Taking the plunge and moving from Melbourne to Sydney is a big step, one you’re probably super excited about.
Perhaps you’re moving because you’ve had enough of Melbourne’s unpredictable weather. Or maybe you’re moving for work or you just want a sea change (good news, Sydney’s beaches are fantastic).
Either way, there are a few things to think about when moving interstate.
The HomeMove team has compiled this overview of things people leaving Melbourne and moving to Sydney need to know.
Your car is not your friend anymore
In Melbourne, most people use their cars on a daily basis, with the possible exception of those living in the very centre of the city. Parking can be a pain in Victoria’s capital, but it’s nothing compared to what you’ll encounter in Sydney.
According to the NRMA, Sydney’s CBD has just 12.2 parking spots for every 100 commuters, making this the worst ratio for city drivers in all of Australia. And if you do manage to get a park, be prepared to pay for it.
The parking space levy applied by Revenue NSW aims to reduce congestion and encourage commuters to use public transport, but it also means hefty parking fees. The average daily fee in Sydney’s city centre is $70.85.
For these reasons, many Sydneysiders have ditched personal vehicles (or don’t use them often) and instead walk everywhere or jump on the city’s public transport offerings.
Sydney can get really humid
All that walking means you’re probably going to ditch a lot of your Melbourne clothes. Gone are your days of chunky chic scarves, leather boots, and all the other things that Melbournians regularly don.
The climate in Sydney is considered humid subtropical. You’ll find the weather mild and cool in winter and warm and hot during the summer. You’ll also find it quite sticky as Sydney is known for its high humidity levels.
Granted, it’s not Darwin during the buildup but Sydney does get steamy. According to Tourism Australia, the average humidity in the emerald city is 65%, but this can spike as high as 90% and even greater during February, the most humid month.
On the plus side, though, high summer is not as bad. And you always have the option to jump into the ocean and cool down.
Beach culture reigns
People in Sydney spend a lot of time on the city’s beaches, of which there are plenty to choose from. More than 100 coves, bays, surf beaches and secluded coastal spots mean heading to the beach is high on the agenda.
The most popular spots get very busy on the hottest days. Bondi beach, for example, can host up to 40,000 sun seekers on its one kilometre stretch. If you’re heading to a busy beach, go early and stake your territory by placing your towels down.
Your towel is now the equivalent of a national border, you may lose some of the surrounding area to friendly neighbouring ‘nations’ (aka beachgoers), but Sydneysiders respect the sovereignty of a towel.
Beach culture extends into other parts of the city too. Depending on your industry, expect to ditch your stiffer work clothes for more relaxed attire.
You’ll pay more in rent or on your mortgage
On average, those moving from Melbourne to Sydney will pay more for housing. While both cities are experiencing increased property prices in 2021, prices have risen higher in the NSW capital.
The median house price in Sydney for the June 2021 quarter was a cool $1.4 million. In Melbourne, the median price for the same period was $1.02 million.
Renters should also prepare for higher rates. According to data from the 2021 Domain Rent Report, the average weekly rent for a house in Sydney was $550 compared to $430 in Melbourne. Units in Sydney are slightly cheaper at $470 per week.
But you’ll probably make more money
High property prices are relative, though. For many people, the increased cost is worth it given the potential for a higher salary.
On average, the net salary (after tax) in Sydney is around $10,000 more annually than in Melbourne. Most Sydneysiders receive 5 to 10% more for the same occupation compared to their Melbournian counterparts.
And for caffeine junkies, it’s more good news as the average cup of coffee in Sydney is nine cents cheaper than in Melbourne. The cafe culture is just as robust too.
For more interesting financial and demographic comparisons between the two cities, the McCrindle institute has put together this excellent infographic.
There are no trams but ferries aplenty
Melbourne’s iconic trams are loved by many commuters (and loathed by some drivers). Love them or hate them, though, there’s little doubt that they’re a handy way to get around the city.
Sydney’s public transport system is a bit different. New residents are often overwhelmed by the veritable maze of trains, ferries, busses, and light rail options. Getting your head around the myriad choices does take a little practice but dedicated apps, such as TripView, can help you source the best routes across all transport options in real-time.
Sundays are also a great time to get out and explore the city and its surroundings on public transport. Every Sunday, ticket prices are capped at $2.50 for unlimited travel, and this includes ferries.
