Cheapest Places to Live in Australia in 2021

Do you ever wonder how it feels to live in The Land Down Under? What would it be like to be a part of an open country that offers many opportunities with its ever-growing economy? Besides being a young country, Australia is where diverse cultures meet. Many people from different countries dream of moving to Australia in the hope of having a better future. No wonder the United Nations’ International Migrant Stock 2019 listed Australia in the Top 10 countries with the most immigrants.

5 Cheapest Places to Live in Australia

If like many others, you are considering the idea of emigrating to Australia, you would need to know the best places to live there for new immigrants. You might have heard that the cost of living is expensive in the popular cities there, but we have researched the top five places in the country that offer affordable yet a high-quality standard of living.


Bursting with culture, events, entertainment, and flavor, Adelaide is regarded as Australia’s food and wine capital. The city can offer you world-class experiences without getting caught up in the crowds of big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

With a population of around 1.3 million, it is considered the 5th largest city in the country. Aside from enjoying its vast layout, clean and green atmosphere, wherever you choose to live in Adelaide, the beach is very accessible. The city’s metropolitan area spans around 100 km along the waterfront of Southern Australia. 

A popular attraction in Adelaide is the historic beachside suburb of Glenelg. There are also Banksia Park, Belair, and Aberfoyle Park known to be family-friendly suburbs.

Between the months of October and April, the average temperatures go over 22°C giving Adelaide residents long, dry summers for seven months. June, July, and August are the coolest and wettest months of the year.

Adelaide prides a flourishing economy. The city’s major industries include public administration, education and training, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail.

Aside from being the cheapest place to live in Australia with 2100 AUD/month estimated living costs, the city has many opportunities to offer to people who are thinking about moving to Australia.


The city of Cairns in northern Queensland lies some 2500 km north of Adelaide. It is most well known for being the gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns’ population is around 150,000. The city is surrounded by the shores of the Coral Sea and thick rainforest. It best fits people who enjoy diving or snorkeling. The city has that international vibe with a laid-back atmosphere. This is attributable to its huge popularity with tourists from other parts of the world. Cairns is actually a major stop on the Australian backpacker trail.

The climate in Cairns is very different from the cities south of Australia. It is a tropical place with some torrential downpours running from late November through May due to the monsoon season. The coolest month is July and for the rest of the year, temperatures stay warm throughout.

Still, a very affordable place to live, Cairn has estimated living costs of 2125 AUD/month. For people who are moving to Australia and are avoiding the big city but love the outdoor lifestyle, Cairns would be a great choice for them.

Sunshine Coast

Just north of Brisbane, stretching around 60 km along the Queensland coastline, the Sunshine Coast is the third cheapest city to live in Australia. It is the 9th largest urban area in Australia and home to over 300,000 people.

Sunshine Coast boasts of famous attractions such as an underwater marine park and Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Each year, the city attracts tourists of around 10 times its population!

The Sunshine Coast boasts a sunny climate. Seasonal variation is lesser and extreme days of heat or torrential rainfall are fewer. The place has a mild year-round climate. The average temperatures are between 20°C and 30°C throughout the year. Compared to Sydney and Perth, the annual rainfall is greater in Sunshine Coast.

With estimated living costs of 2175 AUD/month, Sunshine Coast is one of the most popular destinations for those emigrating to Australia. The city’s abundance of beaches combined with its warm weather are key factors in captivating so many people to its shores.


Home to the famous Aussie Rules team, Victoria’s Second City, Geelong, is probably mostly known in Australia as a sports-mad country. 

The center of life in Geelong is the waterfront. The city has lots of easy to reach beaches, a pretty marina, and an art deco boardwalk. Although it is a smaller place, people who live there have easy access to big-city attractions since it is only an hour away from the heart of Melbourne.

Compared to other parts of Australia, a cooler climate can be experienced in the state of Victoria. It has four distinct seasons like in Europe. During the winter months, temperatures have been known to drop below the freezing point. From the months of December to March, with average highs between 22 and 25°C, warm weather can be expected in the city.

