Living in Melbourne

Melbourne CityMelbourne is the capital of Victoria and the second largest city in Australia. It has a population of around 4.35 million people and is on the southern coast of the eastern half of Australia’s mainland. Melbourne is sheltered from the ocean by the beautiful Port Phillip Bay.
Melbourne Location
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2014 Liveability Survey, Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world, claiming top spot for the fourth year in a row. A high recommendation indeed.

Melbourne is divided by the Yarra River that flows straight through the heart of the city. And what a beautiful city it is. It has the charm of a tram system and a beautiful mix of tall modern skyscrapers and established historic buildings with great architecture.

Melbourne seems to attract a greater variety of immigrants than any other city in Australia. There are more than 200 different nationalities making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It has a large Greek contingent, as well as Italians, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Indian residents. It is also a young person’s city with almost half of the population aged under 35.

The streets have a lively feel about them and Melburnians enjoy live music, performing arts, including public street performances, fashion, independent music and independent film.

But you can still make off for the beach. St Kilda and Brighton beaches are both close to the city and are highly recommended. A little further out will find you at Sandringham and further still, Mordialloc beach. Both are very popular. But if you want some really stunning beach scenery, you only need to jump into your car for about an hour or so and you’ll be at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. It starts at Torquay and winds for about four or five hour’s worth of driving and takes you all the way to Warrnambool.

What’s the weather like?

Melbourne Annual WeatherMelbourne is known as a city that can have four seasons in one day. They have weather that can turn on a sixpence. I have experienced this myself, sort off. A lunchtime temperature of around 35°C turned into a chilling 16°C by around five o’clock in the evening.

Wild winds and thunderstorms can descend out of clear blue skies and winters can be quite cold and very dull, with probably the fewest hours of sunshine found anywhere in Australia.

But summers can be extremely hot and very dry. The intense heat often stops trains from running on their tracks and some areas have a high risk of bushfires.

I loved Melbourne when I was there, the city has a really good feel about it. I’d be tempted to live there if I felt I could cope with the winters, but I’m not sure that I can. Best I stay in Brisbane then.

Here’s a map of the Greater Melbourne area:

Greater Melbourne Map
Melbourne can be broken down into five main geographical areas:

Each of those areas contain Local Government Areas (LGA’s) which I have listed next to each geographical area.

  • Inner Melbourne – includes the LGA’s City, Docklands, Port Phillip and Yarra.
  • Northern Melbourne – includes the LGA’s Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
  • South Eastern Melbourne – includes the LGA’s Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Glen Eira, Kingston, Monash and Stonnington. Both Frankston and Mornington Peninsula are part of South Eastern Suburbs but are not shown on this map. They’re both south of Kingston and overlook Port Phillip Bay. A fair way from the city centre, but a stones throw to the sea.
  • Eastern Melbourne – includes the LGA’s Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.
  • Western Melbourne – includes the LGA’s Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong and Wyndham.

Details of Melbourne’s suburbs are listed on my sub pages for Melbourne which you can access from the main navigation menu above by hovering over ‘Australian Cities’ and then ‘Melbourne’.

Questions about Melbourne?

If you have any question about living in Melbourne, please please feel free to ask them in the comments below. Or if you know this city well, why not tell us what you think of it or maybe even help out by answering some of the questions people have about the area. I’m sure anybody thinking of moving here would be very grateful for any help you can give them.

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{ 638 comments… add one }
  • Anshi October 25, 2016, 10:16 pm | Link

    Hi BoB, i recently moved to melbourne and found your blogs very helpfull in planning my migration. Thank you for wonderful and genuine advises. I wanted to check with you how should i go about if i want to get my friend also to move to melbourne. They dont have a job in hand but are qualified post grads and some experience in Finance or marketing. What would you advise for them to be able to get a visa and move to melbourne.

  • Binu Maharjan October 24, 2016, 9:43 pm | Link

    Can u tell me which one is the best place for a student girl to live in Melbourne.
    Options are : Morris street, sunshine Melboune or at gordon street coburg, 3056

    • Mark October 25, 2016, 9:50 am | Link

      No idea on the streets you mention. thats down to personal taste but give you an idea Coburg as a general area is ranked 75th most desirable area to live in Melbourne Sunshine 246…Sunshine is transforming but its slow.

  • zeeshan October 24, 2016, 7:32 pm | Link

    Hi, am thinking to move to melbourne within few weeks so can u tell me which area of melbourne is safe and liveable for families and where most white people live or majority of white people ? THANKS

  • Lauren October 22, 2016, 4:05 am | Link

    Hi there,
    I am hoping to move to Melbourne for a few months next summer to teach for one semester. What is the best area to rent a place in Melbourne that is close to good school and the public transit?
    Lauren 🙂

    • BobinOz October 23, 2016, 9:09 pm | Link

      I think it would help to know where you will be going to teach, do you know that yet?

