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Live in Australia: Australian Visa Bureau

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Moving to live in Australia permanently is a big step for many people. Having an understanding about the different states and cities, their climate, and main industries, can help migrants when choosing where to live in Australia. 

Anyone interested in living in Australia will first need to complete an Australian Visa Assessment to get an understanding of the available migration opportunities.

Alternatively, if you've yet to visit Australia, it is recommended that potential migrants first visit Australia on holiday to get a taste of life Down Under. Tourists to Australia can apply online for an Electronic Travel Authority visa, or ETA visa, before starting the journey to Australia.  ETA Visas are processed instantly and electronically linked to your passport.

Why live in Australia?

Australia has a landmass of 2,988,888 square miles, giving it a huge breadth of different climates and surroundings, from metropolitan cities and sunkissed beaches to tropical forests and the epic Outback.

The current Australian population is around 22 million, and the majority of the population chooses to live in Australia along the eastern coastline where the climate is more temperate.

Major cities along the eastern coastline include Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, and Sydney, New South Wales, with the smaller city of Brisbane in Queensland.

Live in New South Wales

The most populated state in Australia is New South Wales, and home to around one-third of Australia’s population.

The majority of the population live in the state capital, Sydney.  Sydney is also the oldest city in Australia, as it is the site of the first British colony in Australia established in 1788. Significant industries include finance and insurance, property and business services, health and community services, manufacturing, construction and retail trade.

The second largest city in the state is Newcastle, which has a working harbour used to export coal and minerals.

New South Wales enjoys a temperate climate, mostly free from extremes of hot and cold although the dry north-west of the state does experience very high temperatures and the southern tablelands can get quite cold.

Live in Victoria

Victoria, in the south-east corner of Australia, is the second largest populated state in Australia. More than 70 per cent of Victorians live in Melbourne, the state’s capital city.

Victoria has benefited greatly by immigration, with migrants from over 200 different countries emigrating to live in Australia and choosing to settle in the state.  Some 43.6 per cent of Victorians either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas.

Victoria has a mild, temperate climate with sunny springs, warm to hot summers, moderate autumns and cool to cold winters.

The state has a strong primary industry, with manufacturing, energy, and financial services also a major part of the state’s economy.

Live in Queensland

Queensland, in the north-eastern section of the mainland continent, is often called the Sunshine State as it enjoys warm weather and tropical climates.

As it is a large state, there are variations in climate across the state with high summers in the inland west, monsoonal tropics in the north, and warm temperate conditions along the coast.

The river city of Brisbane is the state’s capital, but there are also significant population in regional cities such as Townsville, Toowoomba, and Cairns.

Queensland’s economy benefits greatly from tourism and mining, with an expanding aerospace sector also contributing to growth.

Live in Western Australia

The large, vast state of Western Australia occupies the entire western third of the Australian continent.  The majority of the population live in the south-west of the state, including in the capital Perth.

Perth is the fourth largest city in Australia, and enjoys a Mediterranean climate with moderate, seasonal rainfall.

The Western Australian economy is fuelled largely by extraction and processing of a diverse range of minerals, including coal, nickel, and iron-ore. The state is also by far the largest source of gold in Australia, extracting around 75 per cent of Australia’s annual gold amounts.

The state also has other major export commodities in wheat, wool and live sheep and cattle.

Live in South Australia

South Australia is in the southern central part of the country, covering some of the most arid parts of the continent but with a fertile band along the Southern Ocean coastline and the Murray River.

The capital, Adelaide, enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate with al fresco dining and outside activities the norm most times of the year. The city has a large calendar of festival and sporting events throughout the year, with art, theatre, comedy and musical all a major part of life.

Manufacturing, including automotive, component, pharmaceutical and electronic manufacturing, is a major part of the state’s economy.

Other significant industries in the South Australian economy are property and business services, and health and community services.

Live in the Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the smallest of Australia’s six states and two territories, but has the highest population density.

It is an inland territory, 300km south-west of Sydney and 650 north of Melbourne, created to host the Federal Government after the federation of the colonies of Australia. 

Australia’s national capital, Canberra, is located in the territory. As the seat of federal government in Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court and other government departments and agencies.

Canberra experiences a relatively dry continental climate, with warm to hot summers but cool to cold winters and annual snowfall on the mountains around the CBD.

The main industries in the territory are government administration and defence, with the Federal Government the largest single employer. Canberra has a very low unemployment rate and higher than average wages, but property prices are relatively high.

Live in Tasmania

Tasmania is an island state off the south-east corner of the Australian mainland, with surrounding smaller islands Flinders, King and Bruny.  

The state is separated from the Australian mainland by Bass Strait, and the remaining coastline is bounded by the Southern Ocean on the south and west and the Tasman Sea on the east.

The state has many relatively unspoiled forests and habitats, with almost 37 per cent of the state in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites. Tasmania's population is divided almost equally between the north and south, with geographical, historical and commercial factors leading to the development of a number of relatively large centres.

Tasmania's capital city, Hobart, is in the south of the state, is the second oldest city in Australia.

Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but because the state sits in the Southern Ocean the climate can vary greatly on any given day. Hobart experiences a very low annual rainfall, while the west cost of the state has a high annual rainfall ensuring the rainforests thrive. 

The main industries of the state are mining, agriculture, forestry, and tourism.

Live in Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is the third largest of the states and territories after Western Australia and Queensland, but is sparsely populated with approximately 1 per cent of the Australian population.

Darwin is the capital, and the commercial and administrative hear of the territory with Alice Spring the largest regional population centre and the base for significant tourism activities.

The Northern Territory has two distinct climatic regions. The north, referred to as the Top End, experiences monsoonal tropics with two official seasons. The 'wet' season occurs between October and April and has high humidity and heavy rainfall, while the 'dry' season runs from May to September and receives much less rain and slightly cooler and dryer weather.

The southern region of the Northern Territory is semi-arid to arid and experiences cool dry winters and hot dry summers.

Mining, tourism and the Australian Defence Force are major contributors to the territory’s economy.