Moving to Melbourne: A Local’s Guide Packed with Insider Advice (You’re Welcome)

Considering moving to Melbourne? TAXIBOX can get you there.

So, you’re thinking about moving to Melbourne: Australia’s cultural capital. Good food, good footy, good art, good coffee. What more could you want? To wake up in Melbourne with all your stuff, moved in, without having to strain a single muscle? Okay, that’s a tall order… but we’ll see what we can do. 

Before you start packing everything up and planning your interstate move (we’ll get to that later), let’s get you familiar with Melbourne first. Here’s our insider’s guide to Melbourne and all its quirks.

Why Move to Melbourne?

Considering moving to Melbourne? Was it the 5-star food that sold you? Or was it the seagulls watching the game at the MCG? Oh, say no more: it was the 4 seasons in one day. It has to be.

Jokes aside, Melbourne has a lot to offer. What Melbourne lacks in sunshine, it makes up for elsewhere:

  • Eat more food: It’s a city known for eating good food (and drinking good cocktails, while you’re at it). If you want to treat your tastebuds on the reg, move to the city with all the best restaurants, a tram ride away.
  • Wear all black: If you’ve always wanted an excuse to wear all black everything, Melbourne’s weather is the perfect excuse for it. It rains a lot, but the sunshine every few hours like clockwork makes up for it. Plus, you’ll fit in with the arts and culture scene, that treat all black as their uniform.
  • Spend less time in your car: Looking for somewhere that’s easy to get around? Melbourne isn’t just walking-friendly and cycling-friendly, its trams are friendly too.
Keen on Melbourne yet?

Looks like the city has some charm. Let’s book your TAXIBOX and move already.

Choose Your Fighter Suburb

You’re moving to a new city, you don’t know your way around yet. You can’t just close your eyes, pick a suburb at random and hope for the best. Take a look around the areas that interest you before you start planning your move. You don’t want to haul all your stuff to your new place only to realise your destination was the wrong choice.

Like most cities, the suburbs of Melbourne are dependent on the river that runs through it. As a quick rundown, the South Eastern suburbs or ‘Bayside’ region is fancy pants with beach views and big houses, while the north is known for its more grungy, artsy crowd. Areas West of the CBD are rapidly on the rise, while Eastern Melbourne suburbs are a little leafier and sleepier.

If you’re looking for affordabilityMelbourne’s not exactly a cheap place to live, but it’s definitely not as expensive as Sydney, so if you’re after a city life without spending millions (you might still have to spend million, singular, that’s the Australian housing market for you), Melbourne’s not a bad choice. If you’re renting, try suburbs like Bundoora, Box Hill North and Brunswick West. There are a lot of great options for renters. Try Preston, Yarraville, Frankston, and surrounding suburbs for a realistic mortgage. 

If you’re looking for somewhere family-friendly… Melbourne has you covered. It’s easy to find a home with plenty of space for your growing family, without sacrificing the convenience of being nearby the city. Try areas like Coburg, Diggers Rest, or Ferntree Gully. 

If you go out a lot… one of the best things about Melbourne is that there’s nightlife all around you, even if you veer out of the CBD a little. Fitzroy, South Yarra Brunswick, North Melbourne, Richmond. The list is endless.

Write Up a Bit of a Budget

If you’re looking for city living at a slightly more affordable price than Sydney (sorry Sydney, but it’s true), moving to Melbourne is a good choice. While it’s still on the pricey side if you’re looking to buy a home, the general cost of day-to-day living is a lot more affordable than Sydney, all things considered.

