Melbourne's efficient public transport system, known as The Met, is an integrated service utilising trams, trains and buses, with standard fares. The best way to see the city and central suburbs is by tram, a fast, cheap and convenient system that is one of the largest and oldest in the world. City Circle trams, which provide a commentary, are a very convenient way to tour the city centre, providing a free round trip service that takes in many of the city's main attractions. The suburban train network is extensive and is the fastest way to reach outlying suburbs, and also has an underground city loop. Buses cover the areas that trams and trains don't reach, as well as those they do, but are little used by visitors; on weekends there is a limited night bus service. Taxis, highly visible in bright yellow, are numerous but expensive. Car hire companies are available throughout the city.
GMT +10 (GMT +11 from third Sunday in October to third Saturday in March).
Electrical current is 240/250 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin flat blade plugs are used but are different to those in most other countries, so an adapter is normally required.
The unit of currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD), which is divided into 100 cents. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.
The international dialling code for Australia is +61. Australian mobile phone companies operate on GSM networks, so some foreign phones may not be compatible with the local networks. Mobile phones are available for rent and internet cafes are widely available.
Emergencies: 000 (112 on cellphones)
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Australia Day||27 Jan||26 Jan|
|Western Australia - Labour Day||3 Mar||2 Mar|
|Capital Territory - Canberra Day||10 Mar||9 Mar|
|South Australia - Adelaide Cup Day||10 Mar||9 Mar|
|Tasmania - Eight Hours Day||10 Mar||9 Mar|
|Victoria - Labour Day||11 Mar||10 Mar|
|Good Friday||18 Apr||3 Apr|
|Easter Saturday||19 Apr||4 Apr|
|Easter Monday||21 Apr||6 Apr|
|Anzac Day||25 Apr||25 Apr|
|Northern Territory - May Day||5 May||4 May|
|Western Australia Day||2 Jun||1 Jun|
|Queens Birthday||9 Jun||8 Jun|
|New South Wales - Bank Holiday||4 Aug||3 Aug|
|Brisbane - Royal Queensland Show||13 Aug||12 Aug|
|Capital Territory - Family and Community Day||29 Sep||28 Sep|
|Western Australia - Queens Birthday||29 Sep||28 Sep|
|Capital Territory - Labour Day||6 Oct||5 Oct|
|New South Wales - Labour Day||6 Oct||5 Oct|
|Queensland - Labour Day||6 Oct||5 Oct|
|South Australia - Labour Day||6 Oct||5 Oct|
|Victoria - Melbourne Cup Day||4 Nov||3 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|Boxing Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Melbourne has a moderate oceanic climate and the city's weather is notoriously changeable. In the hottest months of summer, January and February, temperatures average between 58°F (14°C) and 78°F (25°C), though it can get substantially hotter. In the spring and summer months cold fronts can cause severe weather including thunderstorms, hail, heavy rain and gales. In the winter months, between June and August, temperatures average between 42°F (6°C) and 59°F (15°C). Melbourne experiences some frost and fog in winter, but snow is rare. Melbourne is best visited between November and March, when it is warmer and less rainy, but some rain can be expected throughout the year.
Numerous public bus routes access the airport, but the most convenient transport option is the SkyBus, an express bus service between the airport and the city centre, operating 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and departing the airport every 10 minutes. An adult SkyBus fare is $18. Taxis, airport shuttles and rental cars are also available.
Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Redspot and Thrifty.
Taxis are readily available at the airport, and taxi ranks can be found outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. A taxi fare for the journey from the airport to downtown Melbourne costs upwards of $60.
The terminals are all within walking distance.
The airport has excellent facilities, with ATMs, currency exchanges, and a variety of bars, restaurants and shops in all terminals. Other facilities include showers, baby change facilities, public telephones and a medical centre. Shopping includes duty-free. Facilities for the disabled are good.
The airport has a vast range of parking options and each parking lot has different rates. Substantial discounts are available for online bookings. A courtesy bus service operates between the long-term parking and the terminal buildings.
Free wifi is available in all the terminals.