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Sydney: To Live & To Visit

To many Australia is a “bucket list” holiday destination.  The reasons behind this are many.  Part of the mystique of Australia is simply one of distance. The fact that the country is more than 15,000 km from the UK and North America make it the furthest point one can go and still be in a country with the same language, a familiar system of government, and similar foods.  Australia’s historic ties with the UK, somewhat glamourised scenery and environment, usual animal life, and the “quirky” behaviour of its citizens are also compelling reasons to visit the country.

One of the more popular tourist destinations is Sydney, Australia’s largest city.  There are many reasons for the city’s popularity.

The city is visually stunning. The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are worldwide icons.  Sydney’s beaches, especially Palm Beach, Shark Beach, Clovelly Beach and Biondi, which is a favourite location of many British expats, are popular with both tourists and locals.  The city is filled with wildlife, from flying foxes to exotic birds to water dragons, not only in the Botanical Gardens, but throughout the suburbs as well.  The food is an interesting mixture of the familiar, like fish and chips, to the unusual like kangaroo, witchetty grubs, and vegemite.

When you factor in the fact that Australians have a reputation of being some of the friendliest people on the planet, it is easy to see why it has such great appeal.

Many tourists seem to be instantly attracted to Australia just by visiting Sydney and begin to entertain the idea of migrating.  

As is the case with most cities, the outlook of tourists when compared to residents can be quite different.

Residents of Sydney have a number of complaints.  Sydney is the largest city in Australia with a population of about 5 million; leading many residents to complain that the city is overcrowded.  The large population contributes to massive traffic jams. Rents are exorbitantly high and the cost of buying a house can easily exceed $1 million. The public transportation system is considered to be subpar, especially for a city of Sydney’s wealth and status. Residents also complain about the cost of living, especially when compared to the rest of the country. For comparison’s sake consumer prices in general are 4% higher than London, fuelled in large part by the cost of food which is about one-third higher than in London.

Migrating to Australia can be a bit problematic, as the rules governing migrants working in the country are fairly strict.

There are a number of prerequisites that would be migrants must meet before being eligible to live and work in Australia.  In general work permits are granted on a skill set basis and a skills test and application is necessary. Many of the jobs and professions eligible for work visas are those which require university or some sort of secondary education and substantial experience. Business owners can apply to be sponsored by a state or territory to receive an invitation to expand into Australia. It should be noted that buying a home in Australia for migrants is a complicated process; purchase rights are typically only granted for new construction.

Australia’s official websites are fairly detailed and feature tools that can guide potential workers through the application process. A number of non-governmental websites, such as, offer help for those looking to migrate to Australia.


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