New South Wales

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

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

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

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

Places in New South Wales

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

Populations of places change on a daily basis. When I compiled this list in 2011, I got my population figures from various sources and some of them are from the census of 2006. I have decided not to try to constantly update these population numbers, so if you are interested in a certain city or town, then you may want to search online for updated information about the population.

That way you can see if the population is growing, unchanged or shrinking.

Here’s the list….

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

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

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{ 221 comments… add one }
  • Linda Lee March 27, 2024, 1:36 am |

    Am looking to find a couple from NSW, who were in the Germany Army and were stationed in Shilo, Manitoba, Canada in 1974 to 76. Their names, Richard and Maria May. I’ve lost track of them and want to visit, but I don’t know what city or address. Can you help? My maiden name they would know me by is Linda Conley. Thanks. By the way I’ve been to Australia twice and loved it. Mostly stayed in Adelaide, and traveled the coast to Sydney to fly home.

    • BobinOz April 4, 2024, 4:17 pm |

      Crikey, that’s a tough one, I wouldn’t know where to begin to help you find your friends from back in the seventies. Sorry I can’t help, but I do hope you find them. Good luck, Bob

  • Rod August 7, 2019, 12:07 pm |

    I didn’t see any mention of the Mid North Coast here, so thought I would add one. This is the area from roughly Seal Rocks up to Woolgoolga. My wife and I settled near Coffs Harbour just over a year ago, emigrating from the US, and approaching retirement are delighted with the area as a place to settle. Not too crowded, not too remote! As an occasional motorcyclist I also enjoy the beautiful countryside.

    Port Macquarie is also very nice and active with new home construction, whereas the Coffs area has more established neighborhoods.

  • Minnie March 11, 2019, 1:30 am |

    Hi Bob,
    It’s good to see how helpful and supportive you are to all those confused and seeking minds. Well, I am looking for a good institute or college offering Yoga teachers training courses. And I have found Byron Yoga Centre in Byron Bay offering a year long course. Would you be able to tell me if it’s going to be a good decision to come to this city for the course in terms of living there and also finding jobs. Also my 10yrs kid will be accompanying me so I will have to find schools for her too. Very confused if it’s going to be a good decision or not. Pls help me with your views !
    Thanks in advance

    • BobinOz March 11, 2019, 6:00 pm |

      I love Byron Bay, it’s probably my favourite town in all of Australia. It’s very much Hippiesville, it’s the Australian capital of the alternative lifestyle. It’s a very busy town, I think I read somewhere that it is the second most visited place in New South Wales after the Opera House.

      The downside though, is it’s very expensive, accommodation doesn’t come cheap. It’s busy too, lots of tourists and the roads near the town can become gridlocked.

      You can read much more about Byron Bay on my website, I’ve written quite a few articles, you can access them all from here…

      Whether or not it would be a good decision for you and your young child though, it’s hard to say, but the place does buzz, so I’m sure it does have a decent school in it and work available for the right people.

      Hope that helps and good luck with your plans, Bob

  • Sunny December 16, 2017, 5:29 pm |

    Hi Everyone,
    Hope you all are fine & doing great,
    I would like to know about the far south coast, NSW area, as an immigrant (489 visa) which area in this region is most suitable for a job, living, and quality of life, for a new person who has not much idea about this region of FSC,NSW, how he/she can come here and start a good living. what would be the average cost of living there, how long it takes to find a job, and the weather conditions?
    kindly I am looking for an expert advise from the ones who know about this area in detail.

    looking forward,

    Thanks & Regards,

    • BobinOz December 18, 2017, 5:02 pm |

      Yes, you will definitely need someone who knows the area well to help you with this, so that counts me out.

      Can anybody help Sunny with this?

    • Satwinder Singh January 8, 2018, 1:38 am |

      Hi Sunny – even I am due to move to Far South Coast in April 2018 and looking for some good knowledge about which area is good to move to within Far South Coast which provide decent accommodation, employment and schooling options. Any help on the information related to these would be appreciated.

      Thank you.
      Satwinder “Sat” Singh

      • Damian April 10, 2018, 1:20 am |

        Hi Sat,
        I am also an applicant to move into far south of NSW.

        Please let me know how you manage to find a city or town to settle down in. Any useful tips from you would be very helpful. Thanks in advance

    • Michael January 27, 2018, 8:34 am |

      The far south coast of NSW is rich in natural beauty but poor in job opportunities. If you live in the northern tip of the far south coast you will be in the Shoalhaven where the bulk of the people are, Nowra is about an hour from Wollongong (10th largest city in Australia) so you might be able to work there for a greater opportunity. Nowra however isn’t the nicest place around.

      • BobinOz January 29, 2018, 7:40 pm |

        Yes, I know what you mean about Nowra, it was featured on a TV show recently called ‘Ice Wars’. Very sad.

  • Sammie July 26, 2017, 6:29 am |

    Hi Bob, I am currently in the U.K. but have spent many years on the Central Coast of NSW. I am happy to answer any questions people might have on the areas from Gosford to Wyong and into/up to the Hunter Valley and Newcastle. I have also spent many years in Sydney – mostly Eastern Suburbs but also Riverwood (Southeast Sydney).
    Just thought I’d let you know that I can help out answering questions about those places.
    Your website is fantastic – thank you for taking the time to build it.

