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Difference between revisions of "Melbourne"

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* Melbourne is also known for great street art often located down narrow laneways this art is displayed on approved outdoor locations. [http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/PLACESTOGO/PUBLICART/Pages/StreetArt.aspx]
 
* Melbourne is also known for great street art often located down narrow laneways this art is displayed on approved outdoor locations. [http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/PLACESTOGO/PUBLICART/Pages/StreetArt.aspx]
  
* Learn about aboriginal culture and history at the '''Koorie Heritage Trust''' {http://www.koorieheritagetrust.com/}
+
* Learn about aboriginal culture and history at the '''Koorie Heritage Trust''' [http://www.koorieheritagetrust.com/]
  
 
* Visit a comedy club. The '''Comic's Lounge''' [http://www.thecomicslounge.com.au/ ] has shows for $10-25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The Comedy Club [http://www.thecomedyclub.com.au/] has dinner and show for $32 and shows only beginning at $7 (discount ticket price).
 
* Visit a comedy club. The '''Comic's Lounge''' [http://www.thecomicslounge.com.au/ ] has shows for $10-25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The Comedy Club [http://www.thecomedyclub.com.au/] has dinner and show for $32 and shows only beginning at $7 (discount ticket price).

Revision as of 07:42, 9 March 2013

Discussion on defining district borders for Melbourne is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.


For other places with the same name, see Melbourne (disambiguation).
Melbourne is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Yarra River and Melbourne skyline

Melbourne [1] 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. 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 [2].

Contents

Districts

Central Melbourne

City Centre (Docklands)
Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and historical core north of the Yarra River, including the new, cosmopolitan Docklands precinct to the west.
Southbank
Entertainment, fine dining and the shimmering Crown Casino.
St Kilda
Sunny beaches and a great restaurant, bar and nightlife scene.
South Melbourne (Port Melbourne, Albert Park)
Includes the old ports of Melbourne, as well as the historic Clarendon Street and town centre.
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

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.

Notable inner city suburbs

Below are some of the major inner-city suburbs and localities. They are from the old district structure for Melbourne, and will eventually be merged into their respective article above.

  • City Centre— Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and historical core north of the Yarra River, including the Southbank district immediately south of the Yarra and the new Docklands precinct to the west.
  • Albert Park— A suburb of Port Phillip and Home of Melbourne's F1 Grand Prix circuit.
  • South Melbourne— Home of the shopping strip known as Clarendon Street, South Melbourne in Port Phillip also has the popular South Melbourne Market, which first opened in 1867 and features food, clothing, footwear and much more.
  • St Kilda— Suburb of Port Phillip on Port Philip Bay with its famous Sunday art market, and home to many backpacker hostels and cafes.
  • Brunswick— Inner northern suburb in Moreland. The "new" Fitzroy.
  • Carlton— In northern Melbourne, the traditional home of Melbourne's Italian community and the University of Melbourne.
  • Collingwood— Working class suburb of Yarra with funky shopping on Smith Street.
  • Fitzroy— The Bohemian quarter of Yarra filled with interesting restaurants and trendy boutiques.
  • Richmond— Also part of Yarra, North Richmond is Melbourne's Little Vietnam while the southern part of the district, Bridge Road, is famous for low price fashion outlets.
  • Footscray— Working class suburb of Maribyrnong, cool, multicultural, cheap markets, dozens of Vietnamese and East African shops and restaurants.
  • Yarraville— Quiet, inner-western suburb of Maribyrnong with well-preserved Victorian architecture and a funky, artsy vibe.
  • Prahran— Favourite shopping district in Stonnington with Chapel Street as its main attraction.
  • South Yarra— South of the river in Stonnington, with high-end shopping and dining, it covers South Yarra and Toorak.
  • Williamstown— Old, maritime-styled suburb of Hobsons Bay with many cafes situated along the foreshore.

Understand

Climate

It is said that Melbourne has "four seasons in one day", with specific reference to late Autumn and early Spring, when the weather varies considerably. Melbourne gets only half as much rain as Sydney, and generally receives about 600mm (24 inches) of rainfall annually. October is typically the wettest month. An average Melbourne summer day (in Dec-Feb) is sunny with temperatures around 26-30°C (79-86°F) with the warmest temperatures tending to be in the inland suburban locations and the coast tempered by a refreshing southerly sea breeze. Heatwaves are common during the summer and daytime temperatures can exceed 40°C (104°F) with hot northerly winds. The highest maximum temperature recorded in Melbourne was 46.4°C (116°F) in 2009 (The 'Black Saturday' bush fires occurred on this day). Despite the warm days Melbourne experiences in summer, humidity is rarely a problem and temperatures at night remain mildly comfortable with an average summer low usually about 16°C (61°F). Thunderstorms are more common in summer than winter but usually bring refreshing relief from the occasional stifling daytime temperatures. 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. The coldest temperature recorded in Melbourne was -2.8°C (27°F) all the way back in 1869. Light snow has been recorded in and around Melbourne during the winter months only a couple of times over the last century, the hills east of the city however usually see a snow shower or two every winter. It is best advised to visit Melbourne in the autumn and spring — temperatures during these periods are usually very pleasant, without being unbearably warm and daytime highs are usually in the 20s Celsius (70s Fahrenheit).

