Australia, blogging

How is Australia like Europe?

Often time in comments with other bloggers, we compare our lives in various parts of the world. People approaching retirement seek a lifestyle change. Country folks who have farmed all their lives will often move to the city whilst city dwellers move to the beach or a quiet country areas.

In selecting where we live and thinking about lifestyle benefits, can we really compare our lives given that our demographics are vastly different?

The acutely different rates of population density compared to land area in different countries, is startling and naturally, has far-reaching implications. Nevermore so in the management of social issues, chosen location and perhaps, even more importantly, also in the management of the Covid pandemic.

Consider the differences between a large city in Europe/UK, Australia and India.

Is it useful to compare apples with apples? ie. Two large centres. Let’s pick Shanghai and New York. What does that reveal?

There’s more space in China, but population density remains the same.

Let us also look at a smaller European city compared to the largest city in Australia. Population density appears the same as London, Delhi and New York.

Comparison Copenhagen and Sydney by area and population

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Urban Living

Australia has been touted as the land of wide, open spaces. Is that always an advantage?

  • Distances between centres necessitates a heavy reliance on petroleum-based transport options which exacerbates climate change.
  • Urban sprawl impinges on animal habitat resulting in loss of species diversity and extinction.
  • Decentralisation strategies struggle to keep up with population growth. In cities with slowing population growth, an ageing population has economic ramifications for future properity.
  • Large cities offer a range of facilities and services, and more choice of products and resources, but can be as socially isolating.
  • Traffic is a nightmare and commutes are long and time-consuming.
  • Mental Health and Social services are exponentially in demand.
  • Rural Areas have poor access to services, eg. specialist medical and ancillary
  • Communication is more difficult in country areas – at least in Australia.

Given the world as it is today, where would you rather live?

A small, dense city, country area or a large metropolis?

Me, I am pretty content here at the Home by the Sea.

Home by the Sea

84 thoughts on “How is Australia like Europe?”

  1. Interesting topic Amanda! I’ve always really liked the dense but small European cities because everything is at your doorstep and you can reach nature and other cities with a short trip. As a Sydneysider, the sprawl is huge so I spent much of my younger years commuting 1+hours for work/uni (and hating it!). I’ve moved closer to work now but it still takes me over 1hr to visit family. I’ve toyed with the idea of living in more remote settings but lack of services, events and distance isn’t so appealing the more I think about it. Maybe as a holiday house one day!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It takes time for foreigners to be accepted in a new country- and I feel sure There is a whole spectrum from those tourists who quickly make friends right up to long term residents who have never learnt to soak like the locals or assimilate. Have you had an experience of trying to integrate into a foreign country?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve lived in a small rural town, Queens (a borough of NY City), suburb on Long Island, a large and a small town in England, and I’m in my heart’s home now in the mountains. I love being in the country, five miles out of town. Your Home by the Sea sounds like a peaceful haven.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Outside of Germany and Spain, I’d rather visit Australia more than almost any city in Europe. I feel Australia and the United States have much more in common. We’re both renegades and rugged individualists, with a motley assortment of people who chart their own paths in life.

    Australia is too unique to pass up. It’s the smallest, flattest, driest continent on Earth, with the oldest documented rock formations and (sadly) some of the least nutrient-rich soils. It’s also the only habitable continent with its entire land mass in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, Amanda, I’m certain you already know this. I’m sure you also know Australia is the most urbanized country in the world, with roughly 58% of its population residing in just 5 large cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide; each boasting over 1 million people. Perth is the most isolated large city on the planet; lying some 1,300 m (2,092 km) from Adelaide, the next largest city. In other words, there is no other city anywhere in the world with such a large population that is as far away from another large metropolitan area as is Perth.

    Again, aside from my ancestral homelands of Spain and Germany, why would I spend much time in the cantankerous environs of Europe? And I say that with all due respect to my European followers and loved ones! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well you do make a good and correct case for visiting Australia, Alejandro. You would in all likelihood enjoy it here. The natural unique fauna and flora, the easygoing and friendly, albeit boganized and larrikin “kulcha,” but then I have to warn you we have renegade idiots here too. I guess there is often good and bad aspects to many locations. Those who live in remote areas and we have many of those, enjoy the wide open spaces. I am not one of them. Funnily enough, I did get that sense of being extremely isolated, in Perth, when I visited many years ago. Everyone there seemed to refer to the rest of Australia as “back East.” Chris Riley, one of the bloggers who frequently comments here, lives south of Perth and her blog often details her trips around Western Australia. It may be of interest for you to read?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No because you can still walk to the shop, everything is 10 to 20 mins walk away. We have a large supermarket which you could get a bus to but 5 mins in car away and 30 min walk. We have all essentials. There are also buses to go down to Thonon closest big town.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. We have doctors and dentists all around and 2 medical centres.. They have drastic skiing accidents here so those not helicoptered off need help in the town so it is perfect for the rest of us..;-)

