Thinking of moving to Australia? Or wondering if it is a good place to live? We look at the advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia for expats
Are you considering a move down under and wondering about the pros and cons of living in Australia? If so, welcome to the ‘wide brown land down under’ where there are undoubtedly plenty of pros to life but also some cons. Let’s consider both sides of the ‘life in Australia’ coin.
When Australia dropped off the eastern edge of Antarctica all those billions of years ago and began drifting northwards, she took her flora and fauna with her. Today, renowned for iconic eucalyptus, hopping marsupials, more beaches than anywhere else, and glorious weather, Australia has many incredible benefits.
Here are some of the best of them. However, to keep it all in perspective, we’ve also found a few disadvantages of moving to Australia!
- 1. Pro: The Glorious Weather
- 2. Pro: Unique Wildlife
- 3. Pro: Beach Culture
- 4. Pro: Excellent job opportunities and a good work-life balance
- 5. Pro: High Standard of Living
- 6. Pro: Natural Beauty
- 7. Pro: Friendly People
- 8. Pro: Clean and Safe Cities
- 9. Pro: Multicultural Society
- 10. Pro: Breathtaking Road Trips
- 11. Pro: World-class Healthcare
- 12. Pro: Strong Education System
- 13. Pro: Art and Festivals
- 14. Pro: English Language
- 15. Pro: Beautiful Wine Regions
- 16. Pro: Sports Enthusiasm
- 17. Pro: Spacious Living
- 18. Pro: Opportunities for Families
- 19. Pro: The Excellent Food in Australia
- The Cons of Living in Australia
- 1. Con: Spiders, snakes and other dangerous animals
- 2. Con: Strict Immigration and Visa Policies
- 3. Con: Expensive Local Produce Prices
- 4. Con: Far from Europe
- 5. Con: High Cost of Living
- 6. Con: Television and Entertainment
- 7. Con: The weather can be very hot
- 8. Con: Distances between cities
- Are you looking to move to Australia from the UK?
Like other similarly large countries, Australia is big enough to accommodate most tastes in weather. Northern Australia, including the north of Western Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory, and Far North Queensland, are lushly tropical with weather to match.
You can enjoy many outdoor activities all year round, even in the depths of winter – beach outings, hiking, and leisurely memorable trips along some of Australia’s world-renowned scenic drives.
Conversely, Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state, and the southern alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales may remind you of life in northern Europe! They enjoy cold, snowy winters and mild summers.
From ancient rainforests, hardy native Spinifex grasses, and those iconic gum trees to unique marsupials, reptiles, insects, birds, and animals, Australia is the place to be if you want to see fascinating ‘critters’ in their natural habitats. Koalas, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian Devils, lizards (Australia has more types of lizards than anywhere else), crocs, snakes, spiders, and plenty more!
Most of Australia’s 26.5 million people live around, or close to, 50,000+ kilometres of glorious coastline and for good reason. Australian beaches, and over 10,000 of them, are amongst the best, if not the best, in the world.
From squeaky fine white Indian Ocean sand on the west coast to the east coast’s glorious Pacific Ocean beaches, most Australians have an inbuilt love for the beach and cherish their beach culture. You could say it’s part of their DNA!
It’s also why many sun-loving UK expats end up in Australia. The allure of that surfing sunbathing lifestyle is tough to resist.
4. Pro: Excellent job opportunities and a good work-life balance
Australia boasts a vibrant job market that embraces skilled professionals from all around the globe. Not only does the country offer outstanding working conditions, but it also provides great salaries. For a deeper understanding of the jobs in demand in Australia, check out our comprehensive guide.
5. Pro: High Standard of Living
6. Pro: Natural Beauty
Australia is a land of vividly beautiful contrasts with at least 16 spectacular natural and mixed UNESCO world heritage sites, including the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites and the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia.
Some of these sites are ancient and unique, with stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems not found anywhere else. However, there are also many other equally stunning, beautiful, diverse places to visit in Australia – the red centre, beautiful remote, glorious mountains, vast desert expanses, lush, fertile river plains, there’s a landscape or environment to suit every type of nature lover!
7. Pro: Friendly People
Aussies, overall, are a friendly bunch. They are renowned for their laid-back attitude, an intrinsic sense of irreverence, and a warm, welcoming nature. Then there is that famous ‘mateship’ culture and their tendency to poke fun at everything, including themselves. However, if you ever need a helping hand or someone to ‘have your back’, there’s no better ‘mate’ than an Aussie!
