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.

Okay, let’s take a look at some of Australia’s cities. I must make it clear that I have only listed the 8 capital cities from our states and territories here. If you want information about any other Australian city or town, please check out the relevant Australian State and look at the comments on those pages.

If you can’t find any information about the particular city or town you are interested in, ask about it in the comments, somebody who knows it well might see it and help you out.

Sydney

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

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

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:

Adelaide

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.

Canberra

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

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:

Hobart

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:

Brisbane

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

Cornwall.

Sydney.

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

don’t.

Melbourne.

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 and no, I don’t live there.

Perth

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.

Adelaide.

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

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.

Canberra.

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

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.

Hobart.

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

paradise.

Brisbane.

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 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.

Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Perth
Adelaide
Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast
Canberra
Hobart
Darwin

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{ 441 comments… add one }
  • Kamran May 19, 2017, 8:10 pm | Link

    Hi, This is a very nice blog for someone who is moving to Australia. I am planning to move there in next couple of months with my Family (I am father of two). What city is offers best opportunities in film making, media, culture etc.

    • BobinOz May 22, 2017, 4:50 pm | Link

      I think the answer to this one is Melbourne, but I don’t know for sure. If I’m not mistaken though, Sydney is best known as Australia’s financial centre and Melbourne has the edge when it comes to the creative arts. Both of these cities, in the current climate, far and away offer the most job opportunities in Australia.

      • Paul May 22, 2017, 8:30 pm | Link

        Hi Kamran and Bob,
        I’d agree with Bob. If you are in the creative sphere Sydney and Melbourne are the places to be (for jobs anyway) and Sydney probably has the edge these days in terms of where the production companies and media organisations are based. That said, I still find more Melbourne a more edgy creative and arty culture than Sydney.
        Hope that helps
        Paul

  • Erica L April 6, 2017, 4:40 am | Link

    I wanted to know if Australian cities /suburbs have any city centre/high street like U.K. Has? All things at one place.

    • David April 6, 2017, 6:12 am | Link

      Hi Erica,
      It really depends on the city or suburb.
      Most country towns will have a main street which is the main shopping and business area, In the big cities the inner city suburbs will likely have main streets with a very similar feel to the high streets in the UK. Out in the sprawling expanses of suburbia, the big shopping centres like Westfield seem to be more dominant.

      • Erica L April 6, 2017, 6:31 pm | Link

        Thank you so much David for your prompt reply. I was having my doubts since Australia is so vast unlike UK and was assuming it won’t have population concentration at one place and one might have to travel far off distance to have access to such facilities.

        • Mark April 6, 2017, 8:13 pm | Link

          Hi Erica The UK is not much different for shopping as Australia its just a smaller more compact scale. As David has said High Streets mostly called Main Street here exist and as do shopping centres….But small villages still exits with two or three shops, small suburbs with a dozen shops and some places with no shops at all again just like the UK It also depends on where you live . Australia has a population concentration but its nowhere near as compact as the UK so the shopping areas are a bit more spread out Google Toorak and drive down using street view Toorak Road over 270 shops all down or just of one road Then google Chadstone Mall in Chadstone these are both Melbourne based but it gives you an idea. Drive on street view around say Torquay in Victoria again a main street

          • Erica L April 7, 2017, 4:48 am | Link

            Thank you Mark for the reply. Yes I get the idea. I love U.K (except for the weather)but I’ll be shifting to Australia with my husband for sometimes. And wanted to have a fair idea about shops/malls /streets dedicated for food, shopping etc. Thanks again.

        • David April 6, 2017, 8:36 pm | Link

          Bear in mind that although Australia is a vast continent, by far most of the population lives in urban areas.

          • BobinOz April 6, 2017, 8:50 pm | Link

            Yes, 80 to 90% I believe.

