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The Pom Queen

Living in Melbourne

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Profile of Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne: Yarra River in Central Business Distric

Melbourne: Yarra River in Central Business District

Melbourne’s Migrants | What’s it Like Living in Melbourne?

Melbourne’s population of 4 million enjoys a temperate climate and an abundance of economic and lifestyle opportunities.

Melbourne has traditionally rivalled Sydney as Australia’s premier city. From the outsider’s point of view, it’s fair to say this is a competition Sydney has won. You would not want to mention this in Melbourne though!

In quality of life surveys, Australian cities score strongly compared with cities in other countries. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Melbourne as Australia’s best city. As you might expect, any city rated as Australia’s best will also be one of the world’s best. The Economist Intelligence Unit rates Melbourne (along with Vancouver and Vienna) as the world’s best cities to live in.

Melbourne scores the highest possible mark for all categories, including infrastructure, housing, education, access, environmental focus, crime rate, culture and cultural events, diversity and climate.

Although Melbourne’s weather can be changeable, it scores the highest climate mark of any Australian city, partly because of its dry summer heat. Melbourne has a thriving cafe culture and offers its residents virtually unlimited dining and cultural opportunities. The shopping certainly rivals Sydney’s and there are a huge number of parks and gardens around the city. Melbourne also plays host to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Australian Tennis Open, and, in Golf, the Heineken Classic and Australian Open.


According to the Bureau of Statistics, around one third of Melbourne’s residents were born overseas.

People from the UK are Melbourne’s biggest migrant group, making up 5 percent of the population. The next biggest groups are Italians (2%), Vietnamese (2%) Greeks (2%), and New Zealanders (2%).

Around 7% of Melbourne’s population came from Asian countries and 2% come from the Middle East or North Africa. Aboriginal Australians represent less than 0.5% of Melbourne’s population.

Where to Live in Melbourne

Melbourne: Suburban Street

Melbourne: Suburban Street

Melbourne does not sit directly on the ocean. It sits inside a bay – Port Phillip Bay – on the south coast of Australia’s state of Victoria.

Painting with a broad brush, the western half of Melbourne is perceived as “working class”. The eastern half of the city is thought of as “managerial” or “professional”.

About three quarters of Melbourne’s residential properties are separate, detached houses with their own gardens.

Housing is more expensive in the southern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Houses in many of the city’s “good” areas command prices of well over $1 million.

Fashionable inner-eastern Melbourne can be particularly expensive – for example Kew has an average house price of over $2 million and the elite suburb of Toorak has an average price of about $3.5 million.

Fortunately, there are also a good number of desirable, family-oriented suburbs with much more affordable houses. Units or apartments are also an option and cost typically between $300,000 – $600,000.


Inner western suburbs can be more affordable (average prices $450,000 – $700,000) compared with the inner eastern side of the city.

Inner suburbs lie within half an hour’s train ride of the city centre.

Melbourne enjoys lower crime rates than other Australian cities although some areas – even in the “better” parts of the city – have significantly higher crime rates than others.

If you intend catching a train into the CBD (Central Business District), the eastern half of Melbourne has more railway stations.

One hour maximum on the train will take you into the centre of the city from all but Melbourne’s farthest outer suburbs.

If you choose to live on the beautiful Mornington peninsula, the commute would take a bit longer.

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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