Life in Australia: People, Culture and Lifestyle

Life in Australia: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Image Source: Swissotel Sydney

Australia, an incredibly beautiful place on earth, is the smallest continent and the sixth-largest country in the world, with three different time zones.  It is located in the Southern Hemisphere between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Officially called ”the Commonwealth of Australia”, it is a dry country with one-third of its region occupied by desert. The population of Australia as of 2021 stands at 25 million, and 30% of its resident population are immigrants. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, a social and economic progress survey, Australia is ranked second-best globally for its overall quality of life. 

Australian people, commonly addressed as Aussies, give utmost importance to leisure time. Aussies take advantage of the warm and sunny climate and spend most of their free time outdoors. Be it spending time in the sun, sand, beaches, or going camping or bushwalking, Aussies are outdoorsy by nature. Almost 90% of the Australians live close to the coast with access to beautiful beaches. Aussies work hard during the week and indulge in fun and frolic over the weekend. Australia is technologically advanced and thus provides its population with excellent amenities, free healthcare, world-class education, housing, jobs, security and above-average income and perks. Let us dive deep and learn more about what life in Australia is like. 

Quick Facts about Australia

Life in Australia: Sydney NSW, Australia

Image Source: Australia Map 360

Here are some important facts and figures about Australia that will give you a quick glimpse of the nation. 

  • Official Name: Commonwealth of Australia 
  • Type of Government: Democracy 
  • Population: 25,920,795 (2021) 
  • Capital City: Canberra 
  • Official Language: English 
  • Currency: Australian Dollar (1 Australian Dollar = 53.19 Indian Rupees) 
  • Major Religion: Christianity 
  • Total Land Area: 7,692,024 sq. km. 
  • Main Climatic Zones: Tropical (hot, humid and wet all year round); Arid – Hot and dry throughout the year; Temperate (experiences four seasons throughout the year – summer, autumn, winter and spring) 
  • Largest Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra 
  • Terrain: Mostly low desert plateau, fertile plains in the southeast and mountain ranges in the east and the southeast 
  • Australian States: Six States – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania 
  • Territories: The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (which contains Canberra)

Quality of Life in Australia

According to the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index (HDI) Ranking, Australia is ranked among the top 10 destinations globally for its high quality of life. HDI is a statistical composition of factors like purchasing power index, life expectancy, education index, per capita income, healthcare index, safety index, pollution index, climate index, traffic commute index, etc. The quality of life in Australia is very high as measured by these factors. Free education through public schools, free and quality healthcare, high-paying jobs, excellent infrastructure, access to basic amenities like food, water and housing, pollution level, safety standards, life contentment, etc., determine the superior quality of life in Australia. 

The below statistical index depicts the quality of life in Australia based on various factors:

Purchasing Power Index 105.84 High
Safety Index 56.15 Moderate
Health Care Index 78.17 High
Climate Index 92.7 Very High
Cost of Living Index 75.13 High
Property Price to Income Ratio 7.01 Low
Traffic Commute Time Index 34.83 Low
Pollution Index 23.89 Low

Quality of Life Index:

184.71

Very High

Source: Numbeo

History, Culture, People of Australia

Aboriginal Australians: History, Culture, People of Australia

Source: Culture Trip

Aboriginal Australians (the Indigenous people of the Australian mainland and its islands) have lived in Australia for over 50,000 years, which means that the living cultural history of Australia is the oldest in the world. Australia was first sighted in 1606 by the Dutch and was later claimed by Captain Cook in 1770 for Great Britain. In 1788, the ”First Fleet” of ships from Great Britain arrived at Botany Bay and established New South Wales as a penal colony. In 1817, the British governor of New South Wales formally gave it the name “Australia.” 

Post World War I, the term ”Aussie” was used to refer to the Australian-born British or Irish people. After World War II, there was a massive influx of immigrants to Australia, which contributed to the multicultural diverse Australian population. Australia thus became a diverse, multicultural country with people from 270 ancestries. 

Learn more about the people, history and culture of Australia. 

Cost of Living in Australia

Cost of Living in Australia

Source: Unsplash

The cost of living in Australia is relatively higher than in other countries. It is one of the most expensive countries to live in the world. The living expenditure in Australia is 9% higher than that of the United States of America. Monthly living expenses for a family of four members would be around $5,000 on an average (including rent). This can vary based on the city or region. Cost of living would include rent, food, household upkeep, insurance, commuting expenditure, and other miscellaneous expenses. 

Learn more about the cost of living in Australia from an international student’s perspective. 

Food Culture in Australia

Food Culture in Australia: Brunch with Beer

Source: Unsplash

Australian cuisine is highly influenced by the British and Irish. Love for tea and beer, typical lunch and dinner menu of steak and vegetables, puddings and pies, etc., was passed on by the British to Aussies. However, with multiple ethnicities inhabiting Australia post World War II, the Australian taste buds are now influenced by other cuisines such as Thai, Chinese, Italian, Lebanese, Greek, Mediterranean, French, Indian, and other popular food groups.