History

The Shrine of Remembrance

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 high-rise 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

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

Melbournians are sports enthusiasts and particularly passionate about Australian Rules football [3], 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 over 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 [4], one of the world’s famous horse races. Cricket is the big summer sport and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the 'MCG') [5] 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 [6], 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[7]. The race is held in Albert Park in South Melbourne. Melbournians have also taken football (soccer) to their hearts in recent times. Melbourne Victory, playing in Australia's premier competition, the A-League, enjoyed enormous crowds and colourful, boistrous support at their original home ground, Etihad Stadium (previously known as the Telstra Dome). In 2011, the A-League took notice of this phenomenon and added a second Melbourne team, Melbourne Heart. The two teams now share the new Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, commercially known as AAMI Park. 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

By plane

Melbourne is served by two airports, Melbourne Airport, which has international and domestic flights, and Avalon Airport , which only has domestic flights.

Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Melbourne Airport [8] (IATA: MEL) is 22 km north-west of the city centre, adjacent to the industrial suburb of Tullamarine. There are regular flights from all major Australian and New Zealand cities, and there are direct international flights to many Asian hubs, and onwards connections to Europe. There are direct flights to the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, Santiago, Fiji and Hawaii. It is practical to fly direct to Melbourne from most international points. There is long term car parking available at Melbourne Airport [9] if you're keen on leaving your car here during your holiday, however, as parking charges can be relatively high at the airport it may be wise to thoroughly explore alternative options.

The airport has four terminals. T1, T2 T3 are in the same building, and it is easy to walk to T4, however each terminal has separate security screening, and access between terminals is not available once in the sterile area.

  • T1 (the "North Terminal") is used by Qantas [10] and Jetstar [11] domestic services.
  • T2 (the "International Terminal") is used by all international airlines. It is the middle terminal of the airport.
  • T3 (the "South Terminal") is used by Virgin Australia [12] and REX Regional Express [13] domestic services.
  • T4 is used by Tiger Airways Australia [14] domestic services.

All arrivals are on the lower level of the terminals, with departures from the upper level.

Taxis between the airport and the city centre cost around $40-45 and take about 25 minutes in clear traffic.

Skybus [15], ☎ +61 3 9670 7992, runs a 24/7 shuttle to and from the Southern Cross Station Coach Terminal on Spencer Street at the west end of the Central Business District, just north of Lonsdale Street. There are two airport pickup locations. One is outside the Virgin Australia/REX terminal (T3), 50 m (55 yd) from the international terminal (T2). The other is outside the Qantas/Jetstar domestic terminal (T1). There are ticket desks at both T1 and T3, and if unattended, tickets can be purchased electronically or from the driver.

The trip takes around 20 minutes (in good traffic) and runs directly using the freeway with no stops. It costs $17/28 adult one-way/return, $6 child one-way (between 4 and 14 years of age). There are also several family ticket options available. Frequency ranges from half-hourly between 1:00AM and 4:00AM, to every 10 minutes from 5:30AM to 11:00PM. They also run a connection service between the terminal and central hotels/hostels during the day (Mon-Fri 6:00AM-10:30PM, Sat-Sun 7:30AM-5:30PM), and this is included in your fare. Otherwise, you can board any train at Southern Cross Station, or take a tram down Collins St through the city centre. Bookings are not needed for travel from the airport to hotels, but on the way back, book hotel pick-up at least 3 hours ahead.

Alternatively, if heading to southern Melbourne (St Kilda and points beyond), the Frankston and Peninsula Airport Shuttle (FAPAS) [16] runs roughly-hourly minibus services, advance bookings required either online or at +61 3-97831199. Full adult fares from $18, but there are group discounts and some hostels even offer free rides if you stay for three or more nights.

The airport recently got a new SmartBus service, which offers long operating hours, and high frequencies (minimum 15 minutes during the daytime). If you are economising, a 2-hour 2-zone Metcard gets you into the city for $5.80. Catch bus 901 to Broadmeadows (sign will read "FRANKSTON"), and switch to a train. A bus towards Moonee Ponds (Essendon) will also get you to a railway station, however, operates much less frequently. It should be noted that Broadmeadows has one of the highest crime rates in Melbourne, so great caution should be taken at the station and on the train.

