11 reasons why you may regret moving to Australia

Do you regret moving to Australia? Sometimes I feel very frustrated with this country, but on the whole, it’s not the worst place to be. That being said, some aspects of living here are just barmy. Read on to find out more.

regret moving to australia
Art at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.

I would like to start this post by making something very clear.

I do not hate Australia or living in Australia

There are certain elements of living here that aren’t great. However, you could say that about any country of the world.

Australia is not the ‘best damn country in the world’ as some may claim, because nowhere is perfect.

After living away from the country for a spell of time, or coming to live here in the first place, you may regret moving to Australia.

I personally think life ‘Down Under’ is pretty good, most of the time. And those of us who live here are very lucky.

However, I do think there are things about Australia that could be improved.

Thinking about moving to Australia? You should know what you’re signing up for, well in advance.

The internet is pretty awful

There was once this dream of having fibre optic Internet in Australia.

It was an ambitious idea, as Australia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world (in terms of population density there are around 3 people to every square kilometre).

This dream tanked when the then conservative Federal Government instead chose to save on costs by continuing using decades-old copper phone lines for Internet connection, having chosen a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) strategy.

This was due to be completed in 2016. I live in the second largest city in the country and didn’t have access to the National Broadband Network (the NBN) until 2019. Fun times.

The most irritating thing is, eventually we will have to catch up to everyone else and replace the links with fibre optics, taking the investment way beyond its initial calculated price of AU $45.6 billion.

We’re currently ranked 62nd for Internet speed in the world, which is pretty abysmal for a country with an economy as advanced as our own.

The not very funny punchline of this joke – WE INVENTED WIFI.

At least Australia’s mobile internet speeds are up to scratch (depending again on where you are in the country. Port off your phone, perhaps?

why you shouldn't move to Australia
Travel three hours by plane – still in the middle of nowhere.

It’s isolated, both geographically and metaphorically

Australia is a very self-contained place. This makes sense when you think about how isolated we are geographically – hanging out on the bottom of the globe, taking hours to get across the country, let alone leave its shores.

This sense of isolation is perpetuated by our media.

Commercial networks don’t give nearly as much airtime to world events (depending on where in the world it’s taking place), tending to report mostly on what’s happening within the country’s borders.

It’s nice in some ways, as you can feel quite safe living here, which is something that should not be taken for granted.

On the other, we should care about what’s happening in the world, quite simply because we are a part of it.

Travelling abroad is an expensive and time consuming endeavour

I didn’t step foot outside Australia until I was 20 years old and I’m not alone in this.

Most of my friends were in the same boat, unless they went on exchange, saved up to travel during University breaks, went to Bali for their end of school celebrations, or had their families take them abroad on holiday.

And those who did go overseas, mostly had just travelled to cheap destinations in Asia or New Zealand.

European friends on the other hand, who flit through countries and languages on the regular, are surprised by this.

But while you can travel from say, London to Rome for £9 return trip, you’re not going to see the same for Sydney to Bangkok.

Plus, an eight hour flight to a destination from Australia is considered to be on the short side.

Unlike Europe, it’s not like you can just jet off to Singapore for the weekend (well, you could but it would be a waste of time and money).

Travelling within the country is also quite expensive

So, why not stick to travelling within the country, then? This is what many Australians tend to do, however the price of doing so can be alarming.

In the 90’s, Australia was considered a budget destination for backpackers and people who were my age now (30’s) could actually afford housing in the city.

Times have changed and travel within the country is now as or more expensive than travel overseas.

I’ve seen flights to Auckland from Sydney that have been cheaper than flights to Perth. Truth.

And if you’re wondering about costs for visitors, here is a breakdown of the cost of a month’s travel in Australia.

why you shouldn't move to Australia
It’s so isolated that even the fauna looks nothing like anything else in the world.

Our public transport infrastructure badly needs work

Another oft-discussed government dream is the placement of a high-speed train up Australia’s East Coast, linking Melbourne to Brisbane, with Sydney and Canberra in between – much like the Shinkansen in Japan.

A high-speed rail could be a wonderful solution, enabling population to spread out beyond the big cities, revitalising communities up and down the coast.

For now, it’s a very expensive pipe-dream, that doesn’t look to happen within this generation.

In the bigger cities, governments are throwing money at large-scale infrastructure programs… but they’re throwing it at our roads, rather than public transport.

Take the Westconnex in Sydney, an ambitious 8km long tunnel which caused one headache after another.

Yeah, there’s the light rail as well, but that’s had its issues, too.

Melbourne too has invested billions in recent road transport projects – the city still has no train line out the airport (scheduled to change in time, but come on).

Australia is one of the most car-reliant nations in the world and it seems like nothing will be done to combat this anytime soon.

downsides of living in australia
Who can afford novelty beach towels these days?

The cost of living has risen considerably

Australia’s booming economy has had its drawbacks, with the cost of living rising considerably over the last couple of decades.

The median house price in Sydney has been AUD $1 million for years, finally dipping in 2019 (before shooting back up during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Young adults find themselves having to live at home well beyond a length of time that both they and their parents find tolerable, in order to survive.

There are interesting and unnerving times ahead, for sure – enough to perhaps make you regret moving to Australia.

Racism… Well, it’s here but then it’s everywhere

Hello to the elephant in the room. Is Australia racist? It’s a bit of a tough question to answer.

I would say yes, there are racist people in Australia. Yet, there are also many people living here who are friendly and inclusive.

It’s not really fair to paint an entire country with the one brush, especially when many other countries are also prone to similar crappy behaviour.

There are racist people in Australia. Sure. They’re everywhere and probably enjoying their time in the light at the moment.

Some of them are even in our parliament, which is… ugh.

