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Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The name "Melbourne" refers to the area of urban agglomeration (as well as a census statistical division) spanning 9,900 km2(3,800 sq mi) which comprises the broader metropolitan area, as well as being the common name for its city centre. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges,Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. Melbourne consists of 31 municipalities. It has a population of 4,529,500 as of 2015, and its inhabitants are called Melburnians.
Founded by free settlers from the British Crown colony of Van Diemen's Land on 30 August 1835, in what was then the colony of New South Wales, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837. It was named "Melbourne" by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day,William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. It was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, after which it became the capital of the newly founded colony of Victoria in 1851. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. After thefederation of Australia in 1901, it served as the nation's interim seat of government until 1927.
Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, health care, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world's most liveable city—for the fifth year in a row in 2015, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is a leadingfinancial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks among the top 30 cities in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index. Referred to as Australia's "cultural capital", it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. It is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art, music and theatre. It is home to many of Australia's largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
The main passenger airport serving the metropolis and the state is Melbourne Airport (also called Tullamarine Airport), which is the second busiest in Australia, and the Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest seaport for containerised and general cargo. Melbourne has an extensive transport network. The main metropolitan train terminus is Flinders Street Station, and the main regional train and coach terminus is Southern Cross Station. Melbourne is also home to Australia's most extensive freeway network and has the world's largest urban tram network.
|FOUNDED :||30 August 1835|
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone AEST (UTC+10)|
• Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
|AREA :||9,990.5 km2 (3,857.4 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||31 m (102 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||37°48′49″S 144°57′47″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.7% |
• Female: 50.3%
|AREA CODE :||3|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+61 3|
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city, and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, located at the head of Port Phillip Bay.
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital, with Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks and gardens. Many of its 4 million residents are both multicultural and sports-mad. Melbourne continues to be a magnet for migrants from all over the world, and consistently ranks as one of the world's most liveable cities.
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.
Melbourne is a great city for arts, culture, dining, and events. Visitors frequently comment on the "good vibe" of the city which can only be understood by experiencing it for yourself. There are a wide and varied assortment of attractions and sights that every traveller will appreciate. Most are located in the City Centre, in close reach of public transport. Melbourne is also a good base for experiencing all the other attractions of Victoria. Most of which can be done in day trips from Melbourne.
Early history and foundation
Before the arrival of European settlers, humans had occupied the area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years. At the time of European settlement, it was inhabited by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong. The area was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water.
The first European settlement in Victoria was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento, but this settlement was relocated to what is now Hobart, Tasmania, in February 1804, due to a perceived lack of resources. It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted.
In May and June 1835, the area which is now central and northern Melbourne was explored by John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land (now known as Tasmania), who claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village". Batman then returned to Launceston in Tasmania. In early August 1835 a different group of settlers, including John Pascoe Fawkner, left Launceston on the ship Enterprize. Fawkner was forced to disembark at Georgetown, Tasmania, because of outstanding debts. The remainder of the party continued and arrived at the mouth of the Yarra River on 15 August 1835. On 30 August 1835 the party disembarked and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived on 2 September 1835 and the two groups ultimately agreed to share the settlement.
Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by the New South Wales governor (who at the time governed all of eastern mainland Australia), with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Governor Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, and commissioned the first plan for the city, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837. The settlement was named Batmania after Batman. However, later that year the settlement was named "Melbourne" after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne,Derbyshire. On 13 April 1837 the settlement's general post office officially opened with that name.
Between 1836 and 1842 Victorian Aboriginal groups were largely dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne.The British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters to take possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences then issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come.
Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city.
On 1 July 1851 the Port Phillip District became the separate Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
Victorian gold rush
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid 1851 led to the Victorian gold rush, and Melbourne, which served as the major port and provided most services for the region, experienced rapid growth. Within months, the city's population had increased by nearly three-quarters, from 25,000 to 40,000 inhabitants. Thereafter, growth was exponential and by 1865, Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city. Additionally, Melbourne along with the Victorian regional cities of Ballarat and Geelong became the wealthiest cities in the world during the Gold Rush era.
An influx of interstate and overseas migrants, particularly Irish, German and Chinese, saw the development of slums including a temporary "tent city" established on the southern banks of the Yarra. Chinese migrants founded the Melbourne Chinatown in 1851, which remains the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western World. In the aftermath of the Eureka Stockade, mass public support for the plight of the miners resulted in major political changes to the colony, including changes to working conditions across local industries including mining, agriculture and manufacturing. The nationalities involved in the Eureka revolt and Burke and Wills expedition gave an indication of immigration flows in the second half of the nineteenth century.
With the wealth brought on by the gold rush following closely on the heels of the establishment of Victoria as a separate colony and the subsequent need for public buildings, a program of grand civic construction soon began. The 1850s and 1860s saw the commencement of Parliament House, the Treasury Building, the Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria Barracks, the State Library, University, General Post Office, Customs House, the Melbourne Town Hall, St Patrick's cathedral, though many remained uncompleted for decades, with some still not finished.
The layout of the inner suburbs on a largely one-mile grid pattern, cut through by wide radial boulevards, and string of gardens surrounding the central city was largely established in the 1850s and 1860s. These areas were rapidly filled from the mid 1850s by the ubiquitous terrace house, as well as detached houses and some grand mansions in large grounds, while some of the major roads developed as shopping streets. Melbourne quickly became a major finance centre, home to several banks, the Royal Mint, and Australia's first stock exchange in 1861. In 1855 the Melbourne Cricket Club secured possession of its now famous ground, the MCG. Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified Australian football in 1859, and Yarra rowing clubs and "regattas" became popular about the same time. In 1861 the Melbourne Cup was first run. In 1864 Melbourne acquired its first public monument—the Burke and Wills statue.
With the gold rush largely over by 1860, Melbourne continued to grow on the back of continuing gold mining, as the major port for exporting the agricultural products of Victoria, especially wool, and a developing manufacturing sector protected by high tariffs. An extensive radial railway network centred on Melbourne and spreading out across the suburbs and into the countryside was established from the late 1850s. Further major public buildings were begun in the 1860s and 1870s such as the Supreme Court, Government House, and the Queen Victoria Market. The central city filled up with shops and offices, workshops, and warehouses. Large banks and hotels faced the main streets, with fine townhouses in the east end of Collins Street, contrasting with tiny cottages down laneways within the blocks. The Aboriginal population continued to decline with an estimated 80% total decrease by 1863, due primarily to introduced diseases, particularly smallpox, frontier violence and dispossession from their lands.
