Looking for some of the best places to raise a family in Australia? Well, it’s not always that easy. Factors such as safety, infrastructure and quality of life enable both children and adults to thrive, but kids have some special requirements.
Firstly, for couples who are expecting, a city with generous paid parental leave and widely available subsidised childcare and healthcare is ideal. In Australia, the Parental Leave Pay is based on a weekly rate of the national minimum wage, and parents can enjoy up to 18 weeks (90 payable days). The current Parental Leave Pay is $772.55 per week ($154.51 per day before tax). An 18-week paid parental leave would be approximately $13,906 pre-tax.
As the kids grow up, getting them enrolled in an education system that allows them to thrive, expand their mind and exercise creativity while still maintaining high academic standards is preferable to one that does not impart sufficient skills and knowledge, or one that does but through a soul-crushing emphasis on grades and standardised testing.
Child-friendly cities also give kids the space to, well, be kids. This means ample opportunities for play and recreation, safe and secure surroundings with plenty of green spaces, and the chance to connect and enjoy time with other children.
Below are some of the best cities and suburbs to raise a family in Australia:
Best places to raise a family in Australia
1. Wahroonga, New South Wales
Named after the Aboriginal word “our home”, Wahroonga is just a 30- to 45-minute train ride from Sydney. However, most families would do just well without having to travel to the city due to the many shopping centres and commercial establishments already present in Wahroonga.
This suburb is home to several well-regarded schools like Knox Grammar, Abbotsleigh School for Girls, Wahroonga Adventist School, St. Leo’s Catholic College and more. Also in Wahroonga are the St. Lucy’s and St. Edmund’s Schools, these are specialised Catholic schools that support students with disabilities.
There are about 4,500 families living in Wahroonga. The median house price is pretty steep – due to its proximity to many well-established schools – and stands at about $2 million. The median unit price stands at about $900,000.
2. Albury, New South Wales + Wodonga, Victoria
Known as the “twin Australian cities” separated by the Murry River, Albury and Wodonga are one of the most family friendly cities. These two cities also have one of the highest immunisation rates in Australia. The cities also boast affordable and quality housing, first-class education and healthcare facilities.
Albury-Wodonga is also an “Evocity”, a campaign that aims to “change perceptions of life in a regional city and encourage people to live, work and invest in an Evocity.”
Some top-tier schools in Albury-Wodonga include: The Scots School Albury, Albury High School, Trinity Anglican College Albury Wodonga, St. Patrick’s Parish School and more. For more specialised care, Belvoir Special School, located in Wodonga, welcomes students with special needs who require more support.
There are about 22,700 families living in Albury-Wodonga. In Albury, the median house price is $654,000 and median unit stands at $462,500. In Wodonga, the median house price stands at $410,000 while median unit price is $245,000.
3. Balwyn, Victoria
For families looking for a more affluent way of life, Balwyn is a hilly suburb located about 10 kilometres east of Melbourne. This peaceful, inner east suburb filled with historic mansions, huge private homes, beautiful streetscapes and prestigious private schools.
Some well-known private schools around the vicinity include Fintona Girls’ School, St. Bede’s School, Carey Baptist Grammar School, Camberwell Grammar School, Genazzano FCJ College and more. Balwyn Primary and High School are also equally established government schools.
Balwyn is home to about 3,600 families. The median house price stands at $2 million while the media unit price is just under a million at $990,000.
4. Queens Park, Western Australia
Located within the City of Canning and between Bondi Junction, Randwick, Bronte and Clovelly (which is another suburb popular with families), Queens Park provides unparallel access to many education institutions, cafes, shopping malls and everything you need for a good quality of life.
Sydney parks and beaches are also located within a 5-kilometre radius, making day outs and trips a convenient affair. Queens Park is also one of the most multicultural cities, with many English, Chinese, Australian, Indian and Filipino individuals living there either for work or studies.
There are about 20 schools located within 2 kilometres of Queens Parks, some include Queens Park Primary School, St. Joseph’s School, St. Norbert College, Goodstart Early Learning Queens Park, Cannington Community College and more. Sir David Brand School, located just a 30-minute drive away, is also committed to provide ample educational support and care for students with special needs.
There are about just over a thousand families living in Queens Park. The median property price in Queens Park is $450,000, while a median unit price is $351,000.
5. Woollahra, New South Wales
Woollahra, meaning camp or meeting ground in Aboriginal language, is a suburb located in the east of Sydney, just 5 kilometres away from the central business district. It’s also very convenient to get around due to its proximity to many of Sydney’s charms (including Bondi Beach), you’ll probably only require a quick 10 to 15-minute drive to get to wherever you need to be.
