Stranded In The Suburbs: A Guide

Deciding where to set up humble abode in Melbourne can be a formidable task. Do you endure humdrum suburban life for the sake of affordability and proximity? Sacrifice your square metres for an apartment in the city? Or do you brave the yuppies of the inner suburbs and snag yourself a house-like structure with carpet in the kitchen and mould on the bathroom walls but-hey-at-least-the-rent-is-cheap? This article will probably provide you with no help whatsoever in making this decision, but will hopefully  be good for a laugh.


The definitive hipster haven, Fitzroy has to be the suburb with the highest concentration of raw vegan food and kebabs in close proximity with one another. Just be careful that you’re not run over by an indie kid, struggling to ride his fixie in tight jeans. If you’re bored of record shops and overpriced vintage boutiques, then an occasional game of ‘Hipster or Homeless Guy’ should keep you entertained, or you might even run into the famous ‘YOU MUST ENGAGE’ guy on the 86 tram. This is definitely the place to get a terrace house or cute old cottage, or even a flat above one of those kebab shops.

St Kilda

Close to both the beach and the city, St Kilda still somehow manages to be a little bit shit. Proximity to the Espy may be a pro or con, depending on your perspective. There’s a slightly trashy nightlife, with plenty of good music to be had, but there’s definitely plenty of wannabe musicians to avoid. On the downside, apparently it’s a hangout for prostitutes, but on the upside… prostitutes! An apartment with a view is called for in St Kilda.


Much like Fitzroy, but with a slightly higher risk of getting stabbed, Brunswick will give you the Mediterranean side of hipster living. Not only can you access the Mecca of all jeans-wearing hipsters (the name of which shan’t be divulged, so that certain writers and editors don’t have to wait yet longer in a queue for their next pair), but there are also plenty of shisha and European-style supermarkets. This is a suburb of warehouse parties and all-night kebab shops, and the deceptively ugly Sydney Rd. It’s worth transferring to Melbourne Uni to justify living here…almost. This is where the idyllic student share house should be.

Narre Warren

Narre Warren is where Fountain Gate is located, and Fountain Gate was the inspiration for Fountain Lakes, and Fountain Lakes is where Kath and Kim live. That’s about all you need to know, really. This is the land of tracksuit pants, cashed-up bogan private school kids, fake tans, fake nails, fake hair, fake everything. Avoid, avoid, avoid at all costs. Flee from the generic suburban brick homes as if your life depended on it.


Yuppies and yummy mummies sipping skinny cappuccinos are the common breed in Malvern, filling the innumberable cafes, which themselves may only be outnumbered by the overpriced clothing boutiques. Watch out for inept SUV drivers accidentally running over their own children. On the plus side, some of the cafes and specialty food stores are actually quite nice, so if you can afford the rent, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find yourself an apartment there.

Tags : Melbourne
Rebecca Irvine

The author Rebecca Irvine

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