We’ve all seen the news about the number of Kiwis moving to Australia right now. As Australia is 29 times larger than New Zealand, there are vast differences in climate, lifestyles and economies. In population, Australia is home to 26 million people. Compared to New Zealand’s 5.2 million, it’s a whole different ball game.
Whether you are looking to move across the ditch to advance your career, enjoy the warmer climate, change up your pace of lifestyle or be closer to your loved ones, there can be numerous aspects to consider. Here is a bit of a breakdown of some of these considerations to make between Australia’s largest four cities by population.
Melbourne has an average temperature of 21°C. Compared to Auckland’s average temperature of 19°C, is a slightly warmer climate to enjoy, yet is similar enough to allow kiwis to acclimatise quickly. Winter temperatures in Melbourne average 6.5-14.2°C. There are a similar average of days with rainfall to Christchurch, with 76 days average in Melbourne and 81 days in Christchurch, New Zealand.
In the summer, temperatures average between 14-25°C. The occasional hot spell can soar past 30°C, but summers in Melbourne are milder than Perth’s and Brisbane’s.
Home to 5 million people, Melbourne has a very diverse and multicultural population. With its top-tier education options, people come from across the world to study, advance their careers, and immerse themselves in the inclusive and vibrant atmosphere. You can find people enjoying a drink on a rooftop bar in the warm summer months, attending international events such as the Australian Open and the Formula 1 Grand Prix, going to festivals and concerts, or enjoying a variety of cultural cuisines.
Transport in Melbourne consists of trams, trains, and buses. There is a free tram zone in the city centre which can definitely make travel more affordable. Myki cards are used to tap on and off, and you can easily top up online, through the app, or at stations.
Melbourne has been voted the most livable city in the world by the Economist for the last 7 years. Although average salaries are lower compared to Sydney, the cost of living is cheaper, so people’s overall ability to save money is higher.
According to the SQM Research Index, the average rental price for a house in Melbourne currently stands at $671AUD per week. A unit stands at $519AUD per week as of 12/05/2023.
If you’re looking to buy, the average dwelling price in the city of Melbourne as of May 2023 sits at $751,125 (CoreLogic), equivalent to $806,275NZD. This is very similar to median prices in Wellington, which in December 2022 had a mean house price of $790,000NZD (REINZ). This makes Melbourne more expensive than the Perth and Brisbane market but still noticeably cheaper than Sydney.
Sydney enjoys a moderate climate, with sunshine spread throughout the year, allowing winter to enjoy some sunny days as well. Summer temperatures average between 18-26°C, compared to winter temperatures which range between 9-17°C. Compared to Melbourne, Sydney tends to be about 3°C warmer during the winter but experiences milder summer temperatures.
With a similar population to Melbourne at 5.1 million, people often toss-up whether to move to Melbourne or Sydney. If you work in professional services, Sydney provides some fantastic job opportunities with access to a larger client base. According to Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney is expected to forecast more job opportunity growth at 5.7% compared to Melbourne. Job growth rate is expected to be 3.6%.
Home to architectural landmarks such as the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney is identifiable by people around the world. Its airport has many daily international connections. The high-end shopping options, divine dining experiences and vibrant nightlife attract many ex-pats looking to settle.
Where you decide to live in Sydney can make a big impact on the lifestyle experienced. In the suburbs around Sydney, you can find cosy cafes, beautiful parks to wander through and relaxed beaches. The central city has a busier atmosphere, and for those moving to Australia, can do more damage to your pockets with the cost of living being higher.
The easiest way to commute and tour the city is via the City Circle Line. If you’re looking for some sights while you commute, you can also use the local commuter ferries. Opal cards are used around the city, similar to Myki in Melbourne.
With Sydney being known as the economic powerhouse of Australia, this comes hand in hand with an increased cost in the housing market. SQM Research Index shows that in May 2023, the average house rental in Sydney was $963AUD. A unit average cost stands at $659AUD.
In terms of property prices, the median dwelling price in Sydney as of May 2023 sits at $1,031,138AUD, equivalent to $1,106,512NZD. This is higher than any other city in Australia (CoreLogic). This is very similar to Auckland, New Zealand, which as of December 2022, had an average house price of $1,050,000NZD (REINZ). Despite this higher cost of housing, the higher salaries can make living in Sydney more realistic.
As the Capital of Queensland, Brisbane is known for its sub-tropical climate, where people can enjoy warm weather almost all year round, with warmer temperatures than Sydney and Melbourne.
