Understanding the States of Australia as a UK Junior Doctor
Moving to Australia as a junior doctor in the UK is a big decision and can be daunting, especially when considering the vast size of Australia and the distance from home.
On top of that, the states and territories of Australia each have a unique vibe, different tourist attractions for your time outside of the hospital, widely varying climates and a range of hospitals that you could end up working in!
To help you decide which is the right place to look for a job, we’ve created this breakdown of the states and territories of Australia. For each, we will give you an idea of the main cities, the most popular tourist activities, the climate and the main hospitals to help kick start your research.
New South Wales
New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia, is home to Australia’s largest and most well known city, Sydney. It is the most populous region in Australia and is home to approximately 8 million people, 5.5 million of whom live in the greater Sydney area.
Sydney, the capital, is a bustling city with a diverse culture, world-class attractions, and great nightlife. It’s also home to the iconic Sydney harbour and Sydney Opera House.
Beyond Sydney, you will also find other major cities, each with their own charm, including Newcastle, Wollongong, and the Central Coast.
Newcastle to north of Sydney, is known for its bustling harbour and beautiful beaches. It’s located in the Hunter Valley, the birthplace of Australia’s wines, making it a perfect gateway to explore New South Wales’ vineyards and hinterlands.
The Central Coast, also north of Sydney, is known for its spectacular beaches, national parks, and great surfing.
And to the south of Sydney is Wollongong, with its stunning coastal views offers a lively city culture, a great food scene and booming nightlife.
Living in NSW
New South Wales has a temperate climate and enjoys many sunny days throughout the year. With great lifestyle opportunities, stunning beaches, diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and great hospitals, it is a great place to live and work for doctors looking to move to Australia.
If you have free time and want to explore more, New South Wales is home to many world famous tourist attractions including:
⛰️ For nature lovers: The Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, The Great Barrier Reef, Royal National Park, Jenolan Caves
🏖️ For beach goes: Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Port Stephens
🏛️ For city explorers: Taronga Zoo, Hyde Park, The Rocks, Centennial Park, The Sydney Observatory, Australian National Maritime Museum
Hospitals in NSW
Some of the biggest and best hospitals in the country are located in New South Wales, including:
👉 Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick
👉 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
👉 St Vincent’s Hospital
👉 Westmead Hospital
👉 Liverpool Hospital
For doctors considering a move to Australia, Victoria is one of the most popular states to live in. It’s Australia’s second most populous state, with a population of 6.6 million. It’s a beautiful state, with a diverse range of landscapes, from coastal beaches to snow-capped mountains and some of the country’s most vibrant cities.
Victoria’s biggest cities are Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, and Shepparton. Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is known for its culture, diverse food scene, vibrant nightlife, prominent sports culture and famous shopping districts.
Alternatively, Victoria’s regional cities also have a lot to offer. Ballarat, a historic gold rush city, has a colourful art and music scene and plenty of outdoor activities. Bendigo has a strong cultural heritage and is a great location to explore Victoria’s central region. Geelong, a coastal city located to the East of Melbourne is popular with commuters due to its proximity to Melbourne and access to the Great Ocean Road. Shepparton, a regional city in the north, has a strong agricultural industry and thriving arts and culture scene.
Living in Victoria
In terms of climate, Victoria is a great choice for visitors coming from the UK. It has a temperate climate with cooler, more mild temperatures than other regions in Australia. Although you should expect some extremely hot, dry summer days.
Victoria is also known for its stunning tourist attractions. Popular destinations include the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, the Grampians National Park, the Yarra Valley, and the Murray River. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as camping, fishing, and hiking.
Hospitals in Victoria
For doctors, Victoria is a great choice. It has some of the best health care facilities in Australia, with over 40 major hospitals located throughout the state. These hospitals include:
👉 Alfred Hospital
👉 Royal Women’s Hospital
👉 Monash Medical Centre
👉 Monash Children’s Hospital
Queensland is a unique and beautiful state on Australia’s east coast. It is an expansive state, with an area of 1,730,648 square kilometres and a population of approximately 5 million people, making it the third most populous state in Australia.
