Melbourne Travel Guide

Melbourne is the capital city in the State of Victoria in Australia with a population of about 4 Million & growing out of which about 73.1% live in Melbourne. It is a young city and has a wide range of cuisines, cultural, dialectal & religious diversity. Due to the cultural diversity, it is the best city to eat, no matter what type of food you like from roasts, pies, souvlaki, tacos, nachos, kebabs, tandoori, pizzas, seafood, etc., you’ll find it here. Melbourne also has a café culture with an extensive range of coffee types & flavors, selection of award-winning restaurants, outdoor cafes & bars just about everywhere.

The Yarra River flows through Melbourne City. On the banks of the Yarra, you will find people going about their daily activities like jogging, cycling, walking, rowing, etc. If you happen to be eating something, playful seagulls will squawk and watch you eat & wait for you to feed them and if you happen to make that mistake, more will arrive out of nowhere within minutes!!…all for the fun of it though.

Melbourne is the Sporting capital of Australia where games like Cricket & Australian Football (Footy) are played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) & Etihad stadium (formerly Telstra dome). Apart from this Melbourne has been host to many International sporting event such as Australian Open Tennis, Rugby and Australian Grand Prix Motor racing. Melbourne has held the Olympic Games in 1956, the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and is bidding to host the 2018 International Soccer……Go Melbourne!!!

Melbourne is also the Arts & Cultural capital in Australia & has some very fine galleries with a very wide range of exhibits. Melbourne History is very intriguing as this city turned into one of the wealthiest cities of the world during the Goldrush days.

Most of the corporate offices, hotels, restaurants, cafes, accommodation etc are located in and around the Central Business District (CBD) and is the business center of Melbourne. It has an excellent public transport system. Flinders Street Station is the main railway station and connects the CBD to the outer suburbs. This is well supported by a tram & bus network throughout Melbourne. Flinders street station also connects to the Spencer street station from where trains go to regional Victoria and interstate. The Map of Melbourne will help you to get around and enjoy the Melbourne City. These can be easily obtained from the Visitors center at the Federation Square

In the Economist’s Intelligence Units Livability poll of the World’s Most Livable Cities 2009 survey, Melbourne Australia ranked 3rd worldwide. Some of the important criteria considered in the evaluation were healthcare, education, culture, stability, environment & infrastructure. The Travel Tips section will give a more in-depth idea about our city.

Melbourne Beaches

Melbourne Beaches are located in and around the Port Phillip Bay and include popular ones such as St Kilda Beach, Port Melbourne Beach, Elwood Beach, Brighton Beach & Chelsea Beach, etc. These are not really surfing beaches due to the closed nature of the Port Phillip Bay. Surf beaches can be found in the Bellarine Peninsula areas and Mornington Peninsula areas. Because Australia is an Island there are beaches all along the coastline.

Every beach in Melbourne has safety signs, so please make sure you read the relevant signs and follow them. There’s a long-running campaign by the Cancer Councils that invites people to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek & Slide. Which means Slip on a T-shirt, Slop on the Sunscreen, Slap a Hat on your head, Seek shade under a tree, shrub or portable shade and Slide on a pair of Sunnies (Sunglasses) to stay protected from the Sun harmful UV rays during Summer. If you don’t have a sunscreen you probably should use one of these and for the adventurous ones out there here’s a tanning lotion as well.

Enough of the scare now let’s enjoy some wonderful Melbourne Beaches –

  • Williamstown Beach
  • Sandridge Beach
  • Port Melbourne Beach
  • Albert Park Beach
  • St Kilda Beach
  • Point Ormond Beach
  • Elwood Beach
  • Brighton Beach
  • Hampton Beach
  • Sandringham Beach
  • Half Moon Bay Beach
  • Black Rock Beach
  • Rickett’s Point Beach
  • Mentone Beach
  • Chelsea Beach

There are other beaches outside Melbourne such as in the Bellarine Peninsula & Mornington Peninsula regions and further on but these beaches are far and can be best accessed by Car.

Melbourne Attractions

Melbourne Attractions include places of significance, importance, and interest, such as the Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Zoo, etc.

I’m sure Melbourne has to offer something for everyone, whether it be from Trendy Shopping Malls to Chic Fashion stores or from tranquil Garden settings to the dizzying heights of the skyscrapers, from modern & Aboriginal Art galleries to the laid back wine-growing areas…. there’s something for everyone.

Most popular attractions in Melbourne

Federation Square

Located between Swanston Street, Flinders Street & Russell Street extension, opposite to the Flinders street station is this cultural hub of Melbourne. Here you can visit the Ian Potter Museum, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), 2 State of the Art Cinemas, Restaurants and get brochures from the visitors’ information center. See the architecture of these unique buildings. Hire a bike and go around the city on bike trails, along the Yarra and enjoy the scenic views of the river & the city, or you can simply go on a boat cruise on the Yarra River from the Yarra Wharf along Princess Walk off Swanston Street. This is also the biggest outdoor free Wi-Fi hotspots of Melbourne and a giant outdoor TV screen.

