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.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 988 comments… add one }
  • Opal February 16, 2013, 4:18 am |

    Thanks Nick.:-)

    • Nick February 19, 2013, 6:30 pm |

      Hi Opal, sorry for the delay. I’ve been very busy!!

      We live in Nunawading, right near Doncaster East, and my 4 yr old little boy goes to “Our Kids” Day Care Centre. They open at 7am till 6pm. There are also quite a few more.

      Have a look at this link for some more:

      It is quite difficult to get into the day care centres, but once you do get in then you can relax. We’re full timers so our older son goes to Donvale Primary School, which is a great, great school. We’re really lucky as we’ve made alot of friends from just our kids in these 2 schools!

      Doncaster East is a nice neighbourhood. There’s loads of good parks. Ruffy Lake Park is a great park. Westerfolds Park too.

      Really good shopping centre called Westfield as well. Massive!!

      Doncaster East is close to the Eastern Freeway, which will take you about 20 mins to get into Melbourne (with light traffic!).

      Also, regarding your visa, are you PR Staus? If so, then you’ll need to register with Centrelink, Australia’s welfare department, as you will be entitled to child care benefit/rebate, and maybe other benefits. They can pay up to 50% for you if you’re full time work and your child attends day school. Go to:

      Click on the relevant links to get to Centrelink.

      If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

      Best of luck!!


  • Opal February 12, 2013, 11:12 pm |

    Hi all,
    Great news- our visas were granted! It took thirteen months but definitely worth it in the end. We are making our permanent move in June and are looking forward to it.

    We have now narrowed our search down to Doncaster East- mainly because of the good public schools in the area and the relatively affordable housing prices.
    Does anyone know anything about this area? Based on our research it’s a decent area and only 10 miles or so from the CBD.
    We’ve been scouting preschools as well since our dear daughter is almost 4 and, as we both work full time, will be attending full time. Can anyone suggest one? We’ve found two: Beverley Hills Preschool and Doncaster East Preschool but they do not offer full time care. Any suggestion is greatly appreciated


    • BobinOz February 13, 2013, 11:16 pm |

      Congratulations Opal, glad to hear you are on your way.

      Obviously I can’t help you with this question, I just don’t know Melbourne well enough, only spent three days there in total. But I’m sure someone from over there will help you out soon, Nick knows Melbourne well, and I’m sure somebody reading this will know the suburb you’re looking at very well.

      Good luck with the move.



    • Nick February 14, 2013, 7:09 am |

      Hi Opal, congratulations!

      Bob’s right, I can help with lots of advice as I live near Doncaster East, and I have 2 kids that go to kinder and primary schools respectively.

      I’m at work now, so can’t write much more till later today.

      Hold this space!!!


  • Jess February 4, 2013, 3:35 pm |

    I would love to know where you saw this hurricane? I have never seen one come out of the sky, and I have lived in Victoria my whole life! haha!

    • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 4:26 pm |

      You are absolutely right Jess, how misleading of me. Melbourne, and indeed Australia, do not get hurricanes. That’s my old northern hemisphere brain. Here in Australia we get cyclones, but I don’t think Melbourne even has those, the sea is not warm enough.

      What can happen in Melbourne which is what I was referring to, are the wild winds that can, at times, hit 90 to 100 km/h. So, thanks for pointing that out, I’ve changed the word “Hurricanes” to the words “Wild winds”.



      • Jess February 5, 2013, 8:56 am |

        Yep, that makes much more sense! Definitely strong winds. I don’t think any cyclones have come down past the Sydney area.

        Anyway, I have had a quick look at your page and I thoroughly enjoyed the “yakka’s”! (and everything else seems about right for beautiful Melbourne!).

        • BobinOz February 5, 2013, 8:46 pm |

          Thanks Jess!


        • Hugo April 13, 2013, 5:23 am |

          Great site Bob.

          For me the weather is all about the wind. Does not help if it`s a nice 28 degrees and the wind is blowing at 90km/h.

          Does Melbourne have windy months in summer and winter?
          What about Sydney?

          Thanks guys

          • BobinOz April 14, 2013, 8:52 pm |

            Thanks Hugo

            Both places have their windy days, but I don’t think they really have excessively windy periods. Sydney’s weather is probably better than that of Melbourne, but I’ll leave it to the people who live there to give you a more accurate answer, I’ve only been to each place as a visitor.



  • Nick January 31, 2013, 4:43 pm |

    I second that, although its just lashed it down whilst I’ve been driving home!

    1st time for ages and the summer’s been brilliant.

    Thumbs up for Melbourne!!


  • BobinOz January 31, 2013, 3:04 pm |

    I agree too, when was the last time the UK went six weeks without rain?

  • Nick January 30, 2013, 7:47 pm |

    Here here!!

  • jimbo January 30, 2013, 9:27 am |

    Can’t agree with one of the first posters on the thread that said “there was nothing but grey skies and crap weather from April to November 2011. People should look at the Borough of Meteorology which has in depth statistics for each Australian city. Browsing through this will show you what the weather”s really like. Yes it changes but it’s usually a change in temperature – we get over 2500 hours of sun a year and right now it’s been 6 weeks since we had any rain to speak of – summers are great , particularly if you’re from the UK. Personally i really like the dry heat & couldnt bear Queensland or Sydney summers with the humidity. Winters – 12-15 degrees. very balmy!

  • MugadzawetaFam January 10, 2013, 9:16 am |

    Hi…. We are a family of 5; 2, 3, 13 and me and my hubby. My husband is a mental health nurse so he is pretty sorted and knows the jobs to look for for our move…but me I could do with a bit of help! I am a Health Visitor here in the UK so this is the work I would like to do in Oz too, I am dual trained, mental health nurse and specialist community public health nurse (health visitor) but I am finding it near impossible to find any jobs as health visitor! Can anyone offer any advice?

    We are looking at the cost of living… any other family’s of 5 that can throw some guide figures at us for living costs inc groceries, leccy, gas, council tax etc?

    My 13 year old attends a performing arts school in the uk…. she wants to continue this in Oz, I hear Melbourne is the city of Arts and Culture does this stretch to performing arts schools?!

    Any advice shall be gratefully received…. thanks heaps!

    • BobinOz January 10, 2013, 9:38 pm |

      Melbourne certainly is the city in Australia best known for its art and culture, but as I live in Brisbane (with only one child) I can’t help you with your question, hopefully somebody else from over that way can help you out.


    • Nick January 17, 2013, 2:16 pm |

      Hi there,

      I live and work in the Melbourne area but I’m not in your profession so I don’t really know where you could start to look I’m afraid. Have you used “”?

      There are a mix of public / private hospitals, clinics, institutions which will most definitely hire your services but I don’t know how you’d start to look. Maybe specialist agencies, or contact certain regional health organisations, as a starting point?

      Cost of living: We are a family of 4, 2 kids/adults and our weekly shop is around $220. Utilities go from $150 – $300 every 2 months. Childcare isn’t cheap and you’d need to register with CentreLink, the national welfare organisation that can help you with costs. It depends on your visa. Try to get Permanent Residency as this entitles you to benefits.

      If you rent a house, then generally the landlord will pay the rates (C.Tax). Ours does so I don’t know what it is. Bob might be able to help there?

      Melbourne is thriving with performing arts schools / colleges so I don’t think you’d have too much trouble finding somewhere for your daughter.

      Hope this helps?



  • tigger January 3, 2013, 4:59 am |

    Hi Chris, glad you are looking forward to coming here. There might be a few words of wisdom I can impart on you before you make a decision on where you settle.
    Firstly, I congratulate you on choosing Victoria, it is by far the superior state to both work and live in (really they are all pretty good but I must impose my staunch home-state bias here, it’s obligatory!)

    Regarding your options for ‘zone 1’ accommodation, there are many new developments in the western suburbs – Altona, Point Cook, Werribee, Deer Park (including a nice little new estate by the name of Derrimut). This will cost you around the $350 – $450 pw mark for a brand new 3 – 4 brm house.

    Public transport is somewhat reliable, although if you don’t have a car, depending on where you are located, it may take a half hour walk to get to the nearest station. Most people will drive to the station and park there while they go to work. Usual transit times from these areas are 20 – 40 minutes depending on the service you use (V-Line much quicker and cleaner and safer than Metro, but Metro will service more areas.)

    These areas are somewhat close to the bay, but not a place I would consider living in (again). My suggestion to you or anyone else looking at moving the family down here would be to look at Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. A train from Geelong to Melbourne is about a 50 – 60 minute ride on V-Line. Very close to all amenities, beaches, wineries etc etc etc. Rent is probably a fair bit less than the western suburbs listed above, plus you are right on the coast.

