Regional Australia is a beautiful place with its quaint country towns, friendly pubs and easy-going nature. For some people looking to migrate to Australia, the thoughts of a more rural lifestyle are enough to encourage them to call these regional areas in Australia home. On the other hand, for those struggling with gathering sufficient points to emigrate to Australia independently, migrating to Regional Australia might be one of your only options.
At the time of tying (April 2019) moving to an area within Regional Australia will either gain you additional points or will be a general condition of a number of Australian Visa classes, including specifically:
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – State and territory nominated applicants via the Invited pathway
- Skilled Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887)
This then begs the question. What areas count as ‘Regional Australia” and how do you identify where they are?
What Areas count as Regional Australia?
Starting with what is and isn’t considered regional Australia at the Australian State Level.
ACT (Australian Capital Territory)
Nowhere within the ACT is considered Regional Australia. If you are applying for one of the visa classes mentioned above, unfortunately, you’ll need to scrub the ACT off your list, however, the next three states might be an attractive option for you.
All of Northern Territory is classified as part of regional Australia.
All of South Australia is classified as part of regional Australia.
Not forgetting the little island of Tasmania! All of Tasmania is classified as part of regional Australia.
All of Western Australia is considered Regional Australia however this excludes Perth and the surrounding areas. (NB November 2019 Update – Perth is now considered a regional area in Australia – See here for more information). The following postcodes in Western Australia are classified as being regional. 6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126, 6200 to 6799. Note some of these are postcode ranges so 6200 to 6799 includes all the postcodes in between ie. 6201, 6202, 6203 etc.
All of Victoria is considered regional Australia with the exception of the Melbourne metropolitan area. The following postcodes in Victoria are considered regional. 3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3810 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996
New South Wales
All of New South Wales is considered Regional Australia with the exception of Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong. The following postcodes in New South Wales are considered as being regional. 2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
All of Queensland is considered Regional Australia with the exception of the Greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast. Therefore if you are interested in moving to Queensland under a visa class linked to a Regional Area, the following Queensland postcodes meet the classification of Regional Australia. 4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899
November 2019 Update – The Gold coast is now considered regional Australia
How To Identify Areas Classified As Regional Australia
So that’s a lot of postcodes but unless you’ve ever lived near one of these places, it’s probably just a bunch of numbers that mean very little. So let’s explore a couple of approaches to finding more information that makes these geographic regions a little easier to grasp.
Australia Post – Postcodes Australia
Firstly, to convert a postcode to a town or list of suburbs that may make more sense for research purposes, the Australian Post, postcode locator service is a good starting point. Head on over to this page and input the postcode into the search box, doing so will bring up a list of results similar to the image below for the postcode 2311.
The second option is to use google maps. This may be a preferable option as this will give you a more visual clue of an area of interest in proximity to where you’d prefer to settle.
Finding an Australian Postcode Using Google Maps
To find the location of an Australian Postcode using Google maps, head on over to google maps at google.com/maps. Then in the search bar type in your search criteria using the following format: Postcode, state, Australia
So using the postcode we used previously (2311) the search criteria would be: 2311, New South Wales, Australia. This will bring up the postcode on a map similar to the image below.
Just remember, when searching using google maps some of the postcode areas can be quite vast so your search results might initially appear like a whole lot of ‘space’. Use the zoom options on the bottom left of your map to zoom out until the map image begins to make a little more sense.
We’ve also found that mapping out these areas on a spreadsheet really helps so you can pinpoint and target areas of interest as you become more familiar with the areas across regional Australia.
The approaches represented above aren’t the best, and we recognise that. Thankfully the Australian government recognises this too!
From November 2019, the Australian Government will be simplifying the definition of Regional Australia across all skilled visas with the description for Regional Australia being expanded to include all of Australia except for the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
The new definition will form single continuous borders, as defined by postcodes, around these metropolitan areas.
We will update this article to share more information and a list of postcodes representing the regional district in due course.
In the meantime, though we always intend to keep Getting Down Under as up to date as possible, always remember to check the official Australian Migration Website before making any decisions based on the information on our website. The associated page on Regional Austalia is available here. (Opens in a new page).
Is Regional Australia for you?
If you are considering a move to regional Australia (or have no option but to consider a regional visa class due to lack of points)? We’d love to hear from you.
Please post in our comments below.