    • BobinOz July 26, 2017, 11:43 pm |

      Hi Sammie and thank you very much for offering to help. The areas you know well are not places I know at all really, other than having driven through them once on a road trip about nine years ago. So yes, if you can help people out, that would be great.

      Hopefully you have subscribed to the comments on this page so if anyone does ask, you will see it here. Glad to hear you like my website as well, it’s actually been fun putting it together.

      Thanks again, Bob

    • Martin September 21, 2017, 5:55 am |

      Hi Sammie

      Many thanks for your offer on Bob’s site to give advice on Sydney and the Central Coast.

      Currently living in London with three fairly young kids (10, 7 and 7 – twins) and an Aussie/Kiwi wife itching to get home!

      Seriously considering a move to Aussie/NSW but ideally not wanting to be in the heart of the big city, although our jobs dictate we’ll probably need to work there to earn a decent living. Thinking about North Shore Sydney or more creatively a little further out, even Central Coast if there’s ideally a good train connection into the city for commuting. Car an option although would prefer public transportation if possible – recognising that links won’t be as good as into London.

      We’ll need a 4-5 bed place ideally on or near the coast and very good accessible schools – private or state.

      Would be grateful for any thoughts you may have.


      • BobinOz September 25, 2017, 7:06 pm |

        Hi Martin

        Sammy doesn’t appear to be around at the moment, but hopefully will see this comment soon and help you out. Or maybe somebody else will see it and give you some advice. From what I know, North Shore is hugely expensive, and I mean massively high priced for housing.

        It’s a great place to live though, I would have thought, if you can afford it. If no one else does answer you here, it might be a good idea to have a look at the comments on my main page about Sydney, you will probably pick up some useful tips from those. Good luck, Bob

      • Sammie April 10, 2018, 8:37 am |

        Hi Martin
        Not sure what went wrong but I’ve only just seen your post and questions!!
        Where are you at with your move? Do you have any more specific questions or would you like me to respond to your original questions?

    • Sarah mcphilemy October 14, 2017, 4:59 pm |

      Hi I was wondering if you might be able to offer any advice ? My family and I (hubby and 3 children 15, 10 and 1)are looking to emigrate to Australia, I am a social worker and have just had a positive skills assessment returned however just as we put in our letter of intention we were advised that we don’t have enough points to apply to Queensland at this stage. Wwe only have 60 points originally our plan was to move to the Gold Coast and we had been earlier in the year to look at properties however since receiving a positive skills assessment we have been told that the government are now only Inviting people with 65 points or more to apply and Queensland will not sponsor my occupation however New South Wales will. We are now facing the decision do we bite the bullet and go to New South Wales even though we have never visited the area with this I will need to commit to living and working in this area for two years as part of the stipulations of the sponsorship , or we wait and see what the government decide about allowing applications at 60 points again in the future this is an issue for us as our son is about to start his GCSEs and we need to make decision sooner rather than later
      Looking at New South Wales it looks beautiful but we have no idea where to start looking, the areas that we were looking at in the Gold Coast were oxenford and Helensvale. We will only be able to afford up to about $700,000 and ideally need a four bedroom property with a pool. We would like to be relatively close to the beach and other amenities. We also need to be close enough to a town or city for work opportunities for myself and my husband who is a panel beater / paint sprayer. Can anyone advise on areas that we should look to explore I understand it will be very expensive moving towards Sydney so would ideally like to be on the border of the Gold Coast or along the north coast
      Any advice would be greatly appreciated
      Thank you x

      • Ozimandias October 15, 2017, 3:50 pm |

        You are a social worker. As a rule, your options for work are greater in the more socially chaotic and dysfunctional ares, though this will be at odds with your choice of residence.

        The GC is a growth area for your trade, with a strong contingent of meth-heads & dysfunctional families, though one which offers good choices for living. It would probably be also pretty good for a tradie, given the number of accidents there. I know one social worker who worked there for a long time and it was pretty intense. To me, that means at some point new facilities will emerge and therefore new work opportunities.

        Fortunately, the Goldie lies close to the border of NSW, so northern NSW is another option if you like it quite hot. You could look at Byron Bay to work which has opened up a new hospital recently. Alternatively, Lismore or surrounds. Try to keep the drive under half an hour. Forget about public transport around the GC or northern NSW unless you are working very local to your residence.

        Lismore itself is not somewhere I would live, but may have work options and around the area it can be very pretty. Your buy up to price would easily get something great.

        If you are undecided and want to rent in NSW, your options are manifold.

        I would get the app and research all towns in your price range.