From Melbourne CBD to MEL Airport direction. Get a 2-hour zone-1/2 ticket at Flinders Street station for $5.80 to Broadmeadows Station (Craigieburn line). From Broadmeadows Station, you can catch either bus 500 to Melbourne Airport, or bus 901 to Melbourne Airport (which is a SmartBus service). The journey from Flinders Street Station to Broadmeadows station takes about 25~30 minutes. The route 901 operates from 4:54AM till 12:01AM, and has a minimum frequency of 15 minutes during the daytime. The bus from Broadmeadows to MEL airport takes 15 minutes. tullamarine has a more colder temperature but only by a few degrees. Tullamarine has a cold wider ranging as low as -1 degrees to even a 20 degree day.

Avalon Airport (AVV)

Avalon Airport, [17] (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.

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 [18] operates coach shuttle service to Melbourne's Southern Cross Station at $20 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.
  • Lara station is around 8km 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.
  • 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

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.

  • CountryLink, [19]. A twice daily service from Sydney (11 hours away).
  • Great Southern Railway, [20]. Three services a week from Adelaide (10-11 hours).
  • Public Transport Victoria, 1800 800 007, [21]. A handy government website to manage your metropolitan transport within Melbourne, along with state-wide buses and trains.

By car

From Sydney, the quickest route to Melbourne is the Hume Highway, which takes 10-11 hours. The Princes Highway (National Route 1) goes along the coast and is less crowded. It takes longer and the speed limit is lower, though.

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 interesting alternative to the standard Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne coastal route.

By bus

Bus services to Melbourne from out of state are provided by Firefly Express [22] and Greyhound [23].

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

By ship

Melbourne can be reached from Devonport, Tasmania by car/passenger ferries run by Spirit of Tasmania [24]. 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

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 [25] 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.

By public transport

The public transport system consists of trams, trains and buses: trams service the central city and inner suburbs, trains service the city and the suburbs, and buses usually 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 [26] coordinates public transport and provides timetables, maps and a journey planner. An app is available for iOS, otherwise there is a mobile-optimised website [27].

The network is constantly being optimised for elderly and disabled people. 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

In the process of being rewritten. Note that Metcards are no longer available, and all passengers must purchase a Myki card and 'top it up' with money before travelling.

There are two ticket systems in Melbourne: Metcard and Myki. Metcard is the original, old-fashioned system of magnetic cards. Short-term tickets can be bought from machines, staffed stations and bus drivers; these come in 2-hour or all-day varieties.

A single ticket called a Metcard allows travel on all three modes of transport. These are old-fashioned magnetic cards that are slowly being replaced by a smartcard system called Myki, which works on trains, trams and buses within Melbourne but if you are in for a short stay, there may be no real advantage of using a Myki, as it costs $6 to buy one (non-refundable) and comes with no preloaded credit but if traveling on weekends the myki cap is $3.30 per day $2-9 cheaper than a Metcard depending on your trip.[28] Also Metcards are no longer available at all train stations.

The city is divided into two zones, with Zone 1 covering the central city and inner suburbs, and Zone 2 covering the middle and outer suburbs. All tram routes are now in Zone 1, with stops previously in Zone 2 now in the Zone 1/2 overlap. If traveling only within the Zone 1/2 overlap, only a Zone 2 ticket is needed (which is cheaper than a Zone 1 or Zone 1/2 ticket). You can however still use a Zone 1 ticket for travel in the Zone 1/2 overlap, as a ticket from either zone can be used in the Zone 1/2 overlap.

Almost all tickets are time-based — that is, they can be used only for the given period of time within the specified zone(s) from the first time you use it. While the ticket is valid, you can make unlimited use of trains, trams and buses within the zone(s) it is valid for (if the timing is right, sometimes you can even go round-trip).

There are many kinds of tickets. The basic two-hour ticket costs $3.80 for Zone 1, $2.90 for Zone 2, and $6.00 for Zone 1+2. Depending on your plans it could be more economical to use one of these options (note that prices below are adult full fares):

  • For visits of less than five days, buy daily tickets ($7.00 for Zone 1) as you need them. A daily ticket allows unlimited travel from the day it is validated until 3AM the next day and costs less than two two-hour tickets. Do not buy daily tickets on Saturdays and Sundays as cheaper tickets are available, see 5 x weekend daily and Sunday Saver tickets below.
  • If you are visiting Melbourne for five days or more, a 10 x two-hour ticket ($30.20 for Zone 1) is cheaper than buying ten individual two-hour tickets. 10 x two-hour tickets have the advantage that two-hour periods are capped at 2 per day; that is, if you validate after the first two-hour period for the day has expired, the ticket will be valid until 3 AM the next day. For multiple trips each day for a 5-7 day period, a weekly ticket is the best option. Do not use your 10 x two-hour ticket on Saturdays and Sundays as cheaper tickets are available, see 5 x weekend daily and Sunday Saver tickets below.
  • Two-hour tickets validated after 6PM are valid until 3AM the next morning. Also, validity periods are always rounded up, so if you validate at 2:01PM, the card is valid until 5PM, or almost three hours. Additionally, the expiry time for all tickets is the time before which you must commence travel. Using the previous example, so long as you enter the station or board the bus or tram before 5PM, your ticket will be valid even if you are still on the vehicle after 5PM.
  • Trains on all metropolitan lines are free to travel on before 7AM working days provided you get the Early Bird ticket from the ticket window at the station, and exit the system before 7AM.
  • For Sundays only, pick up a "Sunday Saver" ($3.20, from convenience stores or premium station offices - but not ticket machines), which allows unlimited travel throughout Zone 1 and 2 until 3AM the following day.
  • For weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), get a 5 x weekend daily ticket ($15.00, also from convenience stores or premium station offices). It is slightly cheaper than the Sunday Saver ($3.00/day), and can be used on Saturdays as well as Sundays for unlimited travel throughout Zone 1 and 2 until 3AM the following day.

