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 }
  • Bublik December 29, 2013, 8:58 pm |

    Lived here for 21 years and I would say Melbourne and Victoria in general is one of the best in the world in relations to nature and outdoors, job opportunities and multiculturalism. Yes the whether is terrible (currently sick as naturally your body goes into shock going from 36-16 degrees in matter of 40 minutes), there are also an unusually high number of people with asthma and really bad pollen allergies. In real fact every big city has its pluses and downfalls, and bad whether is just one of those downfalls for Melbourne. I am sure I can find many more…..but as they say, always look at the bright side.

    • BobinOz January 1, 2014, 11:02 pm |

      Sounds like a thumbs up for Melbourne despite the weather, thanks Bublik.

      • Vaughan January 2, 2014, 10:43 am |

        I wouldnt’ say that lol

        • BobinOz January 5, 2014, 9:02 pm |

          From Bublik’s point of view I think it is Vaughan, but I’m pretty sure it’s not yours 🙂

  • Vaughan December 16, 2013, 12:39 am |

    That’s pretty much what I’m doing right now, I moved down here, I’ve been in IT for a long time so don’t lack experience, 40 – 50 applications, not one interview, the only interview I got was from interstate…. I only moved down here from a job that lasted 12 months then got made redundant…. only good thing about this place is the people, they DO seem genuinely nicer to be honest than say Sydney, mostly because I think people are just too busy with their own lives / work to even care or bother with anyone else, it’s not that they are UNFRIENDLY there (as I grew up there and love Sydney) but they are genuinely nicer here in Melbourne (from my personal experience anyways) is about the only good thing they have going for it. That and the housing and rental prices are a lot cheaper here…. and roads are tonns better.

  • OPAL December 14, 2013, 7:46 am |

    I’ve been in Melbourne almost 6 months now and like everyone has said, the weather is really crappy. We went from a high of 32 one day to a low of 11 two days later. It’s now the middle of December and still no sign of summer. I didn’t come for the weather though so am a little more tolerant. Melbourne is a vibrant city with tons to do on any given day. Frankly, I love it here.

    I did come for job opportunities however, but 6 months later this qualified experienced accountant has only landed one interview. Am I reevaluating my move Down Under? Certainly! You can only live off your savings for so long. Like I’ve said before, prospective migrants should really try to land a job before arriving because the market is very tight and the lack of Aussie experience will do you in.


    • Gaurav August 2, 2014, 7:16 pm |

      Hi Opal

      I too am a qualified Chartered Accountant and got my PR recently. surprised to know that it’s been more than 6 months without a job for you as the immigration website suggests otherwise. I would be in a similar situation so wanted to know if you got the job now? and, in case you searched, does Sydney has better job market than Melbourne?

  • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 8:11 pm |

    This is true, this is also the case for Sydney though (as I was born and raised there) although Melbourne is worse for it, all our capital cities are becoming like this unfortunately, it seems Australia doesn’t know when to stop immigration and just keeps it open and soon we wont be recognized in our own country. It’s really stupid when you cant find jobs to still have people coming in. Not to mention all overseas people buying up all the land / real estate so we don’t even own anything in our country anymore, then we have to rent it off them. Try that in their country’s, you CANNOT buy there only rent, we should have the same policy…. seems everything is for sale in this country, even the government.

  • george December 13, 2013, 6:30 pm |

    Melbourne is definately a cold, cloudy bleak place for most of the year. The sky is grey and overcast most of the time. If its warm and sunny, tomorrow will be cold and grey and the next week will be the same. I don’t think it has hit 30 c yet.
    Finding work is very hard here. If you really want to live here, prepare for a long period of unemployment or take on a lower paid, lower skilled job. Don’t believe unemployment is 5.something %, its close to 15%. Go west, go north, you will hate it here, unless you’re in your 20s and single and career driven.
    Brits don’t settle here. Then why would they? Migrants to Melbourne now are flooding in from China, India, Sri Lanka, East Africa and the Middle East and have become a very large and noticeable part of the population here and many suburbs have been completely overrun by these ethnic groups. A select secondary college in a middle class suburb called Glen Waverley in the middle east of Melbourne has a Chinese, Indian/ Sri Lankan majority of students of about 90%. Spot the Aussie.
    Weather, awful. Employment, lousy, living in Melbourne, really crap.

    • Jay February 21, 2014, 11:31 am |

      Hi George

      I agree with your points about the weather and finding work in melbourne.

      But your comments on migrants is almost bordering on racism. I think we should celebrate the fact that Australia has been built on continuous stream of migrants – beginning with the British, then other Europeans, and then now Chinese and Indians.

      All of this adds to the cultural diversity of this nation which should be celebrated.

      Weather, awful. Employment, lousy, The diverse people of Melbourne – GREAT!!

  • george November 17, 2013, 8:06 pm |

    Yes that’s right, you never know what to expect. Usually when it gets that hot there is a cool change the same day and it will drop to 16c within the hour! followed by icy gail force winds, torrential rain even hail. What usually follows is several days of cool, cloudy weather. Bizarre but true.

    • BobinOz November 18, 2013, 4:41 pm |

      How on earth can you plan a visit to the beach? Truly weird.

      • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 9:15 am |

        You don’t lol, the beaches here are terrible in Melbourne unless you travel way out near Geelong or south of Geelong near Bells etc anyways. I went to the beach (Bells and another) water temp was still freezing and this is summer…. also by the time we got back (1.5 hours there and 1.5 back) huge clouds and started raining anyways. I know the last part can happen anywhere, just happens a lot more frequently here, among the other drastic weather temp changes not just rain.

        • BobinOz December 13, 2013, 3:05 pm |

          So, when planning a day at the beach, it’s a case of pack swimsuit, towels, beach chairs, bucket and spade, sunglasses, and a coat in case the weather turns 🙂

          • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 3:52 pm |

            Pretty much lol, I only moved down here for work, then the director split with the company and I got made redundant shortly after, really hard time finding work done here in IT, must of applied for around 50 jobs, applied for a few in Sydney already got an interview, so fingers crossed I’ll be out of here soon. Ultimately I would love to move to Brisbane, like you I love the hot weather and am use to it so Melbourne is really killing me with the lack of sunshine making me fairly depressed also.

            • UKAussi December 13, 2013, 4:01 pm |

              I work IT and that and weather is why we chose Sydney to move to when wife’s resident visa comes through

              • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 4:24 pm |

                Ah nice my partner just got hers 🙂

        • Nick Harris February 25, 2014, 6:31 pm |

          Vaughn, the beaches on Mornington Peninsula are very good. Sorrento is particularly a very nice beach mate, don’t you agree?!! 🙂

  • Ortho King November 13, 2013, 2:16 pm |

    I moved to Melbourne from the UK two and a half years ago and while most things are fine the weather is truly appalling!!! Do not move here from the UK if you are after weather, the Winter’s are atrocious!! Proper Winter started here around early June and is still going strong now! I can honestly count on one hand the number of sunny or non-overcast days there have been and in that time we have been on holiday to Fiji, Abu Dhabi and sunny Europe and apparantly while we were away weather was also rain rain rain. We are moving to Sydney next year due to the weather in Melbourne! Restaurants etc all very well but weather is a deal breaker. Also, I need to vent about Melburnian arrogance about coffee… you would think they invented the stuff. It is impossible to order a bloody black coffee here. I have to ask for a “weak long black floated this that and the other” before i get anything that ressembles a bloody Americano or filter coffee. Come on…! small town syndrome…

    • george November 13, 2013, 3:39 pm |

      What puzzles me is how anyone can say Melbourne has a pleasant climate. Perhaps if you came from Siberia or Outer Mongolia, but truly, be honest. It can be pleasant in the summer, in fact I got to wear shorts every day for three months last summer, but by the end of April that’s it till December. Melbourne gets eight months of winter weather really, with the occasional nice day weeks between. It is cool-cold, overcast or cloudy most of the time. Basically its miserable most the time. Today it is a cold windy wet 12 degrees (mid Nov). As regards where to buy, the outer west is new and cheap, but has transport problems. There is too much traffic and if you dont mind sitting in gridlock for hours each day, well good luck. Melbourne is not aesthetically appealing like other Australian cities, it is quite an ugly city made even uglier by the likes of Docklands and Southbank The local beaches are very ordinary and the suburban sprawl goes on for ever.

