Melbourne suburbs with young children(12 Posts)
DH has been offered a role in Melbourne starting in July and we will be moving there for 3 years. We are fortunate that we will have a relocation agent to help us find somewhere to live. We will be living in Hawthorn for a couple of months when we arrive in an apartment rented by DH's company and then we will be looking for a house to rent. We have 3 DS aged 2, 6 and 8 and we will be building our search around a good government school and an easy commute to the CBD. DS2 has Down's syndrome and so we are looking for a lovely, supportive and inclusive school. DH was in Melbourne last week and met up with the relocation agent who told him she has links to wonderful schools in a few different areas. The areas DH has been recommended by colleagues are mostly in the Inner North suburbs, the relocation agent was quite dismissive of these areas as "gritty" and "bohemian" which I don't think she meant as a compliment! I was also quite worried, from what I'd read online, that we would be too old (very late 30s) and not hip enough for the likes of Carlton and Fitzroy! She has recommended Brighton, which I think we have ruled out based on internet search as being a bit too expensive and exclusive for us. We are currently in East London, near enough to the hip areas to visit, but in a quiet area where we can escape to. Can anyone recommend somewhere in between the two options that's good for families, has great schools and is quiet and leafy but still has interesting people to make friends with?
Inner Western suburbs are good- maybe Yarraville. There is a special school in Yarraville (but think for kids assessed with low IQ) and another for kids with DS but higher IQ in Ascot Vale. (Different friends have kids at both schools- they are assessed to see which works best for your child). And another in Port Melbourne which is not far.
Also Yarraville is quiet nice and leafy with good links to city, plenty of standard primary schools. But avoid if your husband needs to drive to work- the Westgate Bridge is not delightful in rushhour.
Newport is south of Yarraville and is not too far from the bay.
Brighton is V expensive and seems to be full of yummy mummies, ex-cricketers and the odd high flying criminal. :-)
BTW- my knowledge re special schools is limited to anecdotal- I guess your child can be in mainstream if it suits your child but the people I know have used specialist schools.
Brighton v.expensive. Stupidly stupidly expensive.
Carlton and Fitzroy are hip, but so what? I'm 63 and could hack it. Also expensive. Hawthorn, where you'll be staying is very nice.
What areas did your DH's colleagues recommend?
If you've been given a relocation agent it argues your DH has a good relocation package and salary (I know this because this was my situation) Knowing your deal would enable better advice.
The inner north is utterly fantastic for families! Brilliant schools, parks, facilities, transport links. Highly, HIGHLY recommend looking around Clifton Hill, Northcote, Brunswick East, Thornbury.
Does your relocation agent have children? It sounds like she's really working from her own opinion rather than looking for the best options for you.
Give Clifton Hill or Northcote a very serious look. They have everything you need and are just wonderful communities.
Thank you for all your replies. DS2 is currently in mainstream here and he is doing well with his reading and starting to write. Our budget would be $1,300 pw. Maybe I will also be able to hack Carlton or Fitzroy echt, I guess I won’t know until I’m there. DH’s colleagues recommended Carlton and Fitzroy. I keep reading good things about Northcote, which is funny as we have been offered a house to rent from one of DH’s colleagues who is on assignment here. I think that would be a terrible idea, as our kids could wreck it, but I really liked the sound of Northcote. I have a massive map that I keep looking at, but I think we need to get there and look around and we will know pretty quickly.
It’s just quite daunting to have no control, especially as DH doesn’t have a start date yet and technically it could be 6 weeks.
Northcote, Fitzroy and Carlton are all v. nice suburbs. Good transport to city. Fab shops. Don't know about young children, but there always seems to be plenty of them when I've been there, so must be OK.
Yarraville is a great option for a young family but if you are only just moving to Melbourne you might find it easier to start in somewhere that is a little more accessible and that you can walk easily to neighbouring suburbs/ the cbd. Carlton and Northcote are good options. Or South Melbourne or Richmond on the other side of the river.
Inner is mostly great in any direction.
Yarraville, North Melbourne, Kensington, Brunswick, Northcote, (southern part of) Richmond, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne are all lovely and have a good vibe with lots of amenity.
If you want a bit more space and a more suburban feel while still being close-ish to the city without ridiculous prices like Brighton's, try Williamstown (which I live in and could rave about all day!), West Brunswick, Moonee Ponds, Coburg, Thornbury, Elwood. Some of these have better commutes than others, it really depends on method of transport and your time vs space preference.
I live in Northcote with a young child. I've lived all over the world (including several parts of the U.K. and US) and Northcote is the best place so far. Feel free to PM me
I love Carlton. I also second Moonee Ponds and Ascot Vale. The inner north is great!
Brighton very bland, white and expensive.
Add Ivanhoe to the list of Thornbury and Northcote. I recently moved to Melbourne. DH works in Hawthorn too. We moved to Heidelberg and recommend it. Also Rosanna just beyond Heidelberg. Lots of good schools in the area but I have idea info on SEND provision. They are on a main line metro going into amd out of the city and both have good local high streets similar to what you’d find in areas around London.
Thank you all for your replies. Lots to think about and lots more areas to explore!
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