The BobinOz Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia

Which city should I live in in Australia?

I love sentences with in in two places next each other. Anyway…

This is another question I am frequently asked, but like love, cities are also in the eye of the beholder. What do you like? Hot, not so hot or cold? Busy, bustling and crowded or laid-back, quiet with countryside? Beach or mountain? Wet or dry? Dust or rock?

Enough already!

Here’s the BobinOz quick guide to choosing a city in Australia.

But remember, it’s in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder, if he still lived in England, would probably choose Cornwall.


Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and I have been there a couple of times, but it’s not for me. It’s very busy, verging on overcrowded and traffic is quite congested. Some people love it there but it reminds me too much of all the reasons why I wanted to get away from England. It’s also very expensive.

On the other hand, the people who live there and love it do so for the very reasons I’m not so keen. Some people love buzzing, bustling cities. There is no doubting it is the financial hub of Australia and for many people coming over for their work, Sydney is the only choice.

If I had to leave Australia or live in Sydney, I’d live in Sydney, so it’s not that bad. But I do have a choice, so I don’t.

Update: Then in November 2012 I took a mini break in this city and literally saw The Other Side of Sydney. I also checked out The Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.


Melbourne is a city I really like the look of, full of culture and history with a real good buzz around it. I’ve only been once when I stayed for three days. Not long enough. I loved the trams, the layout of the city with its grid like system, and the diversity of the culture.

There seemed to be a lot going on as well, musically and entertainment wise. Plenty of venues full of character, it has the vibe of a city full of creativity. And as a bonus, within an hours drive you could be at the start of the Great Ocean Road, a stunning six hour oceanfront drive covering some 240 kilometres. It’s one of Australia’s biggest attractions.

But Melbourne is also well-known for his cold winters and four seasons in one day. I prefer my winters warmer, so for that reason, as much as I like it, no, I don’t live there.


Perth, for me, is way too isolated. Apparently, 40% who emigrate here from the UK choose Perth. I’ve never been, but the people I have spoken to who have, say there is not actually much there. And it is very much separate from the rest of Australia. As I said, isolated.

Did I mention isolated? Let me put that into perspective. Brisbane to Perth is 4341 km.
Sydney is 3957 km away, Melbourne 3425 km and Adelaide 2696 km. It’s about as close to the rest of populated Australia as London is to Moscow. Perth has a wonderful climate and I’m sure the beaches are lovely, but it’s not for me. But what do I know? I’ve never been.

Matt has been though, he’s lived there for 11 years. Click this link to see what Matt thinks of Perth. Elizabeth is also a fan, you can read her views here.

Update: I have now been to Perth, spending five days in the city and a further five days visiting the surrounding areas. If you want to know what I thought of it, have a look at these posts:


I have been to Adelaide, once, and I thought it was fantastic! The people were really friendly and it’s a very compact, small city with great beaches close by. The weather is likened to that of the Mediterranean and it is a much quieter city than the others. Easy to get around, very little traffic congestion and not very expensive compared to the other cities. On the downside, many of the locals there also told me there’s really nothing to do.

One of my readers, who had lived in Adelaide for five years, commented “Honestly, you could fire a cannon down my street most of the day and not hit anyone – and I lived within ten mins of the CBD.” So he thought it was quiet too.

So I wouldn’t cross Adelaide off of your list, but if you’re keeping it on there, you’ll probably need to be the kind of person who enjoys a quiet life. I was there during the summer and loved that it didn’t get dark till about nine o’clock of  an evening. But I hated that there were so many flies trying to bounce off of my face.

The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast, believe it or not, is a city. It is famous for Surfers Paradise, but that’s not the only beautiful beach in the area; check out Labrador, for example.

Where Perth and Adelaide are quiet, the Gold Coast is bustling with things to do. Surfing aside, the area has who knows how many theme parks, including, Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie World, WhiteWater World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay Wildlife Park, Australian Outback Spectacular and Paradise Country.

It’s also an area big on sport with the Gold Coast Indy 300, V8 Supercars and the Magic Millions carnival, a major horseracing event here in Australia. Yes, there’s a lot to do, its action town but it also has some glorious hinterland. The property there is quite expensive, but don’t let that put you off. It’s the place to go to live the dream! And if you get bored, you can drive to Brisbane. It’s only an hour and a quarter away.

The Sunshine Coast

But north of Brisbane, about an hour and a half drive, is the Sunshine Coast. More stunning beaches and fantastic hinterland, but this time in more quiet surroundings. Dare I say it, a bit classier than the Gold Coast? No, perhaps not, that would be asking for trouble.

Maybe a better way to put it would be that where the Gold Coast is very commercialised, the Sunshine Coast is much quieter and understated. Of the two, my vote would go to the Sunshine Coast, in particular Mooloolaba and Maroochydore for their great beaches and rivers.

I love the Sunshine Coast but I have heard that it can be quite difficult to find work out that way and the commute into Brisbane is too much.


I’ve never been, but this is what I have discovered/been told. No beach, full of politicians, cold and boring. My best Aussie mate was born there and lived there until he was 18, when he joined the Army. At that age, I think he would have joined anything to escape Canberra.

He left the Army years ago, but never went back to Canberra. Well, he does occasionally to see his mum. So the obvious question to any of you considering Canberra is….. why?

Update: But as I have said, I’ve never been to Canberra, so don’t listen to me. Maybe you should listen to Andrea who has made a comment below, she lives there and she thinks Canberra is one of the best cities in the world; well, her actual words were “when it comes to living and settling down, I cant think of anywhere else in the world!

I wouldn’t go that far, but having re-read my summary above, I can see I’ve been a bit harsh. To find out what Andrea thinks, click here.


Darwin is supposed to be like paradise, but of course, very hot and humid and home to the crocodiles. Not for the faint of heart. It’s another place I’ve not yet been to, but I’m really looking forward to visiting.

But the emphasis is on the word visiting, I don’t think I could live there. You just about can’t swim anywhere, other than a swimming pool. Sharks, killer jellyfish and crocodiles on the other hand, swim where they like. Who is to stop them? Probably too hot for most people, but you won’t be moaning about the traffic.

Update: I now have to Darwin, went in the middle of winter, July 2013 and if you want to know what I thought about it, check out the following posts:


Tasmania is an island off of Australia’s mainland with Hobart as its capital, but I haven’t been yet. I’m going in July, so I will know more after that visit and I’ll come back and update this page. What I’ve seen of it, it looks as quiet as Cornwall, but with the remoteness of deepest Scotland.

It would be very cold and quite isolated compared to the rest of Australia, so if you’re going to give it a go, be sure to take a coat. You’ll also need to like boats, fishing and country walks. Not for me, but for some of you I’m sure it would be your slice of paradise.

Update: Well, yes I did go to Hobart and absolutely loved it and all of Tasmania. I could go on about it here, but it’s easier if you go to the following posts if you want to know more about this part of Australia:


That leaves Brisbane, where I live. I do think Brisbane has it all; fantastic climate, a modern look and access to glorious beaches an hour or so drive north and south. It has a suburb to suit everyone. If you like busy, choose one of the inner suburbs. If you like the coast, go Bayside or one of the eastern suburbs. If you like big wide open spaces, go western suburbs and yet still enjoy 35 to 40 minutes drive to the city. I think it’s a great place to bring up children too.

Brisbane is my choice, that’s why I live here. But where YOU live in Australia is a big decision to make and only you can make it for yourself.

So there you have it, my (completely worthless) roundup of the cities of Australia. How can one man who hasn’t been to half of these places (update: I have now) and not yet lived in Australia long enough and is not even an Australian citizen (update: I am now) even have an opinion? I am sure many seasoned Aussies, including my mates mum living in Canberra, would greatly disagree with me.

To those who do, please leave a comment here or on any of the other city specific pages of this website and let me know your opinion. The more opinions we have, the more we are helping others to decide.

But Australia is more than just major cities; there are hundreds more large towns and even more smaller ones to choose from. So I will leave the last word with one of my regular readers AND more seasoned Aussie, Gordon, who said “For me, comparing big cities is like comparing turnips with cow pats regarding which one tastes better.”

Needless to say, Gordon doesn’t live in a big city, and you don’t have to either. Check out my list of towns by state and you’ll see just how much choice you really have.

More useful links:

I have written a couple of posts following surveys about which are the best cities to live in. Be sure to read the comments below each of these posts, they are full of some great additional information …..

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

Which city should I live in in Australia?I love sentences with in in two places next each other. Anyway…This is another question I am frequently asked, but like love, cities are also in the eye of the beholder. What do youlike? Hot, not so hot or cold? Busy, bustling and crowded or laid-back, quiet with countryside? Beach or mountain? Wet

or dry? Dust or rock?

Enough already!

Here’s the BobinOz quick guide to choosing a city in Australia.

But remember, it’s in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder if he still lived in England would probably choose



Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and I have been there a couple of times, but it’s not for me. It’s very busy,

verging on overcrowded and traffic is quite congested. Some people love it there but it reminds me too much of all the

reasons why I wanted to get away from England. It’s also very expensive.

On the other hand, the people who live there and love it do so for the very reasons I’m not so keen. Some people love

buzzing, bustling cities. There is no doubting it is the financial hub of Australia and for many people coming over for

their work, Sydney is the only choice.

If I had to leave Australia or live in Sydney, I live in Sydney, so it’s not that bad. But I do have a choice, so I



Melbourne is a city I really like the look of, full of culture and history with a real good buzz around it. I’ve only

been once when I stayed for three days. Not long enough. I loved the trams, the layout of the city with its grid like

system, and the diversity of the culture.

There seemed to be a lot going on as well, musically and entertainment wise. Plenty of venues full of character, it has

the vibe of a city full of creativity. And as a bonus, within an hours drive you could be at the start of the Great

Ocean Road, a stunning six hour oceanfront drive covering some 240 kilometres. It’s one of Australia’s biggest


But Melbourne is also well-known for his cold winters and four seasons in one day. I prefer my winters warmer, so for

that reason, as much as I like and no, I don’t live there.


Perth, for me, is way too isolated. Apparently, 40% who emigrate here from the UK choose Perth. I’ve never been but the

people I have spoken to who have been there say there is not actually much there. And it is very much separate from the

rest of Australia. As I said, isolated.

Did I mention isolated? Let me put that into perspective. Brisbane to Perth is 4341 km.
Sydney is 3957 km away, Melbourne 3425 km and Adelaide 2696 km. It’s about as close to the rest of populated Australia

as London is to Moscow. Perth has a wonderful climate and I’m sure the beaches are lovely, but it’s not for me. But what

do I know? I’ve never been.


But I have been to Adelaide, once, and I thought it was fantastic! The people were really friendly and it’s a very

compact, small city with great beaches close by. The weather is likened to that of the Mediterranean and it is a much

quieter city than the others. Easy to get around, very little traffic congestion and not very expensive compared to the

other cities. On the downside, many of the locals there also told me there’s really nothing to do.

One of my readers, who had lived in Adelaide for five years, commented “Honestly, you could fire a cannon down my street

most of the day and not hit anyone – and I live within ten mins of the CBD.” So he thought it was quite too.

So I wouldn’t cross Adelaide off of your list, but if you’re keeping it on there, you’ll probably need to be the kind of

person who enjoys a quiet life. I was there during the summer and loved that it didn’t get dark till about nine o’clock

of leaving. But I hated that there were so many flies trying to bounce off of my face.

The Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast, believe it or not, is a city. It is famous for Surfers Paradise, but that’s not the only beautiful beach

in the area. Where Perth and Adelaide are quiet, the Gold Coast is bustling with things to do. Surfing aside, the area

has who knows how many theme parks, including, Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie World,

WhiteWater World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay Wildlife Park, Australian Outback Spectacular and Paradise


It’s also an area big on sport with the Gold Coast Indy 300, V8 Supercars and the Magic Millions carnival, a major

horseracing event here in Australia. Yes, there’s a lot to do, its action town but it also has some glorious hinterland.

The property there is quite expensive, but don’t let that put you off. It’s the place to go to live the dream! And if

you get bored, you can drive to Brisbane. It’s only an hour and a quarter away.

The Sunshine Coast.

But north of Brisbane, about an hour and a half drive, is the Sunshine Coast. More stunning beaches and fantastic

hinterland, but this time in more quiet surroundings. Dare I say it, a bit classier than the Gold Coast? No, perhaps

not, that would be asking for trouble.

Maybe a better way to put it would be that where the Gold Coast is very commercialised, the Sunshine Coast is much

quieter and understated. Of the two, my vote would go to the Sunshine Coast, in particular Mooloolaba and Maroochydore

for their great beaches and rivers.

I love the Sunshine Coast but I have heard that it can be quite difficult to find work out that way and the commute into

Brisbane is too much.


I’ve never been, but this is what I have discovered/been told. No beach, full of politicians, cold and boring. My best

Aussie mate was born there and lived there until he was 18, when he joined the Army. At that age, I think he would have

joined anything to escape Canberra.

He left the Army years ago, but never went back to Canberra. Well, does occasionally to see his mum. I rest my case.


Darwin is supposed to be like paradise, but of course, very hot and humid and home to the crocodiles. Not for the faint

of heart. It’s another place I’ve not yet been to, but I’m really looking forward to visiting.

But the emphasis is on the word visiting, I don’t think I could live there. You just about can’t swim anywhere, other

than a swimming pool. Sharks, killer jellyfish and crocodiles on the other hand, swim where they like. Who is to stop

them? Probably too hot for most people, but you won’t be moaning about the traffic.


Tasmania is an island off of Australia’s mainland with Hobart as its capital, but I haven’t been yet. I’m going in July,

so I will know more after that visit and I’ll come back and update this page. What I’ve seen of it, it looks as quite as

Cornwall but with the remoteness of deepest Scotland.

It would be very cold and quite isolated compared to the rest of Australia, so if you’re going to give it a go, be sure

that you like boats, fishing and country walks. Not for me, but for some of you I’m sure it would be your slice of



That leaves Brisbane, where I live. I do think Brisbane has it all, fantastic climate, a modern look and access to

glorious beaches an hour or so drive north and south. It has a suburb to suit everyone, if you like busy, choose one of

the inner suburbs. If you like the coast, go Bayside or one of the eastern suburbs. If you like big wide open spaces, go

western suburbs and yet still enjoy 35 to 40 minutes drive to the city. I think it’s a great place to bring up children


Brisbane is my choice, that’s why I live here. But it is a big decision to make and only you can make it for yourself.

So there you have it, my roundup of the cities of Australia. But one man’s poison is another’s pleasure, so try to read

between the lines to give yourself an idea of which city you would like to live in.

But Australia is more than just major cities; there are hundreds more large towns and even more smaller ones to choose

from. I’ll leave the last word with one of my regular readers, Gordon, who said “For me, comparing big cities is like

comparing turnips with cow pats regarding which one tastes better.”

More useful links:

I have a more comprehensive roundup which includes annual weather charts and more for each of the following cities.

Please click on the links to read more.

Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast

{ 333 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa August 3, 2011 at 4:26 am

Nothing to do in Adelaide…
How about…?
A walk along the beach
Clipsal 500
The gardens, the zoo’s/wildlife parks, museums,
A trip to one of the worlds MOST famous wine region the Barossa(only 1 hr out of Adelaide) or even McClaren vale(30 mins out of CBD)!!! and freeeeee
Its the festival state!! …. The Adelaide Fringe, Womadelaide

Sorry but your local didnt know what he was talking about, There is plenty to do if you want to


BobinOz August 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hi Lisa

Sounds like a vote for Adelaide then?

As I said, when I went I really loved it, I’m just quoting a local who had lived there for about five years, if I remember correctly.

By comparison though, there must be more to do in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane? Maybe that’s what she (it was a young mother) meant.


Simon August 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Have to agree, there’s really isn’t much to do in Adelaide. Spent the first 10 years of my adult life there, lived in remote country SA all my life before that.

Sorry Lisa, but pretty much every city in Australia you can walk along the beach, go to the V8’s once a year, walk through gardens, zoo’s, wildlife parks, museums.

Yes there are plenty of things to do outside of Adelaide if you’re willing to drive or go on tours to get there, but the city & suburbs themselves really have nothing unique to do that you can’t do in any other city. It’s really more a retirement city I found. And it’s the festival “state”, not the festival city! After living in other cities I don’t find Adelaide itself has particularly any more festivals, less if anything. Other cities also have a Fringe festival, it’s not just unique Adelaide.


zey June 23, 2015 at 1:21 am

Hi Bob. Just a mum from Sydney with 6 kids 11, 5, 4, 2.5 four boys and 6 , 1 two girls. As you probably know the market up here in sydney is crazy and hubby and me dont find it worth buying a house. I was born and grown up in sydney dont know anywhere else around Aussie. I like Sydney just 1.5 years ago we moved to brisbane didnt quiet like it myself. Stayed for 6 months and moved back. Few weeks ago came back up in the open to back again cause we have ideas regarding house prices. Plus you can buy a house like a mansion on acres of land (good for the kids) more affordable or should i say payable. Just wondering though because we lived there to short to work it out how is the working industrie is it easy to find a job or open your own buisness. My hubby has a self employed buisness as a takeaway food here in sydney. Is it limited or can he continue in the same area. Thanks for all your info. Takecare


Martha September 5, 2014 at 11:57 am

I am interested in Australia. I think “nothing to do” it is very broad as it depends what people like to do. I personally would like to go to Australia, not for cities, restaurants, zoos – only as it is all over the world. I would like to see it, but my goal would be nature. I am a lover of nature, that is never boring. Peace. Clean, safe, quiet city or town. Where you can be surrounded by nice and friendly people that are open to new-comers. Isnt Perth very polluted, lots of traffic jam, and mines ?


BobinOz September 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Firstly, I’d be shocked if Perth was polluted, there’s nothing much near it, it’s pretty isolated. As for “nothing to do”, yes, very much depends on what you want to do. If quite peaceful countryside is your thing, clean air, little traffic, not much going on, then we have plenty of places for you to choose from.

Incidentally, Tasmania I believe has the cleanest air in the whole wide world and plenty of quiet countryside.


Martii February 16, 2015 at 3:49 am

Nothing to “DO” is very general, as each person is looking for something different to do. I live in usa, big city, loats to do, but true is there is nothing to do for me here. Parks, muzeums, fancy stores, bars, restaurants who full time would do it . You go to muzeum once and thats it, how many times can you go to muzeum if you live there forever? All i experience is traffic jam, noise, pollutions, people rush, look unhappy, no human kindness.

For some reason when im surrounded by thousands of strangers i feel so lonely, but when im surrounded by nature i feel fulfilled, peacful, happy. I would look for a place to settle : small town or small quiet city, with parks, nature, kind, friendly people, with ocean, plus some sport, outdoor activities. Nothing to do, explain what do you mean? I love biking, tennis, playing guitar , mountain hiking, walking, swimming. Which place would be suitable for person like me? Friendly people a must and clean air. Hate car and train noise.


Timothy Cole February 16, 2015 at 10:13 am

Martii, you should try looking at the New South Wale’s coast, and the towns along there. Places like Coffs Harbour or Bateman’s Bay. They’re small towns/cities with all of the things you like. There’s also small towns along the Queensland and Victorian coastline.


Martii February 16, 2015 at 3:52 am

Not a country side. Dont you have small cities? I like to live in place where you go outvof your house, and have breakfast in your garden. I do not want to be stuck in my house. Big cities, are for teenagers. All cities are the same someone said. Perth has over 2 million people, since when it is a countryside? Hehehe


BobinOz February 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Martii, this country has more countryside than you can shake a stick at and we have plenty of small cities and towns. If you visit any one of my state pages linked from the top main menu, you will see a list of all small towns and cities with a population above 10,000.

If you want to sit outside, then I guess you would like the weather to be warm, so maybe somewhere in Queensland will suit you, perhaps somewhere like Dayboro, see…


Martii February 16, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for the link.