      • BobinOz November 13, 2013, 11:59 pm |

        Hi OK and George

        The debate about Melbourne’s climate rages on 🙂

        Now the interesting thing is me, Mrs Bob and Elizabeth were supposed to be in Melbourne this week for eight days, but we managed to cancel it on account of my wife’s current broken leg situation.

        When we booked it though, we thought this would be quite a nice time of the year to go. Then I heard from a couple of sources that Melbourne was currently very cold.

        Cold? Cold?? Surely not we thought, it’s been between 25° and 35° here in Brisbane for about the last couple of months. Surely it can’t be cold in Melbourne?

        I can’t comment further, I’ve only been to Melbourne once for three days. For a couple of them it was really hot, about 35° or so, and then for the third day it was 16°?? We couldn’t believe it.

        How can you go from 35° one day (I’m talking January) to 16° the next? Apparently it’s something Melbourne is good at.

        Anyway, we have postponed our holiday until January, I’m hoping for temperatures closer to 35 than 16° when we get there. Any chance?

        • Vaughan December 13, 2013, 9:12 am |

          It’s about as good a chance as me winning the lottery it seems to get a constant nice streak of hot weather unless we are in a heat wave. Last year it was really nice for a few weeks solid but only because we had a heat wave which I loved, but this year was suppose to be hotter but from what I’ve experienced so far its FAR FAR colder, the only person not complaining that I know of are people that have lived here all their life’s and know no different or my mate from the very south island of NZ who moved here. As I said in another comment I can’t wait to get out of here.

          • BobinOz December 13, 2013, 3:03 pm |

            Sounds like my ‘summer’ holiday in Melbourne may turn out to be more like a winter break for me; I’m used to the heat of Brisbane. Looks like I’ll have to pack some socks a jumper!

    • Nick Harris February 25, 2014, 6:29 pm |

      Ortho King, how in the hell can you say to someone from the UK NOT to move to Melbourne if they are after the weather?!!! Obviously if you want heat ALL year round then that may be true, but don’t forget in the UK, we suffered winter nights down to -15 degrees. Now that’s cold. The coldest I’ve recorded in the Eastern Suburbs is about 3 degrees and it rises quickly in the daytime, in the winter up to 18. I lived in the South of France and in the winters there, the climate was very, very similar to here. For a POM, that’s bloody summer!!!!!! As for a black coffee mate, just ask, it ain’t that difficult!!! Every Aussie Melburnian I’ve met is more than happy to help in whatever trade they work in.

  • Mike and Pauline November 2, 2013, 3:02 pm |

    Hi there, We are a married couple with two girls (aged 5 & 6), from New Zealand looking at moving to Australia. We are a little uncertain of where to live, and as you have mentioned, we have had both good and negative feedback regarding living in Syd and Melb. But we have had more positive feedback for Melb than Syd. We have a really good amount for a deposit to buy a house, but we know that we have to be living in Aus for a certain time to become eligible to get a home loan. Besides that, we are just really unsure of where to make our move too. Could you please help us in this??

  • Aida October 31, 2013, 8:18 am |

    I’ve lived in Melbourne my whole life and have done a lot of travelling around Australia and overseas. The weather is always the factor people bring up when considering Melbourne and I guess maybe you get used to it after a while. I’d much prefer the weather of Perth or Brisbane. When you factor in everything else the city has to offer, it’s Melbourne hands down as a place to live. Perth is also fantastic as a laid back, family oriented place. Plenty of parks and space and not the hustle and bustle of a Sydney or Melbourne. Sydney is fantastic to visit but I just couldn’t live there.
    Everybody is different but for me its; 1. Melbourne, 2. Perth, 3. Sydney and the rest fall far behind

    • BobinOz October 31, 2013, 2:28 pm |

      What you really want is Melbourne with Perth or Brisbane weather 🙂

      Cheers Aida, thanks for your roundup.

  • Bala October 15, 2013, 5:46 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Not sure if this was discussed in any other section and also under which topic to raise this, but thought I will pop up the question and let you decide where and how to cover this. What are all the most commonly reported allergies/ailments/diseases in Australia? Are there any good home remedies for those? I know it is a pretty general question that may give out different answers for different parts of Australia. I could so far gather from your blogs and articles that most ailments are due to insect/reptile bites or bite-related apart from some sporadic instances of dengue spread.


    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 2:21 pm |

      We have a few strange viruses here, as you say though it depends on the different parts of Australia. We have a few mosquito related viruses, but not malaria, and we have Hendra virus which is extremely rare, fortunately, as it has a very high morbidity rate, something like 50%. It has to be passed from bats, to horses (and maybe other animals) and then on to humans.

      As for allergies, I don’t think we are much different from most countries but you might find out more over at ASCIA, that’s the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

      By and large though, Australia is quite a safe country in this respect.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Geraint October 11, 2013, 9:30 pm |

    Hello bob
    Myself my partner and two daughters are just starting our visa application on a move to Melbourne , so early days!! I’m a qualified plumber and gas engineer and have read some previous posts by nick which have been really helpful, but just wanted to have has much help/info as possible from him if you have some contact info please

    Many thanks


    • BobinOz October 12, 2013, 5:34 pm |

      Hi Geraint, Nick has been a reader of my website for some time and he often helps out in the comments, particularly for those looking to move to Melbourne as well as those coming here as a plumber and for that I am very grateful (cheers Nick).

      I can’t give you his personal contact details, certainly not without his permission, so I reckon the best way to talk to Nick is directly through the comments here on this website. I’m sure he will respond to you and doing it that way, his comments can help others as well as yourself.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Geraint October 12, 2013, 5:56 pm |

        No worries! Totally understand!! Thanks for getting back to me and love the site, only been looking at it for the last couple of days and it told me more than any other site has by a clear mile. Much appreciated!!!

        Cheers Geraint

        • BobinOz October 12, 2013, 7:09 pm |

          Thanks Geraint 🙂

        • Nick Harris February 25, 2014, 6:22 pm |

          Geraint, it’s Nick here. Let me know your queries and I’ll be pleased to help. I’ve now been through the whole process of getting to be a “Licenced” plumber (similar to being Gas Safe Registered in the UK) and I’ve got loads more info to post than I have posted beforehand, so let me know what’s on your mind!!!

      • Nick Harris February 25, 2014, 6:20 pm |

        Hi Bob, sorry I’ve been away. I’ve neglected my “duties!!!” I’ve started a new job and it’s full on, plus I’ve been discovering Victoria! I’ve been here, in Melbourne, as an expat now for 2.5 years and I’ve been through quite a bit in trying to get to my goals. As a typical “ex-POM” I’ve still got a fair bit of info to give to all potential migrants, so I’ll keep an eye on Melbourne proceedings and help where I can. Cheers mate!

        • BobinOz February 26, 2014, 12:29 am |

          Hey Nick, good to hear from you again, I wondered where you had got to. Hope everything is going well, sounds like you’ve been busy.

          Good to have you back and I know you will help out wherever you can. Thanks for that. I was down your way the other week, had a great time in St Kilda, it must be one of the coolest suburbs in Australia 🙂

          Cheers for now, Bob

          • Nick February 26, 2014, 7:04 am |

            Hey Bob, thanks! It’s good to get a word in again. I’ve given up being self employed as a plumber, for now, as I had a job offer, full time, I couldn’t refuse. But I’m now a fully Licenced Plumber anyways (I passed all my exams!) and I’ve been through the entire process from migration to licensing, so if there’s anyone who wants advice on that subject, or Melbourne then I’m happy to help. Can’t always answer straight away but I’ll try! Cheers.

            • BobinOz February 27, 2014, 6:51 pm |

              Congrats on the job Nick, hope it works out well. Sometimes working for someone else can be better than chasing around quoting on jobs. Any plumbers who come my way who want to know the ropes, I’ll certainly send them to you.

              Cheers, Bob

  • Sally October 7, 2013, 8:01 am |

    The dodgy areas in Melbourne I would say are (not in any particular order), St Albans, Sunshine, Deer Park, Noble Park, Dandenong, Resevoir, Preston, Broadmeadows. To a lesser extent are Frankston and Werribee and after midnight the CBD.

