Queensland (QLD) is Australia’s second biggest state and covers an area of 1,727,200 km². If it were a country in its own right, it would be the 18th biggest in the world, just behind Libya. The UK could fit into it over 7 times and it is the same size as America’s biggest state, Alaska.

It has a population of around 4.66 million people. It is known as “The Sunshine State” and its residents are affectionately called “Banana Benders” or sometimes, less affectionately, “Cane Toads”.

Queensland Location MapIts most famous attraction has to be The Great Barrier Reef, arguably the best place on the planet to look at the pretty fish.

Famous Queenslanders include Geoffrey Rush, actor, Rod Laver, tennis star and Powderfinger, one of Australia’s most successful rock groups. But surely the states most famous resident was John McCallum. John who? McCallum! Creator of Skippy, Australia’s most famous resident of ALL time.

Places in Queensland

The capital city of Queensland is Brisbane, but there are plenty other major towns, cities and localities to choose from within the state.

Here’s a list of all of them with a population in excess of 10,000 people along with a guide to how many people live there. It’s probably worth mentioning here that the Greater Brisbane region is made up of five different urban centres, including Brisbane City, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, and Redland City. This explains why you’d won’t see any of these places in my list of Queensland towns below.

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.

  • Gold Coast – over 450,000
  • Sunshine Coast – over 180,000
  • Townsville – over 128,000
  • Cairns – over 98,000
  • Toowoomba – about 95,000
  • Mackay – about 66,000
  • Rockhampton – approximately 60,000
  • Bundaberg – approaching 50,000
  • Hervey Bay – over 40,000
  • Gladstone – about 28,000
  • Maryborough- over 20,000
  • Mount Isa – about 19,000
  • Cairns Northern Beaches – over 15,000
  • Bongaree – around 14,000
  • Nambour – about 13,000
  • Yeppoon – about 13,000
  • Warwick – over 12,000
  • Emerald – about 11,000
  • Gympie – about 11,000

And then there are all the towns with less than 10,000 population, we’ll be adding those as we go. If you live in one any of these towns, or the smaller ones not yet listed, why not tell us about it in the comments below.

Fancy going on a virtual road trip along the Queensland coast?

In 2016 I hit the road for 19 days, driving from Brisbane all the way to Port Douglas, with plenty of stops along the way. I wrote over 30 posts about it so that you could take the same journey, virtually, at any time to suit you.

To start at the beginning, go to Another Australian Road Trip: Brisbane to Port Douglas.

Join me as I set off, then follow the journey by clicking the links at the foot of each article to get to the next stop. All the way to Port Douglas.


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{ 256 comments… add one }
  • Fi January 28, 2016, 2:32 pm |

    Hi , still in a dilemma about where to live when moving to Queensland. Considering work in Logan but concerned that travel from North Gold coast may be too much, I have spent many days and nights stuck on M60/M62 and don’t wish to relive the same experiences . Considering areas like Calamvale in Brisbane or Ormeau in Queensland …….can anyone help with how long it would take in rush hour from Ormeau ? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • BobinOz January 28, 2016, 8:55 pm |

      I’ve never done it in rush hour, but I can’t imagine that a journey from either Ormeau or Calamvale would take that long to Logan, it would certainly be nothing like the M60/M62.

      Traffic on the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and Logan can be quite thick during rush hour, but my worst nightmare in the UK was the M25 and it’s not anywhere near as bad as that.

      Hopefully somebody more local will be able to give you better information. Good luck, Bob

  • Liana January 18, 2016, 4:39 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    We are thinking of immigrating, I just want to ask a quick question.
    Can we apply for a visa, fly to activate it and only officially immigrate later (like a year or two later?) And how long after activating my visa do we need to immigrate?

    Thanks for your wonderful site, it really helps a lot.

    Kind regards,

    • BobinOz January 18, 2016, 9:44 pm |

      I believe this is true for Permanent Residency visas, but I don’t want to put in print the timescale as these things can change and I don’t want to mislead anyone.

      If you visit my page…


      The video shows you how you can checkout the terms of visas so you should be able to get the answer you need straight from the Aussie governments website.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Barb Mason December 7, 2015, 2:45 pm |

    Not too sure about living in queensland now. What with 7 Megaports (was 6 but Bundaberg has been added) along the coast from Bundaberg to Cairns. The Carmichael Mine from Gladstone to Bowen inland. And the proposed site of a nuclear waste dump at oman ana between goondiwindi and Warwick.
    I for one will be selling and moving interstate, not sure where yet. I don’t want to be here when the reef dies because of the ports and excess coal ships, nor see the migratory route of whales, green turtles, loggerhead turtles and dugongs being slaughtered by ships propellors. There will be nothing to see here in years to come, no reef, no marine life, nothing but industry.
    I am fighting tooth and nail to stop the ports and mines, but there isn’t enough of us signing to stop this nonsense.

  • Christine December 7, 2015, 11:39 am |

    Hi Bob Great site I am thinking of moving to Queensland (currently 2 hours north from Adelaide) as sick of the extreme weather – dry summers of 45oC and cold winter nights of 0oC Could you or your readers please advise what location would best suit…..Would like minimum of 2 acres and plan to build Do not want it in a flood area or extreme bushfire area or desert! Can be 2 hour drive max from a large town I do not work so employment for me not a problem My friend is a long haul truck driver (currently drives from Adelaide to Perth) so would there be employment for him? Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you

    • BobinOz December 7, 2015, 8:27 pm |

      It’s quite difficult to advise on this one Christine, once you go a bit remote in Queensland you are almost certainly going to be heading for a drought declared area. At the moment I think more than 80% of Queensland is drought declared, only some of the coastal areas and parts of the south-east are not.

      You might want to check the latest Queensland drought maps to confirm that. So I honestly don’t know what to advise here, I only really know Brisbane well enough, but it sounds to me as though you’d rather live further out.

      So I’ll pass this one over to my fellow Queenslanders, anybody got any advice they can give to Christine on this?

      • Christine December 8, 2015, 11:31 am |

        Hi Bob Thanks for your quick reply What determines a drought in Queensland, no rain all year?? I live in the driest state and where I live we are very lucky if we receive 400mm annually usually less It does not rain for months over summer so with that and the heat it is quite challenging Was thinking of areas 2 hours drive north west of Brisbane or even higher Really just need a big supermarket (Coles etc) to be about a hour away Are Real Estate Agents legally bound to tell the truth when questions are asked regarding the proposed structure of wind turbines, flood areas, nuclear waste dumps etc? Have got my dream house built in my head and will continue the research Thank you

        • BobinOz December 9, 2015, 10:46 pm |

          That’s a good question Christine, I don’t know what the exact answer is, but I think drought declared simply means there really isn’t enough water to sustain day-to-day living. So that means there are restrictions, like no watering of the land, no baths only showers, you can’t wash the car, that sort of thing.

          In outback Queensland, I don’t think it’s uncommon for some areas to go without rain for a whole year, maybe even two or three years. Some of the images I’ve seen of farm animals are pitiful, they are literally dying on their feet.

          If you’re thinking two or three hours north west of Brisbane, that’s between Kingaroy and Chinchilla. I think Chinchilla has been both flooded and in drought in the last five years, so there are simply no guarantees. Same with those estate agents 🙂

          I wish I knew these areas well enough to help you, but I don’t. You will need to do thorough research though, that’s for sure.

        • Sandi March 1, 2016, 5:05 pm |

          Look at the Atherton Tablelands, best area in Australia, let alone Queensland. Plenty of rain, deep rich, red volcanic soil, not far from Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, but high enough to be cooler and less humid.

      • Twoih December 30, 2015, 12:54 pm |

        Christine, try Wamuran Woodford Kilcoy 50+mins north of Brisbane, you’ll pay around $200k to $500k some will even with a house on already. Truckies are in the area as it is near logistics centres and Bruce Highway. Good luck.

