MELBOURNE

Introduction

MELBOURNE WEATHER

Info Melbourne

introduction

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.

info
POPULATION : 4,529,500
FOUNDED :  30 August 1835
TIME ZONE :• Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
• Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LANGUAGE : English
RELIGION :
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%
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE : 3
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE :  +61 3
WEBSITE : www.visitmelbourne.com

Tourism

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.

History

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.


Post-war period

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.


Contemporary Melbourne

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.

Climate

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.

 ClimateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Daily highs (°C)25.925.823.920.316.714.113.515.017.319.722.024.2
Nightly lows (°C)14.314.613.210.88.76.96.06.78.09.611.213.0
Precipitation (mm)47.648.050.357.455.849.047.550.058.166.460.459.5

Geography

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.

Economy

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.

Subdivisions

Central Melbourne

 


City Centre
 (CBD, Southbank, Docklands)

Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and historical core north of the Yarra River, including the new, cosmopolitan Docklands to the west and the Southbank entertainment precinct on the Yarra River.

St Kilda
Sunny beaches and a great restaurant, bar and nightlife scene.
Inner south (Port Melbourne, Albert Park)
Includes the old ports of Melbourne, the historic Clarendon Street town centre and famous Grand Prix circuit.
Inner north (Carlton, Parkville, North Melbourne)
The University district, as well as Lygon Street, famous for Italian culture and cuisine.
Inner east (Fitzroy, Richmond, Collingwood)
Working-class and Bohemian quarter, with some trendy boutiques and pubs full of character.

Stonnington (Toorak, Prahran, South Yarra)
Expensive, upper-class neighbourhood of Melbourne, with high-end shopping and dining.


Greater Melbourne 

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.

Internet, Comunication

Post

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.


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. 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

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 boxesAll 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 nation88 Elizabeth St. This shop has free WiFi.
  • HiSpeed Internet Kiosks (At Spencer Street DFO.). A chain with many stores across the country. 21 minutes for $2.
  • e:FiftyFive (55 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne) is like a huge basement lounge room that feels more like a bar than an internet cafe. Great DJs, comfortable couches and dirt-cheap $2/hour internet access when you buy a drink attract plenty of travellers and will make writing that email home an enjoyable experience.
  • VA (Bourke Street, Melbourne) is one of the countless but arguably the best internet/LAN gaming cafes in Melbourne, which is packed full of "hardcore gamers" on Sunday afternoons (sponsored competition day). Non-member rates start at $3.50/hour while membership costs a mere $15 (includes $12 credit) and benefits include play offers such as $4/2 hours, $5/3 hours and $6/4 hours, as well as day and night packages.
  • Cydus (Victoria Street, North Melbourne) large range of internet usage services every day and at any time (including most public holidays). Non-member rates start at $3/hour while membership costs $10 (includes 2 hours free play) and membership rates are $2/hour while member offers include "Endurance Pass" (5 hours play + $2.80 snack voucher) and "Survival Pass" (10 hours play).
  • City Library253 Flinders Ln. Free internet access 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.

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