Best and Worst Things About Living in Australia

An eastern water dragons posing

An eastern water dragon posing

A quick run down on the advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia. I’d love it if you can help me out and pitch in some of your ideas by leaving a comment.

The Best Things About Living in Australia

  • Great weather
  • Interesting birds and wildlife
  • Good schools
  • Friendly, funny people
  • Safe and politically stable
  • Great and diverse scenery
  • Swimming in warm ocean and excellent public pools
  • Outdoor Lifestyle,  lots of bike and walking tracks
  • Sporting opportunities
  • Camping galore
  • Beaut beaches
  • Surfing all year round
  • $4 clean skin wines from Dan Murphy

The Worst Things About Living in Australia

  • Very suburban
  • Skin cancer rates, highest in the world
  • Complicated tax system and high taxes
  • Dangerous wildlife like snakes and spiders
  • Droughts, water shortages and forest fires
  • Cockroaches, in every Queensland rental house apparently
  • Surf Rage incidents and crowded surf breaks
  • Hideous crows cawing at all hours and raiding bins

Well, the good things far outweigh the drawbacks so that seems to be the right balance for a happy lifestyle.

Good luck with your computer and your Internet dreams!

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21 Responses

  1. Licensing laws. They have laws for everything possible, making work and earning a living unbelievable in some trades.

    • Yes, this is a definite worst I missed out on, thank you. There are so many hideous rules and regulations here it’s boring and a big time-waster too.

      • Do we really? I’d not noticed, just assumed every country had its quirky rules & regulations. Mind you, the liquor licensing laws in Alice Springs (as opposed to any other town in the Northern Territory) take some beating. I still don’t understand them. I stand outside the store, reading through the list of what you can and can’t buy, how much you can purchase in one day, and at what time of day … then I give up. House guests are requested to please provide their own alcohol. 🙂

        As for the cockroaches … well, you are in nice, warm, humid Qld. Venture south for colder climates, fewer cockroaches and those that exist tend to be smaller.

        Poisonous snakes are exciting. No, really they are. Nothing like them to get the adrenaline pumping. 🙂 But honestly, you rarely see them, even out in the bush. Must admit that Qld’s big, bulky pythons take the breathe away … and yet they’re harmless. Well, they’re not poisonous.

        As for box jellyfish & irukandj, yes well. As Bill Bryson once observed, best not to go in the water at all in Australia! We won’t mention the salt water crocodiles. Or the Great White Sharks. Or coneshells. Or bluebottles. Hmm, I’m thinking Bryson had a point. 🙂

        You missed out cyclones & floods. 🙂

  2. Once again, you prove to be more informative than me. Thanks! Huh, maybe you’ve got used to those rules and regulations:) The Alice licensing laws sound like an effective barrier to drinking. I’m not averse to seeing the odd snake from a distance after being conditioned to living with snakes in Costa Rica. Recently, I did skid to a halt outside a neighbor’s house at the sight of a ten foot python lounging on his front lawn but it turned out to be a loved pet!

    Wow, it looks like I missed out on a lot of worsts. Luckily we don’t have box jellies or salties here on the Sunshine Coast. But you’ve got me worried, what on earth are irukandj and coneshells. No, on second thoughts I don’t want to know!

    • You do get box jellies & irukandji on Sunshine Coast, just not in big numbers. They often stop around Fraser Island, but some years drift further south. They put out warnings when that happens. Most Aussies are not aware of the dangers of picking up live coneshells. 😦

  3. Ive always found it strange that Aus has such a high suicide rate amongst young males when it appears to have so much going for it. Sorry to be morbid !

    • Thanks for raising this, it’s something I’d been wanting to tackle but wasn’t sure how to fit it in.

      I’ve done a little research at the Australian Department of Health and Aging website, ($File/8aust.pdf) and this is what I’ve discovered:

      1. There are plenty of countries with higher suicide rates than Australia, such as Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium, Japan and, the worst affected, Russia.
      2. Suicide rates for Indigenous Australians are significantly higher (maybe as much as 40% higher) than for the Australian population as a whole.
      3. Indigenous Australians are high risk for suicide due to more frequent exposure to risk factors such as poverty, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence and abuse, crime leading to arrest and imprisonment and living in remote communities.
      4. At a recent talk on the stolen generations by Judi Wickes it was suggested that some social problems experienced by Aboriginals today are a direct result of Aboriginal children being taken away from their families many generations ago. This resulted in traumatised parents, and children who were raised in institutions without parental role models and with a loss of cultural identity and pride. It is felt that the repercussions of this are still being felt today, several generations later.
      5. So what can be done to resolve these problems many of which are leading to high suicide rates? I recently read a very interesting article in The Australian by Peter Shergold, Devolve Power to the People, (,,25761425-5014047,00.html) which recommends that the current policy of making Aboriginals victims reliant on the state in the form of state benefits be reformulated so that Indiginous people can work together to create solutions to the problems that effect them.

