Living in Australia

I get a lot of emails from readers asking me questions and sometimes those emails inspire what I write the next day. It is difficult coming up with things to write about everyday when I am not travelling so I always do appreciate the emails. Last night I was asked where I would want to live in Australia by a reader who wants to move there but has never been there. For me, that’s an excellent question because I love Australia and have always said that if I didn’t live in the US, I would want to live there. Oz has everything you could want but a lot less people and a lot more laid back than the States. The reader asked me about where I would choose between Melbourne and Perth, I am also going to throw Sydney in the mix for this post but the answer is really any of them. They are all great places but if I had to choose, I would probably choose Sydney to live.

Sydney has so much to offer, as do the other two cities. Obviously when I say cities, I am including the entire metropolitan area. Sydney has the best suburbs and the nicest beaches and it is by far the most cosmopolitan of the three cities. Sydney is a very international city and is the face of Australia to the world with the famous Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. It is also very easy to navigate and you can find world class restaurants, clubs, sports and whatever you want. It is also located right on the east coast and is very well connected to everywhere in the country. It is close enough to drive up the coast to Queensland for a weekend if you wanted and also has the Blue Mountains and other natural landscapes very close to the city as well.

Sydney also has an edge to it. It’s kind of hard to explain exactly what it is, but he worlds greatest cities like New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo all have it. Sydney certainly fits that bill. In my view, Sydney is basically the capital of the Southern Hemisphere with great beaches, nightlife, restaurants, quality of life and places to live. You can be in the city or be secluded, it’s up to you.

I would choose Melbourne second and it’s a very close second because Melbourne has a lot of the same qualities that Sydney has but I think the main difference is that Melbourne doesn’t really have that edge I just spoke of. It is a great city and would be a fabulous place to live. I liken Melbourne to being a great place to raise a family because it’s very safe and clean. Melbourne also has some great beaches, especially at St. Kilda and it is very spread out. In my view, without a car you cannot navigate Melbourne as easily as you can in Sydney and the surrounding areas in Victoria are nice but not as nice as some of the suburbs surrounding Sydney.

For me, the best thing about Melbourne is the sports. Melbourne is the home of several Aussie Rules Football teams and hosts both Telstra Stadium and the world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which was the Olympic Stadium for the 1956 Olympics-which also happened to be the first Olympics ever held in the Southern Hemisphere. Additionally, it is home to my favorite tennis tournament-the Australian Open. Every January, the tennis world gathers in beautiful Melbourne for this glorious event. Finally, it also host the Formula 1 Grand Prix which is becoming huge in Australia although not here in the US.

Perth is a marvelous city and the most isolated city in the world. It is really far from anywhere but so worth checking out. It may be one of the great places on Earth to live because it has a small city feel although it has over a million people but has a suburban vibe to it. It is also very spread out with great public transportation and a killer beach at Cottesloe. Perth also has a great downtown area with a lot to do. Perth is filled with many parks and is the jumping off point to Rottnest Island, home of the adorable quokkas.

My biggest problem with Perth and the reason that I wouldn’t choose to live there is just because of its isolation. Honestly, if it weren’t on the west coast and not a six hour flight back east, I might say it’s the best city to live in. However, I don’t like to feel trapped and although you can easily drive to Margaret River and some other very cool places, it’s really far from anywhere else. Driving to Broome takes like 12 hours at least but it is a great place to see and if you got stuck living there-it wouldn’t be too bad.

All in all, I think all three of these great cities would be easy to live in and there are great things about each of them. Everybody has their own thoughts and desires for what they want to have in a place where they live. At this point in my life, I like to have a little more action available to me-which is why I live in New York and love city life. However, if I had a family or liked suburban life, then my feelings would totally change. You have to make a decision based upon what you like and based on your current and future life situations. Oz is an amazing place and anywhere you live would be a priviledge.

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  1. I would also choose Sydney to live but Melbourne is lovely as well. I did not go to Perth.

  2. I would live in the red center and sample strange meats living with imbreds and aborigines

  3. I think Australia is awesome….. everywhere.

  4. As an NYCer who moved to Australia (Melbourne) I’ll have to input 😉 When I first arrived I was desperate to live in Sydney (but married a Melburnian… doh!). I travelled to Sydney a bunch for work and felt more at home there as an American. But after years of experience and travels around Australia, I’d have to disagree that Sydney is much more cosmopolitan than Melbourne, that’s actually not true. I’d argue that Melbourne is actually much more cultured and cosmopolitan than Sydney. And it actually has more edge than Sydney but not that you’d necessarily see as a tourist, you need to seek it out. In fact, Melbourne’s pretty famous for it’s hidden laneways and secret bars. It’s not got the ‘wow’ tourist factor views that Sydney has, it’s an edge more centred in good food, art, design, coffee, fashion, etc. I will give Sydney the better weather and the amazing scenery. But the outskirts of Melbourne can be quite beautiful including the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley and the Alpine region near Bright.

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