    ‘Ha’ I hear you say – ‘I dont need to be that close to the beach’, but let me tell you, when the temperature reaches 40+ which it will do at least once each summer, Geelong gets the ‘cool breeze’ in the arvo, while western suburbanites will swelter through the night and often not get it till the next morning. Doesn’t matter how fancy your AC unit is, it won’t provide you relief from a 45 degree day in the ‘burbs.

    So anyway, check out Geelong, but I must stress DO NOT SETTLE FOR THE NORTHERN SUBURBS!!!! So North Geelong, Corio, Norlane are out of bounds! anywhere south, east or west Geelong are fine. But don’t tell me I didn’t warn you about the northern suburbs!!

    Good luck with it all, hope I gave you some food for thought, and hopefully you find a nice place to settle.



    • Jessie January 6, 2013, 12:06 am |

      Hi Tigger,
      you seem to know your stuff lol
      so I was gonna ask u directly on which areas are best for a family.
      We are considering to move to melbourne. My partners brother lives in Yarraville and they will most likely be working together in around the area.
      He is a qualified carpenter but if he wants to be sponsored he will have to start there as a commercial labourer.
      Anyway more to the point… I was looking into areas:
      Western seem to be cheaper. we dont wanna be right in the city but not too far either. beachareas too expensive and my prefered german/australian school is in toorak.
      I looked into brighton east, bentleigh, hampton east, malvern east
      and much cheaper : Heidelberg west, altona north, sunshine west… but i heard sunshine is more on the rough side so prob not suitable for a young family (kids are 4 and 1). hope u or anyone else can help me a bit with ur knowledge 🙂

      • Nick January 17, 2013, 2:04 pm |

        Hi Jessie, I’m Nick and I’ved lived here for over a year now.

        We live in the Eastern Suburbs, near Donvale. But it’s a bit pricey.

        We’ve seriously looked at Point Cook as a place to live and Saltwater Coast is a new development, in the corner where it’s surrounded by natural environment.

        It’s about 30 mins drive to the CBD, 20-25 to Yarraville too. It’s about 25K out, but sometimes the traffic does get snarled up a bit.

        Brighton, bentleigh etc. are all quite expensive too, but the West is gaining popularity so it might be worth checking it out.

        Best of luck,


  • Chris December 22, 2012, 3:20 am |

    Hi All, it’s been a while..

    I have been searching through the net mainly on realestate and shortlisted the suburbs that ticks my boxes and within my budget and still within Zone1
    Altona Meadows, Altona, Seabrook. Second options will be Point Cook and Williams Landing Zone2. Will be looking for 2-3 bedrooms house, unit or townhouse.
    Can anyone tell me more about these suburbs. And i read that Williams Landing is new and an up and coming suburb with a new premium train station, town centre and shopping precinct.
    I will be arriving in Melbourne 8 Feb next year from KL, Malaysia and once settle down my wife and son will be joining me. I will be working in the city and will rely on the public transport to commute at first before planning to get a car as Nick said before.
    Thanks Nick, Bob and Kathryn for the tips and earlier comments and it does help me to narrow down my search. I have google around the Eastern side as well to compare, is lovely but it’s not within my budget so I opt for the West.
    Looking forward for my move to Melbourne.

    Cheers everyone,

    • Nick February 4, 2013, 11:56 am |

      Good luck with it all mate!

      If I can help with any other things, then just let me know!



  • Sascha December 20, 2012, 12:19 am |

    Hi Bob, Nick and Kathryn!!

    Thanks for all the great info on living in Melbourne. My partner and I have just recieved our permenant visa for oz, so it’ exciting times, but also sobering and nerve wracking. My OH and I currently live in gower, south wales, beautiful place but the weather is….dreadful!! Thus the move to oz, better family life and weather. I am extremely confused on where to relocate, Melbourne or Brisbane? this seems to be a conundrum for most people.

    My OH is welsh and a carpenter, and i’m orginally from Cape Town, been travelling all around the world since I left home when I was 18yrs old, I am now 31. We have a daughter who is 8yrs old and I work has a freelance Make up Artist, in fashion and editorial for magazines. When relocating to wales I started a thriving bridal bussiness and make up academy as coming from working in London there was not that many magazine shoots happening my neck of the woods. Melbourne i heard was very much like CT with loads of culture and thriving fashion industry, although my partner will be the one in full time empoyment whist i settle our little one in. Brisbane seems to have the best weather but as OH will be working outside it might half kill him coming from a cool welsh 7c. I guess i’m so confused that even my question isn’t to the point! Just wanted some pro’s and con’s on the two cities, with working out doors and which of the two are more suited to us, just want some pionters and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks


    • BobinOz December 20, 2012, 11:43 pm |

      I’m probably not the best person to answer your question as I’ve never lived in Melbourne. But I do live in Brisbane, I love it here and I don’t really see the weather is a problem, it’s more of an attraction.

      Tradies, in the summer, will often start work at 6 o’clock in the morning and be finished by 2 o’clock in the afternoon just to beat the heat. Then they will go home, crack open a tinnie and jump in the pool.

      Melbourne is a great city too, but I’ll leave those who live there to tell you more about that, I think you need to decide whether you like your weather hot or sometimes hot and sometimes cold. I do a round up of the cities on my page called A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia.

      I hope your move goes well which ever city you decide to go to.


    • Nick January 17, 2013, 1:56 pm |

      Hi Sascha, I reckon that your OH will most probably prefer Melbourne, from a working perspective. I don’t know Brisbane at all, The Guv’nor, Bob, knows all there is to know about there and I’d very much like to visit sometime, but we have decided to settle, here in Victoria.

      I’m a plumber and the winters are quite mild, compared to the UK. Average days are 13-16 degrees. Mornings and nights are cold so you will need heating.

      Summers, right now are hot. Today’s 39 degrees, but tomorrow’s gonna be 30. It goes up and down a bit, but is ok to work in. Spring and Autumn are 18 – mid 20’s.

      You sometimes get sunshine, wind, rain hot/cold all in one day, hence the saying “4 Seasons in 1 day”, in Melbourne.

      We’ve decided to settle here as I have family and friends, know the area well, and realise what Victoria has to offer.

      Sure there are loads of lovely places in all of Oz, each with their own pros and cons, so it is very difficult to choose.

      Melbourne has so much going for it and is a very, diverse, cultural busy city, day and night. All Melburnians that I’ve met are really friendly and we’ve been out in town and had a great time. It’s safe and friendly!

      But not just Melbourne itself, but Victoria state. We’ve just had a friend and her kids over from Spain, for the hols, and we went to countless beaches, parks, the mountains, hinterland, Phillip Island. Funparks etc. etc.

      There’s loads to do, lots of jobs, hot summers, cold winters and everything else in between!

      You’ll find some things are expensive, others cheaper than the UK. It’s down to preference and lifestyle, but I think you and your family would love all that this state and city has to offer.

      There you go. I sound an advert for the Vic Tourist board!!

      Best of luck,


      • Sascha February 1, 2013, 9:38 pm |

        Thanks Nick for all the info, guess coming from Wales I’m totally weather obsessed. Work prospects look better for me in Melbourne as I work in fashion, I’m going to be coming down to Melbourne with my daughter and OH, we are planning to spend a week there looking around and have meetings with agents who could represent me. What’s the best way to go about accommodation, where would be the best area, east suburbs, about 20/30 to CBD, is there furnished apartments that you can rent for a week? Sorry seems so obvious but just trying to get a feel, our plan than is to fly to Brisbane and get a motorhome and travel around Brisbane, gold cost ect. Just thought I need to see Melbourne with m own eye and check out job prospects. Thanks nick and bob for your help so far, it’s priceless! X

        • Nick February 4, 2013, 12:09 pm |

          Hi Sascha, you can rent a furnished apartment for a week in Melbourne.

          My friend owns a serviced apartment in South Yarra, although the prices are dictated to by the company, which is a stone’s throw from the CBD and St Kilda Beach, which would be great for you guys. South Yarra is a very trendy suburb with loads of bars, restaurants and shops.

          The company is called PuntHill Apartments, here’s the link:

          Or if that doesn’t work, here’s a google page for you to choose from:

          The above link may also be helpful to anyone else looking to come to visit Melbourne too.

          Hope this helps. I’m only glad to help, being half Welsh, and also the stress it took to move here in the first place, without knowing about this site.

          BTW, it’s 25 degrees today, and it feels alot hotter than that. It’s only rained last week for 2/3 days and now it’s fine again.

          So to all those who slate Melbourne’s weather, take another look!!

          Good Luck Sascha and let me know if I can help with anything else ok?



