Travel Guide Oceania Australia Victoria Melbourne



Melbourne may be Australia's second most populous city, but the proud residents will not accept it as second fiddle to its glamour sibling Sydney. Melbourne lays claim to being Australia's cultural and artistic capital. But it's in sport that Melbourne truly shines, hosting world class sporting events each year: the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final are all watched by millions. It is hardly a surprise that one of the city's prime tourist destinations is the Melbourne Cricket Ground, abbreviated as the MCG - or even just G to Melburnians. During footy season, many visitors take time to go to an Australian Rules Football match, which had its origins in Melbourne. 9 out of the 16 Australian teams are still based in Melbourne.

Melbourne has a long and rich coffee culture. Cafés can be found on almost every street corner and areas like Carlton, Brunswick and Richmond each have a cultural flavour of their own owing to the varying immigrant populations.




Inner city

Large office buildings aside, Melbourne's centre is a bustling combination of cozy cafés, fine restaurants, hip bars, theatres, museums, sports venues and sprawling gardens. It's easily navigated by hopping on one of the numerous trams that service the area. The city is laid out in a grid-like manner but has many little alley-ways cobwebbed between the blocks. It's down these hidden lane ways is where you'll find some of Melbourne's unique watering holes and eateries.

St Kilda

The seaside suburb of St Kilda is the place to go in Melbourne for a sea breeze. Its icon is Luna Park, an historic amusement park that requires you to enter through what looks like a giant clown's mouth. A multitude of cafés and restaurants line Acland and Fitzroy Streets.


The bohemian suburb of Fitzroy is home to some of Melbourne's best pubs and restaurants, with groovy Brunswick Street at the centre of the action.


If you are after a good pizza or pasta, Lygon Street in Carlton is the place to go. It is also home to Melbourne University, so the student life vibe is strong.


Prahran is one of the most expensive and classy suburbs in Melbourne, which has a great mixture of restaurants, night life and boutique shops.

Other neighbourhoods

  • Richmond is a shopping precinct with lots of discount and factory outlet type stores.
  • Brunswick is a suburb in Melbourne's north with considerable Middle Eastern influences. A good place to find a nice baclava, kebab or Turkish coffee. A plethora of new bars and stylish restaurants have opened in recent years, making this a popular destination for an evening out.