Land boom and bust
The decade of the 1880s was one of extraordinary growth, when consumer confidence, easy access to credit, and steep increases in the price of land, led to an enormous amount of construction. This 'land boom' was followed by a severe economic crash in the early 1890s which lasted until the end of the century. During the boom, Melbourne had reputedly become the richest city in the world, and the largest after London in the British Empire.
The decade began with the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880, held in the large purpose-built Exhibition Building. In 1880 a telephone exchange was established and in the same year the foundations of St Paul's, were laid; in 1881 electric light was installed in the Eastern Market, and in the following year a generating station capable of supplying 2,000 incandescent lamps was in operation. In 1885 the first line of the Melbourne cable tramway system was built, becoming one of the worlds most extensive systems by 1890.
During a visit in 1885 English journalist George Augustus Henry Sala coined the phrase "Marvellous Melbourne", which stuck long into the twentieth century and is still used today by Melburnians. Growing building activity culminated in a "land boom" which, in 1888, reached a peak of speculative development fuelled by consumer confidence and escalating land value. As a result of the boom, large commercial buildings, coffee palaces,terrace housing and palatial mansions proliferated in the city. The establishment of a hydraulic facility in 1887 allowed for the local manufacture of elevators, resulting in the first construction of high-rise buildings; most notably the APA Building, amongst the world's tallest commercial buildings upon completion in 1889. This period also saw the expansion of a major radial rail-based transport network.
In 1888, the Exhibition Building hosted a second event even larger than the first, the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition, spurring construction of numerous hotels including the 500 room Federal Hotel, The Palace Hotel in Bourke Street (both since demolished), and the doubling in size of the Grand (Windsor).
A brash boosterism that had typified Melbourne during this time ended in the early 1890s with a severe depression of the city's economy, sending the local finance and property industries into a period of chaos during which 16 small "land banks" and building societies collapsed, and 133 limited companies went into liquidation. The Melbourne financial crisis was a contributing factor in the Australian economic depression of the 1890sand the Australian banking crisis of 1893. The effects of the depression on the city were profound, with virtually no new construction until the late 1890s.
Capital of Australia
At the time of Australia's federation on 1 January 1901, Melbourne became the seat of government of the federation. The first federal parliament was convened on 9 May 1901 in the Royal Exhibition Building, subsequently moving to the Victorian Parliament House where it was located until 1927, when it was moved to Canberra. The Governor-General of Australia resided at Government House in Melbourne until 1930 and many major national institutions remained in Melbourne well into the twentieth century.
In the immediate years after World War II, Melbourne expanded rapidly, its growth boosted by Post war immigration to Australia, primarily from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. While the "Paris End" of Collins Street began Melbourne's boutique shopping and open air cafe cultures, the city centre was seen by many as stale—the dreary domain of office workers—something expressed by John Brack in his famous painting Collins St., 5 pm (1955).
Height limits in the Melbourne CBD were lifted in 1958, after the construction of ICI House, transforming the city's skyline with the introduction of skyscrapers. Suburban expansion then intensified, serviced by new indoor malls beginning with Chadstone Shopping Centre. The post-war period also saw a major renewal of the CBD and St Kilda Road which significantly modernised the city. New fire regulations and redevelopment saw most of the taller pre-war CBD buildings either demolished or partially retained through a policy of facadism. Many of the larger suburban mansions from the boom era were also either demolished or subdivided.
To counter the trend towards low-density suburban residential growth, the government began a series of controversial public housing projects in the inner city by the Housing Commission of Victoria, which resulted in demolition of many neighbourhoods and a proliferation of high-rise towers. In later years, with the rapid rise of motor vehicle ownership, the investment in freeway and highway developments greatly accelerated the outward suburban sprawl and declining inner city population. The Bolte government sought to rapidly accelerate the modernisation of Melbourne. Major road projects including the remodelling of St Kilda Junction, the widening of Hoddle Street and then the extensive 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan changed the face of the city into a car-dominated environment.
Australia's financial and mining booms between 1969 and 1970 resulted in establishment of the headquarters of many major companies (BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, among others) in the city. Nauru's then booming economy resulted in several ambitious investments in Melbourne, such as Nauru House. Melbourne remained Australia's main business and financial centre until the late 1970s, when it began to lose this primacy to Sydney.
As the centre of Australia's "rust belt", Melbourne experienced an economic downturn between 1989 and 1992, following the collapse of several local financial institutions. In 1992 the newly elected Kennett government began a campaign to revive the economy with an aggressive development campaign of public works coupled with the promotion of the city as a tourist destination with a focus on major events and sports tourism. During this period the Australian Grand Prix moved to Melbourne from Adelaide. Major projects included the construction of a new facility for the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Crown Casino and the CityLink tollway. Other strategies included the privatisation of some of Melbourne's services, including power and public transport, and a reduction in funding to public services such as health, education and public transport infrastructure.
Since the mid-1990s, Melbourne has maintained significant population and employment growth. There has been substantial international investment in the city's industries and property market. Major inner-city urban renewal has occurred in areas such as Southbank, Port Melbourne, Melbourne Docklands and more recently, South Wharf. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Melbourne sustained the highest population increase and economic growth rate of any Australian capital city in the three years ended June 2004. These factors have led to population growth and further suburban expansion through the 2000s.
From 2006, the growth of the city extended into "green wedges" and beyond the city's urban growth boundary. Predictions of the city's population reaching 5 million people pushed the state government to review the growth boundary in 2008 as part of its Melbourne @ Five Million strategy. In 2009, Melbourne was less affected by the Late-2000s financial crisis in comparison to other Australian cities. At this time, more new jobs were created in Melbourne than any other Australian city—almost as many as the next two fastest growing cities, Brisbane and Perth, combined, and Melbourne's property market remained strong, resulting in historically high property prices and widespread rent increases.
The city's climate has a notoriety for its changeability, often referred to as "four seasons in a day". Its climate can be described generally as temperate, with warm summers and cool winters. During the summer of December to February, temperatures hover around 26–30°C (79–86°F), but it is not out of the ordinary for the city to swelter through heatwaves of over 40°C (104°F). Humidity is rarely an issue, with mildly comfortable nights down to about 16°C (61°F). With approximately 600mm of rainfall annually, Melbourne gets only half as much rain as Sydney. October is typically the wettest month.