  • Rina October 5, 2013, 9:07 pm |

    Greetings! I was wondering if anyone could help me out. I’m moving to Melbourne in January (from Europe) for 1 year, and I’m trying to figure out how to sort out living arrangements before I arrive, is this even possible? I would prefer not to stay at a hostel or hotel as soon as I arrive.. I found websites that offer apartments for up to a month stay which would give me time to sort out to find a proper apartment in the meantime, though I’m not really sure how to go about it all and would appreciate any advice and direction.

    Thanks in advance & this website is great, very helpful and get’s me more excited!

    • Rina October 5, 2013, 9:09 pm |

      removing the apostrophe in ‘get’s’, why on earth did I do that?

      I forgot to add- if there are any dodgy areas I should stay away from that would be helpful too… though so far I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the city!

      • BobinOz October 7, 2013, 6:51 pm |

        It may be worth your while checking out a website called stayz, and look for property available to rent on a 30 day or 60 day basis.

  • Kyle September 29, 2013, 12:21 pm |

    Nice article Bob 🙂

    People are far too focused on Melbourne’s winters and base their whole decisions on that, and that is something that has always bugged me.

    Average winter temperatures range from 13.5 – 15 degrees. There are plenty of days in winter where it can reach up to 18 degrees and have clear sunny skies which makes it feel like 25 in the sun, but there can be a few days here and there where it may only reach 12 with rain. Not every winter day in Melbourne will be unpleasant, and I have lived here my whole life. We’ve just had one of our warmest winter’s on record.
    Otherwise Melbourne has a very pleasant and lovely climate which people don’t like to give it credit for. Most of the year temps will range from around 20-35+ degrees. Once every now and then, particularly in Spring we can have four seasons in one day, however four seasons in one week can be more accurate.

    We’ve successfully had people who move here from warm climates and adapt easily to our weather. After all, Melbourne does have a mild temperate climate with an annual average temperature of 20 degrees and around 2200 hours of sunshine, so it’s very pleasant.

    Is a few weeks of the year in winter really enough for people to sacrifice a life in a city with so much to see, do and offer? I mean, as the World’s Most Liveable City for 3 years in a row, if Melbourne’s climate was that bad it wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list? 🙂

    • BobinOz September 30, 2013, 2:54 pm |

      I think Melbourne’s “bad” weather can only be put into context when comparing with the weather elsewhere in Australia. Tasmania excepted, I think it’s fair to say that Melbourne has some of the cooler temperatures of our Australian cities. That said, when I was last there, which was in the summer, it was a beautiful 36°C for most of the time.

      But if someone is thinking of moving to Melbourne from, say, the UK, I’m sure they will think Melbourne’s weather is absolutely marvellous. And thank you Kyle for coming in here and defending your city’s weather, I think it’s important that people considering moving to Melbourne from abroad don’t buy in to this bad weather theory when it really isn’t that bad.

      On the other hand, I come from Queensland, and I remember going to the footy match between Brisbane and Melbourne where our fans were chanting …

      “If you don’t own a coat clap your hands, if you don’t own a coat clap your hands…..”


      • Kyle September 30, 2013, 6:12 pm |

        Hehe, you’re definitely right when it’s compared to the rest of Australia 😛
        I thoroughly enjoy the cool-mild climate hehe.

        Hahaha, I love that! I hope the weather wasn’t too bad that day 😉

      • UkAussi October 1, 2013, 12:52 am |

        I agree with Bob, it very much depends on where you are coming from and what type of weather you like.
        My memories from 2 years in Melbourne in the early 70’s aged 8 were wet in winter and hot and sunny in summer and that was in the Parkdale area.
        Then spent 4 years in Adelaide and that was hotter in summer (often a week in low 40’s in summer) and rarely wet, except occassional downpour in summer where we would run outside and take a warm shower 🙂
        I just returned to Oz this June for 2 week vacation and to get a feel for if I wanted to move family to Oz. We only spent 4 days in Melbourne and it was overcast all 4 days and rained for 2. Reminded me very much of the UK in Autumn although not as cold.
        Unfortunately, as an expat from the UK living in California for 19 years, and one of the main reasons for leaving the UK was the weather, this was not a great feeling for me and was a negative in the “Melbourne” column on our comparison chart with Sydney. Unfortunately, the weather in Sydney the following 10 days was amazing sunny so this made the comparison more dramatic.
        Again, this is just my opinion, although despite the higher housing cost etc of Sydney we are now likely to give Sydney a go 1st once wife’s resident visa comes through and we move to Oz.

        • BobinOz October 1, 2013, 12:52 pm |

          Kyle, I can’t remember what the weather was like on that day, but I can tell you we have just had the hottest September here in 100 years according to records.

          UKAussie, if you want sunshine and hot weather, but prefer not to pay high prices, maybe you should consider Brisbane? Mostly hot and sunny in the summers with occasional storms but autumn is when we get our Californian weather, about three months of (usually) no rain and 75°F. Wonderful!

          • UkAussi October 2, 2013, 12:09 am |

            Cheers Bob but more bugs (wife hates em) and more humid up in Brisbane. Also more “bikies” 🙁 and info on Whirlpool and city-data indicated some things “sliding” a bit in the main Brisbane area.

            Main reason for Sydney (& Melbourne) is jobs although another (minor) reason for Sydney was that it was closer to Brisbane/Gold Coast for vacations 🙂

            We are currently (changes monthly) thinking of trying to make Sydney a go but will consider Brisbane also with Melbourne if we find it isn’t working out how we want in Sydney. When in OZ we ca get a lot more info on stuff than all via online. We can also visit Brisbane which I will make a point of doing if we decide not to stay in Sydney.

            Looking forward to the updated “moving to Oz” info btw. Really chomping at the bit to get of here and over to OZ to get our new life started ..thx again

            • BobinOz October 2, 2013, 2:06 pm |

              Brisbane sliding? Oh great, that’s something to look forward to, and bikies are everywhere in Australia, but I still haven’t seen any, maybe I should get out more?

              Good luck with your move, hope it works out well, wherever you decide to settle.

              • UkAussi October 3, 2013, 12:25 am |

                Sorry, as you know it is hard to get accurate info on the internet as people either embelish minor issues into major ones or the opposite. Seeing 1st hand is always the surest way to find out which is why we came over for 2 weeks to get a real “feel” for Melbourne, and somewhat Sydney.

                As always, the internet is a great place to start your research, and sites like this one are a great help in that respect, but do not rely on it for life changing decisions 🙂

                • BobinOz October 3, 2013, 10:53 pm |

                  I do understand, and I know the news is full of bikie stories, it’s definitely been the “issue of the week”. The information you have read on the Internet is probably quite accurate, but for any of us to have been affected by it, we would literally have had to be there at the time and I never have been.

                  I’m not saying there isn’t a problem somewhere, I’m just saying that the vast majority of us never see this stuff going on and I can honestly say I don’t ever remember seeing a bunch of bikie’s riding past or gathering in a group anywhere since I’ve been here.

                  But then many years ago I lived in a little town in England called Billericay and they had a bikie gang, I never saw them either 🙂

                  Bottom line is, I don’t think it’s a consideration when finally deciding where to live in Australia, there are far more important issues to consider.

    • Nick Harris February 25, 2014, 6:15 pm |

      Here here!!

  • Shweinna September 29, 2013, 3:20 am |

    Hello. Informative site by the way.
    How about the cost of housing in Melbourne ?

  • Kirst September 15, 2013, 5:31 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for such an insightful website. We are busy putting in our application from Johannesburg South Africa. I love South Africa, we’re 2nd born generation Chinese who can’t speak any Chinese and especially post-Apartheid we live in a very integrated society where we have lots of friends from every cultural group.

    Unfortunately with the crime and a young family we know we need to move but I get cold feet when I hear about racism which is sometimes not openly acknowledged through the media. We are a minority group here and we’re not used to being judged as “foreigners” just because we’re Chinese. I would love to hear your honest views of how this really is “on the ground” as I like to think we make friends easily but maybe in South Africa we are more open to talk about our prejudices and call it out when we see it? Is it easy making multi-cultural friendships in Melbourne or do cultural groups stick to each other? We have a very wide set of friends from every walk of life 🙂

    I also wanted to ask about education. We feel we have to send our kids to private schools here because the public education is not great. How do you go about finding a good school that can offer good quality education and care to your kids?