Things to include in your budget:

  • Rent: on average a 1-bedroom apartment in Melbourne’s inner-city $1400 a month. 3-bedroom places in nearby suburbs go for around $3200 a month, but it really depends on where you want to live in proximity to the CBD.
  • Food: lunch in the suburbs will set you back $15, or $20 in the inner-city
  • Average bills per month: what you currently pay is a good estimate
  • Transport: Melbourne uses Myki for train, tram and bus services throughout Melbourne, as well as some regional travel. How much you spend on public transport really depends on how often you commute, although it’s worth keeping in mind you get a discount when travelling in off-peak periods. If you’re planning to drive around Melbourne, don’t forget that the CBD isn’t really designed for driving (if you need to, though, you can park in a CBD parking lot for around $10 a day).
  • Treating yourself: really depends on how you like to treat yourself (just keep in mind that Melbourne has a lot of tempting local shopping)

Interested in finding out how much moving to Melbourne is going to set you back? Get an instant quote for your interstate move with TAXIBOX on our website, and incorporate it into your budget.

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Make Sure You Do the Must-Dos


Moving to Melbourne budgets and suburbs sorted. Now let’s get onto the fun stuff. Find out if Melbourne is really the city for you. A little playing-tourist-for-the-day never hurt anyone.

  • Wander around the NGV. It’s the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia. If you’re going to visit a gallery, this is the one (in the city that’s known for its art, it’s a given. Plus the building is pretty too). 
  • Watch a game at the MCG. We promise not every must-do in Melbourne falls under a three letter acronym. If sport is what you chased Melbourne down for, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is where to watch balls fly through the air. 
  • Relax at the Peninsula Hot Springs. It’s a little further away than your normal Melbourne tourism, which is exactly why it’s worth the drive. 

Eat At All the Must-Eat Restaurants

Melbourne’s known for its food. If you’ve always wanted an excuse to eat your way down Swanston St, now’s your time to shine.

  • Try the croissants at Lune. People all over Melbourne line up for hours for these croissants for a reason (really, they’re very good croissants). 
  • Dress up for Gimlet. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to elevated dining in Melbourne, so try to narrow down your search a little. Choose a restaurant that’s up and coming and Melbourne and it will be sure to deliver (Gimlet has been all the rave lately).
  • Eat everything they have to offer at A1. Melbourne’s original Lebanese bakery. Cheap eats that are rich on flavour. When we say cheap, we mean really cheap — like $3 a lamb pizza or cheese triangle cheap.

If you’re after the coffee everyone raves about, don’t follow your instincts and head straight to Degraves St. It might be the birthplace of espresso in Australia, but for the quintessential Melbourne coffee experience, head to Proud Mary, Auction Rooms, or Top Paddock.

Do What the Locals Do

Locals are the experts (hence why this is an insider’s guide). Don’t forget to put the tourist-y stuff aside for a little while on your trip to Melbourne, and do what the locals do.

  • Spot Salvatore the Seal. Does the river that runs through your current city have a resident seal? Thought not.
  • Wander through the Botanical gardens. Every city has a botanical gardens to claim, but Melbourne’s is particularly note worthy. 
  • Make a day of it at the markets. Melbourne’s known for its food, and that goes hand in hand with the fresh produce markets. You have plenty to pick from (we suggest the Queen Victoria markets, or the local markets in Prahran, Preston, or South Melbourne).

Dodge the Tourist Traps

All true Sydney locals don’t only know where to go, they know where to avoid too:

  • St. Kilda, the beach is fine but not worth writing home about, drive a bit further down for better beach options
  • Southbank and Docklands, unless you’re in Melbourne on business
  • Parking in the CBD (the city is designed for trams, not cars. Just get the tram in)

Honourable mention: steer away from Montague Street Bridge if you’re driving a truck (but if you get a TAXIBOX, you won’t have to worry about this one).

Ready to Move to Melbourne? Let’s Get You There

Moving interstate can be rough, but it’s all worth it for a city as charming as Melbourne. Besides, moving interstate isn’t so bad if you go with TAXIBOX. We can move all your stuff for you, without all the hassle. Stick your life into a TAXIBOX and ship it straight to your new address. Easy as that.

The best part about moving with TAXIBOX? You can store your stuff in-between moves, so if you have time to kill in-between your move-out and move-in, you can keep your stuff with us. We’ll keep your belongings safe in our facility while you explore your new city. Send us a postcard and we’ll send your stuff to you, once you’re ready to move into your new Melbourne digs.

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