Melbourne

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For other places with the same name, see Melbourne (disambiguation).
Yarra River and Melbourne skyline

Melbourne is Australia's second largest city, and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, located at the head of Port Phillip Bay.

Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital, with Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks and gardens. Many of its 4 million residents are both multicultural and sports-mad.

Reasons to visit Melbourne include to attend major sporting events, to use it as a base for exploring surrounding regions such as Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and to visit Phillip Island to view the penguin parade. Many UK visitors come to Melbourne for tours of filming locations of soap opera Neighbours.

Districts[edit]

Central Melbourne[edit]

City Centre (Docklands)
Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and historical core north of the Yarra River, including the new, cosmopolitan Docklands to the west and the Southbank entertainment precinct on the Yarra River.
St Kilda
Sunny beaches and a great restaurant, bar and nightlife scene.
Inner south (Port Melbourne, Albert Park)
Includes the old ports of Melbourne, the historic Clarendon Street town centre and famous Grand Prix circuit.
Inner north (Carlton, Parkville, North Melbourne)
The University district, as well as Lygon Street, famous for Italian culture and cuisine.
Inner east (Fitzroy, Richmond, Collingwood)
Working-class and Bohemian quarter, with some trendy boutiques and pubs full of character.
Stonnington (Toorak, Prahran, South Yarra)
Expensive, upper-class neighbourhood of Melbourne, with high-end shopping and dining.

Metropolitan Melbourne[edit]

Melbourne Southbank
Eastern suburbs
Stretching from almost inner suburbs of Kew, Hawthorn and Camberwell in Booroondara to the outer cities like Maroondah and the Dandenong Ranges.
Northern suburbs
Covering suburbs like Tullamarine, Broadmeadows, South Morang, Epping, Bundoora and Nillumbik Shire.
Western suburbs
Includes areas like Altona, Williamstown, Point Cook, Footscray in Maribyrnong, Werribee in Wyndham, Caroline Springs, Sunshine, Melton, Keilor and Sydenham.
South-eastern suburbs
Spread along the coast of Port Philip Bay and covers areas like Brighton, Elwood, Sandringham and the cities of Frankston and Dandenong. Its main attraction is the beach along the bay.

Understand[edit]

Climate[edit]

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 43.5 29.2 32.4 20.3 17.3 14.3 13.8 14.2 18.9 22.8 25.9 27.5
Nightly lows (°C) 18.4 17.8 15.7 11.5 8.9 7.1 6.6 7.0 10.5 13.6 15.8 17.6
Precipitation (mm) 47.6 48.0 50.3 57.4 55.8 49.0 47.5 50.0 58.1 66.4 60.4 59.5

The city's climate has a notoriety for its changeability, often referred to as "four seasons in a day". Its climate can be described generally as temperate, with warm summers and cool winters. During the summer of December to February, temperatures hover around 26–30°C (79–86°F), but it is not out of the ordinary for the city to swelter through heatwaves of over 40°C (104°F). Humidity is rarely an issue, with mildly comfortable nights down to about 16°C (61°F). With approximately 600mm of rainfall annually, Melbourne gets only half as much rain as Sydney. October is typically the wettest month.

Winter (June–August) is usually cool with a mix of clear, sunny weather and cold & damp conditions. Temperatures in winter can range from chilly overnight lows as low 2 °C (36 °F) to daytime highs as high as 19 °C (66 °F) at times. Light snow has been recorded in and around Melbourne during the winter months only a couple of times over the last century, although the hills east of the city however usually see a snow shower or two every winter. You should consider visiting Melbourne in the autumn and spring — temperatures during these periods are usually very pleasant, without being unbearably warm with daytime highs are usually in the 20s °C (70s °F).

With such wild and unpredictable weather, it can be difficult deciding what to wear when planning a day out in Melbourne. A common tip is to wear layers of clothing, that can be removed or worn as the day goes on.

History[edit]

St Michael's Uniting Church built in 1866

The settlement of Melbourne commenced in 1835 when settlers from Tasmania "purchased" land on Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River from the local Aboriginal tribes. The streets of central Melbourne were carefully laid out in 1837, with some streets 30 metres wide. The settlement was named "Melbourne" after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the British Prime Minister at that time. The first British lieutenant-governor, Charles La Trobe, arrived in 1839 – his Cottage still stands and can be visited in the Kings Domain. The year 1851 was a landmark for Melbourne — the colony of Victoria was separated from New South Wales and very soon after, gold was discovered in Victoria, sparking a huge goldrush. Aspects of the gold rush history can be seen at the Gold Treasury Museum, housed in the Treasury Building built in 1858. Gold was the catalyst for several decades of prosperity lasting through to the late 1880s and examples of the ornate Victorian-era structures built during this time still stand. In 1888, the property boom collapsed and Victoria suffered the depression of the 1890s. Throughout the gold and building booms, Melbourne managed to retain its many spacious parks and gardens and these remain to this day.

In 1901, the British colonies of Australia became an independent federation and Melbourne the temporary capital of Australia, with the Federal Parliament meeting in the Parliament House of Victoria until 1927 when the new Federal capital of Canberra was founded. After World War II, Melbourne grew rapidly, with its mainly Anglo-Celtic population boosted by immigration from Europe, particularly from Greece and Italy. Today Melbourne has the biggest Greek city population (over 800,000) outside Greece and the biggest Italian city population (over 230,000) outside Italy. The significant pre-war Jewish population was also boosted after the war. From the mid-70s, many immigrants came from South-east Asia, particularly Vietnam and Cambodia. Melbourne has had a Chinese population since the gold rush of the 1850s and Chinatown has existed from that time but the population of Chinese and other East Asians has also been boosted by immigration in recent years.

New highrise buildings replaced many of Melbourne’s interesting old structures in the construction boom of the 1970s and 80s. Melbournians belatedly recognised the loss of their architectural heritage and steps were taken to protect what was left. Construction of the huge Crown Casino (briefly the largest casino in the world) in the 1990s upset some Melbournians with its introduction of a gambling culture. Melbourne’s development continues in the 2000s with the opening of the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square and the Docklands precinct.

Culture[edit]

Grimwade gardens, ground level of NGV

Melbourne is often called the cultural capital of Australia, with its many art galleries, film festivals, orchestras, choral and opera productions, vibrant live music scene, and a strong food, wine and coffee culture. People in Melbourne tend to dress up more than in Sydney, partly due to the colder climate. Many bars and clubs have strict dress regulations, such as requiring collars and dress shoes for men.

Particular events to note include the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, the International Art Festival in October, and the Melbourne Comedy Festival in April. There are also many concerts and exhibitions throughout the year. In addition to the Melbourne Museum, there are special museums dedicated to subjects such as science, immigration, Chinese history, Jewish history, sport, racing, film and moving image, railways, police, fire brigades and banking.

Sport[edit]

Melbournians are sports enthusiasts and particularly passionate about Australian Rules football [1], a sport invented in Melbourne. In fact the Australian Football League (AFL) is not so much a sport as a religion in Melbourne, with 9 of the 10 Victorian teams being based in Melbourne. As a guide, the entire national competition only has 18 teams, meaning half the league is based in Melbourne alone. Horse racing is another passion, and the majority of the state has a public holiday on the first Tuesday of November for the racing of the Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s famous horse races. Cricket is the big summer sport and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the 'MCG') [2] is one of the world's leading grounds. The National Sports Museum (NSM) (including the Racing Museum) Australia’s only truly dedicated multi-sports museum is also located at the MCG.