  • Kathryn November 29, 2012, 6:06 am |

    The leaving certificate in the State of Victoria is called the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) which is usually undertaken in 13th year of their formal education in the formal school system. In Australia, children can attend pre-school at anytime up to the age of 4 at which age they can attend a more formal pre-school with more structured learning programs. The starting age for formal education can range between 5 (in NSW and Victoria) to 6 (in Queensland). The first year of their formal education is called Kindergarten thence they commence the next year into Year 1 through to Year 6 (in Primary School) thence from Year 7 to Year 12 (in High School). The general quality and standard of education in Australia is extremely high and comparable to the best standards overseas. There is an excellent range of private schools (ranging from extremely expensive to moderately priced theologically based Baptist, Catholic or Islamic schools). May I suggest that you copy and paste the following Victorian Education link into your browser that will provide you with a lot of information.

    Many schools (in Victoria and NSW) also have linked education with our TAFE Colleges (ie Technical and Further Education) for those children who may not wish to attend University but, rather, decide to to undertake a technical trade, eg industrial trades like mechanics, electrical or plumbing. These linked courses offer students excellent outreach programs, nationally recognised qualifications and the opportunity to attain apprenticeships in a wide range of trades. Such TAFE linked studies usually commence from Year 10. From my understanding, such TAFE linked studies are unique to Australian. I worked in NSW State schools for over 15 years and can tell you, from experience, that our State school system is one of the best in the world with a wide range of innovative educational programs that benefit students from a huge range of multicultural backgrounds. State schools are strictly monitored by State governments to retain a high standard of curriculum achievements and goals. I worked in a large multicultural P1 school (a Primary School of more than 1,000 students) that offered students the opportunity to select from a choice of more than six languages from the age of 6 years (in Year 1).

    Your 17 year old should be attending Year 11 and your 9 year old would (probably) be placed into Year 4 within the Victorian or NSW school system.

    As soon as you arrive in Australia, I suggest you get your 3 year old booked into a pre-school as a matter of urgency. Pre-schools in Australia can be expensive and the government-subsidised ones are very difficult to get into (unless you book your child in from birth!). Some pre-schools can charge up to AUS.$70.00 per day but prices can vary depending on where you live.

    Good luck!

    • Nick November 29, 2012, 6:24 am |

      Kathryn, tell me about it!

      My 2 sons (4&8 years old) are in kinder and after school care and we do get assistance from Centrelink, but it still costs us over $250 per week in top up fees. My 8 year old is at the local primary school and I’ve got to say that the education he’s receiving is outstanding, as is the kinder for my 4 year old.

      One less thing to worry about when emigrating!!

      BTW, it’s gonna be 38 degrees today and I’m a plumber wiring on a rooftop today….slip, slap slop!!!!


    • suzie January 18, 2013, 5:17 am |


      Thanks you so so much for all that information and my apologies for only replying now, i never seen the reply!!! Look forward to getting over to melbourne now and settling all the smallies in:)

      You were very helpful…

      Kind regards

  • suzie November 29, 2012, 5:28 am |

    Hi there..

    We are planning on emigrating from Ireland to Victoria Melbourne in April 2013… My husband just got a job offer and sponsorship. My question is where is a nice suburbs to raise a family… Also I have a 17 year old (turned 17 in Oct) in 5th year in Ireland and I’m wondering which year in school will she start in as she will have had no leaving certificate done as she still has one year left to do in Ireland. What is the end of year exam called in Oz and also will she depend on this to get into college?
    Also I have a 9 year old (turned 9 in July) what year in school will she be going into? I also have a 3 year old, is the childcare crucial prices like everyone says esp when we are on a sponsorship visa…..

  • Fiore November 29, 2012, 4:21 am |

    Hi guys

    Thanks for your website really well done.So I’m 28 years old.Im from France,my brother and I think to move on to Australia in february.I work as a plumber even as technician in air conditioning for my brother as a plumber.I’d like to know if the opportunities to find a job in these fields its quite easy in Melbourne or wherever.Furthermore to settle down in Melbourne for a short time what is the best area to reach the center by buses and cheap

    I look forward to having some news from anyone

    • BobinOz November 30, 2012, 9:56 pm |

      Check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and use the links to Australia’s top 3 online employment agencies to search for work in the area you’re looking at. That will give you a good idea of what’s available.

      As for where to live in Melbourne, your best bet is to read all the comments here, that should help. Good luck!

  • michael November 29, 2012, 4:08 am |

    just being a Melbourner and reading comments about the crappy weather, i just thought i`d mention Sydney has on average nearly double the rainfall of Melbourne , although the last 2 years the weather for Melbourne has been mild, prior to that 2 years we had about a ten year very warm spell and drought, as for beaches , we have some decent beaches close, although the best ones are probably out a bit along the coast , you will find beaches there as good as any around Australia, if you think other wise perhaps you need to get out more.
    , as for suburbs to live in , i`m also a fan of altona along the beach, point cook, and williamstown , williamstown in particular, this place comes alive in summer, and is full of great food places.

    • BobinOz November 30, 2012, 9:51 pm |

      Thanks for the weather check Michael, Melbourne really does get a bad press on that front, so it’s good to hear someone sticking up for it.

      I really like Melbourne city, and last time I was there it was a scorcher, around 36°, and that’s an awesome picture of the coastline. Cheers!


  • Kathryn November 17, 2012, 7:54 am |

    Chris, don’t know if you have a family but the only property you can rent for anyting like $250 to $300 pw within the city limits of Melbourne would be a 1 bedroom studio flat. Outlined below is a link to Domain for rental properties that fall in your price range within the city limits of Melbourne. You may need to search further afield in suburbs outside the city limits if you want a larger property:

    Good luck.

    • Chris November 25, 2012, 2:16 am |

      Thanks guys for all the advise and tips really appreciate it. Kathryn and Bob were spot on i need to look further afield within my budget. I did google around realestate and domain and found that suburbs like Altona, Altona Meadows, Seabrook and Point Cook were all reasonable. I understand it is on the Western side and i don’t mind about it. Can anyone please advise on the suburbs. I heard there will be a new train station call Williams Landing coming up soon.

      Thanks a million,

      • BobinOz November 26, 2012, 2:54 pm |

        Hopefully someone who knows that area well can help you out Chris, cheers, Bob

      • Nick November 27, 2012, 6:38 pm |

        Hi Chris,

        Although we live in the East, we’re seriously looking at house and land packages to buy and areas like Point Cook and Altona are pretty good. For renting they’re not too bad at all neither.
        There’s a large community in Point Cook and alot of POMs live there too. We went there, albeit on a Sunday, and timed it to the West Gate Bridge (You’ll soon know about the WGB if you live in the West!) and it took 20 mins on the freeway. It’s near to live to the CBD, but at the same time it’s not expensive, unlike most of Melbourne’s suburbs. It’s also on the doorstep of the Great Ocean Road passage which is a plus.

        Just so you know, today it was lashing it down al morning, then the sun came out and I was sweating! Tonight it’s pleasant. 4 Seasons in 1 day it certainly is!!

        I only know Altona for it’s lovely beach and great ice cream but again, it’s close to the CBD and reasonable. There’s a fair few convenience stores and all the people I’ve met from Altona, and PC are very approachable and nice.

        Keep looking on Domain / Real Estate and see what you find. Right now, coming up to Christmas, you might well find a bargain house to rent.

        Keep looking!!



  • Chris November 4, 2012, 2:41 am |

    Dear All,

    I’ve just got my visa approved and will be moving to Melbourne in February with my wife and 18months baby boy. I will be working in the CBD and my wife will be home with our son. Kindly advice if there are any jobs that work from home hence my wife can work and at the same time taking care of our son.
    As for place to stay and rent i have search through the net mostly realestate and domain and top of my list is Altona. Will be a great help if anyone can tell me more about the suburb or can reckon any other suburb that suitable to raise a young family. I don’t mind traveling and commute time is 30mins to the city.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Nick November 5, 2012, 7:26 am |

      Hi Chris, I’m officially helping Bob with any Melbourne related queries as I’m living here and Bob’s not as familiar with the area as I am. Have a look at some of my previous posts above, but Altona is not too bad as a place to bring up a family.

      PM Julia Gillard comes from there too!!!!!!! There is though one thing that I must mention to you. Altona has a massive petrol refinery quite near it: The Altona Mobil Refinery. Google it. It’s not bang in the centre, but on the outskirts and can put people off. I thought I’d mention this before you commit to the area.
      There is also Wiliamstown which is a lovely place, with good schools, parks, a lovely beach, loads of funky bars, restaurants and shops. We love it there, but it is a bit pricey. Most properties are all “Weatherboard” : Timber frame, buildings with external timber cladding. Not very insulated, but most residents do them up, at a cost. Altona is a mix of brick veneer / weatherboard.
      I’d also look at Point Cook if I were you. This is where we’d like to live as you can get a house and land package for around $350K-$500K, 30 mins drive / 25 on the train, to the CBD. My wife works in the CBD and we’re seriously considering it as where we are (Eastern Suburbs) takes ages to get to the beaches etc.