      • Mark October 15, 2017, 9:00 pm |

        Hi Sarah Just reading your post and thought id chip in.. My specialist area may be considered Melbourne so cant help on area but thought id point a couple of things out. Beach and pool…. both are really not needed We bought pool and close to beach and the beech has seen about six trips in nearly two years (11 and 9) mostly when we are nowhere near home. Sand gets everywhere so pool it is…Id be amazed if yours are any different..
        Had not heard about the 65 point rule but it seems to be getting tougher and tougher to get in Id be seriously tempted to get in and worry about things in two years time. Look at other areas of NSW Maybe up and coming Wollongong or there is many a place down the coast I guess…With your profession I imagine you will always find work here and as for your husband he will never ever be out of work here I’ve travelled this world extensively and driven in Toronto, India, Lagos, Rome Paris and Athens perhaps some of the worse drivers in the world and id still say some Aussies make far worse drivers. I frequently see the aftermath of an accident a day (not in my rear view mirror I hasten to add)
        My advice for what its worth (not much) is go for it bite the bullet

        • BobinOz October 16, 2017, 8:41 pm |

          You’ve already been given some good advice here Sarah, for what it’s worth, here’s what I think.

          Yes, yes, yes! Do it! Nothing wrong with New South Wales at all, and if you really love the Gold Coast, just go to northern New South Wales, you’ll be 20 minutes or so drive from GC.

          If you don’t like it, two years will pass quickly, and who knows, it might just get harder and harder to move here so if you wait, you may blow the chance.

          I’ve often been down to the northern New South Wales coast, it’s great, check out the following posts…

          Obviously, as others have mentioned, you will need to go where the work is, so do your research on that first. Personally I’d go anywhere in NSW just to get over here. Good luck, Bob

      • Michael October 29, 2017, 6:08 am |

        Hi Sarah,
        I currently live in Grafton which is in the Northern Rivers district of NSW. I visit the Gold coast every now and then as it is only a few hours away. However there are a great many towns closer to the border that would let you work in NSW and be close to the Gold Coast.
        Places to Look at would be Lismore (population around 30k), Ballina (Population around 8k) Byron Bay (Population around 5K) or if you really really want to be on the Gold Coast Tweed Heads (Population around 8K) cross the street and you are on the Gold Coast and need to change the time on your clocks.

        • Sarah mcphilemy October 29, 2017, 9:31 pm |

          Thank you so much to all of you who have responded and provided such helpful advice. We have submitted our expression of interest to New South Wales as well as the standard expression of interest so we will keep our fingers crossed something comes from this, we will explore the areas that you have mentioned thank you so much it’s great to have some feedback from people who are in the know
          Kind regards Sarah

    • Simon Elvins October 27, 2019, 12:57 pm |

      Hey Sammie

      Just seen your post on Bob Site, altho was in 2017! I wonder if you still have time to offer any advice re central coast as we are looking to move up there? Regards, Simon

      • Sammie October 27, 2019, 5:33 pm |

        Hi Simon
        Yes, I’m still happy to answer any questions I can.
        Fire away!
        Sammie ?

        • Simon Elvins October 27, 2019, 6:02 pm |

          Hey Sammie
          Thanks for coming back. We’re looking for somewhere that we can commute into Sydney from, but within a stones throw from some beaches but with a nice feel to the place. We’ve been looking at WoyWoy and Umani Beach as possibilities and i’ve had a rummage around looking for info on both but all seems a bit pre-2017 and a bit mixed re the mix of people living in those areas with it all depending on what street you live etc.

          What are the trains like into the city, regular; packed? Can you get a seat? maybe the early morning ones are better?
          Can you get a bus up to the WoyWoy station from Unmani?
          Can you swim in the sea in Umani or are there shark threat etc -Is the water very ‘surfy’ or do you get flat sea?
          Also what about Bush fires, were there many?
          What is the general feel around Umani, beach vibe or pretentious?
          Would you recommend any other areas close by – Were not looking to pay more than $550 a week rental?
          Best regards

        • Simon Elvins October 31, 2019, 10:54 am |

          Sammie, come back! 🙂

  • Dylan June 5, 2017, 2:43 am |

    I will be Migrating with my family to NSW under the 190 visa ,I am a civil engineer by profession and my partner is an IT engineer .In fact ,I am wondering weather which area would be preferred to settle.Although many has recommend Sydney suburbs, it is obvious that cost may be high. Can you let me know which suburbs would be better.Does any body have idea about Kings Langley ,concord and Wollongong ??

    • BobinOz June 5, 2017, 8:12 pm |

      Dylan, you would be much better off checking out the comments on my page about Sydney, there’s lots of talk about the suburbs there. In fact I think Kings Langley and Concord were mentioned very recently.

      Other than that, hopefully somebody who knows these areas well will answer your comment here, more particularly about Wollongong. Being in Brisbane, I’m afraid I just don’t know the areas you have mentioned well enough.

