Is it Better to Live in Australia or New Zealand?

Australia great barrier reef

They usually say: “If you want bucks, go to Australia, if you want quality of life, choose New Zealand”. But how true is that and why people are constantly comparing Australia and New Zealand?

Perhaps, there are many more things in common than there are differences between them both.

Let’s start with the similarities: both Aussies and Kiwis share many common traits such as culture, equality, mateship, ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, both love the outdoor lifestyle and sports.

Most probably, some of these differences come from the various size and population – Australia’s population is 22.26 million, which is 5 times more than New Zeland (4.37 million). And here come the job opportunities, higher salaries, bigger market, stronger competition etc.

Australia’s Pros:

  • More job opportunities. Unemployment is higher in New Zealand.
  • Higher incomes and a higher standard of living
  • Higher salaries
  • Warmer weather – If you’re coming from a cold climate, you may prefer the New Zealand climate though.
  • No earthquakes
  • More culturally diverse
  • More internationally connected

New Zealand’s Pros:

  • Lower taxes (NZ tax rate is half of Australia’s one)
  • Lower cost of living (around 10% lower in NZ)
  • Not that high temperatures
  • Friendlier people (especially in the larger cities)
  • No snakes, poisonous spiders, hurricanes, bushfires etc.
  • Safer compared to Australia – the crime rate is 12 times lower than that in Sydney and Melbourne and Australia boosts for having a very low crime rate than most parts of the world!
  • Stunning natural beauty – although Australia’s nature is magnificent, New Zealand’s one is much more diverse.
Cost of Living Comparison

Between Australia and New Zealand


  Australia  New Zealand
Meal for 2 at a Restaurant 80.00 A$
(90.06 NZ$)
    79.95 A$
(90.00 NZ$)
Milk, (1 liter) 1.42 A$
(1.60 NZ$)
    2.35 A$
(2.64 NZ$)
Loaf of Bread 2.80 A$
(3.15 NZ$)
    2.25 A$
(2.53 NZ$)
Rice (white), (1kg) 3.05 A$
(3.43 NZ$)
    2.36 A$
(2.65 NZ$)
Eggs (12) 4.54 A$
(5.11 NZ$)
    4.03 A$
(4.54 NZ$)
Apples (1kg) 4.26 A$
(4.79 NZ$)
    3.26 A$
(3.67 NZ$)
Oranges (1kg) 3.77 A$
(4.25 NZ$)
    3.17 A$
(3.56 NZ$)
Tomato (1kg) 4.79 A$
(5.39 NZ$)
    5.04 A$
(5.68 NZ$)
Potato (1kg) 3.07 A$
(3.46 NZ$)
    2.24 A$
(2.52 NZ$)
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.46 A$
(2.77 NZ$)
    2.30 A$
(2.59 NZ$)
Bottle of Wine 15.00 A$
(16.89 NZ$)
    12.88 A$
(14.50 NZ$)
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 4.96 A$
(5.58 NZ$)
    4.00 A$
(4.50 NZ$)
Pack of Cigarettes 21.00 A$
(23.64 NZ$)
    17.77 A$
(20.00 NZ$)
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 4.00 A$
(4.50 NZ$)
    3.11 A$
(3.50 NZ$)
Taxi 1km 2.14 A$
(2.41 NZ$)
    2.49 A$
(2.80 NZ$)
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.46 A$
(1.65 NZ$)
    1.79 A$
(2.02 NZ$)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 211.11 A$
(237.64 NZ$)
    163.21 A$
(183.73 NZ$)
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local 0.92 A$
(1.03 NZ$)
    0.51 A$
(0.58 NZ$)
Internet (6 Mbps) 71.97 A$
(81.01 NZ$)
    79.04 A$
(88.98 NZ$)
1 Pair of Jeans 101.29 A$
(114.02 NZ$)
    97.07 A$
(109.27 NZ$)
Rent per month – Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,684.90 A$
(1,896.70 NZ$)
    1,130.98 A$
(1,273.15 NZ$)
Rent per month – Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,209.24 A$
(1,361.25 NZ$)
    812.70 A$
(914.86 NZ$)
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 8,161.32 A$
(9,187.28 NZ$)
    4,361.59 A$
(4,909.88 NZ$)
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 5,149.84 A$
(5,797.22 NZ$)
    2,913.56 A$
(3,279.83 NZ$)
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 4,198.99 A$
(4,726.85 NZ$)
    2,636.02 A$
(2,967.40 NZ$)


There are different options for those looking for temporary or permanent residency in both Australia or New Zealand:

Australia Visa Options:

New Zealand Visa options:

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (1 & 2 Year)

  • New Zealand General Work Visa
  • New Zealand Skilled Migration Visa
  • New Zealand Work to Residence Visa

Could one country be better than another? Certainly not! They both just have different merits.

Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian and New Zealand visas, you can e-mail us at

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