Winter (June–August) is usually cool with a mix of clear, sunny weather and cold & damp conditions. Temperatures in winter can range from chilly overnight lows as low 2 °C (36 °F) to daytime highs as high as 19 °C (66 °F) at times. Light snow has been recorded in and around Melbourne during the winter months only a couple of times over the last century, although the hills east of the city however usually see a snow shower or two every winter. You should consider visiting Melbourne in the autumn and spring — temperatures during these periods are usually very pleasant, without being unbearably warm with daytime highs are usually in the 20s °C (70s °F).
With such wild and unpredictable weather, it can be difficult deciding what to wear when planning a day out in Melbourne. A common tip is to wear layers of clothing, that can be removed or worn as the day goes on.
|Daily highs (°C)||25.9||25.8||23.9||20.3||16.7||14.1||13.5||15.0||17.3||19.7||22.0||24.2|
|Nightly lows (°C)||14.3||14.6||13.2||10.8||8.7||6.9||6.0||6.7||8.0||9.6||11.2||13.0|
Melbourne is located in the south-eastern part of mainland Australia, within the state of Victoria. Geologically, it is built on the confluence of Quaternary lava flows to the west, Silurian mudstones to the east, and Holocene sand accumulation to the southeast along Port Phillip. The southeastern suburbs are situated on the Selwyn fault which transects Mount Martha and Cranbourne.
Melbourne extends along the Yarra River towards the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges to the east. It extends northward through the undulating bushland valleys of the Yarra's tributaries—Moonee Ponds Creek (toward Tullamarine Airport), Merri Creek, Darebin Creek and Plenty River—to the outer suburban growth corridors of Craigieburn and Whittlesea.
The city reaches south-east through Dandenong to the growth corridor ofPakenham towards West Gippsland, and southward through theDandenong Creek valley, the Mornington Peninsula and the city ofFrankston taking in the peaks of Olivers Hill, Mount Martha and Arthurs Seat, extending along the shores of Port Phillip as a single conurbation to reach the exclusive suburb of Portsea and Point Nepean. In the west, it extends along the Maribyrnong River and its tributaries north towardsSunbury and the foothills of the Macedon Ranges, and along the flat volcanic plain country towards Melton in the west, Werribee at the foothills of the You Yangs granite ridge south west of the CBD. The Little River, and the township of the same name, marks the border between Melbourne and neighbouring Geelong city.
Melbourne's major bayside beaches are located in the various suburbs along the shores of Port Phillip Bay, in areas like Port Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda, Elwood, Brighton, Sandringham, Mentone, Frankston,Altona, Williamstown and Werribee South. The nearest surf beaches are located 85 kilometres (53 mi) south-east of the Melbourne CBD in the back-beaches of Rye, Sorrento and Portsea.
Melbourne has a highly diversified economy with particular strengths in finance, manufacturing, research, IT, education, logistics, transportation and tourism. Melbourne houses the headquarters for many of Australia's largest corporations, including five of the ten largest in the country (based on revenue), and four of the largest six in the country (based on market capitalisation) (ANZ, BHP Billiton (the world's largest mining company), the National Australia Bank and Telstra), as well as such representative bodies and think tanks as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Melbourne's suburbs also have the Head Offices of Wesfarmers companies Coles (including Liquorland), Bunnings, Target, K-Mart & Officeworks. The city is home to Australia's largest and busiest seaport which handles more than $75 billion in trade every year and 39% of the nation's container trade. Melbourne Airport provides an entry point for national and international visitors, and is Australia's second busiest airport.
Melbourne is also an important financial centre. Two of the big four banks,NAB and ANZ, are headquartered in Melbourne. The city has carved out a niche as Australia's leading centre for superannuation (pension) funds, with 40% of the total, and 65% of industry super-funds including the $109 billion-dollar Federal Government Future Fund. The city was rated 41st within the top 50 financial cities as surveyed by the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2008), second only to Sydney (12th) in Australia. Melbourne is Australia's second-largest industrial centre. It is the Australian base for a number of significant manufacturers including Boeing, truck-makers Kenworth and Iveco, Cadbury as well as Bombardier Transportation and Jayco, among many others. It is also home to a wide variety of other manufacturers, ranging from petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to fashion garments, paper manufacturing and food processing. The south-eastern suburb of Scoresby is home to Nintendo's Australian headquarters. The city also boasts a research and development hub for Ford Australia, as well as a global design studio and technical centre for General Motors and Toyota respectively.
CSL, one of the world's top five biotech companies, and Sigma Pharmaceuticals have their headquarters in Melbourne. The two are the largest listed Australian pharmaceutical companies. Melbourne has an important ICT industry that employs over 60,000 people (one third of Australia's ICT workforce), with a turnover of $19.8 billion and export revenues of $615 million. In addition, tourism also plays an important role in Melbourne's economy, with about 7.6 million domestic visitors and 1.88 million international visitors in 2004. In 2008, Melbourne overtook Sydney with the amount of money that domestic tourists spent in the city, accounting for around $15.8 billion annually. Melbourne has been attracting an increasing share of domestic and international conference markets. Construction began in February 2006 of a $1 billion 5000-seat international convention centre, Hilton Hotel and commercial precinct adjacent to the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre to link development along the Yarra River with the Southbank precinct and multibillion-dollar Docklands redevelopment.
The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world to live in according to its worldwide cost of living index in 2013. The most visited attractions are: Federation Square,Queen Victoria Market, Crown Casino, Southbank, Melbourne Zoo,Melbourne Aquarium, Docklands, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Observation Deck, Arts Centre Melbourne, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sunny beaches and a great restaurant, bar and nightlife scene.
|Inner south (Port Melbourne, Albert Park)|
Includes the old ports of Melbourne, the historic Clarendon Street town centre and famous Grand Prix circuit.
|Inner north (Carlton, Parkville, North Melbourne)|
The University district, as well as Lygon Street, famous for Italian culture and cuisine.
|Inner east (Fitzroy, Richmond, Collingwood)|
Working-class and Bohemian quarter, with some trendy boutiques and pubs full of character.
