Living in Melbourne


Melbourne 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.
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 Weather ChartMelbourne 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_melbourneMelbourne 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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{ 988 comments… add one }
  • Sally C November 30, 2021, 8:35 pm |

    I recently travelled to Melbourne to visit my son’s new house. My question is? Why are the houses in the suburbs, no matter which suburb, very mixed in appearance in regards to cleanliness and upkeep? One house has beautiful lawns and gardens and the next is messy. Its hard to tell which is a good suburb to live and which ones are the rough suburbs.

    • BobinOz December 3, 2021, 6:49 pm |

      I think that’s one of the great things about Australia, all houses, even in the same street, are very different. Where I came from, England, it was not uncommon to have a street with 100+ houses and and every one built with exactly the same design. Rows and rows of houses all the same.

      Here people (certainly for when these houses were first built and for new developments) tend to buy a plot of land and then decide what to build on it and you could have 30 or more different builders all building on plots in the same street. That’s some are well-kept and others are messy is just human nature, I suspect, and maybe also a bit of some houses being owner occupiers whilst others are rental properties.

      You can still tell the good suburbs from the bad though simply by looking at the overall median house price. But for sure though, housing here is nothing like it was back in the UK.

  • Helen May 7, 2021, 9:10 pm |

    My husband has had the opportunity to move to Melbourne to work for two years. We are a car-less family and neither my husband nor myself drive. It it possible to live in Melbourne, with 3 kids, and not drive? At home we walk or cycle everywhere. Are we going to have to learn to drive if we want to live comfortably, or is it possible to walk, cycle or use public transport to get around (and get the kids around) easily?

    • BobinOz May 10, 2021, 8:58 pm |

      Melbourne, or for that matter Australia, is not really designed well for those without cars, but that’s not to say it is impossible to live here without a car.

      Melbourne has a pretty good transport system and it also has a network of trams, so if you choose someone to live close to a tram stop or a bus route, you could make it work. Cycling is pretty popular here as well, and most major cities have dedicated cycling lanes. I did write a series of articles about that and here is the link to the one for Melbourne…

      Of course, we also have taxis and Uber. So as handy as a car might be for most people, I don’t think it’s a necessity and I’m sure you could make it work for you here in Melbourne, just as you have so far in Europe.

  • Elizabeth Smith January 23, 2019, 10:07 am |

    Hi, I notice the query about Bendigo and decided to offer my input. We have been to and through Bendigo on many occasions and it appears to be a lovely place. There is a high migrant population, plenty of work opportunities and appears to be a reasonably safe place to live. I think it would be a wonderful place to move to and bring your family.
    I hope I’ve been so help.

  • Sofia sharth November 9, 2018, 2:03 am |

    Hi Bob – I am planning to move to Bendigo from UK in the next few months with my son and partner. Before we make a final decision, wanted to know if this is a nice place for families. Are there good schools and plenty to entertain my little one? Which part of bendigo is good for renting or buying house?

  • Anupama Bazaz August 2, 2018, 7:26 pm |

    Hi Mark and Bob ,
    We will be shifting to Melbourne in Oct as PR family of 3 . My husband got salary of AUD 127,000 including super . I will try to find job but might take few months to settle down . I want to know if this salary is sufficient to have comfortable life there with saving ? Also I have 8yrs old daughter if you can suggest us area with good primary and secondary school where we can rent a place for few months and look to buy a house in same area.

    • BobinOz August 3, 2018, 4:47 pm |

      That’s a pretty good salary, way above the national average, so yes, I think you will be quite comfortable. Even better when you do find a job for yourself.

      Housing can be expensive though, so just trying keep those costs reasonable.

      As for where, I’m not sure Mark visits these pages so regularly these days, and I simply don’t know enough about Melbourne to help. I know there are a lot of comments here, but if you skim through them there is plenty of talk about the suburbs and the quality of the schools by Mark and others, so hopefully that will help.

      Good luck with your move, I hope it goes well.

    • Mark August 3, 2018, 4:56 pm |

      Hi Anupama. Where about is the job based would be a key to all this. As Bob has said there is lots and lots of info on suburbs and so on below. Your salary will be fine but I’d personally rent for s few months as Melbourne’s housing bubble cannot sustain itself if you guide me ever the job is I’ll point you in the right direction. I have left Melbourne but still know it well I decided Brisbane was far far nicer

  • Kris June 18, 2018, 7:05 am |

    Hello Mark and Bob
    I love this website and am a regular visitor on here. Thanks for the great and helpful information.
    I hear what Mark is saying about Melbourne and his new-found love for Brisbane. Unlike Mark, I moved to Brisbane 5 months ago and struggling to cope with the city. Perhaps I need to go out more, but unfortunately, my busy work life style does not permit much of social life. I work in health sector and the model of practice in Melbourne I find way better than here in Brisbane. I find Brisbane service slow and at times bored at work. I enjoy the busy life style and always like the few down times in a theatre, fancy restaurant with friends. The ambience in Melbourne city is undeniably amazing. I moved here for a bit of easy life and better pay but I got it all wrong.
    Yeah, the weather in Brisbane is amazing, but I’m not a big fan of humidity. I hate the fact that I get sweat straight after coming out of the shower. Maybe I need to move from Springfield Lakes but is closer to my work out in Ipswich.
    As I speak, I’m preparing to move back to Melbourne, I understand the traffic is exhaustive but the lifestyle and little time I have off work can be out to great use out in Melbourne than Brisbane. I also love the beauty of the city. I don’t mind the cold, I grew up in Christchurch NZ, so Melbourne weather is not that different.
    My question is, I have two job offers I’m considering, one in East Melbourne (close to Richmond) and the other out around Sunshine area (West Melbourne), I’m looking at getting a place in Footscray, not very familiar with that area. My understanding is that Footscray can be rough and lots of low social economical. I’m wondering if you or Mark can advise more about Footscray or any suburb that would be best between Sunshine and East Melbourne.
    I used to live in Peninsula and Blackburn area and familiar with that part of town. It would be too far off to go back to Blackburne if working in Richmond or Sunshine area. I’m looking for someone family friendly, good access or proximity to the city, fairly new housing and perhaps about 30 to 40mins drive to work (out of traffic times).
    Thanks for your continue help and support.

    • BobinOz June 18, 2018, 6:01 pm |

      Hi Kris, glad to hear you’ve been enjoy my website, good to hear from you.

      I have to say, I’m enjoying the way this thread is going. Usually in Australia, it’s all about Sydney versus Melbourne, so I’m really enjoying any kind of conversation that’s all about Melbourne versus Brisbane. It’s like we’ve been promoted 🙂

      All points noted Kris and as we say, each to his own. Some people prefer the warmer climate, others cooler. Some like laid-back, others like the hustle and bustle. Each state and territory in Australia is very different, as though they are different countries, but with the same supermarkets 🙂

      Always a good idea to find the place that suits you the best.

      As for Melbourne and Footscray, I’ll leave that to Mark with his local knowledge of Melbourne. What you might like to do though is check out a very recent post of mine called Finding Somewhere Nice to Live in Australia. You’ll see a link there to an Australian government interactive map and if you set it to “State Suburb SSC” and search for Footscray, Victoria, the result is quite interesting.

      Footscray itself is yellow, which is the middle ground between most disadvantaged and most advantaged, then on one side there is a sea of blue, which represents the most advantaged areas, and then on the other side a sea of red, the most disadvantaged areas on the socio economic advantage and disadvantage scores.

      I don’t really know what that means or says about Footscray, but hopefully Mark can tell you more.

      • Kris June 19, 2018, 10:13 am |

        Thanks a lot, Bob – you are right, both cities are different and I fall into the category of those who love a bit of busy life.
        The interactive map was really helpful, now I’ve just broadened my search. I know Mark is a big fan of East Melbourne, it would be great to hear about his local knowledge.
        I’ve extended my search to some part of North as my job would likely be around West and East of Melbourne. It seems areas such as Heidelberg, Preston, Coburg, Pasco Vale and Essendon have less traffic and good access to either Sunshine or St Vincent Hospitals…
        Once again, thanks Bob

        • BobinOz June 19, 2018, 7:21 pm |

          Glad to hear the map helped you a bit. I haven’t heard from Mark for a little while, I know he’s been busy, but hopefully next time he’s around he’ll be able to throw more light on the suburbs you’ve mentioned. Or maybe even somebody else who is following this thread might chip in.

          • Mark June 22, 2018, 11:36 am |

            Hi Kris Sorry for delayed reply. I diont have this page set up to email me, maybe I should. Work in my game is either nothing to do or.. ‘Can we have all that sorted by yesterday’.
            Anyway noted about your comments and yes for a life of maybe single and can put up woth the chill factor Melbourne is OK We have opeted for coastal are so ist a bit cooler ‘Supposedly’ when exiting shower, so with air con on full pelt in Summer Im hoping we are happy.
            Footscray yes if you can avoid I would ista real mixed bag of a place its really easy to gte to the CBD but the traffic does change that. I dont think Footscray is going down hill ist just otehr suburbs around it are making progress if you follow. Heidelberg is split in three with Heights and West except for west its congested again and West is the quiter area eg less shops etc Preston not so sure about its still busy…Pascoe Vale if I put myself in your shoes might be best, the South are is prbably better and pretty close to CBD for Southbank etc. Sunshine Im stuggling with its getting better but someone perhaps needs to tell the bad guys that. Coburg is too chaos for me Coburg North is better… Meanwhile with a massive over supply of Port Melbourne apartments and close city proximity, easy transport, Id have a look there. If you can manage iwth Public transport for a commute it will make life easier.
            I like you used to love the busy of the day and in fairness I still miss it when its a ‘nothing to do time’ but the madness of Melbourne its sadly not going to get better even though they are building a new tunnel under the city it will be at capacity when its opened I suspect. I dont think they ever expected to outstrip Sydney population… as an example Tower Bridge London was built for horse and cart and though more modern Melbourne cith wasnt designed to cope with that volume of traffic Hope this helps for now.

            • Kris September 13, 2018, 10:54 am |

              Hello Mark and Bob,
              Thanks for both advise, I appreciate. Apologies for the reply as I have been busy trying to settle back into Melbourne.
              Mark, I do agree with you, Melbourne can be chaotic and crazy with traffic and bills, but for some reason, I still have a great soft spot for this crazy city.
              I did not get the job in Sunshine, but thank goodness I got something better. The job is in Dandenong and I’m currently renting around Eastern Suburb, I also work part time some weekends or evenings in Eastern which is great.
              Now the trouble is where to buy. I’m looking around the Eastern as it is close to both main and part time jobs and not too far from the city.
              Ringwood seems great but crazy expensive. I’m looking around Rowville, Knox or Kallista area. My budget is $600,000.
              Mark with your great East Suburb knowledge, any recommendation, somewhere with good school, park and easy access to the city, night life and / or shops. What are your thoughts.
              Thanks again to both of you for amazing tips.

              • Mark September 17, 2018, 7:18 pm |

                Hi Kris
                Dandenong mmmmm glad its only work there…The crime capital of Australia I think We rent a lot of cars from a big brand rental company who have a franchise in Dande…In March a guy breaks in, caught on cctv cutting the gate locks…a few minutes later a Toyota Camry drives out and away. Alarns go.., police alerted…well that supposed excuse of a police department…The rental company have the name of the individual How? well he’s as thick as PC Plod he has rented a car before from them.. Picture, driving licence, address all real. This was Tuesday night, after much whinging by the franchisee owner the police finally put in an appearance Friday….He gives them all the details. They dont go straight to the house as its one of the gang members ..Too frightened…A week later the rental company spot their car in Dandenong Market car park and take it back…Pc plod then complains at them for interfearing in their investigations You cnat make this stupidity up.
                I digress Dande and crime, so to live close by sadly is out The places you mention are fine but with an undoubted recession now going to hit Australia an probably globally its time again . Id hold off a bit but thats only my thoughts…We bought Marhc 2016 in Mornington at 822 and sold with only ainting one wall in March 2018 for 1.287. Thye cannot sustain property prices rising so high.
                Going forward thats were I would look …its a bit further to the city but head down the peninsula link and anyhwere acessible to it south of say Frankston My best tio for naybidy right now would by around Baxter suffer a few years of lack of transport save the car but they are putting the rail link in..The place is pretty cheap and can only go up in value… Im saying all this as would hate anyone to buy and lose out though in fairness for 600k it will be impossible in some areas A plcae id take a drive to is Mt Martha on what termes the bentons side of it its a 20$ uber ride ti frankston station and into the city with a 30 minute drive to work but you have the nightlife of Mornington and the wineries on your doortsep…
                I appreciate this is a completely opposite direction to where your looking but anywhere south Give you chance to make some money on a house purchase rather than lose…Hope this helps for now Cheers Mark

  • Mark June 13, 2018, 11:50 am |

    Hi Bob and all
    I’ve been a contributor to this site for a couple of year’s maybe and have when I could helped folks in Melbourne or certainly on their way there. I have at times been presented with a Brisbane Melbourne Sydney option from some posts and I have always ruled Sydney out as I did myself 3 years ago. I have you might say always suggested Melbourne (well I knew Bob would say Brisbane) several factors allowing 1 A job for the poster 2 Style of living 3 Weather…applied to many
    Well shock horror Allowing the three factors e.g. you have been offered a job at ABC in Melbourne or your family is all there…Im holding my hands up and though I have not experienced a full summer there Brisbane is so so so much better….Does it need another So? Maybe not!
    OK Melbourne the driving style has got bad really really bad in fact I’d say it’s worse than Toronto and Mumbai and probably even Lagos… One morning 9 cars all rear ended ok so 8 at fault How do you do it guys? 8 of you all in the back of each other on the Eastlink many have no idea of stopping distance. Now this isn’t my only reason, its cold, yes your coming say from UK or Canada where temperatures reach minus easily but at home with no real insulation in many houses and double glazing still in its infancy its bloody cold in the home until the heating is ramped up. For many the weather is a key factor and as you will read Brissie can get humid but heck id rather suffer 6 weeks of that if you do suffer than the everlasting winter of Melbourne It feels like it goes on forever What else wont I miss….back to the road Id average 100 k a day and nearly every day would I see a speed camera they have over 150 speed camera vehicles (that’s on top of police cars) that are set to nab you at 63 in a 60 Now don’t get me wrong speeding so speeding but they don’t play fair you can be 10 metres out of an 80 zone and they are parked there. There is or was as it has to keep changing names a facebook called revenue raisers just for updates where these things are. Now again Brisbane will have speed tarps but not at this rate…As I say around 150 suvs deployed across Melbourne just to hide and catch you. I was lucky and escaped….Its other little things though like charging you to go to the tip and at some rate. Now I get the recycle bit but because of this charging now so much is getting left on roadsides as it fell off the back of the Ute as it was deliberately not tied on…
    Brisbane or rather Queensland will have its faults Im still laughing about the rabbit proof fence and its irritating you can’t buy wine in Aldi because of laws. Well they do some good stuff and it would be so much funnier reading about said fence when alcohol was consumed (id have loved to have been at the meeting mmmm we need a rabbit proof fence …seconded What were they thinking??? )
    So Bob got it right with Brisbane that does not mean I and many others got it wrong with Melbourne but my point I make here is if your escaping say UK for the chaos of the M6 M25 and city madness of a more sensible life of say 80s populated USA or UK. You have to give Brisbane the thumbs up.
    So Melbourne Sydney Brisbane…. Im not sure… is your question? Factor’s aside, take the Brisbane option.

    • BobinOz June 13, 2018, 9:05 pm |

      If I were childish, at this point I’d be saying “told you so”. But of course, I’m not, so I won’t.

      Instead I’ll just say “Welcome to Brisbane Mark” 🙂

      • Mark June 14, 2018, 11:22 am |

        Very funny Haha and Sincerely Thank you Its like living in a whole different country . Heck I know its a different state some 1000 miles away. To experience the difference though is so nice, had I gone from Brisbane to Melbourne ouch, no that would not be good.
        Whilst we all want different things, who wants to come home with bits of steering wheel under your nails ahhhh.
        Im preffering going to Syds pie shop my latest discovery here.

  • riya May 11, 2018, 11:26 pm |

    Hi Mark.
    Me and my husband going to immigrate to Melbourne in July month on 189 visa.
    We will be looking for job after arriving there.What do you suggest that in which area we should book hotel or apartment from where daily commuting to the companies or job consultants would be bit easy. and any suggestion for the short term staying option where it would be cheap and best.
    We heard that its not easy to get rented accommodation till we don’t have job in hand. Can you suggest some way to get rental accommodation quickly based on your experience.
    Your help would be highly appreciable.

    • BobinOz May 15, 2018, 5:59 pm |

      Mark doesn’t seem to be around at the moment, and I don’t know the area well enough to help you with the location. For short-term and immediate accommodation though, you might like to share a house with somebody being as its just you and your husband.

      That would be the cheapest option, a room in someone’s house and you can find those through Airbnb or Homestay. Google them for more.

      • Riya May 23, 2018, 9:58 pm |

        Thanks Bob for your valuable reply

    • Mark May 23, 2018, 6:50 pm |

      Hi Riya sorry fpr the delayed reply been in UK and LA and yes that doesnt prevent me logging in here but sadly too much to do while there. Ok if you are going for job consultant to hep then sadly you need to be by the city so id pick anywhere for an air bnb or stayz its potentially ony short term so doesnt really matter. If your looking to rent yes it may be harder with no job its just down to the landlord but if you can put up several weeks rent up front that will ease there concern if yoru looking for rentals and easy acsess to city then look anyhwere you can afford south west like Elsternwick Richmond and surrounds,
      Cheers Mark

      • Riya May 23, 2018, 10:06 pm |

        Thanks Mark for your valuable reply.

  • Anshu February 20, 2018, 12:26 am |

    Hi Bob,
    i currently have 457 temp work visa. I recently got married and am in India for Work/Vacation until March 31st. Ii have applied for Subset 457 dependent visa for my husband on 19th Jan 2018 from India. Processing time shown for the visa is 5 to 11 months. Few of my colleagues have got dependent visa finalised in 2 months time however i am now worried due to the long processing time. My husband and i want wanted to travel to Australia together. Can you advise if there is a way out – Can i apply for a Visitor Visa (tourist) or a Bridging visa till the Subset 457 is finalised?

  • Kervish January 31, 2018, 4:08 pm |

    Hello Bobinoz,
    Me and my husband are from Mauritius and wish to know whether yourself or anyone could possibly advise of the best migration agent for Melbourne Australia.
    Got a few of them on the website but some never replied while others said they would get back later due to large number of queries.
    We are looking for a personalized service, with high rates of success.
    I will be the main applicant and being well qualified already, please note that I do not wish to study any more, neither does my husband wish to.
    Just some brief info about myself, I am 31, I have a degree in Law, fully qualified ICSA and 13 years experience in Banking
    English Level proficient.
    My husband has a lengthy experience in construction field and his company undertakes renovation and building works for private and corporate customers.
    Getting a job there would normally facilitate our visa process, right?
    So, could any one help by advising us of any possible ways of applying for jobs and enhancing our chances to get invited from here?
    Or can he get to start the sane business over there?
    The data we have on internet are useful but we need more practical information, from people who have gone through the same situation mostly.
    Many thanks to all for your precious help, cheers!

  • Lesley January 10, 2018, 1:01 am |

    Hi there,
    First of all, thanks for providing all the excellent information that’s included on this site. Great job!
    My husband and I and our two kids, aged 10 and 12, are Canadians living in Mozambique and are moving to Melbourne in April 2018 (actually the kids and I will follow in July). My husband will be working in Burwood East on a 457 visa, which is being processed at the moment. We are trying to figure out whether we want to buy or rent and which area to live in. We have been looking at properties to the east of Burwood East in Boronia, Glen Waverly, Ringwood, Box Hill, etc. We would ideally like to be somewhere that is within a 30-45 min commute for my husband and in an area with a good primary and secondary school. We are still deciding between public and Catholic and private – it seems like with the new fees being charged for 457 visa holders in public schools ($5100 for primary school and $6100 for secondary school), that it wouldn’t be much more to send them to a Catholic school .
    Wondering if we should also be looking in the southeast suburbs? My husband and I are runners and bikers and would like some outdoor space whether we rent or buy. Any recommendations you could make as good neighbourhoods to hone in on either in the east or southeast?

    • Matthew January 10, 2018, 3:12 am |

      Hello Lesley – Your situation is very similar to ours, we just do not have dates set up 🙂

      I will be keen to know what people advise you.

      Question for you – Do you understand it as well that for 457 visa holders in public schools, the $5100 fees for primary school and $6100 fees for secondary school is every school year?

      • Lesley January 10, 2018, 3:25 pm |

        Hi Matthew! |Yes, from what I understand those fees are annual. Definitely something to factor in to the budget. If we have to pay those fees every year I think it makes sense to look into the private schools as well. My husband was in Melbourne for a few days just before Christmas and was able to look at a few schools in the eastern suburbs. I think he had a quick peek at the public school Glen Waverly (which is ranked quite high) as well as a few Catholic schools, but just from the outside as most were closed for the holidays. He was with a relocation specialist who told him that she put her kids through the Catholic system because she felt they offered a little more care and attention for the child and in some cases smaller classroom sizes. She also said that you have to be selective where you choose to live if you go for state schools because an area might have a good primary school but not a great secondary school (we will have a child in each). Both of our kids are big into swimming and sports in general so we would really like to find a school that offers a good sports program. They are currently in an IB school, in the PYP and MYP system, so another decision we face is whether to continue with this curriculum or switch to the Aussie curriculum,

        I’ll be happy to share what I find out Matthew! Best of luck in your research!

        • BobinOz January 11, 2018, 9:00 pm |

          Difficult for me to answer, being up here in Brisbane, but I know a lot of these suburbs have been mentioned many times in the comments here. Box Hill and Ringwood, mostly speaking, get good reviews as does Glen Waverley although that suburb seems to be more expensive.

          I know it’s clunky, and I am trying to find a solution, but if you use the search function in your browser to search for these suburbs in the comments, you will find plenty of mentions of them, the only problem is you need to keep clicking on previous comments at the bottom of each page to get to the next batch.

          Yes, clunky, but you will get lots of feedback on these suburbs. Meanwhile, it’s very possible a local will give you both a more specific answer.

          Hope that helps, Bob

    • Kat January 10, 2018, 11:22 pm |

      Hello BobinOzers/Ozettes! (I’m not sure if that is the correct collective noun?!)

      I’ve been trying to get a job in Oz to no avail for the past year so have decided to come over and volunteer to get some experience in Oz.

      I am a trained child, adolescent and adult counsellor in the UK.

      Does anyone work in schools/unis or other organisations where people might want counselling? I’d be free so that could be an incentive for them!

      I’ve a master’s in Counselling and 8 years experience in various mental health settings.

      I’m trying to arrange volunteering opportunities and places to stay before I come out after Easter.

      Any help or suggestions gratefully received!


      Ps Bob I haven’t forgotten about your road show idea!

      • BobinOz January 12, 2018, 4:15 pm |

        I can’t fully answer your question Kat, but I do know Australia loves a volunteer. For what it’s worth, towards the end of last year my wife contacted and then went on a two-day course for their Raise Youth Mentoring program. So this year she will be mentoring a teenager or two who needs help.

        So, that’s one organisation you can get in touch with.

    • Mark January 31, 2018, 1:15 pm |

      Hi Lesley
      As Bob has said have a trawl through here there are lots of comments many by myself. As I am a few days behind replying (sorry work and a move) it maight be better if you come back wth any more thoughts if you have read any comments inclding this on South Eastern suburbs link above. Granted schools is high on list but not sure what else you may seek from an area but given the proximity to Eastlink freeway I would be tempted to look further south. It is awfully what I would term built up around where you are looking but as we are all different maybe you like the city cafe culture. Cheers Mark

  • Stevie-Jene December 27, 2017, 7:04 pm |

    Hi there,
    I am thinking about buying a one way ticket to Melbourne, would you say its a dumb idea?
    Ive never been there before but everyone ive spoken to about the idea have said just do it,

    • BobinOz January 2, 2018, 6:12 pm |

      Well, it would be a dumb idea if you didn’t secure a visa first that allows you to stay in Australia. Without that, I don’t think you can even buy a one-way ticket and even if you could, I’m pretty sure you would not get past customs with it.

      If you have got a visa, then I think you need to tell us more about your situation to help us decide whether it would be dumb or not.

  • Matthew Smith December 22, 2017, 1:20 am |

    Hello –
    I work for Oracle in the UK and they have said they will sponsor me if I apply for an internal Oz job. There are two jobs on offer that are exactly the same yet one is on Sydney and the other Melbourne. I (48) and my wife (40) keep reading comparisons of the two cities that are typically driven by tourism in both and the 4 seasons in one day weather of Melbourne, but we also heard about the horrific school rates (we have a 10 year old boy and a 13 year old boy) for non Oz residents coming into effect in 2018. Based upon rental prices, schooling and day to day costs and experiences for all 4 of us, what city do you think we would be best to sign up to for 3 years (Visa restrictions) without ever living and breathing either? I know, we are mad doing this blind but also excited about the opportunity!

    • BobinOz December 22, 2017, 4:54 pm |

      Well, I’m not sure I’m best placed to answer this one, being as I’m living in Brisbane. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘horrific school rates’ either, but I do know that if you go to Sydney you will need to pay for your children’s education even if they go to a state school.

      In Melbourne, on the other hand, your children could get free education (some small fees apply for books and voluntary contributions) in a state school. See…

      Housing is also cheaper in Melbourne so if your budget is likely to be tight, or you just want to keep the cost down, Melbourne could be the choice. Personally, I think I would just about choose Melbourne over Sydney anyway, but hopefully somebody who knows these cities better than I do will give you more advice.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Matthew Smith December 22, 2017, 7:47 pm |

        Thanks Bob, we arrived on a decision of Melbourne based upon what you wrote as well 🙂

        In regards to the schools – we read that as of January 2018 for our two boys to attend school in South Australia we (as non-permanent visitors) would have to pay an annual fee for them to attend a public state school, full costs attached but works out at $21,000 per year for both of them + additional costs such as enrolment fees and insurance, it would increase to $23,500 when our youngest goes to high school. Each time you transfer your child to another school it will incur around a $700 admin fee.

        • Mark December 22, 2017, 10:16 pm |

          Hi Matthew I started writing a reply this morning to this and am only just finishing it now tonight 11.05 . Not the first time I’ve done this as Bob may testify …Makes my words a bit redundant now so somewhat starting again. After starting a reply I was going to look if Victoria had changed the rules on education fees and did look a bit but could not conclude they had. It is of course hard to find something that doesn’t exist Yes I found SA South Australia was from 2018 introducing fees and some cockamamie article saying that would bring it . in line with all the others states…Journalist writer needs more research as it would appear Victoria is still not charging Unless of course you know different…I just have not found it…. On top of which its darn confusing the education system here for ages and fees and all manner Education is good the rules behind it are mmmmmm I’ve seen head teachers look like they were caught in the headlights when asked what year will my child be in and what the fees for 457 visa holders
          Anyway bigger picture Salary must be decent maybe private education which is not so expensive as UK may be an option Oracle So I’m guessing St Kilda that gives you reach of the South eastern suburbs in commute some of the best areas to live Some of the fees you have quoted would make private school look really cheap here … My original reply was for Melbourne as the fees are definitely payable in NSW ..if that’s the deal breaker. Some private schools are as low as 5K AU and even decent.. What more no trip money no this money no cost for Guitar and so on all brings private schools down in price. Your sadly not likely to hit the right school first go so do consider it may be a move down the line.

          • Matthew Smith December 23, 2017, 1:59 am |

            Really helpful. Thanks ever so much Mark 🙂

            • BobinOz December 24, 2017, 5:26 pm |

              Yes, looks like South Australia have introduced school fees, but from what I found they are not charging as much as your letter suggests Matthew, unless I am missing out on something. Please click on School fees for 457 visa holders to open up a PDF with the full details.

  • Chris November 19, 2017, 7:53 am |

    Me and my family will relocate to Australia from Germany in September 2018. We are considering the Geelong area (work in Melbourne) or Adelaide. At the moment, we cannot make a decision, as every option has its pros and cons. Of course it is much easier to get a job in Melbourne, but spending hours in traffic every day is not what I´m looking for. So Adelaide seems to be a better place for a family with two young kids…
    Can you help us with your thoughts?

    • Mark November 19, 2017, 7:04 pm |

      Hi Chris Its a slightly odd ste of circumstances you are considering if you dont mind me saying so…Living in Geelong and working in Melbourne will be a difficult enough travel time added to which Geelong may not suit you I know Germany reasonably well so if you pick a are you like Ill try an do a comparative Geelong has parts that may be considered by German standards Soziale Brennpunkte The drive from Geelong to the Metro are will be off putting. I know very little of Adelaide save its fair to say its does not have the job opportunity’s… If you can tell me a bit more like jobs looking for area you like ill see if I can help more..