            If you live in the middle of nowhere, or ‘Woop Woop’ as it’s known here, it’s a different story. I remember hearing about someone called Outback Maggie, she had a 40 minute drive in her Jeep to get to the front gate of her property, but then it was just a couple of hours to the grocery store from there 🙂

            • David April 7, 2017, 8:41 pm | Link

              With all the hasstle of navigating my self to work and having to listen to people give me a hard time all day, only to end up crawling home at 40km per hour through traffic, I think Outback Maggie was onto something there 🙂

          • Erica L April 7, 2017, 4:50 am | Link

            Thanks David. We’ll be living in urban areas for sure.

            • Erica L April 7, 2017, 4:58 am | Link

              Thank you Bob for your amazing work.This site has everything under one roof.
              I am so glad I found it and I think it has answered most of my questions.

              • BobinOz April 7, 2017, 8:01 pm | Link

                Thanks Erica, glad you like and please to have helped.

  • Ols March 27, 2017, 3:51 am | Link

    Hello
    May I ask you a question. I work in Construction/Architecture industry. What is the best city in Brisbane district area that has plenty jobs of this kind?
    Best regards for the site
    Thank you

    • BobinOz March 27, 2017, 8:42 pm | Link

      I’m not sure what you mean by the ‘Brisbane district area’, but Brisbane itself would almost certainly be where the most job opportunities are in Queensland. I don’t know how things are in your particular industry, but you can research the latest vacancies from my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

  • yogesh March 11, 2017, 2:22 am | Link

    hi,
    i’m planning to move Australia, can you please suggest me which city to prefer from Brisbane & Adelaide ? I’m from India, my wife is a teacher and i’m from business background, we have 2 kids (7yrs & 4yrs).

    • BobinOz March 13, 2017, 7:37 pm | Link

      That’s really down to personal preference, so I can’t give you an answer. I prefer Brisbane, I’m sure the vast majority of people who live in Adelaide prefer Adelaide otherwise they’d be here in Brisbane as well.

      Both are fine cities, I’d go where the most work opportunities are if I were you.

  • Serg February 10, 2017, 11:44 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, just thinking to move to Australia and I was checking teh differents cities and city life. What about finding a job for an Expat in Brisbane? Any kind, Tourism, IT, office…
    Thanks mate

    • BobinOz February 12, 2017, 7:37 pm | Link

      Jobs are hard to find, even harder if you are not yet here in this country. I couldn’t find one for you, that would be impossible, if that’s what you’re asking. I do have a lot of pages about finding jobs though, for example, Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

  • Alex February 7, 2017, 11:43 am | Link

    Hello i am planning moving to Australia for study industrial design i am also a latín and a lot of universities offers the career so what cities do you recommend for an immigrant or a student?? I was googling and i read about perth but also read bad things inclusive from people that live in Perth xD hope you can help me and advice me

    • BobinOz February 7, 2017, 8:30 pm | Link

      I think our most popular city for students is Melbourne, but personally I’d go to wherever you think you might get the best education and if you have choices of several unis, just pick the city that you like the sound of most from the descriptions on this page.

  • Paula and Chris Eley January 23, 2017, 5:06 am | Link

    Hi Bob my husband and I have found your information very useful and very interesting reading. My husband is retiring from work in 5 years time and we have talked about nothing else for a couple of years about emergrating to australia and the gold coast in queensland australia is our favourite, I know that we will be very happy here . Thank you very much for all emails but would it be possible for you to get me some information about retirement visa’s. Finance information and how much we would need to support our self’s etc. We have been looking at properties for sale but maybe this is to early Lol. we are planning on visiting for a 2 week stay within the next 2 years as we want to have a look around the area .we look forward to hearing from you soon .

    • BobinOz January 23, 2017, 7:07 pm | Link

      I don’t give out information about any kind of visa at all, only MARA registered migration agents are legally allowed to do that. You can look into the criteria yourself and a video on my page about Visas will show you how to do that via the government’s immigration website.

