Here we look at where you should live in Australia, looking at the highlights of life in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Queensland has extensive coastlines with access to the Great Barrier Reef as well as the outback and rainforests. The Queensland website has a wealth of information about the places, things to do travel advice and accommodation options in Queensland.
The capital city in Queensland is Brisbane, which is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The subtropical climate, the beaches and its proximity to The Great Barrier Reef provide the attractions to life in Brisbane as a visitor or migrant. The city has around 1.1 million people with more than 2.2 million in the metro area. Its main industries are coal mining and oil refining with sugar plantations and farming.
Highlights of life in Brisbane include:
- Walk through the City Botanic Gardensand dine alfresco along Eagle Street Pier.
- Run the 107 steps at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs… or just have a barbecue overlooking the city as the sun goes down.
- Watch Broadway shows and explore the museums and art galleries of the Cultural Precinct.
- Wander Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Art Gallery or Queensland Museum. Check the calendar of events for current exhibitions.
- Shop in boutique-filled inner-city boroughs – each with their own special personality.
- Hand-feed wild dolphins on Moreton Island or camp on the beachfront at North Stradbroke Island.
- Swim, surf, snorkel, sand board or four-wheel drive on one of Moreton Bay’s Islands
New South Wales
New South Wales (NSW) has the dramatic harbour of Sydney, the dramatic scenery of the Blue Mountains and the Snowy Mountains, the Hunter Valley vineyards and the coastlands with islands like the World Heritage Site, Lord Howe Island as well as extensive outback.
The capital of New South Wales is Sydney, the most iconic city in Australia. The climate is pleasant all year and its dramatic harbour with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House is surrounded by attractive residential areas. Sydney is a city where you can enjoy theatre, opera or concerts, with trendy neighbourhoods and lively nightlife.
Highlights of life in Sydney include:
- Visit the Sydney Opera House and attend a performance of join a backstage tour.
- Enjoy the sunrise over Bondi or Manly beach, swim in the sea and try your hand at surfing.
- Take a trip to The Blue Mountains to take in the fabulous views or take a bush walk down into Jamison Valley.
- Tour Hunter Valley and enjoy a wine tasting at one of the vineyards.
- Head for The Rocks near the Sydney Harbour Bridge and shop for art and gifts and stroll around weekend markets.
- Enjoy a barbecue on the beach on Lord Howe Island, walk through rainforest in the Valley of the Shadows and hand-feed fish at Neds Beach.
Victoria is a diverse and beautiful area with natural springs, scenic coastline, world class wineries.
Melbourne is the capital city and has been named the most liveable city in the world by The Economist seven times in a row in 2017. It topped the tables in healthcare, infrastructure and education. Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. It is Australia’s “cultural capital” and home to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and he UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
Highlights of life in Melbourne:
- Wander Melbourne’s bustling, creative Laneways, visit the Bourke Street Mall or enjoy chic shopping in Collins Street.
- With over 250 species, Melbourne Zoo you can explore rainforests, bushland and underwater worlds.
- Wander the walking trails, encounter a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley and discover the hidden delights of the Dandenong Ranges among its scenic winding roads.
- Travel to the Mornington Peninsula and enjoy the fresh sea air and soak up the relaxed alfresco lifestyle and the galleries, spas, boutique wineries and cafes in breezy seaside villages.
- Enjoy a scenic drive down Great Ocean Road and enjoy the towering 12 Apostles, stunning coastline and stop to enjoy the surf towns and seaside villages.
- Travel to The High Country to ski over the Alps in winter and return in the warmer months for an array of adventure activities to get the adrenaline pumping.
South Australia has a population of 1.7 million which is less than 8% of the population of Australia. Much of the State is arid or semi-arid rangelands with several low mountain ranges. The principal exports are wine, wool and wheat. More than 75% of the State’s population live in the greater Adelaide area with the remainder living mainly in the fertile areas on the south-east coastline.