Ed Benham August 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

Excellent browse there Bob. Looks like I’ll be in Perth for a number of months for work and complete my pilot license at Jandokot airport. Keep up the good work. Marvelous.

Ed, Jakarta


BobinOz August 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Ed, hope you enjoy Perth. Let me know how it goes.


Sam October 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Do you come from Cornwall Bob?


BobinOz October 17, 2011 at 11:40 pm

No, I don’t. Why do you ask?


Hansens November 5, 2011 at 5:01 am

I am with you in Brisbane Bob. And THANKS for the awesome information, I have an offer to move from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada…to somewhere around Brisbane. We have two girls 12 & 11, and a dog….I am going to read more of your work now, thanks again.

Chris Hansen


BobinOz November 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Hi Chris

So glad you found my information useful and may I be the first to welcome you to Brisbane, even though you’re not here yet. I hope your two daughters are looking forward to it, they are at a tricky age for a big move. But once they’ve made a few friends, I’m sure they will love it.

Check out my page about Exporting Your Dog to Australia, and my wife’s website where she has an excellent dog walking service for dogs in quarantine, it’s called DogWalks. Take a look at the Dog Gallery, it’s marvellous!




Les December 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

You left off Dubbo and Griffith. I liked both places when I visited. They remind me of rural western Canada.


BobinOz December 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

Well, I’ve only done the “biggies” in my roundup. I’ve been to Dubbo though, but just the zoo. Didn’t really get the time to have a good look around.


Chris Hansen December 20, 2011 at 2:51 am

Thanks AGAIN Bob;

I am landing in Brissie on the 19th of January, than I search for a home, after more research, it looks like I may be leaning to the Sunshine Coast, Monica and the girls will be arriving in March. Hope all is well w/ you and yours, and have a fantastic MERRY Christmas!

Chris Hansen,


BobinOz December 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Hope you have a good Christmas too, looking forward to seeing you here in Australia soon.




Brissyboy December 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Dont forget to tell them about Toowoomba Bob. One and Half hours up the mountain inland from Brisbane, with 4 seasons and log fires. Not to mention Montville. The English would love this place, i know my English wife does, and we now live in Toowoomba. Cheers Bob.


BobinOz December 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

First time we went to Toowoomba, we drove from Brisbane in the car and didn’t realise how cold it was until we got out at the end of their journey. I was wearing shorts and T-shirt, people on the street were wearing coats and furry hats! I think my legs turned blue and we actually went into a shop to buy some long trousers for Mrs BobinOz.

Montville is great too, stunning views across the hills.


Chris Hansen December 22, 2011 at 2:56 am

That is helpful, we are looking for one season of tropical hot weather, we have done the four season thing for over forty years, time for some fun in the sun. The beach would be fantastic!

Happy Holidays

Chris h


BobinOz December 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Glad you found it helpful, sounds like anywhere on the coast from Surfers Paradise upwards will do you fine. Happy holidays to you too.




Kim Picard January 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hi Bob,
this is a great website. I am very happy to have found it.

I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and I have just applied for a research scientist job with the Government in Canberra. I have an interview soon. So, if it goes well, I will have to make a decision on the move or not.

I work for the gov here doing pretty much the same thing as I would do there. Now, I am wondering if the move is worth it! I unfortunately know nothing about Australia except what I am reading on your blog, which make it difficult to figure out. I am not particularly unhappy here, but I guess the feel for new adventure is making me curious. My partner and I are very outdoorsy and active. We’ve been northern climate type of people for our whole life. We’re also at the stage where we are thinking about having kids. I don’t know how the australian system/lifestyle compares to the canadian for family and health care…

With the few details I gave you, what would be your opinion on the move? I’m just seeking opinions and the why yes or why no kind of answers.
thanks a lot and I appreciate any comments.


BobinOz January 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Hi Kim

How are you? Glad you are enjoying my site.

This is a tricky one for me, but only because your chosen destination appears to be Canberra.

I’ve never been to Canberra, so I can’t talk with authority, but I can’t believe it offers the true “Australian” experience. Canberra came to be because Melbourne and Sydney were fighting it out to be the capital Australia, so to be fair, they decided to put the capital somewhere between the two. Canberra.

So, the nearest beach is about an hour and a half drive, it is kind of in the middle of nowhere and it’s where lots of people who work for the government live.

I’ve heard (dare I say it) is quite boring.

But, as I said, I’ve never been. Plenty of people who read my blog have been there or do live there. So maybe one of them can help you out better than I can.


PS. Australia is a great place to bring up kids though, that’s for sure.


Paul Greener February 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Hi Kim,
I’ve lived in Australia for quite a while now, including both in Brisbane and Canberra. Canberra for work, Brisbane by choice…. That said, Canberra may suit you. It is rather cold in winter (by Australian, but not Canadian standards). It is also not wildly exciting – but does have excellent public facilities (schools, sports, health care etc) and is an easy place to live, especially for families. A bit like an Aussie version of Ottawa. It is also arguably the most outdoorsy place in Australia (outside of Tasmania).


Kim February 23, 2012 at 5:32 am

Thank you for your input Bob, Paul and Les.
I am very much debating now what to do as I am about to get the official offer for the job. I will most likely be flying down to Canberra with my partner in the next couple week to check it out. So, I hope to find my answer once I see the town and the area.
thanks again and I very much appreciate all opinions.


Les February 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I agree with Paul that Canberra has some charms for people who are used to living in capital cities.

Canberra is close to some great winter recreation opportunities that are not available elsewhere in Australia.


Karen February 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm

We’re a family of 6, with 4 children under 7years and currently living in the UK.Hubby is a director for a large accountancy firm that has offered him 2 jobs…one in Brisbane & one in Adelaide.Never been to Oz before & no time for a reccie, as we will be coming over in the next couple of months…, which one to choose.We’re a young family & want to live the dream….to us its beautiful beaches, warm weather, a more laid back lifestyle with lots to see & do.Dont want to offend anyone but have done some research which seems to suggest that Adelaide hasnt got much to do,which may be a problem with 4 small children to entertain.Can you or anyone else give anymore insight into life with a young family in Brissy or Adelaide?


BobinOz February 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Brisbane: close to the Gold Coast and all of these attractions; Dreamworld, Sea World, WhiteWater World, Warner Bros Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay Wildlife Park.

Then there is the Sunshine Coast with Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, Aussie World and more spectacular beaches.

Adelaide has beaches, hills, and once each year a comedy festival and a bike race.

Where do you think your kids would rather live?


Karen February 25, 2012 at 12:43 am

Ha yes, I guess thats a vote for Brissy then :) Are there any votes out there for Adelaide?


Doris March 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

Dear Bob,

I was doing some browsing on Australia and I came across your website. Its really fantastic! I can’t get enough of it. Well done. I am planning to move to Oz in the next four or so years. I have applied to a University here in UK to retrain as a nurse ( was an accountant in my previous life) which will make it probably easier to move and also the kids will be abit big then. Any particular best city/state for nurses you would advise.


BobinOz March 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Hi Doris

Even if I knew which was currently the best city (I don’t), it will have changed in four years time. I’d be more inclined to decide where you want to live and then see if you can get a sponsorship for that area when you are ready for the move.

One word of warning, I believe you will need some postgraduate experience in the job in order to get a sponsorship.


Andrea April 22, 2012 at 3:55 am

Hi Bob,
Congratulation on a great blog. It’s all I need at the moment to help me decide soooo many things that involve migrating to another country. I am Brazilian and so is my husband, we have a 7 year old girl. We are planning on going to Australia in about 2 years. My husband is a vet and we are hoping to qualify for the independent skilled migration program. He is now taking the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons membership exam to allow him to practice in the UK. Our biggest concern at the moment is where to live, because I can’t be messing my daughter about moving here and there. She is already a bit behind at school and the move needs to be very smooth not to affect her so much. We live in Bournemouth, Dorset, we love living in the coast, but hate the fact that there isn’t much to do. So, ideal it would be a bigger city in the seaside, but not as busy as London. I was tempted to Brisbane, but I can’t live that far from the sea. Also, very important is the weather, I can’t stand the cold and that is why we are moving. Another thing to consider is schools, I want to live somewhere where the public schools are good as well. With so much to consider and no time to go all around Australia to find out, I thought you might help us out on this one.


BobinOz April 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

If hot weather is important, as well as being close to the sea, then I would think your choices are Perth, or somewhere in the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast. Some people love Perth, I think it’s a bit too isolated, although I’ve never been.

My preference would be somewhere around the Sunshine Coast, may be Mooloolaba or Maroochydore, both are fantastic! The big downside of the Sunshine Coast is, apparently, there’s not much work. But if your husband can secure work there, it would be my best recommendation.


Brittany May 3, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’m so glad to have found this blog. My husband and I have been talking about moving to australia. Do you know of a good place to live where he could get a job in the coal mines? He has worked underground for 4 years now in Virginia.


BobinOz May 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I think Gladstone on the East Coast of Queensland is the place where most of the coalmining goes on, but it’s not the only place. I would check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, search for coal mining vacancies and see where most of the opportunities are.

Australia has lots of other mines as well, not just coal, maybe you should look into that too.


Andrea May 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Hi Bob,
Thank you for your answer on the 23rd of April. We are now definitely considering Brisbane, although is not in the seaside, but it has the southbank beach which would be good enough for our little girl to play on, so she wouldn’t miss Bournemouth so much and it is near the sunshine coast. Now, many friends and relatives are saying there are too ma and gold coast. But we are a bit concerned about something. Many of our friends and relatives keep banging on about a friend who lost a dog because of snake bite, or someone else who survived a cyclone, endless stories about dangerous animals, natural disasters and how this experience could turn in to a disastrous nightmare. I have read your article on creepy crawlies which has answered my doubts on weather I would sunbathe with snakes in my garden, swim with crocodiles in the pool or wake up to a bear eating my rubbish. But there is one more question unanswered, what about natural disasters? What can you say about Brisbane?


BobinOz May 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Yes, we have those too. Last year we had the floods and we also have the potential in some areas to have bushfires and it would not be out of the question for Brisbane to be hit by a cyclone, although they invariably occur much further north.

I don’t think I’ve missed anything.

Do remember that there is a possibility that many of your friends are doing their best to put you off coming to Australia, simply because they will miss you. Brisbane, as far as world cities goes, is pretty safe. I shouldn’t worry too much about it.


Elizabeth June 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Oh dear Bob, you obviously need to visit Perth, there’s plenty to do here. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to but they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about!

Perth is isolated from other Australian cities, but IMHO that’s part of its charm. Western Australia is a huge state as you have said, and within it you can find numerous wildlife species that are found nowhere else, as well as some of the finest wine and food in the world.

Perth has been voted one of the world’s most liveable cities ( I am the child of immigrants from the UK (London) and they love Perth as there’s plenty of room (affordable, large houses with gardens) as well as plenty of public open space (parks, nature reserves, national parks). In addition to the great scenery and nature that’s so close to the inner city, there’s also great restaurants, night spots, and events.

Perth is also home to a thriving arts scene. Many of the most popular Australian bands originate from Perth ( It’s a great place for anyone with creative flair to live (iconic Australian actors Judy Davis and Heath Ledger are from here, as is the famous pianist David Helfgott) – and famous international artists now call Perth home (Hank Marvin lives here, David Bowie is said to have a house here, supermodel Megan Gale is from here and returns here frequently). The Perth International Arts Festival is a major event that hosts some of the best artistic talent from throughout the world, we have a fantastic symphony orchestra (WASO) and a number of fantastic art galleries hosting local as well as international artists.

For those who want to check out more of the best spots in the most remote city in the world, I suggest you check out

Move here, you’ll love it! Great weather, great beaches, a relaxed lifestyle but still plenty to see and do. I have lived here all my life and am still discovering new things in my home city!


BobinOz June 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm

You are absolutely right Elizabeth, yes, I do need to visit Perth. In fact me and Mrs BobinOz have earmarked it as a very high probability summer holiday in January of next year. We hope to get over there for two weeks.

You are not the first person to point out to me that the isolation of Perth is part of its charm. I also know all about Perth’s liveable cities status, I’ve written a few posts about the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rankings.

So yes, I am looking forward to visiting because I really need to check Perth out for myself. There is, after all, a possibility that the people I have been talking to don’t know what they are talking about. Not sure about moving there though, I think I’ll just do the holiday thing first.




Paige June 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

Hi, I’m Australian and I thought I’d say what I know about some of these places. I came from a small coastal town in New South Wales and I’m living in Brisbane for university. Of the other capital cities I have been to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Brisbane – I used to think of Brisbane as a bit boring, probably because Sydney is my state capital. However it’s really grown on me since I moved here. If you want a really big city, go to Sydney or Melbourne. If you want close beaches (I don’t count the fake one at Southbank), Brisbane in not the place (unless the Gold Coast is close enough). I haven’t been wanting for things to do here and it’s also a friendly city. People say hello to the bus drivers and thank you when they get off the bus. That’s not a usual thing to see in Sydney. It’s like a mixture of big city and friendly town. If you want a quiet friendly suburb you can get that, if you want to party in the Valley and shop in Queen Street you can do that too. As a uni-aged female I can say that there is good shopping, although Brisbane doesn’t have Zara.

Gold Coast – I love shopping here, but I find some areas have an empty feeling. As in there are stretches of straight, nice beaches with endless hotels, some ritzy and some very shabby. It really depends which area though, because some are really nice. I love Rainbow Bay area the most I think.

Sunshine Coast – It might be that I’m from NSW, but this felt a bit too far north for me, like everything was happening further south. Noosa was kind of beach boutique-like. Great scenery though obviously.

Sydney – The eastern suburbs are beautiful but expensive. If there’s ever a crime story from Sydney on the news, it’s basically always “today in Sydney’s south-west”, so I wouldn’t recommend that area. The Northern beaches are really nice and laid back too. The CBD of Sydney is very impersonal and slick. No one smiles and you could be in any modern Asian city really. The harbour is stunning of course and each suburb is different. I have family and friends living in areas such as: Dee Why, Frenchs Forest, Newtown, Glebe, Ryde, Bondi, Cronulla, Balmain etc. Newtown and Glebe are trendy, Dee Why and Cronulla are beachy and Bondi is cool. Sydney has good shopping too of course. I didn’t move to Sydney because I thought it would be too fast-paced for me living in the centre and coming from a town.

Canberra – I was there for one day and from a tourist’s perspective had seen all there was to see. It’s quiet and there are roundabouts everywhere. The city does feel like it was just built out of nowhere (which it was). There were plenty of people riding bikes around the lake so if that’s your thing you might like it. Not sure of the night life, but there are a couple of unis. I was unimpressed with the shopping but I didn’t investigate too deeply. I think Canberra seems more boring because it is compared with Sydney or Melbourne. You might like it if you want to live in an inland place that has facilities and is a kind of centre of the area, but not a huge bustling city. I have a friend who couldn’t wait to leave Canberra, but that’s because she was really a frustrated Sydney beachy party girl. Canberra seems like a good place to raise a family and apparently there are plenty of good schools. I know someone who moved there to go to high school and they said it’s like everyone’s parents work for the government and they all seem like all decent people. When I went there everyone was really friendly too. I stopped and looked confused in the street and I was offered directions.

Melbourne – Melbourne’s got a very trendy image and is seen as the “culture capital of Australia”. It is a hipster paradise and has notoriously changeable weather. An English girl complained about the weather there to me, so that’s saying something 😉 It probably has the best shopping in Australia and certainly the best Myer store in Australia. Bourke Street and Chapel Street are good. You can go all out on your winter wardrobe just as much as you can the summer wardrobe. Lots of people really love Melbourne and say the people are friendlier than Sydney. I actually prefer Sydney, but I’ve never lived in either city, only visited.

I can’t go by personal experience on the other cities. Everyone I’ve met from Darwin has been super friendly but it’s really hot up there if you’re not used to it. Perth seems beachy and isolated, apparently with lots of South Africans, Brits and Asians. I think it would be a cruisy nice city, but far away. Adelaide has been called boring but I know three people from there who are my age and they all plan to go back there in future because “it’s a great place to raise kids”. Not sure about Tasmania really, I’d love to go there because it looks beautiful. These are just the major city options though, there are smaller options too.

Wow, what an essay of a comment..


BobinOz June 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Great to hear from you Paige, and thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough roundup of the places you’ve been to.

I’m with you all the way on Brisbane, and yes, people here do say thank you when they get off the bus. I haven’t seen that happen for many, many years, but it happens all the time here.

As for the rest of it, I’ve never been to Canberra, so I just don’t know. In the Melbourne versus Sydney debate, I vote for Melbourne. I can’t believe an English girl complained about the weather though :-) That is saying something!

I love the Sunshine Coast, doesn’t seem too far north to me, and the Gold Coast is what it is, glitzy! As for Tasmania, I give the place a big thumbs up!

Oh, finally, Zara, I’ve heard, is coming to Brisbane soon :-)


don wilson June 21, 2012 at 2:46 am

sir, can you tell me is uk or australia good for getting good salary jobs after graduation.


BobinOz June 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Yes, they are.


Dinesh July 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hi Bob, what am amazing service you are doing for so many people. God bless you! I am just completing my masters in biomedical engineering in a reputed Uni in London and hv just got my skilled professional visa for Australia for 18 months (provisional). Should be in AUS by mid October 2012. Time is of essence as need to bag something good within 18 months.

Grateful, if you could give some advice for the following:
1. From an Engineering perspective, which are the cities/ states that will have more options from a biomedical engineering OR mining/ Oil & Gas perspective. I am also a Mechanical Engineer and don’t mind looking at O & G, Mining industries as options.

2. I have basically short listed Adelaide, brisbane, Perth as my three options. However, do not want to restrict my relocation to these 3, as priority is from a job opportunity perspective.

3. Entry level engineering jobs, what would be the average salaries?

4. Are there any recruitment agencies that focus only on engineering jobs?

Thank you so much for your kindness and would be most obliged if you could offer some guidance.

Kind regards



BobinOz July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Hi Dinesh

Thank you, I like it when my website is described as “amazing”. Sorry to let you down though, your question is way too specific and specialised for me to be able to answer.

What I will suggest though, is you visit my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and do some research using the links on that page to the online Australian employment agencies.

You will be able to find out for yourself the kind of jobs available for what you do, the average salaries and the best places in terms of cities to find those jobs. Good luck!


Carol-Anne December 3, 2013 at 6:21 am

Mackay, Qld. Try and search mining and engineering in Mackay and Coalfields.


Sarath July 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Dear Bob,

I acknowlegde and appreciate your wonderful service helping people outside Australia by giving them useful informations.

I am an IT project manager work for Telecom industry and I was enthusiastic to immigrate to Melbourne or Sydney to live & work there. But for now, i have only option for South Australia as part of immigration conditions. Upon accepting, I must live in there min of 2years. So little confused if I need to take it up or hold on until next available chance for other regions?

What would be your thoughts on IT job oppurtunties, cost of living, education for children, Medical facilities etc in SA comparing to NSW or Victoria? Is SA also equally good?



BobinOz July 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I can’t advise you on that one, not sure if the offer for South Australia expires or maybe it will expire before another opportunity turns up. Obviously you don’t have to accepted, but you may lose it as well.

I can’t answer your specific questions about South Australia either, all I do know is if it were me, I’d go. Two years is not a very long time and then after that, assuming you convert to PR, you would be free to move wherever you wanted.


Justin July 31, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your excellent blog and sharing so much info with everyone!
I am from Malaysia & I have just received my PR as a skilled immigrant and I am in the midst of deciding which city to stay in. My visa allows me flexibility to choose wherever I want to live in. However, finding a job is really my concern now and I suppose the job I get will really determine where I will stay in the end. I am qualified as a mechanical & manufacturing engineer and I’ve been working for a semiconductor company for the last 6 years as a equipment & process engineer. I was wondering if you or anyone reading this blog would be able to suggest cities/towns/suburbs that I should start with that has lots of job opportunities in the manufacturing sector. I do love a nice quiet neighborhood but also easy & near enough to go into the city where I can go shopping! I plan to have kids soon so schooling is also up there! Being able to go outdoors and go to the beach is definitely in my books too!



