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The 8 Best Places To Live In Australia For Expats

The top 8 places to live in Australia for expats include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, and Sunshine Coast because we believe they best represent the spirit of Australia.

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Australia has always been a popular destination for expats from all corners of the globe. Its breathtaking natural beauty, warm and welcoming locals, and high standard of living make it an attractive place to live.

In this article, we will look at the local culture, job opportunities, and more in each location. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the best places to live in Australia as an expat and be one step closer to finding your ideal home in this beautiful country. So, let’s dive in!

8 Best Places To Call Home In Australia

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, and Sunshine Coast make our short list of the best places for expats to call home in Australia. They all have comfortable climates that enable residents to enjoy sunshine and outdoor activities during much of the year.

Sydney's Landmarks: Opera House & Harbor Bridge

Without further ado, here are our top picks:

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Sydney

With abundant amenities and a comfortable lifestyle, any country would be proud to call Sydney their own city. People and expats of different cultures interact while preserving their own traditions, and opportunities for work, study and entertainment abound in this melting pot of different peoples.

Vibrant Sydney: Opera House & Circular Quay

Since the city is multicultural, you can taste just about any dish in Sydney, be it European, Asian, or from some other regions of the world. Plentiful housing options mean you will find your right home whatever the size of your budget.

Driving your own vehicle is a matter of personal preference because Sydney boasts a well developed public transport system of buses, trains and light rails, not to mention the following are also readily available:

  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Taxis

As a major hub of business and finance in Australia, Sydney provides ample career opportunities for all who have the right qualifications and skill sets, particularly in sectors such as finance, healthcare, and tourism.

Sydney has also acquired an international reputation for offering education of superb quality, with the University of Sydney being ranked as one of the top tertiary institutions worldwide. Australian public healthcare is a leading example of universal coverage and an envy of the world.

And as one of the top tourist destinations on earth, how could Sydney be short on attractions? Even people who have never set foot in Australia are familiar with the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

The plethora of museums of various themes and art galleries serving to add colors to the lives of locals and tourists include:

  • Museum of Sydney
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Museum of Contemporary Art

The climate is another draw of Sydney. With its warm summers and mild winters, every season is a great season for outdoor activities. However, beware that heavy storms occasionally affect the Sydney area in the wet season.

The cost of living is quite high, and the traffic can be quite heavy especially during rush hours. But with so many things going for it, it’s little wonder Sydney is so often named one of the best places in the world to live in.

Melbourne

Melbourne is a city that offers a plethora of opportunities and attractive features, making it an excellent place to live for expats. The city is renowned for its cultural, culinary, and sporting experiences, all while residing in a well-planned and maintained city.

Melbourne’s food scene is a foodie’s paradise, with diverse culinary offerings reflective of the city’s multiculturalism, ranging from street food vendors to high-end restaurants. Housing options in Melbourne are modern and affordable, catering to a broad range of residents.

Mesmerizing Melbourne: Skyline By The River

Transportation in Melbourne is reliable, with one of the largest tram networks globally and a comprehensive public transport system that efficiently connects all suburbs. Melbourne’s healthcare system is also highly reputed, with numerous hospitals and clinics with highly qualified professionals.

Education is highly valued in Melbourne, with well-known institutes for higher learning including universities such as the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Monash, and La Trobe. Melbourne’s diverse economy is a magnet for students, professionals, and entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities.

The city has a vibrant culture that encompasses art, music, theater, and events that take place throughout the year include:

  • Melbourne Cup Carnival
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival
  • Melbourne International Film Festival

Some of Melbourne’s main tourist attractions include:

  • Federation Square
  • Eureka Tower
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens

The city’s climate is favorable, with warm summers and brisk winters. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities such as sporting events, festivals, and picnics for many months every year. It’s little wonder Melbourne ranks among the best cities in the world to live in, year after year.

Although the cost of living, traffic congestion, and occasional unpredictable weather events such as out-of-season bushfires and floods are some negatives to watch out for, the residents of Melbourne can count themselves among the luckiest people on earth.

