Melbourne is the coastal capital of Victoria, Australia. This beautiful city happens to be the second largest city in Australia, and has been routinely named amongst the top one or two most liveable cities in the world by The Economist magazine. When you move to Melbourne, you’ll be strolling along the Esplanade and experiencing Melbourne’s 15 suburban districts. Each has its own unique pull and charm that is bound to captivate you.
Read more: Visit our Covid-19 Update – Going to Australia page for the latest news about moving or travelling there during the pandemic.
In this guide, you will learn about Melbourne’s:
Melbourne has been described as having four seasons in one day so remember to plan your days with information on the weather!
Summer (December – February)
– 14°C – 25.3°C
– Dry months with occasional hot spells lasting more than three days
– January and February are the hottest months with temperatures soaring past 30°C
Autumn (March – May)
– 10.9°C – 20.3°C
– Morning fogs and light winds on some days
Winter (June – August)
– 6.5°C – 14.2°C
– Snow falls in north-east of Victoria
– Cold and cloudy
– Frosts at night
Spring (September – November)
– 9.6°C – 19.6°C
– Sudden changes in weather from sunny to windy to cold
– Highest rainfall in October
Cost of Living
Melbourne is cheaper than Sydney and has a cost of living index of 73.80. For a four-person family in Melbourne, the monthly expenses is estimated at A$4,744.30 (excluding rent, as of May 2021). Take a look at these two websites for a comparison of daily expenses: here and here.
- The scenic views at Great Ocean Road
- Australia Open Tennis Tournament
- Artistically designed trams gliding along the streets
- The great barista and coffee culture in Melbourne
We’re Not a Fan of
- More roads getting congested during morning peak hours
- Huge skyscrapers shadowing the city
- Bridal party photo-taking nearly everywhere
Median House Price (as of April 2021): A$1,004,500
The post-lockdown resulted in spike in property prices, so when compared to other cities, finding a home in Melbourne may be pretty pricey for now. However, there are still some suburbs in Melbourne with affordable housing below (as of May 2021):
- Kurunjang (A$442,500, as of May 2021)
- Melton South (A$435,000, as of May 2021)
- Melton West (A$480,000, as of May 2021)
- Wyndham Vale (A$505,000, as of May 2021)
These are by far the most affordable suburbs. They are all beautiful locations and are layered with the best amenities.
From the moment you move to Australia on a permanent basis you are liable for tax. You will also be a fiscal resident if you preside in the country for more than six months, holding the same job and lived at the same address over that period.
The tax rates for Australian residents in Melbourne are as follows:
- A$0 to A$18,200 — NIL
- A$18,201 – A$37,000 — 19c for each A$1 over A$18,200
- A$37,001 – A$90,000 — A$3,572 plus 32.5c for each A$1 over A$37,000
- A$90,001 – A$180,000 — A$20,797 plus 37c for each A$1 over A$90,000
- A$180,001 and over — A$54,097 plus 45c for each A$1 over A$180,000
An energetic city with its own rustic charm, Melbourne offers a unique blend of neighbourhoods just for you. From the high end South Yarra to a hip Fitzroy, or a more laid-back docklands, your next perfect house could just be a step away!
Average Rental: A$1,887 per month
The cost of renting a fully-furnished apartment (900 sqft) in an average neighbourhood is A$1,887 a month. In pricier neighbourhoods, the rent could go upwards of A$2,562. This excludes utilities like electricity, gas and water, which cost around A$200. If you need help cleaning your house, cleaners can be hired at around A$30 an hour. However, if you’re looking to buy a house, then that’s a whole different ball game.
Utilities + Connectivity
Average Utilities Bill: A$200 – 250 per month
Average Internet Bill: A$60 – 80 per month
Average Mobile Phone Bill: A$50 – 80 per month
Mobile service providers we recommend:
Internet service providers we recommend:
Job opportunities are aplenty in Melbourne, with over 90 percent of Melbourne’s population employed. If you are searching for a job in Melbourne for the first time, here are some tips that might be helpful.
