Australia is a dream destination for expats, digital nomads, and travelers alike. With its vast landscape, diverse natural attractions, and booming economy, the country is an increasingly popular choice among those wanting to move to a different country, even for a short while.
It’s no wonder the land Down Under ranked 9th in 2020 for the total number of foreigners in its population! In 2021, 29.1% of the inhabitants were not Australian-born citizens but immigrants.
But with its many attractions, Australia also has a few drawbacks that may be dealbreakers for some. So, if you, too, are smitten by the charm of this beautiful island continent, here are some major advantages and drawbacks that you need to know before making the big move!
Pros of Living in Australia
1. Outstanding Healthcare System
Australia is renowned for its exceptional healthcare system, both in the private and public sectors. The healthcare providers are highly trained, offering the highest quality of services, equipment, and cutting-edge technology.
The public system is funded by taxes through the country’s Medicare program, through which citizens and permanent residents get free access to high-quality services that include GP visits, prescription drugs, and even hospitalization.
If your country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Australia, you can avail of the expenditure system provided by the Australian government.
2. High Standard Of Living
According to the 2023 World Population Review, Australia is the fifth best country to live in. This is primarily because of the high standard of living Australians enjoy.
This developed country offers lucrative job opportunities, great government services, low crime rates, and high average wages. All of these factors contribute to an outstanding quality of life.
3. Awe-inspiring Nature + Great Climate
Australia is home to rich biodiversity from the Great Barrier Reef to rainforests, from kangaroos to wombats. What more can one expect when they make an island continent their home?
Apart from natural attractions, the country also has a wonderful climate. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, Australia is one of the warmest countries in the world. It is the best place to enjoy sand and water while sipping on a cool refreshing drink.
If you are interested in places with great nature and climate, be sure to read about Papua New Guinea as well.
4. Great Work-Life Balance
Australians are outdoorsy, nature-loving people, which is also reflected in their work culture!
Employees receive approximately 20 days of paid vacation leave per year, and they only work for around 38 hours per week — which is less than the global average of 40 hours per week. So, you actually have time for surfing, hiking, scuba diving, and exploring the great outdoors!
5. One Of The Best Education Systems In The World
Education must be your top priority if you are moving to Australia with your family. But, you don’t have to worry — Australia is recognized for its superlative education system. Citizens and international students both benefit from the country’s comprehensive curriculum, highly qualified trainers, and world-class universities.
Additionally, for citizens and permanent residents, government school education is free!
Cons of Living in Australia
1. High Cost Of Living
While Australia offers a high standard of living, it does not come without a price. If you’re not smart about your expenses, living in Australia can quickly put a dent in your savings.
Basic utilities and everyday items like fruits and groceries are costlier than other developed countries, which may be because Australia imports many products from other countries.
And if you do not have a permanent residency or are not eligible for the Medicare facility, both private healthcare and health insurance are very costly.
2. Isolation Anxiety
Australia is a spacious continent and is surrounded by water on all sides, making it separate from the rest of the world. The difference in time zones and inconveniences in traveling can also increase this feeling of isolation.
Australia is so vast that even neighbouring cities are set quite a distance apart. So, you may have to drive for long hours just to go from one city to another.
3. Natural Disaster And Extreme Weather Conditions
The warm climate is great but it also comes with setbacks. For one, the continent is highly prone to natural disasters like bushfires, cyclones, droughts, and flash floods. Bushfires, in particular, are common during the dry season when heat from lightning starts a fire. Natural disasters cause significant harm to life and property.
Some places in Australia are also very hot, reaching around 40 degrees Celsius or more. If you are not used to such high temperatures, adjusting to the Australian climate can be a problem.
4. Dangerous Wildlife
The animals in Australia are as unforgiving as its climate. Kangaroos may look cute on TV, but they are actually considered a pest species in Australia! The spiders Down Under are also notorious for being humungous in size and are commonly spotted in the bathroom.
From snakes and spiders to crocodiles and even koalas, Australian wildlife is not one to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, Australia is no stranger to racism. Racism is so prevalent in Australia that 7 out of 10 students experience some form of racism during their childhood, mostly in school.
It is a big issue in the country that continues to be addressed seriously. The victims are mostly black people or people of non-European origin.
Cost Of Living in Australia
The cost of living in Australia is very high, holding the 13th rank in the world according to Numbeo. But considering the high quality of life offered here, the high cost of living does not come as a surprise.
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant will put you back by 17.10 $, and a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will cost you 75.23 $.
Basic utilities are expensive as well. For a 915 square feet apartment, expect your monthly utility bill to be around 197.97 $. And the internet for one month will cost you around 57.48 $.
As for the housing prices, one-month rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is nearly 1,504.03 $, and it’s 1,168.38 $ outside the city center.
Top 3 Cities In Australia Worth Living
Moving to any new country is tough. But if you think Australia is a good match for your needs, take a look at Australia’s top three cities that may consider calling home.
Undoubtedly one of the best cities in Australia, Sydney is recognized by the Opera house and the blue harbor. The city is well developed, with all the necessary amenities, exceptional education and healthcare system, and a good network of transport. It also offers amazing job opportunities and is perfect for those who wish to live in a major global city.
Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne, is heaven for art lovers. It is the second-largest city in Australia, with a vibrant cosmopolitan population. It has numerous museums, jaw-dropping architecture, gourmet food, and countless shopping hubs. It also has a low crime rate, exceptional universities, and great housing.
The main city on the west coast of Australia, Perth is laidback as well as energetic. It has a booming economy and offers great job options for people in healthcare, mining, tourism, and technology. It has the highest average of sunshine, at around 8.8 hours daily, and some lovely beaches to explore.
Australia has much to offer, whether you’re visiting or considering relocating permanently. It’s a highly developed continent with fantastic natural attractions and a thriving economy. We hope this guide with the pros and cons of the country helps you decide whether the land Down Under is the right fit for you.
And if you decide to take the leap and move to Australia, be sure to check the best money transfer companies with offices in Australia to work with for all your financial-related needs. Companies like Send, OFX or TorFX will save you a lot of money everytime you need to transfer money from Australia to NZ, send money from UK to Australia or any other location.
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