      Alternatively, you could speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your situation. I think it’s important that you find out whether or not you can qualify for one of these visas before you go through all the effort of looking into how you support yourselves and the finance.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Lauren January 7, 2017, 6:00 am | Link

    Hi bob. Me, my husband and our two little boys are moving to Australia later this year but haven’t decided where yet. My mother wants to move to Perth in the future so she really wants me to go to Perth but my concern is that with climate change it is going to become too darn hot. Any comments on that from anyone? Also (again factoring in future climate instability) Brisbane may experience more extreme flooding. Granted you can buy a house on a hill but the whole city takes a knock when a flood like 2011 happens … So I’m thinking the best long term city is Melbourne. Any thoughts? People have said housing is expensive – is there a useful website that compares housing prices? Thank you.

    • Mark January 7, 2017, 9:55 am | Link

      realestate.com.au is a decent site for house sale prices. You can see whats available in any area. I wouldn’t get too hung up about climate change thats my own personal opinion and im no expert but you have to live the life without worrying to much about that. Similarly I woudl not be moving where my mother wanted me to move to. Again the climate change may not have an effect and your mother may not move…Move for yourselves whats best. Im assuming you have your Visas. Grandma or Nanny is always great for child minding but unless you have a specific reason …..move for yourselves. Perth is a great place but its too isolated for me and too British some may say. A familiar sight of the black cab OK white version at the airport says it all to me.

  • Teresia January 2, 2017, 5:14 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I find your article informative and convincing. I am planning to move to Brisbane with my family. After reading your article, I’m pretty much convinced that it’s a good choice.

    What is your opinion about finding job in Brisbane as a civil engineer? Do you know anyone that has Australia Residents can find job with government? Is January a good time on searching for jobs?

    Thanks in advance!

    • BobinOz January 2, 2017, 7:08 pm | Link

      I think there are some restrictions with government jobs, in particular I’m pretty sure you need to be a citizen to get a job within one of the defence departments. I can’t imagine such restrictions apply to civil engineers though, so you may be okay with that.

      I’m not sure how easy or not it might be to get a job as a civil engineer at the moment, but you can research the current vacancies through links on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Hope that helps, Bob

    • Cathy Browning January 21, 2017, 10:54 pm | Link

      In reply to Teresia’s question re jobs with the Australian Government as a former Pubic Servant (or Civil Servant as in the UK) many are open to Commonweath citizens as well as their own. All depends on the department but worth looking into. January is also the time most Australian’s change jobs (New Year and all that) plus when graduates get employed as their final year ends the previous November so they are all out job hunting. To avoid paying for the Christmas holidays, most employers interview but will not employ till January. Hope this helps.
      Cathy

  • Martijn December 27, 2016, 10:38 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, thanks to this article, it was very useful for us! I was exactly looking for descriptions about cities and advise where to live. My wife and I are planning to move from The Netherlands to Australia for quite some time now. We have to wait a bit longer until we can apply for a permanent residence visa (work related experience as a web developer).

    We had our eye on Brisbane before, because we want to live close to the beach and our family in Elanora qld. For working purposes it’s important to live close to the city (to find work and keep the daily travel distance short), however we really love both the beach and living big and quite.

    So after reading your article, I guess an eastern or western Brisbane suburb would be the best for us. Do you have an advise for us which suburbs would exactly be the best for us? We love the beach, but most important for us is to live nice, large and quite (for an affordable price :)). Maybe we’re looking for the holey grail, but I’d really appreciate your advice.

    Cheers!

    • BobinOz December 29, 2016, 8:03 pm | Link

      Thanks Martijn, glad to hear this has been helpful to you. You will certainly be able to live in a quite large and affordable house here in Brisbane if you choose the right suburb, but access to decent beaches from here isn’t that great.

      Have you read my article about Brisbane’s beaches? If you haven’t, you can access it here…

      http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/19529/the-beaches-of-brisbane-a-quick-tour/

      Living in an eastern suburb of Brisbane would get you close or even on the coast, just be aware though that there aren’t too many golden sandy beaches around here. If you choose a suburb with good access to the Pacific Highway though, you will be less than an hour away from decent beaches about an hour north or south.

      Have a read of that article and if you have any other questions, just let me know and I’ll see if I can help.