Stonnington (Toorak, Prahran, South Yarra)
|Eastern suburbs (Boroondara, Box Hill and Glen Waverley,Manningham and Nillumbik, Ringwood, Nillumbik and surrounds)|
Stretching from almost inner suburbs of Kew, Hawthorn and Camberwell in Booroondara to the outer cities like Maroondah and theDandenong Ranges.
|Northern suburbs (Brunswick and Coburg, Hume, Northcote and Ivanhoe)|
Covering suburbs like Tullamarine, Broadmeadows, South Morang, Epping, Bundoora and Nillumbik Shire.
|Southern suburbs (Brighton and Caulfield, Dandenong and surrounds, Frankston)|
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.
|Western suburbs (Footscray, Flemington and surrounds, Sunshine and Melton, Williamstown and surrounds, Wyndham)|
Includes areas like Altona, Williamstown, Point Cook, Footscray in Maribyrnong, Werribee in Wyndham, Caroline Springs, Sunshine, Melton, Keilor and Sydenham.
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; ) has now been turned into an upmarket retail precinct. The main post office in the Melbourne CBD is situated at the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke Streets. Post restante services are also located here.
Payphones are easily found through the city, but many are being phased out due to growing mobile phone ownership. These phones are coin-operated or use prepaid Phonecards, which are available from most convenience stores or newsagents. International calling cards are also available at these outlets. Using a payphone to make a local call will cost you $0.50 (untimed, although some phones limit your call to 15 minutes).
Mobile phone coverage within the CBD and surrounds is usually good-to-excellent. All mobile carriers in Melbourne use GSM 850/1900, and UMTS 2100 is offered by all carriers except Telstra, who instead offer UMTS 850. By law, you will require some identification to purchase a prepaid (PAYG) SIM card which are sold at most convenience stores, newsagents and supermarkets. This may be requested at time of purchase, and/or time of activation.
The largest companies are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Amaysim, which uses the Optus network is the best value, and can be picked up from any 7 Eleven store; note that to activate it you will need a full Australian address and access to email; in addition it currently doesn't allow tethering for new activations. If you wish to make cheap international calls, Lebara and lycamobile are the best choices.
Melbourne's area code for landline telephones is 03 (internationally dial +613). To make an international direct dial call, the trunk line access code is generally 0011 or simply add a + in front of the number if your phone allows.
Internet 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.
- Telstra phone boxes, All throughout Melbourne. Many phone boxes, which have become severely under-utilised in recent years, have become Wifi hotspots. They are recognised by a purple cube placed on top of the phone box. Just open up your wifi settings and connect to 'Telstra free wifi'. Eventually these hotspots will become a paid service, but as of early 2015 they are being trialled, and are available free to everyone for 30 minutes a day.
- 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 Ln. Free internet access through Melbourne Library Service (approximately 2 Mbps down- and upload).
- The State Library . Offers free internet at many workstations and does not require membership (limited to 15 minutes or 1 hour per session, no session limits). You can get a free membership for access to free wireless web access, however, the wireless access is limited and you may not be able to access some sites and services. Printing facilities are also provided for a fee.
- Melbourne Central shopping centre (corner of Swanston and La Trobe St) has free wireless internet access.
- Australia on Collins shopping centre (on Collins St) has free wireless internet access.
- Federation Square (corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street, outside Flinders Street railway station) is supposedly Australia's largest free outdoor wireless hotspot.
- McDonald's. Almost all McDonald's branches in town have free WiFi. The network is heavily filtered, and both time and bandwidth are limited, but you should be able to check email and do most basic web browsing.
Prices in Melbourne
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$3.80|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$12.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$40.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$60.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$75.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$6.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$6.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$13.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.40|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$2.50|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$72.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$47.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$100.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$2.85|
61 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
236 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Air is the most common method of reaching Melbourne, and if you're not in Australia, pretty much your only option. The city is served by two airports:Melbourne Airport, which has international and domestic flights, and the smaller domestic-only Avalon Airport.
Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is 22 km north-west of the City Centre in the Hume region. There are regular flights from all major Australian and New Zealand cities, and there are direct international flights to many Asian hubs with onwards connections to Europe. There are direct flights to North America,South America and Europe.
Avalon Airport is a domestic airport, 55 km south-west of Melbourne in Lara, near Geelong. Although much further than Melbourne Airport, fares from Avalon are sometimes considerably cheaper. The terminals are generally very simple, with just an ATM, car hire desks and baggage carousels. Other facilities include a cafe, bar and a video arcade room. There are five flights in and out of Avalon each day, operated by lower-cost airline Jetstar (which also flies to Melbourne Airport).
Avalon Airport Transfers (+61 3 9689 7999) operates a coach shuttle to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne's City Centre, meeting every flight arrival and departure. The transfer costs $22 one-way for an adult, and $10 for a child (4-14 years). Other than the coach, there is no public transport;Lara Station is located 8 km from the terminal, meaning one could ride a bike on the road to/from the airport or catch a taxi, which would cost about $15 to the station. A taxi to the city from the airport could cost upwards of $100.
The driving time from Avalon Airport to Melbourne's City Centre is about 45 minutes in good traffic conditions. Avalon Airport is also convenient for reaching nearby Geelong and the Great Ocean Road.
Southern Cross Station is Melbourne's regional rail hub for all interstate and intrastate destinations, located on the western side of the City Centre with good public transport connections to the rest of the city.
- V/Line. V/Line is Victoria'sregional rail operator, with services to and from cities across the state, including Geelong,Bendigo, Ballarat, Bairnsdale and more. Additionally, V/Line also operates some services interstate, including the train to Albury, and combined train/coach services to Adelaide and Canberra.
- . Operates the rail service between Sydney and Melbourne, leaving twice daily in the morning and evening. The journey takes just under 11 hours.
- The Overland. Runs the rail service between Adelaide and Melbourne, taking just under 11 hours. Departures leave twice-weekly in each direction.
From Sydney, the quickest route to Melbourne is the Hume Highway, which takes 10 hours of driving without any stops. This road is almost all dual-carriageway (freeway). The Princes Highway (National Route 1) goes along the coast and is less crowded. It takes longer with lower speed limits, hills and bends, and few opportunities to overtake. See Sydney to Melbourne by car for more information.
Adelaide is slightly closer than Sydney and can be reached in 9 hours. The coastal route is scenic but slower.
A direct journey from Brisbane takes 21 hours of driving and takes you further inland along the Newell Highway. This makes for an alternative to the standard Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne coastal route.
The Spirit of Tasmania passenger/car ferry runs every night to Melbourne from Devonport, Tasmania. The 10 and a half hour journey departs at 7:30PM, arriving 6AM, with an extra day sailing during peak periods including summer.