      • Chris November 19, 2017, 10:47 pm |

        Hi Mark,
        thanks for your answer. I don’t mind… We have a long list of pros and cons for every option, but at the end it is all about the job and a save and friendly neighborhood. I work as an architect, but with a focus on construction industry. I had some interviews with companies in Melbourne and it seems that I would have a good chance there. Unfortunately it seems that most suburbs in Melbourne have Soziale Brennpunkte as well. That’s why a smaller city like Adelaide or maybe Brisbane becomes interesting, where housing is more affordable in save neighborhoods.. As we have never been in Brisie Adelaide is the next best option. Hope you can tell us some more 🙂

        • Mark November 20, 2017, 8:31 am |

          No Melbourne is not as bad as you think Id trawl back through many of these comments particularly have a look as far back as I think she was called Kirsty who had already visited the South Eastern side There is a lot of useful info on Suburbs and have a look in the drop down menu above for South Easter Suburbs What woudl say is if you are prepared to drive the 1hr from Geelong to CBD then move on to the Eastern side and look as far down as even Safety beach With the peninsula link freeway and 2 other main highways heading to the City or main metro area
          these areas are lovely and far nicer than the west and the drive on the west The suburbs are all great down on the Mornington Peninsula and if you avoid Seaford the ones north are great to Waterways Mordialloc and so on but the reallly lovely ones are south of Frankston. Brisbane a lovely place and we are in the middle of relocation I’m not so sure the Building work is there as much as it is Melbourne in fact thats a given as is Adelaide where the climate of work may still be not so great Stay with Melbourne or Brisbane .. Have a look on the Sarbanes pages above but if you do decide on Melbourne ditch the Geelong idea (its Munich equivalent when it comes to settlers from other countries) and look south of Frankston at Mt Martha Mornington Mt Eliza and Safety Beach even Dromana inland a little Somerville and so on

          • Chris November 21, 2017, 12:13 am |

            Thanks for your input Mark. We will definitely have a look at the Eastern Suburbs, sounds good. And thanks Bob for this site… All the info about Brisbane is just one click away.

            • BobinOz November 21, 2017, 5:04 pm |

              My pleasure Chris, and glad to hear you like the site.

  • Christian September 24, 2017, 5:11 pm |

    Hi Mark,

    Great that you take time to answer all these questions. My family consists of my girlfriend Sandra en my 15 Months old daughter Doris. We are from Holland but Sandra originally is from Sweden.
    I got a job offer from my company to work in Australia and we are planning to move beginning of 2018.

    I will have to commune daily to box hill and probably will also have to travel around 5-6 days a month.

    We are looking for what would be places to look to rent a house. We like areas that are a bit structure, with preferably a bit green and close to the coast would be absolutely great. We will have a car but Sandra does not have a driving Licence so she will be dependant of public transport.
    What are Nice areas without 30-60 minute commuting which are a bit well kept, have Some stores, cafés and restaurants and are Nice to Live in?

    We looking to rent a 2/3 bedroom house which is Well maintained and has an outside. Does not have to be big.

    Hope you can push us a bit in the right direction! Thank you in advance

    • Christian September 24, 2017, 7:45 pm |

      Sorry, I need to adress both Mark and Bob, this site is a great help! Manny thanks

      • BobinOz September 25, 2017, 9:07 pm |

        No need to apologise 🙂

        I’m not sure Mark is around at the moment, so maybe somebody else will see this and help out? Anybody know about these areas?

        Other than that, have a good skim through the comments already made here, they just might help you with your answer.

    • Mark September 29, 2017, 12:18 pm |

      Hi Christian Hi Bob Im sort of back, Email to follow …Sorry folks been missing had a but of a crisis to deal with… Ok this is tough as the Box Hill area is right in the thick of it…Its like being in or around Amsterdam whereas I’m guessing if you know the place youd like something more akin to Aalsmeer Christian…Im assuming you are going to do 1 month temporary at least so that gives you time to look Id have a serious read through whats already been said on here as far back as 12 months…Then my added info have a look at the coastal area, well bay area but its as close as you will get to coast Anywhere south of St Kilda to Mordialloc If not you will have to give the coast bit up..The commute is not going to be to easy but it ticks all the other boxes for you and Sandra…The only thing is ironically the further south your get say Mordialloc it may be quicker to get to Box Hill from there than say Cheltenham as you have the freeway network…Een prettige dag Mark

    • Rachel November 12, 2017, 7:29 am |

      Hi Mark/Bob

      My family are relocating to Melbourne from Christchurch NZ in the next few months. Hubby has a job in West Melbourne-near Tarneit.

      We want to be somewhere between his work and cbd so looking at places such as Williamstown through to Yarraville. Schooling is very important as have a 6 and 8 year old. From the research we have done Williamstown looks most appealing however expensive.

      Hoping for recommendations on schools/suburbs etc. open to areas outside what I have said above but need to consider travel time for husband and the likelihood that I may work in cbd.


      • Mark November 12, 2017, 8:26 pm |

        Id be seriously tempted to stay as close to Williamstown as you can…I have just replied to a person on the Western suburbs Melbourne page on here You can find it in the drop down menu above out from Melbourne I added this link from the age mostly based on facts Have a read and have a read of the other pages on the western suburbs and have a look also at Alton and even Altona North both places growing and feeding of Infrastructure from the city Id stay clear of Altona Meadows though….

    • Mark November 20, 2017, 8:42 am |

      Hi Christian Sorry I had missed this after being missing myself Id say straight away Have a look as Bob has said at the other comments and even my new ones on here to Chris above.. Id have a look on the Mornington Peninsula and I would perhaps single Mornington itself out (without car license ) you have a 45 minute maybe 50 commute to Box Hill but are living in some of the nicest areas in the Melbourne vicinity. Having lived in Duttendel in Scheveningen Id liken the whole are to there (without the prison) 10 15 minutes to the beach. Have a drive down Mornington Main Street on google

  • lauren Kreuger September 1, 2017, 1:15 am |

    Hi Mark
    We are moving to Australia from Cape Town in March 2018. We are a couple with 2 little boys. We’re looking at the outer suburbs towards the east, south east & mornington peninsula. Our house budget is about 900 000 AUD. The problem i am having is that all the government schools around there seem to get below average results. I don’t want to go private because a) we are athiests and all the private schools seem to have religious indoctrination built in … and b) it doesn’t sit well with me ethically to divide society up that way. I think quality schooling should be a human right for all. what suburbs can you recommend that are within my budget, and are good for young families (ie have good schools, and not too many junkies lying around!)

    • BobinOz September 4, 2017, 6:56 pm |

      Mark doesn’t seem to be around at the moment, but he has talked about this before, have a look at his replies to C Nicol somewhere below on June 13, 2017, 9:58 pm. That should help you out. I wish I could help, but I just don’t know the area well enough, maybe somebody else local will see this and add their bit.

    • AussieMexican September 5, 2017, 3:45 am |

      You should homeschool if you want to keep your atheist indoctrination intact.
      If you really don’t believe in dividing up a society along socioeconomic lines you should move to the worst neighborhood.

      Why take part in segregation and give lip service to your egalitarian beliefs?

      • Tim October 9, 2017, 5:35 pm |

        Ah it was australians who wrote the infamously racist South African segregation laws , they were based on the white australia policy. Multi cultural as australia is there is socioeconomic divide like all capitalist countries and no one like druggies particularly ones that put themselves an thier drug before their neighbors.

        • BobinOz November 12, 2017, 7:19 pm |

          I have just removed three comments from this conversation that were posted today. The purpose of these comments is to help people and/or give them constructive advice. It is not a place to insult people or spout one’s personal political viewpoints.

          I would like to suggest that the poster of those comments reads my Comment Policy to ensure that any future comments they might like to make here fully comply.

  • Thy Fere August 21, 2017, 8:39 am |


    In regard to cost of living minus house rent, are there cheaper or expensive suburbs in Melbourne?

    • BobinOz August 21, 2017, 6:08 pm |

      Yes, some suburbs are cheaper than others. Generally speaking, the further you get from the city centre, the cheaper rents will be.

  • Mark Taylor August 17, 2017, 6:19 pm |

    G’day Bob and Mark,
    My wife and I will be moving to Melbourne because of a job offer that I’ve received and we’re quite looking forward to it. I’m a Sydneysider by birth and have been living in Japan for the past 6 years teaching English so Melbourne is going to be another interesting chapter.
    As a sports nut, I need no introduction to that side of the city but where would you recommend living that’s inside a 30 minute commute to the centre of the city with affordable rentals and importantly, some decent full-size public swimming pools close by?
    We’re both goodies and coffee lovers so that would come into the equation too!

    • BobinOz August 18, 2017, 1:38 pm |

      In the absence of anybody local given you any specific recommendations, I’d suggest you have a good read of the many comments already made here as there is a great deal of talk about the various suburbs and what they are like to live in. As you’ve noticed, Mark has given a great deal of advice.

      I don’t know the area well enough, being up here in Brisbane, but hopefully a local will be along soon to help you out.

  • Sooz August 7, 2017, 7:21 pm |

    Hi guys,
    Moving to Melbourne this week…Hubby will be working in Docklands. Have one child about to start secondary school and two dogs. Looking for a left-leaning, friendly, safe suburb with good schools, good public transport, dog friendly places for coffee. Any suggestions?

    • BobinOz August 10, 2017, 8:46 pm |

      I can’t help, I just don’t know Melbourne well enough, but it’s worth having a good look through all the advice that is being given here by so many people about the suburbs.

      If you give details about the type of house you’re looking for, your budget and whether you’re going to rent or buy, then hopefully a local will be able to give you some advice.

  • mike hansby August 6, 2017, 11:53 am |

    what is the closest backpacker to packenham vic
    Re Mike

    • BobinOz August 7, 2017, 7:03 pm |

      I don’t know, does anyone else have any idea?

    • Mark August 10, 2017, 7:38 pm |

      Im not sure there is one well one reasonably close as its quite a way from the city where most tend to be Id have a look at airbnb or gumtree may be out of budget alternative use the train line back towards the cbd and maybe Caulfield might have the thing you seek

  • Ashlee August 2, 2017, 9:47 pm |

    I am a young 50 year old planning a move to Melbourne in 12 months. No kids with me, just a lazy dog… I’m spending the weekend in Melbourne in a couple of weeks to scope out where I will live – don’t even know where to start. I’m looking for lifestyle – I love to eat, drink & socialise but I don’t want to live ‘inner-city’. I like cultural diversity but must be a safe neighbourhood. I don’t want the young family scene or well-to-do – somewhere in between I’ve been told Richmond but is there another version of this suburb ? Let’s say – $20-30 uber from the CBD ?

    • BobinOz August 3, 2017, 6:42 pm |

      Have a look at what Melbourne Rental Search said in a comment on April 12, 2016, 3:04 pm, it’s currently on page 4 of these comments at the moment, but will move as more comments are at it. That’s why can’t link directly to it, because when it does move that link will break.

      Anyway, that comment mentions Richmond and similar suburbs to it. Hope that helps, Bob

    • Ankit sharma August 5, 2017, 11:04 am |

      Have a look at Essendon in the north or Footscray in west.

  • Sarah July 29, 2017, 10:31 pm |

    Hello, so my partner and I have moved from NZ.. we are staying in Southbank with family (very lucky to be close to public transport) he is working in Port Melbourne and I will be working in North Fitzroy.
    We are hoping to eventually bring our three children aged 10, 5 & 1 over once we our own vehicle and (the big one) a home all ready for them.. problem is we are stomped where some nice, affordable suburbs are located? North, west, or eastern suburbs?
    No doubt we would loooove to live close In the CBD but we can’t really afford it.
    We are looking to rent a 4 bedroom home close to schools and a daycare and within public transport to the city until we get our own vehicles .
    Any help to point us in the right direction would be much appreciated

    • BobinOz July 31, 2017, 8:25 pm |

      I think you need to make yourself a nice cup of tea, or maybe even crack open a bottle of wine, and sit down and read through some of the many comments made here already. There is loads of talk about the suburbs and what they are like to live in, as well as talk about their affordability.

      So many people who know Melbourne well have given advice here, I’m sure you will learn a great deal. I think Melbourne still has a good number of affordable suburbs that are close to schools, daycare and transport, so you may need to add a bit more about what you want from a suburb if anyone is going to be able to give you some more meaningful advice.

      As I’ve said though, have a good read through, I think you will find it very helpful.

  • BobinOz July 18, 2017, 10:44 pm |

    For those of you who have been asking about Williamstown, Maggie has recently made a comment (July 17, 2017, 7:42 pm) about it on my page about Western Suburbs Melbourne, you may want to read it.

  • Tina July 18, 2017, 10:31 pm |

    Hi Bob/Mark,
    My family of six is moving to Melbourne from the UK in August. I have done quite a bit of research and was wondering if Mark you could comment of some of the areas I have narrowed down to, maybe rank them? We are looking at state schooling and particularly a good state high school is probably one of my main criteria. Also looking for an area with a good village/ high street feel, larger blocks as we have a large family and still a reasonable public transport commute to the CBD for my husbands work. Which of the these suburbs do you think would fit the bill the best?
    Ringwood (the zone for the high school not sure if that is Ringwood south/east etc)
    Templestowe (lower I think which ever is in the high school zone)
    Sunbury/ Riddes Creek (heard the train line is relaitively quick out there and house blocks much bigger)
    Vermont/ Glen wavily (purely as school seems good)
    Ivanhoe/Kew (not sure of sate high schools in this area or block sizes?)
    Doncaster East
    Please add any suburbs we might have missed out on which could match all of our criteria.
    Thankyou for any information

    • BobinOz July 21, 2017, 6:36 pm |

      Well, I can’t be anywhere near as helpful as Mark or anyone else from Melbourne could be on this, but I do know a few of these suburbs have been mentioned before in these comments.

      Also, whilst I appreciate it’s not the same as a personal recommendation, you can find out a lot about schools over at my page called Which school?

      Anyway, have a good skim through the comments here, and also look out for comments that talk specifically about schools as I’m pretty sure there have been a few conversation about them as well. Good luck, Bob

    • Mark July 23, 2017, 9:06 pm |

      Hi Tina Yes your probably correct on Sunbury but its more rural so what you gain you lose out in other ways…of all the places on your list above my choice would be Templestowe though the train line may be a trek (lower that is ) Ivanhoe is great as is Glen Waverley after that Vermont and South is decent but missing trains again

      Id have a look at the train line map and select some areas from there though Ivanhoe will always win of your list Do you have a budget rental or buy Have a look on at houses and block sizes in the certain areas comparing price by price
      As Bob says there is a lot of recent stuff on here
      Have a look, a ponder, give me a shout back

  • Paddy July 17, 2017, 10:50 pm |

    Hi Mark
    My sister is planning to buy a 3 BHK house in the below given places, could you please advise which would be an ideal place to buy and live ..considering (More Residential / Safety / Train / Dept Store & Hospitals etc )
    Max Budget: $400,000
    Population and distance from the city
    Werribee – 37,737 (2011) – 32 KMS
    Hopper Crosing -37,598 (2011) -23.1 KMS
    Point Cook – 50,774 (2016) – 25 KMS
    Craigieburn – 50,347 (2016)- 26 KMS
    Rockbank – 1,536 (2016) – 26 KMS

    Also, do suggest any other places which are not on the above list.

