Moving to Melbourne: 5 things you need to know
So, you’re moving to Melbourne. Great! As the capital of the Victoria region, it is an international, cosmopolitan city known for its culture, sports and coffee. It’s frequently voted as one of the best places to live all over the world.
The only question is…what next? Moving to a new city can be daunting, so here’s 5 essential steps to get you started.
Where to live
There’s so much choice of accommodation in Melbourne that it’s hard to know where to look. That’s where Room in the Moon can help!
Docklands: Melbourne Docklands is a suburb just to the west of the city centre. It has been heavily regenerated in recent years and offers excellent transport links into the city centre. Most accommodation here is in apartments, some offering spectacular views of the Yarra river.
Albert Park: Just south of the city centre, Albert Park is one of Melbourne’s most expensive suburbs. It is home to the Australian Grand Prix and located near Melbourne Park, with lots of green space and the Yarra River nearby. Most affordable accommodation is in terraced houses.
Fitzroy: Fitzroy, found 2km to the north east of the centre of Melbourne, is a very popular area for young people to live, especially those in the cultural and creative industries, with lots of bars and cafes offering a great social scene.
St. Kilda: South of the city centre near Melbourne’s main beach, St. Kilda is one of the city’s busier suburbs at night, containing a lot of bars that are popular with backpackers and local residents. You can get a direct tram to and from the city centre.
South Yarra: South Yarra is considered one of the best parts of Melbourne to live in due to its restaurants and cafe culture.
Footscray: Footscray is a suburb west of the city centre home to a lot of immigrant communities, particularly from Vietnam and East Africa. It is a popular shopping destination, with one of the largest markets in Australia.
Richmond: Richmond is a busy area with a lot of industry as well as accommodation, that has developed in recent years. It is a short tram or train ride or a thirty minute walk from the city centre.
Where to work
Melbourne is a popular tourist destination with a thriving hospitality sector that employs people from all over the world. People from Melbourne are extremely proud of their city’s coffee, rating it as the best in the world, so it’s the perfect place to come if you’re a barista, with coffee shops all over the city. There is also a huge demand for chefs, with a large variety of restaurants reflecting the city’s diversity.
The city also has a large cultural industry, with a lot of opportunities in media, communications and the arts. A weekly artist’s market near the Queen Victoria market is a chance for locals to discover and purchase new arts and crafts.
You will find lots of adverts on websites targeting backpackers and new residents from overseas, some of which will not be clear about what they involve. Avoid jobs such as door-to-door sales that promise large commission but no hourly wage.
How to get around
The main rail station providing connections to areas around Melbourne is Flinders Street, in the south of the city centre by the river.
The quickest and easiest way to get around the city centre and the local area is via tram. Trams run on several main streets throughout the city centre and provide connections to surrounding areas including Richmond and St. Kilda. You can find a full map of Melbourne’s tram network here.
To use trains, trams and buses within Melbourne, you’ll need a Myki Card. This is a pay-as-you-go system that you top it up with money before you travel and scan it at the train station on the tram at the beginning and end of your journey. You can purchase a Myki card at major rail stations and in any 7-Eleven store, of which there are hundreds throughout Melbourne.
Melbourne also offers a bike rental scheme in the city centre. However, it is a legal requirement to wear a cycle helmet while riding a bicycle. You can purchase helmets for 5$ at any 7-Eleven store.
What to see as soon as you arrive
Even if you’re not a big fan of sports, Melbourne’s network of sporting arenas is a spectacular sight. Melbourne Park, home to the Australian Open tennis tournament held every January, is right next to the world’s largest cricket ground, the MCG, and the unique AAAMI Park rugby stadium. A walk or a cycle around these huge stadiums offers great views on a summer’s day.
To explore the city further, head to the visitor centre in Federation Square for more information, or get on the free city circle tram to see all of the main sights – just be aware that if you use this service during rush hour, it’ll be extremely busy.
If you’ve just arrived in Australia, you’ll probably want to see the beach. You can get a Myki card from any 7-Eleven store then use this to take the tram to St. Kilda, where you’ll also find a theme park and some of Melbourne’s most popular bars.
How to spend your free time
Ask anyone from Melbourne where the best places are to go out during the day or at night and they’ll tell you the same thing – just go out and explore. There are hundreds of little alleyways and small streets off the main roads throughout the city where you’ll find bars, restaurants, markets and cafés for every taste. For bigger bars and pubs, Brunswick and St. Kilda are the most popular destination.