BobinOz July 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Hi Justin

I can’t help you with this one, I don’t know where you will find the most work for what you do. But do take a look at my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to Australian employment agencies there to search for what you do, hopefully it will tell you where there are the most opportunities.

Good luck!


Alex August 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hey BobinOz!

Quick question for you. Do you know if there is a shortage of doctors? Because I’d love to move and practice in Australia.

Thanks! This website is brilliant, by the way!


BobinOz August 25, 2012 at 1:22 am

Pretty sure there is Alex, especially in rural areas. I’m sure you could find a way in if you have good experience. If you are serious, I’ll try to find out what the latest demand is, just let me know.




Nick Harris September 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hi Bob, I’ve only just found your website today as my wife and I were talking earlier today about our move here to Oz. My name is Nick and me, my wife and 2 young kids (4 & 8) migrated here to Melbourne last October.
We have been discussing the pro’s and cons of other cities, but we find it difficult to make an informed decision on where to live or “Which is best” as we haven’t physically been to any other cities (albeit a visit to Sydney when I was 14!!). So that’s where your site is fantastic as it brings together a whole range of views from a whole cross section of people, of various professions.
I would like to give our views on Melbourne, and Victoria, as POMs who lived near Oxford for most of our lives. We wanted a change, a better lifestyle, more opportunities for us and the kids, more outdoor lifestyle and…..better weather!!!
Firstly, the day we arrived, it was peeing it down and cold!! (Oct 21st), but by the afternoon, the sun came out and we were sitting outside having a cold one! 4 seasons in 1 day it certainly is!! I am a plumber and I am State Sponsored on a 176 Visa, and a Permanent Resident. I would advise any family coming here to get PR status as, if you don’t then you may have to go back to the UK if the work situ doesn’t work out straight away. It took 4 years and about £5K to bring my family here, but it has been worth it.
Although my work has been erratic, not constant, I am now getting a more steady stream of work as I specialise in Hydronic Heating (Gas Central Heating of Radiators) and due to the cold climate, Victoria is perfect for it!! Don’t get me wrong, I have just spent my 1st winter here and it’s like the UK’s version of Spring!! I was on a building site the other day and an Aussie Tradie said it was really cold (10 Degrees). I said “Try -3 degrees and snowing mate” That’s a typical winter’s day in the UK!!” I told him overnight it can get to severe temps overnight of over -15 Deg.’s He then said it wasn’t too bad in Vic!!
We have settled near our friends, in the Eastern Suburbs, and the infrastructure is very good. My wife works in the heart of the CBD and gets the train, on time believe it or not, every weekday. I work all over the Greater Melbourne area, as Hydronic Heating is a niche market, and I drive everywhere. Rush hour is the same as any big city, but there are lots of “Side roads” you can take to make your journey quicker due to the grid system which really helps.
My kids go to the local daycare and Primary School and in the Summer months Sunscreen is a must due to the lack of Ozone above Victoria. The daycare and Primary schools have a great ethnic mix of kids and my kids have really settled in. Indeed my eldest plays for a local soccer team and basketball team and we have made alot of new friends here, so quickly. We have just experienced all 4 seasons here and the summers actually last! They’re like Southern Spain, bloody hot! It’s only cold in the evenings and a bit in the day time from June, July and August. Today we were in a park and it was 18 Deg., but it felt like 21+.
As for the social life, well what can I say. So far, we’ve been to The Great Ocean Road, The Peninsula (Sorrento etc.), The Dandenong Ranges, The Macedon Ranges, about 20+ beaches in Port Phillip Bay, tons of beautiful parks, The Botanical Gardens, and we haven’t even been camping yet or gone skiing!! Oh, and then there’s that big city called Melbourne!!!!!! If you like sport then Melbourne’s the place to be. I went to the F1 GP which was brilliant, I’ve been to The Etihad Stadium to watch my local team “Melbourne Victory” play soccer and then……AFL I didn’t think I’d ever get into AFL but a friend of ours said support Hawthorn, from Day 1 and so we have. How lucky are we?!!! We went to The MCG, which is bigger than St James Park (My Wife’s a Geordie) and as impressive as The Nou Camp (Barcelona).
Going out there’s also The Crown Plaza which is absolutely massive! I’ve never been to Vegas but this will leave a lasting impression. Plus there’s trendy South Yarra and Richmond for good bars and restaurants, and then there’s the inevitable BBQ’s at home, and Roast dinners in the Winter!!
Living costs aren’t too bad. We manage to spend a weekly household food bill at Coles for around $200 and utilities are about $100 each, p/m. I would highly recommend TPG for internet or FoxTel/Telstra for the lot. TPG’s cheaper. Optus @ $40 unlimited sms and national calls on my iPhone works a treat and I get really good coverage, believe it or not?!!

We still haven’t settled 100% but we feel that Melbourne and Victoria has a wide variety to offer. We have been toying with Brisbane as the climate’s warmer and it seems to have the same to offer as here, but I’m still not made up. Maybe we’ll just stay put and see how we go??!!

Hope this helps as an insight to a nearly a year in, in Melbourne, from a POM’s perspective!



BobinOz September 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

Hi Nick

Sounds like you have settled in very well down there in Melbourne and thank you for providing us with so much information about life in Victoria.

Settling on which is the best city in Australia is a tough one, I suspect all of us who come over here from the UK are just taking a punt really, based on what we hear and read. Holidays help, but being on holiday is always different from real life and how many holidays can you have in Australia before you need to take the plunge?

That’s why it’s always good to hear how real people who have made the move feel about where they live.

I liked Melbourne when I was there, I’ve liked a few cities I’ve visited, but I really do think I am a Brisbane bloke; not seen anything yet that has really made me think about moving away. I’m sure you would love it up here too, but there isn’t much call for gas central heating in these parts, other than a couple months a year.

Your kids might go hungry.

And isn’t this country a great place for kids to grow up in? I think that’s one thing that we have been best impressed by, our daughter just loves it here and it just seems a great environment for her.

Totally agree about TPG, that’s who I use and I’ve also got the Telstra/Foxtel thing, not that I think much of Telstra. But who does?

Oh, Telstra.

Cheers Nick!



Nick September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Hi Bob, no worries!

If I can provide more info on living here in Melbourne in the future in the scope of work / lifestyle then I’ll do so if that’s ok with you mate?




BobinOz September 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Perfect! Thanks Nick.



Nick September 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Also Bob, if anyone has any specific questions about moving to / life in Melbourne, then maybe I can help?




BobinOz September 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

I’d love it if you would, that’s what these comments are all about, people helping each other. Check out my page about Melbourne and maybe subscribe to the comments there, then you will get a notification when anyone has a question about living in Melbourne.




Nick September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I’ve just become a member and subscribed to some of the posts mate.

I think your site is great. I wish I’d known about it back in Blighty!!

I just wanna help people with their queries if I can? I’m in Melbourne, as you know mate, so if anyone has any queries about where to live, go, work, lifestyle etc etc then maybe I can help?

I’ll do my best!



BobinOz September 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

You can be our official Melbourne correspondent, I don’t know much about it down that way, so any help you can give people would be great. Cheers!


Nick September 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

If I can help, then I will mate.

I can’t always respond straight away, due to work commmitments etc., but I will asa I can.

It’s a bold decision to emigrate, on your own or as a family, and there’s so much one needs to know how to settle properly. Maybe you and I, and a few others, did it the hard way but with your site mate then hopefully I can help a few Melbourne bound POMS!!!!

Bring it on!!



BobinOz September 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Thanks Nick!


Sarah Quirk September 16, 2013 at 6:21 am

Hi Nick…I have just been reading about your account of Melbourne. Im struggling with where abouts we should start our search for work. My husbands a deputy headteacher, I am a stay at home mum of 3 ages 5, 4 and 6 months. In short we want the outdoor lifestyle Oz has to offer, and good weather. The 4 seasons in one day is that a regular occurance. Generally whats it like? And beaches? Are they local?? I would appreciate any advice. Sarch Q


Sophie October 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Hi Bob,

We a finding it hard to choose between Perth and Adelaide…. If we just take isolation out of the equation, as this doesn’t bother us…. Can you or anyone else give advice or views on moving to one over the other? Cheers


BobinOz October 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I can’t really help with that Sophie, I’ve not yet been to Perth and I only spent 6 days in Adelaide.

You’re probably get a lot more information from reading the comments on my pages about both Perth and Adelaide, and especially from reading the comments, and there’s lots, on my post about the best cities in Australia.




Damo November 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hi Bob,

I’m an Aussie born in Darwin currently living on the Gold Coast. Thought I’d add some of my views on living in the NT.

Darwin: Very laid back place. The population is relatively young probably due to the workforce found there. Locals are very friendly and the social thing to do is a barbie (BBQ). There are 2 seasons, the wet and the dry. The dry season has the best climate of the 2, mildly hot in the day (29-30 typically), mildly cool at night (15-16 typically). Before the wet season there is a period where is gets very hot and humid called the build-up. Its the time of the year when moisture begins to buid-up in the atmosphere preparing for rain (and there is a lot of it during the wet). When the first rain comes, locals celebrate, I used to run out in the rain and let it cool me off. During the wet season, it gets hot when it is not raining and cool when it does. Another thing to remember about Darwin and any coastal place in Northern Australia is cyclones.

Now to get touristy. On any day, the CBD is usually quite deserted having only backpackers and locals know that the happening place is Casuarina which has the largest shopping centre in the NT. There is not much to do if you like the crowds, but Mindal Beach Markets always draws a crowd. You are correct about places to swim, however if you are into SCUBA diving, there are lots of remains of warships (see bombing of Darwin WWII) to explore which have been able to develop into reefs. Of course the Japanese have cut most of them up and removed most of the hulls, but in some of them you can still make out things like jeeps, munitions and machinery. Darwin is the gateway to Arnhem land where there is spectacular scenery and plenty of places to swim (kept as croc free as possible), but my place of choice for these types of activities is Litchfield park around 1-1.5 hours south of Darwin.

Alice Springs: I lived here for around a year. When you say Alice Springs, you think of Ayres Rock, but in fact Ayres Rock is around 200km SW of Alice. Alice Springs has a huge turnover of population (I think they call it vagrancy) so not many permanent residents. It is in the middle of the desert, but built on the north side of a gap in the McDonnell ranges. I can remember climbing the McDonnell ranges from the south side and seeing a spectacular view once we reached the top, but it is a long moderately difficult climb (no cliff faces, grade can get to 45 deg). If you choose this activity, it is important to remember where you left your vehicle as it can be easy to loose it in the scrub. The McDonnell ranges hosts a number of attractions as well such as swimming holes and chasms.

Thats it from me, I could also do a little bit on Katherine, but my time is running short. Thanks.


BobinOz November 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Great roundup Damo, I’ve been to Alice but I’ve not yet got as far are as Darwin, but I will one day. It’s a strange city in many ways, I’ve spoken to people who think it’s paradise on earth and others who think it’s a hellhole. I suppose it very much depends how you can cope with the climate for which side of the fence you fall on that one. No denying though, there’s some spectacular scenery up that way.

Thanks for taking the time to let us know a bit more about Darwin.




Shannon November 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

I just want to say this is my first visit to your website (found via google with just the right string of words apparently), and it has been the most helpful and real piece of information I’ve found on the internet on the subject.
Originally I was in contact with a company called “Work Enjoy Australia,” who came to recruit at the Culinary Institute of America, but after hearing the final bill for their help relocating, I have decided to try it on my own. I currently work for Marriott so my relocation will be based on staying with my company, but out of their locations in Australia, the Gold Coast looks just right for me!
Hope to be back for many more visits in the months to follow, thank you again!
Be well, Shannon.


BobinOz November 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi Shannon

Thanks for your compliments, I always enjoy those :-)

I hope you can find all the help you need my pages, if there is anything you need to know but can’t find, do ask as a comment and then hopefully I, or somebody else, will be able to help you out. Good luck with your move.




Molly December 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hi Bob,
Stumbled across your website somehow, not sure how I did it.
I am from Western Australia, and grew up in Kalgoorlie. I lived in Perth for 10 years and have moved back to Kalgoorlie this year. I don’t see how anyone who came to Australia would ever want to go back to another country. Biased, I know.

Anyway, Perth is a very easy place to live. As someone else mentioned, it has a great arts scene and aussie rules football/cricket/surfing etc are pretty big. Perth people are very proud ‘Perthies’ (if you know what I mean). Best beaches in Oz for sure, excepting ESPERANCE (quiet beach holiday here you come). Esperance beaches by far are the best. I dare anyone to come up with some better ones.

I live in Kalgoorlie, a small city of about 40,000 people. Plenty of work here, friendly people, 10 primary schools, 3 high schools, 1 university + technical college. Lots of community things to become involved in – theatre, music, sports, poetry, running clubs, 4WD-ing, naturalist clubs etc etc. Many people who come to Kalgoorlie ‘for a year’ end up staying for many more and shock themselves with how much they love it. I have my own business here and my husband works on different mine sites. No traffic jams here. And you can see the stars! Hotter and colder than coastal places. 6 hr drive from Perth.


BobinOz December 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hi Molly

I couldn’t agree with you more, I wouldn’t dream of going back to where I came from, I’m here in Australia to stay.

Obviously I’ve heard a lot about Kalgoorlie, for those readers who have not heard of the place, it probably is (I’m guessing) the busiest mining town in all of Australia. It is a bit in the middle of nowhere, but that explains why you can see the stars.

But being a busy mining town, yes there is plenty of work and therefore the people in the town have plenty of money. As I understand it, it has a thriving nightlife with plenty of stuff for all those hard-working blokes to spend their money on. It has a kind of “Las Vegas” reputation, sort of.

That said, I’ve never been, Molly is that a fair description or have I been misled by the media? It’s really interesting that you describe it as such a lovely small city, and it’s always good to hear directly from someone that actually lives there.

Thanks for giving us the info Molly, if I have continued the media misrepresentation in any way, please do put me straight :-)




Peter December 28, 2012 at 5:19 am

My name is Peter. I am nurse, graduated as Master of Nursing in Slovakia and currently working in London as nurse as well. I am definitely decided to move to Australia, but I can’t still choose which city I want to live with my fiance. We have shortlisted Perth, Brisbane and Gold coast. I read that you haven’t been in Perth yet, so maybe you can help us to choose between Brisbane and Gold coast. What are the prices of renting accommodation 1,2 bedroom flats or houses? Where is cheaper? We want to live close to beach, as close as possible :)
Brisbane or Cold coast , where is higher possibility to employ as nurse?


BobinOz January 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

As a rule Peter, the Gold Coast is more expensive for housing than Brisbane, but that obviously depends on where on the Gold Coast and where in Brisbane. I suggest you check out my page about Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

If being close to the beach is really important, then your only choice is the Gold Coast. That said, I prefer the Sunshine Coast and if you can get a job up that way, I would seriously consider it. At the end of the day though, I’d go anywhere where you can get work, stay for a couple of years and then move if you don’t like it. Good luck!


Christine December 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm


We recently moved to Darwin and I think it’s amazing! The build up is very hot and humid and I suspect this is what makes or breaks the place for some people. However, during this time you simply move from air con house to air con car to air con place. The wet is spectacular with lots of sun usually in the morning followed by a booming thunderstorm late afternoon/evening.

The shopping is great despite what you read on the web. People are incredibly friendly and go out of their way to help you.

There is lots to do: cafes, restaurants, markets, shopping malls, beaches, walk/cycle tracks round the city, wildlife activities, parks, Kakadu, Litchfield, etc. And, if you get bored of that Asia is just a short flight away. The place is very multicultural with people of all nationalities bringing their unique flavour to the area.

I always pictured Darwin as being this dusty ‘crocodile dundee’ type of place but it is nothing like that! The region is lush with flowers, palms, trees, etc., – a tropical spot. Despite the population being somewhere in the region of 170,000 there seem to be lots of people around particularly at the Casuarina shopping mall.

On the downside, housing is very expensive and eating out is generally on the high side.

Hope this helps!


BobinOz January 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Yes, it does help Christine and thanks for popping by to tell us about your experiences in Darwin. You are not the first to rave about the place to me, it has been described before as a hidden paradise. I’ve never been, but I can’t wait to go to see what it’s like. I suspect it’s not for everyone, because of the weather, but for those who do like it it probably is a paradise.

Glad to hear you are loving it there.




lorraine January 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

hello bob,
Just stumbled across your website and think its great so helpful.
myself my husband and our 2 children and our dog are looking into moving to children are 3 and 1 and having spent a year over in oz where i meet my husband we have always dreamt of making the move over permanently.
Just a couples of questions for you………. is it easy to rent somewhere with a dog ??
i went to perth about 8 years ago and found it very isolated but have heard it has come on leaps and bounds since i went.Wehave spoke to a agent who has recommended that we go to perth as application is easier and quicker then we can stay there for 2 years then try somewhere else have you heard of agents saying this ??
I am a hasirderesser and my husband is a gas operative ( he digs up the road to find and fix gas leaks)
the agent has told us to go on my visa but i have 2 small childrenn and dont want to be working full time so if we went on my visa does that mean i would have to be the one to work full time.
Also last question do you know anything about the gas set up overthere or where i can find info about it.
thank you for your time

i went


BobinOz January 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Hi Lorraine

Yes, I believe it is currently easier to get into Perth than some other major cities, but I think you have to trust your agent regarding the advice he gives you. Your agent also knows your full details, so you need to ask him about whether you would have to work full-time or not as he would know which visa he is applying for on your behalf.

If you don’t trust your agent, then you probably need to get a different one. I know nothing about the gas setup, by the way.




ciara niland January 13, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hello bob!just reading your cities where u think we shud llive?im 22 and i am a beauty therapist from ireland!my boyfriend is a painter and we ate thinking about moving to australia!we want to go somewhere not to quite or small and not expensive and not to hard to find jobs in this region wer do you think would suit us


BobinOz January 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I would take a look at my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and see which city or cities might offer the most employment for what you and your boyfriend do. That would give you a shortlist, then choose which ever one sounds best for you by reading the information about those places and the comments being made about them as well.

Good luck!


Rory January 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm


I am a born-and-bred Aussie, and I just thought that if you’re not exactly a city person, or wanted to experience something different, try Townsville or Cairns. They both have hot summers, cool winters and there is a (swim-able) beach less than an hour a way.

Townsville is very locally orientated, and for people who live there the bonus’ are high as. The Strand is a walking track next to the beach is also beautiful and is great for exersizing! There is also lots of little places that you can find if you go to the edges of the city 😀 Oh, and Maggie Island (or Magnetic Island)

Cairns is more for tourists, but business is booming because of it. I’ve also found that Cairns is more scenic, and has many places around it which are just beautiful – Atherton Tablelands, Port Douglas, and so many more out of the way places you can’t get anywhere else. If you have kids, send them to Cairns High School, not Trinity Bay (bad reputation). Or if you wanted a smaller school, move to Yungaburra, about 30minutes away up the hill and send them to Yungaburra State School (highly reccommend). Because of it’s size, it’s much more personal with the students! Cairns has a little theme park called Sugar-World which is great for kids of all ages and isn’t as busy or as costly as the ones on the Gold Coast. And you can’t forget Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

And for both of these places, it’s also very safe. Not from crime – though that’s very low too – but from bush fires. And the event of a tsunami is very low too, as the Great Barrier Reef breaks down large waves.


BobinOz January 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi Rory

Thanks for a great roundup of both Townsville and Cairns, both places are well worthy of consideration when deciding where to live in Australia. I’ve not yet been to either, but I will visit for sure.

Thanks for taking your time to add your views, it’s appreciated. For anyone else considering either of these places, I suggest you also read the comments on my page about Queensland, there’s quite a discussion on there comparing these two towns, well worth a read.

Thanks again Rory!