    • Mark July 17, 2017, 11:16 pm |

      Paddy just calling it a day but will answer you tomorrow properly but My question… has she a job to go to in the city or maybe something to be near and children or just her and hubby etc ?

      • Paddy July 18, 2017, 1:06 pm |

        Mark thanks for your reply,my brother in law works bit far away from the suburbs and my sister is a homemaker and both of them drives as well,probably in next 2 yrs my neice would get into some college which may be in the city and she prefers to take train.

        • Mark July 18, 2017, 4:26 pm |

          Hi Paddy Im still not sure where they need to be near BIL or Sister If I had a work place and a close proximity, to work around… There is not so much in the way of colleges in the city as in right in the thick if it….Anyway your choices.. My problem in answering you is like you asking me (and I am assuming some Irish connection here ) where to live Buttervant or somewhere like,is it Rathkeele…If you no off those places youll understand my Hobson’s choice to hep you … Werribee No Point Cook No Im really struggling here as I would not want to live in any of them if I had to answer Craigieburn I guess but it still does not tick all the boxes you asked for in fact its low on them as are the other options. … They are also not all in the same area so in the likes of Point Cook area Id look at Williamstown or Altona way above the choices that way and north of them north of the city mmmmmmm Caroline Springs.. the safety as in low crime rate and hospitals and shopping are all well down the list on suburbs.

          • Paddy July 18, 2017, 8:18 pm |

            Thanks for being more precise, currently my sister & our relatives lives @ manor lakes and that is one of the reason she is looking for a property which is in and around Manor lakes (< 10 KMS), secondly my niece is planning to get her admission @ RMIT City Campus, so she would be commuting via train on a daily routine.
            My Brother in Law works close to Bacchus Marsh Rd, Corio and he is ok to drive 50-60 KMS

  • Charles July 13, 2017, 1:45 pm |

    Hi Bob, thanks for the wonderful info on this site. I find myself coming back repeatedly and noticing new nuggets of useful info each time!

    Hi Mark, I’m moving to Melbourne end of this year, likely to arrive in November to sort out accommodation, get a car and so on. My wife and 3 boys (6 yo, and twins aged 3) will follow either end of November or early Dec.

    My workplace is on Collins Street, and one thing I still can’t decide, is whether to drive to work. Apologies if you’ve posted about this before but I can’t seem to find the right info. I saw a comment from you previously about booking parking online to get better rates – how much would parking cost in this case, and is it possible to secure a long-term spot?

    I don’t mind taking the train/tram to work either, just that I’d need to find rental that’s walking distance to a station (1 km is the maximum I’d walk), which reduces the options somewhat. Door to door, the commute should ideally be around 45 mins.

    Any advice you have on rental would be really appreciated too. We don’t need to be near the beach, would like somewhere with good public transport and amenities, and plan on sending the children to public school. Some parks nearby that my wife can drive the twins to would be great – they’re too young for kindy so will be with her 24/7. Better to exhaust them at the park/playground when I’m at work, than driving her up the wall at home.

    We’re looking at a 3 bedder (no flats; best would be a house but townhouse with a small yard would be ok too) with a budget around 650 per week. Places I’ve shortlisted include Ivanhoe (I know you rate this suburb!), Blackburn (further but express trains to CBD in the morning) and Mount Waverley.

    I also looked at places like Hawthorn East, Camberwell and Surrey Hills. While we can afford the rent, buying would be more than what we’re willing to pay (likely a 4 bedder when we buy). We’ve got one eye on buying in future and want to buy near where we rent so we don’t have to switch schools for the children (we’ve moved quite a bit in the last 5 years, and would like to provide a more permanent sense of ‘belonging’ for the eldest boy now that he’s older).

    On a related note, do rentals usually come with ‘white goods’ such as washing machine, dryer, and refrigerator even when it’s ‘unfurnished’?

    Thanks again for reading the long post and many questions!

    • Mark July 13, 2017, 6:22 pm |

      Hi Charles Yes Collins Street, right slap bang in the center Your not being sent by Arcadiia ??? to explain Debenhams are due to open there in I believe November. Anyway yes Collins Street Have a look on Wilson’s Parking website for cheaper rates…you may have to use Google AU ….Anyway they have early bird parking and so on and I am sure if you google you can book your own space with others Ill have a look for you for others and chat to our some of my connected mob who are n little Collins Street (beginning to sound like the Mafioso ) its music TV dont worry just my humour I often type what I am thinking I am lucky I work when there is Docklands so more space and my own parking space there… There is a point to telling you some of that…I commute from quite a way, its an easy commute and in fairness only around once or twice a week…Id have a read of my posts on South east suburbs from the Australian cities drop down menu on the top its Melbourne then South East Also I am assuming you have read below and particularly a post involving Kirsty She has been before .Id be seriously tempted to look South East than East I have written somewhere about a colleague who lived in Blackburn and was having a hard 45 minute (on a good day commute) it was easily 55 65 minutes sometimes He has moved as far south as Rye and now has a whopping 75 minute commute but he says two things its an easy commute and its stable…and what a far better place to live Now I am not suggesting you move that far south but id certainly have a read and have a look. Your places Ivanhoe Hard to fault except if toy love a beach…Hawthorn is better than Hawthorn East not so much in the way of spaces as can be said for most inside the M3 M1 bit… Surrey Hills as an example…Nice lovely but lack of open spaces and its not called Hills for no reason Cycling bikes may prove fun. Camberwell is pretty hilly to….
      Some questions for you Where in UK are you I am assuming UK I ask because I know it well and if your happy in XYZ area I can suggest similar here…Will your wife drive when here that more question of when than if actually…Have you ruled out private schools? they are not as bad as you may think £££ and pretty good. I dint think one more school move should be ruled out you may select one here and find better, hes is only 6 It will be an adventure for him and he has time with mom when he arrives Id be amazed if you get that bit correct first off, I fully understand sense of belonging and all Schools close here late December till February… Your wife is going to fly with three children…OUCH..Ill buy her a coffee with extra shots of caffeine as a reward… Sorry just me thinking out loud again!!! OK white goods no generally you dont get any, oven excepted ‘black grey goods’ …There is stuff you can lend buy off ebay etc etc a washer and fridge freezer etc Sell on again.. Dishwashers are sometimes included..Dryer its middle of summer…I appreciate how fats three yoru olds can get mucky .Im guessing you are shipping belongings…I can point you in direction of good stores to buy eg our fridge freezer $5000 Harvey Norman $2000 at a place because it has a coin dent in side, unseen even when inserted … even more unseen, in fact vanished after a car dent guy became friends over some Adell tickets recently ….Microwaves are cheap…You may have to camp indoors for a few weeks….Have a look at the areas and see what you think of my other posts, we can help you narrow down a choice then look for houses Id buy as soon as you can. May I be nosey as to budget ? Tell me to ‘bugger’ off if you prefer! Sorry not proof read typing on train on way home… stop 2 minutes ahhhh

      • Charles July 17, 2017, 1:41 pm |

        Thanks Mark for the details and additional questions. I’m in awe of my wife too, and definitely think I have the better bargain with this move!

        We’re actually moving from Singapore. After a bit more research, we’ve zoomed in on Williamstown. I know you’re not a fan of the west, but it seems to check a lot of boxes for us.

        Your point about how unlikely it is to get it right with the initial choice of suburb is a timely reminder though, and I’ve stopped obsessing about it.

        Any additional tips you have in terms of parking (though I’d likely take the train if we stay in Williamstown) or good stores to buy appliances would be much appreciated. We’ve decided to reduce shipping (more the sentimental stuff like children’s favourite toys and so on) and just Ikea the house in terms of furniture for a start.

        • Mark July 17, 2017, 3:56 pm |

          Ok its not so long a flight for here with three 🙂 Williamstown is OK, yes its the west but only just, its a decent area, old fashioned in some parts…Its the further west or rather south of there I dont like,, Altona is OK, It just goes to pieces after that The Patterson Lakes, the Werribee and so on, the areas themselves have nothing really wrong, maybe some odd smells, its just there is a noticeable lack of infrastructure…The Princess Freeway that comes up from Geelong is just plain boring a drive. With the exception of the places above as you will find when here that many many things are East of there and East South You only have to look at IKEA who have two stores positioned for maximum foot fall…So resigned to not necessarily getting it right first go you’ll be fine…As your renting its not a major upheaval.. Have a look on eBay for appliances, new other, or new, some are actually businesses you can go and look at the items Watch IKEA mattresses, beds its different sized to regular eg their mattresses seem to be out of flunter with regular ones, not by much but enough to be annoying with sheets and beds etc etc There bedding , quilts and covers are fine.
          Id bring with you what you can, furniture can be expensive here You can take a trip to IKEA Springvale and after drive down to find Dandenong..about 10 15 minutes from IKEA..down the Princess Highway (different one) Dandenong Road Locate the Dandenong Frankston Road which means going through tree lined Dandenong central Dont be tempted to stop it sounds lovely but its your equivalent of Sim Lim and Geylang rolled into one . Hope you dont live there … ..Anyway its located about 1km through and just behind and to the left of Coffey Ford, down there, you will find all manner of furniture stores all in one place, , Haggle, haggle some more and walk away come back again many a time prices will keep tumbling…

          • Charles July 18, 2017, 2:22 pm |

            Mark, your knowledge of suburbs is international and impressive!

            Ikea does have that problem everywhere. A mate of mine bought a frame from them and a mattress from another brand – he had a horrible surprise.

            Thanks for the tips on furniture shopping. Will check them out when it’s time.

            • Mark July 18, 2017, 4:37 pm |

              Your welcome I have travelled this globe quite extensively in my time I must say what read Patterson lakes above should have read Point Cook My mistake I had Patterson Lakes on my brain as test driving a boat there tomorrow. Bargain Home Appliances at 652 South Road Moorabin is where my fridge freezer came from ..can highly recommend…You will sadly find most good places on the East side so sandwiches packed a day out east…There is a pace does Eurotag freezers in Dandenong Its the capital of buying anything again you will find both in eBay my laundry room chest freezer came from them..

  • Alex July 13, 2017, 6:28 am |

    Hi. I coming to Melbourne in 1-2 months time, depending on how my 457 visa goes. I am traveling light with only 2 suitcases but it is very hard to pick a furnished apartment to rent in melbourne. I will be working in hoppers crossing so I want to live close to a train station like southern cross. I guess I may start for a few weeks at an airbnb but does anyone have any recomendation on estate agents or places to rent from?

    • Mark July 13, 2017, 5:28 pm |

      Hi Alex Im guessing your looking to live right in the city and commute out to Hoppers Good thinking Batman!!! Im not a fan of the west, its not known for its sweet scentedness….Its hard to rent an apartment fully furnished but they do exist and more so in the city, not sure thats what you was asking with your comments on just two suitcases. Anyway furnished or not you need somewhere Have a look towards docklands port Melbourne etc there are a lot of apartment there…Ive just test driven a boat today all along there and whilst containers on one side apartments everywhere the other…Its not like USA or UK, renting here, its find an open house or apartment in your case, go along and with everyone else that is after it, hope for the best and you get the ones or one of the ones you want There are load of agents most all out for themselves have a look on… As summer comes its gets harder to get them so make the 1 to 2 months as short as possible There is an outfit here will rent apartments to overseas folks I just cant remember the name of them..I will remember and add it

      • Alex July 14, 2017, 12:05 am |

        Hello again and thank you so much for your comments. I hope to be able to find a small apartment downtown. I do not need any big house and will be happy with a small furnished apartment. It seems to be a bit difficult though finding places from the other side of the world.if you remember the details of any estate agents that can help that will be much appreciated. I can always get some through airbnb for a week or 2 but I’ll still need to find an apartment anyway

        How difficult is it to commute to Hoppers crossing by train? I the the train leaves from southern cross in Melbourne so this is where I would like to live.

        • Mark July 14, 2017, 9:10 am |

          Its going to be about 30 minutes by train but as there are more officces around there than apratmnets thats where your difficulty may be. I am guessing you will have a walk or bus from Hoppers crossing…It will be tougher to find a furnished apartment. Have a look as I said on for places Alos try Guntree Use Google Au That will also give you loads of estate agents details…I cant find the name of the one that specialises in overseas people…
          Have a look also at places in Wiliamsttown, Altona and even Williams Landing and especially Docklands There is a lot more apartments there than in and around Southern Cross, It may make your commute a touch more disjointed eg bus tram and so on but easier to find an apartment.

  • jono July 8, 2017, 9:46 pm |

    my wife and i along with two kids aged 4 and 7 are emigrating to Melbourne later this year,and are looking for ideas fo where to live my wifes job is in the deerpark area,we have looked at gisbourne and a few surrounding areas any reccommendations or suggestions of any other areas good for families and schooling etc would be grateful.would have loved to be near the coast but the commute may be to much

    • Mark July 9, 2017, 2:32 am |

      This is hard question for me to answer but I will try and find out from a colleague who lives in Williamstown where is best that side I personally am not a lover of the West side In the meantime have a read through lots of my answers on here to folks this year it will give you lots of info save typing it all out again sadly some is not relevant to you as its just to far away but again have a look at the drop down menu above for Melbourne West , Ill chat ti a colleague Tuesday and ask him about the areas near you Commuting the bridges is not really realistic so you need ti look west

    • Mark July 11, 2017, 11:07 am |

      No concrete answer for you here but progress Gisbourne is an old world charm type place that its felt the locals want to preserve so probably great for the kids but when they are 15 16 they may struggle there..Its a place with charm apparently..the city is an easy commute if not crowded and though trains are a bit hit and miss, some major improvements are going in at present (Even building a tunnel under Melbourne) I am told there are no traffic lights there…That might some up how ‘olde world’ they are trying to preserve…
      My colleague says if you want the coast why settle for less I have to agree if you are coming out here for a better life try and make sure it is one, so where a box can be ticked try and tick it Williamstown rates highly by my colleague, well it woud he lives there..He’d love to live where I do but the commute would he says finish him and his wife as they both work Docklands …So that aside have a look at Williamstown its 25 minutes to Deer Parlk maybe thirty rush hour though you are against the traffic both ways..Altona is also pretty good and has two beaches though a bit lacking in shopping ….
      Its worth remembering that Melbourne is still developing at a pace, a real pace 17 new suburbs being created… New suburbs in Melbourne’s west will be Quandong, Tarneit Plains, Kororoit, Mt Atkinson and Plumpton but and here is the big BUT some of the places on the west (and dont go any further south) have little in the way of infrastructure..
      Melton maybe another option, it is up and coming still Melton and surrounds is Brimbank Region which includes the following Suburbs;
      Albanvale, Albion, Ardeer, Brooklyn, Cairnlea, Calder Park, Deer Park, Delahey, Derrimut, Hillside Kealba, Keilor, and about 6 variations eg Keilor Downs, East, Lodge, North, Park. Kings Park, St Albans, Sunshine avoid, Sydenham, Taylors Lakes, Tullamarine avoid…
      I wish I could say there or there but its a more limited choice that side…If you like the look of Wiliamstowns head there for a start

      • Jono July 11, 2017, 12:45 pm |

        Thanks mark for taking time out to ask a colleague will keep doing the research keep you posted.