Each January, Melbourne hosts tennis' Australian Open, one of the world’s four Grand Slam championships. In March, Melbourne hosts the first race of the Formula One season, the Formula One Grand Prix. The race is held in Albert Park in South Melbourne. Two professional Association Football teams are based in Melbourne, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City FC; the two teams now share the new Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, commercially known as AAMI Park also playing at Etihad Stadium . The city also boasts one professional team in each rugby code, with both also playing at AAMI Park. The Melbourne Storm play rugby league in the National Rugby League, with teams throughout Australia plus one in New Zealand. The Melbourne Rebels play rugby union in Super Rugby, which features four other Australian sides and five each in New Zealand and South Africa. Melbourne is the unquestioned sporting capital of Australia with the largest arenas and two of the major sporting administrations basing their operation in Melbourne: Cricket Australia is a stone's throw from the MCG, and the AFL games are played at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Air is the most common method of reaching Melbourne, and if you're not in Australia, pretty much your only option. The city is served by two airports: Melbourne Airport, which has international and domestic flights, and the domestic-only Avalon Airport.

Melbourne Airport (MEL)[edit]

Main article: Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, (IATA: MEL) is 22 km north-west of the city centre in the northern suburbs. There are regular flights from all major Australian and New Zealand cities, and there are direct international flights to many Asian hubs with onwards connections to Europe. There are direct flights to North America, South America and Europe.

Avalon Airport (AVV)[edit]

Avalon Airport (IATA: AVV), is situated in the Geelong outer suburb of Lara. The airport is located 55 km to the south-west of Melbourne, and is considerably further from Melbourne CBD than the Melbourne airport at Tullamarine. However, a shuttle to Southern Cross costs only $4 more than a shuttle from Tullamarine, and fares from Avalon are sometimes considerably cheaper. The terminal itself is about as simple as it gets, with just an ATM, car hire desks and baggage carousels in what looks like an old hanger at arrivals. The departure facilities are a little better, with a cafe and a bar, and a video arcade room. But travellers looking just at cheap ticket prices should be warned: Avalon is a considerable distance from the city of Melbourne, and getting connecting transport there can be a lot more difficult than it is at Tullamarine airport, especially if you are landing or departing at night, and are not a resident of Melbourne and don't know your way around.

Avalon Airport is serviced only by low-cost airline Jetstar. It also flies from Tullamarine, so be sure to double-check departure locations.

Options to get to the Melbourne CBD:

  • A taxi from the airport to Melbourne CBD will cost up to $100.
  • SITA coaches [3] operates coach shuttle service to Melbourne's Southern Cross Station at $22 per adult and $10 per child one way. The buses meet every Jetstar arrival. An additional $7 per person charge is made for a transfer to city hotels. Only cash is accepted, not credit cards. Bikes can be carried only if boxed.
  • Lara station is around 8 km from the terminal. Trains from there to Southern Cross station in Melbourne CBD run hourly, and cost $5.60. Children 17 years and under are half price. During off-peak times up to two children travel free with every adult. You will need to get a taxi to Lara station, as there is no public transport connection. A taxi should cost around $15, so there is no cost or time benefit for a single adult of the train over the shuttle. Bicycles are carried free on the V/Line train at Lara, the road between Lara station has no shoulder or cycle facilities.
  • The road connections are good. Hiring a car for a couple of days will usually be cheaper than a taxi, as long as you have somewhere to park it. It is about 50 minutes drive to the Melbourne CBD, but it can take longer in the morning peak, or on Sunday afternoons.

You can also use Avalon airport to Get in to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road. See those articles for the transfer information.

By train[edit]

All intercity rail services from interstate and intrastate destinations operate to and from Southern Cross Station (formerly Spencer Street Station), located on the western edge of Melbourne's central business district. The station has recently been renovated and has excellent links to the rest of the city's public transport network as it is part of the City Loop. Some services stop at Flinders St Station immediately prior to Southern Cross, which is a nice gateway to the city centre.

  • NSW Trainlink. A twice daily service from Sydney (11 hours away).

By car[edit]

From Sydney, the quickest route to Melbourne is the Hume Highway, which takes 10 hours of driving without any stops. This road is almost all dual-carriageway (freeway). The Princes Highway (National Route 1) goes along the coast and is less crowded. It takes longer with lower speed limits, hills and bends, and few opportunities to overtake. See Sydney to Melbourne by car for more information.

Adelaide is slightly closer than Sydney and can be reached in 9 hours. The coastal route is scenic but slower.

A direct journey from Brisbane takes 21 hours of driving and takes you further inland along the Newell Highway. This makes for an alternative to the standard Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne coastal route.

By bus[edit]

Bus services to Melbourne from out of state are provided by Firefly Express [4] and Greyhound [5].

Bus services within Victoria are operated by V/Line, and operate from most major and many minor Victorian towns.

By ship[edit]

Celebrity Solstice in Port Melbourne

Melbourne can be reached from Devonport, Tasmania by car/passenger ferries run by Spirit of Tasmania. The journey takes 10 hours and runs every night (in both directions), departing at 9PM and arriving at 7AM. During the peak of summer, there are also day sailings (departing 9AM, arriving 7PM) on many days – check in advance.

Ticket prices depend on time of year and your sleeping accommodation. A seat (no bed) is the cheapest, starting (in off-peak season) from $108 for adults and $82 for children. Bear in mind, the seat is most uncomfortable, equivalent to a cinema seat. Cabins with bunk beds start from $187 adults, $97 children. Peak season costs are about 25% higher. Cars cost $59 all year round.

Melbourne is also served by several cruise ships throughout the year (mostly in the summer cruise season). Check operators for further details.

All passenger ships serving Melbourne arrive at and depart from Station Pier in Port Melbourne which is located a short distance from the CBD. For those without private transport, the 109 tram departs from the old railway station across the road from the Pier and goes right into the heart of Melbourne (continuing to Box Hill in the north-east of the city).

Get around[edit]

Melbourne has a very large metropolitan area, but most sights of interest are within the city centre and the rest can for most part be reached within about 20 min from the centre on the train or tram. Melbourne's city centre is laid out in an orderly grid system, similar to the grid system of Manhattan, meaning that navigating the city centre is easy. Public Transport Victoria's Journey Planner can suggest the best way to get from point A to point B, with schedules, maps and connections. Melbourne has a reputation for a well-planned road system, although traffic can be disastrous in the peak period.

By public transport[edit]

Metro train on Flinders station

Melbourne has a fairly reliable public transportion system which consists of trams, trains and buses: trams and trains branch out from the city centre to the suburbs, while buses usually cover where there are no tram or train tracks. There are connections to most of the major attractions of the city, and it is fairly easy to get around Melbourne without a car.

Although there are different operators for each form of transport and area, Public Transport Victoria coordinates public transport and provides timetables, maps and a journey planner. An app is available for iOS, otherwise there is a mobile-optimised website [6].

The network is constantly being optimised for elderly and disabled passengers. All new trams and buses are low-floor, and raised platforms have been constructed at major stops for trams. Most inner city stations have escalators and lifts, and others in the suburbs will at least have a ramp. On all forms of transport, there are spots for wheelchairs, and seats that must be vacated on request of an elderly, pregnant or disabled person.

Tickets[edit]

A myki reader deployed on a bus.

Myki is a reloadable smartcard that can be used for travel on trains, trams and buses. Myki cards can be purchased from staffed railway stations, machines at all train stations and large tram stops and various retail stores such as newsagencies and 7-Eleven. Cards can also be purchased online. Myki cards can be topped up at the same places, including some other retail outlets. They cannot be purchased in trams, buses or trains! Standard adult Myki cards can be purchased or topped up at Melbourne Airport, at the north end of T2 near the restrooms and T1 (the Qantas/Jetstar domestic terminal).

Regular adult cards cost $6, and concession/child cards cost $3. The card comes with no preloaded credit and the fee is non-refundable. A Myki Visitor Pack ($14/7 adult child), which comes preloaded with $8/4 of credit and a stack of attraction discount coupons, can be purchased at major stations, tourist information centres and Skybus terminals at Tullamarine airport.

