Home → LifeStyle →

Best Places to Live in Australia [2022 Guide]

Written by, Alex Bosnjak

Updated May, 11, 2022

All of the best cities in Australia have an incredible reputation for great quality of life, good jobs, quality education, and recreation options. If you’re planning on moving to Australia or transferring to another city, this isn’t a decision you can take lightly. 

Do you want to live by the coast? Do you want to live by yourself or with your family? Do you prefer a larger city or a smaller town? Is a multi-cultural area a necessity for you? Some of the best places to live in Australia can meet many of your needs. 

Did you know that in 2020 over 7.6 million migrants were living in Australia? Whether you plan to do the same or move from one place in the country to another, there are many things to consider. 

Best Places to Live in Australia

Don’t worry if you’re unsure what you’re looking for because I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together a list of the top 10 nicest places to live in Australia you should consider. You can look at the number of people who live there, what each location is famous for, what activities are popular, and much more.  

1. Sydney

Number of citizens5,367,206
RegionNew South Whales

Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and the capital of New South Wales. The city boasts a vibrant multi-cultural community and a bursting lifestyle. It puts a big emphasis on education, so it’s a great place for families and for students. There are five excellent universities and also the music conservatorium to consider.

Sydney is most well-known for the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. There’s also Bondi Beach to visit, lots of hiking trails in the Blue Mountains, hundreds of parks and playgrounds, and the newest and trendiest restaurants, bars, and pubs to try.

Sydney also has a large economy and has been experiencing a shortage of workers lately. If you’re an expert looking for a job, the capital city might be an excellent choice. Some fields that are doing well in Sydney include:

  • Tourism
  • Hospitality
  • Real estate
  • Healthcare
  • Technology and media
  • Creative arts

However, one last thing to keep in mind is that Sydney is among the most expensive cities worldwide. Housing, education, and groceries cost the most.

2. Canberra

Number of citizens462,000 
RegionAustralian Capital Territory 

Canberra is Australia’s capital city but is relatively young and was only constructed beginning in 1913. It’s one of the only entirely planned cities in the country. Chicago architects planned and designed Canberra, following the garden city movement principles. Because of this, you can enjoy many parks, green areas, and nature. It’s famous as the “bush capital” of the country and perfect for nature lovers. 

Canberra is an inland city close to the Brindabella Ranges, with many hiking opportunities. It’s also near enough to the east coast to enjoy water sports. What’s more, Canberra is well-suited for art lovers. The multi-cultural city is home to the Natural Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and Albert Hall. The zoo, aquarium, and dinosaur museum are fantastic attractions for families. 

Another great thing about Canberra is that it’s a “20-minute city”. It’s very walkable, with short commutes taking you everywhere. Also, there are lots of job opportunities in public administration and government. 

3. Perth

Number of citizens2,125,114
RegionWestern Australia

Perth is the best city to live in Australia if you’re a lover of art, music, theatre, and film. In summer, you’ll find lots of live music festivals, outdoor cinemas, and art and comedy shows. Also, it’s a great place for outdoorsy people, with lots of opportunities for hiking and water sports along the Swan River Valley. The city has great weather and is warm most of the year with a maximum temperature of 30 ºC. The winters are also quite mild. 

If you’re looking for a good job, Perth offers plenty of opportunities. Among the industries looking for skilled workers, you’ll find:

  • Tourism and hospitality 
  • Farming and agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Education

4. Hobart

Number of citizens238,834
RegionTasmania 

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is one of the best towns to live in Australia. Interestingly, it used to be known as Hobart Town or Hobarton. It’s a beautiful little city where you can walk by the docks, visit the famous Salamanca Market, or take a kayak down to the city waters. If you enjoy nature and snow-capped mountains, Hobart is the place for you.

It’s a super safe and friendly place to live, perfect for families. Also, many students can enroll in vocational training and safely stroll around the city in the evenings. Although not so multi-cultural, Hobart allows you fully immerse yourself in Australian culture. 

5. Adelaide

Number of citizens26,177
RegionSouth Australia

Adelaide is among the most livable cities globally, and it’s the best place to live in Australia if you value easy access. The city has excellent public transport with a free bus service and an extensive air and rail transport network. It’s a great choice for immigrants because 30% of its population is made up of overseas people. Also, it’s fantastic for retirees since it has the highest percentage of retired residents.

There are plenty of work opportunities in:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Mining
  • Forestry
  • Real estate

One of the biggest attractions is the Adelaide Festival. It’s world-renowned for its operas, plays, concerts, and documentaries. And the rent in South Australia is much cheaper than in bigger cities like Sydney.

