Living in Australia
Many people relocate to the ‘Land Downunder’, Australia, because of its high standards of living and unrivalled natural beauty. The country used to be part of the British Empire and is a Western culture, derived primarily from Britain but also influenced by the unique geography of the Australian continent, the diverse input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Oceania people. Over the years, individuals and families from all parts of the world have moved to Australia, shaping and reshaping the identity of the nation. You will find foods and traditions that are influenced by many countries, including France, China, Greece, and Japan.
If you are thinking of immigrating into Australia, it is always advisable to first do your research. In this comprehensive guide to immigrating into Australia, we look at some key information you should know about the country, including the living standards, the weather, and some of the best cities to live in Australia.
Australia is one of the richest countries in the world and it is set to become the world’s 12th largest economy in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund. It has a mixed market economy and is dominated by the service sector and the export of commodities. The country currently holds the record for the longest-running period without a recession. It sank into a recession in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and this was the first time it would experience an economic downturn in nearly 30 years.
The Weather in Australia
Australia is a large country and has several climate zones. The northern region of the country has a rather tropical climate and enjoys hot and humid summers. Winters in the north are warm and dry. The southern parts of Australia enjoy cooler and mild summers, and the winters are typically cool and rainy. December and January are the hottest months in the country, and July and August are the coldest.
The Australian People
Australians are informally known as ‘Aussies’ and, in the last census, the country had a population of more than 25 million people. Australia used to be a British colony, so it is no surprise that a large proportion of the population can trace its origins to the UK. Many in the country are also from Germany and China. Australia has pursued an official policy of multiculturalism and about 30% of the Australian population is made up of immigrants. Because of its history of immigration, the nation has become home to a diversity of cultures.
Is Australia Safe?
Australia is a safe country to visit and live in. It has a stable political system and a very low crime rate. Whilst pickpocketing is not commonplace, one should still take normal precautions when walking in big cities like Sydney. When driving, it is important to be extra careful since wild animals can jump in the middle of open roads. Although Australia has a reputation for hosting dangerous wild animals, the number of people killed every year by animals in Australia is relatively low. Some of the most dangerous animals in Australia are snakes, spiders, the great white shark, and crocodiles.
Healthcare in Australia
When immigrating into Australia, it is also important to evaluate the healthcare system of the country. Medicare and the public hospital system in Australia provide free or low-cost access to all Australians. The nation is ranked first amongst Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for equity and healthcare outcomes, and its overall healthcare performance is ranked third, after Norway and the Netherlands. When residing in Australia, you will also be able to opt for private healthcare which can be provided in and out of the hospital, but you will have to contribute towards the cost of the service.
Australia’s Public Transport Systems
Public transport is good in Australia, and many people even prefer using public means instead of driving. The main public transport options in the country are train, bus, ferry, and light rail or trams. The systems are reliable, high frequency and operate efficiently. Since Australia is very large, many people opt to fly between the various destinations. The domestic airlines include Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Rex Airlines, and Virgin Australia, and they all serve state capital cities in Australia and many regional areas in Australia.
Working in Australia
Australia is one of the best countries to work and live in, according to the United Nations. This is due to its exceptional quality of life index. With a very low unemployment rate of around 3.9%, finding work in Australia is relatively straightforward. Western Australia has the lowest unemployment rate, followed by the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
Some of the top industries by the number of employees include healthcare and social services, retail trade, construction, education and training, and manufacturing. Registered nurses, secondary school teachers, electricians, and software programmers are some of the most in-demand skills in Australia. A number of firms in Australia have been listed in the Global Fortune 500 ranking, and they include Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Commonwealth Bank, BHP, and National Australia Bank.
Studying in Australia
If you are planning on immigrating into Australia, you may also wish to evaluate the education system in the country, as well as other essential features for students.
If you are travelling from a different country and looking to study in Australia for more than three months, you will first need to apply for a student visa. This visa allows students to study in Australia for up to five years. You should note that you will only qualify for a student visa if you are enrolled in a higher education course in Australia. However, the process for applying for a student visa in Australia is fairly easy and it’s all done online.
The government of Australia subsidises the cost of higher education for citizens, so tuition fees can be very low. However, international students have to pay an average of between 20,000 AUD and 45,000 AUD each year for tuition. For accommodation, if you are not living on campus, you may need to find a shared rental space or a rental apartment. The rental properties for students are rarely ever furnished, so you will most likely need to buy your own household furniture.