  • Woj December 4, 2015, 7:27 am |

    Hi Bob!

    Hello again, as this is probably atleast the 5th time that I have written 🙂 Looks like our situation is slowly starting to clear up. Its a matter of a couple of days until I submit my wifes partner visa to the department, I have aussie citizenship, my kids have it by descent from me so all is looking up. Earlier this year I was taking three places into account for living – perth, Adelaide (as it is by far the cheapest) and Queensland.
    Looks like Queensland has won as the weather will appeal to us. We want sun, full stop 🙂 Also laid back lifestyle, lots of beaches. So Queensland will be on the menu, more exact – the sunshine coast.
    I have a question. We are a family of 4 (2 small kids). We are definately not looking for hustel and bustle. We want a quiet and friendly lifestyle. Also from what I have read, the sunshine coast is relatively cheaper than gold coast for example?

    Whch suburbs/locations are worth taking into account on the SC? I have been to Noosa once in my life and loved it, allthough there was loads of people there and was quiet expensive. Is there any ideas as to a place as lovely but less people and cheaper to buy/rent? Marroochydore maybe? Any other suburbs?

    For us the most important is safety. We have two small children so we are looking for a safe place which is great for family and bringing up kids. Any ideas anyone?

    Thanks up front 🙂

    • BobinOz December 4, 2015, 7:52 pm |

      Hi Woj

      Yes, for sure, the Sunshine Coast is cheaper and quieter than the Gold Coast. Australia in general is a very safe country, but I would also suggest that the Sunshine Coast is probably safer still.

      As for where to live, may I suggest you check out my page about the Sunshine Coast and have a good read of all the comments, your find lots of good information about the various suburbs in the area. Good luck in your search, Bob

      • woj December 5, 2015, 1:08 am |

        Hi Bob. Thanks again for your Reply. Last quickie. You mentioned a while back that somewhere in the sunshine Coast there is a huge market, something like a ‘flea market’ (i think thats what its called) – a market where People buy and sell their private stuff. I think you mentioned sthg that its the biggest sort of market like this in queensland? Me and my wife love this sort of stuff! What is this market called so i can read a but about it and where Does it take place?

    • Patrick January 29, 2016, 10:28 pm |

      Hi Woj,
      Am renting a lake side house on currimundi lake as of tomorrow. Great street, wonderful Neigbours and parks and good schools close by. 41 Coongarra esp. Wurtulla. Contact me if interested. Or check photos on realestate.com.au .

  • Chris Jelliffe November 2, 2015, 12:08 pm |

    Hi Phoenixy
    Springsure is a very small place indeed, but in some spectacular bushland and near the famous Camarthen Gorge which is a well,know beauty spot popular with walkers and campers. You would be completely safe, but liveability depends entirely,on what you enjoy doing! If camping, bushwalking, pig shooting and rodeos is your thing it would be great. Are you intending to work as a pharmacist? The nearest big town would,be Emerald. I cannot imagine Springsure has a pharmacy!
    Why did Springsure grab your attention?
    Happy to help with any more info if needed
    Chris Jelliffe

  • Phoenixy October 31, 2015, 4:06 am |

    Hi Bob

    Thank you very much for creating such a wonderful website which provides real insight in to various parts of Australia. I have a question for you please.

    I am a pharmacist (Indian descent) and planning to move to central Queensland near SPRINGSURE area, may be for a bit. is it a safe place or liveable for someone like me?

    would appreciate your advice.


    • BobinOz November 1, 2015, 8:48 pm |

      Gosh, you’ve got me there, I’ve never been to Springsure or anywhere near it. I have no idea. Hopefully somebody else who knows the area can help you out, anybody?

      Sorry I couldn’t be more help, if nobody else answers you here, there are some research tools on my page called Which Suburb? that may help. Good luck, Bob

  • Chris September 3, 2015, 6:29 pm |

    Sorry Lilli- dont quite get the question! Whats the go? Who cares and why does that matter? Confused! Chris

  • Lilli Willcocks September 3, 2015, 11:41 am |

    How many people go to live up in Queensland that already live in other states of Australia?

  • Chris Jelliffe August 18, 2015, 12:58 pm |

    Hi Lee- Cairns is a great city in the wet tropics, so two,seasons, dry (winter) and wet (summer). I live 360kms South in Townsville, but know the city very well as my son was there at University for five years.
    Very vibrant, cosmopolitan, with a thriving tourist industry due to the very close proximity of the Barrier Reef. Several great shopping centres, great restaurants catering for very taste, good schools , wide variety of amenities- a very liveable city. I have several friends bringing up young families in Caitns and they reckon it’s a fantastic place to bring up a family.
    The airport is international, and the surrounding tropical bush is fantastic. It is very seriously tropical- the wet season is stinking hot for about three months, with monsoonal rain and impressive storms.The city is also in the cyclone belt so that has an effect on property insurance prices. The dry season is wonderful- months of warm clear weather but enough rain to keep everything green and lush!
    Cairns is the gateway city to the Daintree and Cape York, and boasts many beautiful beaches north of the city. If the heat gets too much a 1 hour drive up to the Atherton tablelands finds a significant drop in temperature and humidity. The tablelands area is like a lush, warm verdant version of the Welsh foothills.
    I would move to Cairns in a heartbeat. – I’m an anaesthetist in Townsville and unfortunately I’m by no means the only one who’d like to make the move! There will be no job vacancies in my speciality in Cairns hospital for years!
    I have no idea about soccer opportunities – Google it! Downside-‘the beer is rubbish!

    The city is full of real estate agents- do your homework!
    Cheers and all the best

    • BobinOz August 19, 2015, 12:22 am |

      Chris, great roundup of what Cairns is like, I’m tempted to move there myself 🙂 I’m just going to try and answer Lee’s question about the football though, although in many ways I’m guessing.

      Lee, I am a football (round ball) lover myself, played it all my life, although sadly I’ve hung my boots up now. I can’t see your son getting any decent football coaching up in Cairns, he’d be hard pressed to get it anywhere in this country.

      Our “A” league only has (I think) eight teams in it. Brisbane Roar of one of them and they’ve done very well, winning it quite a few times recently. But they have just very recently narrowly escaped bankruptcy, and that really sums up soccer (as they call it) here.

      I wholeheartedly admire the efforts that have been made to get football off the ground in this country, and to be honest, I was envious of the fantastic performances Australia put into the last World Cup compared with the dismal England effort. Australia’s game against Holland which ended With a narrow 3 – 2 defeat was a great game, and the Aussies were unlucky. It’s papering over the cracks though, Australia doesn’t really have a setup for round ball football.

      Can your kid take up surfing?

      Good luck mate, Bob

    • Punam Kukadia January 22, 2016, 5:04 pm |

      Dear Chris
      I was really pleased to read your blurb on Cairns… And that you’re an anaesthetist in Townsville! I am a UK graduated junior doctor. I have just finished FY1 and FY2 and looking to move over to Australia this summer – hopefully working in A&E on the east coast somewhere!
      I have been offered a general medicine interview in Cairns. Whilst this is not my first choice specialty, there may be some ED options available to me. On speaking to others, there seem to be mixed opinions on Cairns – especially since it can become so hot and humid! I have also been told that the lifestyle is not that great and a lot of it is run down. What are your thoughts?. I have been told to think about other areas such as Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay etc. What are your thoughts for a junior doctor? Whilst having fun and doing all th touristy activities is great, but ultimately I would like to find a place I can settle in easily, make good friends and call my home! Would you have any advice for me? Especially with Townsville where you’re from or any other areas you have lived/worked?
      Would appreciate any guidance you can give.
      Kind regards

