|Here is a travellers guide to useful information they will need while staying in Melbourne. See below for links to more useful information.|
General Information & Advice
Melbourne Time Zone Difference
Melbourne is located in the Australian "Eastern Time" zone.
-:- Standard Time difference to UTC/Greenwich Mean Time: +10 hours.
-:- Daylight Saving Time difference to UTC/Greenwich Mean Time: +11 hours.
For More Information:
Standard Shopping Hours
Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm extending to 9pm on Friday nights.
On Sundays in the CBD and some shopping centres, shops open 9am to 5pm.
Cost of Living
Comparatively cheap compared to the UK and USA, for eating out, although groceries and other shopping expenses tend to be similar. (Other than meat products which are quite a bit cheaper).
Like all worldwide cities, Melbourne can be very expensive for eating out, accommodation and activities although transport tends to be fairy reasonable.
Tipping is not a general custom in Australia, and is at your discretion. If you receive good service you may choose to tip 10% at cafes and restaurants. In taxis, no more than rounding off the fare to the next dollar is generally followed.
Australian Power Points use 3-Pin Plugs - an earthing pin that points downward, and two flat pins above that form an upside down V-shape. (see picture)
Australian Power Points output 240/250 Volts AC 50Hz.
Multi-purpose Adaptors for international appliances can be easily purchased from Electrical Retailers throughout Melbourne.
Australian Postal System
Australia Post outlets are open:
8:30am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday. (Some outlets open Saturday)
45c for postage of a standard letter around Australia
7-10 days postage time to the UK and USA.
To find your nearest Australia Post outlet: Visit Here
If you would like help or advice about issues of fair trading and consumer rights then contact: Traveller Consumer Helpline on Phone: 1300 552 001
Language Interpreters will be available to handle any complaints you may have - English and many minority language services offered.
Melbourne has a wide range of public transport services operating throughout Melbourne, the Suburbs and Regional Victoria. Transport services include Buses, Trains, and of course the Trams that Melbourne is famous for.
There also Train and Coach services that travel from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to many regional and rural parts of Victoria and also interstate.
For Information or Timetables visit: Public Transport Victoria
The vast size of Australia makes flying the most convenient method of intercity travel, with several Flight providers offering many services.
The Major Domestic Airports within Victoria are:
-:- Melbourne International Airport (sometimes referred to as Tullamrine Airport)
-:- Avalon Airport (Located in Lara)
-:- Moorabbin Airport
Airport Transfers | Bus To & From Airport
In country Victoria, a full set of spare tyres should be carried, along with water, food, petrol and a First Aid Kit.
A national license, valid for 3 months, must be carried whilst driving. When driving in Victoria there are a few rules and regulations you should be aware of.
-::- Drive on the left-hand side of the road.
-::- Carry a valid driving license (translation if license is not English).
-::- Everyone passenger MUST wear a seatbelt or child restraint.
-::- Do not speed (the average speed limit in built up areas is 60km).
-::- Do not drive whilst using a mobile phone.
-::- Do not drink and drive.
-::- Some intersections are Hook Turns
For Car Hire & Rental: Visit Here
Airport Transfers | Bus To & From Airport
Lockers are available at Travellers’ Aid located corner Bourke and Swanston Streets, Melbourne. Tel 9654 2600.
Travellers’ Aid offers assistance for stranded travellers is located at 169 Swanston Walk, Melbourne. Tel 9654 2600.
If you are making calls within Australia then remember that telephone numbers beginning with 1800 are free, and numbers beginning with 13 are charged at the local rate (which is generally 40c).
Directory assistance national: 12455
Directory Enquiries (Australia): 1223
Directory Enquiries (International): 1225
Operated assisted calls: 1234
Reverse charges calls: 12550
Call connect: 12456
A good option while visiting Melbourne is to buy a mobile phone, which if you buy a Pre Paid phone is generally quite cheap, although calls are quite expensive. There are 3 main mobile phone networks in Australia, Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. They all offer Pre Paid mobile phone packages, which can be a good idea if travelling around.
Although most areas in Australia do have coverage, some places in the outback and between towns and cities aren't within the coverage – check with your telecommunications provider about available coverage.
International Area Codes
To make outgoing calls from Australia to Other Countries you need to first dial the Australia International Direct Dial code which is 0011 followed by the appropriate country code and finally the overseas phone number you are calling.
eg: 0011 + Country Code + Phone Number
International Area Codes
USA and Canada: +1
United Kingdom: +44
New Zealand: +64
Note: Fax calls require the 0015 IDD code.