    On visits to Melbourne I fell in love with the vibe of the city but maybe on holiday everything seems fantastic?


  • Erin September 11, 2013, 9:21 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I love your site! its very useful. My name is Erin I am 22, and I have been sponsored by a company to go work in Melbourne. Currently going through the visa process at the minute, my partner will be coming out with all being well and my company are covering the costs which is great. I am coming from Ireland and I am struggling to figure out what my budget would be regarding renting a house. My base salary is 55k, the plan is my partner will get a job also but I cant rely on that. Have you any recommendations for how much you could afford to spend on renting based on my salary? Also regarding driving I have a UK license and will be wanting to get a car in Melbourne any idea how I go about this? Any advice would be must appreciated its all pretty overwhelming, but very exciting. Ps I was actually born in Geelong but my parents didn’t have citizenship when they living there so unfortunately I missed out on getting an Australian passport.

    Thanks Erin 🙂

    • BobinOz September 14, 2013, 2:33 pm |

      Hi Erin

      Glad you liked my website and congratulations on getting a job sponsorship here. Really difficult for me to suggest what your budget should be for somewhere to live, other than to say you really need to be keeping your rental outlay as low as possible. 55k isn’t a huge salary, so it certainly would help if your partner could also find work.

      Check out my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia for more help.

      Cars aren’t cheap here either, but they are quite essential if you want to get out and about. As for driving on your UK licence, you need to check out the rules according to VicRoads.

      Good luck, Bob

  • sky sports August 27, 2013, 5:28 am |

    Great blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you advise starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot!

    • BobinOz August 27, 2013, 2:21 pm |

      Well I can’t give you any specific tips on writing, I just write as though I’m talking to a friend and I try and keep it as simple as possible, chucking in a bit of humour here and there.

      What I will say though is definitely go for WordPress, it’s simply cannot be beaten. I used to have a paid option and went through the painful experience of paying again (in time) to switch it all over to WordPress.

      It is simply the best platform out there, do make sure to go self hosted rather than one of those free accounts with blogspot or whatever it’s called.

      Good luck, I hope your blog goes well.


  • OPAL August 25, 2013, 4:14 pm |

    Hey Bob,
    So it’s now two months since we migrated and I love Melbourne, so far, weather withstanding. However, I must warn folks planning to migrate that jobs in Melbourne are hard to come by. As a state sponsored qualified accountant I assumed it would be relatively easy to land a job but the reality is far different. I have sent out over 90 applications to positions up to two levels below my last position and can’t even land an interview because, hear this, I have no local experience.

    There is not a shortage of accountants contrary to what the government websites advertise. Recruiters are telling me that for every advertised post, they receive upwards of 150 applicants so the employers have a large pool of qualified candidates, most of whom have local working experience, so they can be as picky as they like in making a selection.
    I have not regretted my move but I must admit that the job seeking process has been depressing.


    • BobinOz August 25, 2013, 10:18 pm |

      Hi Opal

      Thanks for the info, fantastic that you’re loving Melbourne, rotten that you are finding it hard to get a job.

      Unfortunately, the problem is the skills list is always out of date, that’s what I’ve been told by people in the recruitment industry. Also, the last year or so here in Australia has been tough and there just simply aren’t the job vacancies around that there were two or three years ago.

      Just because a skill is listed on the skills list doesn’t mean there is a genuine shortage right now. You are right to warn my readers about this, and I hope you find work soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Rex August 23, 2013, 12:42 pm |

    I must admit that I find all the fuss about the best place to live from the point of view of a potential immigrant quite insulting – no matter where they come from. Surely a good job and a comfortable home should be the main consideration – and of equal importance a feeling of being blessed at being lucky enough to live in Australia and experience its many benefits.

    • BobinOz August 23, 2013, 10:09 pm |

      That’s rather judgemental of you Rex, and a little condescending. I think people are fully entitled to investigate their options when moving to Australia or any country.

  • Martine August 14, 2013, 12:20 am |

    Does it get earlier dark at night in Melbourne than Brisbane?

    • BobinOz August 14, 2013, 12:46 am |

      Not much in it Martine, currently the sun sets about 20 minutes later in the day in Melbourne and it does here in Brisbane.

  • Baige August 7, 2013, 4:41 pm |

    Hey Nonnie,

    I moved here about 9 months ago and asked the same questions…Im now living in south Melbourne. Perfect for work and a quieter life (age=slightly older) with the hustle and bustle in reaching distance. My second preference would be the places i will come to mention, however as you are a recent grad I would defo recommend Fitzroy and Brunswick, it ticks all the boxes you are after. Its not to far from the city so that you can venture in, but there is loads to keep you busy around that way.
    Richmond and South Yarra is nice but more working younger people with not the same amount of buzz…it all depends on how close you want to be to the city center. Then there is St Kilda, live music by the coast line…drinking and partying to the early hours…great to go but no necessarily to live. but that my opinion.

    Good luck in your move and if your starting work find somewhere easy to commute from.

    hope that helps and happy to say more if you like….Baige

    • Nonnie August 23, 2013, 3:20 pm |

      Thank you so much for all the info, Baige! I really appreciate it. When you first came over did you stay in a hostel to get yourself accommodated and find a job?

      • Baige August 27, 2013, 12:45 pm |

        Hey Nonnie, I came over for a job and had accommodation sorted for me, which was a result. So have you decided on where you will be trying for first?


  • Nonnie August 7, 2013, 5:50 am |

    Hey! I’m moving to Melbourne in a few months and want to find a good area to live in. I’m a recent college graduate so someplace with a younger crowd (not too crazy though), good restaurants, live music, character and stuff to do! Any recommendations? Thanks!

    • BobinOz August 7, 2013, 1:29 pm |

      I’ll leave this one to my Melbourne experts, if Nick and some of the others are around, they should be able to help you out. Do also be sure to read all the comments above, you’ll find some very interesting information here about Melbourne. Cheers, Bob

    • Kyle September 29, 2013, 12:27 pm |

      Hi Nonnie,

      Do you have a preference as to how much you’re willing to spend a week on rent?
      The things that you’re after will be found close to the city which will also be quite expensive unless you share a house with other people.

      You might like suburbs such as St.Kilda, Hawthorn, Yarraville, Brunswick, Fitzroy, Williamstown, South Melbourne.

  • Jaber July 13, 2013, 6:57 pm |

    gudmorning guys
    i plan to come to Australia on a vacation (from 25 Dec till 15 Feb
    n i still confused about the best place there
    so would you kindly “help me” to find it

    thank you

  • Opal June 30, 2013, 1:49 am |

    Hello Bob,
    We’ve finally landed in the Lucky Country and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing such useful information on your site on how to relocate to Australia. I can honestly say it was one of the most influential in influencing my decision to come here.
    Again, thank you!


    • BobinOz June 30, 2013, 2:29 am |

      Thanks Opal, glad you found my site useful. Hope you get to like Melbourne as much as I love Brisbane, otherwise I might be receiving a different kind of comment some time soon.

      Seriously though, hope it all works out, let us know how it goes.



  • UkAussi June 29, 2013, 12:24 am |


    Here is a better link for folks looking to see ave temps and the highest/lowest temp on record

    So it has never dropped below -3c it seems but it can get VERY HOT (45c) so as always, wear plenty of high end (zinc) sunscreen in summer and a hat!!
    Lots of skin cancer in Australia. MY mum always covered us up with sunscreen and hats and I am lucky enough to apparently look 10 years younger than I am, rather than the shrivelled prunes you often see 😛

  • Snortbrick June 28, 2013, 9:28 am |

    I mean, tell me is the weather in the winter in Melbourne better than the winter in England? I mean, well i live in the North east of England and i’m a terrible Eczema sufferer.
    Yes, and what are the best areas in Melbourne where i can find decent rental house?

    I mean i don’t want to live next to Manson! Come on , i don’t have the kind of money that catches sharks but i want something that can keep me happy and close action.

    Many thanks!

    • BobinOz June 28, 2013, 11:30 pm |

      I don’t know the areas well enough to advise you on where to go, but I’m pretty sure that winters in Melbourne are much better than English winters. But I’ll leave the locals from that way to maybe tell you more.

