Written by Meghan Zuvelek,
Last Modified: 31st December 2021

You’ve studied the property prices, checked out the job opportunities and schools, got the low down on the nightlife. But what about the chemistry? Are you and the Australian city within your sights truly compatible? Read our guide. 

Everyone is different. Some people can’t wait to don the lycra and keep active, while others couldn’t think of anything worse than taking a Zumba class on the beach. Some crave the finer things in life, while others are happy with a long cool Australian lager. Every Australian city is different too. Relaxed, hedonistic, snobby, down-to-earth or something in between – understanding the vibe of a city will help you determine if it’s going to suit your personality. Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect from some of Australia’s main cities.


Live a life of luxury in Sydney.

For luxury, it’s Sydney

If you want to live the high-life, where luxury and extravagance are the norm, Sydney is your city. Everything is, or can be, world-class here: the dining, the shopping and the homes. Ritzy suburbs include Darling Point, Cremorne Point and Bellevue Hill. Just four kilometres from the city centre, Darling Point offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour. It tops the list of the city’s most expensive suburbs, with an average price tag of around AUD $5.7 million (£3.2 million). For foodies, Sydney is home to more Chef Hat award – Australia’s answer to Michelin stars rating – winning restaurants than any other Australian city.

If you want to live the high-life, where luxury and extravagance are the norm, Sydney is your city.

To relax, try Cairns

If you’re relocating to Australia to live a laid-back lifestyle, consider the far north of Queensland. In Cairns – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef – the sun shines all year, the waters are warm and outdoor living is the norm. You won’t find a more laid back city lifestyle than in Australia’s tropical oasis. Around here you can pretty much wear flip flops whatever the occasion. Things never get too hectic, and not just because of the heat. It’s only Australia’s 16th largest city and the population isn’t much over 160,000.

Get your free Australia Buying Guide to have everything that you need to know about buying Down Under in one place.

To live outdoors, pick Perth

Outdoor enthusiasts love Perth and its surrounding area. Whether its water sports you seek, like surfing, swimming and sailing, or land adventures like hiking, cycling or climbing, there is nowhere better in Australia to spend time outdoors. The capital of Western Australia offers its residents a stress-free beach side lifestyle with all the big city perks. There are plenty of green spaces and waterways mean locals can easily take advantage of all the open-air benefits the city has to offer.


The Gold Coast

Melbourne is hipster heaven

Melbourne is top of The Economist magazine’s Most Liveable Cities Index. It gives the likes of Berlin and Portland (USA) a run for their money in the hippest city stakes as well. All the hipster cliches ring true here: artisan, craft, ethical, farm to table. Head to Fitzroy and wander around the third most hipster neighbourhood in the world, according to a recent survey conducted by The Telegraph. This too-cool-for-school suburb is home to a thriving arts scene and an endless supply of trendy coffee shops. Admire all the well-groomed beards! Other hip spots include St Kilda, Collingwood, Flemington and Windsor.

For glitz and glam, go Gold

The Gold Coast in Queensland is the Hollywood of Australia. This metropolitan region south of Brisbane is renowned for its sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. Clubs, bars, casinos and flash shops are the norm around here, as are beautiful people, fast cars and fancy homes. The local beach lifestyle is as good as you’ll find anywhere, with some of the most pristine stretches of sand and best surf in the country.

If you’re serious about making the move, you should speak to a currency and payments specialist about sending money to Australia. We recommend Smart, ranked “Excellent” on Trustpilot for money transfer and currency exchange. 

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The Australia Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to:

  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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