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 international cruise ships throughout the year, particularly in the Summer cruise season.
All passenger ships serving Melbourne arrive at and depart from Station Pier in Port Melbourne, about 5 km from the city centre. Tram route 109 (towards Box Hill) departs frequently from the old railway station across the road from the Pier, travelling into the heart of Melbourne along Collins St. You can purchase mykis at the tram stop's machine or from a visitor desk in the peak season.
Transportation - 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 minutes 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.
By Public Transport
Melbourne has a fairly reliable public transportation system which consists of trams, trains and buses: trams and trains branch out from the city centre to the suburbs, while buses usually cover the rest. There are connections to all major attractions of the city, and it is fairly easy to get around Melbourne without a car. Most of the network is wheelchair and pram accessible, with the major exception of the tram network which mostly operates with older, step-entry vehicles. Train, tram and major bus services generally operate between 5AM and midnight Monday–Saturday and after 8AM Sunday. On Friday and Saturday nights, all-night train, tram and bus services run on a limited night network.
Public Transport Victoria coordinates public transport and provides timetables, maps, disruption info and a very useful journey planner. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android devices, or else Google Maps also integrates train, tram and bus information.
Myki is the reloadable smartcard used for all travel on trains, trams and buses. Myki cards can be purchased and reloaded from staffed railway stations, machines at stations, major tram stops and the airport, online, and various retail stores such as newsagencies and 7-Eleven. They cannot be purchased or reloaded on trams or trains, however you may do so onboard buses.
Regular adult cards cost $6, and concession/under-16 cards cost $3. Concessions only apply to Australians with the appropriate concession card. The card comes with no preloaded credit and the fee is non-refundable. A Myki Visitor Pack ($14/7 adult child), which comes preloaded with $8/4 of credit (enough for a full day of travel) and a stack of attraction discount coupons, can be purchased at the Melbourne Visitor Centre, PTV Hubs and the SkyBus terminal at the airport.
To use myki, touch on by holding the card onto a reader before travel at the train station, or on board a bus/tram and wait for the beep. Touch off when exiting a train station or a bus, although touching off on a tram is optional. Metropolitan Melbourne has two zones; Zone 1 which covers the entire city, and Zone 2 which allows a cheaper fare when travelling only in the outer suburbs. The fare (including the travel time and zone) is automatically calculated and deducted by myki, so there is no need to plan costs in advance. In the city centre, there is also a Free Tram Zone where one does not require a myki to travel and should not touch on if remaining within the zone.
|Zone 1||Zone 2||Zone 1||Zone 2|
Regulations and laws surrounding public transport are strict. Ticket inspectors are common, and fines start at $207 on the spot for offences such as fare evasion, putting feet on seats, swearing and drinking alcohol.
The train network is operated by Metro Trains Melbourne with blue branding. 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, and all run through Flinders Street Station, the city's famous suburban railway hub. Trains to the suburbs generally operate at 10-20 minute frequencies, with higher frequencies (but more overcrowding) in peak times. Be aware that some trains skip suburban stations when running express to and from the city; check information screens carefully to be sure.
Trams are a prominent feature in Melbourne's urban landscape. The city has the largest network in the world. The network is operated by Yarra Trams with green branding. Most tram lines branch out from the city centre like spokes. In the city, they often become crowded, and you are unlikely to get a seat. The network is operated by a mix of newer, low-floor trams with stop announcements and older models with step-entry. Stops in the inner city generally have platforms, although most stops require hailing the tram from the side of the road; take care at these stops and look for distracted cars which may illegally speed past.
Yarra Trams' official iOS and Android app, tramTRACKER, is very useful for tracking real-time tram arrivals and following the tram's progress onboard. Most tram routes will have 8-12 minute service during the day, with higher frequencies in the peak, but lower frequencies of 20-30 minutes in the evenings.
Travel on all trams in the city centre is free. The boundary of the Free Tram Zone is marked with plenty of signage, but remember to touch on if you leave the FTZ. This is in addition to the City Circle, a free tourist tram in the city centre, which runs past many major sights in historical trams.
Buses serve as connections to places without rail transport, often connecting to major shopping centres and train stations. Denoted by orange branding and stops, most buses are low-floor and air-conditioned. A few major trunk routes (including ones such as the 200/207 in the inner north, the 900 to Chadstone, 907 to Doncaster, etc) operate at 10-15 minute frequencies, although for most buses, it is necessary to use the journey planner or check timetables, as service tends to be far less frequent than trains and trams.
As mentioned above, the free City Circle Tram (Route 35) runs around the CBD perimeter, operated by vintage-style maroon or green trams. Audio commentary provides information about attractions that are passed. These trams are geared to visitors and provide access to sites of interest to the tourist. More information is provided in the City Centre guide.
The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is another option that also extends to key tourist destinations just outside of the city centre, including the MCG, Lygon Street and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The buses run at 30 minute intervals between 9:30AM and 4:30PM daily. A complete circuit takes 90 minutes, with on-board commentary. It costs $10 for two consecutive days, allowing visitors to hop on and off as many times as they desire within that timeframe. Tickets may be purchased online, at the Melbourne Visitor Centre or with a credit card or coins at ticket machines at each stop.
The inner suburbs of Melbourne have a good network of bike paths by the standards of English-speaking countries, plus a generally flat terrain, making pedal-power a great way to take in the city. Most paths are "shared footways" under the law, although the majority of users in most places are cyclists. This means cyclists should expect to share the path with pedestrians, dog-walkers, rollerbladers, joggers, prams and tricycles. Some trails contain on-road sections (in marked bike lanes). It is legal to cycle on footpaths only when supervising cycling children or when the path is marked or signposted as allowing bikes. Helmets are required by law, as are lights when riding at night.
- Yarra River Trail. Runs from the mouth of Melbourne's iconic Yarra River, through the city and onwards to Westerfolds Park in the outer suburbs.
- Capital City Trail. Runs a circuit through Melbourne's inner suburbs, the Docklands precinct and the city. It's a good way to see a slice of day-to-day life.
- Bay Trail. A pleasant trek around Port Phillip Bay, running from Port Melbourne, through the bustling beach-side precinct of St Kilda, past the famous bathing sheds of Brighton, all the way to Carrum. A punt operates under the West Gate Bridge on weekends and public holidays allowing a start at Altona Meadows along the Williamstown Trail, across the punt, and joining with the Bay Trail. Cyclists can't use the West Gate Bridge.