      • Snortbrick June 30, 2013, 9:21 am |

        Thanks Bob. Melbourne seems like the type of climate most would die for in England. Great site, haven’t explored it all but will be doing so over the coming months.

        Many thanks!

    • UkAussi June 29, 2013, 12:16 am |

      I was born and lived many years in Yorkshire and there is nowhere in Australia that has winters like the North of England.
      We just visited Melbourne and Sydney for 2 weeks (we live in California) and it was what we expected for early winter, overcast, light drizzle some days and anywhere from 10-17c depending on if the sun came out.
      From talking with online gaming colleagues in Melbourne it is cold at night, and gets below freezing sometimes in certain areas.

      Also check out this website

      … and obviously get the popinion and info of people who live there now.

      • Snortbrick June 29, 2013, 8:12 am |

        There’s nowt like boots on the ground for intel! Yep, i certainly like the sound of it. I can honestly say, it most depressing in the winter these days back in Middlesbrough or anywhere in England for the matter when the winter kicks in. Just had enough of being trapped and frozen in by the weather.

        Many thanks!

    • Techno July 31, 2013, 12:15 pm |

      Hey SB
      We lived in the UK for 6 yrs and were told the same about winters in Melbourne.
      Yes the weather charts will show 17 deg in winter but what they miss out is the windchill -30-50km/h usually:( So cold weather starts in May and ends in november. Dec heat lasts untill April. January gives you temps btw 33- 43 – oppressive dry heat .we lived here for 4 yrs and now live in Gold Coast1yr.
      The weather doesnt get any more perfect than it does in GC- the beach is at ur door step- every meal can be a barbie – parks for kids and dogs alike. You will not find art or culture here. You will find expnsive cars driven by well tanned, fake bossomed middle aged ladies and their botoxed aging hubbies:)

      When u come from he UK- its hard to live with out a bit of “art and culture ” around you. Job opportunities are great in Melbourne . Public transport is cheap and affordable. Rent at least 25 minutes (by car)away from the city in the south east direction.Bruwood, Ringwood,Boxhill, Rowville etc.The southwest areas —pointcook and altona are attracting immigrants- but crime rates could be higher.
      Good luck with your move. You will still enjoy Melbourne – will never be bored; when the gloomy winters hit- take a months holiday to QLD to enjoy the sun 🙂

      • BobinOz July 31, 2013, 2:38 pm |

        love the description of the Gold Coast Techno 🙂

  • Tony June 19, 2013, 12:49 am |

    Hello Nick!

    I’m planning to move to Melbourne from Auckland and is hoping to find a suburb that is within easy access to the CBD, i.e. via the Tram, and where rent wouldn’t be too expensive for just 1 person-myself (supposedly around AU$200-300 for studio/1 bdm). The reason I’d like to have easy access to the Tram network is because I’m sick of Auckland’s traffic (since it upgraded to a “SuperCity” and personally love the buzz/art of inner city Melbourne.

    I’ve also heard quite different viewpoints about the Eastern, Western and Northern suburbs: some said one is more ” socially complicated” while others said Northern suburbs can get quite hot during summer. What’s your take on the weather and social part of these suburbs? Lastly, I have a small Fox T and love to take him out for runs after work (i.e. parks etc).

    Could you maybe advice me on where to start looking please?


    P.S. BTW, best website I’ve come across so far! Thumbs up to you Bob!

    • Mish June 19, 2013, 5:22 pm |

      Kia ora Tony. We live in Melbourne 3004 which is around the St Kilda Road area. Lots of parks for dog walking, trams every 2 mins and flat enough to ride a bike, which I do, every day.

      Our 1 bedroom apartment is $390 pw, art deco, renovated, big deck, garage…

      Good luck with your move.

  • suzie June 14, 2013, 12:35 pm |

    Hi guys

    Well we have arrived in Melbourne just last wk from Ireland! Still trying to overcome the jet lag!! But now to decide on a suburb to settle in… we have been lookimg at the keilor downs / taylors lakes area… anybody got any other good suburb areas to check out.. we will be needing near kindy, primary and secondary schools.

    Many thanks

    • Nick June 14, 2013, 5:39 pm |

      Hi Suzie, I’m Bob’s Melbourne correspondent, so to speak.

      We live in the Eastern Suburbs but there’s so many to choose from.

      If I had a bit more info ie. Where you’ll work: Near Melbourne or not, seaside or inland, bayside or inner suburbs etc. etc. then I could help more as there’s a lot!!



  • OPAL June 14, 2013, 11:24 am |

    Thanks Nick. I contacted Milanka at Montessori and there is vacancy!
    Re the weather- it’s actually 81 degrees farenheit in the Caribbean (where I live) so it will be a huge adjustment to winter to put it mildly 🙂

    Thanks again.

    • Nick June 14, 2013, 5:31 pm |

      Hi Opal,

      Great news!! Really pleased for you!! You’ll need to contact
      Centrelink, to help with the cost of childcare, if you’re eligible that is.

      Also, sorry, I thought you lived in the UK!! That’s why I was comparing the weather! It’s still no way as bad as a UK winter here though!!

      Good luck with it all!!


  • Nick June 14, 2013, 6:29 am |

    Hi Opal, great news about your imminent arrival!

    As for preschool, my little boy goes to “Our kids Montessouri” Preschool in Nunawading which isn’t that far from those suburbs you mentioned. Their no. is:
    0061 3 9894 4123. Give them a call, mention my name and ask for Milanka or Vesna. They’re 2 lovely women who run a very good preschool.

    If not they can advise on others. It’s a very convenient one as they open at 7am and close at 6pm. Very handy for full timers! They’re very near Nunawading train station that’s direct into the CBD, circa 30 min. ride.

    Best of luck!!

    Ps. The weathers about the same as the UK, except its full on winter here!!



  • Opal June 13, 2013, 11:17 pm |

    Hey Bob and Nick,
    In just another 10 days we will be in Melbourne! Yes, we are very excited though the fact that we’ve not got our daughter in preschool is a little bothersome.
    Nick, I’ve emailed almost every preschool in the 3108, 3109 area and still no luck except for one which only opens for three hours per day twice a week.
    I’m still hopeful- any help/suggestion will be warmly welcomed 🙂


  • Sian June 1, 2013, 8:51 am |

    A friend and I are looking to come out to Australia on a working gap year around november (we’ll be 18/19). I was looking at Melbourne as it seemed to be the liveliest and ‘youngest’ city. But how does it look employment wise? We both have experience in retail and waitressing/bar work, how likely would you say we would be able to get a job and what kind of pay too?

    Sorry for all the questions, just gotta get it right as its costing a bomb!

    Thanks, Sian x

    • BobinOz June 3, 2013, 11:55 pm |

      Hi Sian

      Hopefully someone from Melbourne will help you out with this one, I’m in Brisbane so I don’t know too much about what it’s like down there.

      I would also suggest you check out this post…



    • Nick June 14, 2013, 5:35 pm |

      Hi Sian, I live in the Melbourne suburbs, but I have to say that you’re spoilt for choice on jobs for waitering/bar work. Theres tons of restaurants, bars and pubs. Also, try Crown Resorts. There’s a massive one in the city and they employ 100’s of staff.

      Also try too.

      Best of luck!


      • BobinOz June 14, 2013, 9:21 pm |

        Thanks Nick, I thought you would know 🙂

        • Nick June 15, 2013, 2:44 pm |

          Thanks Bob, no worries!!

  • alex May 28, 2013, 5:17 pm |

    That’s really a very useful article for people who is looking at immigrating, choosing a good place to live will definitely help new comers settle in this city. Just to make some contribution to your effort, you can find more information about lives in Victoria.

  • UkAussi May 21, 2013, 12:52 am |

    Coming over to Oz on vacation in 3 weeks to show the wife and look myslef as I left in 1980 when I was 15. Will be checking out Melbourne for a few days and looking at various suburbs as we decided if we move to Oz it will be Melbourne.
    As housing is still somewhat over priced in the main areas we are likely looking at the “outer” suburbs to the north (Craigieburn or Mernda) or west (Wyndham or Melton) that are newer and 1/2 the price for housing. Key is to be close to main railway line into Melbourne so your work options are greater.