WILEY January 22, 2013 at 3:41 am

A shame that you didn’t mention some of the regional cities. Wollongong, Newcastle & Geelong that are provide options close to Sydney & Melbourne respectively, but yuo have not mentioned some of the regional cities that provide great option as as well as the decentralise our population.

80% of us live int he capital cities,

Try Launceston, Bendigo, Ballarat, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Mackay, Cairns, Townsville, Bundaberg, Bunbury, Albany

Many of these “mini” cities are lot smaller that European or Asian counterparts but still have city services and and a better lifestyle that most of the our Oz capitals.

PS I live in Melbourne


BobinOz January 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm

All Australian towns and cities with a population in excess of 10,000 are mentioned in my individual pages about Australia’s states. It would be quite an achievement if I were able to find the time to write reviews on every large city in Australia.

I do agree with you though, there are many more places to choose from apart from the capital cities.




Jema February 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

Great website! Thank you so much for putting it together. Think I’m going to go for Perth to start with, although some comments here have talked me into Adelaide a bit. :)


BobinOz February 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Then you probably need to check out my page…

… and be sure to read all the comments. That’ll confuse you :-)




Gareth March 5, 2013 at 6:44 am

Hi Bob,

Fantastic website, thank you! I have been reading with interest, in particular your city, state and suburb guides. I’ve also read through most, if not all of the additional comments and do realise that choosing where to live is obviously a personal choice.
I imagine it must be difficult to answer everybody’s questions (and probably a bit frustrating if you are asked to repeat yourself which must no doubt happen). I therefore hope I’ve not missed anything and am asking you something that I could find somewhere on the site (the state guides mention population b but not much on character of the place)
I’m relocating from the UK later this year and I think I’ve decided on Brisbane. I also feel that Sydney is too big and impersonal, and not for me. I’ve visited Adelaide, Darwin and Canberra and enjoyed visiting them but do not want to live there. I loved Melbourne as a city and enjoyed its ‘vibe’ as I am very into arty, music and quirky independent places. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Perth and agree with the positive comments from readers…it’s fabulous with excellent beaches. I enjoyed Cairns because of the scenery…I love the tropic weather, the bush, wildlife and rainforest.

I think I’ve now decided on Brisbane for a couple of reasons though, firstly, I’ve never been there! (probably seems a bit back-to-front reasoning but hey ho). Secondly, I enjoy the sound of the laid back, leafy, friendly environment I keep reading about as well as the ‘influential music city’ tag it has; the arty, quirky atmosphere I’ve read about and the proximity to both the sunshine and gold coast (also agree that from the articles I’ve read I’d probably more enjoy the sunshine, particularly the Noosa region).

So to finally get to my question; accepting that I need to get to Brisbane CBD for work and cannot live near a good beach (particularly for surfing) without commuting for 1.5 hours (sunshine coast) a day. Could you recommend any places that I could look into?
I’m looking for relaxed places with a community, arty feel. A little bit going on (live music, art exhibitions etc) as I will be re-locating alone and want to meet people, but retaining a quieter atmosphere. Houses with a bit of space rather than town houses or units in complex’s where everybody is a bit close to each other. Ideally with some independent shops and galleries rather than big chain stores. And with a mix of young professional and families and a ‘safe’ feel. To narrow it down, I was thinking about Northern Brisbane suburbs as it would be closer for me to get to the sunshine coast for a surf each weekend.

Would really appreciate your thoughts, as a Brisbane resident who obviously loves the place.



BobinOz March 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hi Gareth

Judging by everything you say, I think Brisbane will turn out to be a good choice for you. I think you will love everything about it, the weather, the laid-back feel, the open spaces, and easy access to both the hinterlands and the beaches of the Sunshine and Gold Coast’s.

But which suburb, that’s a bit more tricky.

Firstly, I think what you need to understand about Brisbane is that the music scene and the trendy pubs and places to go are all very close to the city. West End, Paddington and Fortitude Valley are the places to go for your quirky night-time entertainment. Living close to them though, that would be very expensive.

New Farm would probably be an ideal place for you to live, but that would also be very expensive as well. Paddington has quirky shops, Ashgrove is a quite trendy place to live as well, but all of these places are close to the city and therefore property is expensive.

I think what you are looking at, or should look for, is somewhere with good public transport access to these places so that you can easily commute in of an evening to enjoy the nightlife. I live in Western Suburbs, we often get the bus into the city (it takes 40 minutes) and then share a cab home, usually cost us around $20 each. Buses do run reasonably late though, my last bus home is at 12:10 AM.

I’m not hugely knowledgeable on the suburbs north side, but I do agree with you that somewhere around there would be ideal for you to live and would give you good access to the Sunshine Coast the surfing. But much depends on your budget, the closer you get to the city, the dearer it gets.

Hope that helps a bit.




Gareth March 6, 2013 at 5:31 am

Hi Bob,

Really appreciate the prompt response. I’m glad my reasoning so far seems to make sense. Your suggestion of living within a decent commute of those areas as well as work makes sense. I’ll do some research into each of the communities and suburbs northside. I did come across New Farm and Paddington actually, both look great, if a little too close to the city.

I’m probably looking at a budget of $400 – $500 a week rental initially until I can establish myself and eventually look to buy. I’ve noticed you get much more for your money further away (which works for me for a numbers of reasons anyway, as mentioned).

Thanks again for your help and keep up the good work!



BobinOz March 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I hope you find somewhere suitable Gareth, your budget is certainly in line with what’s around. Ask for a six-month lease to start, that way if you find somewhere that you prefer while you are here, you can always move.

Hope it all works out.



Steve April 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Hi Bob,

Am just too happy to come accross this website acidentally, I and my wife have been planning on which part of Australia we should go for, she currently wanted to upgrade herself in her carrier which is early childhood education as she wanted to enroll in some vocational training, we have 2 kids age 3 and1. Am a farmer please which place would you recomend for us to stay which i can easily get farm job all year round whithout having to be shifting here and there for work, aswell easy to raise up little kids.



BobinOz April 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Hi Steve

Glad you like my website, I hope it helps you find the ideal place to live here in Australia.

I have to say though, I’d be guessing if I were to try and advise you on where best to go to get a farming job, I know very little about that industry. Maybe somebody else might help you out here, other than that, I would suggest you go to my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and search for farming jobs to see what comes up using the links to the employment agencies I have there.

Wherever the most vacancies are would probably be the best place to head to.

Good luck



Dave April 24, 2013 at 3:00 am

Hi Bob,
I was offered a job (Auto Mechanic) with sponsorship in the town of Toowoomba. The company my wife currently works for has 3 clinics in Brisbane (kidney dialysis) so I was looking for a town midway between the two. What is Milden like? Or where might you suggest? We are coming from the states.


BobinOz April 25, 2013 at 12:32 am

Hi Dave

I’ve never heard of a place called Milden, so I checked my map, nothing there either. Can you check the name again?




Dave April 25, 2013 at 12:39 am

I think it must be a subdivision or maybe just a wide spot in the road between Marburg and Gatton on the A2. When I searched the site it said Milden. But the area between Brisbane and Toowoomba, is that nice?


Dave April 25, 2013 at 12:40 am

Damn, youre up kinda late arent ya? Big ANZAC day tomorrow?


Dave April 25, 2013 at 12:48 am

Shoot, its MiNden


BobinOz April 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Ah, I’ve got it, it’s just outside of Ipswich. Don’t really know the area that well, pretty sure there won’t be much going on in Minden though, I think you’ll find you’ll be living in the countryside, which isn’t a bad thing.

Any major shopping though, you’ll need to go to Ipswich, and any major major shopping, you might like to go to Brisbane.

Let me know what it’s like when you get there. Thanks, Bob


Dave April 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Will do, thanks Bob


BobinOz April 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm



Bala May 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

Hi Bob,

I have these two generic questions which is valid for all the cities. It might sound quite trivial but I am curios to know the answers nevertheless:

1. Do people use umbrellas more during rains or raincoats?
2. Is water from the kitchen tap safe enough to drink or do we need to buy drinking water separately from grocery stores?



BobinOz May 11, 2013 at 12:12 am

Hi Bala

1) I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone wearing a raincoat here in Brisbane, but I have seen the occasional umbrella. That might be different in some of the cooler areas Australia.

2) Yes, it’s safe to drink water from the tap although I have fitted a water filter for our drinking water, but then I also had one of those back in the UK.




Alison June 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hello Bob,
I have really enjoyed your website, it is entertaining and informative. I am a veterinarian from the USA just beginning the process of realizing my lifelong dream of living in Australia. I was originally looking for only locum work as I sort out where I would like to live long-term. After perusing your website, I feel as though I have a better understanding of Australia and I am actually considering some of the more permanent positions. I was also beginning to feel overwhelmed by the EOI and skills assessment process, but based on your posts, it seems that this is an arduous, time-consuming process for all.
Thanks again for the information.
PS. Baggy is an awesome name for a dog!!


BobinOz June 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hi Alison

Good to hear from you, and it’s great to know that I have helped you somehow in your process of moving to Australia. I hope you soon find work here in a town or city that you really like, be sure to let us know where you end up.

And yes, Baggy is an awesome name and he was an awesome dog, he is very much missed.




Erinn July 24, 2013 at 2:08 am

There are so many places to read about, it’s kind of overwhelming. But I’m determined to make a change! I’m a nurse from the US. I’m 25 and want to look into continuing my education too. I’m interested in somewhere moderately priced and with a good night life for 20-somethings. Can you steer me in the right direction?


BobinOz July 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Moderately priced probably means avoid Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast currently. From what’s left, probably the best places for nightlife would be Melbourne, Brisbane, possibly Hobart and probably not Adelaide.

Somewhere like Byron Bay might be worth a look, lots of youngsters there, it’s a bit of a hippie town and it does have quite a lively nightlife.

Without doubt though, the Gold Coast would be the liveliest place for someone of your age, so if you can’s find somewhere in your budget there, maybe that should be your choice.




Andrea August 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Hey Bob,

Just wanted to give my 2 cents worth as a born and breed Canberran. I have traveled all over the world to many different places and every time i come home i feel blessed. Canberra is surrounded by wildlife, its practically a massive country town which is why I love it. I’m an outdoors kinda gal and Canberra has a beautiful scenery,many lakes,is surrounded by national parks which are great for hiking, and a great nightlife scene (Once you know where to go! take it from someone who just got back from Vegas a week ago).
In regards to your friend, and to many other Australian who take joy in Canberra bashing (most of whom have never been here), I believe, through observations that is has become a fashion to hate on Canberra for no real reason. Especially young people who seem to always think the grass is greener on the other side (this is in every town, I know a 18 year old girl who just moved from the sunshine coast to Canberra for no real reason, she just thinks life is better here; also a friend from America who has the option to live anywhere in Australia but doesnt want to leave Canberra for any other city).
Canberra has man things to offer such as security, admittedly i live in a very reputable area, but i barely ever lock my house unless im going away for 2 or more nights and often i leave my keys in the ignition of my car overnight without any worry. Canberra is only 2 hours from some beautiful beaches and depending on where you live Canberra is only 2.5-3 hours from Sydney if you need some big city action, not to mention buses run between Canberra and Sydney every hour for approx $25. The weather in Canberra is also blown way out of proportion, at this moment it is winter and my door is wide open to let fresh air in, the sun is shining and the sky is clear and blue; Its been like this everyday this week asides from monday. Also people forget to mention our hot hot summers that are between 35c-40c in January and February. And lets be honest, you’re from Britain yes? I have been to Britain in the summer months and it was colder than here. I have many friends in Britain and one just messaged me about the weather, 14c, overcast and windy…. IN SUMMER!!! Most British people laugh at me when I say Canberra is considered a cold city. Finally in regards to the pollies, stay away from parliamentary triangle and Manuka and you will be fine.
So to wrap it up I completely disagree with what you had to say about Canberra, you should come here with an open mind to see for yourself. Its beautiful, cultural and although it may not offer that fast paced city life that many young people crave it is a perfect place for families and people who want to earn the big bucks. Canberra is its own bubble but once you are in you are living a safe relaxed life with an income that, in some situations is double what you’d be getting paid anywhere else (Im a 21 Barista around university and receive $25 p/h and that is normal). Sure Canberra isnt a tourist destination but when it comes to living and settling down, I cant think of anywhere else in the world!

Andrea, 21


BobinOz August 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Fair points Andrea, and I’m glad you took the time to make them, even though I think they were closer to 5 cents worth than two :-)

I have updated what I’ve said about Canberra in the above article, and you are right, I should really reserve my judgement until I’ve actually seen the place for myself.




Aqua October 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

I know I’m a bit late with this reply, but wow Andrea, anyone reading your post could be forgiven for thinking Canberra was utopia! I’ve been imprisoned here for six years and counting the months when I will finally escape.

Honestly, I don’t know what this lady is on about because, here, the weather is shite, the nightlife is shite, the lakes are brown, muddy and shite (i can barely even look at it let alone attempt to use it).It is also a very boring place for anyone with a bit of personality.It’s funny how she says if you want city life, just jump on a bus for $25 and you can get to Syd. If I want city life, I want to jump on a train and get to the city in under half an hour. And not to mention, people here are boring; comfortable in their cushy public service jobs, many can’t think outside their own world (sad that these are the people writing your public policy). The sense of entitlement people here suffer from is astounding.

Rant over. Anyone thinking of moving here, do your research. If its all about the money, then Canberra will be just fine. If you are hoping for a well balanced life, this place may not be able to offer you that.


Grady September 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hello Bob! I love your website and it’s the only one I go to when I want to know what life is REALLY like in Oz (videos of mowing the lawn, traffic, etc. love it!) Anyway, my question is about weather. I’m terrified of strong wind, cyclones and tornadoes (I was in a tornado. It was not fun.) So my question is, can you recommend the best and worst places for this, that you know of. (cheaper places if possible, I won’t be able to move anywhere very expensive no matter the weather) Thanks so much.


lived here my whole life September 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

Im not bob but still. If you hate crazy weather dont go any norther than Brisbane. Brisbane itself isnt that bad. the most stable weather is along the east coast in NSW. Melbourne can get quite windy and cold and wet but its much the same as the UK. WA is so massive you cannot really generalize although Perth is stable for weather. pretty much all Australia gets really hot in summer. (you wont hear people whinging about heatwaves as 30-35c as the did in the UK summer just passed) its normal for weather to get up around 35-40c in all the main cities.


Grady September 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

Thanks so much, that makes me feel better. I was actually looking at Newcastle or anything in NSW. I have no idea why I picked there. I’m in the US and I have no problem with the heat as long as I have air-conditioning but I do have a problem with cold. Where I live it gets into below 0 Fahrenheit and I hate it. Are there huge spiders in houses there? And can you get your house sprayed for them? Thanks.


lived here my whole life September 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

Ok, so you dont get your house sprayed for spiders as a general rule. You may get one every couple of months or so in New Castle (beautiful are by the way, good pick!) and they are big, think a leg span the size of a female hand. most people catch them in Tupperware and just put them outside (a laugh to foreigners, i know). Also it wont get anywhere near 0F, the cooldest youll get in the middle of winter will be around 60F in New Castle/ Sydney area.


Grady September 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Thank you :-)


lived here my whole life September 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

and we dont get tornados….


BobinOz September 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I might be able to change your mind about that, check out this post…

And also click on the links within it. Especially the one to the worst storm in 10 years, which was actually about 10 minutes drive from where I live in Brisbane.

That said, and I’m speaking to Grady as well now (hi Grady), very high winds are quite rare from Brisbane down to the south, although some places are windier than others. According to the statistics, Perth is our windiest city and Canberra is the least windiest. Has that suggests, I think the further inland you go the less chance you will have of high winds.

Newcastle would be a good choice from what I’ve heard as well, check out…

Thanks to you both, Bob


Kamal September 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Hi Bob
Pls tell me about job opportunties in brisbane .i want to go there


Obi September 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Hi Kamal. Seek is your friend.


Layla Turner September 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Having an artistic moment and I thought I would sum up each city I’ve stayed in with a few words, rather than a paragraph:
Perth – Sunny, sandy, cruisey, parks, vast, isolated, sunset.
Melbourne – Rainy, cultural, european-like, sporty, windy, surfing.
Sydney – Fast, grandeur, dark, trendy, designer-coffee, traffic-jam, vibrant, buzzing.
Brisbane – Quiet, pretty, parks, wildlife, leafy, hilly, koala’s, river, young.


BobinOz September 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I like this :-)

Darwin – Hot, wild, unusual, expensive, smalltown, parklands, rivers, crocodiles, traffic free and rugged.
Hobart – Countryside, lakes, waterways, four seasons, quaint, pubs, glorious food, cheap and stunning.
Adelaide – Bright, light, sunny, affordable, quiet, beachy, dry and friendly.


Layla Turner September 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

Layla likes this :o)
Adelaide sounds awesome, sounds like Perth, only cheaper.Could be the answer…


BobinOz September 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I really liked Adelaide when I went, the biggest criticism against the city is that there’s not much to do, but I think that’s one of the criticisms of Perth as well. So you’re probably right :-)


Layla Turner October 17, 2013 at 6:53 am

If I could pick anywhere, it would be Perth, as it cruisey, laid back, sunny, beachy and a bit alternative (some people may say rugged) but I kind of like it. I also have a history there.
Further north from Perth in WA is Coral Bay, Shark Bay and Exmouth – you cannot leave this planet until you have seen these magical places.
Just go – you will thank me and you’ll never regret it. WA is pure beauty.
I would happily go into debt to visit these places (and I’ve been twice already).
Just so you know my second choice would be Brisbane. :) I actually went and tried Brisbane for my 1st student visa in 2009, (Southbank Tafe) the only reason I changed to Perth Tafe was because I missed my support network in Perth and the only other reason for potentially not choosing Brissy in the future is that Brisbane itself has no beaches.


Sarah Quirk September 16, 2013 at 6:06 am

Hiya Bob, I’m finding your website an amazing help. We are just beginning our adventure to move to Oz. Finding “the” place to move to is something I am struggling with and I was hoping for a little advice. I love the idea of Brisbane but if Im moving to the other side of the world I want my morning runs to be along the beach. Do you have any suggestions? Is the sunshine coast too far from a city?? Any advice greatfully recieved. Sarah Q


BobinOz September 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hi Sarah

Brisbane might not be on the beach, but it is coastal. So you can do your run in the mornings along the “beach”, it just won’t be a golden sandy beach. I suggest you check out places like Sandgate, which is just built for that morning coastal run, and Manly.

On those days when you prefer to actually lie on a sandy beach, jump in your car and drive to Mooloolaba. Cheers, Bob


Sarah Quirk September 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Hiya Bob, Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. We are at the beginning stages but it looks like my husband will qualify for a 189 Visa, so its starting to look like it will actually happen. We have 3 children so I get waves of nerves, but I have just downloaded your book “20 reasons” which is really helping me to stay focused on the positives. Its also making it less scary, so I would like to say thank you for your blog, a brilliant idea!! So if you know of a school in Brisbane looking for a Deputy Head who specialises in Behaviour let me know :-) Thanx again and Im sure more questions from me will follow. Sarah


BobinOz September 18, 2013 at 12:46 am

Thanks Sarah and good luck with your plans, I hope it goes well. Yes, you will get a little nervous along the way, but push through that, I think you’ll find it will be well worth it not just for you, but your children as well. Thanks, Bob


New Zealander September 30, 2013 at 10:53 am

WOW Bob, you’ve really out done yourself on this one.
You seem to have written a blog about Australia, when you have clearly stated that you haven’t been to most of the places in Australia. (Typical Queenslander!)
I am from New Zealand, and I have seen more in 4 years of being here, than you have in your entire life.
Maybe next time you decide to write a blog on travel, How about doing some before you start. Its called Research!


Layla Turner September 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

WOW, New Zealander – bit harsh.
I would like to take this opportunity to stick up for Bob.
In my opinion, Bob has enough experience to write a blog on “Moving to Australia” and the related visa process, seeing as he actually HAS MOVED TO AUSTRALIA.
This is in fact is the subject he claims to be a SME on; not the subject of “Geographic and demographical factual information of all the states and territories in Australia”.
So pull your neck in, Love.