            Liked by 2 people

    1. The best of both, Sandy. That is what I feel I have. A corner of the world that is close to the capital yet so much quieter. As we live on a peninsula, there is no through traffic, only locals. That helps to keep things village like. I will have a read and comment on your post.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Give me country living always, the nearest large city is Coffs Harbour 1&1/2 hrs mind you Port Macquarie is 30mins & stresses me out, its like a city now. When we have an opportunity to sell up I am hoping to move about an hr inland as its building up pretty quick here with city folk trying to be country, no judgement I totally appreciate their want for change but some of them bring all their noise with them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The need for quiet and stillness is growing with all the pressures of modern life. Quiet and solitude can be so therapeutic. I would love to move upward, higher up in altitude but as the Moth refuses to’go live on a mountain,’ I am happy here. Even my daughter is noticing the differences now and she was an inner city girl. Yet she appreciates the quiet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed both country and city living, both in Australia and in Europe. Cities in Australia have been allowed to sprawl to the size of whole countries elsewhere. I prefer the density of a city now that am older. I can walk to shops, the train station and still have greenery around me. I will never live in suburban environs, too stifling and spiritually dehydrated. Those lawnmowers in the week-end, the neat edging along the concrete pathways, the white painted car tires abandoned around the azaleas…Not for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great to hear the thoughts of someone who has lived in different countries in differing areas. I agree that white painted tyres around Azaleas are pretty depressing and awful to see. Where did they get that idea from to begin with? Madness. Spritually dehydrating the suburbs can absolutely be, but for some that banality is comforting. Btw, we never neaten our edges! Even though we live in the beach suburbs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You draw some very interesting comparisons here Amanda and I also like the observation by, your reader, Alejandro, that ‘Australia is the most urbanized country in the world, with roughly 58% of its population residing in just 5 large cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide’ – this puts things in an interesting perspective and goes to show how sparsely populated the rest of the country is. I might throw in another interesting observation …..a less scientific one — to illustrate relative city density. In London there is a well known walk around Greater London – the London Loop which measures some 242kms. In Canberra we have a loop walk (granted taking in a bit more country-side) – the Centenary Loop which is about 120 kms long or half the distance of the London Walk. Canberra has a population of around 400,000 while about 8 millions reside within the London Loop area.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That analogy, Albert, really illustrates the disparities in population density between the two cities. How could a government look at, manage, or hope to solve, the same social problems with similar methodologies? Many Londoners may not be acquainted with the sprawling nature of Canberra’s suburbs, yet even so, the figures speak volumes about lifestyles. In visiting Bangkok in the late eighties, it seemed there were people everywhere – night and day. When I looked out from my hotel room window at 3 o’clock in the morning the streets of Bangkok were still alive – full of people.
      A far different beast to the Australian model. I also remember learning about Government decentralisation policies, as a student, at school. Sorely needed in Australia. Queensland is apparently the most decentralised state in Australia! We have many northeners up in Cairns and Townsville wanting to separate into a new state called FNQ – Far North Queensland.
      So to tie back this conversation back to the original topic – whilst we have a lower population density in our country than elsewhere, Australia has limits to the extent to which we can decentralise. Primarily due to a lack of access to water and as Alejandro pointed out: – fertile soils. We have not yet learned how to co-exist with the natural elements of the Australian landscape in a way other places have. That may take many centuries.


