Looking to emigrate to Australia but not sure which city to make your home? We’ll give you a rundown of the best places to live Down Under to help you make that decision.
Are you outgrowing or getting bored with the area you currently live in? Do you want to move to a new location but are struggling to choose from the dozens of possible suburbs? There are many things to take into account before making a decision, such as the suitability of the lifestyle, the proximity of shopping and entertainment options, and the ease of travelling around.
Melbourne is Australia’s most liveable city and the world’s second most liveable place behind Vienna in Austria. So it is no surprise that experts rank Melbourne so highly when you consider the combination of what it offers residents.
Yes, the winter weather can get cold – just as the summer temperatures can send the mercury rocketing. But it is the cosmopolitan vibe of the city, endless attractions and stunning scenery that act as a magnet to draw people to Melbourne.
The report combines data from the ABS location database that ranks suburbs based on several factors, including proximity to the beach or a river, schools, and parks, plus transit times to the nearest CBD. Melbourne’s bayside inner suburbs feature heavily in the report, with St Kilda West followed by sought after suburbs Albert Park, Port Melbourne and Seaholme.
With its famously sunny climate and laid back culture, is it any wonder that moving to Australia is a popular choice among ex-pats? As a result, the ex-pat population Down Under is growing across all states and age groups, from young globetrotters to mature retirees.
Airfares are getting cheaper and the growth in communication technologies, such as Skype, mean moving across the world to Australia is no longer such a daunting prospect. It’s now possible to have that new life in the sun and stay in close contact with family back home.
Love the idea of living the Aussie dream but no idea where to live in Australia? No worries. We’ve put together a list of seven great destinations for ex-pats, based on factors such as the cost of living, the availability of schools and universities, employment opportunities and things to do. Check out which places made our list below!
St Kilda West
With the beach on its doorstep and a short commute to Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) – 29 minutes by public transport or 18 minutes by car – it’s no surprise that St Kilda West has topped the list of Melbourne’s best lifestyle suburbs.
One of Melbourne’s most popular beachside suburbs, St Kilda offers the perfect blend of beach, parks, restaurants and bars and schooling. Located five kilometres from the CBD, it provides an ideal location for family life or for trendy singles who enjoy a good nightlife vibe. St Kilda isn’t cheap, though, with the average house price topping $2 million AUD in St Kilda West.
St Kilda is the perfect suburb to live in for people who love being close to the beach and want to be surrounded by a thriving culture consisting of cafés, live music, cinema and festivals. Located 6km southeast of the CBD, the suburb currently boasts a population of over 20,000 and is within walking distance of a number of popular attractions. This includes the historic Luna Park with its carnival rides, the Palais Theatre, where live music is regularly performed, and the Art-Deco styled Astor Theatre hosts film festivals and private functions.
Public transport operates through the main arteries of Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. The houses to rent and houses to buy in St Kilda consist of an eclectic mix of residential styles, including palatial mansions, grand terraces and modern apartments. The St Kilda beach attracts large numbers of water sport enthusiasts all year round. The suburb also hosts one of the largest free festivals in Australia, featuring street performances, community activities, market stalls, and much more. There are additionally numerous parks and gardens for those who love nature and open spaces.
The small beachside suburb offers all residents walking distance to parks and schools, sufficient public transport options and cycling lanes, and is flanked by vibrant St Kilda, quaint Middle Park, and Albert Park Lake. With the median house price of $2,177,500, it will cost you a pretty penny to buy in St Kilda West. However, apartments remain more affordable, with the median price for units $575,000.
Albert Park is located three kilometres south of Melbourne’s CBD – a 17-minute drive to the city centre or a 24-minute commute using public transport. The area is characterised by Victorian-era architecture and is also home to the historically significant St Vincent Place Precinct: the premier ‘square’ development in Victoria based on similar models in London and featuring Victorian terraces from the 1860s and 1870s surrounding a shared park.
Schools are located near 73% of Albert Park residents, and parks are within easy reach for 87% of residents. The median house price is $2,150,000.
Port Melbourne has come a long way from the working-class history, with brand new apartments in sleek multi-storey buildings and converted warehouses – the median house price for units is $755,000. Heritage charm hasn’t disappeared, though, with Victorian terraces and workers cottages lining the suburbs older streets – the median house price is $1,510,000.
Once home to the working classes, Port Melbourne has been rejuvenated with warehouses converted and new apartment blocks erected. As a result, it has a certain charm with a combination of the old and the new. House prices average at AUD 1.5 million, with apartments around half that price. Just five kilometres from the CBD, it is a perfect commuter suburb.
Located five kilometres from Melbourne’s centre, it will take you 17 minutes to drive to the CBD or 25 minutes using public transport. In Port Melbourne, 100% of residents have parklands within close proximity, and 51% of residents have education facilities nearby.
Bayside suburb Seaholme is located 13 kilometres southwest of Melbourne’s CBD – a short 28-minute drive from the city centre or 37-minute commute using public transport. An enclave of the larger suburb of Altona, Seaholme’s small geographic area means 58% of residents have education facilities close by, and 99% of homes are within close proximity to local parks.
Seaholme is one of the most affordable suburbs, with the bayside location having an average house price of $1.1 million AUD. Expect to choose from a combination of 1950s architecture and newer constructions. Bordering another suburb in Altona, Seaholme is 13 kilometres outside of the CBD in southwest Melbourne and feels a world away from the city without actually being too far to commute.