BobinOz September 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Congratulations on your first ever post on my website New Zealander and for taking the time to offer us your worthless opinion based on you reading almost nothing here. If you had bothered to read it you would have known what Layla has now told you, (thank you Layla) that this isn’t a blog on travel at all.

If you had taken a look around, you may have also stumbled across my Comment Policy which only really consists of one sentence, I suggest you do have a read of that before even considering posting another comment. And if you had read more of my website you might have discovered that I’ve been around a bit myself.

I have been on a road trip covering nearly 5000 kilometres which took me from Brisbane – Yamba – Port Macquarie – Sydney – Bateman’s Bay – Lakes Entrance – Melbourne – Warrnambool – Shepparton – Forbes – Dubbo – Goondiwindi and then back home to Brisbane and included 3 nights in Sydney , 2 in Melbourne , 3 in Warrnambool, a journey along the Great Ocean Road and one nights stay at all the other places mentioned.

I’ve also been to Alice Springs, Uluru, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney a further two times, Hervey Bay, Moreton Island, Stradbroke Island, too many places to even mention on both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay twice and in six weeks I’m going back to Melbourne again.

Maybe next time you decide to write a nasty comment on somebody’s blog, how about reading some of their posts first? It’s called research!


Rick October 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hi Bob, love your site, very cool.. My situation is such. I’m living the U.S Retired and would love to move to Australia. I’m in my late fifties, love the out life. I work out and Bike, swim, Love hikeing with my loving Golden retreivers. They love the beachs. I was told by many that the beachs are wonderful and I would be right at home In Aussy. My question is: Where would be a great place for me to migrate with great weather, wonderful people, and outstanding beachs as well as some good resturants or a pub or two. I’m not much of a party person, but enjoy a good glass of vino and a wonderful dinner. I also loke seclution, but willing to drive to a nearby city. I heard the westside is great, Queensland I believe. Can you give me some feed back,? Thanks Bob … Rick


Tina October 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Thx Bob… Now what …. we’re moving in a few months in Fremantle, and you say it is isolated. I hope we have the opportunity to discover new places in WA for a few months until we decide where and how to move on to new cities. We come from Croatia.


BobinOz October 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Yes, it is isolated Tina, but that’s not to say it isn’t a great place to live. I’ve not been yet, so I can’t comment too much, but I know lots of people who absolutely love it there and I hope you do too. If you find that you do like it, no need to go searching elsewhere.

Cheers, Bob


gurbaz October 20, 2013 at 3:30 am

hi Bob
i am mechanical engg student . now i live in India. I have planned study in Australia . But i am dilemma about Melbourne and Brisbane . i choose Griffith university which located at Gold Coast . I know Gold Coast is nice city and close to Brisbane , but there do not enough manufacturing industries where i can work and take experience related with my study . And another good thing is that my friend is Brisbane and he will give me full support .

On the other hand Melbourne is my dream city . But there engineering study is very expansive .there are lot of manufacturing and industries so there is lot of opportunities. I find one university in Geelong . That is good and match my course ,but it is far away to Melbourne and i would not like living there . i want live in Melbourne . But i do not have friend there .

Please help me which will better for me friend or my dream and opportunities . Please remember that i am international student i know you know it is very difficult for new student living in another country


BobinOz October 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I can’t decide this one for you, you need to do it yourself. The only thought I had is that you want to come here to study, surely you only really need the manufacturing industries that you think are missing in Brisbane when you have qualified?

On that basis you could live in Brisbane close your friend while you study and then move to where the work is when you complete your course.

Only a suggestion, as I say, only you can make the final choice. Good luck, Bob


Steve November 14, 2013 at 11:23 am

It is a hard one to way up. Raising a family in a place doesn’t mean that you will have a good income. My Wife and 3 children live up in Cairns, QLD. Beautiful place great for children but a struggle with earning potential. Cairns has the Highest unemployment in Australia and is now got the Highest Homeless people per ca pita. So what to do? We are originally from Perth and all family is based there. Should we move back so the children are close with there cousins and family members. Also Work is allot better in Western Australia yes Mining but also allot of other areas as well. My Wife and I dont like Perth’s Weather or the City much itself. We have to think of the children. They are the number 1 priority in this world. Missing out playing with there cousins and being around family might see them as allot happier individuals. Sure the rental is higher there but if your Income is allot higher you have to look at what disposable income you have after paying your expenses. If anyone else has been in this situation I would really like to know what someone else had decided.

Thank you Steve


BobinOz November 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Yes, tough decisions Steve, I hope you find the answer. I agree with you totally, the happiness of our children does take priority and also high rents aren’t such a big problem if you are earning high wages. It’s all relative.

I have no experience yet of either Cairns or Perth, but I hope someone reading this will help you.

Cheers, Bob


Steve November 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thank you Bob. I hope someone can lend me some information.

Thank you Steve


Karl November 18, 2013 at 11:49 am

What do you know about life in the fraser coast region? I am a physician from the US exploring an opportunity there.
I saw your video on fraser Island, pretty cool.


BobinOz November 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Karl

One of my regular readers, Gordon, has lived in a few places around Australia and he currently lives just outside of Hervey Bay and loves it! He says it’s the best place in all of Australia to live, but he has asked me not to tell everyone :-)

I’ve been there myself, but only for a long weekend, you can read about that in my post called Hervey Bay and Fraser Island: A Quick Look. I would describe Maryborough as a quiet historic town with a bit of character and a market at the weekends and you’ve already seen my video about Fraser Island

If you’re looking for any negatives though, some might argue that it’s too far away from any of the major cities, being at least four hours drive from Brisbane. So it can be a bit quiet, but Gordon will probably tell you that’s what he loves about it most.


adi November 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm


Your website is very informative and I appreciate you for the good work.
My query is about ‘profession’ oriented city. Like, which city has IT jobs?
I would appreciete if you can throw some light on this.
I am into IT and would like to know, which of the above cities have IT related jobs.



BobinOz November 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hi Adi, this question does get asked quite a lot but it is probably a moving target, what with supply and demand etc. I always suggest people go to my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the three links to online search agencies there to search for what they do to see what comes up.

In some of those search engines they give you the number of vacancies for each city if you search Australia wide, that will give you a very good idea of where most work is currently concentrated.

Good luck, Bob


Bala November 26, 2013 at 12:16 am


I agree with Bob here. I have been following the Australian job market actively for the past six months and there are quite a few websites that gives you these statistics by city. To give you a snapshot, I have generally found most number of IT jobs to be concentrated around Sydney and Melbourne. Perth comes next in terms of pure numbers. Every now and then I see a job popping up here and there for Adelaide and Brisbane. I have so far seen only 1 IT job in the past six months that is based in Hobart. I have not really come across any other city as far as IT is concerned, but there is an equal chance I might have grossly missed something here. So go ahead and do your share of the research. Do let me know in case you find anything contrary to what I mentioned above.



juliana December 2, 2013 at 5:21 am


You have a wonderful website and very informative. please i have a question to ask, would be coming to Aussie next yr on a study permit, please can i have a general and honest advice on which city is best for study and work..thanks,



BobinOz December 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm

That’s a really difficult question Juliana, I simply don’t know which is the best city for students in general.

All I can suggest is you look at my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia to see what takes your fancy and then maybe seek advice from my expert through my Student Visas page. Peter would be able to help you if you complete a free assessment.

Good luck, Bob


Lia December 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hi Bob – this really is a great site for anyone contemplating relocating to Australia – good on you for taking up the initiative. Okay my dilemma is I have cousins in Italy who want to move to Australia and start up a business (probably along the line of combined retail/restaurant/accommodation/nightclub/wellness centre) that they already have outside of Naples – they are wealthy but the economic climate and the issue regarding the ‘burning fields’ in Southern Italy have made them realise that for the sake of their children Australia would be a much safer place to be. How difficult is it for someone who does have money to move here and start a business – where do they start? thanks.


BobinOz December 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Thanks Lia, glad you like.

There are more than 130 different kinds of visas so there might just be one to suit your cousins, the trick is finding out which one. I recommend you check out my Visa Assessment Service which is conducted by my MARA agent.

He would be able to advise your cousins exactly what options they might have or, if they don’t have options, what they would need to do to improve their chances of getting here.

That would almost certainly be the best place to start.

Good luck, Bob


olajide babalola December 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

to me i prefer queens-land


matt December 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Hello Bob,

just wanted to say you were a bit hard on Perth 😉
I love living in Perth (11 years now) and ok it is the most isolated city in the world but you would never know that – Asia is close Bali/Thailand/Singapore. There is so much to do here, especially a great place to raise a family.
So many free events, very clean and the beaches are so beautiful. Lots of good job prospects.
In the last 11 years it has changed from a large country town (food shops open only working hours, yes – restaurants displaying open to late were closed at 8pm!) to a big booming city. Food shops are now open to 9pm every day of the week and they are getting 70 Aldi store opening here in the next few years! 1.7 million people in Perth that is like Birmingham, Manchester and Reading’s population combined!
Just need an M & S, Argos here and daylight saving and we will all be happy 😉

Did you end up visiting in the end – you were talking about this summer – if you do, make contact and come over for a BBQ :)

PS keep up the great work with the site



BobinOz December 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Ha ha, good luck waiting for that M&S and you are not the only one, I miss Argos too.

Thanks for sharing your views on Perth with us, I do realise my write-up isn’t very helpful, but what can I say when I haven’t been? You’ll be pleased to hear that I have added a link to this comment (and one to a comment by Elizabeth) below my write-up to give a better view of Perth, from people who know.

Sadly our planned trip to Perth has been delayed; when Mrs Bobinoz broke her leg we had to reschedule our Melbourne holiday and push it into January so Perth is now looking unlikely for this summer and I don’t really want to go in winter.

It is now top of my list, so it will be soon, hopefully.

Cheers, Bob


Big Mike December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Couldn’t agree less. It’s a second rate Boganland with no culture, poor facilities and nothing to do.

Maybe living in Perth made your maths bad – Birmingham has 3.6m metro residents… and a hell of a lot more to do at weekends.


matt December 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Big Mike – I’m average at Maths but I hope both Google and Wiki are correct when I initially searched “population of Birmingham UK” that displays 1.074 million.


ononna December 8, 2013 at 12:35 am

I got chance some universities in Sydney & Brisbane for my higher studies . pls tell me which City will be better for – to live, education, income & for the future residence between Sydney & Brisbane(Queensland). Some people are saying that, it is easy to get P.R. in Brisbane than Sydney…. is it true? Just want to know, whether the salary(per hour) is equal or not between Sydney & Brisbane…… If Yes , then What will be difference

I’ll be very very grateful to you if you ans my questions……..PLEASE


BobinOz December 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

An impossible question for me to answer, too many variables. I’m afraid you’ll just have to decide for yourself on this one.


Eliza Steyl January 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Dear Bob and residents of Brisbane and Perth,

I am a British Secondary school teacher in the UK. My husband is South African and works nights as an electrician’s mate on the underground. We have two young daughters 7 and 3 years. We are moving to Australia this year but still undecided on where.

The initial plan was Perth, but there are factors that are making us unsure about our choice since doing research and reading up on places like your extremely helpful website and other forums.

So I’ve made up a list of pros and cons of Perth and the second possible destination Brisbane.

Perth Pros
Lots of work available for secondary teachers
Good salaries
Good place to bring up young kids
Lots of parks
Quiet and peaceful
Up and coming city?

Perth Cons
Not much to do for kids
Dry heat

Brisbane Pros
Good climate
Nice green and leafy
Close to Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast
Close to waterparks
Job opportunities for secondary teachers in 2015

Brisbane Cons
Has had floods

And that’s all I can think of for now! Pease can I have some advice, we need help deciding! Thank you so much.



BobinOz January 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Provided you can get work in Brisbane, I would choose it all day long over Perth. One main reason, the isolation. Brisbane, by the way, is also a good place to bring up kids and you choose the right area, can be very quiet and peaceful with lots of parks as well.

As for your concerns about flooding, please read my article called Brisbane and Queensland Floods: Should We Avoid Living There?

Obviously other people will have different views, but I’d go for Brisbane, well, I did :-)


Eliza Steyl January 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Hi Bob,
Thank you for the swift reply. There is one more thing I have read about Brisbane which is putting me off and that’s the humidity. Is it true about hanging clothes to dry and them staying wet? I don’t like the thought of being so sweaty!! And I also read the sun goes down by 7pm the whole year round?

And lastly, if there are any secondary teachers reading this, maybe you can help? I am applying for teacher registration (either Perth or Brisbane). Will I need to start from the bottom and redo all the teaching standards even though I have 5+ years of experience?

Many thanks


BobinOz January 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration about the humidity here, although we have a tumble dryer :-) Seriously though, I don’t think it’s ever been the case where clothes simply don’t dry on the line, somebody, somewhere, is having a bit of a joke with that one.

As for the sun going down at 7 PM the whole year round, rubbish, during winter it gets dark at 6 o’clock :-). Queensland needs a debate on daylight saving time and the current murmurs is that we might just get one.

Cheers, Bob


Sophie March 12, 2015 at 11:56 am

We are thinking of Brisbane for our family of 5. Partner, kids 7, 3, 1 (From NZ)
I know that all cities regardless have undesirable areas.. could you point out which area in brisbane are most family orientated and a very good school? Preferbly a well sought after highschool. We are from Auckland, and what I love about auckland is our diverse background and multiculturalism. Is brisbane similar?
crimewise, which suburb should we look out for or stay away from?

Thanks bob!


BobinOz March 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

There aren’t really that many ‘bad’ suburbs in Brisbane Sophie, it’s all pretty safe. We have a few not so good suburbs, I’m not going to list them, but if property prices seem much cheaper than elsewhere, there is your clue.

My page called Which school? can help you research the best schools in the area, but my understanding is Kenmore High has a good reputation, so if you can live anywhere in their catchment area it would probably be good.

Brisbane’s Western Suburbs are very family friendly and safe as well. Good luck, Bob


Layla January 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Hi Eliza

Thought I would offer my opinion. I have lived in both cities, but Brisbane only for a few months, Perth for a couple of years. I would consider living in either city, I think both are great.
The two reasons reason I pick Perth Over Brisbane?
Reason 1 – Perth has easy access to beaches, they’re right there, beach culture very accessible whereas in Brisbane, beaches are a drive away – although only a short drive, in Goldy and Sunshine coast.
Reason 2 – My friends are in Perth.

That’s it! Both cities are amazing and have many positives, Perth has a bad rep for being isolated, you don’t really notice it when you’re there though. Closer for visits to family and friends in Europe – that’s the way I see it. :)
Also Perth is not boring, there is plenty to do, and WA is so beautiful and unspoilt; however not every city suits everyone, try living in Brisbane and Perth temporarily, you honestly don’t get a good feeling for a place until you’ve tried living there.
Perth is however expensive because of the mining boom. But there are more jobs.

Hope this helps :)


Eliza Steyl January 18, 2014 at 6:07 am

Thanks Bob and thank you Layla for your opinion! Greatly appreciated!

I’ll let you know how we get on, and where we decide to go.



Kamma January 23, 2014 at 12:17 am

Bob, Bob, Bob, BOB! What’s the water like?!
… That seemed less silly in my mind, I don’t know how, but it managed.
Anyway. The drinking water. What’s it like? A ridiculously pragmatic question, sure, but an important one. Is the water hard or soft in the various cities?
And similar deeply pragmatic questions.


BobinOz January 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I haven’t seen limescale since I’ve lived here. Brisbane water is certainly soft, I’ve been to nearly all the other major cities and water seems soft in all of them.

An even bigger clue, supermarkets don’t seem to sell dishwasher salt, so I’d say it’s soft.

Cheers, Bob


Rosanne February 4, 2014 at 1:49 am

Hi there,
We’re hoping to move to Crookwell, rural NSW, about 1h 30 min from Sydney . We’ve done a fair bit of research on the area but I was just wondering does any body else live in the area and how would they rate rural life?. We are living in Ireland in a very remote spot so isolation would not be an issue for us.
Wish us luck with Visa process!!!!


BobinOz February 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Yes, good luck with your visa process :-)

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live the rural life as well, but as I live in Brisbane, I don’t know so I can’t help.

If nobody here can help, it may be worth asking this question on my page about New South Wales, you’ll find the link if you hover over Australian States in the main menu above.

Cheers, Bob


joanna February 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Hi bob,
I have question about drive licence.
Did you exchanged drive licence or you needed apply for drive licence in queensland?
currently im in ireland and i will move to queensland as well.and looking for solution for drive licence because i will need to drive in OZ.
for any info thank you so much..


BobinOz February 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Hi Joanna

Well, I got here six years ago and all I had to do was walk into a Queensland Transport shop, present my full UK licence, pay some money and they gave me my Queensland license. I just phoned somebody I know who has only been here for six months or so, apparently it’s still the same.

So, as long as your Ireland drivers license is treated the same, then yes, no problem at all.

Cheers, Bob


joanna February 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm

thank you Bob..
i appreciate for that..


Steve Vachon February 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

Hi Bob,

We are a family from Montréal, Québec. we’re planning to stay in Brisbane for 6 months (july-december) 2014 with my wife and our 2 kids (13-11).

We want them to enter an Australian private or public school to continue their studies in English during that time. Both teens are quite good in English because here in Montreal they already have bilingual courses in French and in English.
It will be a nice life experience and we’ll improve our English.

For this 6 months period, if possible, we want to live with a family but be able to cook for more independance and privacy. But we want an “interaction” with an australian family and be able to share activities and many more with them.

We’d keep the last month (december) for traveling around the country before going back to Montréal.
We’re already working on it trying to find a school, family and are open to any suggestions.

Maybe you can help us about the area to stay in Brisbane or the schools and the families.

Thank you.

Steve, Andrée, Marisol and Édouard.


BobinOz February 10, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Well, I can’t help you directly, but if anyone reading this wants to be put in touch with Steve, Andrée, Marisol and Édouard to talk about the possibility of offering them a home to share, just answer in the comments below and I will email you both so that you can talk to each other direct.

Cheers, Bob


Steve February 11, 2014 at 1:50 am

Ok, have a great day
Thank you


Sean February 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

just thought I would start by saying what a fantastic website.
My family and I are considering moving to Australia from the UK. My wife is a degree qualified nurse and I am an engineer, so after much investigation we have decided on Brisbane as we feel that this would be an ideal place to live. My daughter loves her football and I am a keen mountain biker so the location seems just right. The difficulty comes when planning a pre move holiday so that we can check out the job status, education, housing etc. Trying to fit this in around the UK school holidays is a nightmare. Would a visit in August school holidays put us off? Or should we wait till December?? Australia is a vast place and all my friends that live there are not in Brisbane so getting advice is not always easy.

Any suggestions??

Best regards



BobinOz February 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Hi Sean

Thanks, glad you like the website.

Are you asking if August would be a bad idea because it’s winter here? The thing is, we don’t really have proper winters, the weather is actually usually quite good in August. We’ve got over the worst of winter when the temperatures can drop as low as (giggle) 20° C or less during the day, and by August (depending on when in August) it has generally started to warm up quite nicely.

25° C or more can be quite common, a few years ago we had one 36° day in August, but that is highly unusual. So I think it’s a good time of the year to visit.

If your concern surrounding in August visit is not to do with the weather, let me know and I’ll give you an amended answer.

Cheers, Bob


Frances February 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

Hi Bob – i’m considering moving to QLD from New Zealand but I’d love more information on Cairns and I’ve noticed there it isn’t mentioned much on your site. I’ve only really visited Cairns briefly once before.
Thanks! :-)


BobinOz February 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Hi Frances

No, I don’t have a specific page about Cairns but there is a lots of chat about the place on my page about Queensland. Have a good read of the comments, you should pick up some useful info.

