The Age Domain Liveability Index

Great to see the improvement in Banyule suburb liveability rankings. Ivanhoe up to No.8 and Heidelberg Heights up to 194.

However need to improve in some areas.  Rosanna Road is affecting the liveability of Heidelberg.



What makes a suburb liveable? For some, being close to the coast. For others, great cafes. But a ranking of all Melbourne’s suburbs across 16 key indicators has given us this list. Some suburbs have dramatically improved their rank from the 2011 study because of the introduction of new criteria, such as telecommunications coverage – vital in 2015 – and changes in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ suburb boundaries.


Ranked: 114
Previous rank: 136

Bellfield borders on Heidelberg West, nine kilometres north east of the CBD. What sets it apart from its neighbours is the relatively large cultural sector, good public open spaces and uncongested major roads. The area would quickly benefit from larger shopping facilities and a lower crime rate.

Briar Hill

Ranked: 165
Previous rank: 125

Adjacent to Greensborough (168) and Montmorency (125), Briar Hill scores well on a range of indicators, particularly proximity to bus lines, topographic variation and schools. Its only average overall rank can be attributed to the few cafes, restaurants, shopping facilities and public open spaces of the area.


Ranked: 208
Previous rank: 235

Bundoora’s liveability has remained relatively consistent over the years. While it does have great public open spaces such as Mont Park and good access to buses and trams, there are many areas that show obvious room for improvement. More cafes, less crime and added primary and secondary schools would quickly improve the area, although it is well serviced by tertiary institutions with its own La Trobe and RMIT campuses.


Ranked: 148
Previous rank: 199

Tucked between Heidelberg and Ivanhoe, Eaglemont is a small suburb with just over 1500 dwellings and one of the highest hold rates in Melbourne. Despite the high median price point ($1.4 million) and exclusivity of the area, there is room for improvement, particularly in the categories of shopping facilities, restaurants, schools and congested roads.


Previous rank: 162

Greensborough maintains its consistent position in this survey with good scores for topographic variation, tree cover and bus access. The overall ranking of the area would improve given less congested roads, as well the introduction of more cafes and public open spaces.

Buckingham Drive, Heidelberg. Photo: Ken Irwin


Ranked: 106
Previous rank: 94

Heidelberg’s ranking has been affected by low scores in the categories of congested roads and crime. These factors aside, Heidelberg residents benefit from quality access to public open space with hills and relatively large shopping facilities.

Heidelberg Heights

Ranked: 194
Previous rank: 238

Good public transport is the main feature of Heidelberg Heights, which otherwise records average to poor scores across the liveability categories assessed. Areas that show the most room for improvement are the shopping sector, tree cover, schools and roads. The suburb performs reasonably well for its cultural sector and telecommunications coverage.

Heidelberg West

Ranked: 182
Previous rank: 216

Heidelberg West features great public open space, easy access to most public transport methods (bus connections in particular), few congested roads and a reasonable cultural sector. Where it could benefit further is in tree cover, schools and shopping facilities


Ranked: 8
Previous rank: 32

Ivanhoe’s liveability ranking is up 25 spots this year to retain its original top ten ranking, first achieved in 2005. The suburb scores favourably in almost every category, with no huge downfalls (unless you’re set on a coastal view) to drag down its overall score. Its biggest drawcard is the proximity to schools.

Ivanhoe East

Ranked: 92
Previous rank: 93

Ivanhoe East is a consistent performer in terms of liveability, with a relatively steady ranking. Its highest scores are in the categories that cover natural attributes, with hilly streets, quality public open spaces and tree

Lower Plenty

Ranked: 162
Previous rank: 138

Lower Plenty’s most notable assets are its strong telecommunications coverage, low crime rate and the hilly, leafy streets that are complemented by good access to public open space. Where it’s let down is the size of its shopping facilities (attracting one of the worst scores citywide), few schools and often congested roads.


Ranked: 141
Previous rank: 117

Located 14 kilometres north east of the CBD next to Bundoora La Trobe University campus, Macleod offers good public transport, a low crime rate and plenty of public open space. Where it suffers is its small shopping facilities, and poor access to primary and secondary schools.

The Were Street Food Store, Montmorency.Photo: Gary Medlicott


Ranked: 125
Previous rank: 60

Located next to Eltham, the decline of Montmorency’s liveability can most likely be attributed to the growing amenity of surrounding areas and the limited shopping facilities, dining options and culture in the suburb. Montmorency fares particularly well in the categories of topographic variation, crime, tree cover and schools, with decent access to public transport.


Ranked: 121
Previous rank: 177

Rosanna’s best attributes are its hilly streets and the good access to all public transport networks. The area also scores relatively well for its proximity to schools. More shopping, cafe and a larger cultural sector would see its ranking improve, along with a lower crime rate.

St Helena

Ranked: 159
Previous rank: 127

St Helena is 21 kilometres north east of the CBD between Greensborough and Diamond Creek. The good topographic variation, bus access and uncongested roads are the best features of the area in terms of liveability, balancing out less desirable traits such as poor train access and limited dining options.


Ranked: 110
Previous rank: 169

Located 15 kilometres north-west of the CBD, Viewbank carries many natural attributes which make for a desirable place to live, with good topographic variation, public open spaces, and even better tree cover. Residents are also in close proximity to schools, although the area would benefit from more eateries and better train access.


Ranked: 132
Previous rank: 131

A few strong scores contribute to Watsonia’s steady liveability ranking, scoring highly for telecommunications coverage, crime, buses, trains and tree cover. More man-made amenity would significantly boost Watsonia’s overall ranking such as larger shopping facilities, more cafes and schools in the area.

Watsonia North

Ranked: 170
Previous rank: 207

Although Watsonia North is slightly further from the CBD and coastline than neighbouring Watsonia (and therefore scores lower for location), the main reason it ranks in the bottom half of suburbs is due to considerably lower scores for train access and congested roads. Its best features are good tree cover, hilly streets and telecommunications coverage.


Ranked: 180
Previous rank: 154

Yallambie is bordered by Lower Plenty and Viewbank, located 16 kilometres north east of the CBD. What it lacks in shopping facilities, cafes and culture, it makes up for in its hilly streets, low crime rate, open space, good bus access and excellent tree cover. Fewer congested roads and a larger cultural sector would improve Yallambie’s liveability.