A Guide to Setting Up in Melbourne

Melbourne is such an exciting city but that doesn’t mean it’s going to open its arms to newcomers. Hopefully some of what I write will help you get a glimpse of what you need to take into account. If you’re not Australian, you’ll have to consider more than what I did such as currency, visas, bank accounts, etc.


This is probably the first thing you’ll want to have sorted, as not knowing where you’ll be living long-term will be the biggest hassle. I started off with an Airbnb for the first month while I went around looking at places through Flatemates.com.au. If you’re looking to rent (or buy) your own place, there’s plenty of real estate websites and apps ready to go. Unfortunately for those looking to move into established homes with flatmates, be prepared to visit MANY before you find one that suits you and/or you hear from again. The competition for the good houses is rightfully tough. My advice to start looking at places STRAIGHT away, ask ALL of the questions (even the uncomfortable ones) and project the confident version of yourself when you meet potential housemates; it’s your only chance to make an impression.

Finding Friends

As I said for my London guide, the first thing you should do is reach out to anyone you already know, even acquaintances. Some of my best friends have started as friend of friends that were the only people I knew in a new city. On top of that there is Bumble BFF, GirlCrew apps and Meetup apps. There’s plenty of people in similar situations who also find it hard to make friends so as long as you use some initial courage.

Getting around

Whilst many people will complain about it, Melbourne transport is generally reliable and timely. Download PTV and TramTracker apps, and you’ll be able to get around easily after you get your Myki card (the same as an Opal or Oyster card). If you happen to live within the free tram zone, you’ll be able around cheaply in the CBD. The only thing is if you rely on trains, which are regularly out of action due to trackwork.

Cost of living

Living in any city is going to be pricey, but generally Melbourne rent and prices are manageable. You can live comfortably in the Inner city, with or without a car, and still have plenty of disposable income on any decent wage.


‘Four seasons in a day’ is the most accurate description of Melbourne’s weather year round. Bring layers, especially for the cold mornings and nights, but be prepared for some glorious sunshine even in winter. An umbrella is also a wise investment as showers are regularly around.


Your biggest grocers are Coles and Woolworths, although there are IGA’s and local supermarkets. If you have had any access to Australian news you will know the whole drama about plastic bags, so be sure to bring reusable bags.

Did I miss something? Do you want to know more? Get in touch and I’ll add to the post!

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