  • Marina van Leyden January 24, 2017, 5:51 am |

    Hi Bob, great website! I’m hoping to move to Oz on a contributory parent visa as both my children are over there (my daughter permanently and my son currently on a student visa). I’m looking at either Mullumbimby in NSW or possibly Noosa in QLD as options. I’m currently a PA at a FTSE 100 company (global) and understand this type work might be hard to come by in either location, although I’d be happy to do anything to earn a crust! At 55, I’m not in the first flush of youth either though – What do you my chances might be in either location? It would have to be a regional area given my mother would likely join me on a retirement investor visa…

    • BobinOz January 25, 2017, 12:13 am |

      Well, it’s really difficult for me to say, but my best guest would be that you would find it incredibly difficult to find work. The job market right now isn’t every good in Australia and it’s even tougher for new arrivals. Of course, your age isn’t going to help either. Check out the following post and in particular the comments…

      As you say as well, neither of those places are particularly lively when it comes to looking for work, you’d be better off in Sydney or Melbourne, but obviously you do not want to go there. My page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you do some more research. Good luck, Bob

  • Emma forde January 21, 2017, 8:08 am |

    We are looking at possibly moving to newcastle in may with my partner and toddler. Was wanting to know good areas to live in and what is the weekly rental is roughly around for a 2-3 bedroom house 🙂 is trade work also easily come by in Newcastle??

    • BobinOz January 22, 2017, 8:49 pm |

      I don’t know the area well Emma, but my pages Which Suburb?, Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and Getting a Job or a Sponsorship can help you with your questions.

      Hopefully though, somebody who does know Newcastle well will read this and give you a better answer than I can based on their experience of the area.

    • Mike January 27, 2017, 10:01 am |

      Hi Emma, I used to live in the Newcastle area

      generally the good areas are also the expensive areas. Most of the people I spoke to indicated the following suburbs were the best The Hill (yes we have names like that) Cooks Hill and Hamilton as the best. However best also means more expensive in the region of 600 or 700 a week for a modest place.

      Newcastle is one of the bigger cities, not a terrible commute to Sydney if needs be so opportunities for work are better than most places around.

  • Saja October 28, 2016, 8:42 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I am a Sri Lankan, Chef willing to move to Wagga Wagga under 457 sponsorship visa.Hoping to bring my wife and two kids.Can you please say something about this city. Is it good place to live with the kids, what about school, which are better public or catholic, and how much should be my minimum income per month to cover my family expenses (not luxury life, i would say middle class family life) ? Your advice will be very helpful and appreciate
    Best wishes

  • Mark September 15, 2016, 7:33 pm |

    Hi we have received our sponsored visa acceptance today and moving out in November. My company however have now changed the destination from Port Macquarie (which we researched) to the central coast, so due to short notice could you/anyone please advise on best suburbs or places to live on the Central coast. My wife has quickly looked on dated posts and the feedback is not so good with high levels of anti social behaviour in certain areas. I know there is good and bad in every area but the feedback Is completely different to what was read about Port Macquarie. All I want to find is a nice safe area for my wife to feel comfortable in with the thought of paradise, while I am obviously doing the considerable hours working in a new country for a new employer. We have seen that Terrigal, Avoca, Copacabana and Green Point are the best places to live is this correct please? I am not bothered about commuting or entertainment, just want safe and hopefully picturesque area to rent.


    • BobinOz September 16, 2016, 8:08 pm |

      I’ve driven through the Central Coast, it’s a very pretty part of the country, but I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea what it’s really like to live there. So I’m afraid I will have to pass on this question Mark, but hopefully somebody who does know the area well will see this and help you out.

      Anybody got any advice for Mark?

      • Rafael September 21, 2016, 12:05 pm |

        Hi Mark,

        I live in Umina Beach. The places you mentioned Avoca, Terrigal, Copacabana, Green Point, all beautiful, if a little pricey. Green Point has no beach, the other 3 do. Most places in the Central Coast are fairly tranquil, Umina is quiet, there is the odd hoon who does a burnout up the road, but generally it’s peaceful. The places you mentioned are areas that are generally middle to upper socio economic level, but are also furthest from the motorway, if you need to travel for work. The lower socio economic areas tend to have more crime, the worst I heard of is Charm Haven / Blue Haven area.
        The Entrance, Long Jetty, Bateau Bay are also very nice. The whole area has lots of trees, lakes and beaches and is a great area to live.
        Rafael Furniss

    • Sammie July 26, 2017, 6:33 am |

      Hi Mark
      I’m assuming as your post is quite old that you,got the info you required about the central coast. If not, I lived there for many years and can answer any questions you might have.

  • Jacqueline September 14, 2016, 2:50 pm |

    Hi there,
    I am planning to migrate to the Far South Coast in NSW – the region we have chosen is Nowra which also consist of four cities, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, Sapphire, Illawarra. Which of these would you recommend as the best in regards to accommodation, transport, jobs and other facilities etc.? I have a 2 year old Toddler and would prefer a place where it would be easier for her to adapt.

    Thank you very much.

    • Tanay September 14, 2016, 6:09 pm |

      Hey Jacqueline,

      When do you plan to move? I plan to move there very soon too. I heard Shoalhaven is relatively safer and seems to have better infrastructure. Moreover, it is close to Sydney too.

      • Jacqueline September 14, 2016, 6:50 pm |

        Hi Tanay,

        Thank you. Yes I am looking to move somewhere next year in June or July if all goes well. Would be great to be closer to Sydney though considering job opportunities and so on and also the house rentals and public transport does matter too. I will research more on Shoalhaven.

