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From the dazzling lights and the buzz of big cities to the sweeping isolation of the Outback, Australia is a land of contrasts. Thanks to the country's vast size and diverse landscapes, expats will have plenty to explore in the Land Down Under.
Living in Australia as an expat
Australia consistently ranks among the safest and happiest countries for expats to live in. It has long been a destination of choice for expats from all walks of life, including students looking to take advantage of the country’s excellent education, young professionals, families looking for a better environment to raise their children, as well as pensioners who move to Australia to spend their retirement years in its lovely climate.
There are many opportunities for work in Australia, particularly in mining, engineering, IT, healthcare and marketing. That said, the government places a high premium on expertise and enforces a strict screening process to find only professionals with the desired skills and experience.
Properties in Australia are often large, affording more space to raise a family. Accommodation can be quite expensive, though, and expats often rent before buying. Popular Australian expat cities include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.
In terms of getting around, the public transport infrastructure in Australia is world class, but when it comes to inter-city travel, the sheer distance between cities means flying is preferred. Most Australians own a car, and we’d recommend that expat families follow suit, as it allows more convenience and freedom to explore.
Healthcare in Australia is excellent, affordable and accessible. The country has a government-supported public healthcare scheme called Medicare, available to all permanent residents and citizens.
Cost of Living in Australia
Australia has a high cost of living, but an equally high standard of living. Housing is particularly expensive in Australia, but this can be circumvented by living in outlying areas and commuting. Fortunately, healthcare and schooling are both fairly affordable.
Expat families and children
Government schooling in Australia is government-funded for residents and citizens, but non-resident expats may have to pay tuition fees. Parents can also choose to enrol their children in private, independent or international schools, though the latter can be extremely costly.
The Australian lifestyle is driven by outdoor pursuits and is truly multicultural, especially when it comes to cuisine and traditions. Outdoor entertainment such as sports are highly popular and can make for great family outings. The beautiful landscape is also a big attraction, offering expat families the chance to explore nature and learn about a rich new environment.
Climate in Australia
The inescapable heat and intense climate of Australia can be startling. Winters tend to be mild and bearable, but summers often reach scorching temperatures. Expats should stay hydrated and avoid heatstroke.
Australia’s diverse scenery, sophisticated cities, the easygoing nature of its people, and the sense that a new beginning is available to anyone with the skills and energy to pursue it, all make the country an expat destination well worth considering.
►Learn about money and taxes in Australia
"The quality of life here is unmatched. Everyone is well respected and looked after. People are quite helpful and courteous." Read more about Rajiv's experiences of Australia here.
"The weather in Perth is truly unbeatable, it is almost always nice out. The people are also fantastic, it is not unusual find yourself invited to a neighbour’s house you hardly know for a BBQ." Mike shares his experiences of living in Perth here.
Are you an expat living in Australia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Australia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.