This isn’t a competition where one state or territory will eventually be declared better than every other one.

Each Australian state and territory has its (very) good points, and living in any of them would hardly be considered a grind. But there are different things to like about each one, and it might be some of those things that make one more attractive than another if you’re looking for the perfect place to retire.

Nobbys Head, Newcastle

New South Wales:

  1. New South Wales offers astounding diversity making it the perfect state for retirees who want to explore rather than stay at home. Subtropical rainforests, white-sand beaches, outback, the country’s longest rivers, highest and snowiest mountains and oldest towns – you’ll find it all in NSW.
  2. 30% of New South Wales residents were born overseas, and this multicultural diversity is reflected in the festivals, cultural experiences and food that means life in the state is never same-ish. 
  3. There’s more to NSW than Sydney. New South Wales boasts other cities and large regional towns that are laidback and affordable, while still offering you everything you need.
  4. The climate in New South Wales is generally temperate and kind, without going from one extreme to the other.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in NSW right here

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria


  1. If a road-trip retirement is on the cards, then Victoria is worth your consideration. Victoria is very compact in size yet huge on scenic attractions from coast to countryside, so it will never take you too long to get to where you’re going.
  2. Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia, and this liking for a great tasting caffeine fix has spread to the regions as well. If café culture is important to you, rest assured that it’s just as important to Victorians.
  3. The Mornington Peninsula has it all as a destination for holidaymakers, or for those who want a wonderful place to live. So close to Melbourne but a world away from it all, thanks to it beaches, hot springs, wineries, walks and charming small towns.
  4. The arts scene is a major part of Victorian life, not just in Melbourne but throughout the state as well. If the more civilised things in life appeal to you, then Victoria has you culturally covered.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in VIC right here

Gold Coast, Queensland


  1. Winters in coastal Queensland feel like summers in pretty much every part of the world. Warm days without being too hot, cloudless blue skies, gentle breezes, no extreme humidity and heat – in other words, perfect weather!
  2. If you want to enjoy the freshest tropical produce in Australia, Queensland is the place to be. And don’t forget the seafood.
  3. Queenslanders are warm and friendly so if you’re after a place to retire where you’ll be made to feel more than welcome, this is the state to be.
  4. Brisbane is shedding its reputation as “a big country town” and becoming one of Australia’s most vibrant cities, but without being too busy or frantic. They’ve got the balance just right.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in QLD right here

Kangaroo Island, South Australia

South Australia:

  1. South Australia is Australia’s premium wine state but also a very diverse one with 16 wine regions and over 200 cellar doors, most of them within a short drive of Adelaide. From cool climate wines in the Adelaide Hills to ripe and fruity drops produced in the Barossa, South Australia’s wine scene offers endless tasting opportunities on a day trip, or longer. and this is enough to convince many wine lovers that this is the only state in which to live.
  2. The might Murray River is mighty indeed: it flows more than 2500 kilometres from the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, through the Riverland and onto the Lakes and Coorong in South Australia. It’s approximately 130 million years old and its long and rich history, culture and heritage means it can be explored time and time again without going to the same place twice.
  3. Adelaide is officially the best in many respects: in recent times, it’s been judged as having the best hotel, restaurant, wine, gin and beach in Australia. You might not have known that about South Australia’s capital but that’s because this is an understated city that is lovely to live in, and just as lovely to visit.
  4. The state is an affordable place to buy or rent a home, with some of the lowest property prices anywhere in Australia.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in SA right here

Cable Beach, Western Australia

Western Australia:

  1. If you need to feel some sun on your back in your retirement, Western Australia is the place to do it. It is officially Australia’s sunniest state.
  2. If you want to get away from it all, it doesn’t get any better – or remote – than WA. Many people are drawn here by the wide-open spaces and the feeling that they’re the only people on the face of the earth.
  3. Western Australia is very well connected to the rest of the world. While travel is off the cards for the time being, it won’t be forever and thanks to direct flights from Perth to London, Europe will be an accessible and easy destination, while South East Asia is just a few hours away.
  4. Western Australia’s housing prices have fallen significantly in recent times, and this opportunity to pick up a bargain hasn’t gone unnoticed by many retirees.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in WA right here

Palm Valley Oasis, Northern Territory

Northern Territory:

  1. Welcome to the winterless North. The Northern Territory stays warm, and warmer, year-round; during the dry season, which extends from May to October, you can expect warm days up to 32C, with cooler evenings and clear, blue skies.
  2. The Northern Territory boasts scenery like nowhere else in the world, with so much to explore; Kakadu National Park, Uluru, and Katherine Gorge are the Big Three but if you take your time. you’ll find so much more to see that is truly unique
  3. Many people retire here for the fishing alone and with barramundi, golden snapper, giant trevally, queenfish and coral trout in the local waters, can you blame them?
  4. Darwin is one of the most interesting capital cities anywhere. The multicultural atmosphere gives it incredible diversity in culture, food, art and culture. One thing is for sure; a retired life in Darwin will never be boring.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in the NT right here

Canberra, ACT

Australian Capital Territory

  1. Canberra has an unfair reputation as being a grey city full of politicians and hot air. In reality, this compact city is one of the more affordable big cities, with excellent public transport connections, wonderful galleries and museum, and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s safest cities.
  2. The ACT is close to everything. Sydney is a few hours up the road, the NSW south coast is just a short drive away for summer weekends, and the ski resorts are within easy reach.
  3. You’ll always find easy ways to entertain family when they come to visit, especially the grandkids. With so many family-friendly attractions, including the ultra-fun National Science and Technology Centre, the ACT will always be a place your loved ones want to come to – and that’s got to be good for you, right?
  4. The ACT is a territory of four distinct seasons, and if you relish the different colours, plants, moods, and temperatures that each new season brings, then this is the place to be all year round.

Find out more about the best places to downsize and retire in the ACT right here