  • Vanessa Mariano July 8, 2017, 1:58 am |

    Hi, this is a very good site to hear a variety of people’s opinions. I personally am looking to move to Melbourne. I m really looking for houses from 500 to 600 k, near the coast. I m not to fussed to not have too many shops around….and would not want to travel more than 1 hour to the city. Any suburbs you would recommend?? I m a health and wellness coach and work online. I would also love to integrate in the local community. Uhhh forgot to say I love sea….water in general and green. I would appreciate your advice. Hope I was not to general.

    • Mark July 9, 2017, 2:27 am |

      Hi Vanessa You dont say what size house youd be looking for eg beds X 3…The cost of houses on the south eastern suburbs down near the beach youd e hard pressed to find much for 5 to 5 k until within 10 to 15 miles until you get lower Have a look at a map and any areas say South of and including Mt Martha Safety beach Dromana and Rosebud its achievable though you are stretching the 1 hour commute to city now But of course much depends on size of house, a smaller one harder to find would of course be less….
      Have a read through lots of my answers on here to folks this year it will give you lots of info save typing it all out again

  • Asima June 21, 2017, 10:48 am |

    Correction☺ should have addressed you as Mark and not Bob. I think i was concentrating too much on your web address otherwise why on earth would i call you Bob?

    • BobinOz June 21, 2017, 7:26 pm |

      Well, looks like my mistake too, I thought you were talking to me so I partly answered your question, but then I do answer questions here from time to time myself 🙂

      • Mark June 21, 2017, 7:50 pm |

        Feeling a bit guilty here…Bob is the grand master of the site and knows far more about Australia than I ever will… He’s has been here a lot longer for one…Ive just found I like helping out on Melbourne (plus a few other areas) as so many head for here not realising quite how big the metropolis is….So many other things to do when moving country even down to which is best mobile service, its all a minefield so I just pitch in to help folks…I was always taught to give and help others, so I can on here….. Im sure Bob doesn’t mind 🙂

        • BobinOz June 21, 2017, 8:08 pm |

          No, Bob doesn’t mind, Bob loves it when you and other people help out in these comments 🙂

        • Asima June 22, 2017, 8:50 am |

          Thanks alot Mark. I checked Rahul’s post but couldn’t find Peter’s. Yes Prahran, windsor and richmond are the areas iam looking for. But since we will be commuting via public transport and i will be starting a job soon after we settle down, my concern is with my son. He is 3 years old and i want a good public kindergarten for him. Keeping in mind that we have to pick and drop him daily while going to work. Do these areas have good kinders?family based envoirment and asian restaurants☺ i checked google map, 40 min via train to southbank is normal for these areas.dont know how practical it is with a baby?

          • Mark June 22, 2017, 10:39 am |

            Sorry my mistake it was Paul post below not Peter …Are you both working in the same place South Melbourne. Yes taking a 3yr old will be OK on the public transport but of course comes with the added stress of stroller and food and bag etc etc… There is lots of day care places as he is too young for school in Kindy I think..I am not sure though …I think its only funded if they are four, you maybe need to look into this …I cant really recommend one and would not like to as these are really ‘touchy feely’ type decisions … have to visit the place …I feel you should negotiate some time from your employees to settle the little fellow in somewhere before starting work e.g it almost appears your arriving Thursday and starting work on the Monday You’ll need at least a week or two for one of you….Its a big move and the little person needs stability too.
            The areas you have chosen will cater for most of your needs, though not so sure on a great choice of Asian restaurants there are some

      • Asima June 22, 2017, 8:34 am |

        Thanks alot Bob for the advice on furnished vs unfurnished issue. Now i can take the decision to pack my stuff and use the cargo facility. I later realised that you and Mark are both running the should have addressed both of mistake?. Many thanks for the prompt reply,really appreciate your efforts to guide people.

        • Mark June 22, 2017, 10:27 am |

          No No No 🙂 🙂 I am not running the site I just help out on the Melbourne page and a few other bits when I have knowledge in some areas. Just to help others.. Its Bobs site…

  • Asima June 21, 2017, 7:37 am |

    Hi bob,

    You are really doing a great job by providing so much valuable information for those trying to relocate to australia. My husband has got a job in melbourne and we will be shifting in a month’s time. We are a family of 3 (Me, my husband and a 3 year old boy) and we are looking for a 2 bedroom apartment with a budget of 350 to 410 per week. Our office location is southbank so we need an area closer to it and also not far from good kindergartens (preferably public) for our 3 yr old son
    I searched some websites and found southyarra, eastern suburbs and cbd a good option. But need your expertise on other areas as well,as we will be using public transport.

    Moreover i would like your advice on the furnished vs non furnished accomodation We have some free cargo from our company ( travelling from UAE to melbourne) but we are confused about bringing our furniture.What is the area of a 2 bed apartment? Can this furniture be adjusted if we decide to move in a furnished apartment What is your advice on this.

    Thanks & Regards

    • BobinOz June 21, 2017, 7:20 pm |

      Well, I can’t really help you with the location, I just don’t know Melbourne that well, but I’m sure one of the locals will help you out here soon about that.

      As for furnished versus unfurnished, Australia doesn’t much do furnished rentals at all. I just went to my page called Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and clicked on the link to the real estate website, and then searched for apartments and units in Melbourne Central and surrounding suburbs between $350 and $425 per week, 93 properties came up.

      I then went to more refinements and clicked on furnished properties and the number of reduced to 4. So if I were you I’d take up your company on that free cargo. To get an idea of the size of these apartments, use the same link to research property prices and look at those apartments with floor plans.

    • Mark June 21, 2017, 7:41 pm |

      Bob has covered the furnished rental spot on …He found four if it was Summer that would likely have been zero
      Ouch your away in a month mmmmm save storing your stuff…or selling it … bring it with you it will likely easily fit in here and in most places Its likely easier for a house than an apartment in some parts you have mentioned and at least you dont have to buy everything… take the offer up as Bob says ….
      As for location…… before I start all over have a read of a post from Peter below also Southern Melbourne and Rahul a lot lower You might as well read some of the other posts its mostly about South eastern suburbs and eastern Have a look on .au for houses in your areas as you look and read the post below with Vivek especially about schools…Narrow down your choice of places having read the posts and come back to me for more info….. I think the close South eastern suburbs may be best option Will you be driving or public transport for husbands commute

  • Vivek June 20, 2017, 2:33 am |

    Hi Mark, I am relocating to Melbourne next year from UK and will be working in Thomas Embling hospital, Fairfield. Have applied to few private schools for my 2 kids aged 5 and 7… not sure at this stage which school one will be finalised but possibly one in Ringwood or in Research. Could you kindly advise me on good family areas to live in and around Ringwood/Eltham/Bundoora? I plan to do the school drops and pick ups so ideally wanted to avoid the congested traffic areas…Thanks in advance…Vivek

    • Mark June 20, 2017, 9:57 am |

      This is a tough one, the location of school and work…Have a read of lots of my posts below including one abut a colleague who has moved form Blackburn to Rye..he had a 45 55 minute commute, now its an 1 hr 10, 1 hr 15 but the Blackburn commute was uncertain and hassle and even though he now has a longer commute its usually trouble free
      Your areas you have picked Eltham is lovely, very lovely place but can get for some strange reason congested..its not high in cafes shops etc but great place to live Blackburn itself is not bad for you as you only have a trek down the M3 motorway not as my colleague had to get to docklands Bundoora could do with more of the same as in shops cafes etc…bit too high on crime statistics for my liking. Ringwood there is arguably three parts with North and East as well but all seem to be just not right …Have a look at Templestowe thats better and the are known as Lower Templestowe Have a look at Heidelberg and West and Heights especially if using schools out of the area..Id avoid Research ..The best area by far around there in my humble opinion is Invanhoe followed by Ivanhoe East

      • Vivek June 21, 2017, 1:34 am |

        Many thanks Mark for your prompt reply…much appreciated. I might actually apply in Ivanhoe Grammar as this does not seem to be far from Fairfield. Ideally I would want to live in Hawthorn as it seems quite central both to my place of work at Fairfield, the city and has a lot of decent schools in and around that area though price wise it seems to be a bit on higher side. Have applied to few schools in that area but no confirmation yet.
        I am looking for a 3-4 bed house/apartment at $600/week max ideally within $550/week. Is Glen Iris/Kew okay?
        Another area I am considering is Sandringham…any thoughts?
        Thanks in anticipation

        • Mark June 21, 2017, 7:27 pm |

          Im not sure its the best idea hitting the ground running so to speak eg children line dup for school you may regret it.. We did loads of research on schools before we came out and it was all pointless.. the info we had found was out of date and I cannot recommend enough a ‘touchy feely’ approach to school…You will have up heaved you children from home, friends and maybe school, if you have the chance let them settle here with one of you seeing the sights for a few weeks,,,new home and all, then go visit schools for the ‘touchy freely’ aspect with them …The school we though was best Haylebury on paper proved to be horrible in my opinion, very unfriendly unless it was fees day I felt …Plus you will be far better visiting then finding a place for them ..applying form overseas I feel gets ignored….Hawthorn Arguably one of the best suburbs in Melbourne apparently but boy it can be congested and crime a bit higher than Id like and did i mention it can be congested…Hawthorn East is not as bad
          Sandringham complete change of tack mmmmm Have a read of a post with carol below and my replies on the Bayside area which includes Sandringham…the same doesnt quite apply to you as Carol as she is looking at work in Mulgrave if you tried to get to Fairfiled from the MP you’ll be in your grave with the commute Only joking….Id spend and hour with pencil and paper and read through a lot of my recent post back to say January this year in here and Eastern and South Eastern suburbs (See above in drop down) jot down areas recommended then have a look where they are.
          Kew is similar to Hawthorn, congested Kew East is better but by far the best in Glen Iris of your mentioned list …I detect a hint of school is key as everywhere you have mentioned has one particular stand out school…
          Budget wise you will be fine Glen Iris might stretch it as a few other parts might …have a look on au for rentals

          • Vivek June 23, 2017, 1:28 am |

            Many thanks Mark for your detailed and informative reply. We are actually coming to Melbourne in Aug to look at private few schools and have interviews in couple of them until now. Maybe some things will be clearer during our visit. Hayleybury was one of the schools I had applied for, I was not sure about them as the reviews were mixed. Yarra Valley grammar has decent reviews but its in Ringwood….let see. Any idea about St Bernards Grammar in Brighton East- have applied there as well. Sorry about boring you with the names of schools etc. Would be nice to hear from anyone about good schools…thanks

            • Vivek June 23, 2017, 1:30 am |

              Sorry Mark I meant St Leonards grammar in Brighton East. Any thoughts on Eltham College/Wesley College etc?

              Thanks- Vivek

              • Mark June 23, 2017, 9:38 am |

                I have friends with two children at St Leonards and they love it…Id wipe Haylebury of your list, This is just my personal opinion but I felt its not a school, in my personal its more like a institution of mmmmmm. it was too cold, too clinical for me…Says a lot to me when they employ there own lawyer…What for? teaching children! no just legal… Then they added. We are famous worldwide was the comment, they carried on t say You will have heard of us in the UK…We are very well known there…My bemused answer was No Sorry your perhaps not that well known there as I have never heard of you…Maybe I just did nit hit t off with them so go and look but look at the numbers on role and sit in your car at recess and watch …
                Do you have any religious leanings as a lot of schools might have a faith orientation…
                Yarra valley I have no idea about Good tip have a look on the facebook pages about schools you may even be able to find parents to ask directly You will always find bad reviews of anything though

                • Vivek June 23, 2017, 11:15 pm |

                  Thanks Mark…Yes I am not very keen with Haileybury as well as the last thing I want the kids in a new country is not to feel the warmth in their school. Following your advice, I looked about Ivanhoe and seems like a very nice family friendly suburb along with Templestowe.
                  Bye for now….might bother you with my questions from time to time.

                  Cheers, Vivek

  • Paul June 15, 2017, 2:13 am |

    Hi there,
    I’m likely going to land work in the South Melbourne district. I dont want to have to travel too far to get to work (public mode only / not driving) but would like somewhere cool, quiet, trendy and affordable. What would you say is the average cost of that? I imagine I could spend up to 500 dollars a week (and would prefer a 2 bed with outdoor space).


    • Mark June 15, 2017, 9:19 am |

      Its the outdoor space bit that the might be the issue…If its just a bit of outdoor space for a bbq you will be Ok but its quite built up around there…Apartments a plenty ..balcony for outdoors if thats enough. For a house might prove tougher but look towards the South East say as far as Elsternwick so that gives you Albert Park Middle park and even Ripponlea and puts you in a easy public commute of the South Melbourne District..As for price I am guessing 500 might be a average so the good stuff a bit more the not so good a bit less

  • Rosslyn Asser June 14, 2017, 11:49 am |

    Hi there! My daughter is moving to Melbourne soon and can only afford arental place up to 300 SO she has been looking at Werribee and Melton…….are these places ok to live in………she willbe working in the cbd.

    • Mark June 14, 2017, 7:05 pm |

      Personally neither though if I had to pick ……..Melton would win hands down all day long mainly because its a bit too industrial on the west side (down the bay that is), Commuting by car is just plain fun from Werribee at times. It has the benefit of being near the sea but also near one of the world largest sewerage plants. Melton is in my view nicer and is still up and coming With 300 assuming its just your daughter there are a fairly abundant supply of apartments at last count..closer to the CBD or East side to South East

  • C Nicol June 13, 2017, 7:12 pm |

    Hi all,
    Thanks in advance – this is an amazingly helpful site!
    I’m moving to Melbourne from the UK at the end of this year for a new job opportunity and would love any advice on suburbs before we get there…
    My job will be based all over Melbourne, but with a couple of days based in Mulgrave.
    Relocating with 6 year old very outdoorsy boy and 37 year old very outdoorsy husband….
    Wish list includes good school (not decided on state or private yet), near beach, parks, walkable places for meals out, decent sized gardens in houses. Have a decent budget and planning rental for first year.
    We’re originally from Scotland (though have lived in Lichfield, England for the last 8 years)…not sure why I thought that was relevant!
    Thanks in advance for any advice – we’ve been looking at Brighton, Sandringham, Mount Eliza – mainly Bayside and Mornington Peninsula, but have no preconceptions about anywhere.

