live in melbourne, work in sydney - have you done it?
December 5, 2009 12:11 AM   Subscribe

what's it like living in melbourne and commuting to sydney for work?

Have you done it?
how often do you travel back and forth?
daily? weekly?
do you have kids at home in melbourne?
did it work out?
what was it like?

is it worth it?
or is it hell?
posted by compound eye to Travel & Transportation around Australia (7 answers total)
I did this for a couple of weeks, and that was enough for me. The flight itself is not that bad. It's less than an hour flight time, and it sure beats the hell out of sitting on a suburban train.

But it's the hour or so cab trip to and from each airport, and the waiting around in airports, and the plane waiting on the runway for half an hour, because the weather is not great, and there are other planes queuing to take off, and circling before landing, because there's congestion, and queuing again for cabs, etc etc.

I have a love/hate relationship with airports. I am fascinated to sit there and watch how they pump the traffic through - it's a wonderfully orchestrated display of traffic management - but I hate being part of that traffic.

Leaving home at 5AM and getting back at 7 or 8PM, after only having done a few hours of actual work for the day, really drained me and made me wonder what the point of it all was.

For me, it was hell.... but I know several others who don't mind it at all. I guess you won't know until you've tried.
posted by Diag at 3:30 AM on December 5, 2009

Oh, obviously I am talking about daily commuting. Weekly would have been better, but then... I hate staying in hotels. I guess I'm hard to please.
posted by Diag at 3:34 AM on December 5, 2009

My sister does this a lot. It's very time consuming - not because of the flights but because of the waiting around before, during and after. She often flies up on monday/Tuesday and back on Thursday/Friday. Another downside is that she doesn't spend a lot of time in her new, awesome house. She doesn't have kids fyi, but it would be quite difficult I imagine if she did.

Also, I truly really don't want to sound like a climate nazi, but flying up and back weekly or - god help you - daily - is a massive addition to your carbon footprint if you care about that kind of thing (and really, we all should care). I don't know what kind of job you have, but perhaps there are other, online methods of accomplishing the same thing from Melbourne?
posted by smoke at 3:38 AM on December 5, 2009

i did it from orlando to NYC (roughly the same...) and found it much easier to stay weekly. i would take a monday flt and a friday afternoon flt giving me a normal weekend. kept it up for a year. it was actually ok, once i switched from a hotel to a small apartment where i could leave stuff so my flight just saw me with my body and my backpack....

obviously daily opinions have been discussed, and ive never enjoyed my very frequent day trips (i travel EXTENSIVELY).... just thought i'd throw in about weekly...


on preview i see your comment about daily vs weekly, i would rethink this, or forgo the idea altogether...
posted by chasles at 5:59 AM on December 5, 2009

My wife worked in Sydney for a few months well before we had children. Coming home during the week was pretty useless at best. You can only be confident of 9 'til 10 and then it's worse than a phone call because the pressure of "I've waited for dinner and now you're tired/ I've made the effort to make the journey/ let's enjoy each others' company, I've got to get up in a minute" tells. With young children it would be moreso - you're either gone/ back before/ after they wake/ sleep or you're stressing them out wondering whether they'll see you. You wouldn't anything at all by dossing in Sydney for the week and arriving at 10 on Monday and leaving there at six.

Up to 3 months - doable. Six - very unpleasant. Open-ended - unrealistic.

Remember, too, it's an hour's flight, but it's often 3.5 hours' door to door. There are delays into and out of Sydney airport. Cab journeys to Tullamarine vary a lot depending on whether you're in Flemington, Coburg or Glen Iris.
posted by hawthorne at 6:35 AM on December 5, 2009

Very unknowledgeable about Melbourne and Sydney here, but if you end up doing this, look into alternative airports. It seems you can fly into Sydney from two different airports in Melbourne ... might one be more convenient due to either its location or its size and efficiency? It's still going to be a lot of waiting, but you might be able to minimize it one way or the other.
posted by SpringAquifer at 8:40 AM on December 5, 2009

The Avalon airport is closer to Geelong and out the middle of nowhere. If one of the bases were in Western Melbourne it'd be okay, I guess (I think parking and whatnot is cheaper too). It's also Jetstar only and the worst delays I've gotten coming out of Melbourne have been through Avalon.
posted by geek anachronism at 8:01 PM on December 5, 2009

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