Average Salary: A$71,000 (as of May 2021)
Top Industries: IT Services, Retail, Financial Services
Employment is one of the most important thing to take note of when relocating to a new city. Melbourne has many job opportunities, regardless of the type you are interested in. Recent statistics show that over 93.2 percent of Melbourne’s population is employed. 58.0 percent of employees work a full-time job, while 33.5 percent works part-time.
To stand a better chance, do look out for networking opportunities with companies that you are interested in, check out some of the online job portals or professional and trade associations.
Having a work permit in Melbourne is vital. Every foreigner, except for those moving from New Zealand, will need a work permit. A work permit/visa will give you the freedom to work legally without hassle. The process involves the following:
- Finding an employer to nominate you – To get a working visa, you will need an employer to submit a nomination form on your behalf.
- Visa application – This process involves filling out a lot of forms correctly without error. Do take your time when filling up the paperwork.
- Visa appointment – You will get called for an appointment, after which, you will be informed if it was accepted or not.
- You can then apply for a professional visa to live and work for up to four years
Professional and Trade Associations
Being a part of the trade and professional associations has its advantages, one of which is, providing networking programmes. These corporations look out for the well being of their members, and thus, can help with employment. Some of these associations advertise jobs that might not be on newspapers or job seeker websites.
Australian American Association of Victoria
Australian American Chamber of Commerce
Australian British Chamber of Commerce
Australia China Business Council (ACBC)
Australia India Business Council (AIBC)
Australia-Malaysia Business Council
Public Transport System
Average Public Transportation Cost: A$155 (as of May 2021)
Melbourne has a great network of trains, trams and buses. The public transport system is the easiest way to get around the city. All you need is a myki card and you are good to go! In addition, the city’s Free Tram Zone in the central business district makes it easier and cheaper for commuters to move around.
For more information on getting around, visit Public Transport Victoria.
According to Mercer’s 2020 Cost of Living survey, Melbourne is ranked as the 99th most expensive city in the world, and the 2nd most expensive city in Australia, after Sydney.
For those who move to Melbourne, getting a driving license is super easy, as long as you follow these steps. The first thing to check is to see if you are qualified to apply for a driver’s license. To transfer an interstate license, you would need to make an appointment with VicRoads. The license will be converted over a period of 3 months.
Booking An Appointment
You can easily book an appointment by visiting any VicRoads customer service center. You do not need any documents to book an appointment.
Here’s what you should bring on the day of your appointment:
- Evidence of identity (current interstate license)
- Proof of a new address, that is, any document that shows your new address. It could be utility bills, your rental agreement, or an updated bank statement
- A secondary form of identification, like an ATM card
- Your current overseas license written in English. If you have it in another language, then you will need to get it translated into English
- A letter of confirmation. This is necessary if your current overseas license is currently unavailable, you should get a letter with a formal letterhead to confirm your story. This letter could be written by your issuing country’s driver license authority
- A completed license permit application form
- Payment of necessary fees. A new driver’s license usually costs around A$80
Once all of this is verified, you will be issued a temporary form of license, until your plastic license is ready.
Banks in Melbourne
Home to more than a quarter of Australia’s financial services companies, Melbourne has many local and international finanical service providers. The four major banks in Melbourne are:
Most Melbourne banks charge fees for:
- Maintaining bank accounts
- Credit and debit cards
- Internet banking is popular for transferring money, paying bills and viewing statements. Many Melbournians also use Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to withdraw cash and make deposits
Check the complete listing of banks in Melbourne here.
Medicare gives eligible users access to free medicine and cheaper access to health care. You can get Medicare if you are a legal citizen, have applied for a permanent resident visa, or are visiting from a country with similar medical arrangements. These countries include New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Italy.