Houses are the primary dwelling type in the suburb, and you’ll find a variety of heritage-style architecture, 1950s brick, and new builds. The median house price in Seaholme is $1,105,000.
Spotswood is another impressive inner-city suburb located seven kilometres to the west of the CBD. One of the big attractions is the proximity to the beach at Port Phillip Bay. With a median house of around $1 million AUD, it ticks the box of being one of the most affordable suburbs.
Elwood offers every you could want from a Melbourne suburb, but with a village-like feel. It will set you back an average price of AUD 1.7 million to live in Elwood, eight kilometres to the south of Melbourne. What you get is a relatively easy commute coupled with a beach vibe.
Williamstown has developed into an incredibly popular suburb on the beach, with the old seaport offering a choice between history and modern-day living. Situated southwest of Melbourne, nine kilometres from the CBD, you will feel a million miles away from the city without actually being so. Average house prices are close to AUD 1.5 million.
Originally Melbourne’s first seaport, Williamstown has developed into a popular beachside suburb with heritage charm, period-style homes and modern properties. The median house price is $1,497,000, while the median price for a unit is $580,000.
Located nine kilometres southwest of the CBD, Williamstown is a 28-minute drive to the city centre or a 41-minute commute using public transport. 99% of Williamstown residents have parklands within walking distance of their homes, and 63% are located near education facilities.
One number on inner-city suburbs that could have made a list, Richmond edges out Carlton and Fitzroy, among others. Ideally located a short hop from the CBD, Richmond combines terraced streets with converted warehouses and new apartments. It is home to Melbourne’s entertainment precinct, including the MCG, Melbourne Park, AAMI Park and Holden Park. The average house price stands at AUD 1.3 million.
Richmond is one of the best suburbs to live in Melbourne for people who want to be close but not too close to the CBD. A current population of 26,000 people have no shortage of shopping, food & drink, entertainment, art and culture to soak up along Victoria Street, Bridge Road and Swan Street. The area is suitable for students, family units, and other groups who are looking for security without sacrificing their lifestyle. Houses to rent and houses to buy include residential styles from most periods, including Victorian-era terrace houses and modern apartments. Nature lovers can enjoy excellent tree cover as well as open environment spaces such as Burnley Park and Richmond Oval. The suburb is also served by several tram lines, making travelling and moving around the suburb easy.
Yarraville offers a real cosmopolitan vibe – as well as an attractive average house price of AUD 1 million. Home to a large Greek community, the suburb is an ideal commute location, eight kilometres to the west of the CBD. Yarraville is known for coffee shops, an eclectic array of restaurants, and Melbourne’s professional and arty types.
Adjacent to the Melbourne CBD, Carlton is a suburb that ranks high in terms of culture. Lygon Street, also known as the ‘Italian Precinct’, is the birthplace of the café culture in Melbourne and has dozens of restaurants lining both its sides. In addition, the Readings Bookstore, Cinema Nova, Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum are all within walking distance for people who want to expand their knowledge and marvel at historically significant buildings.
Carlton also ranks highly with public transport, with trams running along Swanston Street through to Carlton North. Excellent health services are also available at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Royal Dental Hospital, both of which are located within close proximity to each other. The population of 18,000 people includes a high concentration of students living in apartments, many of whom attend the nearby RMIT University or University of Melbourne campuses.
Brunswick is one of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne and has become a hub for young art creators and enthusiasts of all kinds. The area has a large student population who attend nearby secondary and tertiary schools. Known for its bohemian culture and exciting live music scenes, Brunswick also has a reputation for being home to some of the most popular shopping and dining destinations. The suburb scores exceptionally well for its high walkability and is among the best areas in terms of public transport. People who value the environment and enjoy spending time surrounded by nature also have access to a number of open recreational areas on its western border, including Brunswick Park.
Located 3km northeast of the Central Business District, Fitzroy is one of Melbourne’s most densely populated areas, with over 10,000 people spread across just 100 hectares. The suburb has earned a reputation for its bohemian culture, live music performances and art exhibits. As a result, artists gravitate towards the plethora of art studios, commercial art galleries and street art exhibitions.
Fitzroy is serviced by three tram lines and rates highly in terms of walkability. A large number of pubs and cafés are at your fingertips, giving locals no shortage of options for food & drink. Brunswick Street also has dozens of shopping and entertainment options. There’s also a diverse range of houses to rent and buy, including Victorian-era terraced housing and modern apartments.
South Melbourne is one of the oldest suburban areas in Melbourne, known for its Victorian-era streetscapes. It has a population of just under 11,000 people and is within walking distance of a number of retailers, art galleries, food & drink establishments and more along Clarendon Street and at the South Melbourne Market. The suburb also offers excellent tram access, with four routes travelling through it.
East Melbourne ranks highly in most liveability factors, making it one of Melbourne’s best suburbs to live in. An impressive number of cafés and cultural activities are located in the area, in addition to some of the most impressive gardens in Melbourne. This includes Fitzroy Gardens, Treasury Gardens and the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, encompassing three parks. Several major tramlines and train stations also serve East Melbourne.
South Melbourne is one of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, located just two kilometres from the CBD and within easy reach of both the beach and the Yarra River. The suburb is characterised by Victorian architecture and high-rise apartments, tree-lined streets and cobbled bluestone laneways, and the median house price is $1,600,000 while the median unit price is $600,000.
South Melbourne residents have a very short 11-minute drive or 15-minute commute to the city centre by public transport. All properties in South Melbourne are located within walking distance to a park, and 48% are near education facilities.