  • Shree November 28, 2016, 6:32 am | Link

    Very useful. Thanks
    I am now really attracted to Brisbane . I am Indian moving from UK to Aus , work as GP. Trying to choose city. My daughter is 11 so want good schools, reasonable cost of living , warm weather for walks. Seems Brisbane is good choice. My aunts live in Melbourne & Adelaide , Sydney , Canberra . The reason I am moving from Uk is I wanted to be near by extended family to socialise better .please suggest your thoughts

    • Paul November 28, 2016, 8:07 am | Link

      Hi Shree
      Brisbane is a good choice. As you would have seen from Bob’s posts, it’s a brilliant city for a family and has some of the most affordable house prices and rents in Australia. If you are a GP you will have no trouble finding work as we need more doctors – provided you have all the right paperwork of course. A word of caution about distances in Australia, especially if your family are in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra. Many people coming from Europe to Australia don’t understand how big Australia is. It’s roughly the same size as Europe or the USA and the distances between major cities are vast. Melbourne and Adelaide are a long way from Brisbane. Sydney is the closest capital city and it’s over 900km away eg: London to Inverness in Scotland. Brisbane to Melbourne or Adelaide is a similar distance as London is to Rome. You won’t be popping by for a cup of tea! Flying is the most practical way to move between these cities, as driving will take you days, and cost a lot in fuel. All of that said, I’d still go to Brisbane as the weather is brilliant and the pace of life there much more relaxed than Melbourne of Sydney.
      I hope that helps.
      Cheers
      Paul

      • BobinOz November 29, 2016, 7:42 pm | Link

        Paul is spot on with his answer, and he is absolutely right to point out the huge distances between our major cities. Flying between them isn’t cheap either, we don’t have a Ryanair price structure here I’m afraid.

        Flights between cities are always quote prices of one-way, and can vary massively depending on the route but budget anything between $200 and $700 for each flight. So as Paul says, you won’t the popping round your aunts for a cuppa.

        I think Brisbane is a great choice though, I’ve been here for nine years and I’ve not been tempted to move to any other major city even though I have seen them all, almost. Just Canberra left on my list.

        Brisbane is great for the weather, being laid-back and a wonderful place to bring up kids. Good luck, Bob

  • Diana October 14, 2016, 5:55 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I love your website – it has been a great source of information!
    My husband and I live in London, UK … but have decided to trigger our article 50 in the next few months and move to OZ. My husband is a GP and he is getting many offers to work all over Australia (apart from Sydney, they seem to have enough doctors). However, we are struggling to decide which city to choose and I was hoping to get your advice on that. We have a 2 year old girl and I am currently 7 months pregnant so we will have a newborn soon too. Therefore, I won’t be working in 2017 and 2018 but will be looking to continue my career after that (corporate/management job). Therefore, we need a place which is family friendly but also offers good job opportunities. Brisbane seemed like a great choice …. until we saw your videos about the floods in 2011 and the snake!! Being Londoners, we are not used to getting in touch with nature that much! Is it really that bad? Also, the floods worry us – are there parts of Brisbane less likely to get flooded (on a hill)?
    Melbourne might be a good choice but I am worried that the weather is not much better than in London so the kids and I would be limited to indoor play areas etc and that’s not ideal. I would prefer to live in a place where I can take them to the beach (or at least outdoors) every day. Is the weather in Melbourne really that bad? Also, Melbourne seems too similar to London, very urban and I am worried that lifestyle is as hectic as it is in London. So in a nutshell, we’d like a place with nice weather, outdoors lifestyle, good job opportunities but no snakes, no floods. Is that possible to find? Or are we being unrealistic.
    Many thanks in advance for your answer.

    • BobinOz October 16, 2016, 9:29 pm | Link

      Ah, yes, there is just one problem with your comments and questions Diana, it’s that little bit where you say ‘but no snakes’. Nowhere in Australia does no snakes, although in fairness I’ve yet to see one in the cold room of the bottle shop. So that’s one safe area I suppose.

