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Moving to Melbourne


    Melbourne has been deemed one of the world’s most livable cities. Home to about four million Melbournians, its modern and elegant atmosphere is popular amongst Britons and its diverse and dynamic economy attracts large businesses and is a centre for the finance industry. With Port Phillip Bay on the city’s doorstep, Australia’s iconic clear waters and sandy beaches are well within reach. With stunning architecture and booming nightlife, this major port city has plenty to offer. If you’re planning on moving to Melbourne, you’ll want to read our helpful guide (and learn about our moving services) with everything you need to know about living life in this wonderful Australian city. 

    People from all over the world are moving to various parts of Australia, including Melbourne – and for good reason. A slower pace of life, excellent weather and stunning scenery are just a few reasons to consider relocating to Melbourne. Many young people are moving to Melbourne from the UK who are in search of a different way of life, too. Find out what the cost implications could be when comparing Australia and the UK in our blog.

    Welcome to Melbourne - where to next?

    So you have relocated to Melbourne – welcome! Where to next and how long will it take you to get there? Australia is a vast country and many people new to the continent want to know how long it will take them to get to other cities. Here we’ve laid out how long it will take you to get from Melbourne to other popular Australian destinations. 

    Melbourne – Perth | 4 hours and 10 minutes on a plane 

    Melbourne – Sydney | 1 hour and 19 minutes on a plane

    Melbourne – Bondi Beach | 9 hours and 9 minutes by a car 

    Melbourne – Phillip Island | 1 hour and 51 minutes by a car

    Melbourne street with Market

    What’s the weather like?

    Melbourne has a reputation for having unpredictable weather conditions, which is something that Britons moving to Melbourne from the UK will already be used to. Due to Melbourne’s location, it receives milder temperatures which can be more bearable for UK residents than other cities in Australia. If you’re planning on living in Melbourne, you’ll be glad to hear that on average, Melbournians enjoy an average of 25C in the summer months and in winter that drops to around 10C.

    Housing options in Melbourne

    In contrast to the UK, London in particular, most Australian residents like to buy rather than rent. The buildings on Melbourne’s skyline are mainly office spaces, with residential buildings being much smaller and further out of the city centre. 

    Among expats living in Melbourne, renting property is a much more popular choice. However, many properties available for lease will require furnishing as they typically come lacking basic kitchen appliances such as fridges. Look out for properties listed as “fully-furnished”, as these will come with everything you need included, but they will rarely be available for long term leases. And like the UK, expat housing is unlikely to have air conditioning but central heating is common. 

    If you are looking for accommodation for a short term stay, Punthill Apartment Hotels or Mantra hotels are both good resources for the Melbourne area. For more details on renting in Australia, visit our guide on buying or renting in Australia.

    Renting will become even more difficult if you want to bring a pet with you. Animals are not included on a standard lease and many landlords will refuse pets whilst renters are living on their premises. If you are looking to relocate with a pet to Australia, this can be a long and complex process. You will require an import permit for the animal, which includes a health permit, as well as vaccinations and microchipping before entry. When in the country, pets are usually required to quarantine for up to 120 days. It may also be required for your dog or cat to be neutered as mandated by municipal law.

    Expat accommodation

    For expatriates, there are many places in and near Melbourne that are ideal. For beachside residences, look no further than Beaumaris and Black Rock. With great local facilities and primary schools, these communities are great for families with younger children. While they are a 40-minute trip by car south of the city centre, Brighton is just a 20-minute car ride away and is one of the most desirable expat locations. With great nearby shopping facilities, major private schools in the area, and secluded gardens, Brighton is also one of the most expensive areas to live.

    For a living experience closer to the city, areas such as Albert Park, Carlton and East Melbourne are ideal for couples or singles of any age. With sophisticatedly renovated apartment buildings and houses, these communities offer a modern atmosphere. Despite being within a 3-mile radius of the city centre, the beach is often within walking distance. While parking is difficult, public transport connections are excellent.

    Melbourne, people sitting in the park

    Getting around

    Melbourne is proud to be one of the last Australian cities to maintain use of the tram, providing pollution-free transport to the city centre as well as to the suburbs. Alongside the tram, railway and bus services provided by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) are also available from the city centre into the surrounding areas. 

    Outside of public transport, a popular and green way to travel is by bicycle. Melbourne has over 100km of bicycle paths to get around the city safely whilst staying healthy. Driving in the city can be difficult. With one of the highest car per capita statistics in the world, traffic and congestion can become a problem in the city centre. It can be difficult to make big decisions about international relocation like whether to take your car, but our International Moving Guide can help ensure you’ve thought of everything.

    Are there good schools?

    In and around Melbourne there are a range of great primary, secondary and private schools. The city also offers various options for international students, such as St Leonard’s College. To find the best schools for children of any age, visit the Australian Schools Directory.

    Social life

    As well as enjoying the nearby bay and the sheltered beaches it has to offer, there is no shortage of things to do when living in Melbourne. From bars and pubs to cafes and breakfast buffets, you are sure to discover a huge variety of cuisines and styles to suit your tastes. For inspiration, discover Melbourne’s lesser-known restaurants at hidden city secrets

    Food and drink aside, Melbourne is known for its love of all things sports. If you have a passion for any sport, you are sure to find a community of people ready to join if you relocate to Melbourne. Even if you just enjoy keeping fit, there are many popular jogging routes, with the Tan offering stunning views of the botanical gardens. 

    This is not limited to playing sports – watching sports is just as important. Watching Australian football, cricket, tennis and more is also a huge part of the culture and social life in Melbourne.

    Melbourne Public Transport Victoria Tram

    Halal Food in Melbourne

    Have you recently moved to Melbourne and find yourself looking for Halal Food spots and guidance? Major fast-food chains are Halal – including KFC, Hungry Jacks (Burger King for Brits and Americans), Dominos & Subway. Most Australian hospitals also have Halal food services, making Melbourne an accommodating area for all dietary needs.

    Dating in Melbourne

    Dating in a new country can be daunting. If you’re a single expat moving to Melbourne, you might be wondering how to date a local, how to strike up a conversation and where to meet people. Australians are friendly and welcoming people, so you should quickly find a circle of friends or acquaintances who can introduce you around. Enjoying various activities or joining clubs in the city is also a great way to meet people in Melbourne, but there are also plenty of dating sites and apps you can try. Bumble, Hinge and Tinder are some of the most popular options. 

    You can find out more about dating and living as a single person abroad in our blog: Five Essential Tips for Single People Moving Abroad.

    Interested in information on another country? Take a look at our other International Relocation guides.

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