Many commuter ferry trips are scenic attractions in their own right. The Circular Quay to Darling Harbour route, for example, takes you under the Harbour Bridge, around the Opera House, and past Balmain on the 20-minute trip.
The nights out might be shorter
As a Melbourne-based company, we might be biased. But we think Melbourne wins when it comes to a big night out. The vibrant bar and club scene in Victoria’s capital is buzzing long into the small hours of the night. In Sydney, though, it’s a different story.
Lockout laws, which came into effect in 2014, were introduced to curb unruly behaviour in the central city. These laws have since been lifted, but many venue owners state they will stick with the 1.30 am curfew.
As we’re still mired in Covid restrictions and considerations, it’s too soon to tell what effect these law changes will have on Sydney’s nightlife, but as reported by the BBC, plenty of punters are happy to see the lockouts lifted.
Each area has a distinct vibe and there’s something for everyone
As with Melbourne, Sydney can be divided up into several distinct areas. Each has its own unique feel and ambience. Let’s take a look:
The eastern suburbs of Bondi, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Bronte offer plenty of top-notch scenery, world-class beaches, and lots of nature. Of course, this all comes at a price. Sydney’s eastern suburbs are one of the most expensive spots to live in Australia. You’re also further away from the city and the drive or public transport options mean a minimum 30-minute commute.
The inner-west suburbs of Newtown, Glebe, Erskineville, Leichhardt, and Balmain are about as close to Melbourne as Sydney gets. Expect bustling cafe culture, a hip and arty feel, and a creative, lively vibe. The key drawback of this hipster haven is the distance from the beaches, and the area tends to get pretty hot.
The lower north-shore covers Neutral Bay, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Kirribilli, and Waverton. These eminently liveable suburbs are scenic, relaxed, and far from the hustle of the city. Popular with families and retirees, if you’re looking for more action, the lower north probably isn’t for you. You’re also over the bridge, many a Sydneysider’s bane of existence.
The inner-east suburbs of Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Paddington, and Surry Hills are as central as you can get. They also come with all the perks and drawbacks of living in the heart of a large city. Expect plenty of restaurants, nightlife options, and a fair amount of late-night noise. The inner-east does have a roach problem that no other part of Sydney struggles with to the same level.
The northern beaches are made up of Manly, Fairlight, Balgowlah, Curl Curl, and Dee Why. This area is spacious, offers up some cracking beaches and beach culture, and it’s less crowded than other regions. It’s popular with families who want that little bit of extra space and a backyard for the kids. One main road connects the area to the city, and suffice it to say, it can get a bit hectic at peak times.
878.6 kilometres separate Melbourne and Sydney
That’s around a nine to ten hour drive. Your stuff has to travel quite the distance when you’re moving from Melbourne to Sydney, and you want to make sure your belongings are in safe hands during the move.
HomeMove are long-distance moving experts. We’ve been helping Australians move around our great country for 13 years, and we’ve successfully moved plenty of people from Melbourne to Sydney and vice versa.
We take the utmost care with the contents of your household. From packing and organising before the move to loading our trucks and driving with care, we’ve got your back.
Moving interstate is a huge step, make it as easy as possible by having the right team on your side. Contact us today or give us a call on 03 9077 3120 to discuss your move and make a plan.
Moving from Melbourne to Sydney FAQs
Still have burning questions about moving from Melbourne to Sydney? Check out our most commonly asked questions below:
1. How much will it cost me to move from Melbourne to Sydney?
The short answer is that it will cost anywhere from $2300 to $2900 for a two bedroom house, or $3400 to $4500 for a three bedroom house. The long answer is that it depends on several factors such as:
the number of vehicles we’ll need to complete your move, and whether you’d also like help with packing
location suburb at the pick up and drop off
the ease or difficulty of access at either end
the nature and number of items that you would like moved
For more details and a full quote, please contact us today.
Or you can take advantage of our innovative and Covid-19-safe virtual quote service. We can take a look around your home via our app, assess your needs and provide a quote — all while remaining socially distanced.
2. Do I need insurance for a move?
Although all care is taken to protect your belongings and HomeMove operates to the highest standards, accidents and incidents can happen. Due to the distance of travel and the time your goods will be in transit, it is recommended that customers take out their own insurance for the move. HomeMove can assist in arranging this.