Customs & Duty Free Concession
The following duty-free concessions are available to travellers provided that they do not exceed the specified amounts.
Group 1 - general
A$900 worth of goods (A$450 for people under 18 and both air and sea crew members ) including gifts (given to you or intended for others), souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment. Alcohol and tobacco products cannot be included in this concession.
These goods can be:
-::- obtained overseas
-::- purchased in Australia duty or tax free before departure
-::- goods for which a tax refund has been approved through the Tourist Refund Scheme
-::- purchased from an inwards duty free shop on arrival.
Group 2 - alcohol
2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages for each passenger aged 18 years or over.
Group 3 - tobacco
250 cigarettes, or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco products for each passenger aged 18 years or over. One opened packet containing 25 cigarettes or less is also allowed.
NOTE: However, if you exceed any of the concession limits set out above, Customs will charge you duty and tax on the entire importation or purchase within that group of items.
You can pool your duty free concessions if you are a family travelling together. Family means husband and wife and, if any, a child who is, or children who are, under the age of 18 years.
For More Information About:
-::- Business Travellers
-::- Domestic Passengers on Cruise Ships
-::- Unaccompanied Goods
Prohibited & Restricted Items
Amounts of $A10000 or more, or equivalent in foreign currency (meaning notes and coins of legal tender), must be reported on arrival or departure. Travellers arriving to or departing from Australia must also, if required to do so by Customs, declare Bearer Negotiable Instruments (cash equivalents such as cheques, travellers cheques and money orders).
On arriving in Australia it is prohibited to carry the usual items such as weapons, firearms and all medicinal drugs. You will need to declare any animal or plant objects as well as fresh food or face heavy fines and in some cases imprisonment. The main purpose of this is to stop unwanted disease entering the country.
If you are taking medications, you should contact the consulates or embassies of countries to be visited well before departure to confirm that the medicines and the quantities to be carried are permitted. It might also help in your dealings with Australian and overseas authorities if you have a prescription and a doctor's letter explaining your medical condition and the medications, prescription and otherwise, that you are taking for it.
Taking prescription medicine subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) overseas that are not for your personal use or for the use of someone travelling with you, is illegal. A $5000 fine and/or a two-year jail sentence is the penalty for dealing with PBS medicine in a way other than which it was meant.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% on most goods and services such as accommodation, Melbourne day tours, guides, translators, food, transport (including coach, rail and cruise) and other tourism services within Australia. International airfares do not attract GST. For international visitors, all prices quoted for a Victorian holiday will include the 10 per cent GST, payable at the time of ticketing.
Tourism Refund Scheme (TRS)
Departing travellers may be able to claim a refund for GST and WET (Wine Equalisation Tax) paid on goods purchased in Australia. The refund is applicable to goods, totalling at least $A300 (GST inclusive) that are being taken out of Australia and that have been purchased no earlier than 30 days before leaving Australia. TRS facilities are located at international airports and cruise-liner terminals. To claim, make sure you have your passport, international boarding pass, retailer’s tax invoice and the goods. Other conditions may apply
To Learn More about the Tourist Refund Scheme: Visit Here
No specific vaccinations are required for entry into Australia. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate will be required if travelling from an infected area.
If you are planning any stopovers on route it is advisable to check with your General Practitioner well in advance.
Australia is one of the safest destinations in the world, but you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home.
Talk to other travellers about their experiences for advice, and invest in comprehensive travel insurance before departing. Tourists should always take care and be especially cautious when using ATMs.
Triple Zero (000) is Australia's primary Emergency Call Service number and should be used to access emergency assistance from all telephones (landline, mobile phones and payphones) in the first instance.
112 is the GSM standard Emergency Call Service number for use with GSM mobile phones, and offers special access features (see below). 112 can also be dialled from other mobile phones, but will only offer the same features that dialling Triple Zero (000) provides.
Check with your mobile phone service provider if you are not sure of the type of handset you have. Your provider can explain how to access the Emergency Call Services using your handset.
It is important to understand that while 112 can be reached on both GSM and 3G mobile phones, 112 will only provide additional features when dialled from GSM mobile phones. If you are using a 3G mobile phone, you should dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency situation.
106 is the text-based Emergency Call Service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. This service operates using a TTY (teletypewriter) and does not accept voice calls or SMS messages.
Both 112 and 106 are secondary emergency call services numbers because they are for use only in relation to particular technologies.