I think a lot of it has to do with the aforementioned isolation, a fear of the unknown and rapid change.

Australia has changed a lot recently. The world has, really.

But, just a tip in general – if you start a sentence with “I’m not racist but…” – you’ve probably already lost the argument.

downsides of living in australia
Can you see William Barak’s face in the distance?

Australian politics kinda suck

If you’re even slightly into politics, you’ll either find Australian politics the most interesting thing ever, or a cause to cry into your pillow every night.

Twelve years ago, with the election of Kevin Rudd and his Labor Government, it certainly felt like Good Things ahead.

We survived the Global Financial Crisis. We were going to get super fast internet. We were enjoying an age of affluence.

Life in Australia was pretty sweet.

Then, things fell apart. Rudd’s popularity drastically fell and he was replaced by our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Say what you want about Gillard (without resorting to misogyny, thanks), but she pushed through more legislation than any other PM in Australian history.

From 2013, the opposition Coalition Government played musical chairs with the Prime Minister’s seat, giving us three more PM’s in five years. They shockingly won the 2019 election, despite having a pretty piss weak climate action plan, wasting money on a plebiscite to legalise same sex marriage, committing constant human rights violations in offshore detention centres and approving a coal mine in Queensland that would cause severe damage to the local biodiversity and harm the already endangered Great Barrier Reef.

I could go on, but it wouldn’t be good for my blood pressure levels.

Oh, but they pulled the budget back into surplus, apparently. Yep, that would be great, if we were talking about running a business, not a country.

They then proved themselves to be pretty much useless through several disasters, including the 2019 Black Summer and of course, COVID-19.

In general, sometimes we seem to be moving backwards as a country, rather than forwards.

Ironic, when you consider our national emblem, which features an emu and kangaroo on it, animals chosen for their inability to walk backwards.

The treatment of the First Nations population could be a lot better

It is or should be well-known knowledge that the treatment of the Indigenous population by the British was horrendous.

Families were ripped apart, through attempts of assimilation, which led to the Stolen Generations, where children were forcibly taken from their families, some never to see each other again.

Culture was decimated. There were massacres of First Peoples and the spread of European disease within communities. It’s awful history.

Much of this is living memory, with many Aboriginal Australians living today still having memories of life on missions operating as recently as the late sixties.

Today, there are many misconceptions about life as an Aboriginal person in Australia.

Some mistakenly believe that the First Nations peoples receive government handouts – sorry, not true.

In fact, the Federal Government spends more money per head on non-Aboriginal people.

There are many Australians who identify as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. However – Asking them how Aboriginal they are or why they don’t “look” Aboriginal is sadly common, but extremely offensive.

If someone says they are First Nations People, then they are. End of story.

And for Australians of other backgrounds, interaction with Aboriginal cultures can be limited, which is sad. They’re fascinating and ancient cultures that should be preserved and cherished. Just learning about Indigenous fire management shows we can learn a lot from them.

downsides of living in australia
Not always, fortunately.

The weather can be really quite upsetting

Australia is a land of extremes.

In some parts of the country, the seasons can be described as such: hot, really hot, bloody boiling, really hot.

The summer of 2017 for example, was one of the worst I have ever experienced. Extreme humidity, with the temperatures going over 40°C every third day or so. My bedroom had no air conditioning, which made the nights really fun.

Yet, it does get properly cold in the winter, especially down south and particularly in Tasmania, where the climate is more European. Or, more like New Zealand’s.

In the northern parts of the country, they have just two seasons – the wet and the dry. The dry is during wintertime, when the temperatures are manageable (think mid-late twenties, early thirties).

Australia too is a country liable for natural disasters. Cyclones, floods, bushfires, drought – all things that Australians have to contend with.

These events are scary. They kill people. With a changing climate, it’s a bit worrisome to think about the future, where extreme weather events are concerned.

Read other reasons why summer is the worst time to visit Australia.

downsides of living in australia
Your average Thursday afternoon.

You may not want to leave

Look, this is the worst point on this list. Because, for all its faults, Australia is also a pretty darn fabulous place.

It’s undeniably beautiful. It feels safe. The food is fresh. The air is less polluted than in other parts of the world (Tassie has the cleanest air of ANYWHERE). It’s relatively clean.

The people are among the friendliest that I’ve at least met anywhere in the world.

There’s something about Oz. It grips your heart and it will never let you go.

For more, check out my Australia Travel Guide.

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Australia looks like it may be paradise... but is it really? Here are some downsides of living in Australia, for expats and Aussie's alike.

Australia looks like it may be paradise... but is it really? Here are some downsides of living in Australia, for expats and Aussie's alike.

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  1. Born and bred Sydneysider here and I agree 100%. This is a great place to live but it is far from perfect.

      1. If you want the best quality of life go to Spain.
        Fantastic weather, incredible nightlife, shopping till at least 10 pm 7 days a week.
        At least in Madrid.
        Incredibly safe country.
        Such a friendly fun people.
        One of the best infrastructures concerning roads and public transport on earth.
        Metros, 24 hour buses and high speed trains everywhere.
        Unbelievable variety of food and shopping.
        You can go anywhere in Europe for a weekend for next to nothing.
        Australia is so monotonous.
        Every city looks similar.
        Everything closes early.
        The food is so average .
        Everything is far.
        The roads and public transport is virtually third world.
        The nightlife is a joke.
        Hence only desperate people from third world countries are migrating their.
        Who ever thinks Australian lifestyle is great.
        Obviously hasn’t lived in a hell of alot of other countries that are far better.