To use Myki, you simply need to touch the card onto one of the lime green readers before travel at the train station, or on board a bus/tram. (The readers are notoriously slow, so be sure to wait until the beep.) Then you need to touch off, as you depart. There is no requirement to touch off on trams. The fare (including the travel time and zone) will be automatically calculated and deducted, so there is no need to plan costs in advance.

The city is divided into two zones; Zone 1 covers the central city and inner suburbs which is as far as many tourists would venture, while Zone 2 covers the middle and outer suburbs. All tram routes are now counted as being in Zone 1. You can purchase tickets for travel in Zone 1, Zone 2 or both. A Zone 1/2 overlap exists as a buffer zone, where tickets from any Zone may be used.

Myki fare table (January 2013)
Adult Concession/Child
Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 1+2 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 1+2
Daily $7 $4.84 $11.84 $3.50 $2.42 $5.92
2 hour $3.50 $2.42 $5.92 $1.75 $1.21 $2.96

The Myki discover centre is located at Southern Cross Station, and provides information and sales related to myki.

Regulations and laws surrounding public transport are strict. Ticket inspectors are common, especially in the inner city, and fines start at $207 on the spot. Having your feet against the seat opposite you may result in a fine of $180, with similar fines applicable for swearing or drinking alcohol whilst on public transport. These fines are enforced strictly and discretion is rarely shown.

Services generally operate between 5AM and midnight Monday–Saturday and after 8AM Sunday. After midnight on Saturday and Sunday mornings only, there are NightRider buses which run defined routes to the suburbs (generally following closest road to the railway line).

The older Metcard system has been retired. Unused Metcards can be converted into Myki credit at any staffed station.

Trains[edit]

Melbourne Train Network.png

The train network is operated by Metro Trains Melbourne with blue signage used for stations. A partly-underground "City Loop" forms the basis of the network, with all the other lines branching off to the suburbs like spokes of a wheel. The lines are named after the station at the end of the line.

Trains are more frequent during peak times in the morning and evening, but also extremely overcrowded. If possible, avoid travel during this time. Unfortunately, signalling is still not up to scratch, so delays of 10–15 minutes happen near-daily and cancellations are all too common, although this has been improving in recent years. If time is critical, the best advice is to catch an earlier train than what you would need. The Public Transport Victoria website lists cancellations. Be aware that some trains run express to and from the city.

Most trains are modern and clean, if occasionally "decorated" with graffiti. 'Premium' stations have staff, bathrooms and other facilities.

Trams[edit]

D2 and C2 trams on Swanston Street

Trams are a prominent feature in Melbourne's urban landscape. The city has the largest network in the world. The network is operated by Yarra Trams, and stops are represented with green signage. Most tram lines branch out from the city centre like spokes. In the city, they often become crowded, especially on weekdays. The newer trams are spacious, low-floor models. In conjunction with these low-floor trams, there are many platform stops to allow level access. But many of the older models have steep steps at the entrances. When entering and exiting a tram, always look for cars, as distracted drivers may illegally speed past.

Real-time tram arrival information and onboard progress maps are available in the free official Yarra Trams tramTRACKER apps (iOS and Android).

The city circle tram in Melbourne's CBD runs in a ring around the city and is free. There is no requirement to purchase a MYKI ticket.

Buses[edit]

Buses serve as connections to places without rail transport. They often connect to major shopping centres and train stations. There are dozens of operators across the city, but the processes and organisation is standardised with orange signs used for bus stops. Most buses are low-floor, air-conditioned and very spacey. Some working class areas have old buses from the 1970s, which lack air-conditioning and have a number of steps at the entrance.

Tourist services[edit]

A City Circle tram.

The free City Circle (Number 35) trams run around the CBD perimeter, covering Flinders St, Spring St, Nicholson St, Victoria St, La Trobe St and Harbour Esplanade along with the new Docklands Precinct. It is a vintage style tram, easily recognisable by its maroon colour. The tram stops along the route are sign posted with City Circle. They run in both directions every 12 minutes every day except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 10–6PM, and until 9PM Thursday–Saturday during daylight savings. Several of the trams on this service are equipped with recorded commentary about attractions passed. Tourist information is often available on board either from brochures or from a city guide person. These trams are geared to visitors and provide access to sites of interest to the tourist. They are a fun introduction to central Melbourne and a free way to have a tram experience, but they tend to be painfully slow and packed full of local commuters. View the number 35 tram route .

The free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle bus service stops at key tourist destinations in and around the city centre. The buses run at 15 minute intervals between 9:30AM and 4:30PM daily. A complete circuit takes 45 minutes, and there is on-board commentary."

By bike[edit]

The inner suburbs of Melbourne have a good network of bike paths by the standards of English-speaking countries, plus a generally flat terrain, making pedal-power a great way to take in the city. Most paths are "shared footways" under the law, although the majority of users in most places are cyclists. This means cyclists should expect to share the path with pedestrians, dog-walkers, rollerbladers, joggers, prams and tricycles. Some trails contain on-road sections (in marked bike lanes). It is legal to cycle on footpaths only when supervising cycling children or when the path is marked or signposted as allowing bikes. Helmets are required by law, and care should be taken when cycling near slippery tram tracks, where many have been injured in the past. Reflective clothing and lights are essential for safe night rides.

Trails[edit]

Yarra River
  • Yarra River Trail. Runs from the mouth of Melbourne's iconic Yarra River, through the city and onwards to Westerfolds Park in the outer suburbs.
  • Capital City Trail. Runs a circuit through Melbourne's inner suburbs, the Docklands precinct and the city. It's a good way to see a slice of day-to-day life.
  • Bay Trail. A pleasant trek around Port Phillip Bay, running from Port Melbourne, through the bustling beach-side precinct of St Kilda, past the famous bathing sheds of Brighton, all the way to Carrum. A punt operates under the West Gate Bridge on weekends and public holidays allowing a start at Altona Meadows along the Williamstown Trail, across the punt, and joining with the Bay Trail. There is no cyclist access permitted to the West Gate Bridge.

Detailed maps of the bike path network can be found online [7].

Bicycles on public transport[edit]

Bicycles may be taken on Metro trains at no extra charge. Due to crowding, it is often impractical to take a bicycle on a peak hour train, and it won't win you any friends with your fellow passengers trying to squeeze into the same carriage. Bicycles are not permitted on buses, even when replacing a train service. Folding bicycles may be taken on trams when folded. Bicycles may be carried in taxis at the drivers discretion.

Bike rental[edit]

  • Melbourne Bike Share. Bikes cost $2.50 per day, as long as you return the bike each 30 minutes. $5 bike helmets can be bought at 7-Eleven stores throughout the city centre and can be refunded for $3 at 7-Elevens.
  • RentabikeVault 14 Princes Walk (Near Federation Square, Federation Wharf, on the north side of the Yarra.),  +61 4 1733-9203.

A folding bike with 20" wheels or smaller is very convenient when travelling in the city. In addition when in folded condition it can be carried on bus, train and CountryLink without any additional charges. Just tell the driver that it will be folded and hand carried as baggage. As for inter-city train, avoid rush hour (7AM-9AM and 5PM-6PM). If the wheelchair area is not occupied then the bike can be parked in this area safely without folding.

By car[edit]

Hook turn warning sign

Driving in Melbourne's CBD is generally inadvisable. Congestion tends to be bad, streetside parking difficult to find, and parking in multi-storey carparks tends to be rather expensive. In addition, you will have to learn how to execute a hook turn (described in a later paragraph) due to the large number of trams in the city. That being said, driving is generally the best way of getting around Melbourne's suburbs, as the public transportation network tends to be less reliable and more thinly spread out than in the CBD, particularly in the outer suburbs. If you plan on living in one of Melbourne's suburbs and wish to rent a car, a common alternative to driving into the CBD that many locals do is to drive to and park at the nearest railway station, and take the train down to the city from there.

