Living in Sydney

Welcome to Sydney, spectacularly spaced around its glorious harbour and beaches, Sydney has visual ‘WOW’ factor like few other cities in the world. As soon as you make the move to start exploring the surface of this wonderful metropolis and it will only get better!

Sydney, NSW

Sydney is the capital city in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Located on the country’s south-eastern coast, it is the largest city in Australia and with a stunning harbour and an international business district, Sydney is also one of the most important port cities in the South Pacific region.

With your first sight of Sydney, regardless if viewed from an airplane or boat, it is always magnificent! The city is overwhelmed by the Harbour Bridge, one of the longest steel-arch bridges in the world, and the equally as famous Opera House, with its arched white shell-shaped roofs that resemble the sails of the yachts that fill its harbour.


$70-$150 per week

Sydney is a multicultural city with migrants from all over the world. As a result, the food available in Sydney reflects this too. You can find virtually any country’s cuisine you desire here.

  • Different Sydney suburbs have built up reputations as ‘foodie locations’ for different cultural cuisines. For example, Cabramatta has a strong Vietnamese foodie culture, Harris Park is renowned for its Indian restaurants and Auburn in Sydney’s west concentrates on fragrant Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine.
  • The price of eating out in Sydney varies greatly from expensive 5-star restaurant prices to cheaper fast-food outlet type prices, and everything in between. A three-course meal for 2 people in a mid-priced Sydney restaurant would cost approximately $80 – $100.
  • To save money on the cost of living in Sydney I recommend buying your food from a supermarket or local food market and cooking it at home yourself.


$150-$350 per week

Depending on where you rent, weekly rent prices can be as low as $150 Australian dollars per week, shared accommodation is the cheapest option.

Average costs of rental accommodation can be between $130 to $350 per week in Sydney depending on lifestyle options and proximity to public transportation, central business districts and universities (for students).

Rental Contracts

All residential tenancies in NSW are covered by standard terms which cannot be altered. It is the landlords obligation to put the agreement in writing.

The standard form NSW Tenancy Agreement can be downloaded and used for free from the NSW Fair Trading website.

In NSW, this standard form Residential Tenancy Agreement should be used for agreements between:

      • Landlord and a tenant
      • Landlord and co-tenants
      • Head-tenant and sub-tenants

Click HERE for the NSW Standard Residential Agreement 

Accommodation Options 

Depending on your financial situation and whether you are a student or skilled migrant, there is never a shortage of accommodation options in Sydney! Students can choose to reside within university accommodation, homestay or private rentals. 

The most trusted and most popular search engines for rental (and sale) or properties in Australia are and


$25-$70 per week

Transport costs depend on how far you live from your University campus or office and how often you use public transport. Check the Transport NSW Opal Card website for more details.

Even with its diverse suburbs and attractions, Sydney is an easy city to get around. The metropolitan area offers a great network of public transport, roadways, and walking paths. Just hop on a bus, train or ferry and start exploring!

Transport New South Wales is well run and caters to all locations and attractions within & around the city. Click HERE for a link to their website.

Check the Transport NSW Opal Card website for more details.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Sydney ranks towards the higher-end in the list of Australian cities. It consistently ranks in the top 10 of the most expensive cities in the world. Thankfully for the residents of Sydney, this is balanced out by the high average salary amounts earned in NSW.

The basic costs of living in Sydney for one month can be around $1,800 AUD. This includes the cost of food, beverage, clothing, personal care and household items. Expat extras including the cost of a two-bedroom furnished apartment, a household help, an international school admission fee and a local language course would add an extra $2900 to this cost.

This city is, however, a must visit city, in a must visit country!

Sydney has a spectacular harbour, amazing opera house, great entertainment, beautiful beaches, wonderful climate, unique and abundant wildlife, stunning natural surroundings and very friendly people.

It also has an endless array of free outdoor activities you can enjoy and there are ways to minimise the cost to live in Sydney if you are on a budget.

Working in Australia

All workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Your employer must comply with Australian workplace and immigration laws, including their obligation to: pay you the right pay rate for all time worked. provide a safe workplace.