      • Chris Jelliffe January 25, 2016, 11:16 am |

        Hi Punam- very surprised to get such negative feedback about Cairns!
        Medically speaking Cairns base hospital is a great place to work ( I have several friends working there) – the hospital is on the seafront in a great location, is a busy DGH with an excellent ICU. Tropical medicine is fascinating, and some of the more “common ” diseases I’d never heard of in the UK ( try Dengue Fever, Ross River Virus, Melioidosis for starters !). It is undoubtedly easier to get medical jobs here once you are ‘in the system’ so I personally would jump at the chance of the medical job. The various areas you mention are all very different – Hervey Bay hospital is small and very unremarkable. The Gold Coast hospital is very significant. Townsville is a tertiary referral centre including PICU, regional neurosurgical centre, cardiac surgery , and a state of the art hyperbaric medicine unit. I have worked in Hobart, Mackay and Bunderberg as well as Townsville and was very pleased to get back here. Hobart was wet, cold and miserable ( just like the UK) and Mackay and Bunderberg were much smaller, parochial, and the standard of medicine in the public sector somewhat questionable . Cairns or Townsville would be much better options.
        It is undoubtedly hot and humid during the rainy season( December to March) but the rest of the year in the North is fantastic. Curiously the same bad months as the UK! But I think I prefer to be in the air conditioning than seeing my breath in a freezing cold bathroom! We settled really well in Townsville after arriving back here in 2007. The city is a significant size- population 234,000 approximately, and has a concomitant array of,facilities including cultural, sporting, entertainment and hospitality venues. It is less touristy than Cairns, and is more of a “working” city. It is also a garrison city with one of the largest military contingents is the country.
        Since you can get Medcial Registration here wth your UK medical qualifications I’d grab whatever job comes up first then move on from there!
        Let me know how you get on!

        • Marvin February 1, 2016, 11:03 pm |

          thanks chris, really helpful information! I was also looking at the area but I think jobs in Towsville or Gold Coast/Sunshine coast are probably going to be quite competitive at the moment? Is it actually possible to leave the house in summer or do you die of heat stroke after 5 minutes?

          kind regards,

          • Chris Jelliffe February 2, 2016, 8:17 pm |

            Hi Marvin- there is competition for jobs to be sure, but for some reason that escapes a lot of us Townsville and Cairns are low on the popularity stakes amongst Australians which is why so many jobs up here go to ex pats. The Brits are well thought of too so opportunities exist !
            You don’t die of heatstroke here- just dehydration lol!
            We tend to have about four to six weeks of stinking humid miserable heat when everyone stays in the aircon and goes jogging/dog walking/whatever early morning or in the evening. No different to those stinking miserable
            cold grey Jan/Feb rainy days in the UK. The bonus of course is that for the rest of the year the climate is magnificent. Blue skies, warm dry days, predictable weather conditions, just great.
            But for me the greatest bonus of all was working in a public health system that at least pays lip service to quality care for the patients, and makes a really good attempt to respect and appreciate the staff. The patients as a whole are a great bunch, far less demanding and litigious than the poms, and most days at work are good sociable fun. Doctors are also paid reasonably- overtime is paid at penalty rates so an extra weekend on is quite(reasonably so) lucrative. Shift work is the norm except for Consultants ( quite right too lol!) so there is not usually a subliminal expectation for,you to work absurd hours and then get sued when you stuff up because you are exhausted. I ramble!
            Try it- I don’t regret a single second- not even the mountainous pile of bureaucracy that has to be negotiated to get here( it’s a monster!)
            Chris Jelliffe
            Senior Staff Specialist
            Townsville Hospital

        • Punam Kukadia February 4, 2016, 12:21 am |

          Hi Chris, Thank you so much for all your guidance.
          I have actually been offered a job in Gold Coast ED department! I have found that in some of the other big cities such as Sydney, Melbourne etc (which were slightly more favourable destinations for myself), there are limited vacancies in the large hospitals near the CBDs. I would be placed in a hospital maybe 1-2 hours outside of the CBD – which is not really something I’m after.
          Therefore I think Gold Coast is a really great option as the hospital is close to the CBD, weather seems good and generally a lively place for young people. Is there anything else you’d be able to tell me in terms of guidance/advice re Gold Coast? I’d appreciate any pearls of wisdom! Many thanks, Punam

          • Chris Jelliffe February 4, 2016, 8:54 am |

            Great news Punam! The Gold Coast hospital is a big hospital, well regarded , and a great place to start work in Australia!
            Haven’t lived in the Gold Coast myself so no pearls forthcoming, but I,Ve generally found the Aussie medical system is more relaxed, much more fun to work in, and the Queensalnd lifestyle is second to none! They will also pay you properly which is a bonus!

            • Punam kukadia February 9, 2016, 6:56 pm |

              Dear Chris
              Thank you for your message!
              Today I just found out I’ve been offered an interview at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.
              Do you know much about this hospital and also what it’s like to live in Brisbane vs Gold Coast?
              Sorry for all the questions!

  • Lee soton August 18, 2015, 7:34 am |

    Hi we are looking at Moving to cairns. I have a successful business in the UK generating us a healthy income so the plan is to move them within start my own real estate business or buy a share in an existing business. Blurb over.
    My son is a excellent football player (round ball) and has trials at lots of big clubs. He’s only 6 will he still get the coaching needed to follow this path of he wants to ?

    What’s cairns like as a city ?

    Thanks Lee

  • Chris July 20, 2015, 11:40 am |

    Oops- forgot- the National basketball league has currently got eight teams, one is The Cairns Taipans, the other the Townsville Crocodiles. So we represent 25% of the whole league(if basketball is your thing!)

    • BobinOz July 20, 2015, 6:41 pm |

      Interesting, but I’m afraid I am a one sport man, football, the one with the round ball that I refuse to call soccer 🙂

  • Chris July 20, 2015, 11:20 am |

    Hi Bob- a belated reply for Naitik and the Cairns/Townsville/Mackay conundrum.
    Mackay is smaller, has far less infrastructure than the other two and is currently in recession since the downturn in the mining industry over the past two years.i lived in Mackay for 2 awful years and found it parochial, narrow minded and unfriendly.very few decent places to eat and.drink that were civilised. Not much else going on.
    Townsville and Cairns are both very liveable cities with good infrastructure, culture, a wide variety of restaurants, clubs, cinemas ,museums, art gallery etc. Both their airports are significant regional hubs, and Cairns airport is international. Educationally both cities boast excellent school, university and adult education facilities. The job prospects aren’t brilliant at the moment but I think that’s a state situation. Both cities are hot and humid in the wet season (Cairns more than Townsville) and glorious for about 8 months of the year otherwise. I’ve lived in Townsville for 10 years, my son lived on Cairns for 6 years. Both are great laces to live and work- take your pick.
    And Bob- youv’e been threatening to come North for some time! Give it a go- you won’t be disappointed!

    • BobinOz July 20, 2015, 6:40 pm |

      Thanks for the update Chris on these places, you’ve provided a very helpful roundup. And yes, I have been threatening to come up there for a while, the only reason I haven’t so far is that I really want to do it on a driving trip from Brisbane. So I reckon ideally I need about four weeks to do it justice.

      So basically my problem is finding the time, so I might end up cracking and jumping on a plane. I really want to spend some time in Port Douglas as well, I’ve heard it’s stunning.

      Soon, hopefully soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Woj June 19, 2015, 2:38 am |

    Thanks for that info. There was an article that was a jawopener! Check this out 🙂


    We would probably be thinking somewhere around the sunshine coast. I have been around the areas of Noosa Heads and absoklutley fell in love with that place!! I do know its expensive, but from what I know surrounding places are cheaper and just as beautiful? What about places like Maroochydore? All in all, am looking for great places, which are family friendly and with prices not thru the roof. Any suggestions? Am not looking for any parties or nite life. Two small kids, so beaches and family friendly environment is definately the top numbers on my list.. 🙂

    • BobinOz June 20, 2015, 12:33 am |

      Yes, Noosa is expensive, but Maroochydore and Mooloolaba are both very nice as well, and probably not so dear. The downside of the Sunshine Coast is that there’s not much work so if you are going to be looking for a job up there, that could be a problem. It is a bit quiet at nighttime up that way, but sounds like you’re not worried about that.