        Thank you once again and hopefully we would bump into each other when in Aus 🙂

        • BobinOz September 15, 2016, 12:17 am |

          I’m afraid I cannot add anything constructive to this discussion, I drove through the area in 2009 on a road trip, I don’t think that qualifies me to give advice on the place 🙂

          So I will need to leave this to the locals, hopefully somebody reading this who knows the area well will be able to help you both out.

          Anybody got any ideas?

        • Tanay September 15, 2016, 12:40 am |

          Good luck with your applications, Jacqueline. I have my fingers crossed for my application that is under process. Yes, do your research and let me know too if you come across something interesting in terms of job searching and all. Finances would be an important aspect to consider.

          You are welcome … 🙂 Look forward to bumping into each other in Aus …

          Good luck.


        • Umesh Kumar Dalal January 17, 2017, 6:06 pm |

          Hi Jacqueline & Tanay,
          Have you moved to the area we are discussing here, I have done some research on the area and found Nowra is better place to live and wok. Job opportunities are limited but when you have decided to move then it will make opportunities to knock your door.
          I am also planning to move to this area in 2nd week of Feb17. Please share your views if you are already there.


          • kresh June 21, 2017, 3:05 am |

            I think Nowra is a very criminal town with a lot of drug addicts 🙁 On facebook you can read a lot of news about that place. I plan to settle (489 visa) in NSW South far coast, but I tnink about Bega Valley 🙂

            • BobinOz October 22, 2017, 1:24 pm |

              Sadly it seems you have made a valid point kresh. Nowra was featured on a TV show here last week called ‘Ice Wars’ as a town with an ice problem.

              • Ozimandias October 22, 2017, 6:09 pm |

                Nowra isn’t far south coast NSW. That would be the Sapphire Coast, ie “Monaro”, comprising Merimbula, Pambula, Bege, Eden, and a scattering of hamlets like Candelo and Wolumla…and if a bit inland, then the Bega shire.

                Further afield, we are talking an hour or so from Bega, is Cooma and the ski fields of Jindabyne and Thredbo. Home of the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme. There are some lovely rolling green hills in this area, between Bega and Cooma as well as around Bega, though Bega itself is ho hum.

                If moving to this area, ensure your employment beforehand.

                As for Nowra, it is not that far from the outskirts of Sydney. About as far as Goulburn, which is one of the oldest towns in NSW, a few hours inland, on the road to Canberra, which is a further hour by road.

                Nowra, as The Gong, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven etc is a media publicised area for ice, but truth be told, far from the worst in Oz, with many areas vying for the title. I would have put Ringwood/Lilydale, Hopper’s Crossing/Sunshine, Broadmeadows in Melbourne, maybe Franganistan, The Dandenongs. In Sydney, Blacktown, “Paris” (Parramatta), Mt Druitt, Drummoyne area, the Cross, Chippendale, Darlinghurst area….in Perth I would say Armadale, Gosnells, maybe Rockingham, Midland…in Brisbane, it would be “The Velley” (fortitude valley), Logan, though Bob has stated it is another city. It is essentially outer Brisbane to the south, much as Caboolture-Redcliffe, another hotbed of meth use, is to the north. Both Logan and Caboolture have become part of Brisbane with urban sprawl. Surfers Paradise is another heavy ice area. In Hobart, avoid Bridgewater and Gagebrook for the same reasons.

                As a rule of thumb, look at the prevalence of security grilles on windows. That gives you a pretty good indication of what crime is like. These are ubiquitous in Sydney. In Alice Springs you will see broken glass cemented walls with razor wire.

          • Dani July 8, 2018, 12:29 am |

            Hello umesh,
            Good day. Have you moved to far south coast and settled over there? I recently got 489 in field of IT and planning to move. Looking for an ideal area in terms of job and rental cost effectiveness. Your input in this regard wilk be very productive for me.

    • Damian April 10, 2018, 1:16 am |

      Hi Jacqueline,

      I am hoping that you would have already settled in NSW. I am due to move in mid June 2018.
      I am in the process of researching the best place to start our lives down under. My wife and myself have got the regional sponsored visa for far south of NSW. However I am not very sure which cities or towns that include.
      I suppose getting a decent job in the IT field with a affordable house to stay would be our immediate needs. Also the safety factor of the neighborhood.

      Please give your insights on how you went about setting up yourself in the area and any tips that would help us to get us going once we get there.

      Thanking you in advance for your time and information

      • Dani July 8, 2018, 12:31 am |

        Hello damian
        Good day. Have you moved to far south coast and settled over there? I recently got 489 in field of IT and planning to move. Looking for an ideal area in terms of job and rental cost effectiveness. Your input in this regard wilk be very productive for me.

  • rahul September 11, 2016, 4:12 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    How you doing?
    Very much impressed with your forum and its very helpful as well.
    I am planning to migrate to NSW and I have seen that you are not so familiar with the state about expenses, best places to stay etc. But still if you can help me out with some link to find out the best n reasonable place to live in NSW with my family. I am a sailor by profession and most likely would be preferring the place with maximum seafarer on/off shore jobs.