      Oh, there’s another thing, floods. I’m not really convinced there’s anywhere in Australia that doesn’t do floods every now and again either. Even cold rooms in bottle shops get flooded occasionally.

      The good news though is that you can minimise the risks of encountering both snakes and floods. If you haven’t yet seen these two articles, I’m sure you’ll find them useful:

      http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/13386/the-australian-snake-season-part-2-avoiding-snake-encounters/

      http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/8949/brisbane-and-queensland-floods-should-we-avoid-living-there/

      Whilst both of those articles are particularly about Brisbane, they can be adapted to apply to any city in Australia.

      So, which city should you go to? To be fair to Melbourne I don’t think you will find it too much like London, but I do agree with you that the weather isn’t great. It most certainly would be an improvement on London’s weather, but Melbourne’s weather is unpredictable, so if good weather is on your A list, it’s probably not the best choice for you.

      On the other hand, the weather in Brisbane is, in my view, close to perfect. Brisbane is also a quite laid-back city, nothing like London at all in that respect, and it is a great place to bring up kids. If your husband can get work here, Brisbane would certainly be my choice. I am biased though, I’ve lived here for nine years now.

      The floods we had were what they called a one in 100 years event, so flooding on that scale doesn’t happen very often. And my house, I’m pretty sure if that got flooded it would be a one in 100,000 years event, because my house is, you won’t be surprised to hear, on a hill. Snakes aren’t really a problem either, I reckon I see maybe one year. I don’t think there is anybody living here in Australia who wakes up each day worrying if there’ll be another flood or if they will see a snake.

      It’s just not something Australians think about on a daily basis, so these things are probably not worthy of a top slot on your worry list. Hope that helps and good luck with your move. Cheers, Bob

      • Paul November 28, 2016, 8:42 am | Link

        Hi Diana,
        sorry I missed your original post however it sounds like you haven’t moved yet so I’ll have a crack at giving you some answers. I agree with Bob about floods and snakes. Very rare to see a snake in any of the capital cities, and flooding seems to be a problem that is mainly peculiar to Brisbane, and only it’s river flats at that. Compared to the UK, Melbourne’s weather is positively Mediterranean. I lived in Melbourne for 20 years and can say it is a delightful city that has many advantages over Sydney ie: less congestion, better public transport (mostly), better cafes and restaurants (and cheaper) better arts/music scene, better sporting culture and facilities. Yes the weather is slightly cooler, more windy and more changeable than Sydney or Brisbane, but it’s still pretty darn good. If it’s beaches you want, Melbourne has plenty, but the water is much colder than Sydney or Brisbane (Gold Coast). I’ve lived in Sydney for the last 15 years and can say that it’s weather is perhaps perfect, it’s beaches amazing, and it’s harbour beautiful. But then there is the traffic, the congestion, the urban sprawl, the astronomical cost of living…nowhere is perfect, but Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are all pretty good. All 3 regularly make it into The Economist’s annual top 10 most liveable cities in the world list.
        Sydney and Melbourne have an edge over Brisbane when it comes to professional employment opportunities, with Sydney being both the financial capital (sorry Melbournians) and the main commercial centre of Australia. Most global companies have set up their head offices in Sydney for one very simple reason. There are more international flights that terminate in Sydney than any other location in Australia, so international visitors/managers don’t need to take another flight once they get to Australia, having often been in the air for 20 hours or more.

        I think you’ll be really happy with any of the 3 main cities, and even the other capitals although I’m not qualified to comment on what it’s like to live in them, Perth and Adelaide also hover around the Top 20 most liveable cities list. If you want to buy a house, and you are not fantastically wealthy, I’d chose Brisbane. Melbourne and Sydney housing costs are close to ridiculous.
        I hope that helps.
        Cheers
        Paul

        • David November 28, 2016, 1:52 pm | Link

          I do have to correct your error of fact, Melbourne and Adelaide are both within the Economist top 5 ranked most liveable cities, Perth is at number 7, Sydney has fallen out of the top ten and Brisbane has always rated significantly behind the other four cities.

          Mind you, I think these rankings are somewhat artificial.