  • Woj June 17, 2015, 9:05 pm |

    Hi Bob!
    I’ve written a few times in the past, as I was at the stage of convincing my wife to pack our bags and head down under with ur two small kids. I have chosen Queensland as a great option, as we simply love the sun, and sunshine coast, from what I have read, has sun all year round?
    My second question though. I have come across numerous articles and photos, where snakes, pythons and things the size of a house, can come into your kitchen! I know thats something that I would try to avoid. Is it true, that Queensland being the warm region that it ism is a favourite place for snakes, spiders etc etc?
    I have lived in Sydney for quite a few years when I was younger (12 to be exact) and dont remember to to come across any snakes. Is it such a common thing in Queensland? If yes, in all of Queensland? Or more the northern parts which are more humid? And thoughts?

  • Fi June 10, 2015, 12:26 pm |

    Hi, currently living in Victoria with hubby and 17 year old son, due to limited work prospects and poor pay we are considering a move to Brisbane area. I have seen lots of posts about good areas for young children but what about good areas for teenagers, my son will 18 in November and he loves to socialise, play football (soccer) and just get out and about. Would be great to be near a beach too 🙂 and hospitals as I am a nurse. Anyone any good ideas ?

    • Fi June 10, 2015, 12:31 pm |

      Oh and in close proximity to Brisbane, I am from Manchester UK and although I love peace and tranquility, I need city life too! 🙂

      • BobinOz June 10, 2015, 7:30 pm |

        I’m not a big fan of the Gold Coast, but it does have beaches, nightlife and hospitals so it may be an area you’d like to look at and it is only an hour and a quarter’s drive from Brisbane.

        Otherwise maybe look at Redcliffe/Sandgate areas north east of the city, Margate has a bit of a beach, there are train stations up there somewhere for easy access to the city (some already built and some expected to be completed 2016) and you will have easy access to the Sunshine Coast for golden sandy beaches.

        Good luck, Bob

  • Naitik Shah June 3, 2015, 6:41 pm |

    Hi Bob!!

    Greetings of the day !!

    I have my application in process for migration to Queensland, Australia.

    I am eligible to stay in the whole of Queensland apart from Gold Coast and Brisbane.

    After reading a lot through your blogs and comments and data you have documented. I realky have to admit its been very much of help.
    I figure out that the best options i have apart from the two cities mentioned are Cairns, Townsville and Mackay.

    Can you suggest on the best from the above three as i am a bit confused of where to settle down.

    I would be there on work permit basis with a condition of staying for a minimum of two years in the city i select. There is no bar on the industry i can work in but my preferred field would be Finance and/or Accounting.

    Can you suggest and help me finalize a city and the best and safest suburbs in the city. I am i am in much favor of Townsville as of now.

    Indian by nationality l, Male 26, single.

    I would also like to look out for study opportunities too along with work.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Naitik Sha

    • BobinOz June 3, 2015, 8:42 pm |

      Hi Naitik Sha

      I’m afraid I will personally have to pass on this question, I have never been to Townsville, Mackay or Cairns. I hope you’ve had a good read of all of the comments on this page, I’m pretty sure each of those places has been mentioned quite a bit by people who have lived in them and hopefully you have found that helpful.

      Other than that, I will defer this question to my other readers; anybody?

  • Ben S March 27, 2015, 1:38 am |

    Hi Bob,

    I was wondering where the largest Ex Pat communities are Oz, apprently they can be good for finding your feet? Interested in Queensland and heard good things about the Sunshine Coast, Gold coast etc.

    Also im going to DownUnderLive in Birmingham this year, do you have any advice?

    Quick CV info:

    23 final year student at Russel Group Uni doing BA.

    Possible Masters in Charity Management

    Probably going to pick up trades and other skill at night school, want to move around 30.



    • BobinOz March 27, 2015, 9:07 pm |

      I don’t think we have any specific expat community suburbs around Brisbane that have significantly more Brits than elsewhere, I think you’ll find that generally speaking there are simply quite a lot of British people around. You’ll find them on the Gold Coast, you’ll find them on the Sunshine Coast and you’ll find them here in Brisbane.

      As for DownUnderLive, I’ve never been to one, but you can bet your life they’ll be trying to sell you something somewhere along the line.

      I don’t think you’ll get anything from there you can’t get from my website, but then simply by saying that I’m trying to sell you something 🙂 So I won’t say it.

      • Ben S March 28, 2015, 7:16 pm |

        Thanks for the info Bob! 🙂

    • Robyn.aylward November 11, 2015, 11:17 pm |

      The biggest congregation of British is in wa and has been for a long long time.
      Ben Elton chose to live in wa but in my opinion Queensland surpasses wa but a lot depends on your trade. Oh and before I go Queensland real estate is a lot cheaper than wa,their house prices are outrageous. From Townsville to cairns there are some good house prices. cairns and the area to townsvill is a great place for families especially the beach communities close to tully.good luck.

  • Mark January 24, 2015, 8:04 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Great site, I’ve read through lots of the pages. We are currently living in West London and just having our visa assessment done by Simon. If all goes well, my wife and I will be looking at where we are most likely to find work. My wife is a primary school teacher and I am a wall and floor tiler.
    Our prefered areas are Perth, Brisbane and Gold Coast. Does anyone have any idea where there is maybe a shortage of teachers or a strong construction industry?
    Also any recommended suburbs of these places?
    Thanks in advance for any advice

    • BobinOz January 27, 2015, 4:43 pm |

      Hi Mark

      Hopefully somebody who knows specific information about your lines of work will be able to help you, in the absence of that though I suggest you read the advice given on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, it should help you pin down the best cities for you and your wife.

      Only from what I’ve heard though, Perth was booming a couple of years ago, but that’s come to an end now, so it may not be the best place for construction. Also, check out this article…


      It will definitely help you and show you the various trends from city to city. Finally, I hope your assessment goes well and we see you here in Australia sometime soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Scott November 12, 2014, 6:13 pm |

    I lived in Weipa for a number of years and it is a very isolated mining town up near the tip of Cape York. If your into fishing and camping and 4WDing then you will love it but it is a ten hour drive over (mostly) dirt roads to get to your nearest city which is Cairns. It doesn’t compare to Perth which is a major city. I would move back there in an instant but I loved the isolation.

    • BobinOz November 13, 2014, 1:29 am |

      Hi jummy, Scott (thank you Scott) has answered you well, Weipa does not compare to Perth in any way whatsoever. You would need to be sure that it would suit your lifestyle before you commit to this job. It’s a very very small and extremely isolated town.

      Good luck, Bob

  • jummy November 12, 2014, 5:32 pm |

    I was offer a job in Weipa queensland with a sponsorship as im on student visa, so the organisation give me the offer to sponsor me to a working visa and also want me to relocate because I live perth. can you pls tell me if the town is conducive to live. compare to perth. thank you and keep up the good work

  • Akram November 9, 2014, 3:33 pm |

    Dear Bob,
    I have permanent residence family visa. I will move from Pakistan, with my wife and 4 kids 1-7 years. I searched from site and intrested to live in Kuarby- Brisbane. What is your advice as per my search regarding schooling and other activities ?

    • BobinOz November 10, 2014, 1:39 pm |

      I don’t know the suburb well enough to advise Akram, but it would not be my choice of area. It’s a long way from the city and closer to Logan which is not one of the most desirable locations around here.