Sights and Activities

MCG, Collingwood Geelong match

MCG, Collingwood Geelong match

© kelandstu

  • National Gallery of Victoria - The National Gallery of Victoria consists of two galleries. One on St Kilda Rd displays international art, while the one at Federation Square displays their Australian art collection.
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens - If you need a good place to escape a hot summers day, then The Royal Botanic Gardens are a great option. These relaxing gardens are filled with beautiful and rare plant specimens. Address: St Kilda Road
  • South Bank - South Bank is a nice place to go for a stroll along the Yarra River and If you're feeling lucky, Crown Casino might be your best bet.
  • Melbourne Central - Melbourne Central, at the centre of this large shopping centre is historic Coops Shot Tower, built in 1890. Address: Corner of LaTrobe & Swanston Streets
  • Queen Victoria Market - The Viccie Market, as it is locally known, is a great place to wander around. Soak in the multiculturalism and buy some local produce while you're at it! Address: Corner Elizabeth and Victoria Streets., Phone: (03) 9320 5822, Hours: Tue & Thu: 6:00am-2:00pm, Fri: 6:00am-6:00pm, Sat: 6:00am-3:00pm, Sun: 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Flinders Street Station - This train station is an icon of Melbourne. Pretty hard to miss for anyone visiting the inner city. Address: Corner Flinders and Swanston Street
  • Royal Exhibition Building - A UNESCO World Heritage listed building, completed in 1880 for Melbourne’s first "International Exhibition". (Location: Carlton Gardens on Spring St)
  • Eureka Skydeck 88 - Visit the Eureka Skydeck 88 on the 88th floor of the The Eureka Tower, the tallest apartment building in the world. It features a scary glass floor and shattering glass sound effects. Address: 1 Riverside Quay, City Road, Southbank., Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm daily
  • The Laneways - Melbourne's inner city back alleyways that hide many of its most interesting shops, restaurants and bars. Start at Degraves St, directly opposite Flinders Street Station and follow the smallest roads you can find. These little streets bustle with people drinking coffee, having a late breakfast or indulging in a mid-afternoon drink.
  • Melbourne Museum - Houses a permanent collection of interesting artefacts, including the remains of Phar Lap, Melbourne's most famous horse. Address: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton, Phone: General Enquiries 13 11 02 (within Victoria), Bookings 1300 130 152, Outside Victoria: (03) 8341 7777, Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm daily
  • Immigration Museum - Stories of the diverse people who have immigrated to Victoria since the 1880s. Address: 400 Flinders Street, Phone: (03) 9927 2700, Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm daily
  • Luna Park - A family fun park with a very lively entrance. (Location: Lower Esplanade, St Kilda South)
  • The Old Melbourne Gaol - This is where Australia's most famous bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged. You can see the revolver and death mask of Ned Kelly at the gaol. Address: Russell St, between Victoria and La Trobe St., Phone: (03) 8663 7228, Hours: Open daily 9:30am-5:00pm except Christmas Day and Good Friday, Price: $20.00 for an adult and $11.00 for a child.
  • Whilst not traditionally thought of for scuba diving, Port Phillip Bay is actually one of the world's best locations for wreck scuba diving, home to over 600 wrecks.
  • Melbourne Aquarium - Melbourne Aquarium has just had its shark exhibit revamped and is quite impressive, there are feeding shows and information sessions at a number of the different tanks. There is also an excellent penguin window complete with snow slides, caves and a swimming pool. It is quite expensive at $92.00 for a family with 2 adults.
  • Scienceworks - Melbourne's Scienceworks and Planetarium are a good outing with kids. Includes lots of interactive displays. Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood, Hours: 10am-4.30pm daily (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day), Price: Adults: $10 , Children (under 16): Free
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) & National Sports Museum (NSM) - Tour the iconic MCG conducted by volunteers from 9:45am to last tour at 3:00pm. Tours last around 1 hour and include walking on the ground, visiting the media centre, coaches box, the famous long room and much more. Afterwards visit the NSM and immerse yourself in history. Address: Enter gate 3

More sights can be found on the neighbourhood sub articles.



Events and Festivals

There are quite a few major festivals and events which run each year in Melbourne. Below are some of the largest, roughly in order.