    Will then be vacationing in Sydney for a week or so as we ruled out Sydney as a place to live due to its higher costs, higher crime and poorer public transport amongst other things.

    • BobinOz May 21, 2013, 2:37 pm |

      Hope you have a good recce, it’ll be interesting to hear what both you and your wife think of it having had a good look around. Cheers!

  • Sascha May 9, 2013, 8:30 am |

    Hi nick!

    Great read and glad to hear all is well, sometimes the harder the start the better the reward! On a slightly different note and hopefully you can shed some light on this, or anyone who has an insight on any documents or certificates carpenters will need when arriving in oz? My partner and I have had our permeanant visa through and plan to make the move in September once the house is sold and my work contracts complete. I’ve been trying to find out what paperwork my partner might need to start working on sites or with private clients. He is a very competent chippie with about 14 yrs experience and all the qualifications. I guess what I’m trying to get at is are all tradies the same in respect to having to apply for additional Certs in order to work? Sorry it might be completely irrelevant to you being a plumber but if you have any info or maybe bob can shine a light? Hope this makes sense, typing on my iPhone can be disasterous! Look forward to hearing from you, oh and think we are relocating to New South Wales area x

    • BobinOz May 11, 2013, 12:38 am |

      Hi Sascha

      This is something that is on my “to-do” list, to find out how difficult (or not) it might be for various trades, including carpenters, to come over to Australia and start working. I haven’t done it yet though, so hopefully Nick or someone else will be able to help you out with this. Thanks, Bob

      • Priyanka June 8, 2014, 5:29 pm |

        Hi Bob,

        I came to know about your blog through my husband who has closely following it for last few days. I found your website to be quite useful. I have a query, hope you could help.

        We are from India, & are planning to migrate to Oz in the coming year. I am working with india’s largest passenger automobile company-Maruti Suzu , for last 8 years now at the middle management level. However, as we have the job rotation policy, I have worked in three different profiles over these last 8 years, ranging from ‘Training & Dev’ to ‘Marketing’ and now ‘Dealer Development’. The experience in each of these profiles range from 2.5 to 3 years each. This is done in our organisation to help develop an employee better which shall help gain a broader perspective of the industry as such.

        Now in such a scenario, can you advice how shall I apply for skilled visa in Australia.

        • BobinOz June 10, 2014, 1:11 am |

          Matching your skill with any of the skills on the skills lists here in Australia is a skill itself. You need to be talking to a MARA registered migration agent, I’m simply not qualified to advise you.

          My MARA agent, for example, would ask you to send him a full CV and also for details of your responsibilities and tasks in the jobs you have done and then he will try to match that up with skills that are on the list.

          That’s all part of our Visa Assessment Service which, of course, isn’t free, but it’s worth every cent.

          Good luck, Bob

          • Priyanka June 10, 2014, 10:50 pm |

            Thanks for the prompt revert , Bob.
            Can I please know the complete fee details for your MARA agent ( inclusive of the entire migration process + government fee ). Also would like to understand, what all services will be offered by the MARA agent. I am planning to migrate to Melbourne along with my husband & 9 months old daughter.

            • BobinOz June 11, 2014, 6:04 pm |

              It is all explained on that page, everything you need to know is there. There is also a PDF with more information about the service that you can download will stop Once you have been through the assessment and you get your written report, my agent will detail the entire costs of your visa and also explain how to proceed from there.

              Until your assessment is complete though, he cannot do that as there are different costs associated with different visas. The assessment will answer all your questions.

              Good luck, Bob

    • Nick May 11, 2013, 6:33 pm |

      Hi Sascha, I don’t think that carpenters need much as their work is not a controlled service like gas work, air con, plumbing, electrics etc.

      However, your MARA agent should know what he needs to do , prior to arriving here. There is a body called Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), and they are used to recognise the cometencies of a tradesman, based on evidence of their certificates, photos of their work, experience, testimonials etc. Here’s the link below, have a look:

      I think, don’t quote me, that this is for chippies, painters, plasterers, brickies etc. NOT the controlled, pain in the backside, services that I’ve had to go through like VetAssess!!

      Also, Adrien, if you’re reading this, then check the above link too. It’s a very important site for tradies to go to, to help them get set up here in Oz. I remember that this was the body I was gonna use, before I had to go through VetAssess.

      Also, one more very important thing: ALL TRADIES WORKING ON A BUILDING SITE MUST HAVE A WHITE CARD.

      This is an OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) Card, that you need that proves you have the knowledge to work on sites where accidents can happen. It’s administered by “WorkSafe”. They’re also called “Red Cards”, Purple Cards”, depending on what State/Territory you’re in, but they’re all merging to be the White Card.

      You can go to a local TAFE for 1 night to do the course for $200, or do what I did and go and do it online for $60!!!!!! It’s just multiple choice questions about general health and safety issues, and pretty easy. I.e. “John is walking under a ladder on a site, where a man is welding above him: Is this safe?” Obvious answers I assure you!!! You can do it online from here:

      It’s recognised in ALL States/Territories.

      As for any other certificates, the fact that you’ve got your PR Visa proves that he’s satisfied the requirememts already. It may be as easy as just getting the white card, some transport and tools and knocking on building sites, or using “” etc.

      Hope this all helps. Let me know how you’ve got on. Feedback is always good, – or + !!



  • Adrien May 8, 2013, 8:10 am |

    Hi Nick,how are you doing?

    Well,Im from France worked as a Plumber and technician in air conditioning
    So Id like to know how much did you pay vetasss it was in Oz?because I have to get a recognition of my french certificate and some people told me that I dont need to pay vetasss only send my certificate to skill recognition and they will have a meeting with plumber and tell me if I must get some training which are paying

    Im pretty lost with all of these organizations even the ambassador of France in Oz could not answer me

    I live in Brisbane may be not the same as Victoria

    Cheers mate

    • Nick May 11, 2013, 6:13 pm |

      Hi Adrien, I’ll try to answer your comments although I’m not sure if it will help.

      I paid VetAssess £800 (3 yrs ago) for one day’s assessing, in England, PRIOR to my arrival in Melbourne, as part of my main visa requirement. My MARA agent advised me at the time to do this as part of my migration and to get a head start in Victoria.

      I would check with Quennsland’s Plumbing Industry Council, if you haven’t already, and ask them where/who you will need need to see to get it recognised.

      You may have to pay an official translator, in order to get it converted to English, prior to a body getting it officially recognised. Once recognised, the Plumbing Council will most probably book you in for an interview to assess/determine your level of experience, based on your certificate, which will then award you with being a Registered Plumber, where you can then work in Queensland. Or, if they’re not satisfied, then you will most probably be advised to attend a local TAFE College and do an evening / daytime course based on Australian Standards in Air Conditioning. This is how it is generally, for migrants.

      I’m basing this on Victoria, but seeing as Victoria has the most strictest, stringent rules in the whole country, I’m sure it will be fine in Queensland.

      The above info is only my advice and is somewhat based on my whole experiences from the UK to here, so please look further into it ok?

      Hope this helps!



  • Elizabeth McC April 12, 2013, 6:54 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Your website is the most useful site I’ve seen so far- and I’ve been looking at a fair few! My husband and I are thinking of moving to Australia – We are both teachers with a young family and were wondering where to move to in Australia. We would like somewhere with good value for money houses and good Schools but also somewhere lively and vibrant. Where do you suggest?


    • BobinOz April 12, 2013, 11:33 pm |

      Brisbane, but then I would, I live here and I love it. That said, it also fits your criteria, but I also suggest you take a look at my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia.

      Good luck, and I’m pleased to hear you have found my website so useful.



      • Elizabeth McC April 13, 2013, 4:49 pm |

        Thanks a lot Bob!
        I know there is a big demand for doctors and nurses in Oz but is there a demand for Science teachers too?

        • BobinOz April 14, 2013, 9:39 pm |

          I don’t know, you’ll need to check the Skilled Occupations List (SOL), you should find a link to it on my page about the Points Calculator.