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is one of the biggest open-air market in Melbourne. It is also known as Queen Victoria Market Melbourne, or simply Vic Markets under Melbourne Markets. This Melbourne Market is located on the corner of Victoria & Elizabeth streets in Melbourne. The market is a major & famous tourist attraction. The QV Market offers everything from the fresh farm produce like fruits, vegetables, seafood meat & poultry products to a wide range of uniquely Australian Souvenir Gift Shops, imported electronic gadgets, toys, t-shirts, clothes, computer stuff, etc. At the Market, you can try your skills at haggling and possibly get things at a reasonable price.

Crown Casino

The Casino is on the southern banks of the Yarra River & offers a blend of elegant fashion & boutique shops, luxurious riverside cafes and restaurants, be spellbound by the gaming areas, scintillating nightlife and accommodation to suit every budget. During the day see the jumping fountain where kids often muck around and get their clothes wet for a bit of fun and laughter because the water jumps up from the ground unexpectedly.

Southgate

Where is Southgate? It is situated on the eastern side of the Crown casino is one of Melbourne’s main entertainment area and is home to a multi-leveled Shopping Complex. This is a trendy area where you will find a lot of outdoor cafes & restaurants and also sidewalk entertainment and shopping.

The Arts Centre

Situated on the beautifully tree-lined leafy St Kilda Road is this Melbourne Landmark with the spire about 162 m high becomes electric at dusk with lights changing to many colors. This is home to Opera Australia, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company & the Australian Ballet. Paid guided tours of the building & permanent art collection can be organized at the centre. An interesting place to see here is the Performing Art Museum. On Sundays, there’s usually an arts & craft market outside the centre.

National Gallery of Victoria

The main Gallery is located at 180 St Kilda road, Melbourne although it has a small branch in the federation square as well. This is an art gallery & museum and is the largest public art gallery in Australia. One of the features of the gallery is a colorful stained glass ceiling and is considered to be the world’s largest suspended stained glass.

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum is located on Nicholson Street, next to the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens. There’s a giant skeletons of a whale with exhibits on Science Life, Bugs Alive, Forest Gallery and also Bunjilaka – the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The museum has a souvenir shop & a café. While over there another interesting place to go to is the IMAX theatre (located on the lower ground level) which shows documentaries in 3D, if you’ve never seen a movie in 3D this will be an unforgettable experience for kids, teenagers & adults…….you will be amazed !!! Might make your head spin a bit but it’s all for fun.

  • Scienceworks Museum.
  • Immigration Museum.
  • Melbourne Aquarium.
  • Melbourne Zoo.
  • Eureka Skydeck 88.
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Docklands.
  • Shrine of Remembrance.
  • Captain Cook’s Cottage.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral.
  • State Library of Victoria.
  • Melbourne & Olympic Parks.
  • Phillip Island.
  • Sovereign Hill.
  • Dandenong Ranges.
  • Great Ocean Road.
  • Yarra Valley.
  • China Town.

Melbourne Travel Tips

Here are some handy Travel Tips on topics such as Travel Guide, Travel Information & Travel advice. Things mentioned here might seem pretty basic, but I thought I’d include this section as it’s better to be prepared than to have an unpleasant surprise.

This Travel information section gives a general overview of the things that matter in daily activity and day to day stuff. The Travel information and travel tips below will give you a good idea about some of the things here.

1. Drugs & alcohol – Melbourne Police have an excellent state of the art drug & alcohol detection equipment and have sporadic checks throughout the town. If you plan to drive, it would be safe not to drink and as the saying goes here – “If you drink & drive, you’re a bloody idiot”! In Melbourne .05 is the legal Alcohol limit with police booze & drug detection buses carrying out spot testing, so be careful. The legal drinking age is 18 yrs.

2. Credit Cards – Generally the most common credit cards accepted are Visa (Ph:1800 450 346), MasterCard (Ph: 1800 120 113), American Express (Ph: 1300 132 639) and at some places they accept Diners Club (Ph: 1300 360 060).

3. Tourist information – All tourist information centres have a distinctive blue i sign, in the city there’s a tourist information centre at the Federation Square and another on Bourke Street, Melbourne. You can get useful brochures, local maps, and tour guides, more about the train, tram & bus timetables and also what’s going on in Melbourne at the time of your visit and is an essential pit stop for any first time tourist.

4. Health & Travel Insurances – It is advisable to have health insurance & travel insurance before you start your journey. Travel information is pretty important. The biggest health insurance provider in Australia is Medibank Private. There are others and can be found at www.iselect.com.au if need be.