        1. I hate negative people . I have been overseas to visit my relatives and they love to socialise with the locals but not with a relative who comes all the way from the other side of the world to see them

        2. Yep, I’m half spanish and have been going to Spain my whole life (lived in the uk) and I’m currently living in Sydney and I can’t wait to leave. It’s so dull. Most Europeans agree when you get chatting that they find it boring. But i would not say that to an Australian person. I respect their views of their country but I can’t stand it. I’m just counting down the days. Yes the amazing Aussie lifestyle?? It’s a lie people.

        3. Totally agree.
          Be very careful who you open up to, if your half good at doing things you were taught while growing up, the Ozzie’s hate you. You need licence to do just about everything here.
          They will grass you up for any mistake you make.
          They hate each other.
          They have a hard time driving anything, let alone a manual car.
          Suffer deeply from small man syndrome.
          They would rather see people suffer than help.
          Maybe I’ve just not met the nice people in Australia.
          Only been here 14 years.
          It’s all a facade.

          1. Wow, Mike.

            You’ve literally taken the words out of my mouth. Your piece could’ve been written by me!
            I’ve been here 13 years and lived in 2 states. The majority of the aussies seem to be so small minded. The government have zero plan for the future regarding the terrible climate. It’s been roasting hot since mid October. The flies and mosquitoes make life unbearable. In Queensland people are so lazy, it’s a mission just getting them to turn up for work. Then, their workday will consist of achieving as little as possible. People are unfriendly, rude and unhelpful. They drive how they want. I could honestly write a book about this. My wife, infant son and I are going overseas for a year in a couple of months and I don’t want to cone back. Trouble is her family is here and we own a house. Dang!

          2. A nice country that has been ruined by the people.
            Been here 6 years and leaving soon. Apart from meeting some nice immigrants from Asia and Europe, my time here has been pretty much awful. How can a so-called advanced nation be so backward and incompetent? I now understand why God put Australia at the bottom of the world. New Zeland, on the other hand, is amazing.

  2. Oh LC, you made me laugh out loud numerous times in this post! Everything you say is so relatable, especially that Australia is becoming unaffordable for Australians. It really is frightening. I always say to travellers I meet that Australia is a nice place to visit, but not a nice place to live… Some of the time!

    1. Always happy to get some lols! Yes there are some great things about living here, but the aspects that are bad… are ridiculous. Can’t imagine it’s much cheaper to live in NZ these days either, sadly.

  3. Ah, yeeeeessss… I agree on so many points!!

    The Internet… urgh. We now have access to the NBN (it came a couple of months ago to our area – finally) but it’s so ridiculously expensive and people who have it around here keep saying it’s not much better than ADSL!!!!! Crikey, why??!!!!

    And hm, the Indigenous issue… agree.

    And yet, after 17 years I’m still here. 🙂 Despite the news and media regularly caring more about e.g. rescuing the old lady’s cat from the tree than what goes on in the rest of world (driving me insane would be stating it mildly), but as you say, Australia gets you hooked and never lets you go again. 😀 It is just such an incredibly beautiful country, and not just in terms of geography.

    1. Because the govt TOTALLY DROPPED THE BALL ON IT BY NOT GIVING US FIBRE OPTIC, taking a ridiculous, money saving option for what is basically now a life necessity. They’re the worst. I hope they all lose their seats come next election.

      And yeah, it does get totally under your skin. What a jerk. 🙂 Don’t get me started on the news!

      1. Haha! Yep…

        I hardly ever watch the news these days, just gets me too riled up. I stick to reading various (online) papers and that’s that. 😀

  4. I am 7th generation Austrlian and proud of that . After working my entire life and I have had some well paid jobs and have worked hard sometimes having three jobI can no longer afford to retire here, and I am tired. Raising the retirement age has now pushed me over the edge to find someone cheaper to live so that I can retire. I am currently rechearching different countries to emigrate too. Ant suggestions

    1. That’s fair enough, it’s ridiculous the way the country is heading financial. Especially for those who’ve been told their entire lives that they can “relax” at retirement, only to have it raised to what really is a ridiculous age to continue to work ’til. I’ve heard of people moving to cheaper destinations in Asia to live it up large – ever considered there?

    2. Many Brit’s retire to the south of Spain. U don’t really need to learn Spanish. It’s not a bad place and pensioners are well looked after in terms of amenities and health care. The food is not great though

      1. Spanish food is one o fc the best. What ignorance! It’s one of the healthiest diets to have. Fresh fish, olive oil, salads etc. And also yes do learn Spanish for God’s sake otherwise you get stuck in an English speaking enclave of people who can’t be arsed to learn the language of the country they live in.

  5. I agree with for everybody here, fantastic post and very comprehensive. A lot of good tips. These suggestions are brilliant

  6. Thanks for the great article LC. Absolutley spot on! The internet speeds and mis-treatment of asylum seekers are 2 of my biggest gripes about being an Aussie. You are right Australia does grab your heart right along with the contents of your bank account, credit cards and wallet just to live comfortably and travel a little

    1. Thanks Alan! The expense is bananas (as in the nets). At least we can say we’re (mostly) not homophobic now. Small steps out of the dark ages, into the shining light of the future!

  7. Thanks for your post! Very eye opening. I left Sydney 4 years ago and may one day move back….but wondering where I could afford to live in Sydney, if i can put up with the politics, and withstand the cultural and physical isolation. Also, the cost of bringing a spouse is bonkers!

    1. Sydney is ridiculously expensive now, even more so. I was shocked by how much worse it had got since I had left (I came back after three years). But, home is home and hopefully that will be enough for when you return there too. And yeah, the spousal costs are very upsetting.

  8. Dear LC. I was happy to read the article and the resulting replys and comments, and there’s a lot of good stuff revealed there. My reply wanders off subject in various ways. Perhaps it’s better suited to a category such as ‘Random ramblings’, or ‘Raving Rants’!