As expected in a country with a high standard of living generally, Australian towns and cities are clean, safe places to live compared to other parts of the world. Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth consistently rank in the top 10 cities globally for a range of metrics, including safety, cleanliness, amenities, and overall quality of life.
9. Pro: Multicultural Society
Australia has one of the most multicultural societies in the world. Citizens come from all corners of the globe and have brought their cultures, cuisines, languages, and traditions with them. The result is a rich human tapestry that fuses the best of these cultures with the best of what was already there and makes it uniquely Australian. And – no matter which city you’re in, you don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in worlds of international flavours, sights, and sounds.
Great Ocean Road, West Coast Wilderness Way, Great Alpine Road and Bogong Alpine Way.
What do all these roads have in common? Answer – they all provide a chance to see some of the best parts of Australia! These breathtaking road trips attract thousands of visitors yearly, keen to experience the unforgettable and stunning panoramas.
There’s a lot to like about Australia’s public healthcare system. It is comprehensive and easily accessible to all Australians. It also won’t send you broke if you require emergency treatment in one of its world-class medical facilities! This peace of mind is invaluable, especially for families.
12. Pro: Strong Education System
If you have school-age children, you’ll be happy to know education is a top priority in Australia, with every school-aged child guaranteed a place in a public school. If you prefer a private school, plenty of excellent options are available there too.
Overall, Australia’s education system is robust – from pre-primary right through to university – and consistently ranks amongst the most reputable in the world. It’s also produced more than a few brilliant, innovative minds and plenty of world-leading research.
13. Pro: Art and Festivals
You’ll enjoy Australia’s vibrant multicultural arts scene if you enjoy art and culture. Every major city and many larger towns have regular exhibitions, cultural festivals, and various yearly performances. Most major performers also make their way down under at least once during their ‘world’ tours, although they often only make it as far as the East Coast.
There are also plenty of museums, art galleries, and other attractions to keep you busy.
14. Pro: English Language
Despite being multicultural, Australia’s official language is English and UK English – migrants from English-speaking nations, like the UK, find it easy to integrate and communicate.
15. Pro: Beautiful Wine Regions
If you’re a wine buff, you’ll be familiar with names like Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, and Margaret River. Living in Australia will bring you close enough to visit these iconic wine regions and the exquisite wines they produce! Many of the wineries have cellar door tastings and sales, particularly the boutique ones (of which there are many).
16. Pro: Sports Enthusiasm
There’s a well-known TV commercial in Australia that goes something like this: ‘We’re a sporting nation at heart’, and never has a truer word been spoken! Australians have a well-earned reputation for being passionate about their sports, whether it’s junior football, the Australian Open (tennis), or a coin-flipping competition called ‘Two-Up’.
The country produces more successful sporting teams and sports persons per capita than most other countries. It’s a country where a horse race is important enough to have its own public holiday!
So – if you’re planning on moving Down Under, be prepared to get immersed, or at least show an interest, in a sport of some sort.
17. Pro: Spacious Living
With over 7.688 million km2 of land, Australia is the 6th largest country. It’s also the world’s largest island and smallest continent. However, over 80% of Australia’s 26.5 million people live on just 30% of that landmass. The remaining 70% is very sparsely inhabited, not the least because it’s predominantly desert.
Even so, 30% of 7.688 million km2 is still far bigger than most other countries, particularly the UK, and with a relatively small number of people to share it with, there’s plenty of space to go around. This explains why many Australians and countless expats now live there and enjoy spacious detached homes with large yards, even in the middle of suburbia.
18. Pro: Opportunities for Families
One of the main attractions for expats considering a move to Australia is its safe, family-friendly reputation and good work-life balance. This is backed up by – an excellent education system, great schools, effective and affordable healthcare, good employment opportunities, and plenty of spacious recreational facilities, parks, and playgrounds. These make it an ideal place to raise a family.
19. Pro: The Excellent Food in Australia
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If you enjoy great worldwide cuisines, superb Australian wines, and good company, multicultural Australia offers it all in abundance. Robust Italian pasta, spicy Mexican, rich Indian curries, veggie-laden Asian dishes, traditional British fare, the ubiquitous BBQ… Australian cuisine is a true reflection of its modern multicultural diversity and an excellent destination for food lovers in search of quality!