Queensland is home to some of Australia’s most popular cities, including Brisbane, the state capital. Brisbane is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a bustling nightlife and many cultural attractions. It is the third largest city in Australia.
The Gold Coast, the state’s second largest city is located on the east coast. The Gold Coast is known for its surf beaches, theme parks and nightlife. Cairns the third largest city in the state, is home to the iconic Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest.
Living in Queensland
Queensland offers great lifestyle opportunities, with city life and relaxed outdoor living combined. It also boasts one of the warmest average daily high temperatures in Australia at 30 degrees. You can expect warm to hot weather all year round.
Queensland is also home to some of the best tourist attractions in Australia, including The Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, the Sunshine Coast as well as the beaches of the Gold Coast and the outback.
Hospitals in Queensland
When it comes to health care, Queensland has some of the largest hospitals in Australia. The largest, The Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital is a major teaching and research hospital with over 1,000 beds. Other major hospitals include:
👉 Gold Coast University Hospital
👉 Princess Alexandra Hospital
👉 Cairns Base Hospital
About Western Australia
Western Australia is the largest state in Australia and is home to approximately 2.6 million people.
Western Australia has several major cities, including Perth, Fremantle, and Albany. Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is the fourth most populous city in Australia. It is a vibrant city located on the banks of the Swan River and is renowned for its year-round sunshine, its expansive parklands, and its cultural offerings.
Fremantle is a port city located just outside of Perth and is home to a number of historic sites, including the Fremantle Prison, the Round House, and the Maritime Museum. Albany is located further south and is the oldest settlement in Western Australia, with a rich history that can be found in its many museums, galleries, and heritage-listed buildings.
Living in Western Australia
Living in Western Australia is all about stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to experience the hustle and bustle of the capital city, or take in the picturesque scenery of the south, Western Australia is sure to have something for everyone.
In terms of climate, it depends on where you live. Being such a large state, the climate ranges from tropical in the north, to a milder Mediterranean climate in the south.
Western Australia is also home to a number of amazing tourist attractions, including Rottnest Island, The Pinnacles Desert, and The Margaret River Wine Region.
Hospitals in Western Australia
With its diverse range of cities, hospitals, and pleasant climate, Western Australia is an ideal place to settle and work as a doctor. It boasts a number of impressive hospitals, including:
👉 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
👉 Royal Perth Hospital
👉 Albany Regional Hospital
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital is the largest hospital in Western Australia and has a range of medical and surgical services. Royal Perth Hospital is located in the heart of Perth and is the oldest hospital in the state, with a range of acute care services. Albany Regional Hospital is the main hospital in the region and provides specialist care in several areas, including cardiology, neurology, and oncology.
Tasmania is one of the most beautiful and untouched states in Australia. The island state, located off the southeastern coast of the mainland, is the smallest state. With a population of just over half a million people, living in Tasmania is all about the beautiful scenery, laidback lifestyle, friendly locals and relaxed atmosphere
Tasmania’s main cities are Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. Hobart, the capital, is the largest city, with a population of around 220,000 people. It is an important port city and home to the famous Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
Living in Tasmania
Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Making it a good choice for those who don’t want hot Australian summers.
Tasmania also has plenty of tourist attractions to explore, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain-Lake, Saint Clair National Park, the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Port Arthur Historic Site, the Freycinet National Park, the Tasman National Park and the Cataract Gorge. The Tasman Peninsula is a popular destination for bushwalking and rock climbing, while Bruny Island is renowned for its secluded beaches and spectacular views.
Hospitals in Tasmania
If you’re a doctor looking to settle in Tasmania, there are numerous hospitals and medical facilities to work at. The Royal Hobart Hospital, in Hobart, is the largest public hospital in the state. It provides a full range of health services, including acute care and specialist services. Launceston General Hospital, located in Launceston, is another major public hospital in Tasmania. It provides emergency, acute, rehabilitation and mental health services.
About the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is the third largest state in Australia, covering a huge land mass of 1.4 million square kilometres. With a population of just over 250,000 people, it offers a unique culture, stunning landscapes and iconic attractions.