5. Melbourne Radio Stations – Have a wide variety of choice to suit everyone’s style but some of the best ones are –

FM Radio Stations:

  1. 89.9 (Light FM) – Positive alternative, Christian & Biblical teachings
  2. 92.3 (3ZZZ) – Multilingual
  3. 93.1 (3SBS) – Multilingual
  4. 100.3 (Nova FM) – A mix of old & new music
  5. 101.1 (MixFM) – Latest music for the under ’30s
  6. 101.9 (FoxFM) – Latest music for the under ’30s
  7. 103.5 (3MBS) – Classical music
  8. 104.7 (GoldFM) – Classic Golden Oldies
  9. 107.5 (JJJ) – Alternative music & youth network

AM Radio Stations:

  1. 621 Radio National – range of topics is diverse
  2. 774 (3LO) – talk back with current issues & an excellent news service with live Melbourne news to the hour.
  3. 855 (3CR) – community radio
  4. 1026 (News radio) – federal parliament proceedings and news
  5. 1179 (3AW) – Talk back radio with top ratings
  6. 1377 (3MP) – Easy Listening

6. Dress code – Usually smart casual is acceptable everywhere but it is a good idea to check before hand as some restaurants, theatres & Crown casino have strict dress codes.

7. Pharmacies – Generally over the counter medications for colds, coughs aches & pains such as Panadol, Aspirin, Dimetapp, Neurofen etc are easily available over the counter at any pharmacy. Most Pharmacies are generally open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday with a few open till 12pm midnight. This travel information is important as people have different medical needs and it’s better to be prepared.

8. Internet access – These days Wi-Fi can be found everywhere from cafes to shopping centres and Melbourne is very well advanced in this area. So if you have your laptop just look for designated areas or ask for it. The other place where Wi-Fi can be found is the local libraries. The biggest Wi-Fi area is at Federation Square in Melbourne.

9. Laundry services – Laundromats are mostly located in shopping strips, near high rise or apartments, in some hotels.

10. Phone Cards – Phone cards are the most economical way to keep in touch with your loved ones no matter where you come from and these can be obtained from newsagent’s, Milk bars or Australia Post offices. So for example if you are calling USA from here, the phone number would read 0011 – Country code for America – State code in America – phone number you want to dial in America.

11. Post Offices – Most post offices are open from 9am to 5pm Mon – Fri. The Melbourne GPO located on the corner of Little Bourke Street & Elizabeth Street, Melbourne is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm; Saturday 9am to 4pm; Sunday 10am to 4pm. You can get calendars, picture post cards, stamps, etc so for additional information please visit Australia Post.

12. Public Holidays in Melbourne –

  • New Years Day – 1st January
  • Australia Day – 26th January
  • Good Friday – March/April
  • Easter Monday – March/April
  • Labour Day – 14th March
  • Anzac Day – 25th April
  • Queen’s Birthday – 13th June
  • Melbourne Cup Day – 1st Tuesday in November
  • Christmas Day – 25th December
  • Boxing Day – 26th December

13. Newspapers – There are 3 main daily newspapers here. The Age, which gives an excellent coverage of Local & International news with the Saturday edition being a huge one. The Herald Sun also gives a good coverage of Local news with some International coverage and has many editions through the day and The Australian gives news more on a National Level. Another daily newspaper called MX is distributed free through various outlets such as the railway stations and is kept at designated MX stands in the CBD.

14. Metric Conversions – In USA & Japan they follow the Imperial system whereas the rest of the world follows the Metric system. Below are given some conversions.

MEASUREMENTS
CONVERSIONS
LEGEND
VOLUME
1 L = 0.26 gallons US
L means Litre
1 US Gallon = 3.8 L
WEIGHT
1kg = 2.2lb
“kg” means Kilogram
1Lb = 0.45kg
“lb” means Pound
1oz = 28gm
“oz” means Ounce
1gm = 0.04oz
gm means grams
DISTANCE
1in = 2.54cm
“in” means inch or inches
1cm = 0.39in
“cm” means centimetres
1ft = 0.3m
“ft” means foot or feet
1m = 3.3ft = 1.1yd
“m” means metres
1mile = 1.6km
“yd” means yards
1km = 0.62mile
“km” means kilometres
TEMPERATURE
C=(F-32)/1.8
C means Centigrade
F=(Cx1.8)+32
F means Fahrenheit

15. Tipping – Tipping is usually not the norm, but due to large number of locals & visitors who out of their kindness & generosity do tipping, it is prevalent in certain places.

16. Travel Documents – It is always advisable to make photocopies of your travel documents such as a passport, visa, itinerary, health & travel insurance papers etc. This is done just in case you might misplace the originals for some reason or another, at least you have copies of the originals. This is one of the most important travel information.

17. City Ambassadors – City of Melbourne is great! we have volunteers who are the City Ambassadors and are dressed in red uniforms. These people have a wealth of knowledge about travel information. You can stop & have a chat with them, get directions, travel tips etc. They can be spotted around the Swanston street & Central CBD area.

Hope this Travel Information has been helpful, if however you feel that some other topic should be included in this travel information section, please feel free send us an email and we will gladly include it here.

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