The Republic of Ireland and New Zealand
The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the governments of the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. As a resident of the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand you are covered for the duration of your approved visit to Australia.
As a resident of the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand you are entitled to free treatment as a public in-patient or outpatient at a public hospital and access to subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme during your visit to Australia. This covers any ill health or injury needing medical treatment while in Australia. To access these benefits you should show your passport at hospitals or pharmacies. You are not entitled to Medicare benefits for non-hospital medical care and you will not be issued with a Medicare card.
United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Malta and Italy
The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta and Italy which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. If you applied for or received Subclass Visa 410 (Retiree Visa) prior to 1 December 1998 you may apply to participate in the Medicare program under the RHCA of your home country. If you applied for Subclass Visa 410 on or after 1 December 1998 you are not eligible for enrolment in the Medicare program and are not eligible under the RHCA.
If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway or the Netherlands you are covered for the duration of your approved visit to Australia.
As a resident of Malta or Italy you are covered for a period of six months from the date you arrive in Australia.
As a resident of one of these countries you are entitled to the following for any ill-health or injury requiring treatment while in Australia:
-::- free treatment as a public in-patient or outpatient in a public hospital
-::- subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
-::- Medicare benefits for out-of-hospital medical treatment provided by doctors through private surgeries and community health centres.
For More Information on Medicare: Visit Here
Australia has a decimal system with 100 cents to the dollar (AUD$). Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
You can exchange money at most of the major banks, and also withdraw money from any ATM. The major banks include ANZ, Commonwealth, National, St George and Westpac. However, there are not as many banks and ATM's in smaller Victorian country towns so take cash. You’ll also find ATM’s at most major Convenience Stores such as 7-11, or at service stations.
If you want to open an Australian account it is best to do so within 6 weeks of arriving.
Banks and foreign exchange
Melbourne’s banking hours are generally Monday to Thursday 9am–4pm and Friday 9am–5pm. All the major banks, such as Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth and National Australia Bank, have offices in Melbourne, as well as in cities and many of the larger towns in regional Victoria.
In smaller centres, you may have to rely on the local post office or newsagent. In Melbourne, all main banks are equipped to exchange foreign currency. You can also exchange foreign currency any day or night at the airport, or during normal business hours at foreign exchange bureaus in Melbourne's central business district.
All major credit cards and traveller's cheques, in any international currency, are widely accepted at most major bank branches.
General Banking Hours are:
9:30am – 4:00pm Monday to Thursday
9:30am – 5:00pm Fridays.
Travellers cheques and plastic
Brands like American Express and Travelex are widely accepted in Victoria, and can be cashed at banks, foreign exchange brokers, larger hotels and restaurants, and for car rental. Passport ID is required when you cash travellers cheques. Fees for changing travellers cheques vary from bank to bank.
Major credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club and their affiliates – are widely accepted throughout Victoria. Some retailers in larger centres will also accept JCB cards. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with around-the-clock access are available in convenient locations like banks, along main shopping streets and in malls.
Moneygram: 0011 800 66639472
Western Union: 1800 649 565
Emergency Credit Card Numbers
Amex: +44 1273696933
Diners Club: (61) (3) 8054444
Mastercard: 1800 120 113
Visa: 1800 125 161
Emergency Traveller Cheque Numbers
Amex: 1800 251 902
Thomas Cook: 1800 127 495
Visa: 1800 127 477
Victorian Visitor Information & Tourism Centres
Albury Wodonga Gateway Visitor Information Centre
Lincoln Causeway, Wodonga, Victoria 3690
Ph: 1300 796 222
Alexandra Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5772 1100
Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre
PO Box 22, Apollo Bay, Victoria 3233
Ph: (03) 5237 6529
Ararat & Grampians Visitor Information Centre
91 High Street, Ararat, Victoria 3377
Ph: (03) 5355 0281