      But as I say, I don’t know it well enough to judge it. Good luck, Bob

  • Oba October 22, 2014, 6:55 am |

    Hi bob….geting more of your blog this days.i am a nigerian coming to Australia to study.looking at queensland and uni of melborne….will be coming with my wife whom is also studying as well and a 2 year old son.can you please advise on places we can get accomodation in queensland, don’t like snakes,and animals generally.will also like to know about crèche for my boy…

    • BobinOz October 22, 2014, 2:41 pm |

      Ha ha, snakes are everywhere, particularly in Queensland. I can’t recommend a place on the basis of there being fewer snakes, it doesn’t work like that. 🙂 That said, you will rarely see a snake, I hardly ever do. Can’t help you with accommodation, but before you look at that you need to decide where in Queensland you want to live, if that’s the state you choose in the end. It’s a big place, a big big place, so you’d really need to pin down exactly where you’re going first. Good luck, Bob

      • Oba October 22, 2014, 5:14 pm |

        Thanks bob…uni of queensland is in st Lucia. Been trying to check for place around there that is good.and most important a crèche .how is the transport system there.is it better to stay close to the school to get a nice place or a Litle further.thanks

        • BobinOz October 23, 2014, 9:11 pm |

          I can’t help you with a specific creche, but there are quite a few around. St Lucia has good public transport and you can even get a CityCat to take you into the city on the Brisbane River. It would probably be a good place to stay, especially in your first year, you’d be close to where all the other students are living.

          There’s lots of student accommodation in the area aswell. Good luck, Bob

  • Brenda September 10, 2014, 10:06 pm |

    How is the life in Emerald. Is it a family friendly environment. Our two boys are aged 10 and 13.

    • Brenda September 11, 2014, 7:46 pm |

      We might be relocating to Emerald, Queensland and would like to find out how the community is in Emerald. the housing, job market and schooling for the kids. If you could please give me any information I would greatly appreciate it. Brenda

  • Scott September 5, 2014, 8:05 am |

    You’re thinking of Mareeba, up on the Tableands, Moranbah is a mining Town about 4hrs west of Mackay in central Qld. Its dry and dusty with not even a cinema for entertainment,

    • Mainegirl October 24, 2014, 1:02 pm |

      Oh, you’re right Scott. I got my advice from my Aussie hubby, who must have heard me wrong when I asked him. 🙂

      • BobinOz October 24, 2014, 9:58 pm |

        Husband eh? They never listen do they 🙂

  • Mainegirl September 5, 2014, 2:14 am |

    If you are looking for hot and wet, go with Emerald…if you’re looking for a bit dryer go for Moranbah…sorry, not familiar enough with Blackwater to comment. Also consider that Moranbah might be slightly closer to “civilization” (about an hour and a half from Cairns and on the other side of the tablelands, which is gorgeous and has lots of great places to take the kids…the higher elevation of the tablelands makes it a bit cooler with lots of great water holes.

    • Riaan van Wyk September 5, 2014, 2:42 am |

      Hi Mainegirl

      Thank you for the tips and advice, I will have a closer look at Moranbah.

      Enjoy your day.

      Regards, Riaan

  • Riaan van Wyk September 4, 2014, 10:33 pm |

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for re-directing me here.

    I’m looking for advice or information on living in Emerald, Blackwater or Moranbah – which one is a good option. We are a family of 4 (2 pre school boys) and might be coming over there.

    Any info would be welcome.

    Enjoy your day.

  • Trevor August 16, 2014, 3:21 pm |

    You can add the tiny township of Laidley to your list. We used to have a shire population of over 16,000 but since the Government amalgamated our shire with that of Gatton to form the Lockyer Valley Regional Council (against the wishes of the people in our Shire) they only count the 2,600 or so people who actually live in town.

    We are about 87kms west of Brisbane

    • BobinOz August 18, 2014, 12:18 am |

      I’m afraid the rules are pretty strict here Trevor, my list is for towns with a population greater than 10,000, so if you want Laidley included here, you’d better start building a bunch of housing estates and getting people moving in in droves.

      Even Gatton can’t go on my list, my information is it only has a population of around 6000 or so. But look on the bright side, I’ve mentioned Laidley twice in my comment, you’ve mentioned it once, it’s got more mentions than most bigger towns in Queensland on this page 🙂

      Oh, and we now know where it is; 87 kilometres west of Brisbane.

      So Laidley (that’s three times) is quite well represented here, don’t you think?

      Cheers, Bob

  • Ben July 31, 2014, 3:35 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I’m a big fan of the site and been reading for a few years.

    Myself and Fiancé moved to Melbourne from the UK (Old South Wales) nearly two years ago. We have really enjoyed the Melbourne city lifestyle, but as we now have a young Australian daughter and have decided to move up to Brisbane. We’re after better weather and a slightly more laid back way of life that Queensland is famous for. I’ve been busy researching lot of Suburbs which isn’t easy without seeing them in the flesh. I’ve mostly been looking North side and Southside (needs to be commutable to the CBD), but I was wondering whether you can recommend me some areas in the West so I can take a further look?


    • BobinOz August 1, 2014, 12:02 am |

      Hi Ben

      Glad to hear you are fan 🙂

      West is best in my view, I love it where I live, the whole area, not just my suburb. Anywhere like Chapel Hill, Kenmore, Brookfield, Pullenvale, Anstead, Bellbowrie, Moggil, the closer to the city the easier the commute, the further from the city the better it is for kids.

      No trains though, they don’t start until Indooroopilly.

      I can’t speak for the north-west, don’t know it well enough, but I know there is a train line that runs through Ferny Hills and nearby Samford has a really nice country feel about it.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze April 1, 2014, 7:37 pm |

    Dear Bob,

    I just discovered your web site, and I think it’s fantastic. I’m studying freelance journalism, and have just used some of your info, about the funny names for each state, and listed your web site as a source.

    I was a Canadian, but married an Aussie. We are both looking forward to becoming Banana Benders, love the name, LOL. Could you give us some info on Coolangatta; we’re hopping to move there this June; we don’t want to be Mexicans anymore, too cold!

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze

    • BobinOz April 2, 2014, 12:29 am |

      Barbara the Banana Bender, yes, that works very well 🙂

      I wish I could give you some information about Coolangatta, but I’ve never been. Driven past it many times and the whole area does look beautiful, but I just don’t know enough about it to say any more.

      Other than it will be warmer than where you are coming from and you won’t run out of sandy beaches.

      Hope it all goes well, cheers, Bob

  • Val December 24, 2013, 2:12 pm |

    Mike, I spoke a little about the TSVL area above. It’s a nice uni town that also have a military base, so it’s somewhat “busy” (altho it won’t compare to Atlanta as it only has about 160,000 people). I think the weather will resemble Atlanta quite a bit, to be honest. It has basically two seasons – hot and dry and hot and wet. I think in the “winter” it can get down to around 60F, Mike, but when I was there in August, it was around 75F – 80F the whole 2 weeks I was there.

    The atmosphere has that uni-town feel, with lots of night life, shops, plenty to do (an aquarium as I recall, great restaurants (many right along the ocean, where there’s a nice walking path called The Strand with free outdoor water features and playgrounds for the kids). I loved that so many people rode their bikes or walked to uni. It was a nice combination of “busy but not unsafe”. It was incredibly clean (some people go barefoot, and unlike here in the US they wouldn’t worry about stepping in broken glass or on cigarette butts as it’s pretty clean!).

    I am from a relatively small city in Maine (pop 90,000) and did not find TSVL to be unbearable “big”, yet certainly big enough to find plenty to do. As you may know, in Australia many of the rentals come furnished so that’s a nice way to begin. Personally, I preferred it over a city like Brisbane where it felt too big for my taste.

    I hope that helps!

    • Mike December 24, 2013, 7:03 pm |

      That does help Val, thanks.
      Almost sounds a little too busy, the town Ive lived in here in NW Georgia has a population of less than 700 and our county is about 100k. (50 miles north of Atlanta and 70 miles south of Chattanooga) I’m sure if there is something away from the middle of town it would get quieter? this will be retirement after all :). Funny they call it “The Strand”. Around Myrtle Beach SC they have the same name and its very clean like that also, especially the northern part.
      The weather sounds much more Tampa like than Atlanta like… I think the name “Hotlanta” has given people the wrong idea. sure, its hot in July and August but that’s about it…here in the northern burbs we get snow every year and gets downright cold (not to Maine standards I’m sure) but for example, the high today, Christmas eve will be 46f and lows in the 20s. Townsville winters sound much more manageable for my aging bones…
      Thanks Val for all the info, Merry Christmas!