The major car rental chains are well-represented and include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz & Thrifty. Independent car rental companies are also plentiful and can offer good value for money. If you are looking to cover a long distance by car, ensure your rental policy includes unlimited mileage – most economy to standard sized car rental include this already.

Melbourne's rules of the road have one notable quirk: there are a handful of intersections in the city centre where you must do a hook turn to turn right due to tram tracks running down the centre of the road. Follow the signs, pull to the left of the intersection if you are turning right, as far forward as possible, wait, and when the light for the street you are turning into turns green (the traffic on the street you are on stops) make the turn.

Check out CityLink's site for details of Melbourne's T-shaped tollway which links the Westgate, Tullamarine and Monash (formerly South-Eastern) freeways. It is a fully electronic road with no manual tollgates. You can buy a day pass in advance, or within 3 days of having driven down it, giving your registration and car details. You can do this by phone, Internet, or at some Shell petrol stations. The registered owner of the car will get a fine in the mail if you do not buy a pass within 3 days. The tolled sections are indicated with blue and yellow signs, rather than the standard green and white. CityLink can cut a worthwhile amount of time from your journey, especially if you are driving from, say, the south-eastern suburbs to Melbourne Airport. Motorcycles are free, cars are around $11/day. Larger vehicles are more.

The EastLink tollway has recently been completed. Formerly called the Scoresby, then the Mitcham-Frankston freeway, it links the Eastern, Monash, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula freeways. Like the CityLink, it is a fully electronic road with no toll gates. If you have a tag or account, tolls range from 28c for short trips on some segments, to a toll cap of $5.15. Weekends are 20% off, and motorcycles are half price. If you don't have a tag or account, passes are available for the cost of the trip cap (e.g. travelling one way will cost you $5.15 in a car). Passes are available online at [8] and can be purchased before or up to 3 days after the trip.

Tags from other Australian cities work on CityLink and the EastLink tollway, but passes do not.

One option for travel on both CityLink and EastLink is the Melbourne Pass. It costs $5.50 to start up an account, and tolls are debited from your credit card automatically once the accumulated tolls and fees reach $10, or when the pass expires (after 30 days, but can be extended once for another 30 days). No tag is required. The pass can be purchased online at [9]

In the centre, parking at meters and ticket machines can be as much as $3.50 per hour.

Motorcycles and scooters are well catered for as footpath parking is both free and legal (providing the footpath is not obstructed). Scooters are becoming very common, however for all size scooters a motorcycle license must be held.

By foot[edit]

Melbourne is an excellent city for walking and you should have no problems navigating the CBD grid. A brisk walk may even see you keeping up with the trams, as they crawl through the city centre.

By taxi[edit]

Yellow Melbourne taxis are ubiquitous in the centre but less often spotted in the suburbs. The largest companies are 13CABS (☎ 13-CABS/132227) and Silver Top (☎ 131008), both of which — despite the names — are also yellow in colour. Fares are standardised so that the meter starts ticking at $3.20 and clocks up $1.617/km, meaning that short hops within the centre can go for under $10, but longer hauls get pretty expensive pretty fast. Midnight-5AM is 20% more, booking by phone or taking a taxi from the airport costs $2 extra and sitting in traffic is $0.56/min. Between 10PM and 5AM, taxi fares are prepaid: you pay an estimated sum to the driver in advance and the fare is corrected on arrival.

Some taxi companies do not provide a lost property service. Lost items by law must be forwarded to the police if they are not claimed. Melbourne's taxi network is fairly safe, although taxi ranks can sometimes be rowdy places, due to the lack of taxis compared to demand (particularly outside Flinders Street Station, but there is a police box next to the rank which generally operates at night).

See[edit]

Royal Exhibition Building located in Carlton Gardens and built for the 1888 International Exhibition
Avenue of English Elm Trees in Fitzroy Gardens

While most tourists may simply use the city as a stopover on the way to some of Victoria's other attractions, Melbourne in its own right is worth a visit. There are a wide and varied assortment of attractions and sights that every traveller will appreciate. Most are located in the City Centre, in close reach of public transport.

Do[edit]

Footy fever

It may be called "Australian rules" football, but the city that rules the game is Melbourne: until 1982, every team in what was then the Victorian Football League was based in Melbourne or Geelong, and even today 10 of 18 teams in the AFL hail from the city. The season runs through winter from late March to late September, with big matches drawing up to 100,000 spectators.

For the first-time spectator, the "footy" looks like untrammeled mayhem, with the oval rugby-style ball carried, kicked, bounced or even punched — but never thrown — across the oval pitch while the opposing team's players tried to grab it or pummel its holder into submission. The objective is simple enough: to kick the ball between the two tall goalposts (scoring 6 points), or barring that at least between a goal post and the shorter post next to it (a behind, scoring 1 point). No protective equipment of any kind is used and almost anything goes when tackling, although traditionalists bemoan the recent banning of moves like grabbing a player's arms from behind and ramming them into the ground head first!

All that said, footy fans are a surprisingly well-behaved lot and hooliganism is nearly unknown, with plenty of families and little old ladies attending matches. Fans of the two opposing teams usually sit together at games, and even though the cheering can get very passionate, actual crowd violence is almost unheard of, even at matches featuring rival teams. Tickets can be booked in advance from Ticketek, but for most games you can simply show up at the stadium before the match, with general admission tickets starting from $20.

  • See interesting films at the Art Deco-styled Astor Theatre in St Kilda. There are several moonlight cinema programmes in summer. The Melbourne International Film Festival [10] is on in August.
  • Alternately, visit the Cinema Nova on Lygon Street (tram 1 or 8) on a Monday for $6 films before 4PM.
  • Visit a comedy club. The Comic's Lounge [11] has shows for $10–25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The Comedy Club has dinner and show for $32 and shows only beginning at $7 (discount ticket price).
  • Watch the mesmerising process of personalised hard candy being hand-made at Suga. Around lunch time is a good time to see (and sample!). There is a store at Queen Victoria Market, but if you visit the Royal Arcade location, you can also watch chocolate making next door at Koko Black.
  • Kick back at one of Melbourne's fantastic cafes in the CBD (Degraves St, The Causeway, and other laneways are fantastic for this), South Yarra (Chapel Street) or Fitzroy (Brunswick Street, Smith Street).
  • Melbourne has an exceptionally vibrant live music scene. Many bars and pubs will have copies of the free magazines "Beat" and "Inpress" which provide local gig guides. Fitzroy, Collingwood and St. Kilda are generally your best bets for seeing some of the great local talent Melbourne has to offer. Venues where you generally can't go wrong include: "The East Brunswick Club", "The Evelyn", "The Espy" (Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda) and Corner Hotel in Richmond.
  • The Black Light Mini Golf is located at the Docklands. This is an 18 hole mini golf range designed around an Australiana theme. It is under black light with a light and sound system and featuring fluorescent colours. It is located behind the Big Wheel Being located indoors means that you can play all year round, Admission pricing is $13 for an adult and $10 for a child. It takes around 1 hr to play. A recently added attraction to the Black Light Mini Golf is "The Coffin Ride" [12] this is as freaky as it sounds, you take a virtual ride in a coffin with the lid closed, there are sounds, smells and your mates can have a really good laugh watching you on TV.
  • Melbourne is an excellent place to master your photography skills. So many places to take a fantastic picture.