The Northern Territory’s major cities are Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. Darwin is the capital of the state and the largest city, with a population of over 140,000 people. It is a vibrant city with a relaxed atmosphere, great food and plenty of outdoor activities. Alice Springs is the second largest city and is located in the heart of the Red Centre. Katherine is the third largest city and is home to a range of attractions, including the stunning Katherine Gorge.
Living in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory, particularly the northern part, has a tropical monsoonal climate, with a dry season and a wet season. With favorable weather, spectacular outback scenary and an enviable laidback lifestyle, the NT is a great place to call home.
In terms of attractions, The Northern Territory is home to some of the most iconic attractions in Australia. From the majestic Uluru to the stunning Kakadu National Park, there is something for everyone. Other popular tourist attractions include Darwin, Litchfield National Park and Arnhem Land.
Hospitals in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory’s largest hospitals are Royal Darwin Hospital and Alice Springs Hospital. Royal Darwin Hospital is the largest hospital in the state and provides a range of services including emergency, trauma, mental health and rehabilitation. Alice Springs Hospital is the second largest hospital in the state and provides a range of services including emergency, maternity, paediatrics and mental health.
Australian Capital Territory
About the ACT
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. It is home to the nation’s capital, Canberra, as well as many of its key government institutions. The ACT is the smallest mainland state or territory and has a population of just over 400,000, the majority of which is concentrated in the greater Canberra region.
Canberra is the most populous city in the ACT and is home to many of the state’s major government institutions, as well as major universities such as the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.
Living in the ACT
The ACT is a great place to live and work. It offers a high quality of life, excellent medical facilities, and a wide range of tourist attractions. It is also one of the coldest regions in Australia, with an average daily high temperature of only 21 degrees. Making it an ideal climate if you’re accustomed to UK weather.
The ACT is also home to some of Australia’s best tourist attractions, such as the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian War Memorial. There are also many beautiful natural attractions, such as the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park.
Hospitals in the ACT
The ACT has some of the best hospitals in Australia, such as the Canberra Hospital, Calvary Hospital, and the National Capital Private Hospital. All of these hospitals are renowned for their excellent patient care and quality of medical care.
About South Australia
South Australia is the fourth most populous state in Australia, with a population of almost one million. With its stunning coastlines, mountain ranges, and iconic national parks, it is a great place to explore.
The state’s main cities are Adelaide, Mount Gambier, and Whyalla. Adelaide is the largest city and is affectionately known as the "20 minute city" due to its size. It offers diverse cultural experiences, from food and wine through to world-class art, cultural and sporting events. Mount Gambier, situated halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide on the spectacular Limestone Coast, strikes the ideal balance between big city living and small-town living. Whyalla, known as a regional hub for creative expression, is recognised for its diverse culture, shows and exhibitions.
Living in South Australia
South Australia offers a relaxed, family-friendly lifestyle. It’s a place where you can truly achieve work-life balance, with plenty of opportunities for doctors looking for a new home away from the buzz of a larger city. It has a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters.
There are also plenty of tourist attractions to visit, such as the Barossa Valley wine region, the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the Coorong National Park. If you're looking for an incredible experience in Australia, South Australia is the perfect place to call home.
Hospitals in South Australia
Each of Adelaide’s major cities has its own major hospital. In Adelaide, you'll find the world-renowned Royal Adelaide Hospital, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women's and Children's Hospital. Other major hospitals include:
👉 St Andrew’s Hospital
👉 St Margaret's Hospital
👉 Whyalla Hospital
📚 Continue Reading
🚀 This article is part of Messly's Ultimate Guide to Working in Australia. If you’re considering moving to Australia for work, this guide is the perfect place to start. It covers all you need to know and will help set you on the right path to finding work, get registered and move to Australia.
❓ Still not sure if Australia is the right choice? Read this article, To Aus or not to Aus. It lists all the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
🤝 One of the first things to check before considering if Australia is the right choice, is if you are actually eligible for registration with AHPRA in Australia? Find out if you’re eligible here. ✈️ If you’ve already decided to make the move, read this detailed guide on how to find a job in Australia.
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