    • BobinOz September 12, 2016, 11:29 pm |

      Well, you can use my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship to search for jobs by your profession which would in turn help you decide where to live exactly.

      But nobody can help you with ‘best places to stay etc’ until you define what you mean by ‘best’. For some people, that’s an expensive area and for others it’s the cheapest. Some like the countryside, some like the city.

  • Jon denmark August 7, 2016, 4:00 am |

    My whole family are in Australia iam the only one I the uk how hard will it be for me to relocate in Australia I have good skills in construction on on have a drunk driving charge on police record 30 years ago

    • BobinOz August 7, 2016, 11:36 pm |

      Well, you would have to speak to a MARA registered Migration Agent to really find out what your chances are, but I can tell you with almost absolute certainty that the drunk driving charge from 30 years ago will not be a problem. Good luck, Bob

  • Sanjeev Uppal May 17, 2016, 6:34 pm |

    Hi Bob. How you going?

    Congratulations on this fantastically well done job with this site. It really is a comprehensive one with just about everything one needs to know about making the big move, before and after it.

    My request is for information from someone local or someone who’s recently moved in.

    We’ve secured a 190 PR from NSW and are planning to arrive by Mid August from New Delhi, India. Its me, my wife and our two daughters aged 7 & 13. So far, a Sydney suburb seems the most likely option for us to look at. Just that there are so many of those, it makes it a bit difficult to zero in.

    Typically, we’d be looking for a family oriented place perhaps within a 10 – 20 kms radius from the main city / CBD with train connectivity and some reasonable recreational activities (somewhere the whole place doesn’t shut down at 5 in the evening!! 🙂 Of course, the lower the crime / violence, the better. We could probably afford a $ 400 – 500 Weekly rental for a two bedroom accommodation. So far, I could see places like Campsie, Canterburry, Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, Cammeray Village, Petersham, Neutral Bay etc. But couldn’t really make out much except for indicative rentals. I’m certain there must be quite a few others matching our requirement (Or is it an impractical wishlist!!!)

    Just one last thing. Besides the rentals, how much more would it cost a month to cover basic utilities.

    Shall be much obliged if someone could help us understand this and other important things we may need to know to make an informed decision about the place to chose.



    • BobinOz May 18, 2016, 11:07 pm |

      Thanks, glad you like my website.

      Yes, you definitely need a local to help you out with this, I just wouldn’t know. Somebody may see this and help you out here, but I think you would be better off checking out the comments on my page about Sydney as there is a lot of talk about the various suburb and where to live.

      You may even want to post this question on that page instead. Good luck, Bob

      • Sanjeev Uppal May 19, 2016, 12:45 am |

        Thanks for the prompt response and the apt suggestion, Bob!

        Shall do that right away.

  • Shreyas Chaurasia May 13, 2016, 12:44 am |

    Dear Bob,

    My greetings to you. Well i just needed a small advice from you before applying for GSM subclass 190. I have experience in Sales/marketing and Warehouse Mgmt/ operations. Currently work in Lagos, Nigeria. I had done my Masters earlier from Melbourne and i’m planning to come back by this year end. I have done my online PR points calculation and it says i’meligible for 190 Subclass. However, i’m confused regarding job prospects in my field. Can you advice which State can sponsor me and how positive the job prospects will be in that state? I was thinking to go for NT but have never been there. Do reply. Regards. 🙂

  • Shailet April 25, 2016, 3:54 pm |

    Dear Bob,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for providing such a beautiful site with detailed information. I am a single parent of my 10 year old daughter. I have applied for the visa of SC190. I have experience in Administration and Human resource sectors. Kindly guide me to select an area to work and live in Sydney.


    • BobinOz April 26, 2016, 4:16 pm |

      You can research jobs on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and I would suggest you decide where to live after you know where you are going to work. You will find lots of advice about the suburbs of Sydney on my main page about that city.

      Thanks, Bob

  • TG February 28, 2016, 2:05 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    I am a Sri Lankan, IT professional willing to move to NSW far South coast under 489 regional sponsorship visa.Hoping to bring my wife and two kids.Can you please recommend me a perfect area to settle down in far south coast

    • BobinOz February 28, 2016, 9:31 pm |

      Well, Sydney is the obvious choice, especially for finding work, but I’ve heard Newcastle is quite good as well. I’m not local to the area though, hopefully somebody who is will give you their opinion.

      • TG February 29, 2016, 3:08 pm |

        Hi Bob,
        Thank you for the reply.


      • kresh June 21, 2017, 2:53 am |

        Thank you for your website. But be awere that with the 489 visa people must have worked full time in the regional, low population-growth or designated area for at least a year while you held your skilled visa.

        The work could be in you occupation or another field.

        • BobinOz June 21, 2017, 7:04 pm |

          Well spotted, and thanks for pointing that out. Sydney was a bad suggestion from me, as you have said, those with a regional sponsorship do have to work regionally. Cheers, Bob

    • TH July 13, 2016, 9:22 pm |

      Hey TG, when are you moving? or have you already moved?