Detailed maps of the bike path network can be found online .
Bicycles may be taken freely on trains, although there may not be space during the peak. Only folding bikes are permitted on trams and buses.
- . Bikes cost $2.90 per day, as long as you return the bike every 30 minutes (note if you don't check the bike in 3 hours rental will cost upwards of $40). $5 bike helmets can be bought at some 7-Eleven stores throughout the city centre and can be refunded for $3 at any store that sells them. If you are lucky you can find one attached to the front of the bike.
- Rentabike, Vault 14 Princes Walk (Near Federation Square, Federation Wharf, on the north side of the Yarra.), .10am - 5pm. $35 per day.
Driving in Melbourne's city centre is generally inadvisable. Congestion tends to be bad, street parking difficult to find, and parking in multi-storey carparks tends to be rather expensive. In addition, you will have to learn how to execute a hook turn (described below) due to the large number of trams in the city. That being said, driving is generally the best way of getting around Melbourne's suburbs, as the public transport network tends to be less reliable, less frequent and more thinly spread out than in the city centre, particularly in the outer suburbs. If travelling from the outer suburbs to the city, it's generally best to park your car at the nearest railway station and catch a train in. In the centre, street parking can be as much as $3.50 an hour. Motorcycles and scooters may park on footpaths legally for free as long as they do not obstruct pedestrians or crossings.
The major car rental chains are well-represented and include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and 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.
In the city centre, a number of intersections require you to perform the infamous hook turn to turn right due to tram tracks running down the centre of the road. Follow the signs: move into the left lane and move as far forward as possible, wait and when the traffic signal for the street you are turning into turns green, make the turn.
There are two major tollways in Melbourne, both of which have no manual tollgates and require daypasses to be purchased in advance or up to three days after the trip online or over the phone. Registration number and car details should be provided; failure to buy a pass can result in expensive fines, and car rental companies will often stack their own administration charges on top of these. Be aware that major rental companies will often offer a toll option, which is usually cheaper than purchasing your own passes. Tollways are represented by blue and yellow road signage rather than the usual green and white signs.
CityLink is the T-shaped tollway through the city core, connecting the West Gate Freeway in the west, Monash Freeway in the south-east and Tullamarine Freeway in the north. These freeways are useful for travelling to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and Melbourne Airport respectively. A 24-hour pass costs $16.69 for cars, $8.32 for motorcycles and more for larger vehicles (May 2016). EastLink is a north-south tollway through the eastern suburbs and is useful for reaching the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston. A one trip pass costs $5.94 for cars, $2.97 for motorcycles and more for larger vehicles (May 2016). If you are likely to be using both tollroads, it may be worth purchasing a Melbourne Pass for $5.50 in addition to the regular toll costs depending on the length of the trip. Tags from other Australian cities work on CityLink and the EastLink tollway, but passes do not.
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.
Melbourne taxis are ubiquitous in the centre but less often spotted in the suburbs. The largest companies are 13CABS ( 13-CABS/132227) and Silver Top Taxis ( 131008). Taxis are traditionally yellow in colour, although other colours have appeared in recent times. Fares are standardised so that the meter starts ticking at $4.20 and clocks up $1.622/km, meaning that short hops within the centre can go for under $10, but longer hauls get expensive pretty fast. From 5PM-9AM or during the night on weekends, fares are about 20% more expensive, a $2 fee applies for booking a taxi and a $3 fee for catching a taxi from the airport. Sitting in traffic is $0.568/min. Between 10PM and 5AM, taxi fares can be prepaid: you pay an estimated sum to the driver in advance and the fare is corrected on arrival. There is no negotiated fares for taxis in Melbourne. The Taxi Services Commission provides a full fare list and useful fare estimator on their website.
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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.
Melbourne is known as the fashion capital of Australia with numerous malls and boutique-lined streets.
In the CBD itself, Little Collins Street is home to some of the world's top designers and fashion houses; Collins Street also boasts other high end shops such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès. Brunswick Street (Fitzroy), and the southern end of Chapel Street in Prahran/Windsor, have clusters of stores selling an eclectic mix of vintage, rave, retro and alternative gear such as Shag, Fat Helen's and Beaut Vintage to shop around.
Melbourne Central is another shopping mall based in the city, adjacent to the underground station of the same name. The Bourke Street Mall with the department store David Jones, as well as the flagship store of Myer, Australia's largest department store chain, is another city-central shopping hub.
For the bargain shopper, there is a DFO Outlet Malls located on Spencer Street, Melbourne city, just north of Southern Cross Railway station.
It is also worth noting, for Backpackers, that Elizabeth Street has plenty of Bargain backpackers stores, for example Mitchell's Adventure (255–257 Elizabeth Street), which can offer outdoor products for bargain prices.
Bridge Road in Richmond is a strip where warehouse direct outlets rule and no one pays recommended retail price. Chapel Street in South Yarra is a favourite among the locals, with its spread of exclusive boutiques, cafes and well established chain stores. There are also several huge shopping complexes in the outer suburbs, such as Chadstone and Southland (Cheltenham) in the South-East. Doncaster Shoppingtown, Eastland (Ringwood) and Knox City are in the outer East. Northland in the north, Highpoint in the west.
Melbourne is also home to many of Australia's largest shopping centres; including Chadstone Shopping Centre in Malvern East (the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere) which has over 530 stores, Knox City Shopping Centre which has 350 stores, and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in Casey which includes approximately 330 stores.
Looking for something in particular?
For those in the bridal market, High Streetin Armadale, Stonnington and Sydney Road in Brunswick, Moreland are the two main clusters for bridal apparel and accessories. For those who are looking for local, aspiring designer creations, try Greville Street in South Yarra, Stonnington or Smith Street and surrounds in Yarra.
To buy funny souvenirs and Australian typical stuff, walk or take the tram to Victoria Market. You'll find all you need there and the price is usually a half or a third of the prices in the souvenir shops downtown. Make sure to try a bratwurst dog and check out the cheese stalls while you're there.
For the culinary traveller, Melbourne is one of the best destinations in the world. There is an abundance of affordable, high quality restaurants representing almost every cuisine. Eating out is cheaper than in Western Europe but not as affordable as North America. The service in Australian restaurants may be more discreet than many North Americans may be used to. Service staff in Australia are paid considerably more than their North American counterparts so tipping is not customary, though you may choose to give a tip if the service was exemplary.