Some of the iconic and popular foods of Australia are: 

  • Vegemite toast
  • Meat pies
  • Fish and Chips
  • Lamingtons
  • Sausages
  • Barramundi
  • Tim Tams
  • Fairy Bread
  • Chicken Parmigiana
  • Pavlova
  • Chiko rolls 

Sports & The Australian Identity

Australian Football League (AFL)

Source: Melbourne Sports Tours

Nothing is more valuable to Aussies than sports. Sports play an integral role in defining the Australian identity. Australians have overwhelming love and affection for sports, to play as well as to watch. Spectator sports like Australian Rules football, soccer, Rugby Union, Rugby League and Horse Racing attract large crowds, but Australian Rules football draws the biggest crowd. As per the famous Australian journalist Donald Horne’s saying, “Sport to many Australians is life, and the rest a shadow.” 

Some of the popular sports of Australia:

  • Australian Rules Football
  • Cricket
  • American Football
  • National Rugby League
  • Golf
  • Rugby Union
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Rugby League

Outdoor Activities - Work Hard, Play Hard!!

Sky Diving at Rottnest Island, Perth

Source:  My Guide Perth

Aussies believe in the concept of “work hard, play hard.” Australians love to create a perfect work-life balance by working hard during the week and enjoy doing things they love over the weekends. Australian work culture allows people to get adequate time off from work, enjoy leisurely activities, and pursue their passions. A typical weekend of Australians is spent either going to a sporting event, spending time with family, throwing a barbeque party in the backyard, going to the cinemas, sunbathing at the beaches, socializing with friends and family, or indulging in outdoor activities. 

Aussies are outdoorsy by heart and soul. The sunny warm climate encourages Australians to go camping, swim in the ocean, bushwalking (hiking), fishing, surfing, kayaking, and indulge in adrenaline-filled adventure sports. Australia is home to beautiful natural wonders and stunning landscapes that present numerous options for outdoor activities. Here are some of the famous natural wonders and weekend getaways of Australia: 

Popular Attractions Activities (Things to Do)
Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling, scuba diving
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Camel tour, hiking, biking, skydiving
The Twelve Apostles Hike along the Great Ocean Walk, helicopter ride
Ningaloo Reef Swimming with sharks, sunset cruise, snorkelling
The Blue Mountains Hiking, skiing, biking, rock climbing, canoeing
Fraser Island Visit the attractions, swimming, driving
Bungle Bungle Range Explore the ranges, camping, guided tours
Kakadu National Park Bushwalking, bird watching, cruising, swimming
Lake Hillier Helicopter ride, cruising
The Pinnacles Driving, Walking, Exploring

The Party Hub - Events & Celebrations in Australia

New Year's Even Fireworks at Sydney Harbour Bridge

Source: OZ EDM

The calendar of Australia is filled with exciting events, festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Australian locals and tourists come together in harmony to celebrate art, culture, music, food and sports. Be it a sporting event like the Australian Open in Melbourne, the New Year event in Sydney, Riverfire in Brisbane, or the famous Adelaide festival, Australia celebrates public holidays like no tomorrow. 

Below are some of Australia’s celebrated events and festivals: 

  • New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney
  • Australian Open in Melbourne
  • Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney
  • Adelaide Fringe Festival
  • Riverfire in Brisbane
  • AFL Grand Final in Melbourne
  • Melbourne Cup Day, across Australia
  • Chinese New Year, across Australia

Education in Australia

Graduation Day at Australian National University

Source: Australian National University

The Australian academic system is one of the best in the world, ranked in the top 10 global destinations for quality of education. The schooling encompasses three levels – primary, secondary and tertiary education. The Government of Australia provides state-funded education for its children through the public school system. Australian citizens and permanent residents can benefit from free education by attending public schools up until secondary school. Universities charge a tuition fee for college education; however, students can make use of public or private-funded scholarships.

Conclusion

While we have covered Australian history, culture, food, education system, people and their typical way of life, there are so many other aspects that influence daily life in Australia. The free healthcare system, first-class infrastructure and amenities, cleanliness, low pollution level, housing facilities, safety and security, high income and perks, etc., are other factors that people living in Australia enjoy. Locals and tourists are more often enraptured by the breathtaking beauty of Australia’s natural wonders, beaches, mountains, lakes, tropical forests, and stunning geographical formations. High-standard lifestyle, adrenaline-filled outdoor activities, diverse, multicultural community, friendly people, et al., make Australia a wonderful country to live in.

Here is a detailed article on the best places to visit in Australia. 

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