      Hope this helps,


      • BobinOz November 5, 2012, 2:00 pm |

        Chris, some good tips there from Nick, (thanks Nick!) about where to live in Melbourne, can’t help you with the work from home thing though, not sure there’s much about that is truly genuine, but I’m sure there are plenty of work from home schemes that are useless. So just beware if you pursue that one. Hope you get to love Australia as much as I do.



        • Chris November 9, 2012, 5:37 am |

          Thanks to both for some good tips.
          Am still searching around and still can’t decide on where to live. It’s indeed Melbourne is a big city and you get spoil for choices. Ya Nick i have notice about the huge refinery near Altona but i guess i can live with it since its location is on the outskirt.
          Point Cook is pretty good and reasonable on rental and the area is coming up but i don’t have a car and transportation will be the issue due to the train stations are quite a distance and Williamstown is a bit pricey though.
          Kindly advice and recommend a good suburb? Looking for one with good schools, safe for families with heaps of parks and other child-friendly activities. Reasonable rental prices as well.
          All your feedback and tips will be much appreciated. Thanks!


          • BobinOz November 9, 2012, 2:28 pm |

            Have a look at my page called Which Suburb? and use the link to Street Advisor to research suburbs.

            Also check out my page Which school?.



          • Nick November 11, 2012, 5:02 pm |

            Chris, I have only one thing to say mate: GET A CAR!!!!!!!!!! You’d be mad to come here without one!!

            There’s so much to do and see, and this would greatly improve your chances of getting a decent property near Melbourne, and also seeing all the lovely sights and sounds of Victoria. We’ve just been to the Macedon Ranges for the day, but last week we went to Healesville and to Mentone Beach. Without a car mate, you really reduce your activities.

            There are many, many suburbs to choose from so it’s difficult for me to say or single out one. If you could be a bit more specific about what you want then I can be more specific in helping you search/choose a suburb. You could live North, South, East or West. They all have good and bad things: Price, commuting time etc etc. So it’s be better to be more precise. That way I can be!!

            We live near Donvale, in the East. On a good day, it’s about 20 mins to Hoddle St. which will take you to the heart of the CBD. Most days it’s about 30+ mins though. It all depends on the traffic. My wife takes the train to Southern Cross and it takes her about 30 mins on the express train so it’s not to bad.

            I always believe that the most successful way of healthy living is to live as near as possible to your workplace. That way you’re not in the Rat Race (too much) and you can spend more QT with the family and friends. It’s also not as depressing to have to do the daily commute. I swear by that notion and live to it every day!

            Anyways, hope this helps?!!


            • Chris November 16, 2012, 2:56 am |

              Thanks Nick for all the info and tips. About driving in Melbourne will plan to get one once settle down everything. I understand it’s a beauty to drive around and see around Melbourne. When the time comes might need your help mate to recommend a good deal for a second hand car 🙂

              As for my preferences for a suburb :-
              – Budget for rental around 250-300pw (don’t want to waste or spend
              too much on rental)
              – No more than 15km to CBD
              – Commute time about 30mins
              – Family friendly and safe with heaps of parks for my little boy
              – Good community and amenities around (woolys, coles, cafes, etc..)
              – Convenient public transport
              – Not too high dense
              – Nightlife is not a priority as i will spend most of my free time with my
              wife and little boy

              Hope the above info can help me find a suburb. Your help is greatly appreciated and looking forward to the move with your kind assistance and help.


              • BobinOz November 16, 2012, 10:15 pm |


                I don’t know Melbourne, but I’m pretty sure I do know that you won’t get anything whatsoever for $250-$300 per week anywhere there, let alone 15 km from the city. Pretty sure you’re going to need to up your budget or live outside of Melbourne.

              • Nick November 19, 2012, 8:19 pm |

                Hi Chris, sorry to say but Bob and Kathryn are bang on mate.

                Depends on how many bedrooms you want in a property but it’s not cheap!! We live in the Eastern Suburbs which ticks all the boxes for you.
                Try suburbs like Mitcham, Nunawading, Doncaster East, Templestowe, Vermont, Wantirna, Ringwood. As Kathryn, and Bob have suggested and try these suburbs on Real and

                Once you’ve had a look then get back to me once you’ve decided on an area and I’ll do my best to advise!!

                Good luck!!


  • Salander October 24, 2012, 5:59 pm |

    This is so exciting, wow….my kids can’t wait to hit those shopping malls. What are they like in Brisbane then?

    • BobinOz October 25, 2012, 4:49 pm |

      Are you sure? Have they not mention the beach? Parks? Seaworld?

  • Steve October 21, 2012, 11:56 pm |

    I’ve just remembered one of the outstanding things from my childhood in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs -Ringwood East.
    I’d love it if someone could confirm that this sort of thing is still in existence.
    We all know that one of the worst things when you have kids is going to the Supermarkets, or generally doing a days shopping. The kids get bored, they lose interest, they start running around and deciding what goes in the trolley etc.
    But when I was a kid, all the big places we went to -though not so big now 40 years on of course – had a brilliant way around this that I have never seen in any other country. They all had small fun-fairs. The one at Eastlands in Ringwood was on the roof as I remember. They weren’t all ferris wheels, dodgems and roller coasters of course, but a couple of merry-go-rounds, a helter skelter etc, and a proper safe playing area with swings slides, sand pits, that sort of thing.
    I can remember being delightfully dumped there (and in the one at Forest Hills) many times. Do Australian shopping Malls still have these things or has Health and Safety legislation killed them off now?
    Also there was usually someone doing a small show in the Mall on saturday mornings where you could dump the kids to shop in peace. The shows were frequently people off the tv like the kids clowns Zig and Zag (the useage of the term ‘clowns’ in their case is very loose indeed) or someone from The Tarax Show (if it’s no longer going the Tarax Show was pretty much the blueprint for the British TV show TISWAS – I think it was also where Rod Hull’s Emu came from if memory serves).
    But those little fairgrounds and entertainments for the kids really did set Australia – well Melbourne as I’ve no idea if they even occured in the rest of Oz but have no reason to presume they were only a local phenomenon- apart.
    They were about a form of ‘inclusion’ that I’ve never really found anywhere else on earth. And for anyone moving to Oz, ‘inclusion’ is a huge huge thing that may well surprise you after the almost ‘age-banding’ of British society.

    • Kathryn October 22, 2012, 8:07 am |

      Steve, no one will allow you to “dump” your kids at a large Shopping Mall or Supermarket entertainment area so that you can wander off and do your shopping! To do so will bring DOCS down on you very quickly. Do you realise the dangers of child abduction in large shopping mall complexes (think James Bulger)? Even if your child(ren) are older, it would be very negligent of parents to leave their children unattended at anytime. Many large shopping malls in Australia still have little child-friendly “Mini playgrounds” for children aged under five. These little mini playgrounds have little slippery dips, miniature merry go rounds and other little attractions – the whole areas are enclosed and parents are required to be there to supervise their children at all times.

      • BobinOz October 22, 2012, 9:28 pm |

        Yes Steve, as I mentioned in my reply to you above and as Kathryn has pointed out, quite a bit has changed since you last lived here. There are plenty of things for kids to do though, lots of free entertainment for them and loads of stuff to enjoy. You just can’t drop them off and go shopping while they enjoy it 🙂

        • Steve October 23, 2012, 7:26 am |

          I think I phrased it badly, I didn’t mean literally just leave the kids there unattended; they were like creches with people employed to look after the kids for a few hours while the parents did the shopping. It wasn’t free.
          Anyway, looks like they’re still there but in a slightly altered form.

          • BobinOz October 24, 2012, 5:38 pm |

            They have one of those at IKEA, but Elizabeth prefers to go round the store when she goes with her mum. More fun she reckons. Cheers!

  • Steve October 21, 2012, 9:43 pm |

    Hi Bob, firstly what a fantastic website; some of what I have found here has moved me close to nostalgically passionate tears of pride for the land I’ve always considered ‘home’. My parents were ‘ten pound poms’ who moved to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs when I was just 18 months old. That was back in ’63. Unfortunately they came back to England in ’74 when I was still too young to have much of a say over the matter. But I’ve always identified as Australian. More-so as a Vic. And now in my early fifties, and after only ever making it home for holidays every few years, I’m finally in a position to be able to move back permanently.
    I’m buying a property near Apollo Bay – an absolute beautiful haven for fauna and flora where we used to holiday when I was a kid. But reading the information on your site has helped to make it easier as my info is forty years out of date!!
    I can’t wait to eat a 4’n’20 rats coffin whilst watching the footy team I’ve followed distantly most of my life (THE PIES mate) thrash the Hawks!
    Something I think you could include on here is more cultural references to Aussie performers ‘outside’ of the big cities where the ‘americanised’ influences don’t hold sway. Bush bands still exist, and the story-telling culture has always thrived. Put something about the guys who really sing Australia like Slim Dusty and Alex Hood. Or a couple of Albert Namajeera paintings, these things are important for people to know, it’s not all Kylie. That cultural side is important.

