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Melbourne

The Twelve Apostles, Australia

Practical Info about Melbourne

Time

GMT +10 (GMT +11 from third Sunday in October to third Saturday in March).

Electricity

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.

Currency

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.

Communication

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.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 000 (112 on cellphones)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
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

Climate

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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.

Getting around the city

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.

Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport

www.melair.com.au

Getting to the city

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

Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Redspot and Thrifty.

Airport taxi's

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.

Transfer between terminals

The terminals are all within walking distance.

Facilities

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.

Parking

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.

Internet

Free wifi is available in all the terminals.