    • Mark June 13, 2017, 9:58 pm |

      My specialist subject Melbourne..My starter for 10 is South Eastern Suburbs ..So narrowing down your choices, Brighton and Sandringham and there is Hampton in the middle. Glad you mentioned Lichfield, I know it well, one of my haunts Hoar Cross just up the road. I am guessing here you wont like Brighton and Sandringham that much I didn’t its like living in a busy, very busy, Sutton Coldfield at times. The beach side is great but you will have to venture out. Thats assuming you prefer space and quieter. Bayside is actually the same place almost, its the three areas mentioned right down to Beaumaris.
      Mulgrave will take around 30 to 35 minutes, in traffic longer 40 45.
      Throwing outdoorsy into the mix Id say Mount Eliza is heading in the best direction but it has a massive downside for me, the word mount as in mountain, its not but when you get out of your car and the door falls open or you have had a couple of drinks and getting up or down your drive may be worth a Harry Hill £250.00. My wife has a friend there, she drives a sports car and cant get up their drive. There are houses on and sort of on the flat but then you may need a chairlift if you go out on bikes. Same can be said for parts of Mount Martha lower down but it has a lot more flat areas as does Mornington in the middle and Safety Beach lower still If you look for the M11 on a map, thats a 30 to 40 minute easy commute up to Mulgrave using the toll link 4 dollars. Your not in TV by any chance?
      Schools there are an abundance but get here find your house renting can be fun, as I have said with others I discovered a great trick that get the realtors helping far more than normal. Let the little fellow settle and look at schools with him, he wont miss out missing 2 months even as will be in front of most Aussie kids as they start later. The MP offers far more in the way of outdoorsy, its far less chaos. I can point schools if narrowed areas, otherwise too much choice by far. Hope this is of help for know.

      • C Nicol June 13, 2017, 10:38 pm |

        Hi Mark,
        What an excellent and helpful response! It’s nice that you know Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield, as that makes the references all the more relevant – know Hoar Cross well.
        Yes, more on the quiet side than the busy Sutton would be preferable – and great to know about the hills – we are all keen on heading out on the bikes.
        We’re lucky in that we’ll have an apartment for a month or so when we head out in November, and with school not starting until January we should be able to ‘try out’ the places before we commit, but the researching part at the moment is fun!
        This is a really big help – I’ll start narrowing my searches and have a look more towards MP. Thanks again (and no-not in TV!). Carol

        • Mark June 14, 2017, 7:31 pm |

          Ill be asking for a pay rise from Bob with comments like that…It may even stretch to two beers if I ever meet him 🙂 Joking aside Have a mooch on real estate for property. There are usually 5 schools underneath each house. With replies you have given on the quieter yes definitely head for the MP… Stay clear of Frankston North and Seaford Tamworth and West Brom respectively ..
          Renting in November December gets trickier so glad you have the apartment but dont try renting anything Christmas weeks…In summer time as it will be there is usually 15 to 20 after each decent rental property. You will likely need a lot of charm or my clever trick which I am not putting on here or everyone will use it and it becomes useless Prices are still rising here so buy when (as soon as) you can….
          Just asked about TV with Mulgrave and I am sort of in that field….
          If you need specific help Bob has my email…We were helped by total strangers when we got here and its the Brits in Aus way.. as well as our way (my wife and I) … MP is known as Mini Pohm land as well …Have a drive down Main Street in Mornington itself on Google maps its a lovely town for visiting, coffee, cafe, food shops and so on. Schools close around 20th December but private around the 8th December until the end of January. Have fun researching Look at other post on here about bringing TV, car, caravan, cuddly toy etc. Bring your laptop and buy a printer here, bring a memory stick with all ID on. Oh and Christmas with Children first year has it upside and downside… Make sure Santa knows he is moving and can find his big present here maybe… .

          • C Nicol June 15, 2017, 1:50 am |

            Thanks again Mark – I will contact Bob for your details, the Brits in Oz way seems very like the Scots in England way which I appreciate!
            I’m a regular on now – it’s great that the schools are also listed here so will narrow down more, but MP seems like its winning on all fronts.
            I’m busy looking through all the other posts about cars etc. so I may pop up in another thread. Cheers! Carol

          • BobinOz June 15, 2017, 8:59 pm |

            Ha ha, I think I owe you way more than two beers Mark. If ever our paths do cross somewhere near a pub, I think you will be staggering back to your house. I might even owe you the cab fare home as well for the amount of help you’ve given people here who are thinking of Melbourne.

            Next time I’m down your way, I’ll bring cash 🙂

  • Pragni June 11, 2017, 5:20 pm |

    I have been offered a job in Melbourne and i am moving to the city this September. I wanted to understand which are safe areas near mitcham to rent a 2bed house or a flat with average rent. I am moving from uk so i am not quiet sure how my finances will work but i am getting double pay than uk and i currently live in the south east of uk which is an expensive area for renting. So i pay around £800 for a 1 bed flat. I am hoping i will get a better deal than that in Australia.

    • Mark June 11, 2017, 8:34 pm |

      Mitcham is not so bad, its not great on cafes and the like but it is safe and sound and as are many areas around there, Vermont, Wheelers Hill, Glen Waverley etc etc I am not sure you will find much in the way of 1 bed flats out there. Australia is not big on one bed places more like large 2 bed. £800 a month would translate to around 190.00 a week so in AU $ about 350.00 a week. Its all quoted weekly here. You should find something, have a look on real estate .com .au

      • Venkata June 12, 2017, 5:23 am |

        Hi Mark
        My husband got a job in Cranbourne and we are looking for a family friendly place to live around Cranbourne .I am looking for 2 bed apartments to rent with good private or state run schools (both secondary and primary pls) as i got 2boys 10and 5yrold.If u could also let me know how is Narra Warren to live for families??
        Many Thanks

        • Mark June 12, 2017, 12:48 pm |

          Narre Warren is an ok place but very congested roads, Berwick is the better option nearby. I would quit looking for an apartment though as I am not sure there are any, houses, units you will also find but apartments are few if any. Have a look around Cranbourne itself and Officer and Clyde and so on. There is a lot of building work going on around Clyde a phenomenal amount of building in fact even a new suburb of Minta Farm. You will be fine around most of there…Schools mmmm before I answer can you narrow down your choice public or private and any religion (some religious biased schools) one Christian one in the top ten in Officer even and it has a high school. You will struggle to find with the exception of aforementioned an area with both the primary and high school really close by. its likely to involve a drive somewhere.

          • Venkata June 12, 2017, 7:38 pm |

            Hi Mark
            Thanks for the swift response.I will look for houses in Berwick & clyde also as we are ok with houses or apartments.Now coming to schools i’m looking for private schools although (not religious based schools)and i even don’t driving to school however not very far.Which place would you recommend to be the centre keeping in mind good private schools & good community.

            • Mark June 12, 2017, 8:01 pm |

              Its a tough question to answer First of all dont be put of by religious theme schools that is after all just what they are as in ABC Catholic college, they are not constantly pushing the religion its just the, say values they operate to so if you see a school ABC Christian school its just its values. I say that as there are quite a few secondary high schools of this nature. Where to avoid the long drive? Maybe Berwick Clyde or Officer The last two are still building at a pace. Have a look on realestate,com,au for houses, I would not bother looking for apartments…At the bottom of each house listing is the 5 local schools you can then look them up..What is by far the best though, allow the children a couple of months to acclimatize with you and your husband, go and look at the schools,. get the feel of the places before committing them to one. Spending time getting it right is better than moving them again.

  • Caroline June 1, 2017, 7:27 pm |

    Hello Bob! Thanks for this informative website. I’m have to lease an apartment in Melbourne for about 8 to 9 months. Do you think this will be an issue for landlords, etc? I’m not too keen on signing a tenancy agreement for 12 months, then breaking it.

    • Mark June 2, 2017, 6:14 am |

      You should be able to find something that will do a 9 month rental, there is a fair abundance of apartment rentals about. Many factors depend , its easier to rent in winter as we now are,. not so many being used as holiday ones. Area looking, against price, It may be easier to rent it for 12 if its proportionally cheaper. Finally there is nothing wrong in breaking a lease. You pay a pro-rata amount which some agents and landlords forget to mention so the re letting fee on a pro-rata basis means you only have to cover the fee for the remaining term of the lease. For example, if you leave 9 months into a 12-month tenancy agreement, there is only about 25% of the fixed term remaining so you only have to pay 25% of the re letting fee which is usually one or two weeks’ rent. This fee must be based on the fee that the agent charged the landlord in the first place, so it is a good idea to ask for a copy of the invoice. . Similarly they can only charge a proportion of the advertising costs as they have had the benefit of 9 months from the previous set…As I say though it may be easier to rent for twelve or make your intentions clear at the start whichever way you should not have a problem.

      • BobinOz June 2, 2017, 8:00 pm |

        It’s interesting to hear what Mark has said about this, and I know he knows a lot about the legalities of things and also lives in Melbourne, so he would know how it works in Victoria.

        I’m in Queensland though, here’s how I think it works here. If you break the lease, the landlord has a responsibility to try and find a replacement tenant as quickly as possible at a realistic market rental. I’m not sure whether the finders fee for that new tenant is done on a pro rata basis, but I do know that if the property stands empty then it is the responsibility of the tenant breaking the contract to continue to pay the rent until the landlord finds someone to take it over.

        So breaking a lease can end up quite costly if no new tenant is found. As I say, it may very well be different in Victoria, but the onus is on you to check the terms of the contract so you are aware of what you might be in for. As Mark has said though, there is an oversupply of apartments in many cities at the moment, so there are deals to be done, so it’s probably best to negotiate a nine month lease to be on the safe side if you can.

  • Shankar May 27, 2017, 1:52 am |

    Hi Bob, we are looking to consider a move from India, we are family of 4 with kids at 10 and 4. My job will be in Lang Lang and looking for places in eastern suburbs. Any recommendations?
    Do you have any recommendations for public school? What criteria for consideration?
    And lastly do we have to consider for school fees if we move in 457 visa ? I see lot of mixed response few saying Victoria s exempted ?

    • BobinOz May 29, 2017, 7:14 pm |

      Have a good look through the comments already made here Shankar, there is a great deal of talk about the Eastern Suburbs. If you look at the comment immediately below yours and my response to SHilpa, that will help you as well.

      As for school fees, see my page about that here…

      Good luck, Bob

    • Mark May 30, 2017, 7:03 pm |

      Hi Shankar Lang Lang is seriously Eastern suburbs, but great access for Philip Island Anyway have a look at anywhere North of there say Packenham, Officer and Officer South There is even a new suburb of Mynta Farm being created soon near Officer Officer itself is still building at a pace, there is houses going up everywhere, and I do mean everywhere I guess about 2000..That should make for easier purchase or rental. It has decent schools particularly a great private one just been rated in top ten. You could also look towards Cranbourne, bit busier bit more shopping cafes etc. There is not a great main road network in place, a few roads for access are your lot…I cant help on school except the private one but look on and look for houses, It gives you closest schools below the house listing and you can then look for rating of the school. If you give me more idea what youd look for in a suburb apart from decent school I may be able to narrow the choices…

  • SHilpa May 23, 2017, 4:19 am |

    Hi Mark,

    I am moving to melbourne mid september- october. I have a job in Mt Evelyn. I am looking to live midway between the CBD and work. I am moving on my own, so looking for some nice areas to rent in, accessible to shops, cafe, activities in the city. I am not too keen on night life but want to live close to CBD so that I can use public transport or car to get into the city. Wonder how ringwood and Box hill suits these? As I will be travelling against traffic so dont mind a bit of a drive towards work.

    • BobinOz May 29, 2017, 6:34 pm |

      In the absence of a response from Mark or any of the other locals so far, I can tell you what others have said about that area. Jacob commented 2013/12/10 at 8:01 pm “I live in Box Hill and it is close to really good schools. I would defiantly move to the eastern suburbs. I have lived in Box Hill for 18 years now and have 2 toddlers. We have no problem with getting to the city as there is a lot of public transport. It is also close to everything. There is a lot of good asian restraunts here.”

      Adrian on 2014/01/17 at 8:53 am said “The eastern suburbs sprawl out quite a distance so there is some variation. The inner east is probably amongst the most expensive real estate in the city (Hawthorn Camberwell, Mont Albert). The outer suburbs like Croydon, Lilydale are much cheaper but are 30 km away from the CBD (1 hour train trip). The upside is the proximity to Yarra Ranges. Perhaps a happy medium like Box Hill/Nunawading, Blackburn might be your best choice. Be aware that these suburbs are typically residential family homes and are not known for bars, restaurants etc. Ringwood and Box Hill have more options (Box Hill has a lot of Asian restaurants). I’m not sure what sort of lifestyle you are looking for.”

      Hutch 2014/12/27 at 7:49 am “box hill —blackburn — nunnawading – mitcham – ringwood ….can’t go wrong wrt public transport, relative safety, schools, shops and your chosen occupation. Box hill would be my budget conscious recommendation for a newcomer if you aren’t racist and open to experiencing asian-australian culture amidst your other requirements”

      David 2014/12/23 at 8:53 am “Forget Dandenong; it doesn’t compare to Vermont, Mitcham or Nunawading, which are very nice suburbs and on a scale of 1-10, would be 7-8, whereas Dandenong would be 1-2. You could also consider Blackburn, Heatherton and Ringwood, which are adjoining suburbs and just as nice. I expect rent would be cheaper the further you go out. With the exception of Vermont, they are on the Ringwood railway line (subways here are the sandwich store chain (!) or underground pedestrian paths). Keep in mind that apartments are also known as ‘flats’, but the likelihood of finding a flat/apartment in those suburbs is low. Why not live/rent on a 1/4 acre block? There are three large hospitals in the area or nearby suburbs and a large shopping centre at Ringwood. If these suburbs are affordable to you, you can’t go wrong.”

      Quite a few people also mentioned that there is a large hospital in Box Hill.