    • BobinOz October 22, 2012, 9:20 pm |

      Ah, yes, I drove through Apollo Bay on my road trip when I was hitting the Great Ocean Road. Steve, I’m really happy you have found a way to come back home, I hope it’s everything you want it to be and more. You’ve been away a long time, I imagine plenty has changed.

      I’d love to do some articles on Slim Dusty and Alex Hood, but I’d have to Google them first to find out who they were 🙂 I still have a lot to learn about Australia. I have done an article on aboriginal art though, and it also includes a great video called dreamtime. Yes, Australian culture is very important.



  • Nick October 16, 2012, 7:34 pm |

    Hi Rob, I’m sorry but, although I’m familiar with these suburbs, I haven’t physically been to them.

    They’re all in the West of Melbourne, and some of them are in the flight path of Melbourne Airport, just so you know.

    I think they are all safe for families, but couldn’t be 100%. You can get a fair idea of last years hotspots from this link. This will tell you hopefully what you want to know:

    Melbourne is a large, metropolitan city. But, compared to most or all major UK cities, I don’t believe it, or the surrounding suburbs, are unsafe at all. Heck, that was one of the main reasons my wife and I chose to emigrate here as I want to bring up my kids in a “safe” environment. Sure, you’re gonna get a few crimes but no way like back in the UK.
    The other day the main news was going on a house fire, that’s it!! Nothing else!!

    Policing is different to the UK, life is different to the UK. I think that’s one of the attractions to Oz for POMS.

    Hope this helps?


  • Rob October 15, 2012, 1:39 pm |

    So what are the following suburbs like to live in Melbourne:
    Taylors Hill
    Keilor Park
    Airport West
    Keilow Downs

    Are these considered safe suburbs for families

    Any feedback be greatly appreciated

    Or any recommeded suburbs around these.


    • tigger October 23, 2012, 1:05 am |

      Hi Rob, as a native of Victoria, I can assure you that all the suburbs you have listed are safe for families. These suburbs are ‘fringe’ suburbs – they used to be very cheap, but rising real estate prices and costs of living in the city and nearby suburbs have caused many young couples and families to look a bit further out, thus changing the diversity of the areas, both culturaly and demographicaly . This seems to have resulted in a much more diverse spread of inhabitants, as well a greater sense of social cohesion amongst the above-mentioned inhabitants.

      These suburbs are fairly close to the city (Melbs) as the crow flies, but could take you up to, or over an hour to get to by car in peak times. They are also fairly land-locked, and in a place like Victoria you want to be near the ocean – trust me, when it gets to 49c on a Feb arvo the last place you want to be is on the northern side of Melbs!!

      Have you looked at Geelong? Cheaper rent, less than an hour to Melb city by train (or car depending if you have to go right into the guts of the city), and only 15 mins from the wonderful surfcoast (Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Torquay, Jan Juc, Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road…) And on those bloody hot stinkers, we get the ‘cool change’ hours earlier than Melburneites! I remember a day when it was 41c at 11:00am, then 21c and thunderstorms at 11:30am. Got back up to a muggy 28c by 2:30pm, then turned into a beautiful evening with little to no mugginess of about 21c with minimal humidity.

      But anyway, my suggestion to you would be to look at Geelong, the Surf Coast. and the Bellarine Peninsula – check it out! 😉

  • Todd October 13, 2012, 11:27 am |

    Steve, don’t believe anyone who says that Melbourne weather is ok. I regrettably moved to Melbourne from Perth and unfortunately got stuck here. There is no difference between winter, spring or autumn as it is cold and damp all the time with little sunshine. Even now in mid spring temperatures are around 13.C and overcast, days on end. Summers are a bit drier and warmer with the occasional few days of pleasant weather. Not many people move to Melbourne from Perth because they couldn’t cope with the miserable weather. Its a long way to a nice beach (1 hr – 1/12hr drive), and there is little work here. Stay in Perth,beautiful weather, plenty of jobs!

  • Steve October 13, 2012, 1:32 am |

    Hi – we’re looking to move over to Melbourne from Perth, late Jan 2013 and we seem to have settled on the idea of living in Ringwood or Wartina South. Any comments? PS – not looking forward to the change in weather 🙁

    • Nick October 13, 2012, 9:59 am |

      Hi Steve, is there any particular reason to Ringwood or WS?

      We live in Nunawading, near Ringwood, and my lad plays soccer for Ringwood YFC and the whole area is fine. Loads of parks, near the freeway, reasonable property prices. It’s about 30 mins from the CBD, on a good day!

      The weather’s not as bad as everyone says. It does get “Cold”, but being an ex-POM, winters here are like early Spring or late Autumn, at the worst. The summers here are very hot. You just don’t get as many hours of sun here, compared to Perth, all year round, that’s all! It has been very wet over the last winter, but then there was a drought for a long time with major water restrictions so I’m happy that it rains a bit!!!!!!

      If you need to know anything specific about Ringwood or W.S. then let me know.
      There’s a very good shopping mall called Eastland in Ringwood, and the town is close to the Dandenong Ranges which are spectacular too.

      Hope this helps.


  • Cramer September 27, 2012, 7:29 pm |

    I wouldn’t buy in pt cook if I were u I moved here frm NZ traffic is horrendous takes an hour to CBD coz it takes half an hour to get up on the motorway

    Werribbee is ok

    My advice rent first for a few months while u get a good feel for areas

    • Nick September 28, 2012, 9:13 am |

      Hi Cramer, thanks for your comments.
      However, I’m a tradie and will most probably be leaving PC at about 6am, as we normally start at 7am! I know for most of the time the roads aren’t too bad at that time of the morning.
      I’ve got a mate who’s lived there for 7 years and he says the traffic ain’t that bad at that time of the morning neither.

      But we live in the East at the mo and the traffic on the Eastern (M3) is just as bad. To be honest, the Monash (M1) is the worst.

      They’re widening the PC road as well as building a new train station called Williams Landing which will be positioned in between Aircraft and Hoppers Crossing stations so I think that will ease congestion too.

      The main problem is that PC just exploded with development and they didn’t think it would and thus, the infrastructure suffered, but Wyndham Council are dealing with it and I’ve heard that they’re gonna get funding from Victoria State to upgrade the roads so there’s hope for the future!!

      Hope that helps!


  • Baige September 14, 2012, 8:14 am |

    Hi Nick, thanks for the info and link, looks lovely and will have to see if I can manage this in the budget. Please do share if you have any more thoughts as the count down is on! Thanks B)

  • Opal September 14, 2012, 3:15 am |

    Thanks Nick. I checked the websites you listed and got a ‘feel’ for the cost of housing and you are correct: they’re quite pricey. We will continue to research the areas and hopefully we can find a decent house near schools and not too far from the CBD within our budget.


  • Opal September 12, 2012, 11:57 pm |

    Hi everyone,
    After a long 10 months since the thought of moving to Oz crossed our minds we have finally completed the paperwork. To say it’s an exhausting process is an understatement but finally everything is in so now we are just waiting for the visas. We are really excited about our move to Melbourne.
    We are seriously considering Werribee and would like to know if anyone knows anything about this area. We are looking for a suburb no more than 30 minutes from the CBD with parks and schools and not too far from the beach within a $500k budget for a house.
    We are visiting Melbourne next month so are anxious to have your thoughts to check out the area .

    Thanks everyone!

    • BobinOz September 13, 2012, 2:06 pm |

      Congratulations on getting through the gruelling paperwork! Hope you get the answer you want.

      I can’t help you with Werribee, can anyone who does knows the area help out here?

      • Nick September 13, 2012, 3:28 pm |

        Guess who can help?!!


    • Nick September 13, 2012, 3:47 pm |

      Hi Opal, it’s Nick here. I’m a member!

      I’ve only been here since late October last year and we live in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne but we are looking to buy a property in Point Cook in the future, which is quite near Werribee. So my wife and I have done a bit of research on the area.

      I’d try “” or “” to get an idea of property prices as a start. We’ve been to Werribee on a Sunday afternoon type of thing and had a good walk around the town centre and had a coffee and went to the playground (for the kids, not me and my wife!!!) and it’s a nice place. There are also quite a few other suburbs in the West, and also the East but it really depends on where you guys definitely need to be as you’re spoilt for choice.

      One thing though, property prices are quite high, even though the market is low at the mo, but $500K should get you a decent property. In Oz, it’s definitely the location. In Williamstown (which we love, but can’t afford) a piece of small land went for $700K, and the property to build cost $450K, but in other parts, land can cost as little as $130K so it’s a matter of looking around.

      Hope this helps. If you want any specific info then let me know ok?



