What are the cool areas to live in Melbourne?
April 3, 2008 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Need advice from people in Melbourne, or familiar with it about where to live.

So as sort of a followup to this question I've gotten a job at the Royal Melbourne and start in June. Since I don't know Melbourne at all, geography wise, I don't really know what the good suburbs to be looking to live are.

The Royal Melbourne is in Parkville, which I understand is basically downtown (though I could be wrong), and my ideal place would be as close as possible so that I could either walk or catch the minimum of public transport to get there. Where I live right now is a 10 minute walk from where I work right now and in a perfect world I'd have the same set-up in Melbourne.

I'm looking for share-house accomodation (mostly cause I don't know anyone in Melbourne yet and it seem the fastest way to kickstart that!) and going by the share-house websites I've been looking at there's lots of choices. I just don't want to wind up with a 3 hour commute by looking in an interstate suburb! Also, I'd prefer to avoid slum areas.
posted by Silentgoldfish to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's not downtown per se but it's close enough. There's a big university in that area as well, so finding a sharehouse close by shouldn't be a problem, unless you have an issue living with college-aged people. There are tram lines that run through there so even if you find a place in Carlton or Fitzroy, you're probably set.

Melbourne is pretty small, though, you'd be hard pressed to get a three hour commute from any of the closer suburbs. I live in a semi-bush area and even then it's only a forty minute train ride in.

(Meet-up when you come down?)
posted by liquorice at 4:42 PM on April 3, 2008

What do you mean by "cool"? I mean, do you want somewhere "nice" or somewhere hipsterish?

If the latter, then Fitzroy, Fitzroy or Fitzroy are your bets. Or Carlton or Collingwood. They're all the same place, really - inner Melbourne suburbs are only about four blocks wide, for some reason.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:46 PM on April 3, 2008

Fitzroy and Carlton are both good, though not so cheap these days. Brunswick would be worth a look, as you'd have a single, fairly regular, tram up Sydney Road, which becomes Royal Parade, and it's a bit cheaper. Places along Flemington Road would also be practical and tram-able.

If it were me, I'd start looking in Carlton, then probably get discouraged and move back to Brunswick again.
posted by pompomtom at 5:51 PM on April 3, 2008


After a night at the pub, would you fancy a pizza, a kebab, or a couli of something drizzled with something else.

This test would recommend for Carlton, Brunswick or Fitzroy, respectively.
posted by pompomtom at 5:55 PM on April 3, 2008

pfft. like it matters when melbourne pizzas are so freaking cheap you could catch a cab to carlton, buy your pizza & cab back home for less than you'd pay in sydney. seriously, they've pushed beyond $20 for a "family" pizza suitable for three people. that'd be under $10 in melbourne. *grumbles*

brunswick's pretty cool, too. nice to find tripe soup in a cheap turkish eatery!
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:01 PM on April 3, 2008

I've lived in Carlton for around the last 4 years and can definitely recommend it. I have a fantastic place between Rathdowne and Lygon street, but rental housing is relatively short at hand right now. Lots of student housing as well due to the proximity of RMIT and Melbourne Uni.

Another suggestion would be to look around North Melbourne, another one of the '4 block' wide inner suburbs. It's just starting to take off, lots of new cafes and hotels (pubs). There should be some interesting properties for lease.

Just in case you haven't found it yet, check out Realestate.com they have a slightly more comprehensive listing of rentals than Domain.com as it's not limited to just Fairfax publications.

I love living in Melbourne, and Carlton in particular. Hope you do too.
posted by michswiss at 6:53 PM on April 3, 2008

Royal Melbourne I assume means the hospital. Only bets for short walk are North Melbourne and Carlton, and i would say North Melbourne is better likely to suit you. Walking distance south of Flemington road from work, walk to the Queen Vic Market, short tram ride into the city. Definitely your best bet. Slightly further afield would be Kensington, depending on what you thought was a reasonable walk (that's more like 20-30 minutes).

You can't afford the nice part of Parkville, and don't be tricked by the crappy part - it's actually miles away through Royal park.

As pompomtom suggested, Brunswick, particularly West Brunswick is due north and reasonably convenient to work, a little bit further from the city though. Cheap and multicultural, with plenty of funky cafes etc

We don't really have slums, at least not anywhere near the city (also we don't really use the term downtown).
posted by wilful at 7:20 PM on April 3, 2008

Oh, I guess we should have a mefi meetup when you arrive. First for melbourne?
posted by wilful at 7:22 PM on April 3, 2008

wake up, wilful.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:39 PM on April 3, 2008

Oh well, that's OK, I probably wouldn't have come anyway *sniff*
posted by wilful at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2008

Use flatmatefinders to find a place. What everyone else has said about locations with the addition of the CBD and stuff just to the west of you. Kensington could be convenient. See what you can find on flatematefinders.

And we should have a meetup.
posted by sien at 9:14 PM on April 3, 2008

Melbourne is an awesome city, with many awesome people. Also, lygon st is ftw.

I'm a brisbanite, more's the pity. Sigh. One of these years!
posted by ysabet at 11:42 PM on April 3, 2008

I've lived in Canterbury, Fitzroy, Brunswick and Kew, and if I were working at the Royal Melbourne, I'd pick Brunswick - no question.
posted by flabdablet at 1:06 AM on April 4, 2008

Just make sure you pick a house with a short walk to Sydney Road. Brunswick east of Sydney Road is nicer than Brunswick west of it, IMO. My old place was in Eckersall St, behind the cop shop. We didn't really need a pantry, because the supermarket car park backed onto our back lane, and the fabulous Alasya turkish restaurant was five minutes' walk away. All the local food shops were super cheap, and the neighbors were friendly.
posted by flabdablet at 1:15 AM on April 4, 2008

I've lived in South Melbourne (close proximity to the city, <>
I hear Thornbury and Preston are the up and coming places to be these days. Again, they're up the northern end of Sydney Road, and within easy commuting distance, though trams along Sydney road are a bit slow.
posted by flutable at 4:46 AM on April 4, 2008

Sydney Road has nothing whatsoever to do with Sydney, for your information. It's about a thousand kilometres away, beyond the rain curtain.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:00 AM on April 4, 2008

Thanks all for the answers! Brunswick looks like a go-er, but I can't really mark an answer as best until I've found a place.

An a meetup sounds great -- I don't actually know anyone in Melbourne... yet!
posted by Silentgoldfish at 8:26 AM on April 4, 2008

Ubu: Sorry mate, but Sydney Road is the Road you take to drive to Sydney. Hence the name.
posted by pompomtom at 8:11 PM on April 10, 2008

I stand corrected.

I take it that Sydney Road is very busy?
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on April 10, 2008

Cars on Sydney Road through Brunswick don't often have room to move very fast. Super easy cycling to Parkville, though.
posted by flabdablet at 7:42 AM on April 11, 2008

Probably a very belated best answer but I've found a very nice sounding place in Brunswick I'm moving into at the end of the month. Flatematefinders was brilliant -- I went from not knowing where to start to having about 20 different places to choose from.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:15 AM on May 9, 2008

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