Children 16 years and under, as well as Australian pensioners with suitable identification such as a Senior's Card, can use half-price concession fares. Note though that students are not eligible for concession fares unless they are Australian citizens undertaking full-time study in Victoria *and* in possession of a valid Victorian Public Transport Concession Card. Children under 4 travel free.

Metcards are available from:

  • Railway stations - less than one-quarter of Melbourne's suburban train stations are staffed. At unstaffed stations, Metcard vending machines are provided. All ticket machines accept coins and will issue a maximum of $10 in change. Most stations will also have at least 1 machine that will take notes but less frequently used railway stations may have just coin-only machines.
  • Trams - all trams have a coin-only ticket machine that issues a limited range of tickets (up to a day-ticket).
  • Many retail businesses, especially 7-Eleven and Tattersall (newsagent) stores.
  • The Met Shop.

The "Met Shop" in the Melbourne Town Hall, on the corner of Swanston St and Little Collins St provides timetables and brochures, and sells tickets, maps and travel merchandise (M-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-1PM). The Metlink Information Centre, ☎ 131638 (131MET), every day 7AM-9PM, provides information and the Metlink website [29] also provides information including maps, fares and zones and all timetables. A recently released application for iPhones (MetLink app) provides up to date timetables for trains and trams in metropolitan Melbourne.

Before each journey, and sometimes to gain access to the station platforms, a Metcard must be "validated" by inserting it into a validation machine. On trams, the Metcard must be validated after boarding the tram; however, tickets purchased on the tram (from the machine) are already validated. The expiry time is printed on the back of the card on validation. You will not be allowed to leave a station with fare gates if you did not validate your ticket before you first got on the train.

If you are caught using a concession ticket without a concession card, you will be fined. The ticket barriers have a light on the top that flashes if you are using a concession ticket. It has now been written into law that your ticket can be inspected even after you have left your train, tram or bus. Fines start at $158 and can be as high as $500.

Be aware of certain regulations surrounding behaviour on the trains. Having your feet against the seat opposite you for example may result in a fine of $180, with similar fines applicable for swearing or drinking whilst on public transport. These fines are generally enforced strictly and discretion is rarely shown. This is due largely to the fact that the transit officers are hired by the train company, and although the fines are paid to the government, the company receives a significant portion of each fine.

Services generally operate between 5AM and midnight Monday to Saturday and after 8AM Sunday morning. After midnight on Saturday and Sunday mornings only, there are Nightdress buses which run defined routes to the suburbs (generally following closest road to the railway line). Metcards are now valid on NightRider services, but you should keep in mind that daily and 2-hourly Metcards expire at 3AM: if you board a bus after this time, you'll need to buy or validate a new ticket. If you board a bus scheduled to depart before the expiry time on your ticket, it will be considered valid for your entire journey, even if you alight after it expires.

Trains

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. If time is critical, catch an earlier train than what you would need. The Public Transport Victoria website lists cancellations. Be aware that some trains may run express to and from the city.

Most trains are modern and clean, although there have been issues with graffiti. All are air-conditioned, except a few old trains which had to be reintroduced after extreme overcrowding on the network. The 'premium' stations have staff, bathrooms and other facilities.

When using ANY public transport system, wether it be a train, tram or bus, ensure that you purchase the correct fare. Authorised Officers of the States Department of Transport DO operate on all forms of transport on a regular basis. They are more often than not extremely strict in enforcing reports for those breaching regulations, which is extremely easy to do if you are not used to Melbourne's transport network. Ask for help when purchasing tickets, as being a tourist won't always get you out of trouble. If in doubt, purchase an all-day, all-zone ticket at the Full Fare. This will make it impossible to be caught out. Drinking alcohol on transport, having your feet on the seat, littering and even using bad language will attract a report made by one of these Officers. The report will be sent to the Department of Transport who will almost certainly issue a penalty of at least $175 AUD.

Trams

Trams are one of the trademarks of Melbourne. The city has the largest network in the world. The network is operated by Yarra Trams, and stops are represented by green signage. Most tramlines also branch out from the city centre like spokes. In the city, they can often become crowded, especially on weekdays, and on those weekdays, Free City Circle Trams for tourists operate around the CBD area, these trams are a old brown colour. Most trams are now long, wide and low-floor. But some 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, it is illegal for motorists to overtake a tram with it's doors open.