    • Damian April 10, 2018, 1:43 am |

      Hi TG,

      I am also from Sri Lanka. My wife and myself have got invitation for NSW Far south 489 visa.
      I am also in the IT Field (Systems Engineer). I have been doing some research on the internet and was not able to find adequate details on which city/town we could move into. We are planning to move in somewhere around mid June 2018.

      Please let me know how you guys managed to setup yourself and advice of getting a job in the IT Field. Any tips and Advise would be really appreciated.


      • Irantha April 18, 2018, 4:22 pm |

        Hi Damian,
        I am from Sri Lanka too.I am also in the IT Field (Software Engineer). I am planning to move FSC area soon. Have you finalized an area to live and work? I would love to hear from you.
        And Bob, thank you very much for your post 🙂


  • USA2OZ December 15, 2015, 4:14 pm |

    Found this map image comparing NSW to Texas in size:

    And a whole website, if you just want to compare Australia as a whole to any country and to any U.S. or Canadian state, is “mapfight” e.g.:

    Very nice visuals to get a sense, though I hope some day they will add the option in the pulldown menus to choose an Australian state/territory as well, so one doesn’t need to mine google images on a case by case basis as I did for the first url above 🙂

  • tiffany rawlings October 9, 2015, 7:14 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    We are about 6 months away from completing our long awaited visas. My husband is a builder and has been offered sponsorship in NSW. I wanted to move to Melbourne. Can you yell me what are the best family suburbs to bring children up in please? we have two boys aged 14 and 7 who are in very good football clubs so will need to have that here if at all possible? we have a 2 year old girl too. Our main aim is living in a suburb which has teenagers for my son as he does not want to move away from his friends here in the UK, and good schools? any help would be greatly appreciated as i am loosing the will with all this at the minute.

    Many Thanks

    • BobinOz October 9, 2015, 8:44 pm |

      I will leave this one to the locals Tiffany, I don’t know New South Wales well enough to help. Maybe you could clear up exactly where in NSW you’ll be moving to? If it’s Sydney though, you may be best off asking this question on my page about Sydney and also reading the comments that have already been made there.

      For schools, you may want to check out my page Which school?

      Good luck, Bob

    • Mike December 27, 2015, 3:30 pm |

      Hi tiffany..

      Sutherland shire in the south has good schools and a pretty large weekend sports program for teenagers, close to good beaches it is a typical middle class area with good transport links to Sydney cbd..but it depends on how much money you have…for some it is too expensive for others too cheap…the further south and west you go the cheaper things get which is typical for sydney..further west is cheaper..until you hit the blue mother and sister still live in the sutherland shire i haven’t lived there for near on 15 years..

    • Natalie Shoreman February 12, 2017, 6:29 pm |

      Hi did you make this move my family are looking at this area my husband is in construction we have 8 year old and 3 year old looking for somewhere safe with lots of activities to help them settle if any advise thanks x

  • Amvb August 9, 2015, 9:41 pm |

    Hello, young family relocating from Melbourne to Northern Rivers of Nsw. Location flexible. Possibly Lismore, Ballina or Byron Bay.
    Worried about the crime, everything I read on the internet suggests it’s pretty rough and drugs are a huge issue. I know you can’t believe everything you read, so would love to hear from people familiar with the area to shed some experience?

    • BobinOz August 10, 2015, 8:15 pm |

      Yes, there is a bit of a mention of that in earlier comments in this thread. Byron Bay is well known as a bit of a hippie town, so no surprises there. It’s quite a nice town to visit for a holiday, been there a few times myself, but I don’t think it sounds like the kind of place you would want to live in.

      It’s a fair bit quieter slightly further up around Kingsciff to Tweed heads, so may be worth having a look that way. Other than that, hopefully somebody who knows the area better than I do will help you out here.

      You might also like to read the following post…

      And the ones linked from it at the foot of that article. Good luck, Bob

      • Wanda November 22, 2015, 12:40 am |

        Hey Bob,
        The Northern Rivers region covers Lismore, Ballina, Yamba, Maclean … yeah and that place called grafton we dont speak about hahahaha
        The first four are definitely lower in crime than Melbourne!! Unfortunately drugs seem to be an issue every where ….. Even in the outback.
        Yamba was voted the most desirable place in Australia to live a few years back.
        Hope that helps.
        cheers Wanda

        • BobinOz November 30, 2015, 7:39 pm |

          Yes, I remember the Yamba vote, it was Australian Traveler magazine and I wrote about it at the time…

          Maclean is pretty much the Scottish capital of Australia, see…

          • Sharon December 5, 2015, 7:12 pm |

            Re Maclean Scottish capital. Places like Glen Innes have a celtic festival every year and have replicated Stone Henge there. There is also a place south of Bowral as well which celebrates Scottish ancestry. Also Highland games are celebrated in Qld too.

            As a true blue Aussie I can honestly say to all people emigrating here, Qld is the most difficult state to settle in. If you think it is a culture shock, so do we who move there and return back to our home states after a few years. As for Gold Coast stick with Coolangatta/ Tweed area or Kingscliff, close enough to be far away from the GC strip.

            Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay nice places.

            As for NSW, population in Newcastle over 1 million. Beaches great in NSW and plenty of them accessible compared to Qld, with some beaches too remote and can’t swim due to jellyfish or crocs.

            But if you deem it necessary to live up north I suggest try before you buy. If you harken for snowy slopes then Canberra, Riverina and Vic are the go. If you wish for rural, well houses, rates and fuel cheaper at the moment than the major cities and towns.

            My suggestion is research where you intend to go. Ask questions to people on swap and sell sites on Gumtree. Better hearing it from the locals. Good luck to each and all with your emigrating here.

            • BobinOz December 7, 2015, 7:47 pm |

              Well I had no problems at all settling into Queensland, and I love it here, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I must stress though, I’m talking south-east Queensland, specifically Brisbane. If you want to go further north or into remote Queensland, yes, I can imagine it would take some getting used to. But Brisbane and the south-east is fine.

            • USA2OZ December 15, 2015, 4:09 pm |

              Sharon, thanks for sharing these personal observations. I do have one question…having planned on NSW but with me being advised (by agent Bob works with..I’ll skip the technical details) that for my case an initial 2 year stay in NT may be my best shot…I am wondering about your statement: “As a true blue Aussie I can honestly say to all people emigrating here, Qld is the most difficult state to settle in.”

              I’m wondering whether you meant, literally, when you said “state”, meaning you were only comparing to other states, or whether you were also comparing to NT.

              The latter interpretation of your comment, if correct, would be at least a bit comforting to hear: that NT is at least a tad better than the parts of Qld (not counting Brisbane and SE, perhaps, per Bob’s remarks) so is Darwin and its suburbs, better than the “most difficult” aspects of Qld? Or just as difficult or too hard to compare? As I said that’s been advised to me but I’m a bit concerned about how isolated it may be..not as bad as rural Qld? Your thoughts more generally on the non-rural parts of NT? Thanks

              • BobinOz December 17, 2015, 8:02 pm |

                In the absence of a reply from Sharon, may I offer my two cents worth?

                Generally speaking, when people talk about states in Australia, they are also talking about territories as well. Even so, I’m not sure you could conclude that Sharon thinks NT is easier to settle into in some parts of Queensland, it’s more likely that she has never tried to settle in NT.

                Of course, I’m guessing, hopefully at some point Sharon will read these updates and get back to us.

                As for Northern Territory, I assume you will be looking to live in Darwin? I’ve been to Darwin for 10 days, it’s certainly different. You can definitely class it as a large country town rather than a city, and it is most definitely an acquired case.

                It’s one of those places that you will either love or hate. Some people say it’s paradise, others a living hell. Two years isn’t a long time, and I could certainly live in Darwin for two years, not sure I could live there for 10 years or more though 🙂

                If it does represent your best opportunity of getting to Australia, I would certainly take it, it would be an interesting experience. That way you could find out for yourself if you end up being one of those people who think it’s a paradise or a hell.

                If you want to find out more about Darwin, maybe you should add a comment on my page about the city and asked for opinions from people who live there. Good luck, Bob

                • USA2OZ December 18, 2015, 1:33 pm |

                  Thanks Bob, your comments are helpful. When I am at least a little bit further along in the process I may well post on your Darwin page. Your comments are somewhat similar on the love or hate aspect, as those I got from an older Australian couple I am fortunate to have gotten to know. He recommended to, if possible, arrive in the dry season first adding that if I survive the first “wet” (season) then I might fall in love and not want to leave as he’s under the impression that that happens to more than a few. Apparently the temperature doesn’t get much above 90 (about 30.6 to 32.6 in Celsius…year round) but the humidity can be an issue..I’ll be following that by remote through a website I’ve found ( but I’m cautiously optimistic about at least “surviving” for two years..the visa side I’m still at an early stage…but finally taking more definitive steps forward with fingers crossed..

                  He also mentions Darwin is “extremely multicultural, lots of Aboriginal Australians, many islander people, South-East Asians and Chinese – and very tropical” comments and questions about which I may share on your other page as I said though, will hold off until I’m a bit further ahead

                  Best wishes to you and your family Bob..and best wishes for your health..

                  Also to all your readers whether they celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah (just ended), Kwanzaa (is mostly USA/Canada I think, but maybe spreading) Winter Solstice or several of these..and definitely New Years..and you all get to do so during your summer..lucky Aussies! Cheers 🙂

                  • BobinOz December 18, 2015, 9:34 pm |

                    Yes, everything you’ve been told by your Australian friends about Darwin is true. Personally I think it would be interesting to live there for a couple of years to see what you think of it. I’d give it a go if I needed to.

                    Seasonal greetings to you as well, have a good one. Cheers, Bob

  • Dorota July 31, 2015, 7:28 pm |

    I will be moving with my family to Port Macquarie , can someone say something about this city. Is it good place to live with the kids, what about school, which are better public or catholic, which area is safe and good to live in Port Macquarie, any comments , advice will be very helpful and appreciate
    Best wishes

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