Where to live in Australia? Canberra v Hobart

Author: KU Legal

Published: 24 Jan, 2023

For those of you who are planning to move down under, you may be wondering which is the best city or state to live in.

Over the next few weeks, you will find our take on each of the States and Territories, and their capital cities for your information.

Canberra v Hobart

This week we are focusing on two cities on the eastern side of Australia. Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, still part of Australia, despite some people‘s questioning! Canberra is not only the capital of one of two territories in Australia but is also the capital city of Australia.

Why Canberra?

The Australian Capital Territory (“ACT”) is situated south of Sydney, north of Melbourne and is surrounded by the state of New South Wales. It was established as the capital of Australia to avoid the dispute between Sydney and Melbourne, back in 1913.

The Australian Parliament and most of the governmental bodies are based in Canberra, including the Department of Home Affairs. It is a small city but, given that it is the Australian capital city, pretty powerful!

Canberra is also home to the National Gallery of Australia and Questacon, an interactive Science and Technology Museum for children. A short driver from Canberra will take you back in to New South Wales for a visit to the beautiful Kosciusko National Park for snow sports, alpine hiking and mountain biking.

It is an inland city, quite unusual for Australia where most cities are based on the coast, and consequently can get very cold in winter and very hot in summer.

Why Hobart?

Hobart, on the other hand, is based around a harbour and you are never very far from the water wherever you are in Hobart.

Although Hobart is found on an island – Tasmania – away from the mainland of Australia, it is still a thriving community and economy, becoming more attractive to overseas property investors due to the reasonable cost of property on Tasmania compared to the mainland. With the population of just under 250,000, half of the population of the island, Hobart is where a lot of opportunities lie for non-Australians.

Again, being close to the water means that Hobart has a relatively mild weather system and, due to the amount of rain it does get, is a very green part of Australia.

Culturally, Hobart is a very attractive city, being the location of the unconventional MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, the Salamanca markets near the harbour and other great features worth visiting. Numerous festivals throughout the year are held in Hobart and the crowning glory being the location of the finish line of the Sydney – Hobart yacht race held between Christmas and New Year every year.

So, which one is the best?

It would depend on your requirements, the job that you do and what is attracting you to Australia.

Canberra has many opportunities in administration due to the parliament being based there, Hobart has so many draw cards, is a lovely small city with so much to do.

I recommend you check each of them out before making a decision on where you will settle.

Good luck with your move!

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