  • Legal requirements to work in Australia:
    • All workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Your employer must comply with Australian workplace and immigration laws, including their obligation to: pay you the right pay rate for all time worked. provide a safe workplace.
    • Click HERE for more information from the Australian Government on worker’s rights and restrictions.
  • How to find work in Sydney:
    • Like most cities around the world, finding work greatly depends on your skill-set, motivation & willingness to learn a new skill as well as personal connections and how you represent yourself (resume presentation, interview experience, etc.)
    • The most common online job-search websites in Australia are: and Applicants can post their resumes online as well as search for vacancies posted by local businesses.
  • How to apply for jobs in Australia:
    • Click HERE for a link to and their free resume template.

Bank Account in Australia

Foreigners migrating, studying or working in Australia can open a bank account. Those on a tourist or visitor visa can open an Australian bank account by visiting a local branch and providing your passport.

Applicants who wish to open a bank account must arrive in Australia within 12 months of opening their bank accounts.

Here are the basic steps to opening a Australian bank account online:

    • Compare accounts to find the right one
    • Apply for your account online
    • Verify your identity (passport & email required)
    • Your debit card will arrive
    • Start using it!


A Tax File Number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems in Australia. It is free to apply for a TFN online and it is an important part of your tax and super records as well as your identity in Australia.


Shopping in Sydney and surrounding suburbs can vary like in most major cities depending on where you shop and how often you shop for clothing, accessories, and IT items.

Shopping in Sydney provides a mecca for lovers of all things fashion, food and everything in between. A hot spot for the latest trends in both male and female markets, Sydney is paving the way for aspiring fashionistas and fashion enthusiasts. People from around the country and around the world know Sydney to be a hit for shopping!

When in Sydney, be sure not to miss the following shopping meccas:

  • Pitt Street Mall
  • Westfield Sydney
  • Queen Victoria Building
  • The Strand Arcade
  • World Square
  • The Rocks Precinct
  • Chifley Plaza
  • Harbourside Shopping Centre
  • Broadway Shopping Centre

How to Keep Expenses Down

Everyone has their own personal budget, and the level of expenditure depends greatly on one’s accommodation location, quality and lifestyle. Click below for some basic, yet handy tips for students, families and young professionals.

  • Monitor your expenses
  • Make a workable budget
  • Choose your priorities
  • Let go of small luxuries
  • Find another source of income
  • Choose to do free outdoor activities (visiting beaches and nature parks)

Sydney Highlights

The city of Sydney has an endless array of free highlights for both young and old to enjoy! Check out the list below, or for more information please visit Sydney’s official tourism, destinations and events website HERE.

  • Take the Bondi to Coogee Walk
  • Visit the North Head lookout
  • Stroll across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Explore the Art Gallery of NSW
  • Experience the tranquillity at the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Go to the Opera bar for live music nightly and on weekends
  • Swim in the waters of Camp Cove
  • Relax in Bronte Park
  • Walk around Luna Park
  • Beaches – Oh the beaches!
  • Visit Murray Rose Pool and float on the pontoons

More information to get you started in Sydney


Overseas student health cover is mandatory for your student visa when coming to Australia. Not only is it great for peace of mind, it covers doctors’ appointments, hospital costs, emergency ambulance and portions of your prescription medicine.

Use the Overseas Health Cover (OSHC) tool to check the price and book your overseas health cover today.

UTILITIES (cost of)

Utilities may or may not be included in your housing option. Electricity, water, gas, and internet are generally split between tenants, but if you are planning on renting by yourself, this will be more costly. An average the costs of an average home in Sydney are:

  • Electricity: $170 per month
  • Water: $100 per month
  • Gas: $155 per month
  • Internet: $50 per month


Entertainment is another expense you will want to factor in while you are in Australia. Ranging from going to the gym, watching a movie, taking a trip to the beach or enjoying a comedy show. Below are a few different options you could add to your budget.

  • Movies (student night): $7 to $9
  • Fitness: $15 to $30
  • Shows (comedy, plays etc): $50

Are you planning to move to or study in Sydney? Great choice. Let’s get started – click HERE to get in contact with us today!