Cheers, Bob


BobinOz February 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm

And, of course, what Steve says below. Thanks Steve!


Steve February 17, 2014 at 11:19 am

As to the comment above I will give you my summary. OK Cairns beautiful place couldn’t ask for a better looking city. Mountain ranges in the back drop beach around 15 — 20 mins drive. Beautiful climate in the winter. Wet season can be hot, wet and very humid but only for around 3 months. My wife and I have 3 young children and they like it here. There is just one thing though to enjoy this climate and its outdoors you need a decent income. Unfortunately Cairns has the highest unemployment in Australia and work wise is not the best. There is very few full time jobs with most as casual, part time. The money is not great too. I have spoken to a few people that have come up from NSW or Vic and they have taken quite a significant pay cut. At the end of the day you have to be happy where you live, but you need to go where the money is. ITs all very nice to dream about living on a tropical island but where does the money come from.

All the best.


Chris March 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm

What about Newcastle. I have lived in Newcastle Australia for 7 years also from UK. I have worked from Brisbane to Karratha in those 7 years and am always glad to be going back to Newcastle. Always voted best/clean beaches in Australia and has 2nd largest salt water lake in the Southern Hemisphere Lake Macquarie. Great way of life, it is a big country town really that has all the shops you require, the Hunter valley with untold wineries.
It is my opinion that it is the best place to live in Australia I have been, but in all honestly it is not a place to holiday for more than a week.


BobinOz March 4, 2014 at 12:59 am

Sounds like you are giving Newcastle a big thumbs up there Chris. I have not specifically excluded it, but on this page I just decided to concentrate on Australia’s biggest cities. I’ve driven through Newcastle though and yes, the coast down that way is quite spectacular; Budgewoi, Swansea, The Entrance, all good.

Australians like Newcastle as well, see Newcastle, New South Wales: Australia’s Fourth Most Liveable City.

Thanks for letting us know what you think of where you live, it’s appreciated.

Cheers, Bob


Timur March 8, 2014 at 8:12 am

Hi Bob,

I am gay. Also, I am a single father of 5 yo babygirl. Have just received our Australian PR.

What suburb in Quensland can you recomend? I wish we stayed in a gay friendly environment. I have only 400 000 AUD cash and can not spend more than that as of now. So it looks like I can afford only Qld as housing cost in other states is beyond any logic.

PS. I come from a third developing country, look asian, and English is not my first language.

Thanks for advise.


BobinOz March 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm

It’s not really possible for me to recommend somewhere for you to go in Queensland which is absolutely huge, bigger than most countries, on the basis of you supplying me with one piece of information. But here goes.

I’m not the best person to ask about this, but I’m pretty sure the only place for you to go in Queensland where you have any chance of finding gay friendly bars or clubs, for example, would be Brisbane.

Then you will need to head to Fortitude Valley where ALL the clubs and bars are, and look for the gay friendly ones. I honestly don’t think Queensland has an area that has a reputation for being gay.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have gay people here, I think it just means live where you want to live and mix with people how you always mix with people. The alternative is to go to Sydney where they do have specific gay areas, very expensive, as you have noted.

Good luck, Bob


Timur March 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Thanks Bob,

This is valuable information.

What suburb you live in? Can you recomend it for settling?


BobinOz March 10, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Well I live in western suburbs Timur, I like it, but it’s very quiet and a bit like living in the countryside, lots of green fields around, not many shops and a fair distance from the city. Where I live would drive some people nuts, but I like it.

I think you need to decide what you want out of a suburb before anyone can recommend anything to you.


sj March 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Hi! Bob,
Thanks for that great info about every city. I would like to know how is the current job situation for I.T professionals in Brisbane, I’m planning to migrate to Brisbane. Please let me know.


BobinOz March 20, 2014 at 12:11 am

Then you need to go to my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to the online employment agencies to search for exactly what you do. That’ll give you a good idea of the opportunities not only here in Brisbane, but elsewhere around the country.

Cheers, Bob


Nicky W March 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

Hi Bob, your website is currently our most visited place ! as we have just decided to move to Oz and I am reading up on real life stories. I am an NZ citizen so we are all going in on my passport and subclass visas and are seriously considering Brisbane as our destination. Can you put to bed 2 debates indoors – 1, Brisbane is very humid in the summer almost to the point of not being enjoyable and with that humidity comes the Mosquitos ie you can’t leave the house without being covered in bug spray and 2, it gets dark really early – much earlier than in other places. Can you let me know your thoughts when you can please much appreciated.


BobinOz March 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Hi Nicky

Yes, I certainly can help out with your two questions.

Firstly, Brisbane isn’t as humid as you make it sound, I reckon on average there are about five weeks a year when it might get very uncomfortable, especially at night time when you are trying to sleep. Ceiling fans can take care of that and/or air conditioning.

But if you can put up with those five uncomfortable weeks, the rest of the year is mostly glorious, if you prefer hot weather to cold weather than Brisbane is for you.

Mosquitoes? Yes, they are a pain, but I stopped using bug spray after the first year of living here. I simply decided I did not want to put the chemical that goes by the name of ‘deet’ on my skin. Google it and you might feel the same.

I can tell you it certainly doesn’t stop me leaving the house and I definitely do not have a mosquito problem anywhere around my house. There are things you can do to reduce mosquitoes, the biggest one is not to live too close to the river and not to have stagnant water nearby.

As for it getting dark early, yes, it does a bit. In the summer it’s dark by around 7:15 PM, maybe 7:30 PM, and in the winter it’s dark earlier, something like 6 o’clock. Most people are angling for daylight saving time, certainly in Brisbane and the surrounding area, but those who live in North Queensland, many of them farmers, love that it gets light at 5 o’clock in the morning.

It’s one of those things, I’d rather it stayed lighter a bit later, but it’s not a dealbreaker for moving to Queensland.

So, in conclusion, the answer to your first question is no and your second question yes.

Cheers, Bob


Trish March 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Hey Bob, I’m 28 yr old Irish girl and single thinking of moving to Brisbane. I’ve decided on state sponsorship so don’t have to worry about some of the dramas that go with a 457 visa. My main concern is what life is like in Brisbane? How easy is it to meet new people, what the social scene is like, outdoor sports and standard of accommodation. I Lived in Melbourne for nearly a yr and wld have liked to return there permanently but I dont have enough experience as an Accountant. I’m used to the Aussie culture but every citys different. Any tips or advice wld be great :-) Cheers


BobinOz March 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Hi Trish

Life in Brisbane is pretty good, and it seems to get better each year. Socially there is plenty going on, most of it happens in the city, but it is a very accessible city. There is a pretty lively music scene going on in the city to suit all tastes. The West End, Fortitude Valley, Paddington, lots to do and plenty of places to go.

If you want to live in a lively suburb, you’ll need to choose carefully. The closer to the city the suburb is, (usually) the livelier it is. Brisbane though isn’t as vibrant as Melbourne, but it doesn’t do bad.

Accommodation is pretty good, it’s definitely the place for outdoor sports and I see no reason why you shouldn’t find it reasonably easy to meet new people and make friends.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Good luck, Bob


Cecilia April 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

Hi Bob, thanks for the awesome information. Brisbane sounds great! I’m an interior designer planning to move in australia. What do you think should my first step be? Apply for the permanent reaident visa? Or try to find some job offer first?



BobinOz April 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Have a read of my recent post about jobhunting.


asia April 7, 2014 at 8:55 am

hi Bob..
im wondering about salary..
if i will have income about 800$ australian and my partner income about 1000 australian dolars ….And we will live in Beerwah area… means not in big city…
Is that amount for 2couple and 2children (primary school) will enough for survive and live with calm every day?im aware of that ,there are people spend money for different things in life and for some maybe not enough money when for other is ok amount of money.. But what im asking about average outcome and income….
cheers and thank you for any info…


BobinOz April 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I assume you mean weekly salaries, so $7800 a month or just over $93,000 a year?

If that’s the case, yes, I believe that would be sufficient to, as you say, live with calm. Always a difficult question to answer, everyone has different outgoings, but as long as yours are not excessive, I think you will have a reasonably comfortable lifestyle.

Good luck, Bob


Rick Boutcher April 11, 2014 at 12:13 am

Hi Bob. . . . It is I, Rick who lives in the Philippines.
I have got to hand it to you Bob, your web here about living in the P. . . (hahahah! I was just going to say Philippines) Australia is so much fun to read and super informative for people who are considering the move. What a service you are offering.

Like yourself, I am not a city person. I hate Manila as much as I hated New York City. Where Priny (My wife) and I live is a place called, Carosucan Norte which is a little village within the township of Asingan in the Provence of Pangasinan. To get to were we are is 8 hours of driving up into the mountains and jungles of the Northern Island of Luzon. Like you I enjoy the very tranquil, lay-back and super relaxed atmosphere. But than I am retired.

But I stray, this is about you and how you are providing such an amazing service from your absolute love of your adopted country of Australia. Congratulations on your citizenship. It is so nice to read the thoughts of someone,such as yourself, who has made a very major decision in his life (which also included that input of your family), grabbed the bull by the horns and threw it to the ground and did what their mind was set on. Bravo and may the happiness of everything always shine down on you and your family

Rick. . . .Oh by the way, Harry says, “Hi”


BobinOz April 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Hi Rick

Sounds like you have found your own particular P….. as in Paradise. Certainly a lot more remote than I am here living on the outskirts of Brisbane. Although I live in quite tranquil countryside myself, I can be in the city by car within 30 minutes.

So you are certainly living in more tranquil surroundings than I am.

I always say we only live once on this planet so why spend it all in one place. That’s why I think moving to another country is a good idea, just, if nothing else, to try something different. Looks like that has worked out very well for both of us.

Cheers, Bob


Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze April 11, 2014 at 2:58 am

Hi Bob,

Hubby and I live in Tallangatta, Victoria, 48 km south of Albury, NSW. Hubby has a business in Albury, but we’re planning a move just across the NSW border into Coolangatta, QLd.

The winters down here are killing us and Tallangatta is too small and quiet, not that there’s much happening in Albury.

Nick is an Aussie, but I’m from Nelson & Victoria, BC; I did spend some time up in Fort Nelson, BC with -48’C, and I can’t stand the cold. Coolangatta seems just about right weatherwise, and populationwise. What do you think?

P.S. I’m an Aussie now, but look forward to a visit to Canada in the summer.


BobinOz April 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Well, you won’t complain about the winters again if you move to Coolangatta. I can’t tell you exactly what it’s like to live there, I just don’t know it well enough, but I’ve driven through it a few times, looks lovely.

Good luck, Bob


Kungfunina May 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Hi Bob,
I’m an Australian (from Sydney) who has lived in the UK for over 7 years now. I’ve always said I’ll return to OZ to have a family but each time I return Sydney feels too congested, people too obsessed with work and making money and the transport sadly is horrible (that’s why you need to drive…and then you are stuck in traffic forever)

I am searching for a place to call home here. Living in Sheffield UK amongst lush country green, I would like to find somewhere similar (lush green not bush green) and ideally within distance to a local non tourist beach. Basically I would like a Byron Bay/ Sunshine coast village feel with a little personality and culture like the likes of Melbourne etc I know it sounds like I want it all…but I really just want a simple life that has enough to keep me stimulated yet has a vibe of community and good for future kid/s growing up.

Does anyone have any ideas or recommendations? I’ve travelled a lot of OZ to find my answer but it seems a difficult decision to make. I love my England but I definitely love and miss my OZ and the sunshine : )

Many thanks


BobinOz May 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm

That’s a tough question, and it’s also the sort of place I’m looking for myself, not for right now, but in eight or nine years time. Byron Bay is about the best I’ve come up with myself so far, but I’m still looking.

Worth a look, if you fancy living down that way, is Mornington on the Mornington Peninsular just outside of Melbourne. Nice vibe for a small place. Also worth a look, although I haven’t been I’ve just heard, is Newcastle and Lakes Entrance.

Good luck with your search, if you find exactly what you’re looking for, do let me know :-)


Les May 2, 2014 at 5:51 am

try the area south of Adelaide. I loved spending time there and it is close enough to the city.


BobinOz May 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Yes, Adelaide is a possibility, it’s a bit quiet down that way but the beauty is you can live ruraly and by the sea and still not be far from the city. Good idea Les, thanks.


Les May 3, 2014 at 5:49 am

The other thing to watch is that with the closing of the auto plants in the region, it could become one of the more affordable housing markets in the country. It is also a part of the country that has real seasons instead of just one.


BobinOz May 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm

We have seasons too you know, here in Brisbane; hot and warm :-)


Pauline May 5, 2014 at 1:40 am

Hi Bob,
My family and I are thinking of moving over to Australia and seem to be more drawn to Brisbane. We have two children age 5 and 8, my husband is a chef and I work in HR.

From what I’ve read on your website, Brisbane sounds like a great place to bring up the kids but what area would you recommend? We are also a little confused about schools, how soon would we need to register the kids in school, is it something we would need to arrange before we got there?

Great website and any advice would be appreciated.



BobinOz May 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Hi Pauline

It depends what you want from your suburb really, quiet countryside, cafe culture, coastal views, busy nightlife? Generally speaking, north of the river is probably better than south and where I live in Western Suburbs, there are lots of open spaces and green fields.

I can’t really be any more specific than that, I’ve lived in the same suburb since I got here, so I can’t speak with any authority on other places. As for schools, I believe it is the responsibility of the nearest state school to where ever you choose to live to provide a place for your children when they get here. You should not have to preregister, but if you are looking to put them into a school that is outside of your catchment or into a private school, then yes, you do need to register your interest as soon as possible.

Good luck, I hope you find somewhere you love.

Cheers, Bob


pohling May 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm

HI Bob

Am thinking of migrate to Brisbane Australia, may I know what are the good universities around Brisbane? Thanks



BobinOz May 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I don’t know for sure, you might want to ask my expert via my page about Student Visas.

Good luck, Bob


Christine May 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hello Bob,
My husband and I have started our migration pathway as contributory parents – our daughter is a citizen living in Brisbane and our son a resident in Sydney married to an Australian girl.
We are looking into all sorts of nitty gritty issues and read somewhere that we have to take a driving test in order to obtain a driving licence in Brisbane. I am 62 years old and my husband is 68 years old. We both hold clean UK licences (40 years plus clean for both of us). Can you tell me what the test involves and the approx cost.
Loving this website by the way.


Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze May 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

Hi Christine,

I had a Canadian driver’s licence when I came to Australia at age 52. I was able to get an Australian driver’s licence with no problem. I don’t know if this is different for each state, but in NSW, I didn’t have to take any tests, except for my eyes, as I wear glasses. I googled this and only came up with info for those who’d never held a driver’s licence. Hope this helps.



Christine May 21, 2014 at 4:19 am

Thank you Barbara. I think that we will be OK as we both hold UK driver’s licences. What a relief. Don’t really fancy taking a driving test again unless necessary. Will have to mug up on the highway code for Australia though.


Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze May 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Hi Christine,

Well, one good thingo for you, is that it’s left sided driving in the UK. The Canadians did drive on the left side till 1922, then they switched to copy the Americans; I wish they’d left it on the left, drat!

I had driven on the right for 25 years, oh what fun! I used the windscreen wiper to signal. Then I thought, jokingly, why not keep doing that, and keep all the other driver’s in suspense, lol. Is she going to turn right or is she going to turn left, lol?

Getting a driver’s manual and studying up, is a good idea. We can’t make ‘U’ turns in Canada, and I’d never seen a roundabout before, and I didn’t know that if you’re turning left, you can go on the left side of the driver, ahead, who’s going straight, wow! I just started driving after 8 years, (kept the driver’s licence current), then had to stop, and will have shoulder surgery next week, then I’m looking forward to driving my old SUV; I say hello to it often, lol.

The paper work, here, is insane. If you need any tips or whatever, please send me an email. I survived the ‘paper madness’, but oh what a trip!

Barbara Pecze


Christine May 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Thank you Barbara,
I think if Australia drove on the right I wouldn’t be driving. In our ten visits to Australia to visit our children I have not driven but my husband has. I do find it unnerving when they pass on the inside as we are not allowed to do that here. I know I will also have to get used to turning left on a red light again against the law here. Roundabouts are easy for us though as we have some very complicated ones here in the UK.
Already getting used to the paper madness with the visa application!!
Thanks again for your help.


Jorge Meneses May 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

Hello Bob,
first and foremost congratulations and many thanks for this excellent informative effort you’ve put together. It’s a great resource. I’m from New Jersey USA and am looking to move to Australia, possibly permanently. I’ve a union trade Carpenter, and was wondering how much of a fit Brisbane would be for me. I’ll be uprooting myself, so i was wondering if it would be possible you (or anyone else reading this blog/comments) to suggest some places to look into as far as affordable housing would go, etc. Also, if at all possible, any idea what the industrial demand is like for blue-collar work in Brisbane? I’d like to learn welding once in Australia, to possible apply at one of the ports?

thank you very much in advance for your time and patience.
Jorge Meneses


BobinOz May 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Hi Jorge

Thanks, glad you are enjoying my website. Firstly, housing, the closer to the city the more expensive it gets. So if you want affordable housing, then you need to live on the outskirts somewhere.

You probably won’t want to choose exactly where until you know where you will be working. When you’ve narrowed that down, then check out my page about Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia to search for something within your budget.

As for jobs, I simply do not have my finger on the pulse of what demand is like, although I do know for sure that right now isn’t the greatest job market for those seeking work.

Again, I’d suggest having a look at my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and searching through the links for what it is you do to see what comes up.

Good luck, Bob


Matt June 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

Hello Bob

Im from america and i have been looking into moving to australia. I am currently djing and i am very into the Melbourne sound or the Melbourne bounce (will sparks,joel fletcher) for example. I feel that i have more of an oppurtunity down in australia to play music rather then in the states because the music i like started in australia.

I was just wondering what cities have the biggest nightlife and more of like a younger crowd (i am 21). I was told Melbourne was the place to go, but i wanted to ask you because you seem to have a lot of knowledge of australia. i have always been fascinated australia but never had a chance to go because of crazy expensive air fare and all other expenses. if you can get back to me that would be great

Thank You


BobinOz June 6, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hi Matt

Whoever told you Melbourne is right, the only other choice is Sydney; Brisbane’s nightlife isn’t bad and property comes in third, all other cities will simply be too quiet for you in my opinion.

Given that you are into Melbourne sound/bounce, that’s the place you should head to.

Good luck, Bob


ritienne gech June 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

hello bob
thankyou for all the intresting research and information.
can anyone give me an honest oppinion about where is best to raise a family. i am from malta and we really wish to live in au. i have a girl of 9 months so if the schools are near is better. and a place that offer job opportunities.


BobinOz June 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm

That’s a very broad question, Australia is a big country. I’d go where you can get work and then just choose a nice area with good schools. Good luck, Bob


Ashley June 16, 2014 at 2:57 am

Hey Bob!
I’m a student from the U.S. that is going to be studying abroad in Australia starting next February, and I can’t tell you how helpful all of this information has been! I’ve narrowed down my schools to the University of Adelaide and the University of the Sunshine Coast and was wondering if you knew much about what public transportation is like in those cities as far as getting around in those cities themselves and traveling to other cities in Australia since I naturally won’t have a car. Any other insights would be welcome too, and thanks again for the great site!!


BobinOz June 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Hi Ashley

Glad you have found this information useful.

I would say with (almost) absolute certainty that Adelaide would be better for public transport and getting around than in the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast as a ‘city’ is a bit of a misnomer really, it’s more of an area and that area sprawls over quite large distances and includes lots of towns, whereas Adelaide is a much more compact city and easier to get around. Adelaide also has trams, always good.

That’s what I think and although I’ve been to both places, I live in neither, so you may get better responses if you post questions about transport in my individual pages about each place.