The Cons of Living in Australia
With all the pros to living in Australia – natural beauty, economic opportunity, and a high quality of life – it’s a small wonder it remains a sought-after destination for people from all walks of life. However, it would be remiss not to point out that there are also some negative aspects to moving down under to live! Here are some of the more note-worthy ones:
1. Con: Spiders, snakes and other dangerous animals
Although Australia is famously home to some dangerous creatures, it’s worth emphasising that unless you are actively seeking them out or being careless, the likelihood of a harmful encounter is minimal. The majority of these animals, even the potentially dangerous ones, would rather keep to themselves than confront humans.
Only 2 people per a year die from snakebites on average (compared to over 80,000 in India!) and these are usually in remote parts of Queensland. These days, due to the availability of anti-venom, no one dies from spider bites. Similarly crocodile attacks are very rare.
Beware though – Australians are known to tease unsuspecting visitors about the dangers of ‘drop bears’ – the only danger of which is possible embarrassment.
2. Con: Strict Immigration and Visa Policies
Migrating to Australia is not a simple, straightforward process. The immigration and visa requirements can be complex, quite demanding regarding eligibility, and difficult to navigate.
However, you will be pleased to know we are partnered with a network of recruitment partners and visa experts who can help you if you are looking to make the move to Australia.
3. Con: Expensive Local Produce Prices
Australia is a major agricultural producer and produces some of the best food in the region. However, a large portion of that produce is exported, often putting local outlets in direct competition with these lucrative overseas markets. This means some local produce is surprisingly expensive, particularly in supermarkets, especially after transport costs and other logistics are factored in.
On the plus side, local weekend fresh food markets are common and a far more affordable option. You’ll also have room to pop in a veggie garden in your spacious backyard!
4. Con: Far from Europe
Australia is a long way from Europe, so if you plan on moving Down Under, you’ll face a long plane trip back home to visit family and friends. However, it is getting better. Perth is three hours closer to Europe and non-stop flights are now available. On the plus side, other great countries such as New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines and the rest of Asia are right on your doorstep!
5. Con: High Cost of Living
The allure of life in Australia is undeniable with its vibrant cities, beautiful landscapes, and diverse culture. Yet, like many sought-after destinations, it does have its downsides. A significant concern has been escalation in house prices, especially in the major East Coast cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Over the past few years, these urban hubs have witnessed a steep surge in real estate values, making homeownership a challenge for many.
On the upside, employment opportunities in these cities often come with higher wages, somewhat compensating for the elevated living costs. Moreover, for those willing to explore beyond the bustling city centres, the surrounding suburbs present a more budget-friendly alternative. These suburban areas, while still providing access to city amenities, often offer more affordable housing options, ensuring that the Australian dream remains attainable for a broader range of people.
Some expats may find that Australian free-to-air television channels need more programming options, especially compared to what they’re used to in countries like the UK. However, this is not a major con because there’s always Netflix, VPN and Britbox available whenever you desire your home-grown TV shows.
7. Con: The weather can be very hot
Many Europeans, drawn by the allure of sun-drenched days, relocate to Australia, enchanted by its beautiful weather. The country’s temperate climate, with its clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine, has always been a significant pull. However, the weather isn’t always mild. Particularly in recent times, due to the effects of climate change, the intensity of heat and humidity has amplified. Most parts of mainland Australia now undergo bouts of this scorching heat at some juncture during the summer months.
For those who might find such heat a bit too overwhelming, Australia offers diverse climates across its vast expanse. Regions like Victoria and New South Wales, for instance, provide cooler alternatives.
8. Con: Distances between cities
Australia, known for its vast landscapes is the sixth-largest country by land area. While its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems are a source of pride, the expansive distances between major cities can pose significant disadvantages for residents and visitors alike. These large gaps can result in higher travel times and costs, limiting opportunities for regular face-to-face interactions. Moreover, this vastness can sometimes result in reduced accessibility to specialised amenities and services, often concentrated in major metropolitan areas.
However, the major cities do have everything you need and there are relatively low cost internal flights if you do need to travel.
Are you looking to move to Australia from the UK?
Australia offers many pros for expats looking for a different lifestyle on the other side of the world. However, like every country, the pros are balanced by cons that need to be carefully weighed up and considered.
If you do decide to move to Australia, contact us for help with all your moving requirements. PSS International Removals has over 40 years’ experience in the industry and will help you have a smooth experience.