      • Simon August 13, 2014, 11:59 pm |

        Hi Mike,

        Not sure if it helps but I’ve lived in Cairns for 7 years and often hear people say the climate here is like Florida (haven’t been to Florida myself so can’t personally confirm this). My parents are planning to move up here from Adelaide for their aging bones also! Personally I still find it too warm for me, but I don’t have old bones yet!

        Cairns is a similar size to Townsville but I find it much more picturesque. Iit’s the “wet” tropics, so you’re surrounded by lush green mountains unlike Townsville, which the locals here refer to as “brownsville”.

        If you like smaller towns, I would suggest do some research on Gordonvale. It’s a small sugar milling town of around 4000 which is only about 15 miles south of Cairns city centre or 20 minutes drive, but still has quite a small town feel to it. You can also get some really nice picturesque properties around the area, some with kind of old fashioned architecure, similar to what you’re probably used to (I’ve been to Savannah Georgia and some of the styling reminds me of that area).

        • Mike August 15, 2014, 11:34 pm |

          Hey Simon.
          Great advice! From what I’ve read Cairns IS similar to Florida where the humidity is brutal. I know that wouldnt be an issue to get used to again. I suppose ill just have to visit and really get a good feel for it myself. Now all I need are winning lottery numbers…. 😉
          Ill get there eventually. thanks for all the help!

  • Mike December 24, 2013, 10:30 am |

    Hey Bob
    Love your site, lots of great info. I’m an American (hopefully NOT a cuss word : ) ) and Ive been fascinated with living there one day since Men at Work hit it big here when I was in high school and intrigued me. I was born and raised near Tampa Florida (now I live near Atlanta 20+yrs) so i would like someplace warm to retire in a few years. My research has lead me to look at Townsville, lots of sunshine, great beaches, and relatively low rainfall. Have you been there? and what is the atmosphere like? looks pretty quiet but its hard to tell.
    thanks and keep up the great work!

  • Al October 15, 2013, 6:08 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    When we first came to Australia we lived in Melbourne for about one year but because of cold winters , leaky houses and electricity bills we have hade enough…Once we visited Cairns as we were so missed for warmth and we just loved this city . The decision was made and we live in Cairns already for about two years and never regret…

    Cairns is so beautiful-with magnificent rainforests all around, nice beaches just a few minutes drive north and a perfect climate almost all year round .Though I must mention that there are about 8 weeks of very hot and humid period in summer but the rest of the year is fantastic. About half of the year in dry season you can swim anywhere in the sea-no nests on the beaches. I also liked the fact that people here are very laid back compare to Melbournians who are always in rush somewhere….
    Houses are not so expensive as in Melbourne ,you can buy one or peace of land and build pretty cheap. Infrastructure in Cairns also is very good-plenty of places to visit and for those with children nothing can compare to Cairns. It’s a great place to live and we are staying here.
    If I was told to chose another city in Australia I’d better go back to Europe.

    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 2:32 pm |

      Hi Al

      Well that really is a big thumbs up for Cairns, thanks for taking the time to tell us about it. There has been a bit of a Cairns versus Townsville debate going on in this thread, yours goes down as a clear vote on Cairns. I’ve not been there yet, but I certainly will, there’s quite a few places I want to see up in FNQ.

      It’s interesting that everybody’s idea of the perfect place to live is different, Melbourne for example has won world’s most liveable city for the last three years running, but for you Cairns is so much better. Cairns would probably suit me as well, I love the heat and the laid-back lifestyle, but Brisbane is a bit of that as well.

      I can certainly see the attraction of living in a small city though and with good infrastructure, no traffic and a short run to the beach, sounds like you have found your paradise.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jenna September 28, 2013, 12:44 am |

    Hi Bob and fellow readers

    love your blog, its been the main inspiration for our move to aus! We have been planning for over a year now, and we have been offered a job in townsville and will be moving in december! scary stuff

    just wondering what to expect from townsville, i have visited mackay further down and thought it was lovely, so just wondering if its anything like that?

    Thank You 🙂

    • BobinOz September 30, 2013, 2:21 pm |

      Hi Jenna, great to hear that you love my blog, I hope Australia lives up to what I have been saying about it, it certainly does for me and I hope it will for you as well.

      I’ve never been to Townsville, but quite a few people have commented about the place above you on this page, start with Steve about 8 to 10 comments from the top and then work your way down as it gets quite a few mentions. And don’t forget to come back here and tell us what you do think of it after you’ve had a chance to have a good look around.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Scott September 26, 2013, 1:12 pm |

    Hi Leanne I lived in Ingham for a majority of my life before moving to Townsville, 1.25 hrs south. Ingham is a small sugar cane farming community with a population of about 5000 people. It has very limited scope for work unless you somehow get fulltime work in the sugar industry.
    The town has most things you would ever need and is a pretty cheap place to live relative to the larger cities as far as the cost of living rent goes. And if you cant find what you want in town townsville is only a bit over an hr away.The beaches are only 15-25 mins away and are long and uncrowded and are a great way to unwind after a big day or to take the kids for a swim on the wekend. There are also a lot of places nearby to vist locally ie; Paluma village, the Palm Island group, Lucinda for the fishing, Hinchinbrook Island for the camping and bushwalking. The only draw back being the employment. Please feel free to ask any more questions

  • Reece August 12, 2013, 9:40 am |

    Hi, great blog Bob!

  • Leanne June 12, 2013, 8:16 am |

    Thanks hope someone knows a bit more.. I’ve done a bit of research.

  • Leanne June 11, 2013, 7:07 pm |

    Hi, have you got any info on Ingham QLD?
    How remote is it actually? We are a family of 4, 2 boys age 13 & 10.
    Would appreciate any info,
    Thanks 🙂

    • BobinOz June 11, 2013, 11:45 pm |

      Hi Leanne

      No, sorry, I don’t and I have not yet been up that way to see what it’s like. Can anybody else help with this?

      • val October 22, 2013, 11:42 am |

        Yup, I can speak a little to Ingham. My husband is from there (I’m from the US, still in the US but planning to relocate to Oz in about two years). It is a quaint little town that has a cinema and all the associated (albiet smaller scale) night life, shops and a small hospital. It is about an hour’s drive to Townsville as well, so not too far to get to a bigger city when needed. It did experience a bit of a slamming when Yazi came through, but so did many other places and it faired much better than some. It’s a great place to raise a family, some very nice schools, lovely nature walks, and Victoria Mill nearby for employment.

  • Joanna Filmer May 4, 2013, 5:35 am |

    HI, we are awaiting (expectantly and praying) for a 457 visa to be issued. Partner has been offered a job on the Gold Coast. He will go first and then me and our son will follow. Any advice or suggestions for a good place to live – family friendly, maybe close to beach, reasonable priced rentals for now, and most importantly good primary schools?? i know its a big area, but we love sport, the beach, lots of different types of people, and somewhere to settle in and get involved??

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Oh and Bob am enjoyng your site heaps ! its a real joy to read someone so positive, i have found some forums full of lots of brits moaning !!!! bye for now, hopefully hello to Oz very very soon …

    • BobinOz May 5, 2013, 11:46 pm |

      Hi Joanna

      Glad you are enjoying my site, hope your 457 visa comes through soon.

      As for the Gold Coast, I don’t really know the area well enough to recommend somewhere to live, but if you post the same question on my page about the Gold Coast, maybe somebody who lives in that area will give you some good advice.