Good luck, Bob


Rasa June 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hello Bob
First of all I want to thank you and congratulate you for this website. It has been so helpful :)
Thank you !
I currently live in Sri Lanka.
As much as I love my country we are now for the first time considering looking for a better place to LIVE.
Me, my husband and our 1 year old daughter are planning to get the state sponsored PR from Australia. Then we are hoping to find work before we actually come to Aussie (if that is possible).I am a University lecturer(IT) and my husband is a Senior Business Analyst (most o his clients are banks)
Anyway, we are searching for the best place for us to live.
What we would love to have(other than easy access to basics like jobs, child care, schools etc.) is a peaceful neighborhood, friendly, kind hearted,open minded people where they don’t trouble others too much :) (that is let others mind their own business peacefully :))
Easy access to parks and beaches for the baby.(places to relax- we love beaches !)
And easily reachable meditation retreats :) !!! meditation communities.
I am mostly into meditation- not too much interested in night life, partying etc (but of course I don’t mind if others around enjoy them ::))
Can you think of any place where a lot of spritual buddhist meditators live? If there is such a place :)
And of course a friendly climate (not too hot) is preferred (like my home town Kandy in Sri Lanka)
Bob, where would you recommend as the best city for us?
Melbourne? (my husbands brother lives there)
Perth?- I have a lot of friends there- have lived in Perth for a short time in1994- but I consider Perth a bit too hot, and I have heard now it is not such a pleasant, friendly place to live.
Any suggestions?

I hope I’m not asking for too much :)


BobinOz June 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Interesting question, if we do have a ‘spiritual’ centre here in Australia, it’s probably Uluru, but of course you can’t live there :-)

Seriously though, I don’t think we have any particular city that I can point you to that fits the meditation tag, although Byron Bay is a bit of a hippie town with quite an emphasis on new-age stuff.

I think each of our cities have areas you describe with good access to parks, friendly neighbours, that kind of thing just as each of our cities probably have areas that aren’t so good. So it’s more about the choice of suburb than the city.

This is a wild guess, so don’t regard it as a definitive answer, but I’m thinking Adelaide may be worth a look but only provided you can find work there. Super friendly people down that way, lots of space around you, plenty of parks, the climate is described as “Mediterranean” and I’m sure that somebody, somewhere, is into meditation.

If anybody else reading this has any ideas, please do help out.

Good luck in your search, Bob


Rasa July 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Thanks bob


Asia June 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Hello Rasa..
i was reading your message.. if about sipiritual atmosphere you can move down to Maroohydore.. above brisbane….
i will move myself there.. Me same as you love to meditate…life in peace and respect..
if you ever will come down and will you want to meet or ask im leaving you my email contact…

PS. life is beauty if we feel beauty inside of us….:)) :*


Rasa July 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Thanks a lot :) It is very much appreciated


Rasa July 22, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Thanks a lot :) I will definitely keep it


Tim July 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hi, I’m a Melbournian and also into meditation. I can tell you there are a lot of Buddhist temples/centres around Melbourne offering meditation sessions and retreats. Often the retreats are in the outer suburbs/inner country areas of Melbourne (such as the Dandenong ranges) – not too far away. Some retreats go for a weekend, and some go for 5 to 7 days and they provide food and accommodation. They are popular so you often need to book a month or so in advance. But there is a very vibrant meditation community here that I’m sure would make you feel welcome. I’ve lived in about 8 different suburbs of Melbourne and found meditation, yoga, spiritual centres in all of them. I know that Sydney also has a strong meditation community as well, along with other parts of Australia. Good luck.


Rasa July 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Thanks a lot Tim :) That was very helpful


Johny June 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm


I’m about to move to Australia and I’m having a hard time deciding which place to be.

In general I like sunny weather (I dont need it to be over 30 all year, 20-25celsius is enough for me, I don’t mind hotter weather thoug, it’s still far better than cold:) and I do not like winter.. Especially windy weather (I dont mind little wind, but all time wind is super annoying to me. Summarize – highest medians with low winter wanted.

I would like to live close to beach to be abble to swim and surf often without traveling too far (if there is any place like that that is also close to rocks for rock climbing, even better). One of the points I’m strugling with is that I want to pursue my hobbie – acting and I would like to find city with developed acting culture (theather, tv, movies). I don’t know much about australia production in this art – where is is happening the most and is it corresponding with the weather I like somewhere?

I do not mind snakes, sharks spiders or whatever.. It’s part of life and I take it so.

Thank you for your answer :)


BobinOz June 29, 2014 at 12:46 am

Melbourne is our main city when it comes to the arts, so if acting is your thing, that’s probably the place to head for. If warm weather is your priority, then maybe Melbourne isn’t your destination, Brisbane could be a much better bet. Winters hardly exist here.

Good luck, Bob


Hari the sailor July 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

Hey bob
Great website ….lot of info….keep going mate….need some adivice.

Myself a proffesional qualified sailor. Planning to move to Australia with my family…Tasmania has always been in our mind. How is it for a sailor to move to Tas…I mean job wise, lifestyle. Is Tas completely cut off when it comes to job opportunities?



BobinOz July 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Tasmania is a great place, the big downside is usually that there is no work. But the place is surrounded by water and lots of it, and I think Hobart has a huge fishing port. So as a sailor you probably would have job opportunities.

Have a look at my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and have a search using the links to those online employment agencies, see what comes up.

Good luck, Bob


Hari the sailor July 15, 2014 at 12:35 am

hi bob…thanks a lot for the info & the link….will surely come back to your website with more queries…thanks for the moment.



Peter July 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Hi Bob,

I am an IT professional (ICT Business Analyst) and my Wife is a Quality Assurance/Testing professional with a Network Product ( Modem, Router & Switches) company in India. We are planning to migrate to Australia .

Which City would be best for getting a Job in IT industry and therefore settle down ? Please suggest.


BobinOz July 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I have no idea off the top of my head Peter, but if you visit my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship you can use the links to the online employment agencies you’ll find there to search for the kind of work you and your wife do to see which city offers the most opportunities.

Good luck, Bob


Timothy Cole August 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Hi Peter,
I’ve worked in IT, and I also run my own web design business.
The best cities for IT jobs are Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane also, just not as many. If you do a Google search for IT jobs in those cities you can find out more information.

Good luck,


Kerry August 7, 2014 at 9:18 am

Hi Bob

Loving this website


BobinOz August 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Glad you like Kerry :-)


Ryan August 28, 2014 at 7:41 am

Any advice for assimilation?


BobinOz August 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Be yourself, don’t impose your morals or beliefs on others, respect other people’s religions and cultures, be a decent bloke. Be helpful in the community. Smile a lot :-)


Tim August 31, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Hi Ryan,
I echo what Bob said about “being yourself”. I wouldn’t be too worried about “assimilating”. Sure there are some people who still think that people should assimilate into Australian society, but I think most people see that as an outdated idea. There are so many different cultures and ethnic groups here, and for the most part we all get along fine. I’m a white Australian, but have friends and family members from various ethnic backgrounds. It becomes more about what you have in common with someone as a human being. So much so you don’t see any divide between you and another culture – which is how it’s meant to be I think. Good luck!


Ryan September 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm

My heritage is very mixed, but I’m half-English, half-American, and though I was brought up in Portland, I’ve never really considered the States “home” (other than missing my family here, if I left and never came back, I wouldn’t care at all). I feel somewhat more comfortable thinking of myself as English versus American, but I don’t think either fits quite right. I don’t know if Australia will be any different (I’m planning on moving to Melbourne within a few years, when I’m in my early-mid 20s), but I won’t know unless I try.

I guess it’s the years of actor training coming out…I’m always trying to observe and adopt a new persona. :-)


BobinOz September 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

I’m not sure if Australia will be any different either Ryan, but I think what we are saying is that if you do come here, forget about all those personas, just be you. Good luck, Bob


Ryan September 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Hah…Bob is actually my (American) dad’s name, funnily enough.
But I hear you, I’ll try to keep that in mind in the meantime (and while I try to build up more visa points…)


Victoria Nandan August 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Hi Iam from India. Have plans to move to Australia. Any advice for the best place in Australia for Chartered Accountants. Although I would love to go to Tassie but heard that its not good for employment…any advice would be of great help :)


BobinOz September 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I couldn’t specifically say where would be best for Chartered Accountants, all I can suggest is that you use the links on my page about 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 which city comes up with the most opportunities.


Kris Stone-Tolcher October 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I am an Australian and live in Redcliffe outside of Brisbane. Redcliffe is seaside peninsula with nice beaches, a English coastal feel and is a great place for commuters (and is also has the highest per capita population of English people in Queensland). I work in the Brisbane CBD and drive an hour to work – the railway to Redcliffe opens early 2016 – but lots of people catch the train from Sandgate (35 minute commute) a bayside suburb in Northern Brisbane. Redcliffe, because it’s not on any rivers, has coastal beaches not mudflats and safe beaches for little kids. We have suburbs called Margate and Scarborough so I think it reminded the early settlers of home. Other comments: Cairns is getting better all the time (its damn hot though); Townsville is the government hub for the North and James Cook Uni is renowned for its marine sciences; Uni of Queensland is a “sandstone” uni, old (for Aus) good reputation for all sciences and professionals. My sister in law is a doctor from UK and had to work in a place of designated need for I think 5 years (she is at Petrie, still well within the Brisbane suburban reach). Hope this is useful


BobinOz October 9, 2014 at 12:40 am

Yes, this is very useful Kris, I’m sure it will help quite a few people. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I have to agree it’s quite nice over that side of town, and when Redcliffe gets that train station it’ll be a real boom to the area.

I’ve really taken a shine to Sandgate, I think it’s a great suburb, loads of character. I’ve written about it a few times on this website and recently did a post about its Housing Architecture.

Thanks again, Bob


Courtney October 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi there! I’m 18 years old and currently live in America. After college, i hope to move to Australia. I’m majoring in wildlife sciences at my university so I definitely hope to work for a national park or something along those lines! Anything that has to do with wildlife conservation/ecology.

Would the Gold Coast be the best option for me to live since it’s surrounded by multiple parks?? Or are there better options..? Canberra would be an appropriate fit as well because of the surrounding parks and wildlife, although I do love the beach so I assume I would like Gold Coast better…

Any advice or input on where you think I should look more into would help me out a lot! Thank you so much for this guide, it’s definitely been a huge help as well.


BobinOz October 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Well I’d go where ever it is you can secure employment in the line of work that you want to do, pretty much the whole of Australia has wildlife parks and state national parks.

If you are lucky enough to get more than one opportunity, then you will have the luxury of choosing. If I were you I would go for wherever you get offered the job that excites you the most, providing you feel happy to live in that location.

If you like popular beaches though, I can see why the Gold Coast would be an attraction and if you do get the chance to work around there, then yes, go for it!

Good luck, Bob


Kat December 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

This is the most negetive thing I’ve ever read.
There is something great and negative about all cities in Australia.
If anyone if reading this the Gold Coast is one of the only horrible places in Australia and this guy gives it a wrap. It’s sky scrapers right on the beach, like a tacky LA with really bad food, no culture and it’s full of bogans and strip clubs. The rest of Australia is great – discover for yourself.


BobinOz December 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm

You obviously don’t do much reading then Kat, do you?

I appreciate that your eyes were probably getting tired after reading my write-up on the Gold Coast, but had you managed a few more words and started to read my description of the Sunshine Coast you will have seen that of the two, I prefer the latter and I do give a heavy hint that the Gold Coast does lack a bit of class.

The problem with your comment is that you have based it entirely on Surfers Paradise and the Glitter Strip, but the Gold Coast is much bigger than that. You won’t see any skyscrapers in Tambourine Mountain or in any of the nearby rainforests.

By the way, some people do like the Gold Coast for what it is, otherwise property wouldn’t be so expensive there, everybody is different. And everybody is entitled to their opinion, you included, but you really should not deliver yours with such arrogance and rudeness.


bhoomika patel December 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Hi I have got 6.5 band in ielts and I want to move Australia along with my husband Plz suggest me which city is the best for us in Australia for learning and earning.


Bala December 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Hi Bhoomika,

There is something to learn and something to earn in every city. The question is what you want to learn and how you want to earn!



BobinOz December 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Good answer Bala :-)


Charli January 5, 2015 at 1:09 am

Hi Bob!
Firstly can I say your website is great, been reading through a lot of it as myself and my partner of nearly 6 years are looking to make the move Down Under hopefully within the next 5 years (we’re in the UK) and have found it very helpful. We did visit Australia in 2013 and actually coming back for holiday this september :) he has been here before when he did a working holiday visa many years ago, and we both fell in love with the country and the lifestyle and want a better life for us and if we wish to start a family one day.

Only few questions is about location and work, ideally we would like to live in Queensland but it depends on work. He’s a media administrator (does photography and graphic design as well as helping on the website at his work) and I am looking at starting training to become a vet nurse (I work in ecommerce and my Degree is not what I now want to pursue further). How easy do you think it would be for him to find work in his area, and for myself if I complete my vet nurse training? If you can’t answer that question that’s fine :)

Also location, we’re both in our mid to late 20’s but still love to socialise with friends as well as dining out when we can :) as well as hitting the beach would be a bonus, so we are thinking the Brisbane/Gold Coast area. Transport is not an issue as we both can drive. We are also looking to bring our cats over if we can and wish to know how safe these places are for 2 very outdoorsy cats if possible.

Thanks Bob and keep up the good work :)


BobinOz January 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Hi Charli

Of course you can say my website is great :-) I love it when that happens.

As for the best location for your line of work this is a question I’m asked quite often and it’s really difficult for me to give an accurate answer. I do have some helpful information on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship though, if you check it out I’m sure you’ll be able to get a good idea of where you should head for the best opportunities.

As you probably know, I live in Brisbane, it gives me great access to the beaches of both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. I think what you need to also consider is that there is far more to do in Brisbane City in terms of nightlife, restaurants and bars than there can ever be down the Gold Coast, so you need to decide just how often you want to go to the beach. My preference is to live in Brisbane and then go to the beach at the weekend if I want to, it’s about an hour or so’s drive, maybe an hour and a half at most depending on where you live in Brisbane.

The Gold Coast is okay, but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, so I would try and check out both Brisbane and the Gold Coast thoroughly first when you visit in September before you make your final decision.

We have plenty of outdoor cats living here in Australia, I have 2 of my own, they seem pretty safe, although I don’t know precisely how many lives my two have left :-)

Hope that helps, cheers, Bob


Charli January 6, 2015 at 6:45 am

Hi Bob.

That’s good to know will read more onto that page :) we’re staying for a bit longer in Brisbane this time as we didn’t get much time to explore the city last time we visited as we were only there for a few days. We did go to the Gold Coast for the day and found it pretty nice, well only went to Surfers Paradise so again didn’t see much of it. The other half lived in Brisbane for a short while when he did his working holiday and said it was a nice city and not too busy like Sydney is. We do like our nightlife when we can, as well as we have a love of live music.

So far think we’re veering towards Brisbane at the moment :) think my cats will be ok if I bring them, just hope they can fight off spiders although even with a harvest spider over here they’re pretty useless haha!

Thanks again keep up the good work!


BobinOz January 7, 2015 at 1:03 am

If you like live music and a good night life, I really do think that Brisbane should be your choice. Over the last few years we’ve had quite a few excellent live music venues pop-up, small places, intimate, hip and good fun.

I saw a great band not so long ago, I think it was $5 or $10 to get in. Check out my post Live Music in the West End.


BobinOz January 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Oh, and I’ve just put up another one…

Brisbane’s Music Scene; Getting Better Every Year


Timothy Cole January 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Hi Charli,

I think your cats will be ok if you bring them. It’s true, there are a variety of different spiders in Australia, but you don’t encounter them very often.

I run a web design business, and also do some graphic design and photography. I can tell you that there are a lot of us doing it here in Australia, but there’s also a lot of work in this area, with so many businesses needing it. – it’s considered one of the main sectors experiencing growth here. If your partner has enough experience and presents well he shouldn’t have much trouble finding work I imagine.

Brisbane does sound like a good fit for you, but maybe when you come back for a holiday check out a few other cities, just to make sure.

Hope it all goes well :)


Charli January 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Thank you Tim that’s good to know :) I will let him know, he has been doing photography for about 6-7 years and has a great knowledge of graphic design and has done for years alongside his job.

We will have a look around when we come back in September :)


Charli January 9, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Thanks Bob, just had a look at these pages and is helpful :)
Will try and check out a few places when we come back later this year, can’t wait!


Surjith January 19, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Dear Bob,
My wife and I have been following this website ever since we decided to try for an Australian PR. I am glad that we have been granted PR couple of weeks back. The content and comments in this website helped us a lot in getting through the process.

Our immediate aim is to plan for a trip to Australia before August second week, this year, as that is the deadline for our first entry. We aren’t ready for a move yet, so we are thinking of taking a trip for a week or so by May end or June begining(That’s all the time our current jobs and finacial status would allow us now). Obvious question is where in Australia for a week’s trip.

I was looking at Brisbane as after reading through your blog and a few other sites, I have it in my mind that Brisbane may be the best place for us to try and get settled initially. We seem to have career opportunities there and the weather might suit us there. So, I was thinking that we could take this as an opportunity to go there and explore it a bit.

I was going through the following website.

In that website, they have a split up given for “Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps”. Interestingly, this is 0$ for all cities except Sydney and Brisbane. It gives an impression that these two cities are less safe compared to other places in Australia. Is it something to be worried about?


BobinOz January 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm

No, it isn’t anything to worry about, I’ve had a look at the website you’ve mentioned and I have no idea what they mean by “Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps”. They don’t even explain it anywhere that I could see and the $106.25 ‘per item’ allowance for Sydney for these kind of things seems a joke.

Brisbane is a very safe city, I wouldn’t worry about it and I agree with you that it probably is a very good place to get settled into initially. I hope your trip goes well.

Cheers, Bob


Surjith January 28, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Dear Bob,
Thanks for the reply. It helps us very much. My wife’s currently trying through her organization to get some opportunity in Australia. Sidney, Melbourne and Brisbane are the ones that are having opportunities. Dearly hoping something works out soon.

Thanks again


BobinOz January 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Brisbane would be your least expensive option, and I would say probably the safest city of the three, although each of those cities can be regarded as ‘safe’. Good luck.


Surjith January 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Thanks Bob…
Will keep you posted through this website… Also I think every experience adds to the knowledge base here. :-)


BobinOz January 29, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Thanks Surjith


Naomi January 29, 2015 at 3:09 am

Hi Bob , here’s a random one for you! We moved to Australia originally from UK , we lived there for 8 years and got home sick for family so decided to come back to Europe for a bit and reside in Cyprus where my husbands family live. But we know we will go back to Australia not the UK as it is the best place for the two children . We have lived in Yamba, Port Macquarie for five years, blue mountains and Ballina near Bryon Bay for a year! We have thought of Sunshine Coast , or Perth for a real change want to start afresh but really can’t decide where! My husband is a tree climber arborist with the powerlines , so he would have to get work back in that field any help! The place would have to have good schools , beach and not too hot oh and shops thanks Bob


BobinOz January 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Well, my view is that it can be a bit quiet on the Sunshine Coast, it has a reputation of being a kind of retirement area and there’s not much work. Not sure it’s the greatest place to bring up kids just because there isn’t much to do.

I’ve not been to Perth yet, but I’m going in a couple of months. Again, that appears to be a love it or hate it place, but most agree it’s a great city to bring up kids. It can be quite a hot place though.

I’d suggest you take a look at my page about Perth and especially all the comments and maybe ask some questions about the area there. Do also be sure to read the comments that have already been made, you’ll find lots of information. You can also do the same on my page about the Sunshine Coast.

Good luck in your search, I hope you find somewhere suitable.

Cheers, Bob


Brent Smith January 29, 2015 at 7:48 am

I think you and your website are awesome! I’m very much interested in moving to Australia from the U.S. and I’ve found your information to be the best available! It would be great to cross paths one day as I feel that we are very like minded.

Cheers and keep up the good work!