Learn[edit]

You can take language classes, join a cafe book group, learn to draw, sign up for historical or foodie walks, study for your Victorian Certificate of Education or take computer or business classes at the Council of Adult Education (CAE). The CAE is also home to the City Library where you can sign up to borrow books or just read magazines in their cafe.

Universities[edit]

Melbourne is home to several universities, two of which belong to the prestigious "Group of Eight": the University of Melbourne and Monash University. There are opportunities for international students to enroll in these universities, either in their degree programmes or through exchange agreements with foreign universities, and these are opportunities for foreigners to live in Melbourne for an extended period of time.

Work[edit]

The most popular industry for a working holiday is to work in hospitality jobs around the St. Kilda area. The wages in all other industries are usually much better than working in hospitality but require more specific skills. At the moment there are a lot of job offers for nurses and craftsmen.

Fruit picking is a possible source of income but in the greater Melbourne area there are not many jobs are offered. You will find better chances are in the dairy business but you should have some basic experience. Grape vine tending is another possibility in the nearby Yarra Valley.

Buy[edit]

Collins Street boasts many high end shops and boutiques

Shopping hours in metro Melbourne are typically 7 days a week, 9AM–5:30PM weekdays and 9AM (maybe later)–5PM weekends. Most suburban shopping centres such as Chadstone have later closing hours on Thursdays and Fridays – mostly up to 9PM. Supermarkets have extended hours 7 days, the majority opening at 7AM and closing at midnight or 1AM, however there are many 24-hour supermarkets around.

Alcohol in Victoria can be purchased at licensed shops/venues and supermarkets often have an adjoining bottle shop, which close earlier than supermarket hours. Some supermarkets that close at the same time as their licence stock alcohol in the supermarket. You need to be over 18 years old to purchase alcohol. Most bottleshops close by 10PM to midnight (even on weekends), but some open until 3AM (e.g. on Riversdale road in Booroondara and Russell St Melbourne), and 24-hour bottleshops on both Chapel and Lygon streets, in Stonnington and Melbourne respectively.

City Shopping[edit]

The historic Block Arcade on Collins Street

Melbourne is known as the fashion capital of Australia with numerous malls and boutique-lined streets.

In the CBD itself, Little Collins Street is home to some of the world's top designers and fashion houses; Collins Street also boasts other high end shops such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès. Brunswick Street (Fitzroy), and the southern end of Chapel Street in Prahran/Windsor, have clusters of stores selling an eclectic mix of vintage, rave, retro and alternative gear such as Shag, Fat Helen's and Beaut Vintage to shop around.

Melbourne Central is another shopping mall based in the city, adjacent to the underground station of the same name. The Bourke Street Mall with the department store David Jones, as well as the flagship store of Myer, Australia's largest department store chain, is another city-central shopping hub.

For the bargain shopper, there is a DFO Outlet Malls located on Spencer Street, Melbourne city, just north of Southern Cross Railway station.

It is also worth noting, for Backpackers, that Elizabeth Street has plenty of Bargain backpackers stores, for example Mitchell's Adventure (255–257 Elizabeth Street), which can offer outdoor products for bargain prices.

Suburban Shopping[edit]

Bridge Road in Richmond is a strip where warehouse direct outlets rule and no one pays recommended retail price. Chapel Street in South Yarra is a favourite among the locals, with its spread of exclusive boutiques, cafes and well established chain stores. There are also several huge shopping complexes in the outer suburbs, such as Chadstone and Southland (Cheltenham) in the South-East. Doncaster Shoppingtown, Eastland (Ringwood) and Knox City are in the outer East. Northland in the north, Highpoint in the west.

Melbourne is also home to many of Australia's largest shopping centres; including Chadstone Shopping Centre in Malvern East (the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere) which has over 530 stores, Knox City Shopping Centre which has 350 stores, and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in Casey which includes approximately 330 stores.

Looking for something in particular?[edit]

Luna Park in St Kilda, Melbourne

For those in the bridal market, High Street in Armadale, Stonnington and Sydney Road in Brunswick, Moreland are the two main clusters for bridal apparel and accessories. For those who are looking for local, aspiring designer creations, try Greville Street in South Yarra, Stonnington or Smith Street and surrounds in Yarra.

To buy funny souvenirs and Australian typical stuff, walk or take the tram to Victoria Market. You'll find all you need there and the price is usually a half or a third of the prices in the souvenir shops downtown. Make sure to try a bratwurst dog and check out the cheese stalls while you're there.

Eat[edit]

Cakes on display at Hopetoun Tea Room on Collins Street

For the culinary traveller, Melbourne is one of the best destinations in the world. There is an abundance of affordable, high quality restaurants representing almost every cuisine. Eating out is cheaper than in Western Europe but not as affordable as North America. The service in Australian restaurants may be more discreet than many North Americans may be used to. Service staff in Australia are paid considerably more than their North American counterparts so tipping is not customary, though you may choose to give a tip if the service was exemplary.

Excellent eateries can be found sprinkled throughout all of the inner (and some outer) suburbs, while certain neighbourhoods have become magnets for residents and restaurants of particular countries. A large range of restaurants and cafes offering high quality food, and representating various cultures and countries, are scattered through the central city, Southbank, Carlton (mostly Italian and touristy), Victoria Street in Richmond (many low cost popular Vietnamese and South East Asian restaurants), Docklands, South Yarra and Prahran. Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg is known for its many Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Greek and Turkish restaurants. The popular tourist area of St Kilda offers a large range of good quality restaurants and cafes, especially on Acland Street, and Fitzroy Street.

English-style fish and chip shops are scattered through the suburbs – particularly in bayside areas. Souvlaki and gyros are very popular in Melbourne and outlets are plentiful through the inner and outer suburbs. Japanese nori rolls and sushi is very popular and many stores through the city and suburbs sell these items.

African[edit]

There is a concentration of African cafes in Nicholson St, Footscray and Racecourse Road, Flemington. Most serve a small range of Ethiopian cuisine and coffee, and are frequented by the local African residents. The Abyssinian (www.theabyssinian.com.au) is a well-regarded Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant popular for locals and tourists for a more elaborate dinner. The stewed foods are served on a large pancake in the middle of the table. Everyone eats with their hands which is messy but fun.

Australian[edit]

"Australian cuisine" is a nebulous concept that may include traditional native foodstuffs and more modern cafe infusions of international influences. Items such an emu and kangaroo meat are unusual, and are most likely to be found only at the high-end fine dining restaurants as a speciality item. You can however, find great kangaroo steaks at the Napier Hotel (Napier St, Fitzroy) for around $20, or at the Edinburgh Castle pub on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for around $10.

Meat pies are available from bakeries and convenience stores.

Café/delicatessen food[edit]

High quality delicatessen style eating available in many of a cafes in the small lanes of central Melbourne. Many high quality deli style diners can be found outside the city, in Acland Street, St Kilda.

Chinese[edit]

Chinese cuisine has a long tradition in Melbourne and a large number and range of quality restaurants exist. Many are in Chinatown in Little Bourke Street, City centre. They are also dotted through the inner and outer suburbs, with concentrations in Richmond, Footscray, and suburban Box Hill, Glen Waverley and Springvale.

Most of the food is from the Southern (Cantonese) school of cooking, although Northern favourites like dumplings are also available. Eating dim sum, which is consumed either during breakfast or lunch (called yum cha or "drinking tea" in Cantonese) is an extremely popular Sunday pastime for Australians of all ethnic backgrounds.

If you're after a budget option (meals $5–10), try Camy's dumpling house (Shanghai style dumplings) on Tattersalls Lane in the CBD. In the evening, the easiest – and most amusing – option is the all-you-can eat service for $12 per person. Service is dicey, but always exciting.