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Brisbane

Brisbane, a rising star in Australia, is a great place to live for expats due to its abundant attractions and lifestyle amenities. The city is rapidly evolving and offers residents an affordable and lifestyle-friendly environment.

Brisbane boasts a diverse food scene, with high-quality options ranging from street food to high-end restaurants, reflecting the multiculturalism of the city. Housing in Brisbane is affordable and varied, with modern high-rise apartments and traditional homes with sprawling gardens.

Brisbane Bliss: River Serenity

Efforts to promote public transport have made it more efficient and convenient, with an integrated network of buses, trains, and ferries. Educational facilities in Brisbane are diverse, including highly ranked universities and colleges such as the University of Queensland.

Employment opportunities in Brisbane are on the rise, particularly in the finance, healthcare, technology, and construction sectors. The climate in Brisbane is warm and subtropical, with comfortable winters and hot and humid summers.

The city has a rich history of art, music, and theater, and a colorful cultural life filled with events like the Brisbane Comedy Festival and the Brisbane Festival. Locals live a laid-back lifestyle focused on outdoor activities thanks to almost 300 days of sunshine every year.

Some of Brisbane’s top tourist attractions include:

  • Southbank Parklands
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • Gallery of Modern Art
  • Story Bridge Climb

However, like they say you can’t have it all, and there are some things to be aware of, such as occasional floods, the high cost of living in certain suburbs, and heavy traffic congestion during peak hours.

Perth

Perth is an enchanting haven for expats that seamlessly blends awe-inspiring landscapes, temperate climate, and a tranquil way of life. Its residents relish access to a plethora of premium amenities, including exceptional healthcare, education, contemporary housing, and transportation systems.

Perth’s culinary scene is flourishing with distinctive restaurants and cafes. The gastronomic adventure is diverse, drawing inspiration from around the globe and resulting in an extensive range of flavors and dishes. Housing options are affordable, spanning from apartments to detached homes.

Perth Panorama: Urban Delight

The city boasts an extensive array of transportation options, with a well-structured and efficient public transport system. Residents who need medical care can rest assured they’re in good hands with the city’s exceptional healthcare institutions and facilities.

Perth is a vibrant cultural hub, hosting several exclusive festivals and events. It is home to lively arts and music scenes, world-class museums including Scitech, and galleries that showcase Western Australia’s rich history and art such as the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

The city’s thriving economy provides ample job opportunities across various sectors. Perth is also renowned for its hospitable and easygoing lifestyle, with residents known for their warmth and friendliness. The relaxed demeanor fosters a healthy and lively social life.

Perth boasts a mild climate, characterized by long summers and short, mild winters. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and water sports, which are popular among locals.

Among Perth’s top tourist destinations are:

  • Kings Park and Botanic Garden
  • Swan River
  • Hillarys Boat Harbour
  • Fremantle Prison
  • Perth Zoo

However, one drawback of living in Perth is its geographical isolation from other major Australian cities and other parts of the world. As a result, airfares can be steep, and budget-conscious individuals may find it challenging to travel.

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Adelaide

Adelaide is a fantastic place for expats to call home. The city offers a relaxed lifestyle, affordable housing options, excellent public transportation, and a diverse culture. Plus, you’ll find high-quality healthcare, education, and plenty of job opportunities.

Foodies will love Adelaide for its impressive variety of local and international cuisine. And let’s not forget about the world-class wine produced in the city! Whether you’re looking for a luxurious apartment or a traditional home, Adelaide’s housing options won’t break the bank.

Adelaide's Serene St. Peter's Cathedral

Getting around the city is a breeze thanks to Adelaide’s efficient and reliable public transportation system

And if you’re looking to further your education, you’ll have access to several top-quality universities such as the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

Adelaide’s healthcare is exceptional, with skilled professionals using top-of-the-line equipment. The city also has a rich cultural heritage and hosts numerous art, music, and cultural events throughout the year, including:

  • Adelaide Film Festival
  • Adelaide Marathon Festival
  • Adelaide Motorsport Festival

Residents of Adelaide enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, taking advantage of the city’s natural beauty and numerous parks. The city provides quality job opportunities across various sectors, including healthcare, education, and the creative industries.

