Wish you could spend less time in your car?

Living in a walkable neighbourhood could save you plenty of money, particularly when it comes to dropping your car costs. There are good reasons to live in a walkable city: It’s not just your environmental footprint, but it does wonders for your health and the wider economy.

walkable communities
Melbourne CBD is one of Australia’s most walkable cities. Where do you call home? Photo: iStock/swissmediavision

When we asked Rent.com.au users why they loved living in ‘Walkers Paradise’ suburbs, they said having more time (29%) was most important, closely followed by big improvements to their health (24%). They also said they felt happier (17%), had reduced their impact on the environment (16%) and felt a stronger connection to their local community (14%).

Walk Score word cloud

The search for walkable communities

These results in mind, we wanted to find the places around Australia where you could live a walkable, urban lifestyle – affordably. To answer this question, we considered Walk Score data and median rents for every major city around the country. The good news? In all the cities listed below, there is a nice selection of apartments and houses located in Walker’s Paradise neighbourhoods (meaning a Walk Score of 90+) listed on Rent.com.au for $400 or less. You just need to know where to look.

Here are our top picks for scoring a rental bargain in Australia’s most walkable cities:

SYDNEY CBD: Walk Score of 98

Median rental for properties ranked:

  • Walkers Paradise: $686/pw
  • Highly Walkable: $600/pw
  • Somewhat Walkable: $597/pw
  • Somewhat Car Dependent: $585/pw
  • Car Dependent: $595/pw

Most-Walkable-Communities---Sydney---Rent.com.au

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Our calculation show that Sydney is still the clear winner among Australian capital cities, when it comes to having the most walkable neighbourhoods. If you work in the inner CBD, living in Sydney is about as convenient as it gets. It’s a demographic made up, predominantly, of professionals and office workers who choose to walk to work over taking a car anywhere. Whether you’re after a penthouse, studio or just a simple apartment, there’ll be something for you in Sydney – just be prepared to take the stairs to get there.

Most people wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Sydney is one of the most walkable cities in Australia. The city has extensive public transport options, with a comprehensive network of train, bus and ferry services. Light rail trains, airport links, sightseeing buses and taxi services all complement the network. It’s also a great city for bicycle lovers, with some of the bike route network dedicated purely to cyclists. It doesn’t stop there though! Ferries transit Sydney Harbour, and the city is home to several train stations which nicely connect its neighbouring suburbs.

With a walk score of 98, Sydney CBD is chock-full of trendy restaurants and plenty of amenities, but, with a median rent price of $550*, it also happens to be one of the most expensive places to live. But cost aside, if a pulsing nightlife and accessibility to work is important to you, it could be worth considering living in the inner CBD for ability to ditch your car and walk everywhere. You can find anything from modern three-bedroom apartments to funky studios which will suit students. Sydney metro properties with a ‘Walkers Paradise’ rating on Rent.com.au recorded a median rent of $686 per week (pw).

Love what Sydney CBD has to offer, but can’t deal with the asking rent? You might be interested in taking a look at properties in Sydney’s most walkable neighbourhoods: Darlinghurst, Redfern, Bondi Junction, Woollahra, Glebe, Newtown, Paddington, Milsons Point, Chatswood and Parramatta.

*Price determined in Rent.com.au’s Quarter 4 report (October – December 2016). Read the full report here.


MELBOURNE CBD: Walk Score of 93

Median rental price for properties ranked:

  • Walkers Paradise: $500/pw
  • Highly Walkable: $450/pw
  • Somewhat Walkable: $436/pw
  • Somewhat Car Dependent: $410/pw
  • Car Dependent: $410/pw

Most-Walkable-Communities---Melbourne---Rent.com.au

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Packed tightly with trendy bars, laid-back coffee houses and friendly beer gardens, it’s easy to see why Melbourne is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. Most of its neighbourhoods are easy to get around and are home to Grampians National Park, the wine country, St Kilda Beach and Port Phillip Bay. For anyone looking to rent in the inner city, Melbourne has some big benefits. The city has extensive public transit options, run by Public Transit Victoria. If commuting in this way is important to you, there are trains, trams, buses, a bus service to the airport, and the City Circle line is also free. Cycling enthusiasts will like that Melbourne Bike Share has dozens of stations scattered around the city.

On average, properties in the Melbourne metro area rated as a ‘Walkers Paradise’ on Rent.com.au will set you back around $500/pw, but you can find some ‘Somewhat Walkable’ and ‘Highly Walkable’ options (still great) for an average of $436 and $450/pw respectively. Cost-aside, it’s worth considering that with Melbourne’s proximity to universities and just about every business in town, the people who choose to live in the CBD are usually independent and can’t beat the convenience of a city pad for getting to work or their next lecture.

The easy grid layout of this city, combined with its myriad beautiful gardens means living and working in the city makes for a great lifestyle choice. If Melbourne is for you, apartment living will be the name of the game in the CBD – it’s just down to picking the place you like.

Like Melbourne, don’t want to live or work in the CBD? Consider its most walkable neighbours: Moonee Ponds, Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood, South Yarra, Prahran, Southbank, Footscray, North Melbourne and Coburg.