  • The Australian Open - The Australian Open kicks off the year with some world class tennis, attracting large crowds from around the world. It runs at the end of January. Address: Rod Laver & Hisense Arena
  • The Australian Grand Prix - The Australian Grand Prix, held in Albert Park is one of the first races of the Formula One season. Be prepared to pay much higher prices for accommodation during this weekend, because the city books up considerably. Address: Albert Park
  • The Moomba Waterfest - is an annual festival held along the Yarra River and culminating in the Moomba Parade. It is one of Australia's oldest festivals, running since 1955. Due to some clever planning, it usually coincides with the start of the Grand Prix festivities. The official line is that the word 'Moomba' is an aboriginal term for "let's get together and have fun". However, it is now more popularly believed that the term was in fact suggested in jest and in fact means something like "up your bum". [3]
  • The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - Melbourne is a food lover's city and there for those looking for some culinary delights, there is no better time to visit than during the Food and Wine Festival. Lots of events run across the city with lots of local and international chefs showcasing their skills.
  • The Melbourne International Comedy Festival - The Melbourne International Comedy Festival features comedians from around the world and runs for several weeks each year. It is widely considered one of the top 3 comedy festivals in the world, along with the comedy festivals in Montreal and Edinburgh.
  • The Melbourne International Film Festival - The Melbourne International Film Festival features films from Australia and over 50 countries around the world.
  • The Royal Melbourne Show - The Royal Melbourne Show brings country Victoria to Melbourne with a range of agricultural attractions, food & wine, arts & crafts, carnival rides and show bags. It is Melbourne's longest running annual public entertainment event, in operation since 1848.
  • AFL Grand Final - The AFL Grand Final is staged in Melbourne each year and is Australia's largest annual single sporting event, attracting crowds of close to 100,000. The final is traditionally played on the final Saturday in September. Address: MCG
  • Melbourne Fringe - Melbourne Fringe celebrates new, independent and innovative art. It runs just before the Melbourne Arts Festival each year.
  • The Melbourne International Arts Festival - The Melbourne International Arts Festival runs for 17 days every October.
  • The Spring Racing Carnival - The Spring Racing Carnival is held during spring (October/November), culminating in The Melbourne Cup, which takes place on the first Tuesday in November. It is a public holiday in Melbourne.
  • Boxing Day Test (26 Dec 2013) - The Boxing Day Test cricket match heralds the start of a series of test matches held between Australia and a guest nation. It is held at the MCG and lasts up to 5 days, starting on boxing day. Address: MCG
  • Summer in Melbourne is all about outdoor music festivals. With single day events, camping festivals out of town and week long festivals, there is definately a music festival to suit all tastes. Further reading: Outdoor Music Festivals in Victoria (Australia).
  • Tesselaar Tulip Festival - During late September and early October, spring heralds the annual Tesselaar Tulip Festival. See more than half-a-million tulip bulbs flowering in riotous colour as you "tip-toe through the tulip fields".
  • Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show - Horticulturists from Australia and further afield travel to Melbourne for the Flower and Garden Show, the largest such event in the southern hemisphere. Admire amazing garden designs, floral art, meet experts and more. Address: Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Carlton, Price: Adults: $22, Children: $8, Under 5: Free




Aussie Rules

Aussie Rules

© scotsman

Melbourne is the most sports-mad city in Australia, which itself is arguably one of the most sports-mad countries in the world.


Aussie Rules football is an integral part of Melbourne and visitors who are lucky enough to be in town during the 'Footy' season are well-advised to catch a game. The Finals occur each September, with the climactic Grand Final played in the MCG at the end of September.


The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world and hosts major cricket events as well as the AFL Grand Final. One key match is the Boxing Day Test Match, which runs from December 26-30, between the Australian national team and an international competitor.

Horse Racing

During Spring Racing Carnival each year, the city goes wild for the horses. Melbourne Cup Day is even a public holiday in the state of Victoria.


The Australian Open is hosted each year by Melbourne, drawing the best players from around the world. It runs for two weeks each January, in the middle of the Australian summer.

Formula 1

Melbourne's Grand Prix is the first on the Formula 1 tour each year and draws large crowds. It is held in March.

Football (soccer)

Melbourne has two teams playing in the A-league, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart. Melbourne Victory is the larger of the two and has won the championship several times. Melbourne Heart is a more recent addition to the league. They both play from AAMI stadium, a brand new, architecturally stunning stadium located in the Melbourne Sports Precinct - near the MCG and Rod Laver Arena. The season runs between August and February.




Melbourne's weather is all about being surprising. So expect random sunny days in winter and random stormy days in summer. Generally though, winters (June to August) tend to be fairly cold and wet, with daytime temperatures ranging between 10 °C and 20 °C. Snowfall is rare, though there are snowfields in Victoria's high country which lies several hours outside north-east of Melbourne.

Summers (December to February) are hot and getting hotter, with days reaching maximum temperatures above 40 °C. While beaches are great during this time, summer is not a great time to visit other parts of Victoria, since the threat of bushfire can be high. Over the past few years, areas throughout northern, eastern and western Victoria have been devastated by bushfire.

In autumn (fall) and spring Melbourne enjoys much more moderate weather.