Medicare is also open to those with a visiting visa from these countries for 6 months. Unfortunately, it does not apply to student visas as students have to apply for overseas student health coverage.
Applying for a Medicare card is easy and straightforward. You simply have to:
- Fill out the Medicare application form
- Print out the form, and with the requested medical documents, visit a Medicare Service Center
- Once you have been approved, you will be given a Medicare card that you can show during your visit the doctor
This way, you have a discount with every visit to the doctor, plus, you can decide to visit a Bulk Billed doctor. Bulk billed doctors are already paid by Medicare, so you will not need to spend more money.
There are also services for mother and child support, which involves educating new moms on child health. You will be well informed on everything regarding the proper growth, nutrition and health of your baby. This is to ensure that you and your baby are in good health.
Melbourne has a comprehensive range of world-class health and wellbeing services to help you live a healthy lifestyle.
By and large, Australia has a great healthcare system that caters to the needs of everyone. In Victoria, the emergency number is 000. Paramedics, police and fire brigade may be reached at this number.
Medicare gives eligible users access to free medicine and cheaper access to healthcare. You can get Medicare if you are a legal citizen, have applied for a permanent resident visa, or are visiting from a country with similar medical arrangements. These countries include New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Italy.
Medicare is also open to those with a visiting visa from these countries for 6 months. Unfortunately, it does not apply to student visas as students have to apply for overseas student health coverage. Applying for a Medicare card is easy and straightforward. You simply have to fill out the Medicare application form and submit the relevant medical documents at the Medicare Service Centre.
Well-regarded public hospitals include:
Compulsory Private Healthcare For Expats
There is a minimum level of private medical insurance you are required to be covered by if you wish to be granted a visa. This is if you are not eligible for Medicare.
Even if you are from a country with a RHCA with Australia, you might still need health insurance to qualify for your visa especially if you can only enrol in Medicare after you enter Australia.
Healthcare Services Available
|Primary health care||Primary health professionals such as general practitioners (GPs), dentists, pharmacists and allied services are available for non-emergency and preventative care during business hours.|
|Hospitals||More than 200 public and private hospitals are located across Melbourne and regional Victoria for in-patient hospital care and follow-up outpatient services.|
|Pregnancy and birthing services||Pregnancy and birthing services include care during pregnancy (antenatal care). Labour and birth are usually overseen by GPs, midwives and obstetricians – or a combination of these.|
|Emergency services||Emergency, crisis and support services are available at all times and in all locations. Call 000 in an emergency for fire, ambulance and police services.|
|Aged care providers||A wide range of aged care providers offer services such as home support and respite care services (which can help you to stay at home longer), and residential aged care.|
|Mental health||A range of mental health care professionals and associated services are available throughout Victoria.|
|Family support services||Family support services are available, from maternal and child health services to early parenting centres, family intervention centres and community-based organisations.|
|Counselling||Counsellors and health professionals are accessible and offer alcohol, drug and gambling-related services.|
The Melbourne education system was given a perfect score from the Economists Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey 2018. It also ranks third in the QS Best Student’s Cities’ rankings 2018.
Kindergarten and pre-school in Melbourne last for up to 2 years, leading up to primary school. This is not mandatory for children, but is a good place to get an early start in your kids’ education.
Public School Systems
Primary school and high school are compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15.
The majority of Australian and a significant number of expats send their children to public schools. You might need to pay a fixed tuition fee based on the state or territory that you are in, depending on your visa. The school that you can send your children to depends on your catchment zone. As such, many expat parents choose accommodation based on the quality of nearby schools. Do take note that you may be required to provide proof of residency before your child can enrol into most schools.
For a comprehensive list of top public high schools in Melbourne, visit bettereducation.com.au.
Private School System
Some states charge a levy to expats holding onto a temporary visa. This can be so high that private schools becomes the more affordable option. Similarly, you may refer to the list of top private high schools in Melbourne to make an informed decision on which school is best for your child.