Buses

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

The free City Circle [30] (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 10AM-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. View the number 35 tram route [31] .

The free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle [32] bus service stops at key tourist destinations in and around the city. 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

Yarra River

Melbourne has an excellent network of bike paths, 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 gotten injured in the past. Reflective clothing and lights are essential for safe night rides.

Trails

  • Yarra River Trail, [33]. Runs from the mouth of Melbourne's iconic Yarra River, through the city and onwards to Westerfolds Park in the outer suburbs. Although be warned that the trail sometimes disappears on a street with no directions at all, so a map is mandatory to follow this one.
  • Capital City Trail, [34]. 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, [35]. 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 [36].

Bike rental

  • Melbourne Bike Share, [37]. 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.
  • Rentabike, Vault 14 Princes Walk (Near Federation Square, Federation Wharf, on the north side of the Yarra.), +61 417 339 203, [38].
  • Freddy's Bike Tours, (Attached to the Federation square.), +61 431610431 (), [39]. Bicycle hire and bike rentals. Also offers a range of guided bicycle tours through various Melbourne precincts. $39.

A folding bike of 20" wheel base is very convenient when traveling 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

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.

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, 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 [40] 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 [41] 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 [42]

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

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

Yellow Melbourne taxis are ubiquitous in the centre but less often spotted in the suburbs. The largest companies are 13CABS [43] (☎ 13-CABS/132227) and Silver Top [44] (☎ 131008), both of which — despite the names — are also yellow in color. Fares are standardized 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 waiting for a taxi at a rank can sometimes become violent due to the lack of taxi's compared to demand (particularly outside Flinders Street, but there is a police box next to the rank which generally operates at night).

See

Melbourne is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Melbourne attractions are here listed according to their respective districts. See the district pages for full details.

City Centre

NewQuay in Melbourne Docklands

The City Centre probably has the most to attract the traveller, including cafes, boutiques, department stores, and Victorian architecture, which can all be sampled on foot.

  • Flinders Street Railway Station— Arguably the defining landmark of Melbourne, a nice, colonial-era railway station at the junction of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. The main entrance is known for several clocks hanging over it, and is a popular meeting spot for locals.
  • Docklands— An entire new precinct filled with shops, bars, restaurants and things to do for all the family as well as a stadium with a waterside setting.
  • Eureka Tower— Tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, panoramic views of the whole of Melbourne.
  • Parliament House of Victoria— The first seat of the Australian federal government, free tours are available on week days.
  • Queen Victoria Market— Huge and colorful, with an assortment of fresh and dry produce, souvenirs and other interesting things.
  • State Library— Worthwhile if you're into books, city architecture and free internet.
  • Southgate— Pretty promenade on the south bank of the Yarra, with lively restaurants, bars and a Sunday art & craft market.
  • Federation Square— Modernistic and popular meeting space to see Melburnians enjoy life whilst sitting down at cafes and bars.
  • Immigration museum— Located on Flinders Street, Explore the moving stories of people from all over the world who have migrated to Australia
  • Police Museum— Also located on Flinders Street, See over 150 years of stories and displays of crime, justice, courage, forensic techniques and examples of how police are making Victoria a safer place to live.
  • Shrine of Remembrance— Located on St Kilda Road, Major War Memorial with unique Ray of Light demonstration every half hour. Also offering panoramic views of Melbourne parks from rooftop balcony.

Carlton

The attractions in Carlton are mostly historical as it houses the Melbourne museum, and cultural with its strong Italian heritage.

  • Melbourne Museum— It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere and home to seven main galleries, a children's gallery and a temporary exhibit gallery on three levels, Upper, Ground and Lower Level.
  • Lygon and Rathdowne Streets— Crammed with Italian restaurants, gelatarias and coffee shops, which all serve some of Melbourne's best hospitality.
  • IMAX Cinema— Right next to the museum. It shows movies, usually documentary films, in 3-D format.
  • Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens— UNESCO World Heritage site (tours available through the museum).
  • Old Melbourne Gaol (Jail), 377 Russel St (between La Trobe St and Victoria St), [45]. daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm. A 1900s era gaol (jail) that held many famous criminals of the era (including Ned Kelly). The tour is self guiding, although there are often interpretive guides scattered throughout. The tour mainly consists of informational signs in each cell along with some videos and artifacts. Not the most exciting for young kids. Recently added is the crime and justice experience which involves being "arrested" and placed in a modern era gaol. Could be a little scary for younger kids. $23, concession $18, kids $12.