Avg Max26.3 °C26.6 °C24.4 °C21 °C17.5 °C14.8 °C14.2 °C15.7 °C17.7 °C20.1 °C22.6 °C24.4 °C
Avg Min15.6 °C16 °C14.5 °C11.8 °C9.8 °C7.9 °C7.1 °C7.8 °C9.2 °C10.6 °C12.6 °C14.1 °C
Rainfall45.1 mm39.9 mm40.7 mm50.2 mm46.5 mm46.5 mm44.7 mm50.5 mm52.9 mm58.5 mm63.1 mm63.3 mm
Rain Days8.76.69.310.512.213.514.415.31413.311.39.6



Getting There

By Plane

Melbourne Airport (MEL) is the first port of call for many visitors. It has four terminals, depending on who you're flying with and whether you're flying overseas. Domestic passengers will arrive and depart from Terminal 1 if they are flying with Qantas or Jetstar, or from Terminal 3 if they are flying with Virgin Australia and REX Regional Express. All international services are hosted by Terminal 2, which is the airport's middle terminal. Terminal 4, which is in a separate building, is used by low cost carrier Tiger Airways.

T4 is Australia's first ever low cost carrier terminal, used by Tiger Airways Australia [13] domestic services.

Budget airline Jetstar also operates out of Avalon Airport (AVV), which is closer to Geelong than Melbourne. Be aware of this when booking tickets, because although tickets can be cheaper, there might be an added cost in getting from the airport into Melbourne.

Air Asia now services Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur as well, offering low cost flights.

By Train

Trains travelling to Melbourne arrive at the newly revamped Southern Cross Station (formerly Spencer St station). Southern Cross Station is also on Melbourne's metropolitan rail network, so from there you can easily hop on a train to anywhere in Melbourne.

A twice daily service from Sydney is operated by CountryLink (11 hours) and there are four services per week from Adelaide run by Great Southern Railways (10 hours) . The Overland links Adelaide with Melbourne 3 times a week in both directions. XPT links Melbourne with Sydney.

Services within Victoria are operated by V/Line and can take you to

By Bus

Most long-haul buses to Melbourne also arrive at Southern Cross Station. Firefly Express and Greyhound handle interstate journeys, while V/Line buses travel from all over Victoria.

By Car

From Sydney or Canberra:
The quick option if you're travelling from Canberra or Sydney is to take the Hume Highway, which takes about eight hours from Sydney. From Canberra, you will need to drive up the Barton Highway to get onto the Hume. There is also a slow but scenic option if you have time on your hands and want to be treated to nicer scenery along your drive from Sydney. This involves travelling along the east coast on the Princes Highway. If you're travelling from Canberra, you can drive down the Monaro Highway, which links up with the Princes Highway on the south eastern edge of Australia.

From Adelaide:
There are several options when driving from Adelaide, depending on how much time you have and what you would like to see. The popular Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's best road trips, as it passes along the southern coast through towns like Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay, as well as the Twelve Apostles. If time is a bit more scarce, the Western Freeway is an overland, more or less direct route that passes along the north of the Grampians National Park and Little Desert National Park. It takes approximately eight hours. If you want to take in Mount Gambier along the way, take the Princes Highway from Adelaide.

By Boat

If you're travelling from Tasmania, the Spirit of Tasmania docks in Port Melbourne, which is several kilometres outside the CBD. The trip from Tasmania takes about 10 hours and is usually done as an overnight trip, although at some times of the year it can also be a day trip. Extra charges apply if you want to take a vehicle with you.



Getting Around

By Public Transport

Outside Melbourne Train

Outside Melbourne Train

© KoalaGirl

Melbourne's trams, trains and buses fall under the umbrella of Metlink. TheMyki system uses a smartcard system and started rolling out in late 2009. It has been rolled out completely in January 2013.

To use the Myki system, you will first need to purchase a Myki card, which costs $6. It does not have any travel credit. You will then need to top it up either online, or at one of the outlets that has a special Myki machine installed. These are becoming increasingly common, so it shouldn't be hard to find one. You can top up your card with up to $250 of travel credit.

Travelling on a Myki card requires touching on at one of the Myki readers at the start of each journey and touching off at the end. It is important to touch off, because otherwise you will be charged a default fare which could be much higher than what you should have been charged. There is no requirement to touch off on trams.