      You might like to read the comments that have been made on that page as well, because there are some about where to live. As for schools, check out my page Which school?, cheers, Bob

  • Steve November 30, 2011, 10:54 pm |

    Hi Peter, Bob (and Johanna), I pop in every now and then to see if there are any updates and what do you know? Being a mature age man who still has all his hair (albeit grey), I have a well sharpened set of clippers in my bathroom so I don’t ever suffer ‘the frizzies’- I must check with my female colleagues at work. Peter, in your original post you stated: “I am not sure if I would like to be in perpetual hot and humid climate”. At the risk of becoming the antichrist to the Darwin tourism industry, Darwin is the the epitome of hot and humid for 7 months of the year – nowhere with a population over 10,000 in Australia even comes close (Broome in W.A. may dispute that assertion – they have their moments). The colloquially named ‘build-up’ (temperatures and humidity rising to 35 degrees and 80%) starts in early October and only abates in December when the monsoon usually arrives, the rain driving the temperatures down. The humidity then stays sky high and temps vary from 27C – 32C in the ‘wet’ (depending on the position of the monsoon trough and associated rainfall) until the end of April/beginning of May. With the greatest respect, if this is an important factor in your decision to move, I urge you to visit Darwin in the ‘wet’. From May – September, Darwin is the best place to be in Australia, 27C – 30C, humidity around 30-40% and an average of 2/3 days of brief showers over the entire five months – definitely barbeque weather but all good things come to an end……..

    • BobinOz December 2, 2011, 10:10 pm |

      Hi Steve

      Whenever anybody asks, I always say that Darwin is not for the faint hearted. Those humid seven months you describe, we get in Brisbane for about one month. It’s quite a tough month, so seven of them would really be a test.

      I still want to visit though, so when I come along it’ll certainly be between May and September.

  • Johanna Jumelet November 24, 2011, 4:05 am |

    Hi Peter

    Thanks for updating us, being nosy and a little anxious for ya! So long as all’s working out okay, then that’s great! Just wondered what transpired, and I’m glad you’ve been able to take an option that suits you :o)

    Tell Mrs BobinAuz she has my sympathies, not just for the frizzes but for the smug husband *haha*.

    Actually, I’d definitely tolerate the frizzes and a smug husband to live in Auz. Yes, I really do have it that bad. *gnash*

    Keep well and look forward to more BobinAuz adventures! Any road trip/holidays planned?

    Johanna x

    • BobinOz November 28, 2011, 8:46 pm |

      Mrs BobinOz has never ever, not for one teeny weenie little second, at all, in the slightest, thought of me as being smug. Honest 🙂

  • Johanna Jumelet November 22, 2011, 7:17 am |

    ….now I’m wondering….where’d Peter go??!

    I’ve enjoyed reading the comparisons above, so was wondering if Peter has emerged through a humid fog yet? Personally, just the frizzy hair alone would have me high-tailing it far, far away…

    Johanna x

    • BobinOz November 22, 2011, 6:37 pm |

      Peter, if he is here, is probably waiting to get an Internet connection.

      Are you here yet Peter?

      Apparently the frizzy hair problem extends to Brisbane, according to my wife. My hair, of course, always looks perfect 🙂

      • Peter November 22, 2011, 11:16 pm |

        Sorry guys,

        My apology to you both, actually a lot has happened from the time I last visited this post. My personal circumstances have changed quite a bit due to which I have temporarily declined Darwin job offer. Although cost was not the reason for my decision to stay put where I am, when I compared the saving potential at Hong Kong (that is where I am) and Darwin, I found the saving potential in Hong Kong is at least 30% more than Darwin, drawing same salary at both the places.

        Steve, Townsville is great, I was there a year ago, though for just 2 days. I loved the city. Costs aside, everything that I have read about Darwin is actually pretty exciting and good and I am determined to visit the city next year June-July and hopefully one day relocate there.

        All the best to all and thanks for your feedback.


        • BobinOz November 23, 2011, 10:13 pm |

          Hi Peter

          No apology needed, we were just trying to be a bit nosy, I think. Maybe you’re circumstances will change again, Darwin will still be here.



  • Steve September 17, 2011, 5:32 pm |

    Hi Bob, you did ask me to comment on Townsville and being a verbose sort of fellow, I thought I’d share with you my observations up until now. There is a fierce rivalry between Cairns and Townsville and it does seem odd to be playing for the opposition now. Cairns has an unfair advantage in it’s location being in the ‘wet’ tropics surrounded as it is by mountains covered in rainforest. Townsville has mountains too but being in the ‘dry’ tropics, they look as if they have been napalmed in comparison. On the waterfront front (I was going to change that but I like the syntax, however wrong), Townsville wins there with the Strand – 2.2 kms of beach and a river compared to Cairns mudflats at low tide. I have to add however, that the beaches only 10 – 15kms north of Cairns are some of the best in Australia. Geography aside, there is little to differentiate between the two – population and cost of living is almost identical but Cairns is a ‘holiday’ city and my best description of Townsville is a ‘functional’ city (the corollary of that being that Cairns is ‘dysfunctional’ -some of the tourism operators there may agree at present with the Aussie dollar being so strong it’s putting them out of business). Will I stay in Townsville? I have no choice, I signed up for a two bedroom, fully tiled and airconditioned unit with seperate remote controlled garage on Friday – cost? $199,000 – for that price, I’d live in Wittenoom in NW W.A. and play amongst the asbestos but luckily, I don’t have to . Townsville rocks !

    • BobinOz September 19, 2011, 9:52 pm |

      Hi Steve

      Thanks for coming back with your report, much appreciated. It sounds like Townsville out points Cairns in a toe to toe face-off. But given the fierce rivalry which you mention, I expect there will be a resident of Cairns somewhere who is known to take this lying down.

      So I wouldn’t be surprised if someone counters your claims with a defence for Cairns. I’ve never been to either town so I can’t really get involved, but I kind of understand your point about the possible dysfunctionality of a “holiday” city.

      Anyway, congratulations on your new home, it sounds like you’ll be setting in Townsville for a while and thanks for letting us know about it. I’ll put you down as a thumbs up for Townsville.

  • BobinOz August 17, 2011, 11:14 pm |

    Peter – if it’s any consolation I had an email from a former UK resident who moved to Darwin about a couple of years ago and he said he felt like it was paradise. And even given Steve’s reply, at least he still managed to stay there for six years 🙂

    I would be very interested to hear what you think of it once you’ve had a chance to settle in.

    Steve – yes, I suppose that makes sense, all house prices are basically down to supply and demand. Seems there is a big and growing demand for houses in Darwin that supply cannot keep up with. And maybe you can let us know what you think of Townsville after you’ve had a chance to take a look around. It would be interesting to hear how it compares with Cairns.



  • Steve August 16, 2011, 7:23 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Property is so expensive in Darwin because of undersupply and overdemand. I also believe that landlords and agents have grossly inflated the prices over the last ten years because they know that intending renters/purchasers are the proverbial rabbits trapped in headlights. As Peter stated in his reply to my e-mail, there are large developments either mooted or approved in this area and the Northern Territory Government is happy to take the money but where are these people going to live and at what cost? I invite you to do a search on realestate.com.au and set the following parameters: Buy; House; $250,000 – $400,000. With Darwin as your destination you will find 7 properties – in Townsville, 216 properties. I’m using Townsville as my control because it has a similar population and like Darwin, a significant Defence and Commonwealth Government public service presence – the lifeblood of any regional city. The only thing I will miss leaving the NT are the spectacular Darwin thunderstorms – I didn’t get any of those growing up on the Isle of Wight but they are not worth paying half your wages in rent/mortgage.

  • Peter August 11, 2011, 9:44 pm |

    Many thanks, Bob.

    • BobinOz August 16, 2011, 11:59 am |

      Peter, Steve has added some local knowledge above that you might find very useful.

