The Best Places to Live and Work in Australia |

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.


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 2016, the national unemployment rate was 6.3% (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 is as follows:

RegionUnemployment Rate
Australian Capital Territory4.3
Northern Territory4.5
Western Australia5.1
New South Wales5.7
South Australia7.6

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.

What should I be getting paid?

The salary expectations at home may be vastly different from the expectations in Australia. While there will be variations between companies, positions and genders (yes, it still happens) it’s good to have a general idea of how much you should expect to be paid in your position.

Here, we’ve mashed together Glassdoor’s rating for average salary ranges across Australia’s largest employees for Australian university students and graduates to give you an idea of how much you can expect to receive.

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.

Read our full Sydney guide

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 Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Living in Hobart

hobart_shutterstock_83513701From 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. 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

perth_shutterstock_111711725Last 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.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    YeshiDecember 17, 2017

    Is pert a better choice that queens land for both, the education and working.

    • Staff
      JoanneDecember 19, 2017Staff

      Hi Yeshi,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Here at finder we are unable to make recommendations, we can offer general advise.

      This page you visited is actually accurate as it would allow you to compare living life at those places you have mentioned. You may check on the information and compare pros and cons so you can decide which place is most ideal for you.


  2. Default Gravatar
    MallikarjunDecember 13, 2017


    I have a plan to move to Australia permanently and I am an Indian. I do not have immediate plans to move but in the distant future.

    And I want to live in small cities like Mildura, Bendigo, Albury, etc.
    Can you please tell me which small city in Australia is safer to live, I mean with less crime rate and with no dangerous animals like Crocodiles, Snakes, etc.

  3. Default Gravatar
    SanjivDecember 13, 2017

    I have applied for my PR recently.

    What is the average basic living expenses including everything – Rented Accommodation, Food, Laundry, Office Travel, Clubbing, etc.. if we are looking to work in Melbourne IT Industry? Looking for basic cheap accommodation for a single guy.

    Also, Are there any job consultants who can help me find relevant jobs in IT industry as soon as I land in Melbourne?

    Thanks for your response!

  4. Default Gravatar
    FlorenceAugust 3, 2017

    Want to move to Australia after retiring few years from now. Where do you suggest to live and enjoy my retirement. Will also like to start church/ ministry. Please help me out

    • Staff
      HaroldAugust 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Florence,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While we cannot recommend what is best for you, we can offer you a general information. Through this page you can review the options on how to move to Australia from the USA.

      I hope this information has helped.


  5. Default Gravatar
    HamzaApril 2, 2017

    I am looking forward to study in Australia. As a stranger from Pakistan, i want to know where to live and get admission so that i have decent job opportunities as well as affordable living costs. Can anyone plz guide me.

    • Staff
      HaroldJuly 26, 2017Staff

      Hi Hamza,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      I understand that your primary purpose is to study in Australia. There are various place you can choose from and this guide might be helpful for you.

      I hope this information has helped.


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