    I’m pining for Europe. I was born in Australia, and am not eligible for any foreign citizenship. Before I travelled o/s, I tended to assert, like so many aussies do, that Australia is the best country in the world etcetera, based on some sort of ‘national pride’ idea rather than on anything resembling evidence. Now I know different. I never really miss much about Oz when I’m o/s – rarely think about it – and if I hear Oz accents, I’ll keep away from them. I nearly everyday miss Europe when I’m in Oz. Now I’ve been back in Australia since 2008. In the 25 years before 2008 I had been on numerous trips o/s – never working, only ever as a tourist- for so much time it accumulates to 17, yes seventeen, years. I reckon I am European. I’m not aboriginal Australian. All my great-grandparents were Europeans. Europe is my ancestral home and I know it. My ancestors were aboriginal Europeans, from the caves of prehistory, right through all that incredible history- it’s all my history, my genes and my lands. Because I didn’t work there, always spending instead my hard earned Aussie savings, and later a modest inheritance, I lived cheaply in Europe, often in rural areas, including in rural Greece for periods that cumulatively exceed 12 years. (A Greek tourist island, when the summer ends, reverts back to mainly its traditional rural farming and fishing base. Increased tourism has brought changes, but old ways linger, and there are always ways to avoid involvement in the worst aspects of development which is mostly only partial. ) Summertime I enjoyed the beaches, and all the glorious Euro-women, living absolute beachfront in free DIY bamboo teepees. For neighbours hippie-gals swimming naked all summer, barefoot tavernas and discos, cheap food, drinks and smokes. More than 12 summers on the beach, and many winters in really magnificent weathers, cold, wind, rains and sun, collect and carry water, tend a vegie garden, (stuff grows there so easily, and is not ravaged by parrots and possums), gather firewood and saffron, returning to the warmest ‘house’ on the island, up a hillside overviewing the Aegean, surrounded by metres of solid granite in a super-cosy womb-like cave where a wood-stove and wax-candle flames quiver quietly, as from the glass window I view outside my cave’s door, a tempest raging. LOVED IT ! That’s my land. It’s where most of what we came to call a western or European civilization grew from, was borrowed for their own purposes by the Romans, and spread to everywhere else. It didn’t just spring from the Greeks. It was given to them out of the land, the sun, sea, the air, soil and water, the seasons, and by the spirits and gods that are still having a hand in a few matters, I suspect. I love all of Europe and I’m happy there to be living like a European in Europe – not like the fallacy in Australia, and in a collection of other countries, where one is expected to live a European styled culture in a country that is very definitely not Europe.The only gripe I have with Europe is that my Euro-born great grandparents have no say, (because they’re long dead, but I bet if they could speak now they would decry the injustice imposed upon their descendants), and their former existence has no influence in the matter now, regarding whether I should be eligible to reclaim my ancestral citizenship. Damn! If it wasn’t for that complication you wouldn’t be hearing from me now. I’d be there, at home in Europe. I’d not be stuck here, (Don’t worry. I’m planning to make my escape very soon.), yeah so oddly stuck, in a continent that has been and continues to be the victim of colonial crimes and many bad ideas on the other side of the planet. Oh, yes, to return to the matter of the expensive Australia. Fact: One gets more bang for one’s buck in most other countries. This means that despite its many faults, one can make the most of Australia by not expecting too much real joy and depth of meaning from it except as a place to work, (or even as a place to work towards living on something approaching an Indian peasant’s budget), so as to force a savings strategy that ensures one will have bucks to bang on, frugally and prudentially on and on. Then one can escape this land of lingering colonial after effects, for freedom of offshore lands where your people live their authentic cultures which are authentic because the cultural roots were not transported, but evolved from their native environments. There is an inner joy and peace that comes with this type of return to where one’s home really is, which, like the falsehood about Australia being the best country in the world, can reveal its truth only when one becomes aware of it through experience.

    1. Hello Bob, wow that’s quite a story! I’m not sure what I can say that will top that. I hope you find yourself back in Greece very soon – it’s wonderful when the heart connects with a place, less so when visa laws say otherwise. :/

    2. Greece isn’t exactly perfect It went broke remember No country is Australia isn’t perfect but it has good points too. Why do people think the rest of the world is so perfect ? Especially Europe .I visited Cyprus and most relatives never really wanted to know me or go anywhere with me and I had to pay my way .When my relatives visited Australia, I had to take them everywhere and I had to pay for them .There never put their hands in their pockets .I heard the same thing regarding other European countries .I am quite sick of all the flack that Australia cops ,especially through social media .So people need to stop being negative and start being positive .The world will be a better place .

  9. The problem with Australia is the cost of living is getting higher n higher n the tax is also high. Your annual package 100k could looks a lot but after tax u only receive around 5k monthly which not a lot consider the rent , food and transport price is going up and up every year. Not to mention the ridiculous housing price

    1. Yeah, it’s super fun getting outpriced in your own country! Makes me seriously worried about the future.

  10. Australia is a great place to live, but travel here is kinda boring and incredibly overpriced (especially attractions and events!). The only “travel” I do is the occasional day trip to nature-y places, but only because I have a car. If I didn’t, I’d likely just save my money and spend my holidays in Asia.

    1. I like travelling around Oz, but I agree, it’s best done by car. I dunno if I agree with boring – I think under surface level there are a lot of pleasant surprises! But I wouldn’t turn down a trip to Asia either.