      • Nick September 13, 2012, 3:49 pm |

        Also, it took me 4 years, alot of paperwork and $5K to get here, but it’s well worth it!

        So I know where you’re coming from!


  • Nick Harris September 9, 2012, 6:05 pm |

    Hi Baige, I’ve only just stumbled upon Bob’s website but I moved here, to Melbourne, with my wife and 2 kids last October. We are staying in the Eastern Suburbs, for now, but my best mate owns an apartment with a company called PuntHill Apartments in the very trendy area of South Yarra. Here’s their site:

    We’ve stayed there a couple of times and it’s ideal as a location for Melbourne’s CBD and St Kilda beach as well as trendy bars and restaurants. It doesn’t really shut down, even in the winter so I’d highly recommend it!!


  • Baige September 2, 2012, 6:36 pm |

    I’m moving to Melbourne with my husband in October and have little time to look for a place to stay while I start a job there. I really need some help on finding a trendy, fun, vibrant cosmopolitan areas with a furnished apartment that we can rent.

    We are moving from london where there is alot of hussle and bustle and would really like to be inplace where we can experience the lively side of melbourne. I need it to be close to the CBD for work and in safe location.

    Your help is greatly appreciated and looking forward to the move with your help.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2012, 5:00 pm |

      I can’t help you with that one Baige, being from Brisbane, but hopefully someone from Melbourne will chime in here. Jose, in a comment above, has a suggestion that might help.


    • Dave July 5, 2015, 8:32 pm |

      Try Brunswick. It’s funky and old like London (like So Ho, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green ,a bit), also has a ‘gangster past’ but more quieter and safer now (now that the Morans are gone). Also has a live music scene I’m told. A real ‘beatniks’ style area, if that’s your scene.

  • Ant August 22, 2012, 10:33 pm |

    Hey Bob, just wanted to say you rock and what an amazing job you’ve done with this website, cheers.

    • BobinOz August 24, 2012, 1:53 pm |

      Thanks Ant, really appreciated 🙂

    • straze August 27, 2012, 9:59 am |

      Yeah definitely !!!

  • Mohammed khalid dawoud July 23, 2012, 1:03 pm |

    I am job seeker how can i get austeralia visa.

  • straze June 28, 2012, 1:30 pm |

    By far the best website for the lil’canadian that I am lol …
    Any idea about the Nightlife in Melbourne ?… I’m curious

    • Jose June 29, 2012, 3:46 am |

      Nightlife in Melbourne is always up there is always something to do in Melbourne it’s a great place to live in. Head to the western suburbs if your thinking of permanently moving i live in a suburb named Taylors Lakes Melb, VIC. Drive into the city on the freeway for 20 minutes.

      • BobinOz June 29, 2012, 7:01 pm |

        Jose is right straze, Melbourne is buzzing! I would say it is the centre of Australia for the creative arts and there’s lots going on all the time in and around the city. The place has a great feel about it too, I don’t think you would be disappointed by the nightlife.

  • Maddy June 21, 2012, 1:21 pm |

    hey guys,

    Im looking at Moving to Melbourne in September/ early November. Im Moving from Perth so its a big change. Im looking to move close to the city because i really enjoy the “City Life” im young so i want to be able to get out and do the things i love as much as possible. What suburbs do you guys suggest to start looking for a Flat/house? somewhere which i will be able to pick up and job easily and get around without a car.

    Thanks 🙂

  • Wayne June 19, 2012, 11:15 am |

    Hi everyone
    My wife an I are wanting to move “east” from Perth and would appreciate some pointers, ie Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane etc,
    From research we have done so far Melbourne is looking good,
    Any advice on good clean suburbs for secondary schools (2 kids) and reasonable rent prices would be appreciated,

    • BobinOz June 20, 2012, 1:00 pm |

      I don’t know enough about Melbourne Wayne, so hopefully someone else will chime in here. Good luck!

    • Dave July 5, 2015, 8:25 pm |

      Try bayside suburbs like Beaumaris, Mordialloc, Mt Eliza, Mentone. Good schools and good areas. Avoid the Caulfield area, too expensive, houses very old and run down and very bland . Too may ‘Polish Modern’ junk (that falls apart, requires high maintenance , mis-matches the area). Despite it’s fancy looks, a lot of Caulfield is ‘slummy’ and full of rich-kid druggies, avoid this area! Malvern not much better now either, both Caulfield & Malvern too close to Chapel Street which is full of hard-core druggies . Caulfield & Malvern trade on past reputations (from the 1960’s) when they used to be posh garden suburbs, but not any more, they are both dumps, yet residents in these 2 areas still vote for the Liberal Party (I guess they are slum lords, like that Harry Rose in Glenhuntly). David Southwick is the local MP for Caulfield and he is a total turd and slum lord supporter.Also Caulfield has the posh and expensive Caulfield Grammar School, but you wouldn’t want to live there (East St Kilda) full of rooming houses filled with druggies, dangerous at night. Avoid Caulfield for living, unless you want to get bashed and mugged. Caulfield also on the Dandenong train line and Dandenong is one of the worst areas in south east Melbourne and Caulfield is catching up ! Best suburbs of the bayside & south-east of Melbourne- Beaumaris, Dingley, East Bentleigh, Hampton, East Brighton, Sandringham, Mentone, Mordialloc, Oakleigh, East Malvern, Mt Waverly, Glen Waverly, Wheeler’s Hill, McKinnon, Dandenong North, Rowville, Endeavour Hills, Cranbourne (some parts) South Caulfield, Mulgrave, Murrumbeena, Cheltenham, Carnegie, Glen Iris, Clarinda,Chelsea, Frankston South, Mt Eliza- because they are not over-rated or over-priced like the dumps near the city!

  • Warren May 26, 2012, 10:16 pm |

    Hi there, Can anyone suggest the best areas in Melbourne for great schools ( Primary and Secondary )? We are wanting to migrate permanently to Melbourne from Christchurch New Zealand and are currently doing doing research into housing prices, jobs in IT, transportation, excellent schools, etc. Any advice would be very much welcomed..

    Cheers and thank you everyone,

    • BobinOz May 28, 2012, 9:53 pm |

      Well, I can’t Warren, I’ve only been to Melbourne once. Hopefully somebody who does know the city well will pop by and help you out.

      Good luck!

  • Nishant Bansal April 13, 2012, 1:25 am |

    Yes i did checked it out Mr Bob and it shows your efforts and passion,impressed but i guess you hear these lines often :),i also checked out point system under business visa and scored 115 while 105 was passing only…so now the concern is iam thinking of any franchise so that i can employ atleast 3 autralian citizen or PR but lease being expensive and employing 3 with good salary i need some real good franchise with solid income ,so having read all of your experience and adventure , i think it would be wiser if you provide some light on that from your personal experience.

    • BobinOz April 14, 2012, 12:21 am |

      Well, I’ve never bought a franchise or looked at what is available in any depth, so I don’t have any personal experience. I suggest you search for the Australian franchise directory in Google, and take a look around. You can choose a suitable franchise based on your business experience to date.

  • Nishant Bansal April 12, 2012, 3:35 am |

    Hey BobinOz

    iam a businessman(jeweller) in india living a quite luxurious decent life here but melbourne is for me i can you suggest some reliable invested business for me in melbourne so that i can also get my pr …i have funds needed.

    thank you and regards
    Nishant Bansal

    • BobinOz April 12, 2012, 9:52 pm |

      It is possible you could buy a business here in Australia and possibly end up with PR, but recommending business investments is not what I do here. First and foremost, I think you need to be assessed, have you looked at my Visa Assessment Service?

      My MARA registered migration agent would be able to tell you if you have a chance of qualifying for a business visa, or any kind of visa at all. It’s the best way of finding out.

      I hope you make it to Melbourne.

  • Opal March 6, 2012, 12:10 pm |

    So my paperwork is in but there is a spoke in my wheel, so to speak. I would still love to move down under but now am second guessing everything. Can anyone provide some information about living in Melbourne as a single mom? My daughter will be four by the time we get there and as a Financial Controller I think my salary should be adequate to cover us. I am thinking more along the lines of stigmas attached to a single mom. Your help is greatly appreciated.
    Is it difficult to find good babysitters?

    • BobinOz March 6, 2012, 10:04 pm |

      I’ll duck out of this one, having never been a single mum anywhere 🙂 hopefully someone else can help you, anybody?

  • Andy March 5, 2012, 6:38 am |

    I’m hoping to make the move Down Under later this year from the UK. It’s Melbourne for me! I love the place, it’s got a fantastic vibe about it. It suits me much better as a place to live than Sydney. As for the weather thing, well I quite like the fact that it is a bit changeable. I don’t think that an average winter daytime temperature of 14 degrees can in any way be described as harsh. I have heard the phrase “If you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, just give it five minutes.”