The city was divided into two zones but since Jan 1st 2015 Zone 1 now covers both the central city, inner suburbs, middle and outer suburbs which is as far as many tourists would venture. Daily tickets costs from $7 respectively. The other change is the free Tram Zone within the Melbourne CBD and Victoria Market is now in place saving many tourists any cost at all.

In general the card should be intelligent about calculating the best fare for your travels. A A Myki Visitor Pack ($14/7 adult child), which comes preloaded with $8/4 of credit and a stack of attraction discount coupons, can be purchased at major stations, tourist information centres and Skybus terminals at Tullamarine airport.

City Circle Tram

Melbourne - The City Circle Tram (it's free to ride)

Melbourne - The City Circle Tram (it's free to ride)

© richardn

Another great way to save some money is to make regular use of Melbourne's free City Circle Tram service, which runs in a large loop around the CBD. [4] It runs every 12 minutes from 10:00am till 6:00pm daily.

Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle

The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is a free hop-on/hop-off bus service, stopping off at 15 key points around the city. It runs every 15 minutes from 10:00am till 4:00pm daily, taking 45 minutes to complete the full trip. [5]

By Taxi

Cabs are plentiful in Melbourne and easily identified by their standard yellow colour. There are designated ranks at major hotels and at popular locations like Flinders Street Station. On weekend nights after everyone is done drinking, they are high demand, and will often only pick up passengers from these cab ranks. You can expect a queue of passengers as a result.

The base flagfall rate is $3.20, with an extra $1.617 charged per kilometer and an extra 56.6 cents charged per minute if the speed drops below 21km/h. [6].

In addition to these standard rates, extra costs can be added on for late-night trips (midnight-5am), trips using toll ways, phone bookings, etc.

From the hours of 10:00pm to 5:00am, drivers will ask for up-front deposits, based on the estimated total of your trip.

Here are some of the main cab companies in Melbourne.

  • 13 CABS - Phone: 13 22 27
  • Silver Top Taxis - Phone: 13 10 08
  • Arrow Taxis - Phone: 13 22 11
  • Embassy Taxis - Phone: 13 17 55

By Foot

Within the CBD, it is quite easy to navigate Melbourne by foot. If you want to venture out to an inner suburb, then the trams are best option. If you want to visit an outer suburb, then the trains and buses are the best option.

By Bicycle

Melbourne is increasingly becoming a more cycling-friendly city, with many improvements being made to cycling routes throughout the city. Cycling participation rates have grown exponentially in recent times, leading to more demand for better infrastructure. Cycling can be a great way to get around the city quickly and at a very affordable price.

There are some beautiful bike routes in the city, through parkland and along the Yarra River, that are worth visiting for a recreational ride. The Bicycle Victoria website has a comprehensive listing of bike routes throughout Melbourne, including routes through the inner city.

  • Rentabike at Federation Square can provide you with a bicycle. Special family and weekly rates. Phone: 0417 339 203
  • St Kilda Cycles at 150 Barkly St, St Kilda can also set you up with a pair of wheels. Phone: 03 9534 3074

By Car

Car hire is available at Melbourne Airport and throughout the city. There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Redspot, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, Network and Turnbulls. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

The city's most ubiquitous street directory is the annually published Melways. Businesses will often give you a Melways reference to point you to their location in Melbourne. Outside of Greater Melbourne, the maps are less detailed, but sufficient to navigate between towns and all the way to Sydney or Adelaide.

If you are going to be driving in Melbourne's CBD, take particular note of a rare road rule that is used on quite a few of the major intersections; the "hook turn". Essentially, it involves making a right turn from the left lane, which helps improve the flow of traffic in the right hand lane.

1. When the light goes green, right turning traffic queues up in front of the waiting cross-traffic, pulled over as far as possible to the left, essentially joining their lane.
2. When the cross traffic's lane turns green, queued right-turners can make their turn
3. The cross traffic should wait until all the right turns have been made.

Further detail can be read on Wikipedia's article describing the Hook Turn

Another road rule to take particular note of is to stop for trams when they are unloading passengers. Older trams actually have a stop sign that pops out when the doors open, but newer trams only indicate this with a blinking orange light. Nonetheless, it is a requirement to stop for trams and let the passengers make their way to the footpath.