Greek[edit]

Lonsdale Street in the City Centre is Melbourne's Greek precinct with bars, cafes and restaurants, and cake shops. Greek restaurants and food outlets can be found in Sydney Road in Brunswick, Swan Street, Richmond, Coburg and Oakleigh in the south eastern suburbs which have many Greek cafes specialising in frappe, cakes and good souvlaki.

Indian[edit]

Indian restaurants can be found throughout Melbourne, particularly in the city, North Melbourne, and inner eastern suburbs such as Richmond and Hawthorn. There are also numerous Indian snack bars in the city that serve cheap but tasty curries and samosas, cafeteria-style.

Nepalese food is also popular in Melbourne, and some restaurants feature both Nepalese and Indian cuisine on their menus. An increasing number of Indian restaurants offer home delivery.

Indonesian[edit]

Befitting its large number of Indonesian students, Melbourne has many Indonesian restaurants. One of the most famous is Blok M on Commercial Rd, Prahran, which many famous Indonesians have visited. Another popular restaurant is Nelayan with two restaurants on Swanston Street and Glenferrie Rd, Agung on Glenferrie Road, Bali Bagus on Franklin Street, Es Teler 77 on Swanston St, Nusantara in Caulfield and Bali Bowl on Flinders Lane. There is also Warung Gudeg, specialising in Jogjakartan local cuisine in Clayton. Warung Agus in West Melbourne serves Balinese cuisine on a rather upscale atmosphere.

Italian[edit]

With its large Italian population Melbourne has countless Italian restaurants, mostly offering food from the southern regions of the Italian peninsular.

Italian cafes and restaurants are plentiful throughout Melbourne but are in the greatest concentration in Lygon Street, Carlton, just north of the city centre. Lygon Street is where Melbourne's coffee culture originated. Suburban Italian restaurants are often large and family orientated and tend towards the pizza, pasta, seafood and steak formula.

Pizza outlets are very much part of the Melbourne landscape. These include Piazza 51 in Sydney Road, Brunswick, Spiga in Melbourne Central, Pizza Meine Liebe in Northcote, and countless options in Lygon Street.

Japanese[edit]

A quick "sushi" take away lunch can be bought on almost every block where there is food. In and out of Chinatown there are also plenty of places that have good bento, udon and donburi as well.

For dinner, many of the inner city suburbs have Japanese restaurants, but in the city itself there is a long an interesting Japanese restaurant history that continues to this day. Both Melbourne's oldest, Kuni's (which has been around since 1978) and it's sister restaurant Kenzans are known for a very authentic, if expensive, meal. There are a plethora of choices for those on stricter budgets as well.

Jewish/Kosher[edit]

St. Kilda East and Caulfield are home to vibrant Jewish communities and kosher bakeries and cafes abound most situated on Carlisle Street in Balaclava, Kooyong Road in Caulfield North and Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick.

Malaysian/Singapore[edit]

Malaysians and Singaporeans feeling homesick will find host of restaurants and foodcourt outlets offering items like roti canai/paratha, nasi lemak, prawn noodles, laksa. Many are in the City Centre; there are Malaysian restaurants scattered throughout Melbourne. Little Bourke Street has a few Malaysian run eateries as well as QV's Kopitiam (corner of Lonsdale and Swanston St, CBD), Boxhill has a new Malaysian run (with Malaysian cooks – most Malaysian run eateries employ cooks from China) eatery called Petaling Street which has provided the most authentic fare so far.

Middle Eastern[edit]

Arab, Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish restaurants tend to be concentrated in Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg to the north of the city centre. These restaurants can also be found in the outer suburbs that are home to those communities, including Dandenong.

Thai[edit]

Thai restaurants are ubiquitous in Melbourne: even dining precincts mostly known for Italian or Vietnamese food boast Thai restaurants.

Vegetarian[edit]

Vegetarian food is widely available in Melbourne, and you can expect every restaurant or cafe to have a few vegetarian or vegan options. There are also many vegetarian restaurants: Vegie Bar in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Gopals in Swanston St and Shakahari in Lygon St, Carlton are just some of the options. Crossways at 123 Swanston St. serves a very popular $5 all you can eat vegetarian lunch, Mon-Sat.

Vietnamese[edit]

Melbourne's Little Vietnams are in Footscray, North Richmond and Springvale out in the far eastern suburbs. The streets in these areas are lined with pho (noodle) shops and restaurants offering other Vietnamese favourites. Many outlets have also appeared along Swanston Street in the City Centre. However for convenience to the city and reasonable prices, Victoria Street in North Richmond is your best bet.

Others[edit]

Spanish, Argentinian, Burmese and Polish restaurants can be found in the Richmond/Collingwood/Prahran area.

Melbourne has some Cajun/Creole restaurants and one or two American style diners, but US cuisine is otherwise absent: Foods like Southern-style barbecue and clam chowder are nearly impossible to find.

Korean restaurants are well represented and are scattered throughout the city.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Block Arcade on Little Collins Street offer sweets ranging from cakes and pastries to high tea.

Drink[edit]

Coffee[edit]

Melbourne has a long and rich coffee culture beginning with Victorian era coffee palaces and further enhanced by Italian migrants arriving in the aftermath of World War II.

Perhaps the most famous Italian style cafe is Pellegrini's, 66 Bourke St, Melbourne city. Fitzroy is known for funky, bohemian-style cafes. Collins Street features many elegant cafes. Many Italian style cafes are found in Carlton; Brunetti's is open late and always packed.

Serious espresso connoisseurs would enjoy visiting St Ali cafe/roastery in South Melbourne, Auction Rooms (Errol St) in North Melbourne, or the Maling Room café in Canterbury.

  • Atomica cafe (268 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, tel +61 3 9417-4255) serves a strong, but well-balanced mix of coffee and silky smooth milk. Atomica also has seats on the footpath, if the upbeat music is too much for your coffee buzz and, on a warm sunny day, it is an ideal spot to mix it with the Brunswick Street crowd.
  • The Green Refectory (115 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, tel +61 3 9387-1150), Easy to miss, but better you don't. Serves great value homemade food, and quality Illy coffee to accompany it. The crowd is eclectic mix of the Brunswick artsy crowd, university students and young professionals pushing prams. Despite its nondescript exterior (look for the 'Illy' coffee sign that juts out from the front windows), the difficulty of locating this place hasn't affected its popularity at all.
  • 7 grams (505 Church St, Richmond, ☎ +61 3 9429-8505) has a 'best in show' coffee. The cafe itself is unpretentious, with an understated decor and a row of black-topped, chrome-legged stools along a mirror bar.
  • 65 Degrees (309 Exhibition St, ☎ +61 3 9662-1080) is itself a recent addition, but its owners have a long history of accolades. Champion barista, world latte artist and award winning coffee blend, gridlock coffee. Fast, friendly service and some of the finest coffee around.
  • Image Superstore Cafe (690 Elizabeth St, ☎+61 3 9349-5529) serves great coffee with superb staff where you can enjoy high tea surrounded by funky New York and Paris inspired interior design. What makes this cafe even unique is you can have your photo taken by a professional photographer on the spot.

Bars and Clubs[edit]

Melbourne nightlife is 24 hours, loud, colourful and anything goes. Door policies can be strict but once inside high quality entertainment is guaranteed. DJ's, live music, artists, beautiful people and so much more can be found. There truly is something for everyone and every taste. It has a massive live music scene, with many inner-suburbs pubs catering many genres, with drink and food specials all week. The key is to find one you like the most!

Alongside it's many clubs, Melbourne is also a fast-rising festival city. Global event companies such as ID&T, Global Gathering, Ministry of Sound and Trance Energy have begun taking notice of the city and bringing their events. Upcoming electronic music events are well catalogued on [13]

Gay, lesbian and transgendered party goers are welcome everywhere as Melburnians are on the whole very tolerant and welcoming people. Perhaps the one bad thing is that nothing really starts happening until midnight!

