Melbourne

http://www.visitmelbourne.com/

Melbourne is Victoria's capital city and the business, administrative, cultural and recreational hub of the state. Each year, Melbourne hosts over a million international visitors.



Melbourne Visitor Centre

http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/visitors/services/visitorcentre/Pages/MelbourneVisitorCentre.aspx










The Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square is a one-stop shop for visitors offering free brochures, maps and event listings, along with souvenirs and a travel booking service.



Other Information about Melbourne and Australia


Climate

Average maximum and minimum temperatures for Melbourne are as follows: Jan.-Mar., 56-79 deg. F (13-26 deg. C); Apr.-June, 45-68 deg. F (7-20 deg. C); July-Sept., 43-63 deg. F (6-17 deg. C); Oct.-Dec., 67-76 deg. F (19-24 deg. C).

Packing for Melbourne

The wisest approach to dressing Down Under is to wear layered outfits. Frequently, particularly at the change of seasons, weather can turn suddenly. You'll appreciate being able to remove or put on a jacket. A light raincoat and umbrella are worthwhile accessories.  

Dress is fairly casual in Melbourne, though top resorts and restaurants may require a jacket and tie. The younger set tends to be trendy; women might want to take along a cocktail dress for evening dining. The Melbourne winter demands a heavy coat--a raincoat with a zip-out wool lining is ideal.

Electricity

The electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. The connection for appliances is a flat 3 pin plug. Hotels provide 110 volts for shavers.

Customs and Duties

Australia has strict laws prohibiting or restricting the import of weapons and firearms. Animals and certain foodstuffs are subject to quarantine. Antidrug laws are strictly enforced, and penalties are severe. Nonresidents over 18 years of age may bring in 250 cigarettes, or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco, and 2.25 litres of liquor, provided this is carried with them. Other taxable goods to the value of $900 for adults and $450 for children may be included in personal baggage duty-free.

Tourist Refund Scheme

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables travellers to claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) paid on some goods bought in Australia. Refunds can be claimed in the International Departures area at Melbourne International Airport. Make sure you allow sufficient time to make your claim before your flight.

Banks

Banks are open from 9.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am - 5.00pm Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.  ATMs are everywhere.

Business Hours

As a rule, business hours in Australia are weekdays 9-5; this applies to post offices as well. Shops are normally open weekdays 8:30-5:30, with one late closing at 9 PM. On Saturday shops are open from 8:30 to between noon and 4. Some stores, particularly those in tourist areas and in the city centre, may be open a few hours on Sunday. Supermarkets in many locations open early and close late, including weekends.

Currency

Decimal currency is used in Australia, with the dollar (A$) as the basic unit and 100 cents (¢) equalling $1. Australian notes are $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5. Coins are $2, $1, $0.50, $0.20, $0.10, and $0.05 cents. The cost of any item which is not a multiple of 5 cents is rounded up (or down).

Taxes

Everyone leaving Australia by air pays a departure tax of $38. This is often included in the ticket price. There is a general sales tax (GST) of 10% which is normally included in the displayed price of any item.

Tipping

Tipping has never been a custom in Australia, and many are loath to have it start. Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges, but it is a widely accepted practice to tip a waiter 10%-12% for good service, although many Australians consider it sufficient to leave only $3 or $4. It is not necessary to tip a hotel doorman for carrying suitcases into the lobby, but porters could be given $1 a bag. Room service and housemaids are not tipped except for special service. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but you may want to leave any small change. Guides, tour bus drivers, and chauffeurs don't expect tips either, though they are grateful if someone in the group takes up a collection for them. No tipping is necessary in beauty salons or for theatre ushers.

Time Difference

Melbourne operates on Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is calculated by adding 10 hours to GMT.

Travel Insurance

It is recommended that you have the appropriate level of cover required for your travel arrangements. Further information may be obtained from your travel agent.

Health Concerns

Hygiene standards in Australia are high and well monitored, so don't worry about drinking the water or eating fresh produce in Australia. The major health hazard is sunburn or sunstroke: Australians suffer one of the world's highest incidences of skin cancer from overdoses of sun.

You may take a four weeks' supply of prescribed medication into Australia (more with a doctor's certificate).