Parkville

  • Melbourne Zoo— Usual assortment of zoo animals in a natural-like setting with lots of Australian native species too. Jazz at the Zoo is a popular weekend evening function over the summer months for a picnic, music and evening stroll around the animal enclosures.
  • University of Melbourne— The premier university of Victoria, and internationally recognised as a leading university, it is a hub of students, fine Victorian architecture and gorgeous sprawling gardens.

St Kilda

St Kilda is Melbourne's beach-side nightlife precinct and is a tremendously popular area for beachcombers and those looking to grab a bite or sip on a latte by the sea.

  • Luna Park— Historic amusement park built in 1912.
  • St Kilda Pier— Popular spot for fishing and walking.
  • St Kilda Esplanade— Fine place for walking, skating, sunbathing and on Sundays, discovering new treasures at the Esplanade Sunday market.
  • St Kilda Botanical Gardens— With the first trees planted in 1859, the Botanical Gardens are a sprawling oasis of tranquility and greenery.
  • Jewish Museum of Australia— Depicts the history of the Jewish community in Australia.

South Yarra

Greenery and high-end living are the main draws to South Yarra.

  • Chapel Street/Toorak Road— Kilometer-long strip of fashionable but often unaffordable shops plus some top end restaurants to match.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia, 61 3 9252 2300, [46]. Features nice old trees, drought tolerant displays, a cafe and grassy places to loll about. The Children's Garden is fun with streams, fountains, hidden paths, etc. In summer you can see outdoor movies and Shakespeare plays. You will feel miles away from the city next door as soon as you step in the garden. Free.

Prahran

Prahran lies to the south of the city and shopping is the main draw.

  • Chapel Street— Famous for its street cafes and designer fashion boutiques. Cheaper stores are found at its southern end.
  • Prahran Market— is a market dedicated to the finest quality fresh food. You can find gourmet delights here that you will find in no other place in Melbourne. Prahran Market also has children's activities and a large Market Square to sit and enjoy.
  • Commercial Road— Known for its gay-friendly eateries, shops and clubs.

Northern Melbourne

Tullamarine— Home to Melbourne's International airport.

  • Woodlands Historic Park— Immediately north of Melbourne Airport, contains an 1840s homestead and a nature reserve.

Southern suburbs

Brighton— Melbourne's prime bayside suburb featuring excellent upmarket cafes and boutique shops.

  • Brighton Beach— One of Melbourne's favoured beaches, be sure to check out the infamous 'bathing boxes', brightly coloured boxes that are dotted along the sand.

Fitzroy/Collingwood

Fitzroy/Collingwood - Trendy 'bohemian' suburbs north of the CBD, filled with eclectic cafes and stores.

  • Brunswick St - Long and lively cafe/bar strip with cheap and decent eats.
  • Gertrude St - Charming street with cafes, bars, and unique clothing (and other) shops and art galleries. Currently running an after dark light show. Centre of the local Aboriginal community.
  • Johnston St - Western end is home of the local Hispanic community. Many restraunts, bars and pubs, and the infamous Tote Hotel.
  • Smith St - Slightly run down yet charming street with cafes, bars, and unique clothing (and other) shops.

Do

Footy fever
It may be called "Australian rules" football, but the city that rules the game is Melbourne: until 1987, 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. Tickets can be booked in advance from Ticketek [47], 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 [48] in St Kilda. There are several moonlight cinema programmes in summer. The Melbourne International Film Festival [49] is on in August.
  • Alternately, visit the Cinema Nova on Lygon Street (tram 1 or 8) on a Monday for $6 films before 4PM.
  • Melbourne is also known for great street art often located down narrow laneways this art is displayed on approved outdoor locations. [50]
  • Learn about aboriginal culture and history at the Koorie Heritage Trust [51]
  • Visit a comedy club. The Comic's Lounge [52] has shows for $10-25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The Comedy Club [53] 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 [54]. 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 [55].
  • Watch a game of AFL football [56] at the MCG or Etihad Stadium during the winter, or a Cricket Match [57] during the summer.
  • 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 Tote", "The Evelyn" and "The Espy".
  • The Black Light Mini Golf [58] 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. If your game you could also take a ride in a Coffin.[59]
  • Indoor rock climbing with a view. [60] Hardrock on Swanston street has an indoor climbing wall suitable for beginners and advanced climbers.

Learn

  • 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) [61]. The CAE is also home to the City Library [62] where you can sign up to borrow books or just read magazines in their cafe.

Melbourne is home to some of both the nation and worlds best Universities. The University of Melbourne is situated in Parkville, and is regularly ranked as the best University in Australia. Monash University is located in Clayton, in Melbourne's South. Both Universities are members of the exclusive Group of Eight Universities of Australia. Also to note are La Trobe University, Swinburne University, RMIT, Deakin University, Australian Catholic University and Victoria University. This list is not exhaustive, and Victorians are spoilt for choice in the quality of Tertiary education available.

Work

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 but there are not many jobs 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 near by Yarra Valley.