All you can eat dumplings

All you can eat dumplings

© Sockerbit

Melbourne's food scene is one of the best in the world. The diversity and quality of food options available is enough to satisfy any traveller's whim. Certain areas of town are particularly known for their local cuisine due to their specific immigrant populations. Lygon Street in Carlton is where one goes for Italian. Victoria Street, Richmond has been dubbed Little Saigon and offers plenty of Vietnamese options. Sydney Road, Brunswick has a variety of Middle Eastern options. Downtown, Little Bourke Street is the local China Town and Lonsdale Street is the Greek precinct. Brunswick Street, Fitzroy caters for a young bohemian crowd as do Acland Street and Fitzroy Street in St Kilda. There is a thriving café culture in Melbourne which provides excellent lunch options.

For restaurant reviews, The Age Good Food Guide is Melbourne's definitive restaurant rating book. It's published each year, covering hundreds of restaurants in the Melbourne CBD and throughout Victoria. The best quality restaurants are awarded hats. 3 hats is the maximum any restaurant can get and this is typically only reserved for a handful of restaurants. In the 2008 guide, only one restaurant managed to achieve the coveted 3 hats, Jacques Reymond.

Budget travellers may however be more interested in the partner publication, Cheap Eats, which, as the name suggests, lists the best places to eat if you don't have money to burn.




Due to some generous liquor licensing laws, Melbourne is home to a large number of small bars as well as the usual selection of pubs. The city has a habit of hiding away the most popular places so only locals would know about them. Don't be afraid to walk down the small alleys in the city, as these often hide the best options.

As of the 1st of July 2007, it is now prohibited to smoke in Victorian pubs. Many pubs have courtyards, but otherwise it is a case of standing on the street.

Oz - Melbourne - food 4

Oz - Melbourne - food 4

© KtandMark

Melbourne also has a love affair with coffee, owing in large part to the waves of Italian and Greek immigrants. In 1954, Melbourne's Pellegrini's Espresso Bar (66 Bourke St) opened as the city's first real espresso bar. Hundreds more have followed and these days it is hard to keep track of all the new places opening. If you have a thing for good coffee, try the Melbourne Coffee Review blog for some recommendations.

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 and beautiful people 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.

Gay, lesbian and transgender 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 2:00am. This has lead to a culture of late night drinking where some venues won't get busy until some time after 11:00pm, 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 2:00pm, and reopen their kitchens for dinner from approximately 6:00pm-10:0pm.




Most budget accommodation is either downtown, particularly near the Victoria Market, or in the beach-side suburb of St Kilda. Budget hotels can be found scattered throughout the city. Upper-class hotels are largely downtown or on the other side of the Yarra at Southbank. Motels are usually to be found in the suburbs, generally a quick tram ride out of the centre of town. If you are driving into Melbourne and don't want to pay the earth for city parking, these are good options. Try to choose one with a good tram or train connection though, so you can leave the car when travelling into the city.

