Which Aussie Cities Offer The Best Quality Of Life?

Which Aussie Cities Offer The Best Quality Of Life?

Listings that pit cities against each other as the best place to live tend to stimulate argument, and I suspect this one will be no exception. The 2011 Mercer Quality Of Living rankings rate Sydney as the best city in Australia to live in, and the 11th-best in the world.

Picture by Hector Garcia

Other Australian cities in the list: Melbourne (#18), Perth (#21), Canberra (#26), Adelaide (#30) and Brisbane (#37). But before any of us start feeling smug, note that Auckland came in at number #3.

The thing that made me laugh slightly in the announcement? The comment that Australian cities did well in the rankings because “because they have been continuously investing in infrastructure and public services”. Hit the link for the full table, and rankings of the world’s cities in terms of personal safety.



  • I think a large part of it comes from what you determine to be ‘quality of life’

    Personally, I live in Perth, and I find it (again, personally!) much better than Sydney or Melbourne. Yes, I love visiting Sydney and Melbourne, but every time I do there’s a part of me that just feels wrong somehow.

    A lot of it is to do with the larger population. I just feel claustrophobic with the huge crush of people. I work interstate in Melbourne / Sydney occasionally and even walking from my hotel I’m just surrounded by people.

    In Perth, I’ve never really felt that. And for me, that offsets the greater shopping / dining out / arts and entertainment options that Melbourne or Sydney would offer me.

    Give me the simple life?

  • It’s funny, but I’m the opposite to Robert (nothing wrong with that!) having grown up in Perth and moved east to Melbourne to avoid ‘the simple life’.

    Anyway, localvoices.realestate.com.au is a helpful site to help you find the best place to live in Australia because you can narrow down your search results based on your personal preferences like ‘Nightlife’ or ‘Peace & Quiet’.

  • if you like commuting +3hrs day, Sydney is your choice!

    Think most of us hates commuting, so wherever you can make a decent living, clean air, friendly neighbours, and close to family, most of us would be happy.

  • Went on holiday to Port Macquarie a little while ago – I can really understand why people retire there in droves! It’s cheap, there is natural beauty (beach and rainforest), there’s a whole heap of history and it’s just got the most relaxed atmosphere!
    The only downside is there seems to be a little bit of a shortage on decent, career-progressive jobs – such a shame, because if it weren’t for that, it would be a serious contending place for me to move to. 🙁

  • Surely they jest. They clearly haven’t lived here in Sydney.

    All that’s happening in Sydney is angst, congestion, expensive properties and south-western shootings. Adelaide has become more cosmopolitan since I left many years ago, and that place doesn’t even change much! Melbourne is now what Sydney was 10 years ago only with more speed cameras.

  • Sunshine Coast.
    Currently as Pt Cartright, Buddina. Great in many ways except Summer is very humid/hot. Autumn/Winter/Spring is awesome! Lucky we have the river and beach. Housing cost gets very expensive the closer you get the end of Carties. Everything you need is about 1min drive away. Maroochydore CBD is about 7mins drive.

  • forget cities. I moved from Brisbane to Ballina, nsw. now 2 mins to local shops. 5 to a shop ctr with major retailers like Coles, Kmart, bunnings, Dick Smith etc. short walk to quietand beautiful river front. pleasant 2Klm cycle along river to great beaches. even without the beaches, plenty of regional towns must be great alternatives to a life of three hour commutes in any city. of course you might have to get creative about finding a job in such places. or telecommute.

  • I live in a desirable Sydney suburb and here’s my take: it sucks. The public transport infrastructure sucks. The roads suck. The commute time to anywhere sucks. The public amenities suck. The cultural attractions suck and are some of the most expensive in the world. The sporting events suck and are extortionate as well. The shopping sucks.
    As compared to Melbourne it’s a wasteland. It’s just a shame Melbourne is stuck on a dreary bay with crummy weather. Move Melbourne to Brisbane and you might have a city in Australia worth living in 🙂

  • If Sydney isn’t a write off in terms of live-ability it will be in just a few years time. The congestion is only going to increase as the transport infrastructure starts to break down. So far Sydney-siders have just been experiencing a minor taste of what is to come.There’s a reason federal infrastructure money has been directed to every major city but Sydney in recent years – cut the losses and spend the money on places that may still have a chance…

  • Wow, lots of people from other cities defending theirs whilst Sydneysiders are quick to trash their city. I’ll chip in to counterbalance, I moved to Sydney six years ago and I love it, would not live anywhere else.

  • This needs to be looked at in context. You need to read the original report. This list is not about long-term liveability in a city ie which is the nicest city to live in. It is about the ‘quality of living’ not the ‘liveability’ The purpose is to provide international consulting firms with data to inform their decisions to send contract staff to those locations , and how much to remunerate them. Factors they look at are law and order, transport infastructure, ease of doing business etc. For this reason, Singapore ranks very highly, but I wouldn’t live there as I like to chew gum. Also, for most people liveability is about community amenities and whether you can get a job, but a house. These are not factors in this report as it analyses ‘quality of living’ for transient, high-paid consultants or government employees. You wouldn’t be out of place to rename the list as the ‘2011 list of most boring cities to live in’.

  • It’s all such a joke. The Mercer ranking on “best quality of life” has one result whilst The Economist ranking on “most livable city” has a very different result.

    What’s the difference?

    Every year we in Melbourne have news stories about the “most livable city” thing because every year its either Melbourne 1st and Vancouver 2nd, or the other way around. But what does it mean?

    How do they weigh crime against shopping/entertainment? Or education against public transport? Or housing cost against cultural tolerance?

    BTW, I love Melbourne, but I’m glad I live in the hills.

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