The most livable cities from coastal Australia offer a variety of lifestyle options. They’re a popular choice for people on work visas who want to enjoy classic beach living or spectacular landscapes.

In Melbourne, graffiti-lined laneways and a vibrant culture create a youthful ambiance. A cosmopolitan population also thrives in Darwin, where heritage buildings coexist with a gleaming waterfront.

1. Byron Bay

Byron Bay, an epicenter of alternative culture and one of the most livable cities from coastal Australia, is a beach idyll with a bohemian flair. Today, its esplanade is lined with upmarket hotels and restaurants, while the back streets are packed with more budget-conscious places to drink and dine.

Backpackers and yogis add to the mix, as well as celebrities seeking a relaxed lifestyle. The town’s heavenly beaches (including Main Beach, Clarkes Beach, and Wategos Beach) are popular for swimming and surfing. For a dose of nature, check out Cape Byron Lighthouse and the Byron Bay Walk, a 2.3-mile (4 km) looping hiking track with rainforest and clifftop views. Byron Bay is also a hub for local music and hosts a variety of festivals.

2. Eden

Famous for its white sand beaches and whale-watching, Eden combines coastal living with a relaxed lifestyle. You can swim at Ourie Pool and grab a coffee in Werri Beach before tasting local produce at the farmers’ markets or calling into vineyard cellar doors.

The town of Bellingen on the Mid North Coast offers small-town charm with a family feel and access to Dorrigo National Park’s lush rainforest. Its artisan bakery and hip brewery are just two of the many local draws, while its thriving arts scene means weekends are busy with markets, events, and a lively festival calendar.

Ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, Melbourne’s live music and jam-packed event calendar make for a fun place to live for active nomads. Its inner suburbs are home to a range of international restaurants and standout cafes.

3. Lorne

The coastal retreat of Lorne is adored for its magnificent stretch of beach along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, and the scenic views of Erskine Falls in nearby Great Otway National Park. It also has a spirited arts community, with the town hosting an annual music festival featuring artists like Iggy Pop and Courtney Barnett. The local Qdos Arts is a good place to check out the changing exhibits and outdoor sculpture park.

Sydney is Australia’s most famous city and a major draw for visitors, but it’s also a great option for those seeking to live abroad in a big city. With efficient public transportation and a wide range of employment options, including specialized careers and year-long work visas, it offers something for everyone. The city’s cafe culture is thriving, and the city is home to many cultural events.

4. Goolwa

The Ngarrindjeri word goolwa’ means ‘elbow’, an apt name for this historic river port at the point where the Murray River meets the Southern Ocean. Today, it’s a thriving tourist destination with front row seats to epic Coorong sunsets and a modern beach-side lifestyle.

Explore the river port’s handsome heritage-listed sandstone buildings, stroll along a redeveloped wharf precinct and wander the thriving market under Norfolk Island pines for second-hand books, collectables and handmade fashion accessories. Then, ride the ‘Cockle Train’, a train line that connects Goolwa to Victor Harbor on Australia’s oldest steel-railed railway built in 1887.

For the best of the region’s produce head to the town’s farmers markets. Alternatively, take a daytrip out into the Coorong on a paddle steamer or cruise the Murray River to spot pelicans and seals.

5. Brisbane

Australia is a highly desirable location for many migrants, with its beautiful beaches, diverse landscapes, and professional culture that promotes work-life balance. Its friendly and relaxed lifestyle is envied around the world, and it’s no wonder why Melbourne and Adelaide rank so well in the Global Liveability Index.

Discover secluded snorkelling spots, hand-feed wild dolphins or explore shipwrecks on Brisbane’s idyllic islands. If you’re looking to get some retail therapy, stroll along pedestrian-only shopping streets and browse small neighbourhood boutiques and market stalls.

You can also enjoy the city’s many restaurants and cafes that offer cuisine from all around the world, including Asian and European influences. With Melbourne’s thriving economy, the demand for local and international relocation services is high, making it easy for migrants to settle down and make the city their home.