Bairnsdale Visitor Information Centre
240 Main Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria 3875
Ph: (03) 5152 3444
Ballarat Gateway Tourist Information Service
Western Highway, Ballarat, Victoria 3350
Ph: (03) 5334 7943
Ballarat Visitor Information Centre
39 Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria 3352
Ph: (03) 5320 5741
Beaufort Information Centre
69 Neill Street, Beaufort, Victoria 3373
Ph: (03) 5349 3122
Beechworth Tourist Information Centre
36 Camp Street, Beechworth, Victoria 3747
Ph: 1300 366 321
Benalla Visitor Information Centre
14 Mair Street, Benalla, Victoria 3672
Ph: (03) 5762 1749
Bendigo Visitor Information Centre
51- 67 Pall Mall, Bendigo, Victoria 3550
Ph: (03) 5444 4445
Blackwood Visitors Information Centre
7 Martin Street, Blackwood, Victoria 3458
Ph: 1800 659 667 / Ph: (03) 5368 6525
Bright Visitors Centre
Ph: (03) 5755 2275
Bundoora Park Visitors Centre
Ph: (03) 9462 4079
Camperdown Visitor Information Centre
179 Manifold Street, Camperdown, Victoria 3260
Ph: (03) 5593 3390
Casterton Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5581 2070
Castlemaine Tourist Information Centre
The Market Building, Mostyn Street, Castlemaine, Victoria 3450
Ph: (03) 5470 6200
Central Gippsland Visitor Information Centre
8 Foster Street, Sale, Victoria 3850
Ph: (03) 5144 1108
Central Goldfields Visitor Information Centre
The Railway Station, Maryborough, Victoria 3465
Ph: (03) 5460 4511
Cobram Barooga Visitor Information Centre
2 Station Street, Cobram, Victoria 3644
Ph: 1800 659 258 / Ph: (03) 5872 2132
Colac Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Murray & Queen Streets, Colac, Victoria 3250
Ph: (03) 5231 3730
Coleraine Tourism Office
Pilleau Street, Coleraine, Victoria 3315
Ph: (03) 5575 2733
Corryong Visitor Information Centre
50 Hansen Street, Corryong, Victoria 3707
Ph: (02) 6076 2277
Cowes Tourist Information Centre
71 Thompson Avenue, Cowes, Victoria 3922
Ph: (03) 5952 2650
Dandenong Ranges & Knox Visitor Information Centre
1211 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully, Victoria 3156
Ph: (03) 9758 7522
Daylesford Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5348 1339
Dunkeld Visitor Information Centre
Glenelg Highway, Dunkeld, Victoria 3294
Ph: (03) 5577 2558
Dunolly Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Market & Bull Streets, Dunolly, Victoria 3472
Ph: (03) 5468 1205
Echuca - Moama Visitor Information
2 Heygarth Street, Echuca, Victoria 3564
Ph: (03) 5480 7555
Edenhope Information Centre
96 Elizabeth Street, Edenhope, Victoria 3318
Ph: (03) 5585 1509
Eureka Stockade Visitor Centre
Eureka Street, Ballarat, Victoria 3350
Ph: (03) 5333 1854
Euroa BP and Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5795 3677
Falls Creek & Bogong High Plains Tourist Centre & Gallery
Snowland Centre, 9 Slalom Street, Falls Creek, Victoria 3699
Ph: (03) 5758 3318
French Island Tourist Services
Lot 4, Bayview Road, Tankerton, Victoria 3921
Ph: (03) 5980 1241
Gateway Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 6041 3875
Geelong & Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5275 5797
Glenrowan Tourist Centre
Hume Highway, Glenrowan, Victoria 3675
Ph: (03) 5766 2367
Grampians Tourist Information Centre
Grampians Road, Halls Gap, Victoria 3381
Ph: (03) 5356 4247
Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre
Foreshore, Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, Victoria 3233
Ph: (03) 5237 6529
Greater Shepparton Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5831 4400
Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5358 2314
Hamilton Visitor Information Centre
Lonsdale Street, Hamilton, Victoria 3300
Ph: 1800 807 056 / Ph: (03) 5572 3746
Heathcote Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5433 3121
Horsham Visitor Information Centre
20 O'Callaghan Parade, Horsham, Victoria 3400
Ph: (03) 5382 1832 / Ph: 1800 63 3218
Kilmore Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5781 1319
Kyneton Visitor Information Centre
High Street, Kyneton, Victoria 3444
Ph: (03) 5422 6110
Lake Shepparton Visitors Information Centre
Victoria Park, Lake Shepparton, Victoria 3630
Ph: (03) 5831 4400
Latrobe Visitor Information Centre
'The Old Church' Southside Central, Princes Highway, Traralgon, 3844
Ph: 1800 621 409
Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5155 1966
Lorne Visitor Information Centre
144 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne, Victoria 3232
Ph: (03) 5289 1152
Maffra Visitors & Information Centre
'Courthouse' Johnson Street, Maffra, Victoria 3860
Ph: (03) 5141 1811
Maldon Visitor Information Centre
High Street, Maldon, Victoria 3463
Ph: (03) 5475 2569
Mansfield Visitor Information Centre
Railway Street, Maroondah Highway, Mansfield, Victoria 3722
Ph: (03) 5775 1464
Maryborogh Tourist Information Centre
Tuaggra Street, Maryborough, Victoria 3465
Ph: (03) 5461 2643
Marysville Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5963 4567
Melbourne's Valley of the Arts Tourism Association Inc.