  11. Yes OZ used to be good but things have changed in so many ways. Our life is getting more and more controlled, new laws are retrospectively implemented, houses are incredibly expensive, so a lot of people are mortgage prisoners…people think its ok that real estate goes up by 5 or 10% a year…the general population hasn’t got any money..they are in debt for the next 25 or 30 years. I remember the time when a small house in Sydney cost abaut 20 grant. .yes sure times have changed, however the same cockroach farm now cost 1.5 millons.
    Yes the weather is good.

  12. You had me until you started ranting about “refugees” and indidenous, I have worked in that space and want to be clear what you mean.

    Do you believe I the UN refugee declaration? Let’s assume you do, so then why is it OK for 99% of our so called refugees to use people smuggling to bypass the first safe haven, in fact go half way around the world to put the load on us? Why shouldn’t we be concerned with our own neighbours e.g. Timorese not flipping Afghans, Iraqis or other ME people. Nope not our problem, the only reason is our freedom and economy they are the draw cards. Now then can little old Aus save the whole world? There are 600 000 000 Indians living in poverty, should we take say 100 million? That would destroy our economy, change our society and culture yet there would still be 500 million no less still in abject poverty. Your argument is fallacious, facts are facts we cannot change the world ow ever individuals can change their own circumstances that is the Key and that is how we should support.

    On indigenous where do I start, they claim an invasion (one that I had no part in) yet they claim land rights? Legally that does not equate, an invasion means you lose your claim and to the victor the spoils, yet we allow land claims which technically means no invasion? So which way do you want it?

    They are the highest per capita paid indigenous people yet we pump more and more in. Fact is just like refugees there is only one person who can change their circumstances and that is them no one else. This is victim hood BS. They choose to live in dumps I have been involved on a station in the NW one of the highest employers of indigenous cowboys. Then the land claims came station was let go and turned into a dump. Don’t believe the BS we are all responsible for ourselves.

    Oh and who pays for all these economic refugees and indigenous programs? Wee do, there now you have answered your own question why this country is so bloody expensive to live in.

    1. Your ancestors murdered millions of indigenous men women and children and stole their land. Murdered in cold blood and given diseases on purpose to wipe them out. Same in America. So show some respect it is not your land. Anyone should be able to move anywhere in the world they please to escape poverty. You are racist

  13. Wow Bob what write up. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the poster talking about wanting to be in Europe rather than in Australia.

    I think there are some really big cultural differences which makes life a lot more enjoyable in Europe. I grew up in a country in Eastern Europe and moved to Australia in my teens. Did everything I was supposed to do finished first in high school and in uni, got a good job in finance and worked for a decade, worked my way up the coporate ladder, good pay package, got a mortgage etc.

    Despite that I always found that the greatest happiness for me was when I could have my holidays and go back to Europe. There was just something magical about it.

    I had a great bunch of Australian friends and a partner but there were too many things that I just didn’t enjoy: having to get in a car to go to a shopping centre or to visit a friend, spending an hour on a train to get to the CBD in Syndey, feeling very isolated in suburbs that are filled just with houses and nothing else (feels very alienating living in the suburbs, almost souless, not sure why), being so far away from a theater or a museum.

    I think Australia is a fantastic country for certain types of people but not so much for other types of people. It truly is a blessed country, so far away from conflict and forged based on a shared bond between the people. Honestly, I have never once felt that I was discriminated even though I was not born there and had an accent. I think it is the most welcoming country when it comes to migrants. It is especially great for people that love going outdoors, doing beach activities and sports. But for people that are more interested in things like culture, history and are a bit more of the intellectual type it can be a bit harder.

    After hitting 30 I decided that I needed a big change and that I had to go back to Europe. I have been back in Eastern Europe for over a year and it has been that greatest decision that I have ever made in my life.

    Sure, my salary now is literally about 6 times less than what I got paid in Sydney. It also helps I have my own place here with no mortgage. But I make up for it in so many other different ways. People seem to be so much more active and so many more things are happening, as I told a friend of mine back in Oz I feel that i have done more things in 1 year than what I did in 10 years in Australia.

    I live half an hour drive to almost any part of the city (2 million people, but not a large city compared to Sydney, can get pretty crowded), 5 minutes walk from a former royal palace that is now an art museum, 10 minutes subway ride from several other museums, 10 minutes walk from the national theatre, 10 minutes walk from the old town with dozens of bars, clubs and entertainment, 30 minutes drive to the airport which can take me to pretty much any european location in less than 4 hours (to london it is about 3 hours and a bit).

    There are cultural events, festivals and things happening every week. This weekend Friday night I went to a 19th century theatre festival (free, 15 minutes walk), Saturday night to a music concert (equivalent of $15 entry, 20 minutes subway), Sunday night to a craft beer festival (equivalent of $5 entry, 15 minutes taxi cost equivalent $5). It would have been impossible to do all of the above in Sydney and I would have spent hours just travelling back and forth.

    That being said, Australia offers a lot of safety when it comes to healthcare, insurance, age care, security and lack of corruption. This is the sort of stuff that is disastrous in Eastern Europe. So I have to accept these downsides. But in a way I would rather live a shorter but happier life than a longer but isolated and unfulfilled life.

    1. It all just really depends on what you want out of life. No place is perfect, but you can find the place that’s perfect for you. Sounds like you’ve done just that, John.

  14. I agree people who live in Australia and havnt seen other places may think its beter than it really is . Their are many better places than Australia . Give me Venice any day or Paris and the foods in those places sorry Australia cant match . I was borne Australia but never comfortablein the place i have traveled all over it filmed it extensively so i think i can say things with some concideratin . Even i would prefer to live in the Philippines in some of those Islands .

  15. Horrible HORRIBLE country full of horrible HORRIBLE people.
    The worst, the absolute worst.
    The arrogance, ignorance, the people, the brain dead outlook towards life, the culture (or lack there of), the physical “beat everybody up” violence, the reflective vests that every clown wears and thinks they are cool.
    The only thing worse than an australian in australia, is an australian in a foreign country shamelessly promoting their country to sound like gold when it is cardboard.

