First on your list should be where you can find work. I see so many people saying that they had their heart set on a particular city, but that state is not an option for them, or they’ve been offered a job somewhere else.
Don’t get hung up on cities. If your main goal is to live a safe life in Australia, just come. Go wherever your visa allows, or wherever you can get a job.
If you’re offered a job before you arrive, TAKE IT! So many people dream of getting a job offer to move to Australia so what are you waiting for? Grab that opportunity with both hands and don’t look back.
You can always move within Australia once you are here and know you are here to stay, but getting that all-important first start is immensely helpful.
First and foremost, consider your job prospects and income potential before choosing a city. What is the job market like? Are there ample jobs available? If not, how do you plan to make a living? What is the average income per capita and median household income? For many, landing a new job is what brings them to a new city in the first place. For others, it’s simply the job potential that entices them. To figure out job prospects in a new city, we recommend doing thorough research of all companies in the area that offer jobs in your field.
Once you’ve worked out where you might get work, look at housing options and costs.
Where you can afford to live will largely depend on your earning potential.
Housing websites like Real Estate and Domain are super helpful as they show you want it costs to rent property in different areas.
Search for apartments, houses, or rural properties in your desired areas and work out if you’ll actually be able to afford to live there.
If you’ve got kids that will be in school or university, education options may be a deciding factor for you as well.
But honestly, there are great schools all over Australia. I’m sure you’ll be able to find schools that align with your values no matter where in Australia you end up living.
In the age of COVID-19, working from home may or may not be permanent – for many people, it's still unclear. Real estate agents across the country are reporting that many people are opting to move to the suburbs or outskirts of major metro areas for more space, with the belief that they will not need to commute into the city daily for the foreseeable future. When the pandemic subsides, however, the share of people working remotely may drop significantly.
All the major cities have good transport networks including buses and trains, and sometimes ferries and trams too. But the further out of the city you live in, the more limited these options will become.
In Perth, the city is spread mostly in a long line along the coast. This means our main freeway runs north to south and pretty much the whole city is on it at some point between 6 am to 9 am and again between 3 pm and 6 pm.
Add up your travel costs including parking at the train stations and it could cost as much as fuel if you were driving.
Obviously the bigger the city the bigger the transport network, but for the most part, you’ll likely need a car even if you use public transport for getting to and from work.
What kind of life do you want to live in Australia?
Are you coming over as a single, a couple, with friends, with a young family, with teenagers, or in your more mature years?
If you like going to cool new restaurants, hipster bars, and seeing the latest shows, Perth and Adelaide might not be your first choice.
If you have young kids and want a chilled upbringing for them, Melbourne and Sydney might not appeal as much as Brisbane or Perth.
If you’re accustomed to visiting the latest exhibitions and theatre shows, you’re bound to want to live in one of the bigger cities in Australia.
Prefer a quiet country life? Check out some of the regional areas of Australia like Geraldton, Bunbury, and Margaret River in WA, Dubbo in NSW, and Sale in Victoria.
Everyone focuses on the main cities, but if you can work in a regional area or don’t need to earn megabucks, the country life could be perfect for you.
People are always trying to find out what cities in Australia are equivalent to ones in South Africa in terms of weather. While it’s not strictly accurate, this is generally what I (and others) think:
Perth – Cape Town/Port Elizabeth (it gets super windy here!)
Brisbane – Durban (oh the humidity)
Melbourne – Cape Town with more rain (4 seasons in one day)
Sydney/Adelaide – Johannesburg (cold winter nights but warmish days)
Canberra – Bloemfontein (minus degrees in winter!)
7. travel potential
What kind of travel expectations do you have?
Are you wanting to travel internationally? Interstate? Not that much?
Because Australia is so vast, traveling around it takes time. And money. It’s definitely not cheap to explore Australia.
And as for traveling internationally, it’s so much cheaper to do so from the Eastern states than from WA. Because there is more demand and more competition, flights are more frequent and cheaper from cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Perth is obviously closer to Europe, so flying times may be shorter but they come at a premium.