    Visited Oz a few times and I must say that Melbourne has grown and grown on me. The tram network, the public spaces, the fantastic walking/cycling trails, the multicultural feel of the place. Great stuff. Sydney was great for the instant tourist wow factor of the harbour (and it really is wow!), but Melbourne has got its hooks into me now.

    Ah well, it takes all sorts, so to everyone making the move, or to those already there, the very best of luck to you and the choices you make.

    Cheers Bob, great site!

    • BobinOz March 5, 2012, 6:31 pm |

      I loved Melbourne when I visited, but I was only there for three days. Not long enough to really have an opinion. But I too liked the vibe, the trams and I thought the city had real character.

      I hope you get to love Melbourne is much as I love it here in Brisbane. Good luck!

  • John February 23, 2012, 10:38 pm |

    Ruth, it depends on where you are studying, and what you are used to, but I would suggest Richmond, Prahran, Carlton, Fitzroy, or South Melbourne as starters. The second level might include Collingwood, Clifton Hill, Hawthorn, or even Brunswick. If you don’t have a car, these are all tram friendly suburbs close to the city. I lived in Richmond in the nineties, and it was great. Might cost a bit more nowadays of course. There are obviously, plenty of other places, but these are all nineteenth century suburbs, close to the CBD. Expect to pay a bit more for the convenience.

  • Ruth February 9, 2012, 4:41 pm |

    Hi there!

    I am planning on moving to Melbourne in September of this year.

    I am a young student and am looking for the best place to live! I have no
    idea where to begin, as there are so many options.

    I’m looking for a fun, vibrant part of town – safe and not dingy. A place
    where I can meet people and getting a job would be somewhat easy!

    If anyone living in Melbourne reads this and has ANY tips at all relating to these questions etc., please let me know!

    Thanks so much!

    • BobinOz February 13, 2012, 12:47 pm |

      That counts me out then, anyone from Melbourne who can help?

  • Lisa February 8, 2012, 5:34 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I’m moving to Aus in July from NZ and am having trouble deciding which city Melbourne or Brisbane, can you give me any advice, I’m about to finish a degree in management majoring in events and marketing and would like to know which city would be best for job opportunities, I quite like the idea of no winter in Brisbane!

    • BobinOz February 9, 2012, 12:03 am |

      I can’t tell you which city would be best for your line of work, but I know I prefer Brisbane for the weather. That said, Melbourne is probably a more interesting city with more of a buzz and a lot going on. You just need to put up with the weather 🙂

      Maybe someone else has a view?

  • Cello February 2, 2012, 7:53 pm |

    I was for 3 months in Melbourne…and I really enjoyed that…then I came to Sydney…now i have been living here for 2 weeks…and to be honest it`s not for me…it is like all big cities: crowded, fast and expensive…Melbourne has definitely a different vibe…only thing that scares me a bit is the weather…is it going to be that cold in winter….and when does winter starts and ends?

    • BobinOz February 6, 2012, 9:50 pm |

      Exactly what I thought when I visited both cities Cello, so I couldn’t agree more.

      That’s why I chose Brisbane.

  • Cello February 1, 2012, 3:33 pm |

    Melbourne or Sydney….I can`t decide!!!!

    • BobinOz February 1, 2012, 10:21 pm |

      Try both for a couple weeks each, then decide. Better than a coin.



      • Mortaza May 31, 2015, 12:30 pm |

        I want to live in inner north metro can some tell me what kind of community are there. Some one scared me that all junkies are there and very scary area not as good. I m shocked and confused

  • Opal January 29, 2012, 1:49 pm |

    Hi Kathryn,
    Thanks for the excellent detailed feedback. You gave me much to consider

  • Opal January 17, 2012, 11:36 pm |

    Thanks Bob. We’ve now short listed Brisbane (flooding is a downside)and Melbourne (even though the weather is crappy). Will let you know how it goes. Once again, your site is awesome!

    • BobinOz January 18, 2012, 5:49 pm |

      Thanks Opal!

    • Phil May 1, 2012, 12:17 pm |

      I have lived in Melbourne for a long time and I love it. While it is true that you CAN get four seasons in one day, the weather on average is far from crappy.
      If you want to wear shorts and thongs year round then Brisbane is your place of choice, but Brisbane is humid and uncomfortable in summer.
      Sydney has milder winters but is often humid too in the summer. It is infested with cockroaches because of this. Melbourne has a dry heat which is much more tolerable in my opinion, and while winter can be windy and cold, not all winters are thus, and there are plenty of sunny days.
      El Nino events almost always produce a mild dry winter in melbourne (and years of drought, unfortunately)

      • BobinOz May 3, 2012, 12:12 am |

        Fair point Phil, Melbourne does have a lot of decent weather, it’s not as bad as many people (me included at times) have suggested. When I was last there it was something like 36°C and beautiful blue skies. Next day, 16°C! I think that is what is strange about it.

  • Opal December 2, 2011, 2:17 am |

    Hey BobinOZ!
    You have such a wonderful, informative ,easy-to-navigate website. My young family and I are planning to migrate to OZ once our visas are approved but cant decide where to go. We were thinking either Perth or Melbourne. We are from the Caribbean so do not tolerate harsh winters well so I guess Melbourne is out. I was really loving Melbourne until this 🙁
    Our daughter is 2 1/2, so we would like somewhere with good schools and lots of parks and other child-friendly activities. I am an accountant and the hubby an IT Manager so obviously we need a city that has job openings in our fields. We love diversity so a multicultural city would suit us perfectly. Any suggestions?

    • BobinOz December 2, 2011, 10:27 pm |

      If you click on the link in the top main menu called “Australian Cities”, then click on each of those major cities, you will see my written review for each one.

      For me, Perth is too remote and Melbourne would be too cold, so that is why I chose Brisbane. I’ve never regretted that choice.

      Also check out Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia

    • Kathryn January 27, 2012, 7:37 pm |

      Opal, I really do believe that Melbourne or Sydney would be the best cities for you and your family to live in. Don’t be put off by what people say about Melbourne weather. It’s true, Melbourne can get very cold in winter but it is very hot in summer as well. Melbourne and Sydney are both big, exciting, international cities and you would be hard pressed to find more multicultural cities in Australia. Did you know that Melbourne is the second largest Greek city outside of Athens in the world? It’s true. I live in Sydney and love it but I also love Melbourne. Both cities offer what Perth and Brisbane can’t, the “buzz” and excitement of truly big cities with 24:7 shopping, an incredible array of multicultural restaurants offering the best food choices in the world, great transport, enviable sporting facilities, fantastic theatre venues offering the latest in cultural events (eg ballet, concerts and world class theatre) from all over the world. Perth and Adelaide are small, country towns that offer a laid back lifestyle but not much else (Oooops, sorry, but it’s true). Brisbane is a nice city but the weather is just too (uncomfortably) hot without a change of seasons (other than wet and dry). Want good schools? Sydney and Melbourne offer the best (and most expensive) private schools in the country. However, wI worked in the NSW government school system and I can assure you that the State school system in NSW is second to none. Did you know that the top University entrance marks are achieved overwhelmingly by students from the State school system (mostly from the State funded academically selective high schools). Work opportunities are better in the larger cities of Sydney and Melbourne although people with experience in IT are always in demand. Melbourne is renowned for its beautiful parks and gardens and considered the “cultural” capital of Australia with its classy theatres and huge array of cultural events. Sydney is a more brash city and is a famous “party” city. Sydney hosts some of the greatest events in the world, eg New Year’s Eve, Sydney Festival and a huge range of sporting and social events throughout the year. Sydney has great parklands and an enormous green belt interspersed through the city and right around the city fringe (eg Royal National Park, the World Heritage Blue Mountains and Mount Kuringai National Park). Sydney is renowned for its fabulous array of beaches … Bondi is probably the most over-rated! Where to live in Sydney? I thoroughly recommend the Cronulla/Sutherland or St George areas (close to great shopping, transport, beaches and terrific schools). Multicultural areas abound in Sydney in the inner western areas. If you want to be close to some very classy private schools, you may need to search the Strathfield area, eastern suburbs or north shore (but these areas are very expensive). The downside to Sydney (and Melbourne) is the cost of housing … read “expensive” and rents (in some areas) are very high. However, it is possible to attain a nice home in some areas of the St George district (of Sydney) for around $500,000. This is where Perth and Adelaide shine … their housing costs are cheaper. However, the REASON why Sydney and Melbourne are so expensive is because most people PREFER to live there …. demand exceeds supply = more expensive. You get what you pay for! Cheers!

      • Jen October 9, 2012, 7:39 am |

        I’m from Perth, its no country town that’s for sure but Perth is for young families and retirees as it is pretty quiet and laid back.

