Best Places to Live in Australia | 10 Unique Cities for Expats and Travelers

Australia is well known for its tropical beaches, Aboriginal culture, beautiful wine country, adorable koalas, deserts, and lush rainforests. It is also the only country that is both a continent and an island.

Australia’s big cities offer fantastic opportunities for a great social life, career advancement, and travel. Each city has its unique personality with something to offer everyone. So let’s dive into the ten best places to live in Australia for expats and travelers.

Next Read: Discover the best spaces for coliving in Australia.

Best Places to Live in Australia for…

  1. Best Place to Live for Expats: Melbourne
  2. Best Place to Live for English Speakers: Sydney
  3. Best Place to Live for Digital Nomads: Brisbane
  4. Best Place to Live for Solo Travelers: Perth
  5. Best Place to Live for Couples: Melbourne
  6. Best Place to Live for Groups: Cairns

Top 10 Places to Live in Australia

1. Sydney

Best Place to Live for English Speakers

Cost of Living: $$$

Sydney is Australia’s most well-known city, with the iconic Opera House and romantic harbor. Many expats choose to make Sydney their home as a result of its bustling global center.

Sydney has an efficient public transport system and various jobs to offer all different types of people. It has famous beaches, such as Bondi Beach, and is the LGBTQIA+ capital of the country.

Tip: Visit Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Job-seekers, and English speakers


  • The weather is great
  • Fantastic job opportunities
  • The culture is exciting


  • The most expensive Australian city
  • Traffic is a common occurrence
  • Buying a house is expensive

2. Melbourne

Best Place to Live for Couples

Cost of Living: $$$

As the second largest city in Australia, you can imagine Melbourne was always going to feature. In this city, culture and creativity are the main activities.

Melbourne has a cosmopolitan feel, with shopping, museums, and unique modern architecture taking center stage. It’s a great place to live for fashionistas and sports fans.

Tip: Melbourne is less expensive than Sydney but still pricey. Check out local markets for grocery shopping.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital nomads and Couples.


  • Intense sport-loving culture
  • There’s always something to do
  • Abundant job opportunities


  • Unpredictable weather
  • It’s expensive
  • Traffic is bad

3. Perth

Best Place to Live for Solo Travelers

Cost of Living: $$

Perth is a vibrant city known for its mining, oil, and gas industries. It has a strong economy, hot climate, and affordable rentals.

Perth also offers beautiful beaches, farmer’s markets, boutiques, and nature reserves overflowing with wildlife.

Tip: Perth has a reliable transportation system. Read more about a SmartRider card before making your way to the city.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats and Solo Travelers


  • Low population density
  • Quieter town and relaxed weekend vibe
  • Affordable living


  • Lack of street life
  • Isolated city
  • Tougher job market

4. Brisbane

Best Place to Live for Digital Nomads

Cost of Living: $$

Brisbane is a fantastic place to live in Australia for a laid-back urban lifestyle. It has a strong health and hospitality job market, good salaries and lower rentals making it affordable.

Brisbane has luscious green suburbs and a lively downtown. If you are looking for a reprieve from the city now and then, the Gold Coast is nearby for a needed beach visit. With nature around every corner and access to a lovely city, it’s no wonder digital nomads love Brisbane. (Prozac)

If you’re an aspiring traveler, here are tips for digital nomads.

Tip: It is always hot, so be sure to wear sunscreen daily.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads and young people.


  • Close to Australia’s best beaches
  • Winter is still very warm and pleasurable
  • Outdoor lifestyle promotes healthy living


  • Humidity can get uncomfortable
  • City parking is costly
  • Economy is smaller

5. Adelaide

Best Place to Live for Families

Cost of Living: $$

Adelaide is known as the Garden City in the south of Australia. It has a green belt and central gardens that the city subsides around. Adelaide has beautiful beaches and a warm climate, making it the perfect place to settle.

Adelaide offers a peaceful family lifestyle with a quiet atmosphere but includes urban amenities for everyone to enjoy.

Tip: Adelaide is home to Australia’s top educational institutions, making it the ideal family city.

Who Would Like to Live There: Families and Expats.


  • Barossa wine country is close
  • Beaches are close to the city
  • Affordable big city


  • Tough job market
  • Lower average wages
  • Colder sea temperatures

6. Canberra

Best Place to Live for Retirees

Cost of Living: $$

Canberra can be considered dull; however, many people find it a hidden urban gem. Canberra has plenty of sparkling lakes, audacious architecture, and rich culture. There are several job opportunities for migrants with degrees, so it’s the ideal city for expats.

Tip: Driving license holders from overseas will need to pass specific assessments.

Who would Like to Live There: Expats, English Speakers, and Retirees


  • It’s a spacious city
  • Traffic isn’t bad
  • Mountain ranges and nature reserves


  • Public transportation system
  • Harsh winter weather
  • Sprawling suburbs requiring a car

7. Tasmania

Best Place to Live for Nature Lovers

Cost of Living: $

Tasmania is a fantastic place to live if you prefer cooler weather. Its capital, Hobart, is known for its artistic flair. Tasmania is known for some of the most beautiful mountains, lakes, and coastal scenery and produces a large portion of Australia’s hydroelectric power.

Tasmania offers a balanced lifestyle with a busy city and accessible outdoors to unwind from work or studies. It incorporates rich history with modern amenities to make living comfortable and stress-free.

Tip: Visit Freycinet National Park for romantic trails and panoramic views.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo Travelers, Nature Lovers, and Digital Nomads.


  • Affordable housing
  • It’s safe
  • Expanding food culture


  • Limited job opportunities
  • Very cold winters
  • Isolating small town feel

8. The Blue Mountains Region

Best Place to Live for Country Living

Cost of Living: $$

The Blue Mountains are located in the Australian countryside with close access to Sydney and are a popular tourist attraction. There are beautiful hiking trails, national parks, and vineyards rich with wildlife. The countryside is peaceful and accommodates many small businesses for a slower-paced lifestyle.

Tip: Avoid the Blue Mountains in busy tourist months from September to April.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo Travelers, Country Living, and Expats.


  • Beautiful mountainous scenery
  • Abundant activities
  • Affordable living


  • Tourist area
  • Bushfires during summer
  • Long commuting time to other cities

9. Cairns

Best Place to Live for Groups

Cost of Living: $$

Cairns offers a fantastic climate, beautiful beaches, and a lavish outdoor lifestyle. Cairns combines cosmopolitan living with small country towns and stunning World Heritage scenery such as the Wet Tropics rainforests and Great Barrier Reef.

The overall best suburbs to live in are Trinity Beach, Palm Cove, and Smithfield.

Tip: Take a 45-minute boat ride to Nudey Beach for jaw-dropping white sand and crystal-clear waters.

Who Would Like to Live There: Groups, Solo Travelers and Couples.


  • Great climate
  • Lots of World Heritage Sites
  • Less busy than Sydney and Melbourne


  • Intense humidity
  • Congested traffic
  • Tourists all year

10. Wollongong

Best Place to Live for Students

Cost of Living: $

Wollongong is situated in a great location near white sand beaches and has affordable living costs for international students. It attracts many students with its diverse educational opportunities. If you are a student looking to study and live in Wollongong, it’s a good idea to read about how to carry money abroad.

Wollongong has beautiful rainforests and wetlands combined with vibrant city life.

Tip: Take a seven-minute drive to visit Beach Cove, Belmore Basin.

Who Would Like to Live There: Students and English speakers.


  • Great nightlife
  • Great universities
  • Amazing weather


  • Limited employment opportunities
  • Isolating small town
  • Expensive




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