Disclosure! While this post is about living in Australia, you need to know I’m a little biased, because I live in Australia and have all my life.
The benefits and experiences are fantastic and the tourists and people I speak to all have favourable things to say or the ones who came to holiday and stayed to live.
The Australian Climate
Australia has a large choice of temperatures. It’s nowhere near as cold as many countries as our lowest temperatures tend to be down to single figures, but not minus or below zero figures except if you go to the ski fields in the Snowy Mountains.
The wind chill factor in mountainous areas can make it a bit “nippy” but not so that is going to risk your life if you’re rugged up.
Sydney city has one of the best climate ranges you’ll find anywhere in the world. Temperatures close to the coast can range from 18 degree Celsius in mid-winter on a few days to mid-thirties in summer time.
Start to travel away from any coastal area in Australia and you’ll see a significant temperature drop or increase. Just 60km west of Sydney you may experience temperatures up to 47 degrees in places like Penrith, which can also go down to zero degrees overnight in winter, generating a ground frost.
Go north in Australia, from Brisbane and further north and you’ll start to feel quite hot in summer due to the humidity. Sydney doesn’t quite have the humidity, nor any of the southern cities like Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Canberra. These cities can hit 40+ degrees but Brisbane, with its humidity can feel hotter even at 32 degrees.
Cities to Live in
Capital cities are where the majority of people in Australia live with Sydney being the biggest by population and land area.
If you like the hustle and bustle of city living, Sydney is the place for you!
The roads can be a major challenge in peak hour, which can start at 5am and go to 9.30am in the mornings or start at 3pm and go to 7pm at night. It has a large and variable time frame for peak hour, so visitors be warned.
The best way to get around Sydney is by train, which is what it’s called here. Trains run every few minutes and are crowded in peak hour only, but only for a few stops around the city, then you can usually find a spare seat.
There are plenty of taxis and Uber etc. to get you around the metropolitan area, which spans from Palm Beach and St Ives before hitting national park, to Sutherland before hitting national park, to Penrith in the West and Campbelltown in the South West. Trains cover all of these areas.
Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and the sporting capitals. The city loves all types of sports with the Australian open tennis held there as well as a round of the Moto GP, plus AFL – the Australian Football League. Melbourne is home to The MCG – The Melbourne Cricket Ground, the premier stadium in Australia that attracts the biggest crowds, especially the crowd favourite, The Boxing Day Cricket Test Match where crowds can reach 90,000 people.
Brisbane is Australia’s third biggest city with a population of around 2,280,000 in 2019. It’s considered by people who live here to be ‘like a big country town’ because mention a name and someone will probably know of them.
Adelaide is a cooler city in South Australia and popular with the arts. It’s a much cooler place to live, but the sun burns very hot in summer due to its dry heat.
Perth is the capital city of Western Australia and its only large city over 80,000 people with a population of 1.1 Million.
Working and Doing Business in Australia
Australia is a highly educated country. Its’ school children are strongly encouraged to attend university following graduation of high school at around the age of 17.
Age 17 is the minimum age for driving with a P-plate for 3 years. 18 is the legal drinking age however all P-Platers have a zero blood alcohol limit for their 3 years. P-Platers are also limited to the power of the car they are allowed to drive to reduce accidents.
Short courses are available for teenagers who may not want to go onto university and the large majority of young people will have some kind of certificate or degree underway or finished by age 20 to 21.
The unemployment rate is 5.3%, which is around 725,000 people and has hovered around this level for many years. Those who seriously want employment can generally obtain it.
Then there are those that have an entrepreneurial spirit who enter into businesses for themselves.
There are some 2.3 Million actively trading businesses in Australia and the figure keeps increasing every year and has for the past 5 years.
Of these 97% are consider ‘small’ businesses with less than 20 employees.
Apart from being qualified in some industries there is no real license fee to start a business. You need to register with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to obtain a Tax File Number and an ABN – Australian Business Number as well as register a business name.
The average weekly earnings figure in Australia is $1,633 which may seem high but keep in mind our price rises of wages and household goods has been higher than many countries in the past few decades.
Australian new car prices can be much higher than other countries as is the petrol for them, the servicing costs (due to high average wages) and all things related to driving and owning a car.
Taxes in Australia are generally considered ‘high’ compared to most countries.
Australian’s are generally liked and respected around the world and by tourists here. They are liked for their down to earth nature, for not getting too carried away with ourselves and for our larrikin and mateship attitude to other ‘Aussies’ and locals.
Australia has a more laid back sense of pride, unlike the American’s who like to shout out loud how grand they are!
Australian’s take a lot in their stride. We’re like the introverts of the world where the American’s are the extroverts.
While we’re quiet spoken, we can be ‘as tough as nails’ in certain arenas with one of them being sport.
While we’re not fanatical, like the Indians are with their cricket there, we do love our sports – all sports.
At the Olympic and Commonwealth Games it’s not uncommon to read about athletes appreciation of Australian crowds who clap their efforts, even though they aren’t Australian who may be competing.
Australian’s have a general appreciation of other nations and their sportspeople.
City folk in Australia aren’t quite as sociable and friendly as the country folks. Even going from Sydney to Brisbane is a significant change with many New South Welshmen making the migration to Queensland in the order of 80,000 people every year.
Those who move from Sydney to Brisbane love the laid-back, warmth of Brisbane people.
People all over Australia are generally up for a chat if you talk to them. They are happy to talk to strangers or tourists and Australia is considered a very safe place to live.
There are no roads too scary to drive down, although at night there are some places its best to avoid if walking.
There’s plenty of that in Australia!
They say there are more things that can kill you here than anywhere else in the world, or at least that’s what social media platforms say.
We have our brown snakes, funnel web spiders, blue ringed octopus and even sting-rays and manta-rays. Plus of course some very large crocodiles and white sharks that eat someone (often a tourist) about once a year.
Yes there are some dangers in our country to learn about and act wisely towards, but it’s rare that an educated person will die from one of our wild animals.
Things to See and Do
If you’re here to see and do things then allow plenty of time. Australia is a huge country and getting around it from one tourist attraction to another can require days of travel!
The ‘outback’ is a day or more’s drive from Sydney or Brisbane. Ayres Rock or Uluru is a very, very long drive from Sydney and a long drive from the nearest airport too so that will take a day just to get to it and back.
A flight from Sydney to Adelaide will take a couple of hours and an hour and a half to Brisbane. A flight to Perth from Sydney will take 4¼ hours, just to give you an idea.
One place that is a definite recommendation to visit in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. While it’s been damaged by climate warming it is still a wonderful aspect of Australia that is worthwhile seeing. Places like Heron Island, one of the few general public living islands is worth a mention. It is considered to have some of the best scuba diving sites in the world.
There’s the Big Prawn (Ballina), the Big Pineapple (Woombye), the Big Banana (Coffs Harbour), the Big Potato (Robertson), the Big Lobster (Kingston), the Giant Koala (Dadswells Bridge) and the Big Merino (Gouldburn) to name a few interesting ‘big things’ to see.
Tasmania is an amazing place to visit. It is mostly national park and is one of the best places for bushwalking and camping in Australia, most times of the year. You can drive around Tasmania in a day, although it’s best to take your time. The two biggest cities, Hobart down south and Launceston are fantastic in cultural diversity and things to see and do. MONA near Hobart is a must-see!
Of course any trip to Australia must include The Gold Coast. Its extraordinary what there is to see and do with its big theme parks, beautiful beaches, skyscraper accommodation right on the beach, shops and events. There’s always something going on, on the Gold Coast!