Estimated living costs are still cheap at 2175 AUD/month, Geelong is a good option for anyone emigrating to Australia who is looking to live somewhere in a smaller population city with a more local flavor.


Located on the coast just like most cities in Australia, with sandy beaches spread out across Perth’s extending suburbs.

As a part of the large state of Western Australia, Perth is quite an isolated place. It is the only city in the state and it is far away from anywhere else in the country. Reaching the major East Coast metropolises like Brisbane and Sydney requires four hours airplane ride. This is the city’s main disadvantage.

Perth has a distinct seasonal climate. Residents can expect very little rainfall and a lot of sunshine during the months of December to March. The average highs are recorded at 30°C. During winter, from June to August, temperatures regularly exceed 20°C even in the year’s coldest period.

At cheap estimated living costs of 2200 AUD/month, Perth is the best place for artists and art enthusiasts moving to Australia. The city is a leading center for arts and culture with a vibrant music scene as well as a wide range of theatres and galleries.

Obtaining an Australian Visa

Moving to Australia means being able to enjoy the quality of life the country has to offer with its great economy. Knowing the benefits of living there such as safety and security and the generous pension benefits for its workforce, there is no doubt that many would seek to apply for a work visa or Australian permanent residency visa in order to fulfill their dreams of emigrating to Australia.

As one of the solutions to the skill shortages in Australia, skilled individuals or families moving to Australia may apply for the General Skilled Migration Program to obtain a permanent visa. Aside from being the quickest and easiest, the program is the also most common way to begin the working visa application process.

The Process

Within the General Skilled Migration Program, visas are points tested and are either family-sponsored, State / Territory sponsored, or independent Australian permanent residency visas. The program is categorized into four subclasses namely: the Skilled Nominated visa – subclass 190, Skilled Independent visa – subclass 189, Skilled Regional visa – subclass 887, and Skilled Work Regional visa (Provisional) – subclass 491. 

Subclasses 189 (Points Tested Stream), 190, and 491 requires the applicant to be under 45 years old, reach immigration profile points of 65 or more, pass a skills assessment, meet language requirements, and meet health and character requirements.

As an additional requirement, the applicant must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency for both subclasses 190 and 491. Subclass 189 (New Zealand Stream) requires the following additional requirements for a person with the plan of moving to Australia: hold a New Zealand Special Category – Subclass 444 Visa, has lived in Australia for 5 years, and meet the taxable income requirements.

On the other hand, Subclass 887 calls for the following to be satisfied by the applicant: meet the residency, work, language, and health and character requirements, be in Australia during application for this visa, be in Australia on a Subclass 489, 495, 496, 475 and 487 visas or on bridging visas A or B after applying for the Subclass 489, 495, or 487 visas.

For younger people who do not meet the requirements for an Australian permanent residency visa, a great way for them to visit Australia is with a Working Holiday visa. Those who are between the ages of 18 and 30 years old can apply for this type of visa but for temporary work only. It allows entry to the country for up to 12 months. The visa holder can perform incidental work for any employer other than the government. Until the age of 35, Canadian, Irish, and French passport holders may apply for a working holiday visa in Australia.

Getting Started

Ready to move to Australia? Discover your options for Australian immigration with certified immigration consultants today! UIS Australia provides immigration services which include visa eligibility assessments, document preparation, legal assistance, C.V optimization, access to job searching tools, and more.

Click the button below for an assessment and consultation today.

Ron Ford

Ron Ford immigrated with his family to Australia in 2005 to work as a social worker. Following their difficult immigration process, he slowly turned to blogging and creating content about immigration: "…As a family of 5, we struggled to make ends meet. I was working around the clock and Clarissa was working in housekeeping any time she could spare. The move to Australia completely changed our lives, but it cost us a lot of money, time, and tears. Ever since I've wanted to help others on their journeys the way I wished someone had helped us".

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