A guide to living off the grid in Australia

Jamie Press
3 min read

Are you interested in living off the grid in Australia? Many families have opted to switch to off grid power, removing the shackles of society and giving themselves true freedom in living.

Simply stated, off-the-grid refers to homes that are fully autonomous from modern municipal hook-ups and power sources. Generally this refers to providing your own power generation without relying on any other sources.

For many people, choosing to unplug from city power is an expression of freedom. But it can also bring significant economic advantages. In fact, many off grid power solutions can save you significant amounts of money. Sometimes this incentive alone leads people to go off-grid.

If you’re interested in this type of lifestyle, have a look at our guide below to determine if it’s right for you – and how to get started.

 115 Outlook Lane, Gisbourne, VIC. 115 Outlook Lane, Gisbourne, VIC.

Is off the grid living right for you?

Use this checklist to determine whether or not this lifestyle is suitable for you:

☑ I am okay without the creature comforts of modern society.

☑ I am self-sufficient, creative and comfortable in confusing circumstances

☑ I am handy with repairs (or willing to learn).

☑ I am willing to work hard and get dirty.

If these characteristics sound like you, you may have what it takes to live off the grid. Once you’re sure this is the right path for you, your next step is to get your planning in order.

Initial considerations.

1. Find your land.

If you don’t already own a plot of land or have a home you’d like to convert to off the grid living, it’s time to find your new home. In many cases, you don’t have to head into the outback to find land right for your off grid living.

2. Get your permits.

Remember, Australians living off the grid haven’t shut themselves off from society. They’ve found solutions to live their lives without the typical worries and expenses of life. Accordingly, you may need to secure planning and council permits to approve your off-grid home construction.

Some off-the-grid experts recommend securing land that doesn’t require any permits for building or living. But this may not always be a practical choice for you and your family. Many of these no permit zones are remote – away from schools, towns and other people.

3. Get your power, food & other concerns in order.

You’ll need to develop a plan for all the major areas of your life when you’re off the grid. This includes your food/water, heating/cooling, waste removal and electricity (more on that later).

Countless Australians living off the grid still earn incomes through regular employment like everyone else. Depending on the extent of your plan, you’ll need all of these aspects to be addressed before you dive into a living situation.

The critical importance of power.

Living off the grid in Australia does not mean you have to live off the land and fully turn yourself off from modern life. There are some cases where you will certainly need electricity for a variety of reasons. From heating and cooling to powering hardware or tools, power is important. That’s why you must have your power generation in place prior to going fully off the grid.

For most people, power generation comes down to two primary solutions: solar panels and generators. The cost of solar implementation has continued to decrease as technology has improved. There is a variety of companies throughout Australia who can help you find an affordable implementation solution for your specific situation.

We could spend a whole article explaining all the different intricacies and particular points you need to understand about an off grid generator. Instead, you can utilise this generator buying guide. It will give you all the important information you need to know to understand how generators work – and which one will be right for you.

Truly free living.

While it certainly comprises a lot of hard work and sacrifice, living off the grid in Australia is a choice many people truly love. This lifestyle creates a true sense of freedom and liberation unlike anything else in the world. If you’re ready to work hard and make some true changes in what life is like for you, then you’ll marvel at how this change can make a positive impact on your life.

Jamie Press
Jamie Press writes for Able Sales, off grid solar diesel generator specialists in Perth, WA and Brisbane QLD.

Find the
latest properties
to hit the market

Over 300,000 properties to choose from in the Homely app for iPhone and Android.
“The best way to find homes!”
-Homely app reviewer
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Homely is an internationally acclaimed real estate portal helping millions of Australians each year to find their next home for sale or for rent. Check out our suburb reviews and local Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed.



I’ve always been a bit of a self-sufficient type and I have to admit that for the longest time, when it came to my food choices, I was an inconsistent eater. Sure, I would eat salads sometimes but on most days if you had asked me what I ate for lunch chances are good it would be something processed from the grocery store like chicken nuggets or frozen pizza. So, something had to change. Something where I could eat more healthy. So I decided to start being self-sufficient. I came across your site while researching and it helped. so though I woudl say hi


I decided to go off grid 6years go. Age 60.These days with a patch of land it’s very very do able. I loved it. 3 basics in life.shelter.water.food. I’m open to talk .