P O Box 129, Warrandyte, Victoria 3113
Ph: (03) 9844 0380
Mildura Visitors Information
Ph: (03) 5021 4424
Mildura Murray Outback Tourism
29 Deakin Avenue, Mildura, Victoria 3500
Ph: (03) 5021 0599
Mornington Peninsula Vistor Information Centre
Point Nepean Road, Dromana, Victoria 3936
Ph: (03) 5987 3078
Nagambie Lakes Visitor Information Centre
145 High Street, Nagambie, Victoria 3608
Ph: (03) 5794 2647
Nhill Tourist Information Centre
Goldsworthy Park, Nhill, Victoria 3418
Ph: (03) 5391 3086
Numurkah & District Tourism Office
Wunghnu Reserve, Wunghnu, Victoria 3635
Ph: (03) 5862 3458
Orbost Visitors Information Centre
13 Lochiel Street, Orbost, Victoria 3888
Ph: (03) 5154 2424
Peninsula Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5987 3078
Phillip Island Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5956 7447
Portland Visitor Information Centre
Portland, Victoria 3305
Ph: 1800 035 567
Ph: (03) 5523 2671
Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre
26 Morris Street, Port Campbell, Victoria 3269
Ph: (03) 5598 6053
Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5568 2682
Prom Country Tourist Information Centre
South Gippsland Highway, Korumburra, Victoria 3950
Ph: 1800 630 704
Ph: (03) 5655 2233
Queenscliff Visitor Information Centre
55 Hesse Street, Queenscliff, Victoria 3225
Ph: (03) 5258 4843
Robinvale Visitor Information Centre
Bromley Road, Robinvale, Victoria 3549
Ph: (03) 5026 1388
Rochester Tourist Information Centre
Moore Street, Rochester, Victoria 3561
Ph: (03) 5484 1860
Rutherglen Visitors Information Centre
13-27 Drummond Street, Rutherglen, Victoria 3685
Ph: 1800 622 871 / Ph: (02) 6032 9166
Seymour Regional Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5799 0233
Shipwreck Coast Tourism
174a Timor Street, Warrnambool, Victoria 3280
Ph: (03) 5561 7894
Snowy River Orbost Visitors Centre
Ph: (03) 5154 2424
St. Arnaud Tourism
Ph: (03) 5495 1268
Stawell & Grampians Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5358 2314
Sunbury Visitor Information Centre
43 Macedon Street, Sunbury, Victoria 3429
Ph: (03) 9744 2291
Swan Hill Visitor Information Centre
306 Campbell Street, Swan Hill, Victoria 3585
Ph: (03) 5032 3033
Torquay Visitor Information Centre
Beach Road, Torquay, Victoria 3228
Ph: (03) 5261 4219
Victoria Visitor Information Centre
Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Ph: (03) 9658 9955 / Ph: 13 2842
Wangaratta & Region Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Handley & Tone Streets, Wangaratta, Victoria 3677
Ph: (03) 5721 5711
Warracknabeal Tourist Information Centre
119 Scott Street, Warracknabeal, Victoria 3393
Ph: (03) 5398 1632
Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre
600 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool, Victoria 3280
Ph: (03) 5564 7837
Westernport Tourist Information Centre
Westhaven Boat Harbour, Hastings, Victoria 3915
Ph: (03) 5979 0404
Whittlesea Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Beech & Church Streets, Whittlesea, Victoria 3757
Ph: (03) 9716 1866
Williamstown Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 9397 3791
Wonthaggi Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5671 2444
Woodend Visitor Information Centre
High Street, Woodend, Victoria 3442
Ph: (03) 5427 2033
Warburton Water Wheel & Visitors Centre
Ph: (03) 5966 5996
Yackandandah Visitor Information Centre
High Street, Yackandandah, Victoria 3749
Ph: (02) 6027 1988 Fax: (02) 6027 1990
Yarra Valley Visitor Information Centre
Ph: (03) 5962 2600
Yarram Visitor Information Centre
9 Rodgers Street, Yarram, Victoria 3971
Ph: (03) 5182 6553
Yarrawonga Mulwala Visitor Information Centre
Irvine Parade, Yarrawonga, Victoria 3730
Ph: 1800 062 260 / Ph: (03) 5744 1989