Melbourne : Australia


What It Is Like to Retire in Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia after Sydney.  Many would say that it is its most sophisticated. Whatever the case, retiring baby boomers will find much to like in Melbourne.  One of its finest attractions is a compact city center that can be easily transversed on foot, bike or free tram. There is an interesting mix of colonial and modern architecture that get along well together for the most part. Docklands is a newly developed area that has a bustling aspect with nice views of the harbor. South of the Yarra River there are huge public gardens (including the Botanical Gardens and museums such as the NGV International with its stunning building and changing exhibitions. There are many other museums, historic areas, and cultural resources to make life interesting for people fortunate enough to retire here. The population in 2014 was just over 4.4 million.

There are many festivals to enjoy in Melbourne but one of the biggest on the world stage is the Australian (Tennis) Open held every year just south of Exhibition Square along the Yarra River. For two weeks much of the world’s sporting attention is focused on the action taking place on the blue courts of the Rod Laver and Margaret Court arenas.


Where to Retire in Melbourne and Home Prices

The city is booming with many areas under construction and increasing in value.   There are rental and condo apartments in the city and in the many neighborhoods, which might be a bit more affordable. Some of the neighborhoods include Fitzroy, Richmond, and Carlton in the east.  In the south are ritzy South Yarra, Prahan, and Windsor.  You can live at the beach in St. Kilda. Depending on the size, quality, and location you can buy an apartment or house from to  (Australian). Monthly rents will be in the thousands.  The idea of retirement villages is coming to Australia but we are not aware of too many in the Melbourne area. The median value of a home in 2014 was about $540,000 (AUS). Homes in the millions are quite common, as Melbourne is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live.


What Is Special about Melbourne

It is a cosmopolitan city with fabulous restaurants and culture.  The Economist Intelligence Unit named it the "Most livable city in the world". The location on a river and near the coast makes it very attractive.  Transportation is easy and the city is walkable and bikable.  The climate is moderate and mild year round. The Australian Open and frequent festivals like the  make it a very appealing city to retire in. There are multiple universities including the University of Melbourne. It is a diverse city with many students and young people.


What Is Not Special about Melbourne

The city can get very crowded with tourists at times.  It is also as expensive as any place in Australia; in fact it was ranked the 4th most expensive city in the world.


Who Will Like Retirement in Melbourne

Folks who want to live in a cosmopolitan but livable city are  going to like it here. Foodies will find it most appealing. There is plenty of diversity so people of most any origin should feel comfortable. It is great for folks who like to walk or bike. The problem is that it is not easy for most folks to retire full time in Australia unless they are already residents or citizens. See our Retirement Guide to Australia or more details.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Finance and government (it is the capitol of Victoria). The headquarters of many of Australia’s largest companies are located here. Tourism is also very important to the economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

Melbourne is on the southeastern coast of Australia. It has a Mediterranean climate with the average January temp is in the 20s and the average July temp is in the low teens (C.). It can get quite hot in summer - sometimes the temperatures on the courts at the Open were well over 40 (C).


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Melbourne has some wonderful museums such as the Immigration Museum.  Aboriginal art and culture are celebrated at the Koorie Heritage Trust.  Top art museums include the Ian Pottter Center(NGV Australia) the NGV International,and the Australian Center for the Moving Image. The huge and beautiful State Library of Victoria is the most amazing library your editor has ever been in. Street art is both freelance and government sponsored. Restaurants and wine are some of the best in Australia. There is a large Chinatown section and block long strip of Greek restaurants (there is a large population of Greek immigrants). The Royal Post (for meats) and Little Creatures are two interesting restaurants. 



This is an urban area so their is some crime. Although the prospect of terrorism is a modern day scare, police and security presence is actually quite low key compared to America.


Medical Facilities

Melbourne has many excellent hospitals and access to universal healthcare via the Medicare system.



The Melbourne Airport has service to the rest of the world. The mass transit system is efficient and easy to use and includes subways, trains, and busses. Within the city center trams are free during the day.


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