    I was born there and when I permanently leave next year it will be a celebration!!!

    1. No country is perfect. I think the most important thing living overseas taught me was not to generalise. Hope it works out well with you and you’re happy in your new home.

    2. Agreed, most people here are so superficial and brainwashed.. I also hate how Australia’s a nanny state like how the gun laws and driving laws are horrible. I also want to get the fuck out of here whenever I can.

      1. The amount of laws dictating our behaviour on roads is a bit senseless. Sometimes it seems that they exist for revenue raising rather than for our own safety. Can’t agree with you on the gun laws however – 22 years without a massacre since they were tightened only seems like a good thing to me. Good luck with your future endeavours.

  16. Agreed. The leaders of our country are all fairly brain dead individuals with biased agendas.

    I look forward to the day we get someone who truly has the Genuine interests of the Australian population.

    It’s about time we started to truly benefit from the ridiculous taxes and other financial systems in place that constantly drain our bank accounts.

    There are so many untapped resources that can still be put in play to make Australia in general and much cheaper and more affordable place to live. But instead they just keep raising taxes on things that are already among the most expensive if not the most expensive in the world, example would be tobacco.

    Tobacco before the tax increases that will still prevail into 2020, were the most expensive in the world. They have already doubled in price since then making our tobacco well over twice the amount that anywhere else in the world charges for the same products.

    Of course this applies to many other taxable things, but I felt tobacco was a good example to use. Imagine instead of continuing to make pre-existing things more and more expensive to the point where it’s simply not affordable anymore, they brought in new things to raise revenue. One idea would be marijuana for medical and recreational uses, proven much safer in essentially every way than alcohol, tobacco etc. Not to mention how many different cures and medicines can come from it. I bet that alone would raise huge amounts of revenue and put Australia back on its feet financially. Which in turn would hopefully allow for overpriced taxes to drop down in order to balance the economy out again which in turn would make it cheaper for the average Australian to live here.

    My 2 cents on the financial situation here. Don’t even get me started on the internet, indigenous etc…. I would probably end up writing a novel about the other things wrong with Australia and how brain dead and old fashioned most of the government+body are. Plenty of room for change and drastic improvements, it’s simply a matter of time(hopefully) until we get someone with more than a few braincells to lead our country into becoming a better day place.

    1. They seem to be out of touch with the lives of ordinary Australians, in their Canberra bubble. I think we should start by stripping back government entitlements!

      1. Hmm… So where is this imaginary army to do that, They would rather die then give up any kind of entitlements and power. For actually real change isn’t protesters gathering with a few signs that’s just amusement for them and entertainment when the batons and mace come out. We all know there isn’t going to be any kind of civil war in Australia, Most law abiding citizens where stripped of their firearms so those days are over. That’s why there was so much change so quickly here that wasn’t beneficial to most Australian citizens.

  17. Australia is an incredibly monotonous boring country.
    All the cities look alike.
    You have to travel for hours to see a bit of different scenery.
    Roads and public transport are virtually third world.
    Shops and restaurants close early.
    The food is very poor.
    The nightlife. What nightlife?
    Getting more dangerous by the day.

  18. Don’t worry mate, your allowed to have an opinion and I’m sure plenty of others agree with you (myself included). We are influenced by American and European culture. Best time of my life was in America with family – going to Disneyland and Universal Studios which my mother’s dance school got to perform at while meeting people (some women I met love us and wanted to keep hearing my ‘accent’) and discussing our countries – even experienced my first earth quake which unfortunately after researching killed some in Mexico. I’m both an Australian / New Zealand citizen (that was just in a week – can’t imagine the bands you can see there, film events, food etc. Apparently their Comic Con is 1000× times better and with A grade celebrities.). Hawaii is very relaxing too.

    1. Yeah I hear you. I have been to America five times and could easily go back another five and then some.

  19. Australia is pretty damn good, but it’s also a bastard. It’s not as good as the author above says it is. People in Australia are pigs, half of them hate me, some of them like to get to know me, and a ton of them want to have sex with me. The arseholes in Australia people question their Australianness, well let me tell you they’re Australian arseholes! The women are mainly old women, mutton dressed as lamb who are nit-picking but likeable women, the men are mostly the casual looking, normal average men with hair combed to the side, wearing normal clothes, and say “hi mate!” and have an Australian flag in the front of their house, as most Australians are just normal people (but they don’t talk normal) who enjoy a vanilla slice, a pizza and a Coca-Cola. A minority of Australians are dressed fancy and eat fancy food and drink fine Australian wine and brandy, like me. As I’m king of Australia as people ironically call me, I will rule a country where no one leaves Adelaide.

  20. Just another self opinionated person running their mouth online. Yeah the net here sucks, pretty much all of your other points are crap, we’re on the world stage, we help other countries and get more news and dealings than other countries than say, the USA, and most of Europe too. Most people from overseas only know Sydney from what I have seen around talking to many tourists over the years. Sydney has to be one of our worst cities. This aboriginal thing needs to stop too. They get hand outs like there’s no tomorrow and if they don’t help their own situation then they deserve to not have anything. Shaming white Australians over something that the majority of us had nothing to do with is beyond a joke

    1. This isn’t an aggressive or nasty article, so I don’t really see the point of your aggressive comment, apart from the opportunity to have a good mansplain.

      Your apathy indicates responsibility by the way and to declare that if people want a better situation they should “just improve it” is a very, well as you put it, white thing to say…

  21. Australia is a v isolated place. Even btw cities. teavelling for eg syd to perth is exorbitant more than lots of overseas flights. The capital canberra is v grey n cold, souless. People are guarded n lack spontaneity. neighbors are v private n keep to themselves lack warm n hospitality.

  22. Btw Australia us still a v anglo white country despite what it tours to be in general. One just have to look at the governance n leadership of all the industries n domains & the politics. hardly any other ethnic groups or person even penny wong is biracial. The anglo whites are too cliquish groupie n protective. Sadly if their culture n atittude dont change aus will remain a anglo white country not multicultural in its leadership .

    1. Stupid comment. It is an Anglo white country mostly.The same as Japan is very Japanese and China is very Chinese (I could go on). Sick of these stupid lefty comments. Jesus. Ever been to Chatswood in Sydney? Very very Chinese. There are people from all over.

  23. Thanks LC for the website, perhaps the best about Australia and what is like living there. I’ve been looking for another country to live in, after living in four in different continents, but what really caugh my eye is the issue of rents, which is what happened in Los Angeles. It was paradise, when I arrived a one bedroom in a great location was $450, now the same is $3000, all in the last 10 years. No one wants to work for rent alone. Other issues mentioned like racism, it seems to be serious in anglo societies, less in others, but it’s there, nonetheless, maybe people are more diplomatic like in Brazil, where you would believe it doesn’t exist. My only other concern would be cultural, things like theater, concerts, etc., about which very little comes out from Australia. I love barbcues but…

    1. Don’t worry about culture – we have it in spades, especially in Melbourne! I would go so far as saying the country is crammed with art and you find it in the most unlikely of places… joyous.

  24. I have lived in Australia since 1978 and have experienced many negative things here. The following I write some will agree others will disagree. But we should respect each others viewpoints. On the whole people in this country I have found to be closed minded, touchy, obtuse, surly and self-centred. There is no sense of hospitality in Australia like inviting people to their homes, unlike other countries.
    Like John said this country is good for some but not others. Well said! I love history and culture which has been difficult for me here. People in this country are like brain dead sheep unwilling to do anything. First of all our political system with its one party two branch system is a joke. If people in Australia were smart they would have a revolution as our political system is unreformable. Voting changes nothing. I no longer vote and vowed never to vote ever again. Australia’s long isolation from the rest of the world has made its people very insular and retarded their mentality. This is while the rest of the world has moved on. I have never understood the mentality of people in this country. It is completely different from mine. One lady once said to me because you are a European. I hope the information I have provided from my experience in Australia here can clarify things. Some on this forum will attack me, others will agree with me and others in between. I hope what I have written here has been useful and makes other people aware of different experiences in this country. Please feel free to state your opinion on what I have written.

  25. I lived in the states for over 10 years, New York mostly. Moved back to Australia for family and have been grumbling ever since I arrived. Sydney markets itself as an international city but it isn’t. The infrastructure there is terrible, public transport has huge gaps and doesn’t run 24/7 forcing you to own a car (my first in 10 years!). Everything is so expensive except bread and milk from the two only supermarkets in the place which have the smallest selection of anything and are just outright boring. Give me Trader Joe’s and Fairway any day.

    It’s white, like super white. Which is whatever, but it does make the place even more boring, I miss the lack of really diverse and intermingling of cultures, the sounds on the street, the latin and black culture in New York is rich and fun to be around. Sure there are ethnic enclaves (south west Sydney, chatswood etc) but the majority is just suburban whiteness with their RSL’s and stores that close at 5.

    It’s a real shame because I think the place could be so much better if only the majority of people didn’t already see it as perfect, even though they complain about it all the time and if I ever chime in and tell them how other countries have fixed x,y or z i get the usual maybe you should move back there then. I just keep my opinions to myself now while I patiently wait for the exchange rate to improve so i can sell my house and get back to NY for good.

    The people seem to have brainwashed themselves to think they are living in the best place on earth and god knows how they are making that assumption, the news or some ridiculous halfwitted article written in the Telegraph? Maybe the 5 day trip to Bali? I don’t know but the small mindedness I come across on the regular just makes me want to stay inside and keep to myself.

  26. I googled ‘did channel Nine cancel Friends in Australia’ and this blog was a search result ????
    Love it. Could not agree more with your points. Love that you included the Gillard legislation fact. That’s lost on too many. I also love this country but geeeeeez.

  27. Australia is a socialist country. What this means it is great to live here if you have nothing, no money, no dreams, no quality, and definitely no ambitions. If this is you then Australia is for you. You get to live a decent life. If you have anything going for you then Australia should be crossed off your list. You give and give and get nothing more than what a garbage collector or a taxi driver! The government here tries its best to make sure everyone is “relatively” living the same life style, they call it poppy seed syndrome or something like that.

    Tax is high, in return you don’t really get the best schooling or health system.

    When it comes to the common public morality and self awareness, I would classify it as self righteous, given there is no real common agreement on what is good/bad or right/wrong and this is probably because the country is mostly run and managed by the government only and they control all the media. Unlike other countries where tradition, history and religion gets a say in public decency. Although some may see this is a good thing but history has proven that when any civilisation loses its morality compass then it is deemed to annihilation. So maybe this is something to consider.

    Racism, yes! Exists. Then again it’s all over the globe so can’t really hold this against Australia, but given it advertises itself as a multi cultured country then this is questionable!

    Sexism! Women seem to be the boss! Gender equality is great, but Australia couldn’t keep it balanced. So if you are a selfish woman then Australia is great! If you are a rich selfish woman then Australia is haven, but don’t forget, the man across the road could be a garbage collector who can hardly read or write.