See our detailed guide on where to stay in Melbourne

  • Greenhouse Backpacker, toll-free: 1800 249 207, e-mail: [email protected]. Is a Hall of Fame award winning hostel located in the heart of Melbourne at 228 Flinders Lane. Each guest gets free unlimited internet 24/7, free daily breakfast, 24 hour reception, five in-house tours and more.
  • Melbourne Metro YHA, e-mail: [email protected]. Is an award winning hostel located on the city fringe, close to major attractions including the Queen Victoria Market and Zoo. This funky hostel is a great place to stay when visiting Melbourne.
  • Melbourne Central YHA, e-mail: [email protected]. Is right in the centre of the City. It is situated along the City Circle tram route and most Melbourne attractions are within walking distance. The staff are friendly, helpful and caring. It was opened in 2009 and is highly maintained.
  • All Nations Backpackers Hostel, 2 Spencer St, ☎ +61 3 9620-1022, toll-free: 1800 666237, fax: +61 3 9620-1033, e-mail: [email protected]. 24-hour reception. Dorm beds from $19, single $38, double $48.
  • Nomads Melbourne (Nomads Industry), 198 A'Beckett St, ☎ +61 3 9328 4383, toll-free: 1800 666237, e-mail: [email protected]. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 10am. Found directly opposite the Queen Victoria Market
  • United Backpackers, 250 Flinders St, ☎ +61 3 9654 2616. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 10am. Opposite Flinders Street Station, in the centre of Melbourne
  • Claremont Guest House, in an historic 1886 building. Rated a 3 Star Guest House by AAAT, and is a multiple winner of Hostelworld's monthly 'Best Hostel in Australia' award as voted by backpackers. Free Wi-fi. Free breakfast. Public transport at the door.
  • CityTempo Apartments, compact CBD apartments on Queen Street near the Queen Vic Markets. 4 Stars (AAA Tourism), all linen/towels provided with kitchenettes. Some apartments include clothes washer/dryer. 353 Queen Street, Melbourne. Free call within Australia:☎ 1800 248 983.
  • Citadines on Bourke Melbourne, 131–135 Bourke St, ☎ +61 3 9039-8888, fax: +61 3 9039-8899, e-mail: [email protected]. Apartments available range from studios to two-bedroom executives, and have separate living and dining areas. It also offers a flexible service menu.
  • Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne, 328 Flinders Street Melbourne VIC 3000, ☎ +61 3 9250 1888, e-mail: [email protected]. One of Australia’s finest historic hotels. Built in 1913, this meticulously restored hotel retains the elegant style of the early 1900s while providing you with all the convenience of 21st century technology and amenities. Parking available. From 189.
  • Jika International Motel – Melbourne – Fairfield. [7] ☎ +61 3 9481-2822.
  • Golden Chain Motels – Melbourne has many locations in Melbourne and surrounding area serving quality accommodation at affordable prices.
  • Somerset on Elizabeth Melbourne, No 250 Elizabeth St, ☎ +61 3 8665-8888, e-mail: [email protected]. Provides a choice of one or two bedrooms apartments equipped with a kitchen, broadband internet access and home entertainment system.
  • Travelodge Southbank Melbourne Hotel, 9 Riverside Quay, Southbank. Great location, quality accommodation at affordable prices. Parking available.☎ +61 3 8696-9600.
  • Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring St, ☎ +61 3 9633-6000. The grand old lady of Melbourne's five-star hotels, and the only surviving grand pre-World War II hotel in Australia.
  • The Blackman – An Art Series Hotel, 452 St.Kilda Rd, ☎ +61 3 9039-1444. A five-star boutique with 207 rooms. The hotel was named for Artist Charles Blackman and was built within and above the historic Airlie Mansion.
  • Citigate Melbourne, 270 Flingers St, ☎ +61 3 9654-6888. Citigate Melbourne hotel offers contemporary Melbourne city accommodation on Flinders Street, opposite the historic Flinders Street Station.
  • Clarion Suites Gateway, 1 William St, ☎ +61 3 9296-8888. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Melbourne CBD hotel which is overlooking the Yarra River and is in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. All suite and 4,5 stars Melbourne CBD hotel.
  • The Como Melbourne, 630 Chapel St, ☎ +61 3 9825-2222. This chic South Yarra hotel is on fashionable Chapel Street.
  • Grand Hotel Melbourne, 33 Spencer St, ☎ +61 3 9611 4567, toll-free: 1300 361 455, e-mail: [email protected]. This heritage-listed apartment hotel has been restored to retain the style of the 1880s while providing guests with modern facilities.
  • The Langham Melbourne Hotel, 1 Southgate Ave, Southbank, ☎ +61 3 8696-8888. The Langham Melbourne hotel offers luxurious Melbourne city accommodation behind the high end Southgate shopping mall, opposite the historic Flinders Street Station. The Langham Melbourne Hotel was the only Australian hotel in Travel and Leisure magazine's list of the world's 100 best hotels (2009). The Langham's Chuan Spa also achieved 'Top Hotel Spa' status in Travel + Leisure USA's 2009 World’s Best Awards readers survey.
  • Hotel Lindrum, 26 Flinders St, ☎ +61 3 9668-1111. Hotel Lindrum is a boutique hotel offering stylish accommodation and facilities. edit
  • Quay West Suites Melbourne, 26 Southgate Ave, ☎ +61 3 9693-6000. This Southbank hotel is ideally positioned among Southbank promenade and overlooks the picturesque Yarra River.
  • The Sebel Melbourne, 394 Collins St, ☎ +61 3 9211-6600. On the corner of Queens Street and Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne’s business district. Elegantly restored. this 19th century former bank is now an historic hotel.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