Brent Smith January 29, 2015 at 8:37 am

To add to my comment, I think we have pinned it down to the Gold coast area for the fun, excitement, and adventure. We have three kids and I feel this would be great to keep them entertained and have enjoyment everyday. Everything I have read so far sounds great. Do you believe there would be any big downsides to having small children or being family oriented, living in this location?


BobinOz January 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Brent, firstly, thanks for the kind compliments. As for the Gold Coast and kids, yes it is a very good area, plenty of entertainment and theme parks, the place is a lot of fun.

If you’re going to live down that way, I would avoid being too close to the centre which is Surfers Paradise. It’s very commercialised, very much a holiday destination and with kids, you’re best staying away a bit. I can’t specifically advise where, but I’m saying not there.

Personally I would live in Brisbane (well, I do) and travel down to the Gold Coast when you want to have fun with your kids. It’s only an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half drive, so it is not far, and I think it’s just better to live closer to a major city, it just gives you more options for entertainment, shopping, work and schooling.

That’s just my personal view though, good luck with your plans. Cheers, Bob


Brent Smith January 30, 2015 at 12:28 am

Thank you for the reply and great advice! I will definitely put it to good use.


Brent Smith January 30, 2015 at 12:33 am

One last question, Do you recommend any particular section of Brisbane for my particular situation or can you not really go wrong living in any part?


BobinOz January 30, 2015 at 9:46 pm

It really depends what you want Brent, countryside or city? Busy or quiet? Etc..

May I suggest you go over to my page about Brisbane and read the comments there, you will find quite a lot of information about this cities suburbs.

Cheers, Bob


Anna February 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Hi there! What a fantastic site this is! I’m sure I’m not the only person you’ve inspired to make the bold move! My boyfriend and I are planning on moving to Oz within a few short months, and we are deliriously excited to be leaving the harsh Canadian winters far behind for good. My boyfriend is qualified to work as an ICT Business Analyst, and we were wondering if you believe certain parts of Oz are more receptive to overseas workers, or if there is a job boom in select areas. We are having trouble narrowing our focus in resettling, as neither of us has yet secured a position anywhere (although of course we are applying to jobs from overseas). I have extensive customer service experience, and am hoping to find work in retail, although I have nightmares that everything will go wrong! Brisbane sounds quite incredible; do you have any recommendations for us?


BobinOz February 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Thanks Anna, glad to hear you like my website. Looks like you’ll be coming to Australia sometime soon, hope you get to love it as much as I do.

It’s always hard for me to suggest places where you have the best chance to find work, I can’t possibly keep up to date with all the latest trends for each profession. All I can suggest is you check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and follow the advice I give there.

Brisbane is a great place to live, I love it here, but I think for you the most important thing would be to go where the work is for now, so just use those links to try and find out which city or cities might offer you the most opportunities. Good luck with your move, Bob


Bala February 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Hi Anna,

I am an ICT Business Analyst as well. In my view, chances of finding an ICT Business Analyst job are brighter in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in that order. I am not sure of the job boom though as the current state of the market does not quite indicate which way it is headed. From what I have observed, your boyfriend needs to be willing to initially compromise either the pay, role, designation, domain loyalty etc. to get a job first, if need be. My suggestion would be to get whatever job he can lay his hands on and come here. Once he breaks into the local job market, he will be better placed to make his demands.

Good luck to your move and keep us posted on how it goes!


Navjot sing February 4, 2015 at 1:13 am

Hi bob i very thankful you for great information i will move Brisbane ,i think its very good for me because many Indian live there , i respectively told you sir i have not offer latter ,sponsorship the Australia . i will get Mara agent for me move to Australia , so i think you understand my problem ,please take me good advice . my no is
+919417735594 please send me your no and Mara agent . Thanks.


BobinOz February 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Once you have gone through my visa assessment service you will get the telephone number of my MARA agent and you will be able to speak to him. You can’t just call him and talk to him, he would not be able to advise you as he would know nothing about you.

So you need to complete the forms that you get after you have paid for this service, more details are my page about it, see Visa Assessment Service.

Good luck, Bob


Anna February 4, 2015 at 2:42 am

Thank you so much for your helpful tips! Bob, I apologize as I did indeed check out your recommended page shortly after posting. Very informative for sure! I guess where there is a will, there is a way! Thanks again!


BobinOz February 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Thanks Anna and good luck, Bob


Kumi February 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Hello. I found your page and so happy that I can get so much information. Thanks very much.
I have a 7-year-old kid and I want to move to Australia with him. I have almost no work skill currently, so I’m thinking that first I go to TAFE and get some skill, then I may have job opportunity there.
The problem is the school fee your my son. If we both need to pay international student fee, it must be over our budget. So I want to know if there is a way my son can go to elementary school for the same price as domestic students. I once heard that in some cities that can be possible if the parent of the kid take some diploma or certificate course, full-time and more than 1 year. Do you know anything about relationship between school fees of parent and that of her kids?


BobinOz February 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

This isn’t something I can help you with I’m afraid, I am not a MARA migration agent and I don’t know all of the rules. I suggest you speak to an agent about this, do make sure they are MARA registered.

Good luck, Bob


Kumi February 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Thank you for your quick reply.
I think I will ask MARA agent about these questions as you recommended.


Kumi February 16, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Oh, sorry, let me ask one question here. About asking MARA migration agent about possibilities of my migration. I don’t have any skill right now, so it seems no use to ask about my current visa option… Can I ask him only about my future possibility? I need help for finding some breakthrough.


BobinOz February 17, 2015 at 12:31 am

It’s very difficult to talk about future situations because what might be grounds for a successful application today isn’t guaranteed to be successful in three or four years time. Australia’s skills lists change every year, sometimes more often than that, and the rules are also subject to change.

Basically what any MARA agent tells you today could well be out of date by the time you are ready to lodge an application. It is okay to talk to MARA agents about the future, but you must be aware that you could spend three or four years training in a certain profession and by the time you’re qualified, that profession is no longer on any of the skills lists.


Kumi February 17, 2015 at 12:35 am

Thank you. Then, I’ll ask his help after my plan gets more solid and ready to go.


Benjamin February 21, 2015 at 7:05 am

Hello Bob & others!..

My name is Benjamin and I am from Hershey, Pennsylvania (yes, same as Hershey chocolate). I’m 26 years old and soon to be finished with a Masters degree in athletic administration come May. I’m looking to move to Australia by myself later this year and was wondering two things. First, will it be of any benefit to have my Masters degree from the U.S. in athletics or will that not amount to much? How much weight will my degree actually carry in Australia?

Secondly, what are some specific options of mine concerning recreation/fitness center jobs? I’m interested in working near somewhere inviting for young adults as well. I’m currently working as an adult recreation program director at a large indoor sports complex. My passions are specifically in rugby and soccer, but health, fitness and recreational sports are what I’ve gone to school for.

Advice from both you Bob and/or anyone else is welcomed! Thx…


Timothy Cole February 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

Hi Benjamin,
There’s plenty of people in Australia who have international degrees. There are various organisations that assess qualifications from other countries. I think if you asked the Dept of Immigration, they could point you in the right direction. Masters degrees are definitely valued here.

I’m not sure about the number of jobs available for your qualifications though. But Australia is a very sporty nation, I don’t think you should have much trouble. There are a lot of recreation/fitness centres around. Rugby is most popular in New South Wales and Queensland.

Good luck,


Benjamin February 22, 2015 at 5:14 am


Thank you for your advice. I think I’ll take you up on reaching out to the immigration office and see if they can point me in the right direction, as you said. Do you, Bob or any others who are possibly reading this have specific locations and/or names for any recreation centers? It would help narrow down my research greatly. Thx!


Timothy Cole February 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

For sure Benjamin. Here’s a link to some rec centres in Melbourne: You can click through the results there. You can change the search to Sydney, Brisbane, or any other city.


BobinOz February 22, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Looks like Timothy (thanks Timothy) has taken good care of you here Benjamin. Timothy is also quite right, we are very sporting nation here and there are lots of sports clubs around as the link to that map search shows. All I can add is that my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship may also help you search for opportunities that would suit you.


Benjamin February 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

Timothy & Bob,

You have both been very helpful in your advice and direction. Reading through this blog and its many different tabs has been very helpful and insightful. I’ll be continuing my research and perhaps in the near future, be waiting to see what doors are opened up to me! Thank you both!



BobinOz February 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Benjamin and good luck. Bob


Nicole March 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

My partner and I are coming to Oz (Gold Coast) from Canada to live for 6-12 months but are unsure where would be a good fit for us. We’re in our late 20’s and want to live near the ocean and somewhere that’s warm year round (above 15 degrees) but not too touristy, we want to be with locals. My partner is a plumber so if he can get a good paying job we’ll go anywhere really, but aren’t sure which cities might suit us best to start looking into, any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


BobinOz March 2, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Most of the Gold Coast is quite touristy Nicole, but you might find Coolangatta to your liking, it’s as far south as you can go on the Gold Coast before you hit the New South Wales border.

That means you have easy access to the Tweed Coast as well, we went there last month for a long weekend and were very impressed. Have a look at my post about it here and also checkout the two posts previous of those.

But if you are going to be here for 6 to 12 months though, I’d be tempted to move around a bit and see more of Australia, certainly up and down the east coast.


Nicole March 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

Thanks Bob! I will look into Coolangatta. :)


Brett March 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

Hey Bob, and everyone else!

My Girlfriend and I are moving to Australia on a working Holiday Visa, April 5th of this year. We’re hoping you or anyone else from Australia can help give us some guidance for some areas we should be researching. Originally we had been looking at Surfers Paradise but there seems to be so many interesting places – and quite honestly I don’t like too much congestion. I’m 19 years old and I have a degree in Mixology ( a fancy word for bar-tending) and I was hoping that would help me land a job down there fairly fast. We like smaller cities where we wont feel like we’re in Toronto here in Canada. We currently live in a small town with a population of 30,000 and feel that its a bit too small. anything between 75,000 and 300,000 population wise is a nice number. We love the beach, we love art, and we love to socialize. Most importantly we are looking for somewhere it is safe. I hope to hear back from someone soon. Thank you so much for reading :)

– Brett Hale :)


BobinOz March 3, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Hi Brett, firstly, it’s all pretty safe around here, so that’s not really a concern. A few cities and places have their ‘dodgy’ areas, but you’ll know where they are, accommodation will be far too cheap.

Surfers Paradise might not actually be a bad option for you, there are plenty of bars so you’ll probably find work. Great beaches, lots going on, you could do worse. Byron Bay may be worth a look as well, smaller, quieter, but still touristy with lots of bars and possible work opportunities. Great beaches and surfing as well.

Cairns might be worth a look if you like your weather really hot and a little humid, but is a bit off the beaten track up there, so it might not be for you.

Other than that you have the major cities, like Sydney and Melbourne, maybe not so much Brisbane, not good for beaches. So you have plenty of options, I’d move around a bit, see as much of Australia as you can while you’re here.

Good luck, Bob


Austin McLaughlin March 10, 2015 at 5:07 am

I am an American student looking to transfer to Australia to complete my schooling. I am deciding between Wollongong University in a city near Sydney(as I understand) or to attend The University of Adelaide. I have a ton of research to still do but I happened upon this great website and see if I could get any feedback so let me know what you guys think!!


BobinOz March 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

That’s a tough one, a real tough one. Wollongong will give you better access to other places including Sydney, Adelaide though is a bigger city in its own right.

If you read the comments on my page about Adelaide you will see that most are saying it’s going through a very poor economic time at the moment, all I know about Wollongong is what’s on this post…

That’s all I know, the decision will have to be yours. Good luck, Bob


Irene March 10, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Hi Bob,

First of all, great blog!

I am planning on volunteering in Australia for 1-2 months starting in the very beginning of May. I am having a hard (and also fun) time deciding where to go. I would like it to be a zone with impressive landscapes (I will volunteer at national parks and such) but also a cool city to stay for a while after I’m done volunteering.

My idea was going to Brisbane but turns out it’s not available as a starting point for volunteering in May. I thought about Cairns (which is available) and going to Brisbane from there but maybe it’s too far. I’ve thought about Perth but I’ve read the winters are not as good.

Do you have any recommendations? I would really appreciate them.

Thank you for all the useful information!




Megan Conley March 17, 2015 at 12:29 am

opinions on Newcastle/ Port Stephens area? Thinking about being an au pair!


BobinOz March 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

I’ve only driven through it Megan during my Australian road trip, didn’t really stop. Beautiful part of the country though, great bit of coastline with accompanying lakes. Very nice.

Also, check out this post…

I think you’d have great fun down that way. Good luck, Bob


Powa March 28, 2015 at 4:31 am

Hey Bob,

I was wondering, what, in your opinion, would be the best city to live in or near, that you could get out into the outback and/or forest, without suffering cold winters?


BobinOz March 29, 2015 at 9:30 pm



sara April 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Hello Bob,

I wanted to ask you about a place called Beaconsfield in Australia…you didn’t mention it in the cities above. Any idea about this place? I searched online and found a page mentioning its a suburb of Perth and another page saying its a suburb of Melbourne…so its related to which part of Australia exactly 😀 . And it is a good place to settle and work in?

Thanks :)


BobinOz April 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

We’ve actually got loads of Beaconsfields, the two you mention above although the one in Western Australia is closer to Fremantle than Perth, and then we’ve got one close to Launceston in Tasmania and another that is a suburb of Sydney.

They are not mentioned on this page because none of them are major cities. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven through three of these places, but I can’t tell you what they are like to work and settle down in. If you check out my page called Which Suburb? you will find out how you can research them to see what they’re like.

Good luck, Bob


BDuke April 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Hello Bob!

This is a fantastic site with full of information regarding Australia. I have been considering to study for my Masters degree in Australia together with my wife recently, and your website has been a great place to absorb the information regarding Australia.

I have a question regarding the cities; which city has the best chance for international masters student to work part-time to earn some money to live?

Thank you again for your time.
Best regards,


BobinOz May 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Sorry BDuke, seems I didn’t get a notification of your comment when it came through so I missed it.

Work is probably hardest to find in South Australia and Tasmania at the moment, and probably Sydney and Melbourne offer the most opportunities. But then the places with fewer job opportunities are ones that are cheaper to live in and of course, Sydney and Melbourne are both quite expensive cities.

The more work available in a city seems to equal more expensive accommodation.

When it comes to student jobs though, i.e. part-time casual, you’d probably have a good chance of getting some kind of work in most of our cities But obviously that is not guaranteed.

If I were to name one city where I’m told it is quite easy to get a job and give you a one-word answer to your question, it would be Darwin.

But not everybody wants to go to Darwin.


Paula May 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Hi Bob!

Im Paula, from Barcelona. Me and my boyfriend are moving to Australia in October. We havent planned anything yet, but what we know is that we want to work there while we travel. We would join some online course just to try to get our students visas…

I would love to know your opinion about all this idea… and if you met somebody doing something similar.

Thank you for all your richfull information!


BobinOz May 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Plenty of people do it Paula, but most come here on a Working Holiday Visas. I don’t think that option is available to you if you are actually Spanish.

So I think your bigger problem is what kind of visa you and your boyfriend will come here on, or have you already sorted that out?

Looks like you are hoping to get some kind of student visa and if that’s the case, yes, plenty people come here to study and also work part-time to help support that.

Good luck, Bob


Emanuele June 8, 2015 at 4:27 am

Hi bob! I’m Emanuele from Milano Italy. Great blog!
I’m loving every page of it. Lots of interesting information. I’m considering to move to australia and i’m pretty interested in the Queensland region. I’ll get a WHV and that will be my starting point,hoping to get a sponsorship for my italian cusine skills… all of this while my wife and two kids wait for the right moment to come. She’s a early childhood teacher trying to get assessed and get a permanent visa. Anyway,I just wanted to thank you for your work and the experiences you share,it makes a lot easier for us still here to understand what is like down under. Hope you are enjoying yourself! Talk to u soon


BobinOz June 8, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Hi Emanuele

Thanks for your kind words, they are appreciated. Good luck with your plans to move to Australia, I hope it all goes well. And yes, I am enjoying myself :-)

Hope to see you and your family here soon, Bob


Mauro June 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Hi Bob,

First of all thanks for the excellent website, it really has been of enormous help to us.
We are currently looking to move to Australia from South Africa and we have been researching where to move to. Brisbane was on our list, but upon further research we have become a little nervous about it due to all the floods etc that seem to happen there. We come from a place where we never really have any natural disasters so this just worries us a bit.

I would just like to hear your thoughts around this.



BobinOz July 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Then I reckon you should have a squiz at this, it’s a pretty comprehensive answer :-)…


Sarah July 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I am planning to study a course in Australia..Financially that will be extremely difficult for me, so i would like to know regions in Australia that are considered affordable for international students and still good places to live in.
Where do international students most often apply?
Do you have an idea about scholarships in the fitness industry where international students trigger often?
Thank you so much :)


BobinOz July 6, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Well I know nothing about scholarships Sarah, and at a guess I would think the Melbourne is the most popular destination for international students. It’s not the cheapest place though, guessing again I would think that might be Adelaide.

Good luck, I hope you find the right place for you.


Stefany July 15, 2015 at 12:54 am

Hi Bob. I live in Georgia, USA & we are thinking about visiting Australia & possibly trying to move there. We’ve never been before so of course, I think it would be wise to visit first. My husband owns and operates his own farm. It’s always been his dream to go to Australia and participate in the huge wheat harvest. Although, that’s not very family friendly. It’s typically just the man that goes for a few months. I don’t want to stay behind. I want my daughter & I to come along and visit. I guess my question is what is a good town full of farm life for a small family ??


BobinOz July 15, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Gosh! That’s an impossible question for me, Australia is a big place, I may as well stick a pin in the map :-)

I really don’t know Stefany, I couldn’t even take a wild guess. All I do know is that we have plenty of farming towns in this country. Hopefully someone who does know about this sort of thing will see this and help you out. Good luck, Bob


Stefany Franklin July 16, 2015 at 4:19 am

Thanks! I knew that would probably be pretty difficult to answer 😛
Hopefully someone can name off a few towns for us…as we don’t even know where to begin. Ha ha!


BobinOz July 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Okay, thanks Stefany, let’s hope someone turns up to help you out. Good luck, Bob


Tony July 29, 2015 at 1:40 am

Hi Bob
We are looking to move to Australia next year with our 3 children, I keen to be between Sydney and Coffs Harbour as I guess Sydney will probably be a big attraction for the kids employment when they get older, I would like someone fairly close to the see but has a more residential feel rather than a seaside town like we have here in cornwall, dead in the winter and full of tourists in the summer!

I am keen to live somewhere which doesn’t get to many weather extremes (fires and floods) and somewhere where the crime is quite low, I like the idea of the Central coast but the statistics are that drug use has risen by 40%.
Thank you


BobinOz July 29, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Hi Tony

I really liked the look of The Entrance, Budgewoi and Swansea area, but I was just driving through really, so it’s impossible for me to really know what it’s like to live there. Hopefully somebody reading this will help you out with some meaningful information, if not it may be worth you asking a similar question on my page about New South Wales, your find a link to it underneath the Australian States tab in the above main menu.

Not sure where you got those drugs stats from, but maybe Ozzy Osbourne has been down that way for a holiday :-)

Good luck with your search, hope you find what you’re looking for. Cheers, Bob


Dave September 4, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Hi we are thinking of emigrating to Australia.

We have 2 boys and a very nice future daughter in law.
I am a data engineer (unfortunately years of experience but no certificate to prove I can do my job extremely well..)
My wife is a qualified Accountant Technician.
My oldest is 22 years and a qualified electrician. The other is 13 years old (yr 9 in school)
My future daughter in law is a qualified hairdresser.
Is it better to wait for the youngest to finish school here at 16years or best to move now before the GCSE’s start?
My wife and I are aged 45years. What are the chances of us all being able to emigrate?
We would love the sun, beaches and outdoor things..


BobinOz September 5, 2015 at 8:23 am

These are all questions you need to ask a MARA registered migration agent, see


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