Adelaide’s climate is moderate, with mild winters and hot summers, allowing for outdoor activities such as cycling, surfing, and hiking to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Adelaide has several popular tourist attractions, including:

  • Adelaide Hills
  • Adelaide Zoo
  • Adelaide Botanic Gardens
  • National Wine Centre of Australia
  • Glenelg Beach

However, one drawback that some residents mention is that Adelaide is relatively small compared to other Australian cities, which can limit access to certain industries or careers. This limitation may require some individuals to seek work outside of Adelaide.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast is an amazing place to live for expats. With its breathtaking beaches, active outdoor lifestyle, and lively entertainment culture, there’s always something to do. Lots of people from around the world have made the place their new home.

For food lovers, Gold Coast’s culinary scene is a dream come true, offering a diverse range of local and international cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for a fancy restaurant, cozy café, or trendy bar, Gold Coast has it all.

Colorful Hot Air Balloons Grace Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast - A Top Expat Haven

And when it comes to housing, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from, including beachside apartments and suburban homes. Navigating the city is a breeze thanks to Gold Coast’s modern and efficient public transportation system.

If you’re looking to continue your education, you’ll have access to nationally recognized universities and educational institutions such as Griffith University and Bond University. Gold Coast’s healthcare system is also top-notch, with both private and public hospitals and clinics readily available.

And let’s not forget about the city’s thriving arts and cultural scene, which includes numerous festivals and events throughout the year longing for you to join, including:

  • Supercars Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500
  • Gold Coast Film Festival
  • BLEACH* Festival

Gold Coast’s outdoor-based culture offers a lifestyle filled with recreational and sporting activities. The city boasts a plethora of job opportunities, especially in the tourism, hospitality, and healthcare sectors.

With year-round warm and sunny weather, Gold Coast is perfect for outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, and hiking. The city’s main tourist attractions include:

  • Surfers Paradise Beach
  • Warner Bros. Movie World
  • Sea World
  • Dreamworld
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

However, keep in mind that living expenses can be high in some areas, particularly near the beach and tourist hotspots. Additionally, the city can become crowded during peak tourist seasons, although that’s a small price to pay for living in such a wonderful place.

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Canberra

Canberra, the capital of Australia, is celebrated for its exceptional quality of life, fresh air, and vast open spaces. It’s an idyllic place for expats to settle down, with top-notch healthcare and education systems, affordable housing, efficient transportation, and a vibrant cultural scene.

Food connoisseurs will be delighted with the diverse food scene in Canberra, offering an extensive range of local and international cuisine options throughout the city. Affordable housing options, such as apartments and modern townhouses, can be found in various areas.

Iconic Australian Parliament In Canberra - Expat-Friendly Cityscape

Traversing the city is effortless with the extensive public transportation system, providing easy access to the city and its surrounding areas. Canberra’s educational institutions are of high caliber, with nationally recognized universities and institutions like the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra.

Canberra’s residents have access to exceptional healthcare services, with several well-equipped hospitals and medical centers located throughout the city. Therefore, if you’re looking for an incredible place to live, work, and play, Canberra is undoubtedly a city worth considering.

Canberra is a bustling cultural center that offers an array of museums, art galleries, theaters, and cultural events year-round, contributing to the city’s lively ambiance. Examples include:

The city’s lifestyle is relaxed, with residents enjoying spending time outdoors in the numerous parks, gardens, and nature reserves. Canberra provides ample employment opportunities across various sectors, including government, education, healthcare, and research.

Canberra’s climate showcases four distinct seasons, with warm summers and cold winters, enabling individuals to partake in various outdoor activities throughout the year. The main tourist attractions in Canberra include:

  • Parliament House
  • Australian War Memorial
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • Questacon
  • Lake Burley Griffin

It’s noteworthy that weekends in Canberra can be tranquil since many residents leave the city to explore the countryside. Additionally, the city is renowned for its cold winters, which sometimes bring snowfall.

Sunshine Coast

If you’re an expat looking for a beautiful coastal region with plenty of amenities, you’ll love the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. There, you’ll find top-notch healthcare and education systems, affordable housing options, great transportation, and a thriving cultural scene.

