San Francisco is an energy magnet; its undeniable entrepreneurial spirit and cultural patronage draws people from all corners of the world. While it may be best known for its thriving technology sector and monopoly on global engineering talent, it's also host to a dynamic urban offering, complete with relaxed charm and natural beauty.

The current estimate of Australians living in the Bay Area is somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000, and after speaking with five supremely talented global Australians who call this eclectic city home, it's easy to see the appeal.

If you've been ruminating as to whether San Francisco might be a good fit for you, the insights from these accomplished expats might be just the ticket to solidifying your thoughts. With Qantas recently reintroducing direct flights from San Francisco to Australia, this incredible city has never been more accessible.

Meet some members living in San Francisco!

Frances van Ruth: “Australians are innovative thinkers; we question authority in a healthy way”

Chris Hawkins: "Seeing how Facebook has scaled technology is mind-blowing”

Nadia Surtees: "Growing up, I could see that San Francisco created an amazing network of people from all over the world"

Ewan Proctor: “San Francisco is almost
overwhelming with

Ros Hodgekiss: "Magical thinking is in the air in San Francisco"


Check out Smartraveller advice for the United States - subscribe to updates and register your travel plans here


Thinking of making the move to San Francisco? Check out our information on obtaining a working visa here.


Feeling hungry? San Francisco is filled with amazing restaurants. Check out this list of Conde Naste restaurant recommendations to help find your next meal!

Feeling thirsty? Sit down, relax and enjoy a glass of wine at the urban winery, Press Club.

Top experiences and sites? Go to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, take a ferry to explore Alcatraz Prison and visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Unique to this city? Ride a cable car. It’s fun and uniquely San Francisco.


  • San Francisco is built on 43 hills and is known for its steep and curving streets
  • The United Nations Charter was signed in the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in the Civic Center District on June 26, 1945
  • The colour of the Golden Gate Bridge is called International Orange
  • The iconic cable cars are the country’s only rolling National Historic Landmark