Excellent eateries can be found sprinkled throughout all of the inner (and some outer) suburbs, while certain neighbourhoods have become magnets for residents and restaurants of particular countries. A large range of restaurants and cafes offering high quality food, and representating various cultures and countries, are scattered through the central city, Southbank, Carlton (mostly Italian and touristy), Victoria Street in Richmond (many low cost popular Vietnamese and South East Asian restaurants), Docklands, South Yarra and Prahran. Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg is known for its many Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Greek and Turkish restaurants. The popular tourist area of St Kilda offers a large range of good quality restaurants and cafes, especially on Acland Street, and Fitzroy Street.
English-style fish and chip shops are scattered through the suburbs – particularly in bayside areas. Souvlaki and gyros are very popular in Melbourne and outlets are plentiful through the inner and outer suburbs. Japanese nori rolls and sushi is very popular and many stores through the city and suburbs sell these items.
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 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 (injera) in the middle of the table. Everyone eats with their hands which is messy but fun.
"Australian cuisine" is a nebulous concept that may include traditional native foodstuffs and more modern cafe infusions of international influences. Items such an emu and kangaroo meat are unusual, and are most likely to be found only at the high-end fine dining restaurants as a speciality item. You can however, find great kangaroo steaks at the Napier Hotel (Napier St, Fitzroy) for around $20, or at the Edinburgh Castle pub on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for around $10.
Meat pies are available from bakeries and convenience stores.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A quick "sushi" take away lunch can be bought on almost every block where there is food. In and out of Chinatown there are also plenty of places that have good bento, udon and donburi as well.
For dinner, many of the inner city suburbs have Japanese restaurants, but in the city itself there is a long an interesting Japanese restaurant history that continues to this day. Both Melbourne's oldest, Kuni's (which has been around since 1978) and it's sister restaurant Kenzans are known for a very authentic, if expensive, meal. There are a plethora of choices for those on stricter budgets as well.
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.
Malaysians and Singaporeans feeling homesick will find host of restaurants and foodcourt outlets offering items like roti canai/paratha, nasi lemak, prawn noodles, laksa. Many are in the City Centre; there are Malaysian restaurants scattered throughout Melbourne. Little Bourke Street has a few Malaysian run eateries as well as QV's Kopitiam (corner of Lonsdale and Swanston St, CBD), Boxhill has a new Malaysian run (with Malaysian cooks – most Malaysian run eateries employ cooks from China) eatery called Petaling Street which has provided the most authentic fare so far.
Arab, Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish restaurants tend to be concentrated in Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg to the north of the city centre. These restaurants can also be found in the outer suburbs that are home to those communities, including Dandenong.
Thai restaurants are ubiquitous in Melbourne: even dining precincts mostly known for Italian or Vietnamese food boast Thai restaurants.
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.
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.
Spanish, Argentinian, Burmese and Polish restaurants can be found in the Richmond/Collingwood/Prahran area.
Melbourne has some Cajun/Creole restaurants and one or two American style diners, but US cuisine is otherwise absent: Foods like Southern-style barbecue and clam chowder are nearly impossible to find.
Korean restaurants are well represented and are scattered throughout the city.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Block Arcade on Little Collins Street offer sweets ranging from cakes and pastries to high tea.
Coffe & Drink
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 more unique is you can have your photo taken by a professional photographer on the spot.
Sights & Landmarks
Melbourne is a great city for arts, culture, dining, and events. Visitors frequently comment on the "good vibe" of the city which can only be understood by experiencing it for yourself. There are a wide and varied assortment of attractions and sights that every traveller will appreciate. Most are located in the City Centre, in close reach of public transport. Melbourne is also a good base for experiencing all the other attractions of Victoria. Most of which can be done in day trips from Melbourne.
Things to do
- See interesting films at the Art Deco-styled Astor Theatre in St Kilda. There are several moonlight cinema programmes in summer. The Melbourne International Film Festival [www] is on in August.
- Alternately, visit the Cinema Nova on Lygon Street (tram 1 or 8) on a Monday for $6 films before 4PM.
- Visit the Queen Vic Markets
- Fans of Neighbours can do a tour of filming locations
- Visit a comedy club. The Comic's Lounge [www] has shows for $10–25 including a show filmed for Channel 31 on Mondays, or dinner and show for $45. The Comedy Club has dinner and show for $32 and shows only beginning at $7 (discount ticket price).
- Watch the mesmerising process of personalised hard candy being hand-made at Suga. Around lunch time is a good time to see (and sample!). There is a store at Queen Victoria Market, but if you visit the Royal Arcade location, you can also watch chocolate making next door at Koko Black.
- Watch a game of AFL football at the MCG or Etihad Stadium during the winter, or a Cricket Match 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 Evelyn", "The Espy" ( closed for renovations as of Jan 2016 ), The Corner Hotel in Richmond & The Northcote Social Club.
- The Black Light Mini Golf is located at the Docklands. This is an 18 hole mini golf range designed around an Australian theme. It is under black light with a light and sound system and featuring fluorescent colours. It is located behind the Big WheelBeing located indoors means that you can play all year round, Admission pricing is $13 for an adult and $10 for a child. It takes around 1 hr to play. A recently added attraction to the Black Light Mini Golf is "The Coffin Ride" [www] this is as freaky as it sounds, you take a virtual ride in a coffin with the lid closed, there are sounds, smells and your mates can have a really good laugh watching you on TV.
- Melbourne is an excellent place to master your photography skills. So many places to take a fantastic picture.
- Melbourne's museums are generally well-regarded and worth a visit if you have time to spare. The Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria often have interesting temporary exhibitions.
- Visit the beach (St Kilda, Brighton, or Frankston on the east side. Williamstown on the west side.)
- Experience fine dining in an inner city tram http://www.tramrestaurant.com.au/
- Be entertained at Crown Casino
- Go hiking on scenic Mt Dandenong -Challenge yourself physically on the 1000 steps, or visit the cute towns of Sassafras or Olinda, or take a ride on the century-old Puffing Billy steam train
- Chill out in the Botanical Gardens or one of the many parks (Albert Park, Carlton Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens)
- Have a laugh at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March/April each year
- See amazing sand sculptures in nearby Frankston from the end of December to April each year (catch Frankston train line)
- Watch the Australian Grand Prix in March/April each year
- Visit the Eureka Skydeck for the best view of the city on level 88 of the Eureka Tower. Or indulge in fine dining by booking on level 89 of the Eureka Tower.