      There, who says we can’t tackle some tough issues here? But fear not, I’m aiming to provide a bit of light entertainment with my next post.

      • Rates in rural areas used to be much higher than in cities, not sure if that’s still the case. And it was mainly farming communities affected rather than the townies.

        With the Indiginous rates of suicide amongst young males, much of the problem lies in the fact that it is considered a taboo subject within their culture (in the NT & northern WA at least). The organisation I now work for is doing a lot of suicide prevention work aimed at the aboriginal communities, with some degree of progress. To be hoped funding and success continue.

      • DG: That’s great that you’re involved with this and doing your part to improve it. I suppose that the more awareness and discussion around the topic, the better.
        T: The outdoor public pools are great! I think you would enjoy the red rocket. Pictures here:)

  4. Down side: Your children will grow up to be Aussies!
    Up side: Savings on heating your home!

    PS You need to read up on cone shells if you are going to live in the tropics! Wear good water shoes.

    • Haha! Actually they will be dispossessed Kiwis. I just got some new Chaco rafting sandals to replace the one (no typo!) that got stolen so they’ll be ideal for wearing in or out of the water. Yes, we are making a big saving on heating, thermal undies and ear muffs. But we shell out vast sums on suntan cream, rash tops and membership of the Australian Surf Life Saving Club, so I think it all balances out in the end!

  5. ooh I am not sure I would go into the water after reading all that!

  6. Hi Annabel

    I think the Noosa area is just fantastic. I love walking in the National Park and I love the beautiful white sand beaches. The people are nice too! The government pay our medical bills, our power bills are low, we have fresh tropical fruit for breakfast and prawns cooked on the BBQ for dinner. The sun shines in a cornflower blue sky. It is indeed the ‘Lucky Country’.

    Negatives? I seem to be buying a lot of sunglasses!

  7. GST
    Perscription charges
    The state of the roads (pot holes)

    • I guess that all of these are negatives, but I could be wrong:) It costs an arm and a leg to get prescription medicine, even if you ask for the cheaper Australian made brand. So, I agree, GST, prescription charges and graffiti all suck. Drugs, I can’t comment as I haven’t tried them. Just kidding, judging by the safe places to dispose of used syringes in every single public toilet there does seem to be a drug problem though I’m not sure if it’s worse than anywhere else. As for the roads, trust me, they are dreamy after a year in Costa Rica where the potholes are so big you could lose you car in one. Thanks for pitching in!

  8. You forgot Cane Toads on the Worst list (at least for Queensland). Cane Toads on the road, in the dogs drinking water, drowning fish in the pond (it happened to my mother’s fish), choking water ways with their eggs, croaking in drain pipes at all hours of the night. I’d also like to add mosquitoes. They’ve died down now because it’s winter, but the little buggers are still around and come out when the weather is warm enough. I’d also add ants and Medicare. On the best list there’s also Cherry Ripes, Jack’s salt and vinegar chips and Aussie beef (I’ve had it in NZ, USA, including Hawaii, and Ireland and my butcher beats em all).
    Great post, mate.

    • I know cane toads are supposed to be a huge problem here, and I’m writing a short story set here in which they play a pivotal role, but I’ve never actually seen one in the wild since I’ve been in Australia! In their native Costa Rica we had the exact problems you’re describing though. So, the worst comes down to beasts and bugs and the best food. It is great here and there’s such a huge range of fresh fruit and veggies too. Cheers, mate!

  9. I haven’t been in Australia and I’d like to. However, Australia is too far from Spain and the flight is expensive 😦 Well, someday!

    I’m looking forward to reading more posts to leave you some productive comment. So long!

    • Sergio, you will be welcome any day. I met one of your country men this evening, he’s living here in Noosa and loving it. I hope you’ll be able to visit soon, con suerte. Muchas gracias para sus palabras lindas y hasta pronto:)

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