          • Nick May 5, 2013, 7:13 pm |

            Update: Plumbing in Oz

            Hi Bob, I can’t remember which stream I wrote on last time, as it was about 3 months ago, so I thought I’d reply to your above-mentioned comment on SOL’s as my post is all about POMS coming over to Oz to live and work as plumbers, particularly in Victoria, which has the highest Plumbing Standards in the country, and possibly the world as they are more stringent than Europe and USA!!

            Just to recap (to those that have no idea about my previous streams/posts)

            I ran a successful plumbing firm in the UK, my wife and I decided to migrate to Melbourne for a “Better” life, with my 2 young kids, and we came here on a 176 State Sponsored Skilled Migrant Visa. We decided that Victoria was our place to be, as we have friends and relatives here, and we arrived in Oct’11.

            When you arrive, as a plumber, you must go to the PIC (Plumbing Industry Commisssion, or relevant State run operating body) for an interview in order to get a card to be a Registered Plumber, in order to work as a plumber in Victoria, or whatever State/Territory.
            In the UK, prior to arriving in Oz, I went to VetAssess (Check with your MARA Agent about this) at a college in Blackburn, Lancashire), in order to be assessed for plumbing in Oz, to aid my visa and subsequent migration.

            This was warranted and when I had my interview, in Melbourne, I was instantly awarded Registration. Registration allows you to work with a firm, but not for yourself. In order to work for yourself and “Sign Off” works, you MUST be a Licenced Plumber. This does apply to ALL States, but particularly in Victoria.

            So, this is where I continue my findings to all you potential fellow Pommy Plumbers who are looking to migrate and need to be fully aware of what will await you, before you make the move, or, once you arive, what you’ll need to do.

            I’ve been working here in Victoria for about a year and a half, and I specialise in “Hydronic Heating”, which to the average European is Gas Central Heating using radiator panels or underfloor heating. Either way, it is relatively a new concept here in Australia, as they generally use the crap “Gas Ducted” system. Hydronic Heating has been around in Europe for over 100 years….it’s a Victorian invention, ironically!!!!!

            Anyways, after considerable deliberation, I have had no choice but to attend the local TAFE College and do a course in Water, Gas and Mechanical Services, to gain the Licences required to sign off hydronic heating. As general plumbers in Australia, you will need to get Water and Gas, at the very least, depending on what you want to do.

            “Plumbing” in Australia is a very generic term. You can work in roofing, drainage, irrigation, air conditioning, general works, and hydronic heating. Either way…’re a plumber!!!! You MUST Registered, at the very, very least to do your job. To work alone/unsupervised you’ll want to become Licenced. I tried to do this, albeit not going to college, buying the complete Water Regs, Gas Regs, etc. etc. but to no avail.

            PLUMBING IN AUSTRALIA IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO UK PLUMMBING: The products, the jointing methods, the installation methods etc. etc.

            Take it from me, I know. I’ve been there through the thick of it. Why the hell am I writing this post? TO EDUCATE ALL YOU POTENTIAL POMMY PLUMBERS COMING TO OZ!!!!!!!!!!!

            It’s full on guys and you need to be prepared. Some of you will breeze through it, others will struggle. But, with the aid of the local TAFE (Colleges of Further Education) Colleges, you will definitely gain a full insight, and pass the exams to become Registered / Licenced, and then you will be able to earn living, live and work and survive here in Oz.

            I don’t think anyone else has written, on this site, the full implications of emigrating as a plumber and what you’ll need to do. Take it from me….this is what you’ll most likely need to do guys: prepare yourself!!!!!!!

            I really thought I’d be able to integrate easily, but no. I suffered. And don’t want you guys to suffer, as I did.

            Good Luck and I hope the above info helps!!



            • BobinOz May 6, 2013, 1:59 pm |

              Thanks for the update Nick, this is stuff plumbers coming here need to know. And for those looking for Nick’s original article about plumbing in Australia, you can read it here.

              Sounds like you’ve been through it a bit Nick, but tell me, has it been worth it?



              • Nick May 7, 2013, 2:34 pm |

                Hi mate, it’s been full on, but it’s definitely been worth it.

                When I arrived here, I was bloody nieve about plumbing in Oz. I was more worried about my wife and 2 kids settling as I was sure everything would go well for me. How ironic was it they they all settled in instantly, we made loads of friends from her work/school, and I’ve hated it, workwise, since I arrived, up until a couple of months ago, plus I’m in the process of giving up smoking!!!!!

                In the UK, I was 110% confident in all aspects of my work. I could go to any property, assess what was needed, how much it would cost, where to source the materials from, what I could and couldn’t do as per the Regs, and feel totaly confident all the time.

                Well, how bloody wrong was I when I came here?!!!!!! It has been very tough, for the above reasons. I was an employer of 4 plumbers, with fully equiped vans in Oxford, then I’ve had to come and work out the back of a cheap car as I couldn’t get credit for a loan for equipment etc. etc., and get paid just above apprentice wages. It’s not been nice.

                But things are getting better, and I should be a fully Licenced Plumber and Heating Engineer by the end of August, once I’ve completed all my exams. This will help me gain a decent wage to live in this very expensive town!

                Also, we’re much more familiar with the Melbourne Metro area now as I’ve worked all over it, and we’ve settled in much more. Plus we just got FoxTel, so I can watch my beloved Tottenham Hotspur play in the EPL!!!!!

                For all plumbers coming here to live and work, please please check with your agent about the correct visa. I came in on a 176 State Sponsored Skilled Migrant Visa. This was because Victoria were prepared to sponsor me and this sped up my application. We wanted to come here in the first place so that worked out well. A 176 Visa is a quicker way to come to Oz.

                Check also a company in London called “DownUnder Tradies”. They do a course on Registration and plumbing in Oz, so as to prepare you for the journey ahead. It’s generally on a 3 week basis from Friday all the way through to Sunday and it’s pretty full on, so I’ve heard. But it’s not cheap. It costs over £3000.00!! A plumber can do this course prior to arriving here and it’s recognised here in Oz so it is worth it. I didn’t do it because I thought my VetAssess course was enough, and that plumbing was similar here.

                How wrong was I ?!!

                In conclusion though, Things are much better here for my family. We love the variety Victoria has to offer, the weather, the landscape, Melbourne etc. It’s all good. We all feel much more positive than we did in the UK and we’ve got a good chance of getting a property here, than in the UK (We’re 1st time buyers). There’s so much to see and do and that’s what counts when you have young kids!!
                It’s a much safer environment, cleaner and the locals are really nice too. Heck, we’re cousins aren’t we?!!!

                If anyone wants any more info on plumbing here in Oz, then just let me know and I’ll try to help as best I can.

                Cheers guys!


                • BobinOz May 8, 2013, 2:01 pm |

                  Sounds like it’s been hard work Nick, but well worth the effort. You guys seem to be settling in pretty good and enjoying Australia how it should be enjoyed. Thanks again for all the insights into plumbing in Australia, I’m sure many people will find it useful and no doubt you will get asked more questions.

                  Here’s one now….

  • Kathryn April 11, 2013, 7:55 am |

    Bala, for your information, outlined below are some links that will provide you with a list of Indian Associations throughout Sydney and Melbourne. These links will also provide you with a whole heap of other information eg Indian festivities celebrated in India, a list of Indian businesses and contacts within both cities:

    • Bala April 12, 2013, 1:52 am |

      Kathryn, thanks again for these links. Couldn’t ask for more!

      Also, my agent tells me that I seem to qualify for subclass 189, which is the Skilled Independent – Permanent visa based on their own assessment. I am initiating the formal skills assessment process now. My agent says it might take 8-12 weeks to know the assessment outcome and he recommends that I take the IELTS test in the meantime.

      I am all ears for any kind of suggestions/tips/warnings etc.!


      • BobinOz April 12, 2013, 11:02 pm |

        That’s a different kind of question for a different (and more relevant) page Bala. But I would suggest that if you can’t trust your MARA agent, get another one.

  • Kathryn April 10, 2013, 7:33 am |

    Bala, I was reading your comments above. I live in Sydney and, for your information, want to let you know that the following metropolitan areas (of Sydney)have a high concentration of Indian migrants: Fairfield, Parramatta, Westmead, Glenwood, Kellyville, Harris Park, Liverpool, Quakers Hill and Blacktown. Most of these suburbs are located in the mid-west and far western areas of Sydney. Parramatta, Blacktown and Liverpool are large outer satellite cities of Sydney that are completely self-sufficient with lots of restaurants, shops and industry. They are connected to Sydney by good rail services but are about an hour’s drive from the centre of Sydney (on the arterial M4 and M5 links). If you read the link (below) it shows the demography of this very multicultural city.

