Population

3.1 million

Area

2,452 sq. miles. Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and capital of the State of Victoria.

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time plus ten hours: When it is noon in Melbourne, it is 9:00 pm yesterday in New York City and Washington, DC. (Daylight saving time turns the clocks one hour ahead between November and March.)

International Dialing Code

All numbers for Melbourne and the outskirts of the city begin with 03 and have 8 additional digits. The country code is 61. (When calling Melbourne from another country: use the country code, 61, and add 3 following it, not 03.) Calling cards can be purchased at tobacco stores, post offices and stores For directory assistance, dial 1-800-888-8888. Emergency: Police, fire or ambulance emergencies: 000. General police: 11444; fire: 11411; ambulance: 11440.

Currency

Australia’s currency is in dollars and cents. Coins come in 5,10,20, and 50 cent silver pieces, and 1 and 2 dollar gold coins. Notes are $5,$10,$20,$50,and $100. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted almost everywhere. The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at the major banks.

Average Temperatures

Note: Australian seasons are the opposite of those in the U.S.

High Low
Fall (March to May ) 75 50
Winter (June to Aug. ) 59 44
Spring (Sept. to Nov.) 71 48
Summer (Dec. to Feb. 79 54

Melbourne climate is warm to hot in summer (Dec.-Feb.), mild in Fall (March-May), damp in winter (June – Aug.), and cool in Spring (Sept.-Nov.) The coldest months are June and July and October is the wettest. Melbourne’s climate is changeable, especially during the spring and summer when sudden drops in temperature can occur within a few minutes. It is best to dress in “layers” and to have a raincoat

National Holidays

Jan. 1 New Year’s Day
January 26 Australia Day
First or second Monday in March Labor Day
April (dates vary) Good Friday, Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday
April 25 Anzac Day
2nd Monday in June Queen’s birthday
Last Thursday in September Melbourne Show Day
First Tuesday in November Melbourne Cup Day
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day

Public rest rooms

Restrooms are difficult to find in most public places and may be outdated. There are some well appointed public restrooms in better hotels

Electricity

( 240 volt, 50 cycles A/C). Most hotels have 110V shaver outlets. American appliances will need a three pin flat plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability.

Sunscreen

Australian sun has strong ultraviolet rays, especially between 11am and 4pm. A wide brimmed hat and high SP sunscreen are essential in Melbourne in the summer when the sun is especially intense.

Visas and Passports

All visitors require a visa and passport to enter the country. Visas are free from Australian consulates and allow up to a three month stay. There is a charge for business visas.

Visitors with disabilities

Information is available from : VICROD Victoria Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled: P.O. Box 210 Hampton 3188. Tele 9597 0157. The Met Disability Services Officer will assist with advice on public transport for disabled travelers. 9619 7482

Getting Around

Melbourne’s tram and light rail network is the fourth largest in the world. There are 135 miles of double track carrying trains through the city and out into the suburbs. Fares are paid through pre-purchased tickets or travel cards. These are readily available at The Met Shop which has outlets in the city and the suburbs at news stands and convenience stores. Short trip and two hour tickets can be purchased from machines on the trains. Tickets are interchangeable for use on trams, buses or rail service.
Services run regularly from five in the morning until midnight. Many train services link up to bus and tram routes so you can negotiate your way to most places in Melbourne within a short walk from a train, tram or bus. You will also find taxi stands outside many train stations. Spencer Street Station is the main city station from which you can take trains to other parts of Victoria.
Most stations on the loop provide services to outer suburbs or trains that link you to a connecting train to take you on to your destination.
The City Circle tram provides a free and convenient way to visit the shops, museums, etc. in the City. Its route includes shopping malls, arcades, and many of the major attractions. Trams run in both directions every 10 minutes from 10am-6pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). Hours are extended to 9pm when daylight saving time is in effect.
Taxis can be hailed from the street or from one of the stands around the city. Look for the yellow taxis swarming major hotels and train stations. Flinders Street and Spencer Street Stations and Lonsdale Street outside Myer are the best places to hail a ride. All taxis are regulated and charge the same amount per kilometer. If you wish to book there is a small fee and several companies from which to choose.Taxis for the disabled are also available.

Air Travel:
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is about 20 minutes from the city. If travelling at peak times, add another 30 minutes.
The most direct route to the Airport is via Tullamarine Freeway, which is part of City Link. Part of this trip takes in the City Link road network and state-of-the-art electronic tolling system. There are no tollbooths to slow down the flow of traffic but a day pass must be purchased before using the network or by 12:00 noon on the following day. This fee is computed as part of the fare when using a taxi or airport bus. Rental car companies have other arrangements and customers will be informed of these at the time of car pickup. Day passes can be purchased at the customer service center at the airport, via the direct dial phones provided, or from a City Link service centre located adjacent to the freeway. To purchase day passes and for other information you can contact City Link at 03 13 26 29. www.transurban.com.au
A taxi ride between the airport and downtown will cost about AUS$30 dollars
Sky Bus services from Spencer Street, Franklin Street and the Town Hall will cost around AUS$15 dollars and depart about every half an hour.

Driving a car in the Melbourne area

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.
There are one way streets, two directional carriageways and some multiple lane carriage ways, often divided by a median strip.
Take care when turning onto these multiple lane roads. All lanes may be travelling one way. When turning right at an intersection , always give the right of way to vehicles turning left and any pedestrians crossing the road.
Pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections. Cars must always stop behind a tram when it is stationary and the doors are open to give way to the passengers stepping on or getting off.
Cars must always make a hook turn to avoid cutting off a tram at a four way intersection. Signs will be posted for a hook turn when required.
Right hand turning traffic must move forward in the left hand lane and wait on the far left hand side of the carriage way. All right turning traffic must wait on the left side until the traffic light turns amber. Once clear you may make a wide turn to the right. The speed limits are strictly enforced. Seat belts are compulsory in front and back seats. Children must be harnessed in an approved safety restraint.
Outback regions are linked with dusty narrow roads which require careful negotiation. There is a great similarity to driving on icy roads.
Another hazard in the country is the possibility of a kangaroo, wombat or koala crossing in front of the car.. A collision could kill the animal and damage the car, but swerving could potentially injure the driver, the passengers and other motorists. Be sure to drive carefully at dawn and dusk when wild life is most active. Driving at night should be avoided in some areas as most of the native animals are nocturnal.
Drivers are required to carry a license at all times. An overseas license is acceptable as long as it is in English.

Cycling

Cycling country roads is fine way to spend a day. Riders are likely to encounter very few hills and only gentle inclines. Cyclists must follow the road rules and wear bright clothing. Night riders need lights on their bikes and reflective clothing. Helmets are required by law.

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