  • Taikoowan August 10, 2011, 4:13 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Your coverage on cities is excellent. I am planning to relocate to your great nation and have just gone through an interview process which may lead to a job opening in either Darwin or Cairns. There are 2 positions, one each in Darwin and Cairns, same salary and perks. My dilemma is, if I am offered the job which place to choose. My decision would not be based on cost of living alone.

    I lived for about 2 years in Brisbane way back in 2001 and loved it. Your write up on Darwin is fascinating me, I love outdoors and nature but I am not sure if I would like to be in perpetual hot and humid climate. You have obviously covered the major cities in Australia and thus left the likes of Cairns, do you have any comments on living in Cairns Vs Darwin?

    I am of Indian origin and would be moving from Hong Kong where I have lived for the last 20 years.

    Many thanks.


    • BobinOz August 10, 2011, 10:16 pm |

      Hi Peter

      Well, I’ve not been to either place so I’m probably not the best person to ask 🙂 Having said that, you have read what I have researched about Darwin, all I can tell you about Cairns is that my son loved it when he went there to go scuba diving.

      He was there for a week and absolutely loved it. He described it as a holiday resort, which is not surprising being as it has the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep. Yes, it’s a bit of a tourist attraction, being one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

      Cairns was big on nightlife, apparently.

      But as I said, I’ve never been. Perhaps someone who has might swing by here soon and tell you more.

      • Sarah Thompson February 5, 2014, 1:24 am |

        Definitely Cairns. Darwin is so stinking hot that it is barely tolerable during the Spring and Autumn. In Cairns you have access to great packages to visit the Great Barrier Reef, within a hour of Port Douglas and Mareeba, and at the gateway to the Daintree Rainforest. If you love laid back people and natural beauty that takes your breath away, you must go to Cairns.

      • Anish November 6, 2014, 3:50 pm |

        Hello Bob
        I am in a similar situation, got job offers from Port Macquarie and Rockhampton and wondering which one to choose. Could you please advise?

        • BobinOz November 6, 2014, 9:29 pm |

          I’ve only been to Port Macquarie once, and only stop for a day, seemed a nice enough place, quite big and obviously a major advantage is access to some other large cities along that coast.

          Rockhampton is a bit more remote, would be a bit quieter I would think, and certainly hotter and more humid. I’ve not yet been to Rocky though. So that’s all I can really offer, maybe somebody else who knows these towns better than me might help out, but that’s how I see it.

          Good luck, wherever you decide. Bob

          • Anish November 7, 2014, 3:05 am |

            Thanks Bob for the comment. That was helpful indeed. I hope someone can throw light more on public facilities, family life, schooling, recreational activities, cost of living etc…

    • Steve August 15, 2011, 6:36 pm |

      Cairns vs Darwin – I’m uniquely placed to comment on this as I lived in Cairns for 13 years and I am just leaving Darwin (28/8/11) and going back to Queensland (Townsville, 370 kms South of Cairns) after 6 years. Frankly, Cairns leaves Darwin for dead in the liveability stakes. Darwin is just a blunder – that is, someone blundered onto a peninsula surrounded by scrubby bush and decided to build a town there. This town (after a touch up by Cyclone Tracy) has now become a small city. Where there was once character and the outback spirit, there are high rise apartments and (relatively) big business. The nearest major centre with over 100,000 people is Townsville (2400kms) Nearest city is Adelaide (3000kms). Darwin property prices are sky high – I can purchase two houses in Townsville/Cairns (a comparable population density) for what I would pay for one in Darwin. Fuel and food are also cheaper in Cairns. Main pastimes in Darwin are fishing and drinking (usually combined). Once you have flown over Litchfield and Kakadu parks (around 250 kms away) in the wet, that’s your sightseeing done. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, boasts some of the best beaches in Australia (with stinger nets), has the great dividing range with world heritage rainforest as a backdrop and if you want a cool change, drive up to the Atherton Tablelands where the views and waterfalls are spectacular. If heat and humidity are a factor, Cairns isn’t far behind Darwin – Darwin just gets the build up/wet season a little earlier. Just google http://www.ntnews.com.au for a few days to get an overview of the Darwin culture 🙂

      • BobinOz August 16, 2011, 11:59 am |

        Sorry Steve, wasn’t quite clear, Cairns or Darwin? Just kidding!

        Well I was hoping someone would pop by who did know, so glad you came along Steve. I hope Peter has found it useful, I have. Although I’m sure there is someone else out there who would vote heavily for Darwin, but maybe somebody who just loves fishing and drinking?

        It’s amazing (but true) that Adelaide is the nearest major city to Darwin.

        I have heard houses in Darwin are hugely expensive, any idea why?



      • Taikoowan August 16, 2011, 2:50 pm |

        Hi Steve,

        I wish I had seen your post 2 days ago, I have already agreed to Darwin. I am quite sure all the points that you have listed are very valid and I will just have to learn to live there. Unfortunately I don’t fish or even drink much…but let me at least write why I chose Darwin over Cairns:
        a) Darwin is the capitol city and thus has an International Airport, a better University and hopefully better other public facilities – library, hospital etc.
        b) Off shore oil and gas exploration work which was started about 10 years ago by ConocoPhillips is now a major industry.
        c) Darwin LNG plant is a modern plant, completed in 2006. It incorporates several advanced design features to improve reliability and safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One such feature is the waste heat recovery on the gas turbine exhaust that is used for various heating requirements within the plant. d) Tokyo Electric and Tokyo Gas transport LNG from Darwin to Japan. So there large LNG ships calling Darwin regularly.
        e) I have mentioned above not because I work in LNG industry but because I believe this industry is going to expand. After the Fukushima nuclear power plant melt down, Japan and Germany have taken a view not to increase nuclear power plants. Coal is clearly not an option so LNG is the likely source of energy for large power plant gas turbines.
        f) I am hoping that this will bring more jobs to Darwin.
        g) This also explains why property prices in Darwin are 10-15% more than Brisbane. I believe they will continue to rise.

        Once I am there, I will update my post if my assumptions are incorrect.


        • Dan January 2, 2012, 11:13 am |

          Unfortunately a lot of those points also apply to Cairns, It has an international airport, a respectable university, and a public library system which enables statewide access to resources (they move books around on request).

          Queensland is currently building a major LNG pipeline from PNG to plants in the South East. Cairns is also becoming a more attractive FIFO base for the central Queensland mines.

          I’m sure you will be happy in Darwin, but I think you may have missed out in all honesty.

          • BobinOz January 3, 2012, 10:15 pm |

            Hi Dan

            Good additional info, thanks for that. As it turns out though, Peter didn’t go to Darwin in the end, you can read about that further down below in these comments.

    • Codie Morehead June 3, 2015, 10:02 am |

      What would I need to do if I wanted to move to Australia?

  • Ali July 17, 2011, 5:03 am |

    Hi Mr.BobinOz
    as a immigrant who is confused of selecting a destination ,there is a question in my mind I am always looking for answer, what is special thing about australi that i cant find it elsewhere particularly in USA and Canada please send me answer ?
    sincerely yours

    • BobinOz July 18, 2011, 10:10 pm |

      Wow! What a question! You don’t seriously think I can answer it, do you? But do feel free to read any one of the hundreds of pages I’ve written on this blog and website, I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful information.

  • Chris June 18, 2011, 10:31 am |

    40 minutes! on second thoughts….

  • Chris June 11, 2011, 9:17 am |

    Only 4.3 million in an area that size! so why am I looking at plots of land about 600 square meters???? I should maybe think about the outback and get me 600 square miles 🙂

    lovin this new site Bob, real easy to navigate, if only the migration process was this simple!

    • BobinOz June 14, 2011, 12:02 am |

      If you want land, there’s plenty out here. Just search for acreage instead of houses. See my page about buying a house in Australia for a link to the best place to search for property.

      For some people who live in the outback, it’s a 40 min drive from their front door before they get to the end of the driveway. Now that’s land!

      Glad you love the new design.

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