        • Nathan October 12, 2012, 4:03 pm |

          I don’t think Kathryn has been to Perth by the sound of things. I Personally live in Melbourne because I love the cultural diversity and AFL but I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time in both Perth and Sydney and would choose Perth hands down. It is laid back, but very beautiful, with the best weather in the country. The people are a lot more friendly than those in a so called BIG city and there is always plenty of work (after all, they do have the lowest unemloyment in the country).

          PS. I wouldn’t exactly call 1.5 million a country town.

          • Kathryn October 12, 2012, 5:26 pm |

            Actually, Nathan, I have been to Perth and Western Australia. I think the State has some wonderful aspects but I would never live there. The city of Perth is just too isolated and remote from the green belt and snow fields of the eastern States. I know of at least ten families that “moved” from Sydney to Perth – of those ten families, eight returned to Sydney. Its a matter of personal choice but give me the excitement, “buzz”, lively 24:7 nightlife of Melbourne and Sydney any day. I would die of boredom in Perth!

            • Adam September 21, 2014, 10:46 pm |

              I grew up in Melbourne and moved to Perth 2 years ago. I would have to agree with you, Perth does not have the “BUZZ” that the bigger city’s have but there is a lot of work going on in and around Perth st the moment which is starting to wake up the sleepy city.
              There is a lot to do in Melbourne which is what I love about it but if you want to buy an affordable 4 bedroom house you need to live an hour away from the CBD so this so called “buzz” just becomes annoying traffic jams between the hours of 6am to 9am then again at 3pm to 7pm.
              Melbourne is awesome if you live within 20km of the CBD anything further is annoying. Like you have said its a preference thing and I have a young family now which is the reason why I love living in Perth at the moment, I loved living in Melbourne when I was young and single.

  • srishti October 14, 2011, 5:26 pm |

    hiii can any buddy tell me about walgreen in australia???

    • BobinOz October 15, 2011, 5:53 pm |

      You got me there, never seen one. Anybody?

      • SALANDER November 11, 2011, 6:25 pm |

        I think its Wal Brown I think he is a newsreader. I THINK. Melbourne has undisputed worst weather in Australia. If you are planning to immigrate here for the sunshine forget it! I’ve counted 9 sunny days in the passed 190, late April to mid November. The rest of the time,totally overcast and grey. Summers see the occasional hot day always followed by a cool change, like 40c-15c in the space of 30 minutes accompanied by storms followed by cloudy cool weather for a week.
        Well lets see, Melbourne: good restaurants, awful weather,crap beaches,crap beer footy,footy,footy. Situated at the arse end of the world with nothing to offer the tourist, except…footy, food and more footy.

        • BobinOz November 11, 2011, 10:25 pm |

          Wow! That’s a seriously long run without the sun. I constantly hear Melbourne’s weather is not good, but that’s really not good.

          I take it you don’t like footy then?

        • Andrea March 2, 2013, 6:32 pm |

          Salamander, best you stay at home and leave Melbourne to the people who love it.
          If all you found was footy then you clearly didn’t try hard.
          As for the weather yes it’s true that the weather can change quickly, but what sweet relief from the heat when it does.
          You are a glowing reason why Australians play up the deadly wildlife!

        • Kyle September 29, 2013, 12:05 pm |

          @ Salamander – 9 out of the last 190?? Now you’re just exaggerating. Melbourne experiences much more blue skies and sunshine than that. Every day in summer, except for a few, has blue skies with an average of 8-9 hours of sunshine a day. Heck, even in winter we still get plenty of sunshine, more than people like to give it credit for.

          • Chillida October 25, 2013, 3:13 pm |

            I have also lived in Melbourne now for the past two years and the weather is truly terrible. It’s very disorienting this four seasons in one day, it could be more tolerable if you worked in an office five days a week. But I love the outdoors and natural sunlight. This city is not my choice, winter goes for way too long (for example it was 6 degrees yesterday! its late Oct! today its cold and raining) and summer hits you with 40 degree heat on somedays with beaches just too far to drive in that kind of heat. Nice place to visit, eat great food, see some good live local music, maybe if you’re lucky theres a nice day when you can go for a bush walk. I have conversations here with locals all the time about the weather and it comes down to how much you’ve invested in the place, you’ll make it work if you have to! but if you have the freedom to choose take a tour before committing to live here.

            • BobinOz October 25, 2013, 7:07 pm |

              6° yesterday? Crikey!! Is that during the day? Admittedly it’s been a bit cooler here in Brisbane the last couple of days, I think it’s been about 25°, but before that we’ve had 30° plus most of the time.


              • Bala October 26, 2013, 4:01 pm |

                I have seen quite a good number of people complaining about Melbourne weather but I would like to gain some perspective here. Does this volatile climate actually impact health? I currently live in Singapore and every time a 3-4 day spell of rain passes by, we can see some kids falling sick, getting flu or air-borne allergies. Does this happen with the fluctuating weather in Melbourne as well? Would really appreciate if some Melbourners could chime in here.


              • John Seabrook October 26, 2013, 10:02 pm |

                I think Chillida is on something. Not ‘onto something’. It was 6 degrees at 5 in the morning perhaps. Probably about 18-20 by mid afternoon. It is spring, not summer after all. I was in Melbourne in early September for 4 days, and every day was sunny and clear. A bit breezy maybe, but still nice. No pleasing some people I suppose.

                • BobinOz October 27, 2013, 7:12 pm |

                  5 o’clock in the morning? Why would anyone want to be up at 5 o’clock in the morning? 🙂

                  Bala, I’m not from Melbourne so maybe somebody from over that way will also answer your question, but as far as I’m aware there are no weather related airborne diseases that affect the masses anywhere here in Australia.

                  • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 9:09 am |

                    I can tell you know Melbourne is the most cloudiest city in Australia (so many articles I’ve read verifying this fact, pity I read them AFTER I moved here), the weather IS shocking, summer and there was already so many 15 degree days in the middle of the day than I like to count, spring was just as cold as winter, might as well call it 9 – 10 months of winter and 2 months of hell random weather from 15 degrees to 44 odd. Lived here for 2 years and cannot wait to get out of this place. My partner feels exactly the same way also.

                    • Gillian March 21, 2014, 9:52 am |

                      I’m moving to Melbourne for the weather!! I miss the grey skies and I’m ready to throw the towel in on this sunshine. I am not cut out for the Brisbane weathering I can’t wait to get out of it!

                      Melbourne bound at the end of the year.

                      Bobinoz replies:

                      The nature of nested comments on WordPress dictates that nobody can actually answer you directly Gillian, we’ve reached the bottom of this particular nest. As you can see, the comments get narrower and narrower so it has to stop somewhere.

                      I hope you find Melbourne’s climate more suitable to you, I know Brisbane isn’t for everyone although I love the weather here. Good luck, Bob

        • Chris August 15, 2014, 11:21 pm |

          9 sunny Melbourne days out of 190 between April and November? That is totally and utterly incorrect. I’ve lived in Melbourne most of my life. It’s very temperate although can be chilly if you’re not acclimatized for a couple of months in winter. It doesn’t rain or threaten to rain constantly in winter. As an avid downhill skier, I can assure you I’ve had many fabulous days skiing in the sun a couple of hours drive from Melbourne. We get about 2 weeks of blistering hot days in summer. Normally, there’s relief from the heat with a cool change that will last for a day or two. Most Melbournians are not set up for the really hot weather and welcome the cool changes. Cool changes don’t mean wintery weather, but that the temperature drops back to being mild and comfortable. It’s a cliche about Melbourne having bad or changeable weather. Sydney’s weather is probably more changeable and dramatic. Darwin too. If you want day after day of predictable weather you can live in the desert or somewhere inland I guess! The suburban beaches are better than most beaches in the world, but many here are spoilt for choice given magnificent surf beaches with wonderful rock formations a relatively short drive out of the city. Look up the Great Ocean Road on Google and you’ll see what I mean. Football … for the uninitiated really does get way too much coverage in the media. A good game is exciting but blanket media coverage, or so it seems, during the ‘footy season’ can be irritating. Beats blanket coverage of some other sports I can think of though!

        • Gerard November 29, 2014, 11:14 am |

          What a lot of BS, the weather here is on average better than in Sydney. Yes it can be cold sometimes during winter, but the average winter temp. is still around 13 degrees and during summer between mid to high 20’s. with quite a number of days with temp. over 30 and 1 or 2 over 40.
          It is also the most liveable and European city in Australia, with a fantastic latte culture, especially in inner Melbourne. I came originally from Europe (The Netherlands – Amsterdam) but Melbourne is on equal footing, except much bigger. Give me Melbourne any time, so much better than Sydney and the people are so much friendlier.

  • Damian Matthew August 29, 2011, 10:48 pm |

    Brilliant website. We are looking at immigrating and this has been by far the most informative website I have found.

    • BobinOz August 30, 2011, 12:10 am |

      Thanks Damian, glad you like it. Maybe see you out here one day!

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