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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{ 794 comments… add one }
  • Shama Sharma March 25, 2017, 4:08 pm | Link

    Hi Mark I am moving to Melbourne from NZ. I have 2boys they both are teenagers. Older one is 14yrs old and younger one 13yrs old which area you recommend thanks

    • Mark March 25, 2017, 5:15 pm | Link

      Hi Shama Ironically we have just spent the afternoon with a family from NZ two years ago. I could do with a bit more to go on. Buy rent and budget app, City’ite or country lover, beach or fauna. Job you may have or look for? I am guessing you dont need be near anywhere, CBD ? Cafe, eatery culture or what you may look for. Sorry for all the questions but its a darn big place with many facets.

  • Simona March 7, 2017, 9:52 am | Link

    Hi Mark, me and my family moving from UK to Melbourne the end of this month. We are looking to rent/buy a house in South Eastern Melbourne like Seaford, Chertsea, Frankston… Can you please tell me which suburb would you suggest to raise the family? We have 3 and half years and 2 years old kids… So we are looking for suburb with good pre-schools, schools, play grounds, parks…. Also is Domain application the best to find a house or would you suggest any another website? Thank you very much in advance 🙂

    • Mark March 7, 2017, 3:25 pm | Link

      Sorry to be asking questions instead of answering I will I promise but I am guessing you will rent till you can find somewhere to buy ? Do you have a job anywhere eg a commute planned and by what method or is there another reason you have picked those three Ill briefly explain is great for both but if renting and looking for short term there is other options and a trick to get in with realtors if you read below comments from I think Dav he got frustrated with trying to rent, he never did get in touch so I assume not that bad Secondly Id avoid Seaford…Chelsea is Ok as is or can be Frankston avoiding the bits near Seaford but if your commuting to say Springvale as an off the cuff example you can look at other places. a wider area and more opportunities for recommendation for what you are looking for Finally is beach or within driving distance important as they all come close.

      • Simona March 8, 2017, 9:22 am | Link

        Hi Mark, thank you for your reply. No reason why I picked up those 3 suburbs… Only 1 and that’s that we have a friends in Frankston, so we wanted be not very far from them, but we are open to any suburbs in south-east melbourne… Priority is safe area, good schools, parks, play gounds, shops… Yes we are looking to rent a place before we buy, we want to check Melbourne before we decide where we want to buy… I going to check Dav comments now 😉

        • Mark March 8, 2017, 10:45 am | Link

          Well it depends were your heading for job wise but if the ‘worlds your oyster’ or rather SE Melbourne is. Then have a look at Chelsea and the Dale’s areas North, Aspen Park etc etc but also look south as far perhaps as Rye with some inland towards say Summerville or even Cranbourne though Cranbourne is short on roads…The beauty being of all the other places is the M11 can get you in the city in less than an hour even as far as Rye is 1.10 1.15… Now I am not suggesting that as a commute though a friend now does from Rye 4 out of 5 days..
          .As you come through Frankston you come into the Mornington Peninsular area and many places along there are great, instead of say where the railroad cuts say Aspendale almost in two. Have a drive down Main Street Mornington its a million miles better than some of the built up city areas. So you have Frankston Mt Eliza Mt Martha Mornington, Mt Martha and Safety Beach and so on you cant go wrong…If you have friend here hopefully they will help you but of your stuck just holler..I never did get to explain the trick to Dav on how to beat the realtor so you get the rental above others.

          • Simona March 9, 2017, 7:11 am | Link

            Hi Mark, thank you very much for your time to reply… I’m home with kids and my husband is builder so he will be traveling all around the Melbourne, so we are not fixed on one place, but not more than 1 hour travel distance to Melbourn city will be good . So thank you for your advises, we will have a look more to Frankston and Chelsea 🙂 Davs post make me worried a bit 🙁 Luckily we have friends with we can stay for a bit and we will hope that if we are able to pay a rent in advance than won’t be so hard to get a house… I very appreciate your help Mark. thanks a lot again…

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