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and. Adelaide has a very pleasant Mediterranean climate and is located close to the Southern Ocean with beaches to the south and the Adelaide Plains alongside the city. and is Adelaide is set out with a grid layout with large public squares, wide boulevards and surrounded by parklands. Adelaide is noted for its festivals and sporting events, its food and wine. It has long beaches and consistently ranks in the Top 10 most liveable cities in the world. As well as tourism, it has large defence and manufacturing sectors.
Highlights of life in Adelaide:
- Swim with dolphins at Genelg – cruises leave Marina Pier, Holdfast Shores Marina at approximately 7.40am and return around 11.15am.
- Indulge in some retail therapy in Rundle Mall and watch some of the buskers perform and move on to the artisan oasis in Rundle Street and Ebenezer Place.
- Adelaide Central Market is a great place to stop for lunch or explore the cheese shops, bakeries, patisseries, fruit and vegetable stalls, meat and seafood outlets, and dozens of artisan food producers.
- You cannot visit Victoria without taking a trip to The Barossa, one of the great wine regions of the world, to enjoy great wines and a gourmet experience. There is also Clare Valley and McLaren Vale to enjoy.
- Travel to the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region to relax on a houseboat or take a cruise .
Western Australia is a huge state occupying the western third of Australia. Much of the state is sparsely populated and has a total population of 2.6 million. Over 92% live in the south west of the State and just over 2 million live in the Greater Perth area. They are attracted by the Mediterranean climate, but much of the State is arid desert with a tropical zone in the north of the State.
The main industries are mining (the second largest iron ore producer in the world), agriculture and tourism.
Perth is located on the estuary of the Swan River. Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, and Botanic Garden on Mt. Eliza have sweeping views of the city. The city has stunning beaches and the Perth Cultural Centre houses the state ballet and opera companies, and occupies its own central precinct, including a theatre, art galleries and the Western Australian Museum.
Fremantle acts as the port for Perth and is famed for its well-preserved heritage buildings with old convict-built colonial-era buildings, port and jetty.
Highlights of life in Perth:
- Take a trip to swim with wild dolphins in the protected bays of Rockingham or the turquoise shallows of Monkey Mia Beach,
- Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to have a picnic and wander around the park to enjoy Western Australia flora or participate in cultural events.
- A day in Margaret River allows you to combine a wine tour with a day on the beach, walking through tall forests and visiting ancient limestone caves.
- Take a cruise down to Fremantle to explore this historic harbour, take in the aromas, sights and sounds of Fremantle Markets and enjoy the shops.
- Between May and December, humpback, southern right and blue whales can often be seen with binoculars or the naked eye from the coast. Or you can get even closer to the action on a whale watching cruise. Between February and March you can see large pods of killer whales (orcas).
- Enjoy an outback adventures and see magnificent rock formations, from the Pinnacles to the Bungle Bungle Range.
Northern Territory is the third largest federal division of Australia but has a population of just 244,000. This sparsely populated territory has most of its population on the coast in the north and along the Stuart Highway. The Territory includes the spectacular rock formations of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). The north of the Territory has a tropical climate with a wet season from October to April, whereas the central region is desert and is semi-arid with very little rainfall.
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory and has a population of 146,000. Due to its proximity Darwin makes a natural link to the countries of South East Asia. The city is set out on a bluff overlooking the harbour with its suburbs stretching from Lee Point in the north to Berrimah in the east.
Highlights of life in Darwin:
- Travel to Alice Springs for is stunning landscapes, remote communities and unique pioneering history.
- Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunrise or sunset to see the transformation from ochre to burnished orange and intense red.
- Take a cruise of Darwin Harbour with a cold beer or take a wildlife cruise to feed snapping crocodiles along the Adelaide River.
- Swim at Darwin Waterfront in the filtered seawater of Lake Alexander or choose the natural swimming pools at Litchfield National Park.
- Take a trip to Kakadu National Park to see cascading waterfalls, aboriginal rock art, giant crocodiles and exotic bird life.