6. Melbourne

Number of citizens5,061,000
RegionVictoria

According to the Economist, Melbourne was first on the list of most livable cities for seven consecutive years. The bustling city paired with parks and open spaces offers an outstanding balance. It’s a great place to live, work, and study in, and it’s wonderful for families and for students.

Melbourne is well known for its world-famous festivals, including the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Melbourne Comedy Festival. You can also enjoy sporting events, such as the Australian Open Tennis and Formula 1.

The city is home to multi-cultural people and offers great work opportunities for immigrants. If you want to move to Melbourne for work, you should consider the following industries:

  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Agriculture and mining
  • Building and construction

7. Brisbane

Number of citizens2,439,000
RegionQueensland

If you’re a fan of sunny weather and a hot, subtropical climate, Brisbane might be the right match. It was originally full of large Aboriginal settlements, but it’s now made up of mostly overseas inhabitants. Brisbane is famous for its tall skyscrapers, casinos, and resorts. Because of this, many affectionately call the city “BrisVegas.” Also, you should check out the Queensland Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, and Performing Arts Center

If you’re looking for a great place for families, the suburbs right outside the city centre — Auchenflower and Paddington — are quite popular and charming. While more expensive than Adelaide, you’ll find plenty of work opportunities in the primary sector, mostly mining and agriculture. 

8. Wollongong

Number of citizens307,477 
RegionNew South Wales

Just an hour and a half away from Sydney, Wollongong is a small city that feels like a quaint town.It’s among the best country towns to live in Australia. Wollongong is highly multi-cultural, with people from all backgrounds living together comfortably. If you’re looking to live in a diverse area that’s relatively safe, has great weather, a relaxed lifestyle, lots of beautiful beaches, and is close to a big city, Wollongong is the place for you. 

The city is best known for its heavy industry and port activity. Port Kembla Steelworks is one of the primary industries in the area. Contrasting the heavy industrial areas, there are also chains of beaches and a rainforest-covered escarpment to visit. If you’re looking for an industry job or would like to live near nature, you should definitely consider Wollongong.

9. Sunshine Coast

Number of citizens353,281
RegionQueensland

The Sunshine Coast in Queensland has a lot to offer and is among the most beautiful places in Australia to live. The whole area is full of stunning beaches and blue water. Also, there are the Glasshouse Mountains and various waterfalls. Local life is quite dynamic and fun, with many year-round festivals and concerts. The Eumundi Market is a great place to visit, alongside many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

If you’re looking for a place to move in with the kids, Sunshine Coast offers the perfect city and countryside mix. The area is relatively safe, with lots of parks. The community is tight and secure, making it a fantastic place for families. 

Housing in the Sunshine Coast is very affordable. Plus, the traffic is never too bad, and there are great job opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry. 

10. Darwin

Number of citizens147,331
RegionNorthern Territory

With amazing landscapes, long desert stretches, natural monoliths, and swimming holes, Northern Territory Darwin is among the most beautiful towns in Australia. Some of the awe-inspiring natural sights include the Kakadu National Park and the world-renowned Uluru monolith.

Darwin is beautiful, but it’s also an amazing place for students. It offers excellent education, and Charles Darwin University is well-known worldwide. Also, there are plenty of programs for international students and lots of scholarship opportunities. 

Conclusion

Australia is an incredible country with much to offer in culture, education, job opportunities, and community. While it has plenty of amazing cities and towns you could choose from, I hope you’ll consider my top 10 above. Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong, the Sunshine Coats, and Darwin all have lots to boast about and would be excellent places to live in.

FAQ

What is the best and safest place to live in Australia?

Australia ranks pretty well globally when it comes to safety. But the safest city to live in within the country is Sydney. It was ranked 10th on the 2019 Safe Cities Index by the Economists’ Intelligence Unit. The index considered digital, health, infrastructure, and personal security. 

Where is the most affordable place to live in Australia?

Hobart is among the most affordable cities in Australia. The Tasmania capital has a very low cost of living, and the houses in Hobart are about 25% cheaper than the country’s average. 

What is the most peaceful city in Australia?

Off the coast of Queensland, Cairns is possibly the most peaceful Australian city. It’s the best place to get to the Great Barrier Reef from. And what’s a better way to relax, unwind, and feel at peace than being close to nature? Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is an incredibly immersive experience. 

Which is the wealthiest state in Australia?

The wealthiest state in Australia is New South Wales. It has the largest economy and contributes to around 30% of the national GDP. The economy is bigger than some of the smaller countries globally, like Malaysia and Colombia. New South Wales also has some of the best places to live in Australia, such as Sydney and New Castle.