Living in Sydney (What It’s Like)

by Nick & Raychel
living in sydney australia
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In the past few years, we’ve been so lucky to live in different cities around the world like Toronto, Vancouver, Phnom Penh, the Okanagan and Sydney. Now, in a time of reflection, we are looking back on all these amazing places we’ve been so lucky to live. So alas, let’s talk about the pros & cons of living in Sydney.
We moved to Sydney from Canada in 2018 on a Working Holiday Visa. Of course, everything in this article based on our opinions and experiences. We also believe it’s important to mention that we moved to Sydney after having lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a year, as we believe that impacted our perspective. 

High quality of life in Australia

As you probably know, Australia is a country where people generally live high quality lives. Living in Sydney (or Australia in general) typically means reaping the benefits of a developed country.
The drinking water is clean, the education system is fantastic, and the medical system is amazing. It’s all around a lovely, safe, clean place to live.
Depending on what your circumstance is, if you’re thinking about moving abroad for the first time, Australia is a great choice. It’s well set-up, it’s safe, it’s clean, its beautiful. Many expats settle in well, since it’s not a hard country to adjust to.

It’s easy to find an apartment in Sydney

Because there are a lot of expats there, we found it very easy to find an apartment (multiple apartments) while living in Sydney. 
There’s no shortage of finding a place to live, whether you want to live by yourself, whether you want to live with roommates, a place by the beach or something more expensive, or less expensive. There’s tons of options because there’s so many expats in and out of the city.
It’s a traveler’s paradise, so there are a lot of options for places that you can just pick up a lease and live there.
We found Sydney to be a really inviting city in general. It wasn’t very hard at all to find an apartment. It’s not very hard to make other friends that are expats. We lived in a house actually at one point that had a whole bunch of different travellers in it – and the city is full of those types of arrangements.

There is a wide variety of really good food

Because of the rich diversity in Sydney, there is no shortage of great food from all over the world.
Like many big cities, there are a lot of food options in general! Cheap food, expensive food, street eats, anything! Seriously. Anything you are craving, you will be able to find. 
And when it comes to living in Sydney- that is a huge pro in our books.

Sydney offers an amazing mix of city and nature

You never really feel like you’re in a big stinky city while living in Sydney, because you are surrounded by so much nature! Beautiful beaches, hikes, and parks – Sydney really has you covered when it comes to getting your nature fix.
Within Sydney alone, there are well over 100 beaches, and you are always a bus/train ride away from beautiful destinations like the Blue Mountains or Kangaroo Valley.

A fantastic transit system

Some locals may laugh at us. I know some of my colleagues sure did when I *constantly* commented on how efficient the transit system is within Sydney.
The transport system consists of trains, buses, ferries and the light rail – and they all work together to get you around (and out of!) the city as efficiently as possible. 

The jobs pay well & the market is great

Like finding an apartment, we found job hunting in Sydney pretty easy to do. There were a few things we wished we knew before moving there, but once we got the hang of the job market, we had jobs within 48 hours. 
The pay in Australia in comparison to (especially) Canada or the US is really high. The pay is really high. The minimum wage alone is very high, and we found that actually many entry-level positions pay higher than minimum wage.
For example, in Ontario (Canada), the minimum wage is $14 and MANY employers pay $14 an hour, a lot. In Sydney, the minimum wage is $19.49, but many employers are willing to pay more than that – even in coffee shops, restaurants, and other service positions.Of course, you have to take in consideration the conversion rate, but we think it’s important to mention.
The best part is that we found jobs in our field – with ease – and high pay. Not much gets better than that.

We can’t deny that Sydney is expensive 

All that said about the wages, they do match how expensive the city is. Especially if you’re planning on going out and having drinks at the bar or just doing recreational activities that typically cost money.
Sydney is expensive. We can’t deny that. We do believe our wages matched how expensive the city was, however, and we never struggled with money while living in Australia.
Most employers understand that you’re in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Hey, if that’s our only downside (and it’s not really a downside since the wages are so good), we can’t complain.
Have you ever lived in Sydney? Let us know what you thought about it!

What about the nitty gritty stuff about moving to Australia? Find our article here.

or read here: the SURPRISING costs of moving to Australia & everything we did wrong 


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