Living in Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and the second largest city in Australia. It has a population of around 4 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.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2010 Liveability Survey, Melbourne is the third most liveable city in the world, giving it the highest position of the five Australian cities that made the top 25. 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 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:
- Inner Melbourne – includes the City, Docklands, Port Phillip and Yarra.
- Northern Suburbs – includes Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
- South Eastern Suburbs – includes 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 Suburbs – includes Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.
- Western Suburbs – includes Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong and Wyndham.
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