessible. I wonder if anyone can give me their opinion of getting around Canberra by public transport? Are they reliable? What about frequency? So far, I haven’t come across anyone with positive comments about the public transport system in Canberra.

    • BobinOz November 4, 2014, 4:11 pm | Link

      I’ll need to leave this one to the people of Canberra; can anyone who knows the city well help Brad out here?

    • Driving January 20, 2015, 1:27 pm | Link

      Public transport in Canberra is terrible. It has one of the of the best private road systems in the world for a city its size but public transport is not good. If you are living close to your work and children’s school it is more doable, but if you don’t have that option it might not work for you 🙁

  • Amrish September 14, 2014, 3:16 pm | Link

    Hi Prachi,

    We shall shortly be moving to Canberra, we are in the process
    for paying for our PR, have you managed to get a decent job? What has your experience been for getting a house on rent? Any advice on some good locations for a 2 bedroom apartment. Thanks

  • Manj September 5, 2014, 12:16 am | Link

    Hi,

    I an Carpenter with 10+ years in the construction industry. I have been granted SS nomination by ACT for a 190 visa. The visa is yet to be granted as all documents were only sent off at the end of August.

    I am from London and will be moving to Canberra with my wife and 20 month old son.
    Can anyone please advise where the best place would be to start looking for long term rental and also ideal locations.

    Thanks

    Manj

    • BobinOz September 5, 2014, 4:26 pm | Link

      Well, there’s a link in the above article towards the end called “Properties for rent in Canberra”, that would be a pretty good place to start. Hopefully somebody local could help you with locations, but I think you will need to be more specific about the sort of thing you want from a suburb. Close to the city? Close to the lake? Rural?

      Good luck with your search, Bob

    • Carpenter January 20, 2015, 1:30 pm | Link

      Hi Manj,

      Gungahlin area, lots of construction still going on in that area, price is reasonable but everything you need will be in the one place and plenty of schools for your young son.

    • Kiran Bhogal September 22, 2016, 2:08 pm | Link

      Hi Manj. I was looking at your post and just realised it is from 2014. Did you end up moving to Canberra? My husband, I and my 4-year old daughter have just moved here from Birmingham. I just want to get to know some other people, and it’s also good knowing that you’re from the UK also. Let me know if you got here and stayed. Thanks. Kiran

  • Amit July 30, 2014, 3:51 pm | Link

    Hi,

    My name is Amit and my planning to migrate to Canberra this yaer on Pr along with my family, My entire experience is in Sales – Pharmaceuical Products, is there any scope of getting job in Sales in any Pharmaceutical company in Canberra or some jobs related to this field

    • No January 20, 2015, 1:32 pm | Link

      Wrong city for your expertise, you still might get a job but you would be much more likely to find work with your skill set in Melbourne, Sydney etc. Adelaide might be better option with a lower cost of living

  • Gitanjali July 30, 2014, 3:07 am | Link

    Hi Bob, my name is Gitanjali. I am an Indian. I am planning to move to Australia along with my husband and daughter. My husband has got state nomination from Canberra. We have applied for visa class 190. We hope to move to Australia by the year end. Can you please give information about the job opportunities for Indians. My husband is a journalist (electronic media) and I am a computer graduate and MBA -HR. I am also pursuing a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education. What kind of jobs opportunities can we have in Canberra. What is the eligibility and qualification required to be an Early Childhood teacher.

    • BobinOz July 30, 2014, 8:00 pm | Link

      Well, these are simply questions I cannot answer, you need (probably) a recruitment specialist who understands the current vacancies in Canberra.

      That said, maybe somebody reading this who does live in Canberra may be able to give you some idea. Or you can go to my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the online employment agencies there to search for what it is that you do and see what vacancies come up in Canberra.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Samuel July 4, 2014, 8:31 pm | Link

    Canberra is a horrible place to live. I lived there for well over 10 years and it has always been an extremely boring place sorely lacking in culture or any real excitement. I think this is why there is a noticeable sentiment of deeply narcissistic and judgmental people abundant in the community because there is nothing better to do.
    A city in complete denial to be honest. Heck, they recently spent tax payer dollars on a promotional project to project a better image for the place in which they ended up having to PAY PEOPLE to write good things! That speaks for itself.

    The city has no soul. Avoid at all costs.

  • Jag June 18, 2014, 8:30 pm | Link

    I am moving to Canberra and I am a business analyst and looking for a job on different websites. One of the requirement in 99% of the jobs is to be Australian Citizen. Not able to find atleast one job without this requirement.

    Did anyone faced this issue?

    • BobinOz June 19, 2014, 8:17 pm | Link

      I can’t help you personally Jag, but I’m pretty sure this problem has been mentioned before in these comments above. Hopefully someone from Canberra will chime in here.

    • krupa December 17, 2016, 3:19 am | Link

      Hi Jag,

      More than 50% jobs offerred in Canberra are govt. jobs which require Australian citizenship. Also the city itself is very small with much lesser population, hence the job market obviously would have fewer prospects.

  • Mani Khangura June 9, 2014, 5:59 pm | Link

    Hi
    I’m looking for a job in Canberra but I didn’t get yet..
    Plz help
    Any kind of job will ok
    Thanks

  • nida June 7, 2014, 3:50 am | Link

    Hey guys,

    U’ve got quiet a scary thread going on here about not finding employment in Canberra.

    Me and my husband will be moving to Canberra by mid next month and reading all the post above has given me cold feet already. I mean, theres not much we can do about this move now as we have already resigned from our jobs and currently serving our notice period but is it really very difficult to find decent work in Canberra?

    We have our savings but i really hope we dont exhaust them in just a couple of months…

    very confused..

    • BobinOz June 9, 2014, 11:48 pm | Link

      I suppose it depends what you do for a living, but being here will make it easier to get a job and trying to get the job from abroad with sponsorship.

      Check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and have a search through the links to see what vacancies there are in Canberra for what it is you do.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Sini May 7, 2014, 11:41 am | Link

    Wow Bob?!

    Really?!

    Thanks Bob. I take back my negative comment.

    for your information, i too want to migrate but i have this perception that it is sooo hard to get a job in australia especially for asian looking people like me.

    I will check your post later.

    thanks! 🙂

    • BobinOz May 7, 2014, 11:25 pm | Link

      It is hard to get a job here especially for those still living abroad, but it’s not impossible. I just wanted to put your comment into perspective by offering links to some of my recent posts that have looked at this.

      Good luck, I hope you find something suitable soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Sini May 5, 2014, 6:41 pm | Link

    i don’t want to sound so negative, but if your job is as “usual as others” and not AMAZING, you probably need to think twice to migrate.

    well, unless if you are willing to work in a petrol station or cafe or dping laundry in a hotel, etc. etc.

    🙂

  • Iru May 2, 2014, 10:33 pm | Link

    Hai
    I am Iru and I am waiting for my occupation (training and development professional) to reopen again in July 2014 for ACT. I wish to know the demand for this job. Additionally, I have my Phd (Organizational behavior) too. My wife is a registered nurse as well. So with this sort of skill sets of both my wife and me, need your advise whether I can take a chance in applying for ACT and the prospects for obtaining job for me as well as for my wife. Thanks!

    • BobinOz May 5, 2014, 5:50 pm | Link

      These are the kinds of questions that need to be answered by a MARA registered migration agent, you would certainly get answers if you were to go through my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck, Bob

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