BRISBANE CBD: Walk Score of 95

Median rental price for properties ranked:

  • Walkers Paradise: $470/pw
  • Highly Walkable: $442/pw
  • Somewhat Walkable: $442/pw
  • Somewhat Car Dependent: $426/pw
  • Car Dependent: $437/pw

Most-Walkable-Communities---Brisbane---Rent.com.au

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Brisbane is renowned for a somewhat enviable, laid-back culture these days. It’s a factor which does plenty to showcase the city’s cheerful attitude. For ‘Brisbanites,’ living in the heart of the city is a relatively new phenomenon. Many locals choose to live in some of the well-established suburbs that circle the city. You’ll come across a more multicultural crowd in the CBD, with residents hailing from the UK, Korea, China, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Brisbane is basically a playground for lovers of art, music and culture. To meet increasing demand for CBD accommodation, Brisbane is starting to transform with many new high-rises, and distinctive bridge peppering the skyline. Much like Melbourne, the CBD is designed in an easy-to-navigate grid. The city is well-serviced by public transport, with (much-needed) air-conditioned buses and trains.

On average, properties in the Brisbane metro area rated as a ‘Walkers Paradise’ on Rent.com.au will set you back around $470/pw, but you can find some ‘Somewhat Walkable’ and ‘Highly Walkable’ options (still great) for an average of $442/pw. If apartment living is up your ally, then Brisbane is for you. You won’t regret renting in this beautiful river city.

Brisbane’s great, but I want somewhere nearby! No worries, why not check out Brisbane’s most walkable neighbouring suburbs: Fortitude Valley, West End, Springfield Lakes, Hay Point, Milton, Toowong, Indooroopilly, Isle of Capri, New Farm and Lutwyche.


PERTH CBD: Walk Score of 89

Median rental for properties ranked:

  • Walkers Paradise: $445/pw
  • Highly Walkable: $410/pw
  • Somewhat Walkable: $390/pw
  • Somewhat Car Dependent: $390/pw
  • Car Dependent: $397/pw

Most-Walkable-Communities---Perth---Rent.au

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Central Perth hosts a good selection of apartments with 1-3 bedrooms, many with great views across the Swan River and over to Kings Park. A good number of its downtown residents live solo and relish the benefit of downtown living without worrying about the responsibility of keeping their garden alive. The CBD is a hive of activity in growing Perth, a place for business people to do business and students to study. But it’s not all hard work, the place comes to life when the sun goes down, attracting many party-goers.

On average, properties in the Perth CBD area rated as a ‘Walkers Paradise’ on Rent.com.au will set you back around $445/pw, but you can find some ‘Somewhat Walkable’ and ‘Highly Walkable’ options for an average of $390 and $410/pw respectively. If this is still beyond your budget, it’s worth considering the opportunity to share with a few roommates for a chance to enjoy the urban delights.

Suburban bus routes and rail lines fan out neatly in all directions across Perth from Perth Train Station and the nearby Wellington Street and Elizabeth Quay bus stations. Though nearby, Perth’s upmarket western suburbs are renowned mostly for their lofty asking rental prices, meaning a downtown apartment is still very good value for those in the market today. There are hundreds of character and newly refurbished apartments on the market in the inner city, with plenty more being built as we speak. Perth is truly a delight for convenient, low-maintenance and affordable city living.

I love Perth, but what else is on offer? Have a look through Perth’s most walkable nearby neighbourhoods: Northbridge, East Perth, Subiaco, South Perth, Fremantle, Joondalup, Morley, Mount Lawley and Victoria Park.


ADELAIDE CBD: Walk Score of 90

Median rental for properties ranked:

  • Walkers Paradise: $442/pw
  • Highly Walkable: $375/pw
  • Somewhat Walkable: $360/pw
  • Somewhat Car Dependent: $347/pw
  • Car Dependent: $375/pw

walkable communities

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Though modest by global standards, Adelaide is big enough to provide renters with all the enticements of modern-day city living. Adelaide has many properties which fit nicely into the ‘Walkers Paradise’ category, which makes for a lifestyle hub if you fit into the category of singles, students, office workers or independents. The market in central Adelaide is packed with everything from one-bedroom stone worker’s cottages to more flashy apartments, delivering all the rental goods.

You can find a ‘Walkers Paradise’ property for around $442/pw in Adelaide, the second most affordable city in Australia for those in search of walkable hotspots. If you can score a property with a high walkability number, you’ll be enjoying the convenience, variety and continual stimulation of urban life in South Australia’s city hub. The CBD is brimming with cafes, bars, cinemas, markets and shops – and they’re all easy enough to get to, thanks to the abundance of trains, buses and trams which rumble through the CBD. The city is home to The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, as well as Adelaide High School.

So, it’s good news if living inner city Adelaide excites you: Convenience, excitement and opportunity packed into a spot which remains relaxed and easy-going. The vast range of houses and apartments on offer through Rent.com.au will keep city-savvy residents feeling right at home.

Love what’s on offer in Adelaide? Close-by Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, Gilberton, Bowden, Unley, Park Holme, Goodwood, Kensington and Glenside all rank highly on Walk Score and are worth checking out.



What’s Walk Score all about?

The Walk Score® Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address, from zero being “car dependent” to 100 being “a Walkers Paradise” where daily errands would not require a car. The score measures the distance from specific addresses to neighbourhood amenities, such as restaurants, schools, libraries and coffee shops.

So, Walk Score® calculates the walkability of an address, measuring how easy it is to live a sans-car lifestyle (not how pretty the area is for walking) Let’s have a look at how Australian states and territories rate for walkability:

Rent.com.au has made it simple for Rent.com.au users to factor walkability into their rental search. Rent.com.au users can click on a property listing, look beneath the property description and add their commute destination (i.e. work) Walk Score® will then display the approximate time required to walk, drive or bike to the destination.

What do you think? Does a rental property’s Walk Score matter when choosing your next home? Share your thoughts with the Rent.com.au community in the Comments below!

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1 COMMENT

  1. Could you please make up a “walkable” map for regional towns that are affordable for those on disability/pension/low income?
    There are many people who don’t drive for various reasons, finding affordable housing within reach of public transport is a huge challenge.

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