    • Mark October 24, 2016, 9:45 am | Link

      Hi Lauren Bob is spot on as its a lot bigger than folks think, Melbourne that is, I live in whats termed greater Melbourne and it takes me 1 hour 30 to get to the airport If that was say London or Manchester UK I could get to around 4 or airports airports easily in that drive time, if you see my point its a far bigger area split up by a massive bay than people see. Get yourslef registered with VIT (it only last two years so timing is everything) and find a school, then look for accommodation nearby commutable.

  • jabubenice October 21, 2016, 1:59 am | Link

    Hi guys,
    Im african american married to a black British and we currently live in the uk. My wife is a doctor in the NHS and its just not realistic to work for the NHS and raise a family anymore. we have cut-down our choices down to Vancouver Canada and Melbourne. I just wanted to find out from you guys how integrated Melbourne is especially schools ( kids 5-6) etc, and how race relations are for black folks in particular….thanks in advance

    • Mark October 24, 2016, 9:39 am | Link

      You are quite a way of moving if you have not started the process yet e.g. allow around 12 months to get paperwork in order. I say that as things can change but generally speaking Melbourne is perhaps one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world where 99% percent get on (there is always one) Schools are very very diverse even Christian faith schools.

  • Goncalo October 21, 2016, 12:50 am | Link

    Hello everybody,

    I am moving very soon to Melbourne to work as fellow researcher at Monash University (Clayton campus) and I am trying to choose a nice neighborhood to live. I am looking for a house/unit to rent.

    I would like to live in a safe place, with some shops and restaurants, good transports to the Clayton campus and city center and not far from the beach.

    I was thinking of Brighton, Caulfield or Ormond. Do you recommend any of these?

    Thank you all in advance,


    • Mark October 24, 2016, 9:33 am | Link

      Yes three great to decent places, not sure on the public transport but most of that is google available. You also dont mention a budget Brighton will be on the high end. Look also at Moorabbin Chadstone and perhaps ask your fellow researchers as they will commute.

      • Goncalo October 24, 2016, 10:01 pm | Link

        Thank you for your help Mark! 🙂

  • Mike October 18, 2016, 4:54 pm | Link

    I am planning to relocate to Melbourne from Singapore with my family. I wanted know residential places which is nearer to good schools that I can rent ? I have a kid going to primary 4 . We are there in Jan next year any suggestions and recommendation appriciated.

    • BobinOz October 18, 2016, 7:50 pm | Link

      I think it would be impossible for anyone to advise you Mike, simply because everywhere in Melbourne is residential, has schools and places to rent.

      If schooling is your main priority, you might like to decide which school you want to send your child to first and then choose somewhere to live that is close to that and suits your budget. For help choosing a school, see my page Which school?

  • Ahmed October 11, 2016, 4:34 am | Link

    Is it easy to start your life there mean like fresh start or no opportunities over there ?
    Thank you .

    • BobinOz October 11, 2016, 11:20 pm | Link

      I don’t think the process could ever be described as easy. You will need skills, determination, hard work, luck, and who knows what else. It will be a fresh start, for sure, but unless you have contacts and a job to come to, it’s unlikely to be easy.

  • ROGER September 30, 2016, 1:28 am | Link

    Hi, Neal!
    Thanks for all the help you offer! Really nice of you to do this!
    I am moving to Melbourne for six months next February. I will be working at Unimelb and wanna find a nice house or flat to share, depending on the price, of course. I will not have to work every day ofthe week, so I would like to say near all the city interesting places and still be at a nice distance from Unimelb, enough to ride a bike or walk. A 30 minutes walk is my limit.
    All ideas are welcome, because I have just started do look for the place.
    Thank you again! All the best!

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 7:06 pm | Link

      Well, I don’t know who Neal is :-), but hopefully one of my many helpful readers who know Melbourne well will give you some advice about this. Good luck, Bob

      • Mark October 24, 2016, 6:19 pm | Link

        Hi Roger (and Neal’s mate, whoever he is) Your slap bang in the center so to speak . Id head north and look towards Moonee Ponds that way or the like. Id frequently suggest folk look to the Eastern Suburbs but getting to where you are from many of those will prove a pain. perhaps post on the university forum/platform I’m sure it has something like, looking for accommodation Id be amazed if nothing came up especially as you are looking for a share.

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