Woollahra is also home to 10 elite private schools and top education institutions located within approximately 2-kilometres within the region. These include Ascham, Sydney Boys High School, St. Vincents College, the University of New South Wales and more. For students with special needs, Wairoa School is a special education school committed to provide ample care and support.
There are more than 2,000 families in Woollahra, and because of its convenience and private schools aplenty, housing prices are very steep. The median house price stands at close to $4 million, while the median unit price is about $1.3 million.
6. Mansfield, Queensland
Mansfield is a hotspot for families and consistently ranks as a top city for health and wellbeing, according to the VicHealth Indicators Survey list of Victorian towns. Located a 180 kilometres northeast of Melbourne, this suburb is home to many schools and is a popular location for outdoor activities (thanks to its agricultural past). Mansfield Is also located in a region that is colloquially known as the “Bible Belt” due to the large number of people who chose to settle there to be close to the many Christian schools and churches.
The population also has a moderate Greek presence with about 3 percent of its population speaking Greek as a first language.
Mansfield Preschool, State School and High School are some of the popular schools there. So are Mount Gravatt East State School and Brisbane Adventist College. Meanwhile, Nursey Road State and Mackenzie State Special School cater to students with special needs.
Approximately 1,200 families are settled in Mansfield. The median house prices is $804,000 while median unit price is $422,500.
7. Katoomba, New South Wales
In the heart of the Blue Mountains lies this nature suburb of Katoomba. Nature-loving families or couples wishing to raise a family next to nature’s best offerings may wish to consider relocating here. Katoomba is a 90-minute drive from Sydney and boasts rich cultural heritage and breath-taking panoramic views of the Three Sisters Hanging Rock.
Winters also bring lots of snowfall, making it an ideal settlement for families who appreciate making snowmans and angels in blankets of white.
Katoomba is home to several schools, including St. Canices Primary School, Korowal School, Katoomba Public and High School. Katoomba High School also provides six support classes that offer alternate learning programmes for students with special needs.
Katoomba has about 2,000 families currently living there. The median house price stands at $715,000 while the median unit price is $476,000.
8. Upper Caboolture, Queensland
Once a rural suburb in the 1990s, Upper Caboolture is now a urbanised location that’s also peaceful and quiet – making it ideal for families. It is located in the west of its nearest city of Morayfield. This suburb is boasted by locals to be “a breath of fresh air,” quite literally, too! It provides a relaxed and quaint lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Upper Caboolture also has ample amenities, medical facilities and schools located just around the vicinity.
There are many established schools within the region, too. These include: Caboolture Preschool, Primary and High School, Morayfield Preschool, Primary and High School, Tullawong and Minimbah Preschool and Primary Schools and more. Caboolture Special School also provides care and support for students with special needs.
There are around 2,000 families in Upper Caboolture and the median house price is $524,500.
9. Mickleham, Victoria
Mickleham is one of the fast-growing suburbs in Melbourne, with many property buyers being families. It is located about 29 kilometres north of Melbourne’s central business district and has seven estates under development to include housing, schools, childcare, a city centre and a business park to support the careers of parents.
There are several schools in Mickleham, with more slated to open in efforts for future development to cater to its fast-growing population. Currently, Hume Anglican Grammar School, Mickleham Primary School, Aitken College, Oscar Romero Catholic Primary School and Newbury Primary School are some of the schools located within the region.
Mickleham currently has about 1,000 families settled. This is experienced to grow exponentially in the future. The median house price in Mickleham is $600,000.
10. Rostrevor, South Australia
Rostrevor is a suburb located in the city of Campbelltown and is just 10 kilometres away from Adelaide’s central business district. It has great public transport, loads of parks and recreational areas within walking distances and home to several established private and public schools. Families living here are also close to nature and wildlife of the Morialta National Park.
Norwood Morialta High School, Stradbroke School, Foodland and Rostrevor College (a Catholic boarding for boys) are just some of the education institutions here. Rostrevor College and Stradbroke Primary also offer programmes to help support students with various special needs.
Rostrevor is currently home to about 2,200 families. The median house price is $730,000 while the median unit price is $500,000.
Of course, there are many other suburbs ideal for families in Australia other than the ones mentioned above, too. Finding a place to settle down isn’t easy, but rest assured that no matter where you decide – there’s always a way to make things work.
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