      Hope that helps and good luck, Bob

    • Mark May 30, 2017, 6:44 pm |

      Hi Shilpa & Bob Sorry been missing for a bit. You may remember Bob a post with Lizzie Doyle, its below mentioning the MEN April 10th You said something like ‘I wont ask what MEN is’. I’m sure said with a smile…Sadly you can probably guess now what it is,,if not MEN stood for Manchester Evening News (Arena) as they sponsored it for about 20 years and its become known locally as that…Its just called the Manchester Arena nowadays but everyone that’s lived nearby or even worked there calls it the MEN … Anyway some normality returns…
      To your answer Shilpa. I’m not sure why you prefer to live midway the CBD and work yes against traffic is good but yes Box Hill or Ringwood as you have found are both decent suburbs…There are actually three Box Hills Box Hill South and North making up the other two parts..South has the shops North id avoid Id place Blackburn at either number 1 or number 3 on your list of three,,,Its great on public transport network and lower on congestion, decent shopping facilities but not so much greenery or cafes, restaurants etc. If your not stuck on being closer to CBD then have a look at say Montrose, Bayswater and Kilsyth you may be pleasantly surprised in those areas and cost and still have a decent train into the CBD…Its OK taking car to city but use an online pre booking for parking otherwise its expensive…

  • David May 17, 2017, 11:16 pm |

    I am starting work in Macleod (NE Suburb) and I am looking for a rental ($<350pw) close to shops/services etc, on the rail to CBD. What is best, Greensborough or Heidelberg?

    • Mark May 19, 2017, 9:37 am |

      Heidelberg is perhaps the better one of the two Both can be a bit congested at rush hour Heidelberg has far more in the way of shops, cafes, services, shopping that you ask for than Greensborough

  • venkata May 12, 2017, 8:10 pm |

    could anyone tell me the best place to live for a Indian family (boys of 4 and 8 year old)of 4 who is planning to migrate from uk to melbourne east?i want to know where there are good secondary schools as well primary schools near to SEVILLE & YARRA JUNCTION ?if you could also tell me the cost of living ,that would be helpful?
    Many thanks

    • Mark May 13, 2017, 11:18 am |

      Hi I am struggling to answer on this one as its not really Melbourne East more like East of Melbourne its quite a way out form the city some 70 kms. Where you are looking Yarra Junction etc. I presume there is a job there or something pulling you that way.

      • venkata May 13, 2017, 5:40 pm |

        Hu Mark
        Thanks for getting back .Yeah u are right I got a job there.Kindly let me know which places are family and kids friendly in and around Yarra Junction as well as East of melbourne pls.Keeping kids in mind i’m looking for good primary and secondary schools as well as parks.

        • Mark May 13, 2017, 6:34 pm |

          I personally have no idea and not sure anyone in here is going to pop in with your answer You may be better googling to see if there is a Yarra Junction website forum anything, its too far out of Melbourne to likely find anyone on here that can answer but you never know, Have a look at the schools in the area then look on say face book for PTA types, maybe you can PM someone on there assuming you have Facebook, Good look with it all Sorry I cant answer

        • venkata May 14, 2017, 12:50 am |

          Could anyone let me know good family friendly,residential area to rent house or 2BHK apartment with good primary and secondary schools near seville (East of melbourne)?
          Thanks Anyways Mark for letting me know.

          • Cassy May 23, 2017, 1:31 am |

            Hey venkata,

            Seville is on the Warburton Highway between the townships of Lilydale and Yarra Junction in the Yarra Valley. Pretty much everywhere in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne is family friendly. Yarra Junction has both primary and secondary school options. Seville has a primary school. Lilydale has many options for both primary and secondary schools. Perhaps look on to see what rentals are worth in these areas and what suits your budget. You can also google schools in these towns and get a bit of an idea of what they might be like as well as researching the towns themselves to see what is available and what might suit your family best. Yarra Junction is further from the city. Lilydale is on the edge of Melbourne Suburbs and has easier access to public transport, bigger shopping centres, etc. Best of luck and look forward to you becoming a local here!

    • David May 21, 2017, 3:15 pm |

      Towns like Healesville and Emerald, both east of Melbourne, are well within driving distance of Seville, and both are probably similar in terms of shops, supermarkets, etc. A problem with Healesville is that you’d be going with traffic morning and evening, whereas with Emerald, for example, you’d be travelling cross-country (nice drive, too!), so the traffic conditions would be much lighter. The only difference with respect to cost of living in any area comes down to the cost of housing, whether buying or renting; all other things are going to be pretty equal, such as grocery prices. There are plenty of private schools in addition to government schools in the greater area to the outer east of Melbourne.

      • venkata May 22, 2017, 1:21 am |

        Hi David
        Thanks for the reply and all the information u provided.

    • David May 21, 2017, 3:36 pm |

      Correcting what I wrote earlier. Healesville would mostly be cross-country but there is a section of travel required along the Warburton Hwy. Google Earth states 20 minutes but that may blow out in peak hour. Yarra Junction, however, would involve travelling in peak hour traffic all the way to get to/from Seville unless your employer is offering flexible start and finish times, thus enabling you to avoid the worst of the traffic.

  • Julien May 12, 2017, 7:43 pm |

    Hey Bob, Mark and all,

    I am a 31 years old Frenchman with an opportunity to move to Melbourne. I have a job offer pending to work in Clayton (next to the Monash Uni campus). I am trying to get a feel for the different south eastern suburbs but its quite tricky to do without being there. Maybe you can give me some info?

    About me: I am single, no kids so school availability is not important. I will have to buy a car for my job but still want close proximity to transport to access the city centre on my downtime without having to be stuck in the traffic (ideally 30mins from Clayton by car, 30mins from the city by train). I am not a party animal and don’t care too much about clubs. However, I’m looking for a dynamic neighbourhood, with cafes, art, music and young professional like me, not too family oriented I guess; proximity to the water and parks would be great. As an example, I liked the feel of Fitzroy when I was in Melbourne a few years back; I didn’t care much for St Kilda west and the backpacker central feel.
    I was looking at elwood, mentone and Oakleigh for example. My budget would be around 300AUD/pw.

    Best regards.

    • Mark May 13, 2017, 11:08 am |

      Hi Julien. Thanks for all the info it makes answering the question easy…Whether the answer helps you is of course another matter. OK first of all Fitzroy yes ist fist your trendy young professional area almost perfectly but!!! You will probably drive yourself mad trying to get from Fitzroy to Clayton.. In fairness you are going against the traffic once past the line of the CBD area but you have to get that far.. Give it a try when your here..It might be easy to find a short term stay there whilst you explore where to live .I am not sure having never done that drive at rush hour, but I reckon 30 minutes might not be enough. I cant really say anywhere is an area full of young professionals. Not like if you know Paris say the 17th Batignolles or 11th or even the 10th Canal St Martin as areas you may favor. With the exception of Fitzroy and the St Kilda many other places are all an eclectic mix of people….
      So where else may suit that leans towards your choices. Well have a look at the map and anywhere in the area M1 M3 and the water will suit…Im sure something will fit the budget apartment wise and of course you have the bay for the water the closer you get to it. Mordialloc may suit. Dont be put off its a distance away 30 minutes should be a doddle. Mentone again towards the bay is nice as is anywhere along there. Have a drive round on google maps down the Nepean Highway from say Brighton to Mordialloc you pass through Mentone and have a look on the coast road as well. You may glean something from some posts I wrote with Kirsty lower down who whilst she has family has been before. Oakleigh I would remove form your list It has three parts Oakleigh, south and east but I dont feel any fit you Oakleigh itself is great for a Greek meal in fact your hard pressed to find much else. Elwood would score high but again lack of parks and spaces may put you off unless your near the beach.. Have a drive down route 33 from Elwood as far as Mordialloc will give you a feel.. All have great train access to City there are two lines heading out in that M1 M3 area. Hope this helps

      • Julien May 13, 2017, 9:04 pm |

        Thanks for your answer Mark, it’s very helpful. I’ll do some google map cruisin’ to check the suggested places and get a feel for it. Cheers.

  • Denis May 9, 2017, 9:52 pm |

    Melbourne awesom city, definitelly… worth to visit worth to live. Temp and weather better then elsewhere

  • Lorraine April 19, 2017, 3:58 am |

    What a FANTASTIC website! There are not enough hours in the day to look at all the pages of information and advice (although I do try to find time as much as possible!) Having recently filled in the assessment form and spoken to Simon Earles, your MARA agent, (who is excellent by the way), I’ve become more than obsessed with moving to Australia. (There are a few hoops to jump through first, of course).
    My mum lives in Colac, Victoria, so we are limited to probably the Geelong area. Our main priorities are being close to a beach (20mins drive max really), schools and medical facilities. My husband is a Physiotherapist and I am a Primary Teacher (wondering if I will struggle for work actually as there doesn’t seem to much other than Early Years or Special Needs Teachers on job websites). What do you think of Clifton Springs, Drysdale and surrounding areas? It is unlikely that we will get there for at least 18 months and we are busy researching everything we can possibly think of! Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

    • Mark April 19, 2017, 8:37 am |

      I have a key question before answering, Is Mom a big part of this equation E.g child minder,drop pick up from school etc etc… I ask because in looking around Geelong and Colac you are limiting yourselves with opportunities The beach bit is easy anywhere near Torquay and around say Ocean grove through I am sure Mom can help there… Yes wherever there is people this is schools and medical facilities but its somewhat proportionate to population….Have a read of a post with Matt and myself on this site .. its here You have to get lower down his replies as his first concern was his working entitlement…but then we got into Geelong etc etc ..Just save typing it all again…My point being if Mom can be in a hour or so drive you may be better positioned somewhere else…Fact, there is less schools that side same can be said for medical facilities…weighed up against a on hand childminder equals? Now I am guessing you have not been as Mom may have played a bigger part of the equation even in asking where to go…
      Same as said to Matt though look towards Ocean Grove and surrounds in the Ballarine Peninsula. However if you can have mum closer (as in not UK) but and hour or two then look elsewhere…

      • BobinOz April 19, 2017, 6:46 pm |

        Thanks for the kind words about my website and Simon Lorraine, much appreciated. Yes, there is lots of information on this site, I think I currently have around 1400 pages in all plus thousands and thousands of comments.

        Pretty sure the complete Harry Potter series might be longer though, so it is possible. Keep at it 🙂

        • Lorraine April 22, 2017, 3:42 am |

          Hi Bob,
          I would add to my comments about Simon Earles actually- if anyone is hesitant or unsure about completing the assessment they really don’t need to be. The feedback is very thorough and Simon is very knowledgeable. My husband and I were both really impressed and would recommend the service to anyone! Great value for money too!

          • BobinOz April 24, 2017, 8:00 pm |

            Yes, I’m very lucky to have Simon working with me, as you say, he is very thorough and really knows his stuff. Glad to hear he helped you and your husband.

      • Lorraine April 22, 2017, 3:36 am |

        Thanks Mark. I’ve had a good look around (virtually on Google Earth and various websites) over the last few days and have been looking closer to Melbourne. Places like Williamstown, Point Cook, Sandringham, seem to be more built up and have more than Clifton Springs and Drysdale as there doesn’t seem to be much going on there. I suppose we won’t really know until we get there and have a good look around. At least we have the luxury of being able to stay with my mum for a while until we find the right place for us. The main issue is sussing out if it’s actually feasible for us to move so this research is the main building block to us making the leap or not. My husband isn’t as keen as me to move so if I can show him the benefits of living over there by finding a good area, near a beach etc etc then the easier that will be!

        • Mark April 22, 2017, 8:07 am |

          OK my best advice , is forget mom (sorry Mom) only joking, have her an hour and a half drive or ferry ride away….Your right in your google driving around.. There is not much at Clifton springs and Drysdale in comparison to Wiliamstown and Point Cook but I wouldn’t be there either ….If you are intent on staying west side then look on the Ballarine towards Ocean Grove, Queenscliff way etc but its a trek and harde t get to any city parts However in my jokey forget Mom advice, have a read of South Eastern suburbs in Bobs drop down menu above….Id personally if your on a sales trip (to Hubby) You really need to look the other side…Have a read down below Kirsty Davies who has spent time In Melbourne. She knows where was best straight away.. the East side and anywhere South of Mordailloc especially when you get to say South Frankston and South of there on the Mornington Peninsula.
          I was sold on Point Cook by my wife until we got here then we saw the place and this It will undoubtedly get better and no doubt has but if your on a sales mission present the best…
          We ended up with a beach house Ocean Grove way but I would not live there…Most things are on the East side You only have to look at Ikea One Richmond, one Springvale…
          On the west you have just the one main road leads south on the east you have three to four. Take a google drive south down the Nepean Highway from say Franskton, take a drive down Mornington Main street Take a drive on the Nepean at Mordialloc you can even drive down it from Mordialloc to Franskston and on ….Ignore all the crossings and railroad on left its all being re done. Go down as far as Sorrento, perhaps too far to live, that is your ferry to Queenscliffe and Mom or drive around. Look at Mt Eliza Mt Martha and all around there…Inland a bit even, if you have a pool, beach 10 to 20 minutes drive is fine ..have a look at this… Its 100K more expensive than its counterpart in Point Cook but with good reason. We are meeting a family with their two children today from UK they arrived Wednesday first time in Australia and moved visa job the lot …just to point them in directions and a coffee…I’ve likened it to landing at a big holiday caravan chalet site.. maybe just holiday spot, call it what you will ..Its always nice if you meet folk first or second day, where to go, get the best food, activities for kids etc etc, some of it you like some they say about you dont but that usually leads to something else…this is no different just a far bigger scale.

    • David May 21, 2017, 3:30 pm |

      If you want to live in a rural town, I wouldn’t overlook larger towns like Warrnambool (on the coast and a popular tourist destination; 1 hr 20 min from Colac) or Hamilton (2 hours from Colac), but overriding everything might be employment opportunities. Between Warrnambool and Colac are two other sizeable towns: Camperdown and Terang. Both on the Melbourne-Warrnambool railway line.
      Clifton Springs and Drysdale are small towns but there are much larger towns not too far away, such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine, but a trip to the seaside from any of them, being well inland, would be an all-day affair.

  • Akah Lawrence April 19, 2017, 1:38 am |

    I love Melbourne. I want to move into the city before the end of the year.

    • Denis May 9, 2017, 9:54 pm |

      Definitelly worth it. The climate is awesome )

  • Hayley Stellenberg April 18, 2017, 10:48 pm |

    My family will be relocating shortly from South Africa to Melbourne in that my husband has secured employment and will be based in central Melbourne. With a 15 year old daughter and 8 year old son, we are also looking for suburbs that offer Catholic schooling options & good transport as we will only have one vehicle initially. Ideally we would also like a 3 bedroom home. your assistance and expertise would be realty appreciated in this regard.

