The BobinOz Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia

Which city should I live in in Australia?

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

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

Enough already!

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

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

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

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

Sydney

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

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

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

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

Melbourne

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

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

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

Update: I’ve since been to Melbourne for a second time, you can read about it here:

Perth

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

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

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

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

Adelaide

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

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

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

The Gold Coast

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

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

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

The Sunshine Coast

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

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

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

Canberra

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

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

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

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

Darwin

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

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

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

Hobart

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

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

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

Brisbane

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

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

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

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

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

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

More useful links:

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

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

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

or dry? Dust or rock?

Enough already!

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

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

Cornwall.

Sydney.

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

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

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

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

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

their work, Sydney is the only choice.

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

don’t.

Melbourne.

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

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

system, and the diversity of the culture.

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

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

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

attractions.

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

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

Perth

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

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

rest of Australia. As I said, isolated.

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

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

do I know? I’ve never been.

Adelaide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gold Coast.

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

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

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

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

Country.

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

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

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

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

The Sunshine Coast.

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

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

not, that would be asking for trouble.

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

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

for their great beaches and rivers.

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

Brisbane is too much.

Canberra.

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

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

joined anything to escape Canberra.

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

Darwin

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

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

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

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

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

Hobart.

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

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

Cornwall but with the remoteness of deepest Scotland.

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

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

paradise.

Brisbane.

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

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

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

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

too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

More useful links:

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

Please click on the links to read more.

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

Visa Assessment Service

 

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{ 486 comments… add one }
  • Ryan August 28, 2014, 7:41 am | Link

    Any advice for assimilation?

    • BobinOz August 28, 2014, 9:57 pm | Link

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

    • Tim August 31, 2014, 5:07 pm | Link

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

      • Ryan September 5, 2014, 8:41 pm | Link

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

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

        • BobinOz September 6, 2014, 8:51 pm | Link

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

          • Ryan September 6, 2014, 9:46 pm | Link

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

  • Kerry August 7, 2014, 9:18 am | Link

    Hi Bob

    Loving this website

  • Peter July 25, 2014, 5:04 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

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

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

    • BobinOz July 25, 2014, 10:28 pm | Link

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

      Good luck, Bob

    • Timothy Cole August 31, 2014, 5:22 pm | Link

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

      Good luck,
      Tim.

  • Hari the sailor July 14, 2014, 12:39 am | Link

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

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

    cheers
    Hari

    • BobinOz July 14, 2014, 9:27 pm | Link

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

      • Hari the sailor July 15, 2014, 12:35 am | Link

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

        cheers
        Hari

  • Johny June 27, 2014, 5:26 pm | Link

    Hello,

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your answer 🙂

    • BobinOz June 29, 2014, 12:46 am | Link

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Rasa June 25, 2014, 6:41 pm | Link

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

    I hope I’m not asking for too much 🙂

    • BobinOz June 26, 2014, 6:43 pm | Link

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

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

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

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

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

      Good luck in your search, Bob

      • Rasa July 22, 2014, 8:03 pm | Link

        Thanks bob

    • Asia June 26, 2014, 7:37 pm | Link

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

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

      • Rasa July 22, 2014, 8:07 pm | Link

        Thanks a lot 🙂 It is very much appreciated

      • Rasa July 22, 2014, 8:40 pm | Link

        Thanks a lot 🙂 I will definitely keep it

    • Tim July 1, 2014, 5:24 pm | Link

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

      • Rasa July 22, 2014, 8:41 pm | Link

        Thanks a lot Tim 🙂 That was very helpful

  • Ashley June 16, 2014, 2:57 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz June 16, 2014, 8:15 pm | Link

      Hi Ashley

      Glad you have found this information useful.

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

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • ritienne gech June 9, 2014, 6:37 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz June 10, 2014, 4:13 pm | Link

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

  • Matt June 6, 2014, 8:43 am | Link

    Hello Bob

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

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

    Thank You
    Matt

    • BobinOz June 6, 2014, 6:13 pm | Link

      Hi Matt

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Jorge Meneses May 30, 2014, 8:43 am | Link

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

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

    • BobinOz May 30, 2014, 6:49 pm | Link

      Hi Jorge

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

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

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze May 21, 2014, 5:48 pm | Link

    Hi Christine,

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

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

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

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

    Cheers,
    Barbara Pecze

    • Christine May 30, 2014, 7:20 pm | Link

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

  • Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze May 21, 2014, 12:09 am | Link

    Hi Christine,

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

    Cheers,
    Barbara

    • Christine May 21, 2014, 4:19 am | Link

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

  • Christine May 19, 2014, 7:05 pm | Link

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

  • pohling May 8, 2014, 4:46 pm | Link

    HI Bob

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

    Cheers

    • BobinOz May 8, 2014, 9:54 pm | Link

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Pauline May 5, 2014, 1:40 am | Link

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

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

    Great website and any advice would be appreciated.

    Pauline

    • BobinOz May 5, 2014, 6:54 pm | Link

      Hi Pauline

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

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

      Good luck, I hope you find somewhere you love.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Les May 3, 2014, 5:49 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz May 5, 2014, 6:09 pm | Link

      We have seasons too you know, here in Brisbane; hot and warm 🙂

  • Les May 2, 2014, 5:51 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz May 2, 2014, 8:48 pm | Link

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

  • Kungfunina May 1, 2014, 9:58 pm | Link

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

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

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

    Many thanks

    • BobinOz May 2, 2014, 8:46 pm | Link

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

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

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

  • Barbara Laughton-Sauder-Pecze April 11, 2014, 2:58 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

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

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

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

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

    • BobinOz April 14, 2014, 4:32 pm | Link

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Rick Boutcher April 11, 2014, 12:13 am | Link

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

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

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

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

    • BobinOz April 14, 2014, 4:26 pm | Link

      Hi Rick

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

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • asia April 7, 2014, 8:55 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz April 7, 2014, 6:17 pm | Link

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • Cecilia April 5, 2014, 12:18 am | Link

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

    Thanksssss

  • Trish March 22, 2014, 12:24 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz March 23, 2014, 10:08 pm | Link

      Hi Trish

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

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

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

      I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Nicky W March 22, 2014, 8:52 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz March 23, 2014, 9:59 pm | Link

      Hi Nicky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • sj March 19, 2014, 3:48 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz March 20, 2014, 12:11 am | Link

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Timur March 8, 2014, 8:12 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

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

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

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

    Thanks for advise.

