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The best places to live in Australia

Moving to Australia but don’t know where to live? Take a tour of Australia’s capital cities and what they have to offer.

Want to know more? Choosing where you’ll live when moving to a new country is a huge decision. It can have a huge impact on how comfortable you feel in your new surrounds and on how successful your relocation is. With this in mind, we’ve put together a useful guide of some of the best places to live in Australia.

Detailed below we’ve look at the various major cities in Australia and broken them down into work / life opportunities.

Living in Sydney

From the sands of Bondi Beach to the sights of its famous harbour, Sydney is a city that’s famous all around the world. Australia’s largest and oldest city, Sydney is perhaps best known for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. It combines the hectic pace you’d expect of a major world city with some of the most iconic man-made landmarks anywhere in the world.

Weather-wise, Sydney follows the seasons with the warmest months being during the Australian summer (November to February) where temperatures can reach up to 40°C. Winters are quite mild here, reaching minimums of 6°C at night.

Sydney has Australia’s busiest airport, too, so if you’re looking to travel extensively, it may be a good bet for you.

Living in Melbourne

Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city and has legitimate claims to be the country’s cultural and sporting capital. The city’s four million residents love both the arts and sports, and the city is also home to some of Australia’s best dining and nightlife. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that The Economist regularly names Melbourne as one of the most livable cities in the world. Weather-wise, Melbourne is known for having “four seasons in one day”, while it follows the seasons, the weather often changes during the day expectantly. As it is further south than Sydney, winters and summers generally tend to be a few degrees lower with frost sometimes appearing during the winter months.

Read our full Melbourne city guide

Living in Brisbane

The thing that attracts many migrants to Australia’s third-largest city is its weather. Brisbane boasts warmer temperatures than Sydney and Melbourne, allowing you to avoid Melbourne’s notoriously fickle weather and the chill of a Sydney winter.

There’s also a relaxed, easygoing atmosphere to the place that you wouldn’t expect from such a major urban hub. Brisbane is one of the warmer cities in Australia as it’s in a subtropic environment and bears an average temperature of 16-25ºC. It’s also within easy distance to summer holiday spots like the Gold Coas and the Sunshine Coast.

Living in Hobart

From its relaxed country atmosphere to its beautiful country surrounds, Hobart has plenty going for it. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of a city like Sydney or Melbourne, everything in Hobart seems to move at a slightly slower pace. The city is also home to a thriving arts scene and family-friendly suburbs, and is noted to be a food lover’s paradise. Being Australia’s southernmost capital city, Hobart lends itself to the coldest temperatures of the cities, reaching temperatures as low as 4ºC during winter (July) and as high as 22ºC during summer.

Living in Adelaide

Known for its Mediterranean climate and boasting a population of around 1.3 million, Adelaide is becoming an increasingly popular place to live for new arrivals to Australia. The capital of South Australia, Adelaide combines a relaxed lifestyle, enviable weather conditions and affordable house prices. Adelaide weather is generally quite pleasant, it follows the seasons and hits around 7ºC during winter and peaks close to 30ºC on average during summer.

Living in Canberra

It’s a common misconception that Sydney, being the largest city in Australia, is the capital of our country, but the truth is that our capital is Canberra. Located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Canberra is one of our smallest cities with a population of just over 373,000 people. Nevertheless, it receives many workers and visitors to its doorstep as it is the home of parliament. Canberra has a dry climate and is prone to frosty conditions during the thick of winter. If you plan to move and live in Canberra, expect temperatures as low as zero in winter (July) or as high as 28ºC during summer (January to February).

Living in Darwin

Darwin has a laid-back and relaxed approach to life that you’d struggle to find anywhere else in the world. Boasting world-class natural scenery, a buzzing nightlife and warm weather all year round, Darwin has a lot to offer to new Australians. Being so close to the tropics, Darwin’s weather follows the dry and wet seasons. Dry occurs between April and October and is the more pleasant season of the two with clear skies and balmy nights. During wet season (November to March) sees many rain and lightning storms with a little reprieve in terms of temperature, which on average jumps between 33 and 33ºC throughout the year.

Living in Perth

Last but certainly not least on this guide to Australia’s capital cities is Perth. Featuring a wonderful climate and relaxed beachy lifestyle, it’s definitely worth considering when looking for somewhere to live. It may be a fair way away from the rest of Australia but that’s just how the locals like it. Another consistently warm city, Perth weather never dips too cold, peaking above 30ºC during summer and dipping to around 18ºC during winter.

Which city has the best opportunities for my profession?

You’ve got a qualification in your home country and now you’re thinking of taking your skills to Australia. Sound like you? But where should you move to increase the possibilities of employment in your field?

In 2020, the national unemployment rate was 6.9% (Australian Bureau of Statistics). The unemployment rate has been fairly steady over the years, averaging 6.9% from 1978 to present, which is a good indicator of what you can expect for future years.