    According to Wikipedia, the Indian population of Melbourne are centred around the south-eastern suburbs of Hampton Park, Narre Warren and many suburbs that stretch across the north-western and south-western areas of the city. Like Sydney, Melbourne is an extraordinary multicultural city. Melbourne has the largest Greek population outside of Athens in the world and more than quarter of the population of Victoria are born overseas. Read this link:

    However, if you want my advice, I suggest you move into any area you like whether they contain people from India or not. If you wish to assimilate and meet Australians, it would be a better idea to make a real effort not to stay grouped into your own demography and to get out in the community and meet Australians of all origins. This will provide you with a more balanced view of multicultural Australia otherwise, why leave India at all?

    • Bala April 11, 2013, 12:35 am |

      Hi Kathryn,

      Many thanks for your detailed and informative response!

      The links you provided is a real interesting read. We are currently just about to begin the skills assessment process, so I assume it is a long way to go. From that perspective, we are still a novice about getting more knowledgeable about how life goes on in Australia. As a first action item, I have promised myself to read through this wonderful website as much as I can, including the queries and responses by others, just so that most of the typical ‘novice’ level questions that pop up in my mind get answered along the way. However, please do share any information you find worth sharing with a person at this stage of the PR process.

      To your last point – you hit the bull’s eye! Both me and my wife are firm believers that life is not complete until we experience and appreciate the different ways in which it life is lived all around the world. My question is more towards getting the comfort factor that there are people from my country who have been to a certain city and done what we now intend to do. Extending this discussion, it would be nice if you could shed some light on events/occasions where Australians and Indians get together and collaborate, or , for that matter, any other ethnic background.

      Eagerly awaiting more enlightenment!


  • Nick April 9, 2013, 2:12 pm |

    Hi Bala, I got this link this morning as I’m subscribed to all Melbourne, and other posts, on this site.
    But, to be honest, I really couldn’t tell you right now. There’s a large ethnic community in Springvale, but that’s mainly Chinese and Thai. I’m sure there are suburbs that have a large Indian community but I don’t know where, exactly.

    I’ll try and find out for you ok?



    • Bala April 9, 2013, 11:37 pm |


      Thanks a ton for taking interest in responding to me. I shall look forward to more information from you if possible in the coming days.

      Also, though my question is about Melbourne, it is pretty much a question I would ask about any of the major cities in Oz. So please feel free to respond within the context of any other city you are more familiar with.

      Thanks again and looking forward!


  • Bala April 9, 2013, 1:38 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Really a very informative site. Appreciate all your effort behind this!

    I am considering moving to Australia. I am basically from India, but currently employed in Singapore. I am trying to identify places in Australia where there is a high concentration of professionals from my country. I have to start somewhere, I am starting with Melbourne therefore. So my question is – which neighborhood in Melbourne has a high concentration of people from India? If this has been answered already in any of the other sections, please redirect me to the same.

    Appreciate your input on this


    • BobinOz April 9, 2013, 12:27 pm |

      I’m sure it has been answered somewhere else, but I’m afraid I can’t find it Bala. Hopefully someone who knows the area well will be able to help you out. Nick, who has answered many comments above, knows Melbourne well so he might come up with something if he is around.



  • Nick March 27, 2013, 9:55 pm |

    Hi Ronnie, it’s Nick here, Bob’s Melbourne contact!!

    We live in the Eastern Suburbs, Nunawading to be precise! My son (8.5 yes old) plays for Ringwood soccer club and practically all the kids in his team are English. We know quite a few families here so you could say the East has the most. But…… Point Cook in the West has quite a large English population aswell as Melbourne Village!!

    We’ve only been here for a year and a half so I don’t know an exact area but I do know that the East definitely has a reasonable size of POMS living in it!!

    Hope this helps?



  • Ronnie Teja March 26, 2013, 2:54 pm |

    Hey Bob,
    I am really exploring your site right now and am wondering do you have any insight into where the expats live in Melbourne? You know kind of like the Bondi of Sydney? Maybe you could shed some light i’d appreciate it alot

    • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 12:51 am |

      I can’t, but hopefully someone living in Melbourne will pop in here and help you out. If Nick is about, I’m sure he will, he knows Melbourne well.



    • Kathryn April 10, 2013, 7:58 am |

      Ronnie Teja, click on the following link which will provide you with indepth information relating to the very multicultural demography of Melbourne and what areas of the city they live:

  • Nabeela February 24, 2013, 11:24 pm |

    Hi Bob Im thinking of moving to Glenroy, Victoria, Melbourne. I was wondering roughly how much a house is on Glenroy Road. I decided here because of the beautiful weather (better than London, UK). Also how far are schools, colleges, uni’s, shoppin malls, train stations ect are? Your website has been very informative and straight to the point. Thank You

  • Emma February 22, 2013, 7:10 am |

    Were a family of 5, kids are 13, 6, 4, moving to melbourne in Nov 13, just reading all these comments and i am wondering why Tigger says not to settle for the northern suburbs. This is the area we were considering, maybe Epping as my husband will be working in Campbellfield. Any info much appreciated.

    • BobinOz February 26, 2013, 3:50 pm |

      Hi Emma

      Obviously I’ll leave that one to Tigger to answer, if he’s still around, or maybe anyone else who knows that area well can help you. Cheers!


    • Kathryn April 10, 2013, 7:47 am |

      Emma, I live in Sydney and I have never heard of Campbellfield. Do you mean Campbelltown? Campbelltown is a large multicultural area in south western Sydney and a long way from the very expensive northern suburbs. At least a 1-1/2 hours drive in peak hour traffic. The far northern suburbs of Epping are rather isolated, socially and geographically, from the rest of Sydney. Epping is a very large, congested and industrial area of the distant north shore. Rental and property values of the north shore are extremely expensive. However, rents in and around Campbelltown (or nearby Liverpool) are a lot cheaper although the area is less salubrious than the northern or southern beach areas of Sydney. If you want to live on the northern shores, my advice is to look further north at the beautiful northern beach areas of Collaroy, Narrabeen, Dee Why or Mona Vale – they are really lovely, scenic areas with gorgeous beaches, great restaurants and cafes and terrific shopping centres – however, they are a bit of a hike out of Sydney. However, the general population there are a lot friendlier – it is a bit of a generalisation but many people say that people living on the lower north shore are rather aloof, unfriendly and a bit “snooty” (but don’t quote me – it IS a common generalisation). Good luck!

  • Opal February 20, 2013, 5:41 am |

    Got it! Thanks Bob

  • Opal February 19, 2013, 11:00 pm |

    Nick, thanks for the information. I have another question. We are currently trying to find short-term accommodation for a month until we rent. We’ve been looking on but the prices are ridiculous ($180 p.n.)- do you know anyone who rents short-term at a more affordable rate?

    Thanks again

    • BobinOz February 20, 2013, 1:03 am |

      Hi Opal

      You need to read the comments that have been written before you, Nick has already answered somebody else about finding short-term accommodation, just keep scrolling upwards a little while and you’ll see it.



  • vani khera February 19, 2013, 4:13 pm |


    I am planning to move to Melbourne in Sep 2013. Can anyone help me out which are the best places in melbourne to live. Initially we will not be having any conveyance and my husband is in IT job and I am HR Consultant.

    We are looking out the place wherein the house rents are not too high, connectivity( as we don not have any conveyance).
    Can anyone help us out in that. 🙂


    • BobinOz February 20, 2013, 12:23 am |

      Well, you can click on the link I provided in the above comment to Augusto, and you could also find out a lot simply by reading all of these comments, they will certainly give you lots of ideas.



  • Augusto Efraín Chanona Burguete February 19, 2013, 5:25 am |

    Le solicito la posibilidad de que nos guíen o nos orienten para saber como conseguir o contratar temporalmente vivienda temporal en Melbourne, para estudiantes universitarios que cursaran durante 6 meses aprendisaje de su carrera profesional en esa ciudad, por lo que mucho agradeceremos su apoyo, saludos

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