Amongst those few things that we knew about our journey to Australia was the city we will live in.  Now we know we will not be living there, at least for now, nevertheless back then in England that was our default place we will be.  And I decided to be prepared to face it with a knowledge of a local before we even get there.

Melbourne is a big city (by Australian standards at least) and we had to decide which suburbs we will settle in.  There are many suburbs in Melbourne and they vary in price, distance to CBD, schools, transport links etc.

The website we found most useful was Domains most liveable suburbs in Melbourne

It lists all suburbs of Melbourne and ranks them across 16 liveability indicators

It gave us a great starting point and we were coming back to it many times during our decision making process.

We had also used map of Melbourne trains as it was essential to know where on the transport map those places are and hence how long it will take us to get to and from work.

We used spreadsheets to put all the relevant info in to assist us with our decision making.  This helped keep track of the pros and cons of each suburb so we could weigh them up against each other.

We also used google maps to pin the relevant places on the maps.  Here is our map:

As we researched each suburb, we used a colour coding system: Red (not interested), Orange (investigate further), Green (short-listed) and Pink (good schools near short-listed areas).  We then narrowed down the list down to the following suburbs:

 At this point I almost felt like a local (albeit virtual) with my growing knowledge of Melbourne.

However, from then onwards I found myself confused and not sure where really I would to live (I mean in which suburb).

So I needed to find the ‘real locals’ to help me.  I joined Polish Mum Groups on Facebook in Melbourne and asked them for advice.  These ladies were truly awesome and invaluable.  What they said and recommended really helped in us feeling confident on choosing a suburb we wanted to live in.  I need to thank all you wonderful Polish Mums in Melbourne for your warm welcome and advice.  I really wished I’d met them in real life.  Maybe one day…

Of course, during our search for a suburb we also considered the Real Estate prices and local schools for our daughter.  But I will talk about that on another occasion.

Other sites you might find useful when looking at suburbs in Melbourne include: