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Melbourne is home to the highest Italian and Greek populations in the world outside their own countries.
Melbourne is on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) which is UTC +10:00, meaning that it’s 14 hours ahead of New York and 9 hours ahead of London.
- A citizen of any country other than Australia or New Zealand will need a valid Australian Visa in order to enter the country.
- U.S citizens must have a valid passport and a visa to enter the country.
- Most U.S. passport holders who travel to Australia for tourism or business for less than 90 days can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). This can be obtained online for a small service fee.
For more detailed info, check out The Visa Bureau
Melbourne Airport is the closest airport to Melbourne city center – being only 23km away. There are two ways to get to and from the airport into the city center.
- The recommended bus service is Skybus- since it is a dedicated service that takes you to/from the airport to the city.
- The service is offered at Terminals 1, 3 and 4 at the airport.
- The SkyBus service takes you directly to the city and takes anywhere from 30-45 min.
- Cost of service is AUD $19.00 (USD $12.79).
- Taxis are easy to spot outside of the Airport terminals as they are the classic yellow color.
- The duration of the ride is dependent on traffic and where you are headed in the city center but the average ride length is 30 min.
- Due to the distance and extra fares and tolls the average cost of a taxi should be expected to be AUD $60.00 (USD $40.37).
Melbourne has a metro system that makes it extra easy to get around the city. In order to ride the metro you will need a Myki ticket. You can buy Myki passes at metro stations and 7-Elevens. You can add money to your Myki pass online or at metro stations. The cost of the pass is AUD $6.00. For more information go to: Melbourne Metro.
Australia is one of the safest destinations for travelers. It is often documented as a perfect country for solo travel. However, no matter where you are it is always important to keep your wits about you.
Here are some tips for a safe and fun visit to Australia:
- Be smart about your belongings on public transport.
- Avoid going out alone at night.
- The emergency number for all of Australia is 000. This number should also be called if you are bitten by a snake.
Overall, Australia is a safe and exciting country with loads to offer. Be street smart and stay away from snakes!
Australia is a large country so it is important to check the weather for whatever region you are staying in before visiting. This is the general annual weather in Melbourne.
December, January, February (Summer): Hottest months of the year.
March, April, May (Autumn): BEST TIME TO VISIT.
June, July, August (Winter): Coldest months of the year.
September, October, November (Spring): Wettest time of the year.
Australia has no official language but by far the most common is English which has been used since European settlement. However, a few indigenous languages are still spoken in Australia with the most popular being Upper Arrernte, Kalaw Lagaw Ya, Tiwi, Walmajarri, Warlpiri, and the Western Desert language.
Australia is quite a laid back and casual society so there isn’t too much to remember in terms of etiquette.
- A smile or a handshake is all that’s necessary when meeting someone new.
- It is common to use first names even when just meeting someone.
Wine and Dine:
- Guests that are invited to dine at someone’s home usually bring wine or beer.
- It is polite to offer to bring some food to the party.
- Often guests will help the hosts serve and clean up.
- Keep your elbows off the table.
Australia’s unit of currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD$). Approximately $1.48 (AUD) equates to USD $1.
Exchanging money in Australia is safe and easy. You can exchange at the airport or at ATM machines.
Tipping! You don’t have to tip in Australia. Unless you would like to give extra for excellent service.
Australia has electricity outlets that are Type 1. Type 1 sockets have three slots- the top slot being vertical and the two bottom slots being slanted. The standard voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50 Hz.
Your converter should look like this:
Drinking tap water should be safe in all major cities in Australia. The water in major cities go through high levels of filtration- which make the water safe and accessible. However, in some remote areas it isn’t recommended to drink tap water. We suggest doing some research if you are headed to those less populated areas.
Australia is an advanced society so WiFi should be available in most locations. If you are looking to get a SIM card this is how to do it:
- The recommended companies are Optus, Amaysim or Telstra.
- Telstra has the highest coverage but is also the most expensive.
- You can find SIM cards at grocery stores, electronic stores and gas stations.
- Amaysim is the cheapest SIM card. It cost $2.00 for the card and between $10-$50 for the data.
Uber is legal in Melbourne and often used as a method of transportation around the city.
Melbourne taxis are also often easily found and hailed down and will have the word TAXI written on them. However, when taking a Melbourne taxi at night the cost must be paid upfront.
Australia is seen as one of the most LGBTQ+ accepting countries in the world. On December 9, 2017, same-sex marriage was legalized. While a lot of laws vary depending on the region Australia, in general, is relatively welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.
Australia also hosts annual pride parades in all of their major cities.
Australia is a very green country in terms of recycling and natural attractions.
Here’s how the nation recycles:
- Recycling is required to be split into plastic, paper and trash.
- In 2014-2015 over 50% of waste in Australia was recycled.
Must See Highlights for Eco-Travelers: Melbourne
- Go on a kayak tour of the Yarra river.
- Explore by going on the Echidna Walkabout Wildlife Tour.
- Mountain bike around Melbourne!