What can we say about Melbourne? It’s our home city, where we grew up for our whole lives. As much as I’m always excited to be on a plane leaving this city, it is always the place that we will return to, feel safe in and call home. It always seems difficult to dedicate time to exploring your own home city, because it feels like you know everything and you’ve been everywhere. But Melbourne is full of surprises, with a different culture and atmosphere down every little city laneway. There’s always something going on here.
Location: Victoria, Australia
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time UTC +10, with Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time UTC +11 in effect generally from October to April.
Getting There: Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport (MEL) is the main arrivals airport into Melbourne. Tullamarine is located about 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. The SkyBus is the easiest way to get into the city, which is a direct airport bus between Melbourne Airport and the city centre offering a ride 24/7. You can also rent a car from the airport or find an abundance of taxis. A taxi ride into the city should cost between $55 and $65AUD.
Some domestic flights will also fly into Avalon Airport (AVV), generally from Sydney, Hobart and the Gold Coast. If you’re flying into Avalon you will need to pre-arrange car hire or a transfer, as it is a very small airport and services are limited.
Climate: Melbourne is famous for having 4 seasons in one day. All seasons can be quite unpredictable with scorching hot days in summer, freezing cold days in winter, and a crazy mixture of sunshine, wind and rain inbetween. Always check the weather report for the day before leaving the house.
Getting Around: If you’re not leaving the main city of Melbourne you will be able to get around everywhere by tram or train systems, with a free tram available in the city centre. If you’re looking to get out of the city and explore a bit of the country a rental car is definitely the best way to go.
The Money Sitch: Australian Dollars $. ATMs available and credit cards accepted everywhere.
Internet Access: Can often be difficult to find free wifi. Make sure to book a hotel with a good wifi offer, load up street maps and anything you might need before you leave for the day. It can be rare to find restaurants and cafes offering wifi. If you do come across some free wifi it can often be very poor quality.
Shopping: In the CBD you will find Melbourne Central and Emporium, sprawling across three blocks with all the shops you could ask for. You can find all the designer stores on Collins Street. Bourke Street, Chapel Street and Swanston Street also offer great options.
+ Explore the colourful laneways in the city, overflowing with one of a kind boutiques, hipster coffee corners and all sorts of street art
+ For the best views of the city make sure you visit the Eureka Skydeck
+ In the summer months, watch a movie under the stars in the Botanic Gardens in the city
+ Grab a coffee, as many as you can really! Melbourne is known for having some of the best coffee in the world
+ Get out of the city and experience more of Melbourne and Victoria by exploring The Great Ocean Road, The Grampians or The Yarra Valley
+ Explore the surrounding city suburbs of South Yarra, Docklands, Southbank, Prahran and Richmond
+ Melbourne is also the heart of sport in Australia so make sure to catch an Australian Rules Football (AFL) game at the iconic MCG or a game of tennis at the Australian Open if you’re visiting in January
+ Check out the colourful bathing boxes at the beaches along Mornington Peninsula, or really relax and unwind at the Mornington Peninsula hot springs
Good To Know: Most of the year Melbourne definitely doesn’t live up to that hot Australia reputation. Bring a jacket and warm clothing if you’re visiting in or around winter.