As one of the most expat-friendly countries in the world, Australia is a prime location for moving abroad, whether for work or to start a new life. There are approximately one million Britons living as expats in Australia as of 2020. In fact, 1 in 4 Australian residents were born outside of the country.
Most of the population centres in Australia are on the coast. The middle of the country is sparsely populated with vast desert areas. In such a vast country, it can be difficult to know where to live when moving to Australia. Is East, West or the South best? It depends on many factors as we will discuss in this post.
The East of the country is the most-visited and highly populated, being home to the capital Sydney, plus Brisbane and the surrounding Gold Coast. There is plenty to see and do: beaches, bustling city centres, exciting nightlife, and nature is within short travelling distance. The East is known for its surf culture and outdoor beach lifestyle. It attracts the majority of young people to Australia, but still offers something for all age groups and preferences.
The weather is mild to hot throughout most of the year. But note: the East Coast tends to rain more than the West. While the weather is generally mild to hot, it is less predictable. The Sydney area still delivers better overall weather than the UK. Brisbane is hotter with its year-round sub-tropical climate. People who prefer a slightly cooler climate may want to head further south to Melbourne or Adelaide.
Perth is the major population centre in the West. As one of the world’s most isolated cities, it provides a wealth of opportunities. Perth is more laid-back than Sydney and has a slightly lower cost of living. For those flying western routes on a regular basis, living in Perth can shave up to 5 hours off flight duration. The West also provides faster access to nearby Indonesia, for trips to Bali and other destinations.
Similarly to the East of Australia, the West has many superb beach areas. The weather is also more consistent with prolonged spells of sunshine and fewer clouds. Individuals, families, and couples will find the West friendly and welcoming. Head outside of the West’s urban areas to find a plethora of national forests teaming with wildlife, walking trails, and all kinds of exciting recreational activities.
With the East Coast dominating much of the limelight, it can sometimes be easy to forget about the South Coast of Australia. In actual fact, the South is home to the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide, both popular with tourists and expats alike. The weather is more mixed in this area. There can be sunshine, rain, and cloud in a single day — something that expats from the UK will be familiar with. But the summers can get exceptionally hot, much like the rest of the country.
Melbourne is a large, busy, and cosmopolitan city that suits all age groups. Adelaide offers a more compact cityscape and a lower cost of living compared to the East. Both the South and South-East have well-established expat communities offering a warm welcome to newcomers. The area is known for its cultural amenities and festivals, yet it can be quiet and laid-back, offering the best of both worlds.