Buy

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

The historic Block Arcade on Collins Street
Bourke Street Mall

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. 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 stores Myer and David Jones is another city-central shopping hub.

For the bargain shopper, there is a DFO Outlets Centre located at South Wharf, on the southern bank of the Yarra River. It is located next to the Convention Centre.

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

Bridge Road [63] 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 in Monash (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?

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.

Eat

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. Although service staff in Australia are paid considerably more than their North American counterparts and tipping is not compulsory, a tip for good service is always welcomed.

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

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

"Australian cuisine" is a nebulous concept that may include traditional native foodstuffs and more modern cafe infusions of international influences. Items such a 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 its 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

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

Malaysians and Singaporeans feeling homesick will find a 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

Arab, Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish restaurants tend to be concentrated in Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg to the north of the city centre. Half Moon Cafe on Sydney Road (near Bell St) makes particularly good falafel. These restaurants can also be found in the outer suburbs that are home to those communities, including Dandenong.

Thai

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

Vegetarian

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. Most Indian and Thai restaurants throughout the city will either have a large vegetarian menu or give patrons the option of ordering any dish without meat (sometimes with tofu).

Trippy Taco on the corner of Gertrude St. and Smith St. in Fitzroy is an all vegetarian/vegan Mexican establishment. Lord of the Fries do American style burgers with mock meat, and their food can also be vegan upon request. Lentil as Anything has African styled food that is all you can eat, and also pay what you feel, there are locations in St. Kilda (a la carte), Abbotsford (buffet) and Footscray (buffet), all of the food is vegetarian and they label which of their food are vegan, gluten free etc.

Vietnamese

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

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. Other cuisines such as Sri Lankan and Afghani can even be found.

Drink

Melbourne is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Coffee

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

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 www.inthemix.com.au

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 from 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

Melbourne is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Budget

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.

  • Melbourne Metro YHA 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. Bookings: melbmetro@yha.com.au
  • Melbourne Central YHA is right in the centre of the City. It is situated along the City Cirlce 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. Bookings: melbcentral@yha.com.au
  • Nomads Melbourne Backpackers Hostel & Industry Bar & Lounge, 196-198 Beckett St, 9328 4383, ☎ free phone 1800 666237, [64]. Shared dorm accommodation from $19, Doubles from $70. Comes with a free meal every night. bookings@nomadsmelbourne.com
  • All Nations Backpackers Hostel, 2 Spencer St, ☎ +61 3 9620 1022, 1800 666237 (info@allnations.com, fax +61 3 9620 1033), [65]. 24-hour reception. Dorm beds from $19, single $38, double $48.
  • 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. [66]
  • 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 [67]

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

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

  • Citadines on Bourke Melbourne, 131–135 Bourke St, +61 3 9039 8888 (, fax: +61 3 9039 8899), [68]. The apart'hotel is in the heart of the city's CBD. Apartments available range from studios to two-bedroom executives, have separate living and dining areas. It also offers a flexible service menu. Daily rates starts from $166.25. (-37.81276,144.96937)
  • Jika International Motel - Melbourne - Fairfield. [69] ☎ +61 3 9481 2822 Fax +61 3 9489 8819 [70].
  • Golden Chain Motels - Melbourne has many locations in Melbourne and surrounding area serving quality accommodation at affordable prices. Hume Villa Motor Inn (Golden Chain Motel in Fawkner), 1234 Sydney Rd Fawkner, +61 3 9357 1522 (, fax: +61 3 9359 6114), [71]. * Somerset Gordon Heights Melbourne, No 19 -25 Little Bourke Street, +61 3 9267-5400 (, fax: +61 3 9665-2695), [72]. 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. Daily rates starts from $161.50.
  • Somerset on Elizabeth Melbourne, No 250 Elizabeth Street, +61 3 8665-8888 (, fax: +61 3 8665-8899), [73]. The residence is in the heart of the city's CBD. It provides a choice of one or two bedrooms apartments equipped with a kitchen, broadband internet access and home entertainment system. Daily rates starts from $185.25. (-37.812679,144.96286)
  • 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 [74]