  7. I love living in the country, but I also love all the cultural opportunities that cities offer. If I had money, I would split my time between city and county. But I don’t, so I live in the country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting that you chose country over the city despite liking what the city has to offer, Laurie. We all would like the best of both worlds and we are fortunate in life, if we do have that choice. This is not to say that lots doesn’t happen in the country. Even reading historical papers in researching family history, there was lots of social activities organized. The tyranny of distance hampers access to them in Australia. For example in Denmark, you are never more than 5- 8 miles from anywhere. In Australia, you might have to multiply that several hundred times in some places.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a city girl for sure. I’ve lived in London all my life (well, in a suburb), apart from three years in a small university town in Wales. I enjoyed the latter experience but I was happy to move back to London afterwards. I like having so much on my doorstep – restaurants, cinemas, museums, galleries etc. And I like not having to rely on a car to reach them. Although we’re in what qualifies as an outer London suburb (in truth it’s sort of halfway in), we can be in the West End in 30 minutes or so, and pretty much anywhere in the city inside an hour. I do love the countryside, ideally wide-open moorland / mountains / desert / wild shores etc. But only to visit and photograph, not as a permanent home. If we ever move away from London it will be to a smaller city, not anywhere rural.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah, you sound like a good friend of mine. Her husband wants to move to the country, she wants handy access to theatres, cafes and restaurants. I used to think I would like this too. It was a bit too quiet for me when I was young. So it was surprising to me when I didn’t like the hubbub anymore. I wrote a post about it a little while back.
      It sounds like you won’t change anytime soon, Sarah and enjoy a busy life?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I live by the seaside with magnificent views across the bay and islands. In Australia, however, there’s always a concession to nature–hordes of midges rage throughout the summer months. For those prone to insect bites, life becomes impossible and they are imprisoned inside their homes during certain times of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean, Aj. Although there are no insect problems here thus far, the trade off looms like a swinging axe. The insects are opportunistic. A mere light shower of rain and they are out to annoy us. My father claims eating Vegemite helps. If you can stomach the stuff, and it is is full of Vitamin B so there may be some truth in it.


  10. Every time my husband and I have this conversation, my answer remains the same: “I’m happy in my camper van.” 🙂 After traveling the world extensively for almost two decades – and the US in particular – we still haven’t found a place that seemed “perfect” enough to grow roots. Will it ever happen? Who knows? At our age (45 and almost 50), you wonder…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do wonder if it will hapoen for you. Travelling that long in a nomadic way would make it very hard to change, Liesbet. What has been the favourite place so far and what would be the attraction of that place?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… we just (as in yesterday) visited and explored a town in southern USA we’d been curious about for years and it ticked a few boxes. Apart from the fact that I’m not ready for the responsibilities of having a house and I’m not ready to settle. Just blogged about it today. 🙂

        In general, we want warm weather all year round and an open-minded, diverse community, affordable living conditions, and a varied landscape and surroundings. I think. I’ll let you know if and when we find it. 🙂

        I do want to revisit Australia and see what my husband thinks about it.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. For myself, the various states in the U.S.A. can be show their diversity by:
    accents– I’m originally from New Jersey, lived in Virginia and the Carolinas where my mid-Atlantic voice changed, and finally settled here in melting pot Southern California. Most of my back east relatives like to visit here–but not live here- because of the weird seasons. From my house it’s an hour to see snow in the mountains, 2 hours to the desert, 10 to 12 miles to a variety of beaches. But rents and mortgages are killer high here. Fortunately my wife and I are retired in our own home. I also pump my own gas, despite that it’s $! cheaper back east where you’re not allowed to get out of your car and fill up on your own. Anyway, we love living in this “country” of San Diego County. Sorry if I got on a strange tangent here, Amanda. Be safe and as wonderful a holiday and 2021 as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great to hear your little story, Art. Tangents are very welcome at StPA!
      Funny that the ‘servos’ (service station), as we call them, do not let you fill up your own tank. I never realized that to could have snow in your area. You have the best of everything. Even wineries, I hear?


      1. There are plenty of wineries here, although the one’s in the Guadalupe Valley in Mexico put out some really nice stuff– some of which can only be purchased in Mexico. Here in the states we like Il Ducala chianti, Paseo Robles red, and Japanese plum. The Petit Sarah from Mexico’s L.A. Cetto winery provides a very nice buzz. we’re allowed to bring 2 bottles across the border– once everything goes back to normalcy. Peace.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That is the first time anyone has ever suggested Australians are prim and proper! Mostly we are mocked for being slovenly, casual bogans! She’ll be right, mate is our favourite saying.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As someone who is familiar with London, I really love the place but I don’t think I would really want to live in the center of it (could never afford to anyhow!) Just because it gets so crowded and I would rather have a bit of space etc.

    Liked by 2 people

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