In Years 11 and 12 of their high school, students in Melbourne complete the Victorian Certificate of Education or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning to graduate. The International Baccalaureate is also available for students keen on admission to universities overseas.
According to QS World University Rankings in 2021, 2 universities in Melbourne – The University of Melbourne (41) and Monash University (55) – are ranked among the World’s Top 100 Best Universities.
Food and Grocery
As you may already know, Australia is a highly diverse and culturally-oriented location. Melbourne is filled with multiple restaurants and cafes, so if you are a foodie, then you are in luck. It doesn’t matter what your preference is; they have it there. Healthy vegan meals, loads of junk food, desserts, drinks, all of it! There are so many different delicious meals and drinks that you must try once you arrive. Some of the top spots are Ricotta hotcakes at Top Paddock, Baller Bucket at Belle’s Hot Chicken and several others.
Major grocery brands like Woolworths and Coles are easily found in Melbourne. However, there is a huge variety of grocers for you to pick up what you’re looking for. Check out this top 30 best grocers in Melbourne as ranked by Airbnb.
Food + Culture
A city bustling with activities amidst a vibrant arts and culture scene, be sure to check out and immerse yourself in some of Melburnians’ favourite. To get you started, we recommend checking the latest happenings over at Time Out Melbourne.
Melbourne is filled with some of the best restaurants and cafes – the perfect paradise for foodies. Some of the top picks include ricotta hotcakes at Top Paddock and Baller Bucket at Belle’s Hot Chicken. You can also check out TimeOut Melbourne’s list of 50 best restaurants, or if you’re in for something less pricey, check out their list of 36 cheap eats in town!
Known as the sporting capital in Australia, Melbourne is home to major sporting events all year round, including the Australian Open Tennis tournament, Formula One Grand Prix and AFL Grand Finals. You know what they always say – don’t just watch it, be a part of the action – immerse yourself in the game and cheer on your favourite player/team!
For something more refined, Melbourne is also a sweet spot for those who love art and culture. There are many theatres and galleries for you to explore, such as the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Watch a ballet performance by the Australian Ballet or an orchestra by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. These companies conduct performances throughout the year, so you will be entertained all year round.
Melbourne is one of the safest cities in the world, where you can raise a family comfortably. There are low risks of pickpocketing, mugging, theft, shootings and killings. Melbourne ranks as the 10th safest cities in the world right now. Also, the security personnel are always on the lookout and willing to help out however they can. Living in Melbourne is pretty safe and secure.
All Things Melbourne
A city bustling with activities amidst a vibrant arts and culture scene, be sure to check out and immerse yourself in some of Melbournians’ favourite. To get you started, we recommend checking the latest happenings over at Time Out Melbourne.
Below are a few fun facts that you would love to know about this amazing location.
- The Melbourne tramway system used for transport is the 4th largest in the world (244 kilometre of tracks and 450 trams)
- Melbourne has a lot of foxes, with 6–23 foxes per square kilometre. What’s even more interesting is the fact that it is rare to see one. How ironic is that?!
- As recently as 2013, statistics show that a whopping 38 percent of Melbourne’s population were born overseas
- The Tramcar Colonial Restaurant is Melbourne’s most popular restaurant. Why? It takes you around the city circle route while you enjoy your meals
- A person who was born or lives in Melbourne is called a Melbournian
Dos and Don’ts
1. Do appreciate and enjoy the street art
2. Do absorb all the good vibes buzzing around Melbourne
3. Do take advantage of the exploding coffee culture
4. Do take part in one of the many cultural events and festivals
1. Don’t forget your umbrellas as the weather in Melbourne is unpredictable! It can change from sunny to rainy in the next moment!
2. Don’t trust the weather forecast
3. Don’t drive in the city during peak hours as the traffic is horrible
4. Don’t drink coffee from a coffee chain when you are in Melbourne
5. Don’t ignore the red and yellow flags while you are out in the ocean
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