    • BobinOz March 9, 2014, 9:11 pm | Link

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

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

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

      • Timur March 10, 2014, 7:38 pm | Link

        Thanks Bob,

        This is valuable information.

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

        • BobinOz March 10, 2014, 11:38 pm | Link

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

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

  • Chris March 3, 2014, 8:36 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz March 4, 2014, 12:59 am | Link

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

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Steve February 17, 2014, 11:19 am | Link

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

    All the best.

  • Frances February 16, 2014, 9:29 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz February 17, 2014, 5:19 pm | Link

      Hi Frances

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

      Cheers, Bob

      • BobinOz February 17, 2014, 5:22 pm | Link

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

  • Sean February 14, 2014, 7:02 pm | Link

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

    Any suggestions??

    Best regards

    Sean

    • BobinOz February 15, 2014, 9:59 pm | Link

      Hi Sean

      Thanks, glad you like the website.

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

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Steve Vachon February 10, 2014, 9:55 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you.

    Steve, Andrée, Marisol and Édouard.

    • BobinOz February 10, 2014, 4:10 pm | Link

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

      Cheers, Bob

      • Steve February 11, 2014, 1:50 am | Link

        Ok, have a great day
        Thank you
        Steve

  • joanna February 6, 2014, 11:16 pm | Link

    thank you Bob..
    i appreciate for that..
    🙂
    cheers…Joanna

  • joanna February 5, 2014, 10:18 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz February 6, 2014, 6:18 pm | Link

      Hi Joanna

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Rosanne February 4, 2014, 1:49 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz February 4, 2014, 7:02 pm | Link

      Yes, good luck with your visa process 🙂

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Kamma January 23, 2014, 12:17 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz January 23, 2014, 5:37 pm | Link

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Eliza Steyl January 15, 2014, 5:15 pm | Link

    Dear Bob and residents of Brisbane and Perth,

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

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

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

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

    Perth Cons
    Isolated
    Expensive
    Not much to do for kids
    Dry heat

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

    Brisbane Cons
    Has had floods

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

    Eliza

    • BobinOz January 16, 2014, 2:05 pm | Link

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

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

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

      • Eliza Steyl January 16, 2014, 4:57 pm | Link

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

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

        Many thanks
        Eliza

        • BobinOz January 16, 2014, 9:54 pm | Link

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

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

          Cheers, Bob

      • Sophie March 12, 2015, 11:56 am | Link

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

        Thanks bob!

        • BobinOz March 12, 2015, 9:11 pm | Link

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

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

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

    • Layla January 17, 2014, 2:55 pm | Link

      Hi Eliza

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

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

      Hope this helps 🙂

      • Eliza Steyl January 18, 2014, 6:07 am | Link

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

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

        Eliza

  • ononna December 8, 2013, 12:35 am | Link

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

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

    • BobinOz December 9, 2013, 3:27 pm | Link

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

  • matt December 5, 2013, 7:01 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,

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

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

    PS keep up the great work with the site
    Regards

    Matt

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 1:10 pm | Link

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

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

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

    • Big Mike December 6, 2013, 3:34 pm | Link

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

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

      • matt December 6, 2013, 4:00 pm | Link

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

  • olajide babalola December 2, 2013, 11:03 pm | Link

    to me i prefer queens-land

  • Lia December 2, 2013, 10:47 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz December 2, 2013, 11:24 pm | Link

      Thanks Lia, glad you like.

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

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

      That would almost certainly be the best place to start.

      Good luck, Bob

  • juliana December 2, 2013, 5:21 am | Link

    Hi,

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

    Juliana

    • BobinOz December 2, 2013, 11:12 pm | Link

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

  • adi November 25, 2013, 4:06 pm | Link

    Hello,

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

    Thanks
    Adi

    • BobinOz November 26, 2013, 12:08 am | Link

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

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

      Good luck, Bob

      • Bala November 26, 2013, 12:16 am | Link

        Adi,

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

        Cheers
        Bala

  • Karl November 18, 2013, 11:49 am | Link

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

    • BobinOz November 18, 2013, 7:15 pm | Link

      Hi Karl

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

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

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

  • Steve November 15, 2013, 10:31 pm | Link

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

    Thank you Steve

  • Steve November 14, 2013, 11:23 am | Link

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

    Thank you Steve

    • BobinOz November 15, 2013, 2:36 pm | Link

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

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • gurbaz October 20, 2013, 3:30 am | Link

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

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

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

    • BobinOz October 20, 2013, 9:57 pm | Link

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

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

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

  • Tina October 15, 2013, 10:14 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 2:37 pm | Link

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

      Cheers, Bob

  • Rick October 10, 2013, 11:06 am | Link

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

  • New Zealander September 30, 2013, 10:53 am | Link

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

    • Layla Turner September 30, 2013, 11:48 am | Link

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

      • BobinOz September 30, 2013, 8:52 pm | Link

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sarah Quirk September 17, 2013, 8:18 pm | Link

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

    • BobinOz September 18, 2013, 12:46 am | Link

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

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