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The complete guide for graduates moving to Melbourne

Jaymes Carr

Moving to Melbourne as a graduate offers exciting opportunities and a unique lifestyle. Make a smooth transition with our comprehensive guide for grads.

For seven straight years, from 2011 to 2017, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey has identified Melbourne, a city of 4,900,000 in the south-eastern state of Victoria, as the most liveable city in the world. The survey takes into account stability, healthcare, culture and environment, entertainment, tourism, sport, education and infrastructure—all of which are outstanding in Victoria’s capital.

Melbourne is one of the fifteen Global Financial Centres. The city is often informally referred to as the ‘culture capital’ of Australia in recognition of its various achievements: Melbourne was the site of the worlds first ever feature film (The Story of the Ned Kelly Gang) and the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian contemporary dance, and Australian film. Today, Melbourne remains a powerful force in global arts, finance, and culture, and is also well-known for its street art, local music scene, and cafe culture.

Pros and cons of living in Melbourne


Cafes for days

It’s basically impossible to find a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne, so it’s no surprise that several international publications have named it the cafe capital of the world. With more than 1,600 cafes and restaurants, and a new one opening every week, you’ll never need to go far in Melbourne for a terrific brunch or perfect espresso.

Melbourne hosts a range of major sporting events

Since hosting the Olympics in 1956, Melbourne has fiercely defended its reputation as the sporting capital of Australia. Today, it hosts several major international sporting events each year, including the Australian Open (a Grand Slam tennis tournament), the Melbourne Cup (the world’s richest two-mile horse race), the Australian Grand Prix (Formula One), and the Australian Masters (a major golf competition). Melbourne is also considered the Australian home of cricket and AFL, hosting both the annual AFL Grand Final and numerous cricket competitions.

There’s always plenty to do

As the cultural capital of Australia and a city with a bustling social scene, there’s never any shortage of things to do in Melbourne. Whether you’d like to enjoy a performance by a world-class local institution, like the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, or get involved with an annual event (for example, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival or the Melbourne Marathon), you won’t find it too hard to fill your schedule with exciting things to do.   

Extensive public transport

With 209 suburban train stations, numerous bus services, and the world’s largest tram network, the public transport system in Melbourne provides an affordable alternative to commuting via car within the CBD and surrounding suburbs. Of course, it’s not without problems, such as overcrowding on some lines due to the rapid growth of Melbourne’s population. However, recent and ongoing infrastructure projects, such as the 2018 completion of the Mernda rail extension promise to increase capacity and connect new areas of Melbourne to the public transport network.


The weather is great (until it’s freezing cold, or raining, or above 40°C)  

The climate of Melbourne is notoriously changeable (hence the classic Crowded House song ‘Four Seasons in One Day’). While winters are relatively mild (snow is rare and temperatures range from seven to fifteen degrees celsius), sudden cold fronts can cause heavy rain, sudden temperature drops, and severe weather, such as thunderstorms and hail. Summer averages a maximum temperature of 25°C but is punctuated by days of intense heat, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40°C.  

The high cost of living

In the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Melbourne ranked as the 58th most expensive city in the world. Not so bad, right? However, if you focus on specific expense categories, a clearer picture emerges of why Melbourne can be such a price