    • Brian Bligh October 30, 2016, 2:33 am | Link

      Come to Perth. This Bob guy doesn’t know of that which he speaks. I’ve lived in Brisbane for nearly 5 years. Brisbane makes you realise how much better Perth is. So-called “isolation” is not an issue, except Sydney and Melbourne are isolated from Perth.Until recently more UK persons settled in Perth than any other place. Let me tell you, you stubble over them everywhere in Perth. Plus we speak better proper English and are the most civilised of all Australians

      • BobinOz October 30, 2016, 7:27 pm | Link

        Ah, nice to have a member of Perth Tourism pop by, thanks for taking the time 🙂

        By the way, I love the ‘better proper English’, that’s a classic.

    • Mark November 28, 2016, 7:04 am | Link

      Hi Diane Apologies meant to reply to this when you posted but a loss of family member in UK sidetracked me as it would. I was replying for your Melbourne questions and can say it is absolutely nothing like London I have now worked in both…London is far far far busier with over double the population if statistics are correct, id personally say triple, it feels like it. Not at all urban like London..There is a freshness a feeling of space a feeling of not having to watch the person coming towards you for fear they will walk into you The trick with anywhere is dont head for the city, live outside many business are outside it as well and a GP well wherever there is people you will need a GP. so look at Greater Melbourne if you are still looking this way…as an example head down the Mornington Peninsular, its called mini ‘pohm land’ Again like Perth which has a lot of Brits the area of the Mornington Peninsular has become a magnet in Melbourne though of course they are everywhere…. Weather well its not as good as Brisbane but its way better than UK ..It has been a particularly bad winter, It certainly can change here they say with justification it can experience four seasons in one day That’s true but its almost like being in Madeira or Southern Spain The rain comes you get wet you dry out, .We are a lot more outdoors sorts since moving. I think the chances of flooding here are remote (impossible where we live, unless Noah is arriving) Melbourne will offer probably more corporate places than Brisbane,for you. As a final tip I spent hours driving round on google street looking Its not ideal but gives ab idea…One things for sure you will be far happier here than UK if you can adapt.

  • Kella September 30, 2016, 6:11 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    This post is super helpful. Thank you. My husband and I intend on moving to Australia in a few years time and would like your opinion on the best city to move to between Melbourne and Brisbane. We are from the Caribbean and enjoy everything nature including the beach, rivers, fishing, hiking etc. We want a place with lots of entertainment and activities both indoor and outdoor, like parks, zoos, museum, pubs, great dining etc. We wish to be close to the city but also enjoy a little peace and tranquility preferably with some tree or park surrounding. I’m a finance professional so would need to be in a city with corporate feel but not as hectic as Sydney. Being from a tropical island we would prefer warmer weather but if we an adjust to the unexpected weather of Melbourne that would be ok. We also would like the area to be a great place to start a family. Grateful for your opinion.

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 7:16 pm | Link

      Thanks Kella, glad you like it.

      Disclaimer first, I am rather biased, I live in Brisbane and love it. From what you are looking for, Brisbane would have everything you want and you will also have a better chance of living close to the city here. Melbourne is a much bigger city and I would think living close to the city there would be quite expensive. The cost of housing in Melbourne is definitely a lot more expensive.

      Melbourne though would probably win out in terms of job opportunities and definitely wins on nightlife entertainment, it is probably the capital of the performing arts in Australia.

      Brisbane wins on the weather though, by a long way as well, you can wear shorts and a T-shirt all year round. It is also a much more laid-back city. If you can get work in Brisbane, that’s where I’d go if I were you, but as I’ve already said, I am biased.

      • Kella October 4, 2016, 6:26 am | Link

        Thanks Bob will take that into consideration. Seeing as I’m from the Caribbean maybe Brisbane will be as close to I’m used to as possible. I will probably have to spend some time in both of the cities with my husband to see what suits us. But laid back and shorts sound great to me. Thank you so very much.