The city centre has a number of pubs, the most famous being the Young and Jackson. Melbourne is also famous for its many trendy bars in the CBD. Most of these, however, are down narrow alleys and streets, and are therefore hard to find unless you know where you are going.

The inner northern suburbs, such as Collingwood and Fitzroy cater for the young, laid-back, and bohemian crowd. Here you will find lots of live music, cheaper prices, and a relaxed atmosphere. Head for Brunswick and Gertrude Streets in Fitzroy and Smith Street, Collingwood for cafes, bars and live music, while Lygon Street, Carlton has a range of Italian restaurants and cafes with a student vibe, as it's located near the University of Melbourne. Victoria Street, North Richmond is the heart of Melbourne's Vietnamese community, with many cheap and cheerful restaurants serving good food.

Chapel Street/ Toorak Road in South Yarra and Prahran has the most glamourous bars and clubs. Here, expect high prices, strict dress codes, and beautiful people who want to be seen partying with the best. St. Kilda has a little bit of everything. With its proximity to the beach, it is often regarded as the Melbourne suburb that feels most like Sydney.

The past decade has seen a revival of Melbourne's inner-city bar scene, with dozens of weird and wonderful watering holes opening up within forgotten alleyways and anonymous lanes of the City Centre (CBD). Melbourne also has its fair share of stylish places to drink, although the better ones can be hard to find. The theory seems to be: the harder your bar is to find, the more people will talk about it. Secrets are tucked around areas like Prahran, South Yarra and many other areas. However there are plenty of alleyway bars, once you find one they seem to pop up everywhere you look. Melbourne's clubs often market a members only rule which can upset your more upmarket traveler. The rule is in place to prevent fighting and unappealing groups of men entering a nice club and destroying the atmosphere.

Australian licensing laws are very similar to those in the UK, i.e. you are not allowed to be drunk on licensed premises. In practice though, Melbourne venues and bouncers draw the line very low. Ejection from a premises can be expected for fighting, vomiting, or frequent falling over. Some pubs and clubs are quicker to eject patrons than others, but it's only ever a short walk to another. Licensing is more liberal then what one may be used to, as you can still expect to find a drink past 2AM. This has lead to a culture of late night drinking where some venues won't get busy until some time after 11PM, especially true during summer.

Melburnians often draw a distinction between 'bars', meaning the small watering holes described above, and 'pubs' which are larger establishments in the usual Australian or British sense of the word. Melbourne's pubs, particularly those in the city and inner suburbs, usually serve restaurant-standard food and a wide range of local and imported beers. Pubs usually offer lunch from approximately midday to 2PM, and reopen their kitchens for dinner from approximately 6PM-10PM

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Melbourne's budget accommodation options can be found in two main areas, namely in the City Centre and in the seaside suburb of St Kilda. However, outside these two areas, there are also several popular budget options in bohemian Fitzroy, South Melbourne, and Windsor.

  • Greenhouse Backpacker, toll-free: 1800 249 207, e-mail: . Is a Hall of Fame award winning hostel located in the heart of Melbourne at 228 Flinders Lane. Each guest gets free unlimited internet 24/7, free daily breakfast, 24 hour reception, five in-house tours and more.
  • Melbourne Metro YHA, e-mail: . Is an award winning hostel located on the city fringe, close to major attractions including the Queen Victoria Market and Zoo. This funky hostel is a great place to stay when visiting Melbourne.
  • Melbourne Central YHA, e-mail: . Is right in the centre of the City. It is situated along the City Circle tram route and most Melbourne attractions are within walking distance. The staff are friendly, helpful and caring. It was opened in 2009 and is highly maintained.
  • Claremont Guest House, in an historic 1886 building. Rated a 3 Star Guest House by AAAT, and is a multiple winner of Hostelworld's monthly 'Best Hostel in Australia' award as voted by backpackers. Free Wi-fi. Free breakfast. Public transport at the door. [14]
  • CityTempo Apartments, compact CBD apartments on Queen Street near the Queen Vic Markets. 4 Stars (AAA Tourism), all linen/towels provided with kitchenettes. Some apartments include clothes washer/dryer. 353 Queen Street, Melbourne. Free call within Australia:☎ 1800 248 983 [15]

Please note that around the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix (late March) and other international events, hostel accommodation is booked out and some hostels raise their prices. Be sure to book ahead.

Mid-range[edit]

Accommodation in this price bracket can mostly be found in the city centre. There are however options scattered throughout the suburbs.

  • Jika International Motel – Melbourne – Fairfield. [16] ☎ +61 3 9481-2822 Fax +61 3 9489-8819 [17].
  • Golden Chain Motels – Melbourne has many locations in Melbourne and surrounding area serving quality accommodation at affordable prices. [18]
  • Somerset Gordon Heights MelbourneNo 19 -25 Little Bourke St +61 3 9267-5400fax: +61 3 9665-2695, e-mail: . The residence is in the heart of the city's CBD. Its 43 apartments, which range from studios to two-bedroom, are furnished with modern decor and equipped with in-room broadband internet access. Fully-equipped kitchens are available in one and two bedroom residences. Daily rates starts from $161.50.
  • Travelodge Southbank Melbourne Hotel, 9 Riverside Quay, Southbank. Great location, quality accommodation at affordable prices. Parking available.☎ +61 3 8696-9600, Facsimile: +61 3 9690-1160 [19]

Splurge[edit]

The City Centre remains the main area for this category of accommodation.

  • Hotel Windsor111 Spring St +61 3 9633-6000. The grand old lady of Melbourne's five-star hotels, and the only surviving grand pre-World War II hotel in Australia.
  • Citigate Melbourne270 Flingers St +61 3 9654-6888. Citigate Melbourne hotel offers contemporary Melbourne city accommodation on Flinders Street, opposite the historic Flinders Street Station.
  •    Clarion Suites Gateway1 William St +61 3 9296-8888. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Recently refurbished Melbourne CBD hotel which is overlooking the Yarra River and is in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. All suite and 4,5 stars Melbourne CBD hotel.
  • The Langham Melbourne Hotel1 Southgate Ave, Southbank +61 3 8696-8888. The Langham Melbourne hotel offers luxurious Melbourne city accommodation behind the high end Southgate shopping mall, opposite the historic Flinders Street Station. The Langham Melbourne Hotel was the only Australian hotel in Travel and Leisure magazine's list of the world's 100 best hotels (2009). The Langham's Chuan Spa also achieved 'Top Hotel Spa' status in Travel + Leisure USA's 2009 World’s Best Awards readers survey.
  • The Sebel Melbourne394 Collins St +61 3 9211-6600. On the corner of Queens Street and Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne’s business district. Elegantly restored. this 19th century former bank is now an historic hotel.

Connect[edit]

Post[edit]

Melbourne old GPO

After a fire gutted the original building in 2001, most of Melbourne's grand General Post Office (250 Elizabeth St; ☎: 13 13 18; Fax: 9203 3078; M–F 8:30AM–5:30PM, Sa 9AM–4PM, Su 10AM–4PM; [20]) has now been turned into an upmarket retail precinct. The main post office in the Melbourne CBD is situated at the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke Streets. Post restante services are also located here.

Phone[edit]

Payphones are easily found through the city, but many are being phased out due to growing mobile phone ownership. These phones are coin-operated or use prepaid Phonecards, which are available from most convenience stores or newsagents. International calling cards are also available at these outlets. Using a payphone to make a local call will cost you $0.50 (untimed, although some phones limit your call to 15 minutes).