    • Mark April 19, 2017, 7:32 am |

      Hi Hayley
      if you read through some of the responses below like Kirsty Davies and Lizzie Doyle you will gleam a lot of info from them which saves me typing it all again..I am guessing by central Melbourne you mean the CBD…Id say the same to you as the others though you are looking for catholic schools as well they are scattered about including high schools which are of course less prevalent…Does you husband have a maximum commute time say train etc 15 minutes 30 or even 50 mins …You could alos look toward the east in general and have a look on real for houses underneath each house it also lists the schools nearby …There is an excellent catholic college / high called Padua..but that may be to much of a commute for you husband.

  • Lizzie Doyle April 10, 2017, 6:14 am |

    Hi Mark & all,
    Wow some great advice on these posts!
    Myself and my boyfriend are currently in the middle of our visa process (189), we are looking to live in Melbourne when we arrive at the end of the year. We are hoping to rent a property but are unsure of the area. We are looking for:
    *good public transport to city centre for my job
    *bars, restaurants and shops
    *netball and cricket clubs
    We are only 23 so we don’t want anything to quiet but we currently live directly in the middle of Manchester city centre so we don’t inner city living again! Just the right balance.
    My boyfriend is a secondary school teacher but will to drive within 45 mins.
    Thank you

    • Mark April 10, 2017, 4:22 pm |

      Hi Lizzie Manchester a far and distant land, spent many an evening at the MEN arena. Working and hiding away Britney Spears might as well of moved in there….Sorry reminiscing. My immediate response is similar to Dave and Jo below. but I have a question or two…Roughly where in city are you CBD or at least East side that’s assuming you have secured a job, without visa??? Does ‘Mr Lizzie’ have a job and where. I am assuming you will look to public transport for city… If your partner has a job likely the same still applies I guess as a lot of secondary schools are out to the East or South East …Again a lot of what applied to Kirsty Davies applies to you. She favors being further south which I do but that makes your commute longer. The further south the it gets a bit cheaper. You should be OK renting bit its nothing like UK rentals it can be hard to get a place but I do have a trick I have shared with others to get the realtor in your pocket and putting you first, to explain if you have not read you can get 15 people turning up to rent one house. It gets tougher in Summer which looks like when your arriving maybe For schools apply online for jobs when you have your visa and remember schools shut here about a week before Christmas till first week of February for summer holidays.

      • Lizzie Doyle April 12, 2017, 3:24 am |

        WOW yes the MEN is right beside our house, we live right at the beginning of Rochdale Road at the moment.

        We are currently in the process of apply for a 189 visa – Liam my boyfriend being the main applicant as a Secondary School teacher. We are looking to arrive in October/November but as soon as we get a visa grant we shall be emailing and using LinkedIn to see if we can get employment before arriving. I would want to work ideally in the retail/beauty industry as a buying assistant, I have already been in contact with some recruiters who have told me to get back in touch once I arrive in Melbourne. Liam is hoping to purchase a second hand car so he can can travel easier, I am a not so confident driver (although I know this will need to change!) so would prefer to commute on the train to begin with.

        We also have family in Geelong but I seem to be getting advice to head over the other way? Still very unsure but we need to start deciding! Thanks again for all your advice

        • Mark April 12, 2017, 11:59 am |

          Hi Lizzie….Yes its all apartments and living in the city out that way now. Easy access for the city for you…Had many a laugh there. mostly the arena, driving the Zamboni for the ice when the Manchester Storm used to play, Hiding Becks and Posh from the people on the concourse when Giggsy broke the toilet flush in his box next door to ours at 4pm (he was there early) for a 7 maybe 8pm concert, that was Brittney I seem to remember.

          OK to your scenario Yes stay away from the West. We have a beach house Ocean Grove but that’s great for a beach house. not living there. The drive up to CBD is like doing the 62 from Middleton to Brighouse boring as…Actually its more boring, best analogy of Geelong would be say Leyland near Preston or even Preston, its miiles away from Manchester with a boring drive in between of rand not much there in the first place..Sorry if you come from Leyland or Preston, Leyland is 48km (30m) from Manchester. Geelong is 75km (48m) from Melbourne. if you had a job in Geelong it would be different response. ….Most of the population is East side and South East Google a map of Metropolitan Melbourne, you will see the east extends all the way down the South East side. That means two, three things, more jobs, more competition with suppliers as in cheaper prices, of course down sides more traffic, higher house prices and so on… some prospective Greater Manchester population close to 3 million, area some 1,266 km sq. Greater Melbourne population close to 5 million, area some 9,990 km sq Under double the population in 8 times the space.
          Im not sure you need to be close to the CBD then as your original post. There is many a school out East and South and far more jobs outside the city than in it including in your field I imagine. Bayswater and Dandenong are high in businesses, not great living in either but to work in, fine! . Have a read of the comments to Jo, Dave, and Kirsty, Kirsty id say has the better view, she has been before. Id say most of the same applies to you…But again if you want to look further South East like Kirtsy, it would only be like you living in Cheadle and working in Warrington or even living in say Lymm and working in Chester …That’s perhaps the area of Melbourne from say Chester to Rochdale then of course Its all easier commute, its easier driving…Look through some of Bob’s pages in the drop down on Melbourne for Eastern suburbs and South Eastern…Linkedin is OK, I personally don’t rate it well .. Get your visa, don’t apply without as you are just another problem to a potential employer, as they have said get in touch when here, thats why, you probably wont need a recruiter. Even if you secure one job you’ll be flying…This is a big permanent move at your ages…. Well done! I skipped USA for UK when I was 20 and now out here. Australia is good for jobs. My wife is a teacher. Whats his speciality at secondary?. Dont forget a lot of private schools here and they are not like the UK ones. Hope all this helps for now. Sorry to Bob as I get messages here, I feel bad, its like Bob in OZ… Mark in Melbourne I think Bob has a
          handle on my sense of humor.

          • BobinOz April 12, 2017, 6:11 pm |

            Mark in Melbourne? Nope, it’ll never take off 🙂

            Seriously though, I’m glad they are asking you and not me, I don’t even know what MEN is and I’m not going to Google it!

  • Rahul April 7, 2017, 7:41 pm |

    Hi Mark,

    I am planning to move to Melbourne within a month with my wife and 2 yr old daughter coming by June. Looking for a decent area with open parks and good day cares. My office will be in South Melbourne and I would like the commute to be under 30 minutes by train, if possible. Can you suggest the areas I can look at with my rental budget around 2K per month.

    • Mark April 7, 2017, 8:09 pm |

      Hi Rahul When you say South Melbourne are you actually referring to the suburb of South Melbourne or meaning South of Melbourne, See the post below from Jo and my replies to explain the difference. My reply may be the same in any case of stay to the south east side and down the line of Prahan Windsor Richmond, etc the difference being if your answer is south of Melbourne the 30 commute time extends your distance away and the further you get the cheaper it gets but not by much.. Are you just looking for 2 bed house or apartment or need 3 beds for guests . I am guessing your not a nightlife sort with child Too done in like every other parent With my answers above have a look on real estate, You will likely need to be here to rent long term so I am assuming as I have just replied to someone else you are going to find a 1 month maybe airbnb type thing when you initially arrive, this gives you chance to look round. Hope this helps for now Cheers Mark

      • Rahul April 7, 2017, 9:13 pm |

        Thanks a lot Mark. I was referring to the area near Royal Botanic Gardens. And yes, nightlife is not a concern for me anymore :-). So I ll just like a short commute and open areas around with decent schools. I ll check the website you recommended.


        • Mark April 7, 2017, 10:50 pm |

          Hi Rahul Ok that’s whats termed south of Melbourne but its very close to the suburb that’s actually celled South Melbourne. Confused I was… 🙂 Anyway same answer really if you stay South and East you wont go far wrong. Your budget may be a little stretched at 2000 a month but its not impossible, If you look there is two rail lines one the Sandringham Line the other the Frankston line if you find anywhere inside the line made by Warragul Road Highway 15 and as far down as say Mentone with the water of the bay your other obvious line you will have say a decent commute. of course the further the longer Stay within walking distance of trains but not to close of course though many drive a car close to the station and then train into Flinders Street of course the further south from Flinders Street necessitates a tram ride as well.

  • Kirsty Davies April 3, 2017, 8:17 pm |

    Hi Mark we are planning on moving to Melbourne from Wales in september 2017. We’d ideally like to live in a beachside or lakeside suburb. We have 2 kids, ages 9 and 6 and are looking for suburbs with good primary schools for them. I quite like edithvale, mordailiac, patterson lakes, and have also looked at point cook where you seem to get so much more house for your money but have read differing views. Anywhere you’d recommend? Thanks

    • Kirsty Davies April 3, 2017, 8:20 pm |

      Hi Mark, forgot to say my husbands job will be in the cbd so he’ll need to be within commuting distance. I love the mornington peninsula but it’s a bit too far out. Thanks

      • Mark April 3, 2017, 9:49 pm |

        Hi Kirsty Wales can be in parts quite quiet some not so, Id liken living in Point Cook to living in Newtown or Llardrindod Wells, its OK as itself but travelling out is miles to anywhere else it feels . The commute is harder whether by car or train, they did introduce a ferry from Wyndham last year. I am not so sure its still running even that was 45 minutes and that cut the journey time by 15 minutes. The place just has not got going yet. thats why you gte so much more house for money. You may have read in my posts about the thought of mortgage free and cash in hand at £650 house in Point Cook I soon gave up on the idea as they say Location Location Location, The other places you have picked are all decent places. I have a friend who commutes from Frankston on the train in 45 minutes That’s when the express trains are running They are re doing all the crossings to make it faster but it will take a year or so, so not always an express. The Frankston line is the same for Mordialloc and Edithvale and so on.where all the crossings are being re done An idea for you google Nepean Highway at Frankston and drive north on it using street view you will see all the crossings on the right and stations as you go up then after Mordialloc they vanish as the rail line goes elsewhere If I drive I even sometime use the coast road from Mordialloc .I also use the train now and again. The irony for driving is its sometimes quicker the lower you go, not as far as Sorrento don’t get me wrong but look at the map where the M11 comes closer so instead of cross town traffic you can use the M11..

        Id certainly stay the east side no doubt about it, there are good schools all around these areas, all within easy reach, a lot are not zoned so you can live close by but not on the doorstep. I am assuming your looking for temporary when you arrive and then maybe more permanent rental or purchase Have a look on real estate in the areas then you can look down below each house for local schools and google reviews of them. There is a Chinese website I cant remember the name of (its in English) that has all the school results on it. When I remember tomorrow ill post the name. Whats his idea of commuting distance time wise and train car or both?

        • Kirsty Davies April 5, 2017, 3:39 am |

          Hi Mark
          Thank you do much for your detailed response, I really appreciate your time you’ve taken. We live in a village but within easy commuting distance of cardiff, approx 20-30 mins in a car. I guess we were thinking about 40 minutes max for my husbands commute but he would probably be willing to do a bit more for a nice beachside suburb. We did a whv back in 2000 in Melbourne and lived in Richmond, ideal area for a couple but would be looking for somewhere quieter now. The suggestion of keeping east is good to hear as that is where I’ve been meaning towards.

          Saying all that, my husband had his offer today and I don’t think the wage is high enough. They’ve offered 110k australian which is basically the exchange rate at the moment from his UK salary (67k). Everything I’ve read says you need to be offered around 2.2 times your UK salary in aussie dollars to live the same lifestyle. The company are sorting out 457 visas. I’d be giving up my career to move to Oz and have read that’s it’s quite difficult for a spouse on a 457 visa to get work, is this true?

          Thanks so much for all your help

          • Kirsty Davies April 5, 2017, 3:43 am |

            Meant to say he’ll probably commute by train if easier but can drive if that’s easier/quicker. Also, we’d probably rent for at least a year.

            • Mark April 5, 2017, 8:54 am |

              Hi Kirsty Which point to start with as one is quite complicated and several questions thrown up. OK. Area, you have narrowed it down to some decent ones. You obviously know the place reasonably, I dont think id live on the west side if you paid me to. We have a beach house in Ocean Grove and even the drive down on the west side bores me, so Ferry from Sorrento solves the need for that.
              Yes I have read 457 Visas partners struggling but have not experienced it, It may also depend what you are planning on doing. Either professional career style job as you have given up or more part time; ‘something I like doing’ style with children to look after etc. I dont think there is an issue here in Melbourne. My own feeling is, this is more SA and even WA based, Where mining has vanished but then imagine you apply for a job and the interviewer turns out to be David Jones,emigrated from Saundersfoot 11 years ago, you might be a shoo-in. It is as usual if your face fits you’ve got the job.
              Salary …mmmmmm, this 2.2 I have never read that anywhere and I am trying to get my head round the logic. The £ to $ say £1 to $2 would mean a 67k salary at even higher some $147 , so theoretically if the 2.2 scenario stands up the higher the pound goes against the dollar the more salary needed eg £1 to say $3 then the salary would need to be over $200K…to meet the 2.2 rule. I have been on some early conference calls with UK this morning, maybe I need more coffee but cant work the reasoning out….

              OK cut to practicalities. I have not touched my UK paid salary in 16 months. We are using just my wife’s to live and we are living happily on the same figure with two similar aged children and one now going to private school, the other will follow, We have bought a house and we pay a mortgage, run two cars (three technically) in our overheads Boat and pool installation on hold, to many other things to do. I will raid my salary then. We left it hoping the £$ would improve but …… Id say you will be fine on $110K though is there chance to ask for more. Anything you bring in work wise will then be a bonus.
              Now the big question…As there seems a concerns in your message Are you looking to leave UK for good? . eg as many would give their ‘right arm’ for that 457 visa as its a start down the path and usually leads to more permanent. Granted the PR visa would be far better but if that’s what your aim is then a 457 means your in at least, albeit technically temporary. How long is the planned job for. Ah! Maybe that’s where the 2.2 comes in, its funding you in UK as well, ?. So factor in moving costs, are you shipping furniture belongings etc or buying here? . Maybe you can get some relocation expenses paid in the salary. Renting a car or buying or shipping one.
              Fact is you will give your children I believe a far better future here than the UK offers but that’s only my opinion. Many share it though. You like the place I assume after the WHV trip. No school fees on 457 in Vic. If your aim is to come and stay put somehow converting visas then its just a juggling act. If your aim is two years and return I dont think I would do it. Its a massive upheaval. Bob has my email if you prefer as not all things are for the forum, Happy to help as have done with others. Why? well we was helped when we got here by strangers. Kind of passing it on!
              PS website was that’s actually the Edithvale page My wife, a teacher has all the schools data to hand as well.

              • Kirsty Davies April 10, 2017, 5:50 pm |

                Hi Mark
                Thanks again for your brilliant response. It would be great to email you, how can I get your email address? Many thanks

                • BobinOz April 10, 2017, 8:54 pm |

                  Hi Kirsty

                  I’ll send you an email with it now. Cheers, Bob

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