Foodies will be in heaven with the diverse range of local and international cuisine options available throughout the region. Housing options are also quite affordable, with everything from apartments to luxurious houses.

Kings Beach, Sunshine Coast: Ideal Expat Haven

Getting around is easy thanks to the efficient public transportation system, which includes buses and trains connecting residents to the city center and surrounding areas. The educational opportunities are also top-notch, with the University of the Sunshine Coast and other recognized institutions.

If you’re on the hunt for work, there are plenty of opportunities in tourism, hospitality, education, and healthcare. And speaking of healthcare, the healthcare facilities in the Sunshine Coast are exceptional, with both private and public hospitals and clinics.

The region also boasts plenty of museums, art galleries, theaters, and cultural events such as Queensland Garden Expo and Downunder Beachfest, all great for learning about the local heritage. Some of the must-see destinations include:

  • The Sunshine Coast Hinterland
  • Australia Zoo
  • Eumundi Markets
  • Noosa Heads
  • Kings Beach

One of the biggest perks of living on the Sunshine Coast is the climate. With mild temperatures year-round, you can enjoy outdoor activities no matter the season. Whether you’re swimming in the summer or hiking in the winter, there’s always something to do.

If you’re looking for a laid-back lifestyle and plenty of outdoor activities, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to call home. Residents love spending time at the beautiful beaches and natural parks, basking in the sun and fresh air.

It’s important to be aware, however, that the region is prone to natural disasters like bushfires and floods. Staying informed and following emergency instructions is crucial in the event of any such occurrences.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Australia an expensive country to live in?

Australia is generally an expensive country to live in, especially in major hubs like Sydney and Melbourne. The good news is that salaries in Australia also tend to be higher than in other countries, so the higher costs are somewhat offset.

What advice do you have for expats in Australia with regard to personal safety?

Australia is generally a safe place to be, but you should still take the usual precautions, such as staying alert to your surroundings, avoiding walking alone in quiet areas or at night, and keeping your valuables out of sight. Also, remember that the emergency service number is 000 there.

Is it difficult to adapt to driving on the left for someone used to driving on the right?

The process can take some time. It is suggested that you use visual cues such as road signs and arrows to help you remember, and stay alert especially at roundabouts and intersections. You should also make it your habit to check both ways to prevent accidents from a moment’s confusion.

Does Australia accept dual citizenship?

Australia accepts dual citizenship. To be eligible for Australian citizenship, an adult who became a permanent resident (PR) on or after July 1, 2007 must have lived in Australia legally for four years prior to their citizenship application, of which at least 12 months must have been as a PR.

Conclusion

You’ve just seen why Australian cities are often in the lists of the most livable cities in the world. So if you are among the lucky ones who can explore Australia in depth, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!

While Australia is undoubtedly stunningly attractive, it is by no means the only such country in the Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand, for instance, is similarly famous for its picturesque landscapes, excellent standard of living, and safe environment, making it another popular choice among expats.

In fact, with so many other great places in Asia for expats, in the end some other country may win your heart! However, whether you will make Australia or some other place your new home country, you should remember to secure sufficient expat health or international health insurance.

With 20+ years of experience in insurance, Pacific Prime is unsurpassed in its capacity to tailor a solution that meets your needs while fitting your budget, and you can get the benefit of our advice and support at no extra cost compared to going straight to an insurer.

So contact us for a quote or a FREE, no-obligation plan comparison today!

Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Martin is a writer and translator with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and blog posts, creates infographics and videos, translates between Chinese and English, and more. Skilled at explaining complicated concepts in layman’s terms, Martin believes the gold standard of translation is attained when the translated text is not only accurate, but also reads like an original text. Martin holds a degree in Economics from the University of London, UK.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Martin has become even more aware of the gap between the true value of insurance products and most people’s appreciation of it, and developed a passion for demystifying and simplifying matters, so that more people get the protection they need at a cost they can easily afford.

In his free time, Martin attends concerts of various genres, and plays the violin with piano accompaniment he pre-recorded himself or played live by his niece.
Martin Lee