- Visit one of Melbourne's outdoor cinemas in the warmer months of the year (November to April)
- Get dressed up for "the race that stops nation" on the first Tuesday of November The Melbourne Cup, or one of the other races in The Spring Racing Carnival
- Visit any or all of the three amazing zoos. http://www.zoo.org.au/
- Take a free tram ride around the city on the free city circle line (route35).
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]
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 glamorous bars and clubs. Here, expect high prices, strict dress codes, and beautiful people who want to be seen partying with the best. St. Kilda has a little bit of everything. With its proximity to the beach, it is often regarded as the Melbourne suburb that feels most like Sydney.
The past decade has seen a revival of Melbourne's inner-city bar scene, with dozens of weird and wonderful watering holes opening up within forgotten alleyways and anonymous lanes of the City Centre (CBD). Melbourne also has its fair share of stylish places to drink, although the better ones can be hard to find. The theory seems to be: the harder your bar is to find, the more people will talk about it. Secrets are tucked around areas like Prahran, South Yarra and many other areas. However there are plenty of alleyway bars, once you find one they seem to pop up everywhere you look. Melbourne's clubs often market a members only rule which can upset your more upmarket traveler. The rule is in place to prevent fighting and unappealing groups of men entering a nice club and destroying the atmosphere.
Australian licensing laws are very similar to those in the UK, i.e. you are not allowed to be drunk on licensed premises. In practice though, Melbourne venues and bouncers draw the line very low. Ejection from a premises can be expected for fighting, vomiting, or frequent falling over. Some pubs and clubs are quicker to eject patrons than others, but it's only ever a short walk to another. Licensing is more liberal than 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
Things to know
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.
Melbournians are sports enthusiasts and particularly passionate about Australian Rules football , a sport invented in Melbourne. In fact the Australian Football League (AFL) is not so much a sport as a religion in Melbourne, with 9 of the 10 Victorian teams being based in Melbourne. As a guide, the entire national competition only has 18 teams, meaning half the league is based in Melbourne alone. The AFL culminates in the AFL Grand Final in the spring, which is played every year at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Horse racing is another passion, and the majority of the state has a public holiday on the first Tuesday of November for the racing of the Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s famous horse races. Cricket is the big summer sport and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the 'MCG') is one of the world's leading grounds. The National Sports Museum (NSM) (including the Racing Museum) Australia’s only truly dedicated multi-sports museum is also located at the MCG.
Each January, Melbourne hosts tennis' Australian Open, one of the world’s four Grand Slam championships. In March, Melbourne hosts the first race of the Formula One season, the Formula One Grand Prix. The race is held in Albert Park in South Melbourne. Two professional Association Football teams are based in Melbourne, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City FC; the two teams now share the new Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, commercially known as AAMI Park also playing at Etihad Stadium . The city also boasts one professional team in each rugby code, with both also playing at AAMI Park. The Melbourne Storm play rugby league in the National Rugby League, with teams throughout Australia plus one in New Zealand. The Melbourne Rebels play rugby union in Super Rugby, which features four other Australian sides and five each in New Zealand and South Africa. Melbourne is the unquestioned sporting capital of Australia with the largest arenas and two of the major sporting administrations basing their operation in Melbourne: Cricket Australia is a stone's throw from the MCG, and the AFL games are played at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium.
The most popular industry for a working holiday is to work in hospitality jobs around the St. Kilda area. The wages in all other industries are usually much better than working in hospitality but require more specific skills. At the moment there are a lot of job offers for nurses and craftsmen.
Fruit picking is a possible source of income but in the greater Melbourne area there are not many jobs are offered. You will find better chances are in the dairy business but you should have some basic experience. Grape vine tending is another possibility in the nearby Yarra Valley.
You can take language classes, join a cafe book group, learn to draw, sign up for historical or foodie walks, study for your Victorian Certificate of Education or take computer or business classes at the Council of Adult Education (CAE). The CAE is also home to the City Library where you can sign up to borrow books or just read magazines in their cafe.
Melbourne is home to several universities, two of which belong to the prestigious "Group of Eight": the University of Melbourne and Monash University. There are opportunities for international students to enroll in these universities, either in their degree programmes or through exchange agreements with foreign universities, and these are opportunities for foreigners to live in Melbourne for an extended period of time.
Safety in Melbourne
Melbourne is generally a very safe city for its size, although some parts of Melbourne are best avoided at night; these include parts of the western suburbs around Footscray and Sunshine, some northern suburbs such as Broadmeadows and southern suburbs like Frankston and Dandenong. The city centre, particularly the area around the nightclub and strip club district of King Street, can be a hotspot for alcohol-fuelled violence late at night. However, you are more likely to be heckled by drunken revellers and street walkers than you are to be actually threatened or randomly attacked. Demonstrating normal safety precautions and staying to well-lit streets is a good way to avoid trouble.
Protective Services Officers (PSOs) patrol Melbourne's railway stations from 6pm to the last train, with all stations possessing a 'safety zone' with increased lighting, CCTV cameras and easy access to the red emergency button. Trains also contain buttons in the case of an emergency, while it's a good idea to sit close to the driver while on a train, tram or bus late at night. The public transport network is generally safe, although drug or alcohol affected travellers occasionally give other commuters grief.
If driving a car, beware of car theft or break-in. Keep valuables out of sight when parked, 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 in and around Flinders Street Station and the crowded block between Flinders and Collins Streets on Swanston Street. Beggars frequent the southern ends of Elizabeth and Swanston Streets, although are unlikely to give you trouble.
Although scams are rare in Melbourne, some real estate agents attempt to prey on foreigners by deducting costs for non-existent reparations and cleaning from the bond. The Tenants Union of Victoria can help with these issues when moving in and out.
It is important to take extreme care around tram tracks in and around Melbourne. Recent safety promotions have highlighted that a tram can weight as much as 30 rhinos, and it can take over 100m for a tram to safely stop. Pedestrians and vehicles are hit by trams on a near-daily basis, causing life-threatening injuries or instant death. Even if a tram has passed, look carefully both ways, as trams will often run nose-to-tail on busy corridors like Swanston Street. If driving, it is illegal to U-turn across tram tracks or pass a tram while the doors are open and passengers are disembarking.