Mobile phone coverage within the CBD and surrounds is usually good-to-excellent. All mobile carriers in Melbourne use GSM 850/1900, and UMTS 2100 is offered by all carriers except Telstra, who instead offer UMTS 850. By law, you will require some identification to purchase a prepaid (PAYG) SIM card which are sold at most convenience stores, newsagents and supermarkets. This may be requested at time of purchase, and/or time of activation.

The largest companies are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Amaysim, which uses the Optus network is the best value, and can be picked up from any 7 Eleven store; note that to activate it you will need a full Australian address and access to email; in addition it currently doesn't allow tethering for new activations. If you wish to make cheap international calls, Lebara and lycamobile are the best choices.

Melbourne's area code for landline telephones is 03 (internationally dial +613). To make an international direct dial call, the trunk line access code is generally 0011 or simply add a + in front of the number if your phone allows.

Internet[edit]

Internet cafes are dotted throughout the city, especially near the backpacker enclaves of St Kilda and Flinders Street. Speeds are usually excellent and rates range from $2.50–12 per hour, the cheapest usually found in combination market/internet cafes in the Asian parts of town.

  • mag nation88 Elizabeth St. This shop has free WiFi.
  • HiSpeed Internet Kiosks (At Spencer Street DFO.). A chain with many stores across the country. 21 minutes for $2.
  • e:FiftyFive (55 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne) is like a huge basement lounge room that feels more like a bar than an internet cafe. Great DJs, comfortable couches and dirt-cheap $2/hour internet access when you buy a drink attract plenty of travellers and will make writing that email home an enjoyable experience.
  • VA (Bourke Street, Melbourne) is one of the countless but arguably the best internet/LAN gaming cafes in Melbourne, which is packed full of "hardcore gamers" on Sunday afternoons (sponsored competition day). Non-member rates start at $3.50/hour while membership costs a mere $15 (includes $12 credit) and benefits include play offers such as $4/2 hours, $5/3 hours and $6/4 hours, as well as day and night packages.
  • Cydus (Victoria Street, North Melbourne) large range of internet usage services every day and at any time (including most public holidays). Non-member rates start at $3/hour while membership costs $10 (includes 2 hours free play) and membership rates are $2/hour while member offers include "Endurance Pass" (5 hours play + $2.80 snack voucher) and "Survival Pass" (10 hours play).
  • City Library253 Flinders Ln. Free internet access to members (temporary membership available). The library has a free WiMAX network, which is slow when crowded.
  • The State Library [21]. Offers free internet at many workstations and does not require membership (limited to 15 minutes or 1 hour per session, no session limits). You can get a free membership for access to free wireless web access, however, the wireless access is limited and you may not be able to access some sites and services. Printing facilities are also provided for a fee.
  • Melbourne Central shopping centre (corner of Swanston and La Trobe St) has free wireless internet access.
  • Australia on Collins shopping centre (on Collins St) has free wireless internet access.
  • Federation Square (corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street, outside Flinders Street railway station) is supposedly Australia's largest free outdoor wireless hotspot.
  • McDonald's. Almost all McDonald's branches in town have free WiFi. The network is heavily filtered, and both time and bandwidth are limited, but you should be able to check email and do most basic web browsing.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

While Melbourne has experienced a trend of violent behavior recently, it has unfairly gained a reputation of being a violent city. Some parts of Melbourne are best avoided after hours though, primarily some parts of the western suburbs. Gang and racial violence is an issue although the Government has announced a state wide crack down on un-social and violent behavior with large police presence and train station PSO's. Caution is needed to be exercise after hours around bars and clubs, where fights often occur.

While Melbourne is a very safe city for its size, the usual precautions still apply as for any large city, including keeping valuables hidden and avoiding solo night travel.

Some areas, such as Collingwood and Footscray, are safe during the day but can be dangerous at night. These two areas have a heavy police presence, though, so provided you stick to main streets (e.g., for Collingwood, Smith Street), you should be fine. Outer-suburban areas like Dandenong, Sunshine and Ringwood do not have a heavy police presence, and in the unlikely event a traveler would visit them, are areas of high risk caution would be warranted. If you stay on well lit, well traveled streets, you should be fine, but be alert.

Melbourne's red-light districts include King Street, known for its concentration of strip clubs, and certain parts of St Kilda (in particular Grey Street, Inkerman Street and Greeves Street) where there is some illegal street prostitution. Even so, you are more likely to be harassed by drunken revelers and street walkers than you are to be actually threatened. Melbourne City Council has established all-night "Safe City" taxi ranks with security guards on King Street, outside Flinders Street Station and on Bourke Street.

If you travel by train at night, stay in the front carriage close to the driver's area and note emergency buttons. If a problem occurs, push emergency buttons on the train or railway station to attract attention. Stay in Safety Zones while on stations at night. These are marked with yellow lines and are usually well lit and have emergency buttons as well as about 4 cameras pointed at the area. Robberies on trains are rare, but it occasionally happens (and when it does, at night). Railway police patrol most services. In early 2010, there were attacks on Indian students, sometimes claimed to be racially motivated.

If you are driving your own car or rented automobile, beware of car theft or break-in. Avoid temptation by hiding valuables out of sight, and always lock the car and leave the windows up before you leave. If you are waiting in your car, lock the car as well. A police officer will always show ID before asking you to open your door or window.

Pickpocketing is rare in Melbourne, but be aware of your belongings out the front of Flinders Street Station and the first block of Swanston Street (between Flinders and Collins Streets).

Beggars frequent the southern ends of Elizabeth and Swanston Streets, Bourke Street Mall, and the intersection of Bourke with Exhibition and Russell Streets. You can also expect to be persistently targeted if seated outdoors at a pub or cafe in the city. Verbal abuse and intimidation by beggars is uncommon but by no means unknown.

Although scams are rare in Melbourne, be wary of real estate agents (especially if you have newly arrived and plan to stay only for the short term). There have been many cases of real estate agents preying upon overseas students in particular. Common scams include charging tenants for costs that don't exist (such as charges for 'advertising' when tenants move out) and deducting costs for non-existent reparations and cleaning from the bond. Be sure to consult the Tenants Union of Victoria and know your rights when you are charged for anything and move in and out.

Take extreme care when crossing tram tracks in and around Melbourne. Trams tend run very fast in Melbourne to avoid disruption with the traffic. There have been recent cases of pedestrians being hit by trams, which can cause life-threatening injuries or even instant death. Even if a tram has passed, look on the other side in case there is another tram approaching, as trams often run practically nose-to-tail, especially in Elizabeth Street.

Intensive solicitation of pedestrians by corporations and activist groups ('chuggers') has become common in the city. Many resort to intrusive tactics such as blocking your path or occupying all four corners of a street intersection. They are not after a one-off donation, but to sign you up to a regular contribution plan from your credit card or bank account (from which they receive a substantial percentage).

The infamous Melbourne gangland war that claimed many lives is now over and despite anything you see on the media having to do with it, violent criminal occurrences are very rare and isolated. As long you are not involved with Melbourne's underworld, you do not have anything to worry about.

Go next[edit]

Beacon Cove Beach, Port Melbourne

Melbourne is fairly centrally located on the coast of Victoria, and there are many natural and man-made attractions that make for a nice day trip. Another way to visit regional Victoria is utilising the VicLink public transport system. Regular train journeys leave from Southern Cross station. Regional attractions include:

Melbourne outskirts[edit]

South Melbourne Townhall

These places are within an hour's drive of central Melbourne.

Northern Victoria[edit]

South west Victoria[edit]

Eastern Victoria[edit]

Western Victoria[edit]

Routes through Melbourne
Albury-WodongaSeymour  N Australian National Route M31.svg S  END
Mount GambierGeelong  W Australian Alphanumeric State Route M1.svg E  WarragulSale


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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