If you are eligible to work in Australia (ie. you have a Working Holiday Visa or other visa allowing work), it is possible to find decent employment around Melbourne. The hospitality industry is a popular employer, especially around the St. Kilda area.

If you want to head a little further afield, fruit picking jobs are not too hard to come by. The Yarra Valley and Dandenongs region have quite a few places, though other areas around Victoria also have good opportunities for fruit picking. In terms of income, most fruit picking jobs pay per the quantity that you pick: if you're quick, it's possible to earn quite a substantial amount of money.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Seek, My Career, CareerOne are several of the most popular online job search websites.




Melbourne has a number of reputable universities. At the fore is the University of Melbourne and Monash University, though others such as La Trobe University, RMIT and Deakin University also have a high standard of education. There are also a wide number of TAFE colleges, which provide hands-on courses with a vocational bent. TAFE courses are substantially cheaper than university courses.

Many of these universities and TAFE colleges offer short courses or exchange programs. The Centre for Adult Education also has an excellent selection of short courses in everything from Indonesian to web design or beginner's guitar.



Keep connected


There are a large number of internet cafés scattered around Melbourne. A good number of regular cafés also offer free wifi access to their customers. If you have your own laptop with you another option could be to buy prepaid mobile broadband. They usually start at around $49 for about 1GB of data.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Melbourne. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area.
Melbourne's area code is 03, which is the same for all of Victoria and Tasmania. If dialling interstate, use one of the following area codes.

02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.


Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[7]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail.

Melbourne's General Post Office, located on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke St, was gutted by a fire in 2001. It was eventually decided to turn it into an up-market shopping arcade, known as Melbourne's GPO. The new main post office is located directly next to it on Elizabeth Street.

Small post offices can be found scattered throughout the city, and are often linked to a newsagent.



Further Afield

Yarra Valley

Do a day trip into the Yarra Valley and taste wines at any number of the dozens of quality wineries. Make sure you get someone else to drive, or do it as part of a tour group (cost varies, but around $100).

The Healesville Sanctuary is also well worth a visit to see native animals in a natural environment. The platypus exhibit is very well done, and the free flight bird show is not to be missed.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's most popular road trips - and with very good reason. The dramatic cliff edge drive is enthralling, even before you make it to the 12 Apostles.

Mornington Peninsula

Torquay backbeach Victoria

Torquay backbeach Victoria

© sunraybret

Mornington Peninsula is a beach holiday destination southeast of Melbourne. The farther you travel down the peninsula, the more upmarket the houses become. Some of Victoria's most expensive houses can be found in this part of the state.

Dandenong Ranges

Great views of the city can be seen from these hills to the east. Other attractions include some beautiful gardens, a steam train known as Puffing Billy and William Ricketts Sanctuary, a fascinating sculpture garden. Read more about the Dandenong Ranges

Philip Island

Watch the penguins waddle their way to the sand dunes at Phillip Island. One of the state's most popular attractions.


Quick Facts


5,078,193 [1]
7,694 km²
Calling Code
03, +61 3
30 August, 1835
Time zone
UTC+10 (+11 DST)
650.9 mm [2]
  • Latitude: -37.8142510000000
  • Longitude: 144.9631690000000

Accommodation in Melbourne

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Melbourne searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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Melbourne Travel Helpers

This is version 197. Last edited at 8:45 on May 25, 22 by Utrecht. 114 articles link to this page.

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