A more specific breakdown of unemployment rates per state as of September 2020:

RegionUnemployment Rate
Australian Capital Territory3.8%
Northern Territory4.8%
Western Australia6.7%
New South Wales7.2%
South Australia7.1%

Must read: What are my job prospects?

Remember that these rates are across all sectors of employment and may not completely reflect the opportunities in your specific field.

When considering specific industries the Labor Market Information Portal states that the sectors with the highest number of persons employed (May 2016) include Health Care and Social Assistance (1,435,700), Retail Trade (1,238,000), Construction (1,037,500) and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (972,300). Areas with the least number of people employed include: Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services (143,100) and Information Media and Telecommunications (212,000).

If you’re wondering what the job prospects in your field in Australia are like, you might also like to explore Job Outlook, which is a government initiative designed to give you an idea of the market when looking for a job or considering education.

Australia also has specific visas for those qualified in Skilled Professions. There is a specific Skilled Occupations List (which changes constantly) which details professions that are in demand in Australia and can hold better prospects for you in Australia than other sectors might.

Occupations currently on this list include: Construction Project Manager, Engineering Manager, Child Care Centre Manager, Medical Administrator, Nursing Clinical Director, Actuary, Architect, Surveyor, Chemical Engineer, Structural Engineer, Veterinarian, Special Needs Teacher, General Practitioner, Midwife, Nurse Practitioner, Software Engineer, Barrister, Social Worker, Carpenter Chef, Dental Therapist and more. Click here for a full, current list.

Ultimately, if you’re thinking of making the move and would prefer the security of work before you leave, you can start searching job portals such as Indeed, SEEK and to begin applying and to also get an idea of what roles are available at the moment. From there, you can determine the best city for you to live and work in.

But if you’re not as particular, then why not explore our cities and see which suits your personality and needs yourself.

More guides on Finder

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25 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SushantDecember 8, 2019

    Hi, I am from Nepal I have recently completed my higher secondary education in science. I want to study there IT so which city is good Sydney or Perth in terms of finding better job and applying for PR as well as I will concentrate on my study
    Please give me suggestion I beg help from you.

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoDecember 9, 2019

      Hi Sushant,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      As it says on the page, the University of Western Australia (UWA) which is in Perth is a member of the Group of Eight and one of Australia’s leading educational institutions. It’s ranked as the 88th best tertiary education institution in the world.

      There are plenty of other study options for Western Australian students, including Curtin University, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University (ECU) and more. All of the major conventional areas of study are covered by these institutions.

      In general terms, suburbs in the city’s north and west are considered to be the most desirable places to live. You are also able to find jobs in Perth in the industry of information and communications technology. However, because of the size of the city, jobs might be slightly harder to come by than in Sydney or Melbourne. You can explore all three cities and choose the job that suits you best, then you can decide where to get a place to stay and a University to study at.

      I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!


    Default Gravatar
    SushmitaDecember 23, 2018

    I am looking forward to moving to Australia from Nepal. I have cleared my high school in education. I want to join classes of early childhood education but I am confused to come either Tasmania or Melbourne. Please suggest me which one is better for work opportunities according to my subject.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Sushmita,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a comparison website, we are not permitted to provide specific recommendations. However, I can provide you with information to help you make the right decision. Tasmania’s main industries include mining, agriculture, aquaculture, fishing, forestry, and tourism. On the other hand, Melbourne’s main industry include the automotive industry, aviation, building and construction, education, engineering, nursing, financial services, and information and communications technology.

      You can base your decision on this information. Of course, feel free to ask around and do your research before you make a decision.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    RashmikaSeptember 13, 2018

    I’m actually about to get my TR(Temporary Resident’s) VISA and i have thoughts of migrating to Adelaide.
    I’m married and currently working as a network engineer (4+ years experience) . So will I be able to get a job in the same field ? or is there any particular web sites which I could find for jobs.


      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloSeptember 13, 2018

      Hi Rashmika,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      If you’re planning on moving to Australia or have recently arrived, there are plenty of options when it comes to looking for work. A good place to start is online job search websites such as, and These sites list tens of thousands of jobs across all employment sectors.

      You can also visit a respected recruitment agency to help in your job search. Agencies can help match you to a suitable job for your training and qualifications, and will seek out prospective employers.

      Another option is to ask a registered migration agent for assistance with job hunting. As well as helping you apply for your visa, migration agents can assist you in understanding the ins and outs of finding work on certain visas within Australia.


    Default Gravatar
    bongSeptember 11, 2018

    I’m planing to visit in Pert this coming October. my visa is visitors visa. there is an opportunity to work?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Bong,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Having a visitor’s visa won’t enable you to legally look for a job while you’re in Australia. Doing so is illegal and if you are caught, you might be deported or denied of entry upon arrival.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    CharityAugust 12, 2018

    I have a Skill interested to work in Australia ,where can I get work Visa in South Africa?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Charity,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      To apply for a work visa, you need to visit the Australian embassy in South Africa. From there, you will know more about the requirements and the exact steps on how to obtain a work visa.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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