Splurge

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

  • The Como Melbourne, 630 Chapel St, +61 3 9825 2222, [75]. This chic South Yarra hotel is located on fashionable Chapel Street, only minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. Providing easy access to a lively array of dining, entertainment and boutique shopping.
  • Citigate Melbourne, 270 Flingers St, +61 3 9654 6888, [76]. Citigate Melbourne hotel offers contemporary Melbourne city accommodation on Flinders Street, opposite the historic Flinders Street Station. The Flinders Street hotel is close to all Melbourne’s has to offer.
  • Grand Hotel Melbourne, 33 Spencer St, 61 3 9611 4567 (toll free: 1300 361 455, ), [77]. This heritage-listed apartment hotel has been restored to retain the style of the 1880s while providing guests with modern facilities.
  • The Langham Melbourne Hotel, 1 Southgate Ave, Southbank, +61 3 8696 8888, [78]. 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)[79]. The Langham's Chuan Spa also achieved 'Top Hotel Spa' status in Travel + Leisure USA's 2009 World’s Best Awards readers survey.
  • Hotel Lindrum, 26 Flinders St, +61 3 9668 1111, [80]. Hotel Lindrum is a luxurious Melbourne boutique hotel offering stylish accommodation and facilities located in the heart of cosmopolitan Melbourne. Close to all fashion, dining, sporting and cultural attractions.
  • Quay West Suites Melbourne, 26 Southgate Ave, +61 3 9693 6000, [81]. This Southbank hotel is ideally positioned amongst Southbank promenade and overlooks the picturesque Yarra River. Walking distance to sophisticated fashion, dining and retail outlets.
  • The Sebel Melbourne, 394 Collins St, +61 3 9211 6600, [82]. Melbourne CBD hotel located 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 Melbourne CBD hotel.
  • Clarion Suites Gateway, 1 William St, +61 3 9296 8888, [83]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Recently refurbished Melbourne CBD hotel which is overlooking the Yarra River and is located in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. All suite and 4,5 stars Melbourne CBD hotel. (-37.819375,144.9598)
  • The Blackman - An Art Series Hotel, 452 St.Kilda Rd, +61 3 9039 1444, [84]. A five-star luxury boutique with 207 rooms. The hotel was named for Artist Charles Blackman and was built within and above the historic Airlie Mansion.
  • The Cullen - An Art Series Hotel, 164 Commercial Road, +61 3 9098 1555, [85]. A fearless concept in boutique hotels located in Prahran, Melbourne. Prepare breakfast using in room kitchenette facilities, spectacular views of Melbourne CBD, underground parking, state of the art gymnasium and two exciting restaurants.
  • The Olsen - An Art Series Hotel, 637 - 641 Chapel St, +61 3 9040 1222, [86]. This boutique Melbourne hotel is complimented by a day spa and two delicious restaurants; you will be reveling in the Art of [Creature Comforts]. These South Yarra accommodations offer plentiful natural light and are thoughtfully appointed with 42” flatscreen televisions, wireless internet access and complete kitchenettes.

Contact

Post

Melbourne's 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; [87]) 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. Poste restante services are now located in a small post office at 380 Bourke St.

Phone

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. For better value, use Amaysim or Optus Connect 4 Less or Telstra Simplicity, 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

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 nation, 88 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 Library, 253 Flinders Lane, [88]. Free internet access to members (temporary membership available). The library has a free WiMAX network, which is slow when crowded.
  • The State Library [89]. 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/HungryJacks. Almost all McDonald's and Hungry Jacks 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

Consulates

  • Ch-flag.png China, 570 St. Kilda Rd, +61 3 9824-6450 (fax: +61 3 9822-0606), [90].
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 37-39 Albert Road Melbourne, Victoria 3004, +61 3 9846-4524 (, fax: +61 3 9866-4933).
  • Us-flag.png United States, 553 St. Kilda Rd, +61 3 9526-5900 (fax: +61 3 9525-0769), [91].

Stay safe

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 a 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.


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. Robbery on the train is 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. In general, Melbourne has a safe public transport network. Of course, care should be taken anywhere, at anytime. However, certain areas of the Melbourne Train network needed to be treated with extreme caution. Suburbs far out from the CBD tend to be more dangerous than others. Footscray, Frankston, Werribee, Dandenong, Sunshine and Broadmeadows (and stations surrounding these) need to be viewed as dangerous after dark. Whilst an overwhelming majority of visits to these areas will be trouble free, muggings, assaults, thefts, vandalism and rape (this is VERY rare) can and do occur. Gangs also formulate in these areas. With the introduction of armed Protective Service Officers in inner-city stations, crime rates have fallen dramatically, however these officers will not be in all stations until at least late 2013. Travel with others, stay in lit areas and don't look for trouble. Be highly suspicious of people asking to make phone calls using your phone, or asking for the time. Politely state you have no watch or phone on you. The same rule applies for people asking for change. People displaying signs of confidence and familiarity with the area will likely be left alone immediately.

Melbourne has a strong police presence, as does the remainder of Victoria. The overwhelming majority of Police in Melbourne and indeed Australia are extremely helpful, honest, respectful and reliable Police. Sadly, this is generally not reflected in the opinions of many Australians. Make sure you ask the opinion of someone who has never been in trouble with the Police before making judgement. Police will nearly always treat you how you treat them. It is possible to talk your way out of minor fines by displaying contrite for the offence and respect for the Officer. You will however, almost certainly be subject to a lengthy lecture.

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 [92] 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.

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.

Get out

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

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

Werribee Mansion

Northern Victoria

Southern Victoria

Eastern Victoria

Western Victoria


Routes through Melbourne
Albury-WodongaSeymour  N noframe S  END
Mount GambierGeelong  W noframe 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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