Destination Guide >> Australia
The Australian lifestyle is envied the world over. Offering some of the best beaches and spectacular landscapes, incredibly diverse wildlife, and dynamic cosmopolitan cities, it’s no wonder Australia is becoming a popular choice for digital nomads – and for a fact, we ranked Melbourne in top 3 when listing the best places for digital nomads.
Australia is also a safe and stable country with high wages and a robust economy – the opportunities are truly endless.
This nomad guide is right for you if you want to join the digital nomad community in Australia. Continue reading as we uncover all the important information you’ll need before embarking on your journey.
Weather by month
1. What are my visa options in Australia as a digital nomad?
The most important factor about coming to Australia as a digital nomad is ensuring that you have the appropriate visa to carry out your work.
While each visa has its own special requirements that need to be considered, here are some options to get your research started:
Visitor Visa, eVisitor, Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
For short-term travel, the Visitor visas are generally the simplest visas to obtain in Australia as they have quick processing times and low application fees. If you hold a passport from an ETA or eVisitor eligible country, these visas will allow for multiple entries and permit stays of up to three, six, or 12 months. Other passport holders can apply for the Visitor Subclass 600 visa.
Each of these visas is granted with Condition 8101, which states that “the holder must not engage in work in Australia.” This means that you will not be able to work for an employer operating in Australia, but you can work online for a foreign employer – as long as you only intend to reside in Australia temporarily.
Each application is assessed on its own merits, so it is advised that digital nomads declare their online work arrangements in their application.
Working Holiday Visa
This is a long-term visa that allows visitors to work and live in Australia for one year.
You must be between 18 and 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries such as Canada or France) in order to qualify.
While most people use this visa to fund their travels with casual employment with an Australian business, immigration policies state that these visa holders are also allowed to work for a foreign business not operating in Australia, which makes it a great choice for a digital nomad visa in Australia.
2. What is the cost of living in Australia as a digital nomad?
The cost of living in Australia is not cheap, with prices expected to rise over the next year. However, you can live modestly by making the right financial choices, adopting good spending habits, and being aware of your currency conversions. It also helps that Australia maintains the highest minimum wage in the world at $21.38 per hour – if you intend to work remotely for an Australian employer during your stay.
While the cost of living varies between the capital cities and regional areas, the estimated national monthly average of a single individual is $1365.70 excluding rent. We’ve outlined some of the basic costs to consider, as well as an average budget for each. In Australia, the rent is quoted by the week.
- Accommodation – $375 – $520 per week
- Groceries – $140 – $160 per week
- Gas and electricity – $150 – $210 per month
- Internet – $68 – $73 per month
- Public transport – $15 – $55 per week
- Coworking space – $380 – $470 per month
- Cup of coffee – $4 – $7 per standard size
- Medical and health insurance – $55 – $105 per month
You’ll also need to factor in entertainment, eating out, and any other social activities you may be interested in during your time in Australia.
3. The best cities in Australia for digital nomads
Where you choose to base yourself as a digital nomad in Australia will depend entirely on what type of lifestyle you desire. Are you a fan of coffee, culture, and incredible food? Then you’ll love living in Melbourne. Do you want to spend your free time exploring rainforests and diving on the Great Barrier Reef? Cairns is the place for you.
We’ll highlight six of the best cities for digital nomads:
Iconic landmarks, incredible beaches, and other unforgettable experiences are just a few of the reasons why you should consider Sydney as your base. It also has some of the best weather in the country.
- Cost of living: $1,506.00 excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 52.30Mbps
There’s culture around every corner with the love of coffee and art running deep in Melbourne. The social calendar is also always full, with plenty of events and festivals for you to attend.
- Cost of living: $1,444.79 excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 52.53Mbps
Not only is Brisbane one of the most vibrant cities in Australia, it is also the launchpad for spectacular coastal regions, especially if you love to surf (Think Gold Coast)
- Cost of living: $1,404.43 excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 52.41Mbps
Embrace a laid back, tropical lifestyle in regional Queensland. You’ll have both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep.
- Cost of living: $1,501.35 excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 47.85Mbps
Known for its world-class wine alongside an unspoiled coastline with world class surf breaks. This underrated spot is becoming a popular choice for digital nomads seeking adventure.
- Cost of living: $1,359.46 excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 47.79Mbps
Hobart is full of natural wonders and locals with a strong sense of community. It combines all the advantages of a modern city with a more relaxed way of life, which is perfect for digital nomads wanting to take it slow.
- Cost of living: $1,389.59A$ excl. rent
- Avg. Internet speed: 49.97Mbps
4. Working remotely from Australia
When you set up a base in any one of the amazing cities around Australia, like-minded people can be found everywhere. There are various co-working spaces available where you can either grab yourself a hot desk just as you need or sign up for a dedicated desk on a monthly basis. There are plenty of membership options to choose from. These shared spaces are perfectly equipped for remote professionals and naturally attract many digital nomads.
Where to work from?
Coworker is a fantastic resource to find the best co-working spaces across Australia. These are some of our favourite options:
However, if you do not have the budget for a membership, you can always settle for some of the cafés that offer Wi-Fi access instead. There are apps such as Workfrom that help you locate cafés and restaurants to best suit your needs.
How to meet other nomads?
When it comes to connecting with others, social media is a great tool. Try to join several Facebook groups where digital nomads discuss their thoughts and ideas, share recommendations or organize meet ups in the area. You can also use an APP like MeetUp to find new friends with whom you have passions in common.
In conclusion, whether you decide to start your own business, work remotely or freelance from the road as a digital nomad in Australia, it could well be the best decision you’ll ever make. We hope that this guide has been helpful for you and provided some clarity as you start your digital nomad journey in the Land Down Under.