If people are serious they should try a bit of rougher living for a while. I spent 14 months in my camper trailer with my dog from Gippsland to the Territory and the Kimberley and most places inbetween. It was hard and I spent nights in a canvas roodef trailer with lows of over 30c and highs up to 45c in summer. Or in the minus temps in the outback in June up north of the tropic line. A year like that relying on a 200w solar panel and gas bottles and an engel fridge freezer soon hones your skills or tolerances.
It also means you can meet many people and learn a lot from others as well as check out many areas of the country that present good opportunities or challenges at different timers of year.
I’m currently in a house for winter 40km spouth of Perth and wish I was in the country rather than suburbia of 100,000 people. But I know I can hit the road any time I like and travel some more.
I also have a good idea of several areas that may have land, sun, rainfall and possible emplyment options nearby that could fit the bill for me.
Also been an epic journey of over 20,000km and most of the continent.
Give it a go folks.


Alan, you need to lighten up mate!
This site starts the conversation. You seem to be sending the message that if city folk stray more than 5 kms from the outer suburbs the local critters are going to eat them alive.
Encourage research…..don’t treat them as fools and scare the shit out of them.


Could someone please help me in regards to an "off grid" (solar and or wind/battery power, plumbing within the portable building, not connected to utilities), on residential land, or a lot that already has a house (as well as another shed, office or granny flat on it). I would like to own a portable building (Similar to a self contained unit/granny flat) and I don’t have any land. I could put it on friends or families land, but I’m sure they don’t want to go though the hassle of approvals, and also they each have either a loft, shed, or granny flat on their land/lot. I would like the building to have everything it needs, and it just gets craned in with a truck. Otherwise can I own a small piece of land or rent it from someone, and fence it off and put the portable building (possibly a tiny house/cabin with wheels) on there?


Whilst I am comfortable living out the scrub, many others are a liability to themselves and should forget it, especially in Australia. This country can be a very, very dangerous place unless you know what you’re doing. Research, research and research and then, once you’re finished, you MAY just survive 10 kilometres from a town. Any further than that and you better have your Will sorted. Australia is undoubtedly beautiful BUT……where there’s beauty, the beast isn’t far away and in THIS country, there are plenty of the latter! As far as this website is concerned, it needs to be far more specific, the dangers need to be FULLY explained eg "Bull sharks are nasty critters with a bad attitude and happily live in fresh as well as salt water!" Then, the site needs to list and explain fully ALL the venemous snakes and what not to do if confronted by one. With just those two, the site needs to emphasise the fact that unless you know what to look for, water is what you have on you or in your trailer. Finally, the site needs to include the fact that cell phones are generally useless with VHF radio, the best option cos at some stage you may need the services of the RFDS ( Royal Flying Doctor Service ).


Thank you for the article but I would like much information or where to go about finding it. You mentioned areas where no permits etc are required but gave no links to find these areas or areas where you don’t need as many permits or red tape. That information would be invaluable to me.


I wouldn’t say the article was crap, I think the whole concept of living "off the Grid" is pretty idealistic, impracticable and rather anti social. Whether you identify with the idea or not, in a practicable sense "Living off the Grid" is not easily achieved due to the myriad of societal impositions on land owners, and it will certainly only appeal to a very small proportion of the population. In fact I would say "it will never catch on"! A big call you an idealist might say, but I don’t think to isolate yourself from mainstream society will lead to a very fulfilling life.
I doubt it is a subject too many people are going find interesting.


@Tony to be fair, the article gives some good links on how to help do this (e.g. the link for permits, backdoor survival and the generator guide). I don’t think the intention was to give detailed step-but-step but rather point readers to some relevant sites. As a side note, I love the property listed in this blog but bad it’s not in my suburb!

Leave a reply