    Australia has a big BIG drugs and gambling issues. It’s a can of warms people here try to avoid. But really Australia, you have a drugs/gambling problem! This has a direct reflection on the daily life here, people are depressed and unhappy which is why they need drugs. This may have ties to the low morality standards.

    How long will Australia last as is? Australia has already entered its decline stage (since the 90’s) and its on its way to limbo, so unless external experts intervene it will keep declining to its death. So are most of the commonwealth countries.

    So bottom line is, if you have nothing then come to Australia “for a while only”. if you have anything, and I mean anything! Even good qualifications, then run away as far as you can from Australia or any commonwealth country.

  28. It’s called ‘Nanny state’ and that’s why so many have left the country trying to make it overseas. Mentioned this the other day – without American/European culture – Film/TV/Music, hell even Halloween we would be pretty bored…
    The alcoholism I think stems from boredom too.
    “The decline started in the 90s” if your referring to immigration…it’s way bigger than I was at school.

  29. Thank you Hazem and Josh for stating something I have been saying for a while. This country has been in decline since the 1990s. Australia is like the Titanic-a sinking ship. Leave before you drown. This country is full of selfish, angry and mean spirited people. There is so much bullying in the workplace and education system. Immigration yes is out of control but Europeans are not the ones coming here anymore. Only those from the third world.We are already turning into a third world country. Melbourne where I live already was years ago. I would leave this land if I had the financial means.

  30. I agree with everyone who had some negative views on Australia. It’s boring and so white and not to mention how isolated it is. There’s a massive lack of diversity here. It’s no wonder mental illness here is a big thing and just keep rising. I DREAM of leaving this country.

  31. Ive lived in Sydney my whole life – 50 years. It has gone from being a very laid back city which was very affordable to a very stressful rat race. People in Sydney work their entire lives away so that they can keep living here to keep working their entire lives away. People who own property here are too scared to leave because once you sell and leave you get priced out of the market and can never return. Sydney siders basically live in a self imposed financial prison. The 70s-early noughties were a great time for night life. It was a wild party city and felt very free. You could go clubs and parties for 3 days straight if you so desired. Sydney had a very wild arty party scene. Thats all changed. The nightlife here now leaves a lot to be desired. Police initimidation and dogs, lockout laws and hideous thuggish security do not a fun night make. Not to mention a lot of very aggressive macho drunks who populate the scene these days and the ever looming threat of being coward punched or glassed for no particular reason. Dont get me started on the politics. The Australian people basically have to fight their own government to try and get anything done. Why? because like many governments ours is controlled by greedy , corrupt, delusional psychopaths who only care about lining their own coffers. NSW is an over regulated nanny state. Its hard to leave your home without ending up having to spend money in some way. A 2 hour trip to the blue mountains will cost you approx $25 each way in tolls. The authorities have a big presence everywhere here and raise revenue every way they can. Ive wanted to get out for a long time. I was here for the hey day and it was a fabulous place to live. The only thing I like about it now is the beach.

  32. I came here after searching about Australia is boring. I am South Asian and have lived most of my life in my country. To me Australia is a place for witnessing wildlife and some outback travel. I do not think it could be fascinating in any way by living or working there. I have experience of living in Europe and I enjoyed my time living, studying and working there. Europe is affordable, tolerant, peaceful, multicultural and very conscious about future and well-being of its citizens. It has forward looking approach and resilience that make it a good place for person of any colour. If I had more money, I would prefer to live in countries of Europe or Asia.

  33. It is kind of funny hearing about how apparently white Australians are racist. From my experience at least it seems that the indigenous and some foreigners are far more racist than the white people of Australia. In school I remember constantly being given hell by indigenous students. They used to make everything hell, spitting on me, ripping up my bag and chucking it out into the bushes in the poring rain so all my school books would be wet and ruined, and whenever I tried to defend myself they would accuse me of being racist (as I’m white and they were indigenous). And the teachers didn’t really ever help. When I did tell teachers about this, the indigenous would just sook up to the teacher and talk about the fact they were (mostly) poor, and then changed the story to make me the bad guy (as I was also significantly larger than they were).

  34. Also, Australia, geographically, politically and every other perspective you could think about is simply boring. There is nothing interesting about this place. Nothing ever happens. And to also know that about the history this country has is the aboriginal culture, (nothing against aboriginals, however there are horrible individuals in every race), but considering I am not indigenous I can’t really be a part of that. There just isn’t anything to take pride in Australia. People in the USA can take pride in the fact that they have the strongest military in the world, the fact that they’ve been to the moon and back. The UK and France can admire its interesting history to learn from. There just isn’t really that much to be proud of in Australian history, other than ANZAC, but there isn’t really anything else. Australia only really leads in one thing, and it’s not science, technology and peaceful culture, it’s shark attacks. Australia holds the record for fatalities from shark attacks between 1900 and now or something like that.

  35. I am originally from the UK but I have barely lived there as an adult. I love nature and wild places. I have lived the last 10 years in Norway – apparently one of the best countries in the world to live in – but I can’t stand it anymore. I dream of relocating to Australia, but is it that bad now? I lived there in 2004. No country is perfect, even the perfect Nordic society has many many flaws: Awful dark miserable weather most of the year, an antisocial, reserved, introverted and rude society that makes you feel unworthy when nobody says hello, thank you or smiles when you pass on a hike, ridiculously expensive etc – you think Australia is expensive, have you been to Norway?! I crave an English speaking nation that has beautiful nature, sunshine and a warm and outgoing society….where is it?

    1. I have been to Norway, a few times. I remember getting very upset over the price of food, particularly after paying something like 35 dollars for a small plate of underwhelming nachos at Oslo airport! I love Australia – the wildlife, nature, people, the weather except in summer. I don’t think any place is perfect but you can find the perfect place for you.

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