3. Do I need to book parking space for the truck?
Most interstate trucks are larger vehicles of at least 9 metres. You can usually find a parking spot for these vehicles in your typical suburban street (although you may have to ask your neighbours to move their cars from the front of adjacent properties in anticipation of moving day).
For inner city or CBD moves, parking for larger trucks can become an issue. In this circumstance, we may have to collect your items in a smaller or medium size truck and take them back to our depot to be transferred to a larger interstate vehicle. This will add to the cost of your interstate move, but it is often unavoidable.
In rare circumstances you may need to organise a parking permit so that a truck can park for long enough to load or unload your goods. This is typically the responsibility of the customer to organise by contacting their local council authority.
4. Do you drive through the night, unpack the next day? How does it work?
It typically takes a 3 day turnaround to collect goods in Melbourne and drop them off in Sydney. Please note that we cannot collect goods, drive through the evening and drop off the next day. Our drivers are subject to Heavy Goods Vehicles legislation, which means they cannot work or drive excessive hours without appropriate rest periods in between.
5. Does traffic out of Melbourne and into/around Sydney present a problem for moving?
Depending on the suburbs you are located in and the time of day of pick up and drop off, traffic can be an issue – particularly around inner city areas . We will try to factor this in when providing you with a fixed price quotation.
6. Do I have to pay for the tolls to and from Sydney? What is the cost for this?
Any tolls for moves in and out of Melbourne and Sydney are typically factored into your moving quotation.
7. Are some days better than others to move from Melbourne to Sydney?
All days are good for moving from Melbourne to Sydney. Keep in mind, however, that moves taking place on weekends can result in higher prices. If you need us to collect items a day or so prior to our trip to Sydney, we can always hold your belongings at our centrally located storage warehouse in Northcote until our next interstate run is ready to leave.
8. How is Covid affecting moves from Melbourne to Sydney?
COVID restrictions have greatly affected people’s ability to move between Melbourne and Sydney. Please note that as states are opening up and vaccination rates are rising, restrictions and rules are constantly changing. We recommend that you view the Victorian Government and NSW Government websites for up-to-date information. These websites will guide you as to whether:
You can currently move between states or parts of a state,
Whether you require any permits to do so, and
Whether there are any vaccination or quarantine requirements when moving interstate.
9. What salary do I need to live in Sydney?
It depends if you’re going to be renting or you’re buying a home. According to research from Finder, people renting in Sydney need a salary of $3,617 to live comfortably while those with a mortgage need $5,658 monthly.
The cost of living varies in Australian cities, with Hobart taking the prize for the most affordable state capital. It’s worth noting that Sydney is more expensive than Melbourne, renters in the Victorian capital need $2,992 per month while homeowners with a mortgage need around $4,338.
10. How can I move interstate on a budget
Minimise the amount of stuff you’re moving. Although we’re in the moving business, we don’t mind telling you that the best way to keep your moving costs down is to limit the amount you take with you.
Some things are necessary or hold significant sentimental value, so it makes sense to move them interstate. But other things can be sold and then bought new once you’ve arrived. That old sofa you’ve been meaning to replace for years is a case in point!
Need more moving tips? Find our essential checklist here (it also has memes).
11. Is it a good idea to move to Sydney?
It really depends on your priorities and what you want to achieve from your move. Sydney offers fantastic weather, plenty of beaches, a bustling culture, and it’s an excellent place to bring up children. Plus you’ll be that little bit closer to the Queensland border (and Queensland’s weather) and you’ll have access to the Blue Mountains.
If you’re weighing up the merits of staying in Melbourne versus moving to Sydney, you may want to consider living costs too; the New South Wales capital is more expensive on average.
12. What’s the cost of moving furniture from Melbourne to Sydney?
The cost of moving furniture interstate varies from provider to provider. Most providers charge per cubic metre of space and distance travelled along with a long-distance fuel levy. At HomeMove, we use our Moving Volume Calculator to accurately work out how many cubic meters are needed for an interstate move. We aim to maximise space in our trucks and pack everything very snugly, which means more savings in your pocket.
Please get in touch to discuss your move and receive a quote.
13. If I move to Sydney do I have to start supporting the Sydney Swans?
That’s a hard no.