        • BobinOz October 4, 2016, 7:13 pm | Link

          Yes, for sure, that’s the best thing to do if you can, spend a bit of time in each city. Nothing beats checking out a city for yourself before deciding where to go. Good luck with your plans, Bob

  • Haroon September 17, 2016, 4:34 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I’m a GP in the UK and have a few job opportunities in Australia (DWS areas mainly)
    There are jobs all over at the moment, so it’s kind of down to me where in Australia I’d want to apply. Me and my wife enjoy our peace and quiet, but like to be close enough to big cities with lots happening, so we can dip in and out. We do love the beach, and would love to live somewhere with a view/pool. Any thoughts on which cities fit the bill? At the moment we’re thinking around Melbourne or Gold coast. Any thoughts?
    Thanks in advance

    • BobinOz September 19, 2016, 1:50 pm | Link

      Melbourne is a great city, but housing is expensive and if you prefer your weather a bit warmer, then you may well be better off positioning yourself close to Brisbane. If you do that, I’d suggest you take a look at the Sunshine Coast instead of the Gold Coast.

      Gold Coast is not the place to go for peace and quiet, and you’d get a much nicer house with a view and a pool by choosing the Sunshine Coast instead. Both are the same distance from Brisbane for when you need your injections of city life.

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Haroon Butt September 19, 2016, 7:17 pm | Link

        Thanks Bob, given me some food for thought. 🙂

  • Maximillion September 16, 2016, 6:24 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I am 19 years old and i’m from The Netherlands. I loved reading your website, very interesting.
    I have the thought about moving to Australia for a very long time and have the plans to move too.
    But like i said, im just 19 and i do not really have explored ‘life’ very good.
    The plan is to go for ‘a year off’ very soon. Probably when im turning 20 or 21. My first thoughts about moving would be Brisbane or The sunshine coast(when i was reading the blog). This might be a big question to answer, but where do you see the best opportunities for me and what place should be the best to explore the life in Australia?

    Thank you in advance!

    Max

    • BobinOz September 16, 2016, 8:43 pm | Link

      You might like to read my pages about Working Holiday Visas and Backpacking in Australia.

      Lots of youngsters come here for a year on that kind of visa, it’s a great way to see this country so you can get to decide whether you want to live here more permanently or not. It’s difficult to say where the best opportunities might be, but generally they are in Melbourne, Sydney, perhaps Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

      It’s not just about opportunities though, it’s also about having fun and I’m sure you’ll have that in all of those places. Hope that helps, Bob

  • sam September 4, 2016, 7:39 pm | Link

    Hi! I am looking at moving to Australia. Its just an idea at the moment but all my family want this. I am an Early years teacher and my partner is an external plumber and can do all aspects of street works. I have two children 10 and 8. Which in your opinion will be the best place for us to live that will have work for us both and good schools whilst still having good weather and lots to do for the children? Thank you in advance

    • BobinOz September 4, 2016, 11:36 pm | Link

      My advice would be to go to whichever city you have the best opportunity of finding work in, and that is often a moving target. To research it, check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      All Australian cities have good schools and lots to do for the children, good weather depends on what you regard that to be. Some cities are too hot for some people, some not hot enough. It depends what you want.

      Before you start choosing where to live though, I would check into whether or not you would qualify for a visa first. See my page about Visas.

  • Mohammed August 31, 2016, 3:17 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I am a Nigerian coming to Australia for master in engineering courtesy of Nigerian government scholarship. Can I come with my wife?
    What is the financial requirement on my part, since I am the only one being sponsored.

    • BobinOz August 31, 2016, 4:52 pm | Link

      I do not answer these kind of questions, only MARA registered migration agents are allowed to do that. Please see Would I Qualify?

  • Lee July 4, 2016, 1:45 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I have lived in both Sydney and Melbourne about 20years and I’m sick of this cold weather. We are thinking to move in Brisbane but I have a question to ask. How often & how bad do you get cyclone or storm during summer? I worried about that. No one complained about that so I guess I’m thinking too much or I don’t need to worry about it at all.. Please give me an answer. Thanks Bob

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