Buying a House in Australia
House prices have been rising steadily in Australia, and the largest real estate markets are in Sydney and Melbourne, both of which are ranked inside the top five most unaffordable cities in Australia to buy a property. You can buy houses in Australia as an investment, as this market has historically offered impressive returns. If you are travelling to Australia from a different country, you should remember that you can still qualify for a home loan on a permanent or temporary visa. The housing market in Australia isn’t speculative as more than 70% of the nation’s households are homeowners.
Australia doesn’t restrict foreigners from buying houses in the country. You also don’t need to set up a company to make the purchase.
Renting a House in Australia
If you want to rent a house in Australia, you should consider using a property portal that aggregates listings from different agents. Some of the most popular options are Realestate.com and Domain.com. On such platforms, you will even be able to find dedicated listings for house shares. Rents will vary depending on the city you want to live in. Perth is the most affordable capital city in Australia, and Sydney is the most expensive.
Relocating to Australia – Choosing Where to Live in Australia
The Land Down Under is home to extensive modern cities, unique wildlife, spectacular countryside, and some of the best beaches in the world. The decision as to where to move to should really be based on your preferred lifestyle. Let’s look at some of the best cities to live in Australia.
The state capital of New South Wales, Sydney, is a warm, dry, and sunny. It offers beaches and coastal walks, a bustling CBD, and vast national parks. The art and culture scene, restaurants, bars and cafes are all exceptional, and the city offers world-renowned landmarks like the famous Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Residents enjoy a high quality of life due to the wide job availabilities and study opportunities, plus the crime rates are very low.
Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners moving to the country, and it has held ‘the world’s most liveable city’ title for seven consecutive years. Known for being the arts capital of Australia, Melbourne showcases some of the best arts, culture, cuisine, and landscapes in the country. There are lots of job opportunities in the city, and Melbourne is also remarkably safe.
Brisbane is a welcoming and inclusive city, and it is ranked as one of the safest cities in the world. With 24% of the population being between the ages of 25-35, Brisbane is a hugely friendly city, and more affordable too. Brisbane is also home to Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art, the biggest collection of modern art in Australia.
Perth is the capital of Western Australia, the largest state in the country. It is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Perth currently has an estimated population of over 2.14 million people and is the 4th largest city in population size. Known as one of the sunniest cities in the world, Perth is surrounded by beautiful beaches and extraordinary scenery. With one of the highest standards of living globally, it’s no wonder that thousands of people from all over the world choose to move to and study in Perth.
Adelaide, Australia’s smallest capital with just 1,600,000 inhabitants, is also one of Australia’s most elegant cities, with its many Victorian buildings, sprawling gardens and vast green spaces. The vineyards in Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, the beautiful beaches in Adelaide, and the Adelaide Hills or Flinders Ranges are all very accessible from Adelaide.
Adelaide is also home to some of the top educational institutions in Australia, with three state universities all ranking in the top 2% worldwide. In fact, Adelaide is one of the most affordable cities in Australia for international students.
At the heart of Adelaide, you will find some of South Australia’s cultural and arts institutions. These include the State Library of South Australia, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and the Adelaide Festival Centre.
Relocating Your Household Goods to Australia
Preparation is key when it comes to moving and shipping to Australia, especially if you are moving from the UK to Australia.
Australia has strict regulations with regards to shipping and importing into the country. For example, you are able to import your personal effects and household goods into Australia without paying tax or ‘duty’ (customs charges), but they must have been owned and used for at least 12 months before your move to Australia.
Also, it is important to note that Australia has strict biosecurity controls to help minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country. Therefore, before packing, all items which have been in contact with food, soil, plants, animals, or their products must be cleaned and dried.
As one of the UK’s leaders in removals and storage, Doree Bonner has been moving households and businesses to Australia from the UK for many years, so we know what it takes to make your move a smooth and successful one.
From packing and storage options in the UK, to destination services handled by our overseas agents in Australia, we are here to partner with you at every step of your move journey.
Our recommended partner for currency transfers – at excellent rates – is Smart Currency Exchange. They are UK-based and authorised by the FCA. Opening an account with Smart only takes a few minutes, so why do it today? Then you’ll be ready to make international money transfers that are easy, fast and safe. Find out more here.
Learn more about our International Moving services here and get a free online quote. Alternatively, please contact a member of our team for advice and information relating to your specific move requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.