Winter temperatures average between 11-22°C and are mild and dry. In the summer, temperatures range between 21-30°C and, on hotter days, can soar into the 30’s. Brisbane is not somewhere you want to forget your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses!
Whether you’re after a relaxed family lifestyle or enjoy being outdoors in some stunning scenery, Brisbane is a good mix of both. With a population of over 2 million people, it is home to 700,000 more people than Auckland. It is Australia’s fastest-growing city regarding employment opportunities.
Brisbane’s warm climate means adventure seekers have more days of the year for excursions. There is rock climbing or abseiling in the CBD, or kayaking down the Brisbane river. You can day-trip to the most reputable beaches in Australia such as Noosa, Sunshine Coast, or the Gold Coast. The theme parks are also a short distance away from the centre and are a great family day out.
To support its population as the third largest city in Australia, there are established public transport networks. With a TransLink Go card, you can easily tap on and off buses, trains and ferries. People in Brisbane generally enjoy shorter commutes to work compared to Melbourne and Sydney, and the airport is only 20 minutes away from the CBD.
The rental market in Brisbane is one of the more affordable options in Australia. According to SQM Research Index, the average weekly rental price for a house is $676AUD, with rental units averaging $527AUD per week as of 12/05/2023. These rental prices are generally on par with Perth and Melbourne. However, the apartments tend to be slightly bigger, allowing people to get more bang for their buck.
If you’re in the market to buy, Brisbane’s city dwellings, as of May 2023, have a median price of $705,000AUD (CoreLogic), equivalent to $756,449NZD. This is less in comparison to Wellington, New Zealand, which in December 2022 had a mean house price of $790,000NZD (REINZ).
Known as the ‘city of light’, Perth enjoys more sunshine than any other capital in Australia.
Summers enjoy very little rainfall and are dry and warm, with temperatures averaging between 18-32°C. Winters are mild, averaging temperatures of 8-19°C. As a comparison in rainfall, Perth averages 54 days of rain a year, whereas Auckland has an average of 130 days of rain per year.
The climate in Perth can differ depending on where you are. Inland suburbs can be much warmer than coastal suburbs, which are generally 4-5 degrees lower on average.
Hand-in-hand with Perth’s sunny climate, Perth is home to a very active and outdoor lifestyle. You can find people enjoying the restaurants and cafes on the waterside, relaxing on the beach, having a picnic in the botanical gardens, and even spotting the odd dolphin in the water while walking along the riverside. With a similar CBD feel to Sydney and Melbourne, the key difference is Perth’s more modern feel, with modern infrastructure and amenities and fewer heritage buildings.
Transport in Perth is relatively simple. You need a Transperth travel card to scan onto buses, ferries, and trains. You can even enjoy a free transit zone if you travel within inner city boundaries.
WA government calculates 55% of Perth’s residents to be between the ages of 20 and 39, which could be influenced by Perth being more of an affordable city for young adults to advance their careers and build family foundations.
Perth is known for being one of the most livable cities in the world. The cost of housing definitely comes to influence this. The average rental cost for a house sits at $666AUD per week, while a unit averages $521AUD a week according to SQM Research Index as of 12/05/2023.
City dwellings in Perth, as of May 2023, have a median price of $572,837AUD (CoreLogic), equivalent to $614,896NZD. This is lower than Christchurch, New Zealand, which as of December 2022, had an average price of $655,000NZD (REINZ). Perth’s average dwelling price is, therefore, almost half that of Sydney’s and less than Melbourne and Brisbane’s. Houses in Perth are also typically newer, which allows for modern and affordable options for keen homeowners.
Starting your job search?
Considering where you want to move is an important first step if you are beginning a job search in Australia. Many firms have centralised HR structures, meaning that if you were to apply to multiple vacancies in different cities, your CV would be received multiple times, which isn’t the best look! On the other hand, if you apply in one city and then decide on another later on, your profile may already be sat as ‘rejected’ in their system, meaning your new application may not even be viewed!
We’re here to help!
As Kiwis ourselves, we understand the New Zealand market and lifestyle. We specialise in Public Practice Accounting opportunities across Australia, thinking beyond just the job but also delving into considerations between the different cities and desired lifestyle you are after.
We understand the ‘how’ when it comes to applications. With our network and connections, we know what HR systems are centralised, what HR systems run independently and the best way to get your CV in front of the decision-makers.
If you’re thinking of making the move, whether now or in the future, reach out for a confidential chat.