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Just Moved To Melbourne? Here's How To Settle In Straight Away

Moving to a new city can be challenging, but with patience and an open mind, you'll soon feel at home in Melbourne.
March 28, 2024


Melbourne is one of the hottest cities in the world. In fact, Melbourne’s colourful, high-spirited scene has earned it a top spot in an index of the world’s most liveable cities, ranking 2nd in The Economist’s Global Liveability Index in 2023. Melbourne’s inner suburbs are constantly ranked some of the trendiest on Earth. It stands to reason that you should be bursting at the seams with excitement (or maybe your nerves have your stomach twisted in a knot) about your first few months in one of the world's greatest cities. 

Regardless of how you’re feeling, we’re here to help you settle in like a local. We’ll help you identify important checklist items, so you can dive right into flourishing Melbourne and make it feel like home from the get-go. 

Here’s our tips for Melbourne newbies who want to settle in straight away.

Don’t forget about the dentist

It’s never too early to think about your health in Melbourne. After all, the city is your new home, and when health concerns slink up to your door with a knock, you’ll be equally frustrated and surprised at yourself for not having arranged your health services sooner. Dental services are all too often swept under the rug until a pressing problem presents itself, and then it can take time to find a local doctor with availability and sign up to the practice before their slots get booked. 

Don’t wait until then to seek out a doctor in your region. Book a routine check-up to introduce yourself to your dentist, check for any general concerns, or communicate your dental needs. If you’re a family moving to the Northern suburbs, Dentaservice is a popular Epping dentist; a practitioner-owned clinic that’s an affordable and kid-friendly option, great at dealing with anxious, younger patients. This passionate team invests in advanced dental technology, ensuring an efficient and accurate treatment, young or old.

Sign up with your local GP

If you’re going to arrange your dental services, you should also find a local, trusted doctor at the same time, ready for when you need one. Don’t wait until something goes wrong to have the added pressure of filling out forms and registrations, or be added to waiting lists. Websites and apps are available to help you find information about doctors and local clinics so you can make an informed choice.

There are many fantastic and well-qualified doctors across Melbourne, but everybody’s wants and needs are different, so it’s important to identify them prior to any appointments. This will enable you to have meaningful conversations with practitioners and clinic staff. 

Research different neighbourhoods and suburbs

A crucial step if you’re currently living in a short term rental or temporary home is to suss out where you’d like to live longer-term. There are numerous neighbourhoods and suburbs in Melbourne whose prices vary considerably, so make sure you do your research, and consider affordability. Consider what amenities are most important to you, such as shopping districts, gyms, cafes, schools, and accessibility to public transport.

It’s a good idea to physically visit neighbourhoods and suburbs you’re interested in to get a feel for them. Different communities have different atmospheres. Port Melbourne is a popular choice for water sport lovers, or those working in the CBD, whilst St. Kilda has a very chilled-back approach to it, mixing coastal living with a diverse culinary scene. Sometimes it might be nothing more than a gut feeling that draws you to one particular location. Talk to neighbours and ask about local community events and activities within the district. 

Get a Myki card

You’re in Melbourne now, which means you’ll definitely need a Myki card to get around. Melbourne is a train, tram and bus hotspot. Even if you’re a driver, chances are you’ll need to catch public transport at some point, with limited parking in the city centre. Especially if you’re commuting in and out of the CBD – driving in Melbourne city is a skill, acquired after lots of experience with dense traffic, awkward manoeuvres and a penchant for patience. 

Additionally, Melbourne is perhaps infamously, a toll hotspot. If you want to avoid all the extra expenses, a Myki card will become your saviour, much like it is for most other Melburnians. Within the city loop, trams are free, so it’s definitely a good idea to get one as soon as possible. Just remember to tap on - and off!

Immerse yourself in the local scene

What isn’t in Melbourne? From some of the best coffee shops in Australia, to an endless selection of cuisine, to Broadway shows, to free gallery exhibitions and interactive art experiences, local musicians and international touring artists, nightclubs, to beaches, to hikes and so much more, we couldn’t possibly list them all. But the best way to experience Melbourne is with other people. Melbournians are famously friendly people, but Melbourne is also a culturally diverse city, made up of many different nationalities and life experiences.

Meet people and make friends by joining Facebook groups to find those with shared interests or qualities. For example, you could probably find a group consisting of immigrants from your particular country, or a group of out-of-state residents living in Melbourne to start building your network. There are also plenty of in-person social groups based around a particular event or interest. If you’re a master of chess or lover of pottery painting, there’s a group for you. Enquire with your local council about social groups you can join, or take on an active role by volunteering for an event or initiative. You’ll meet like-minded people, whose interests and skills vary, and get a taste of Melbourne’s many local communities. 

Melbourne is truly a wonderful place, and we hope you’ll settle in with ease, to discover the best that this lively city has to offer. There’s something for everyone in Melbourne, and we hope this article has shared practical tips on how to get the essentials and desirables sorted as quickly as possible, so you can make it your own. With that, it won’t be long before you’re calling our beautiful city home; us Melbournians are cheering you on every step of the way. 

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