Melbourne Basic Information
A quirk of Melbourne road rules that bemuses visitors is the hook turn, which involves pulling to the left and forward of the intersection to wait for the light to change to green, in order to turn right across tram tracks. For more need-to-know Melbourne info, read on.
Australian residents can explore Melbourne and the greater country with no limitations! For most international travellers, a normal holiday visa (eVisitor) permits 3 months' travel within Australia over a 12-month period. Please be aware this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, please contact your local Australian embassy or consulate.
The currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and other currencies fluctuates constantly, so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For overseas visitors, consider using a credit or debit card or a cash passport for safe spending while you are in Australia. A Multi-currency Cash Passport™ is ideal for international travellers as they can hold a range of currencies including Australian Dollars, and can be used like credit cards.
Melbourne is a foodie’s heaven where you can eat around the world courtesy of the city’s multicultural enclaves. Lygon Street in Carlton is the spot for Italian specialities and the spiritual home of the city’s coffee culture, while Lonsdale Street in the CBD is the city’s Greek precinct or you can try celeb chef George Calombaris’ take on modern Hellenic dishes at his restaurants The Press Club, Little Press and Hellenic Republic. Little Bourke Street in the city is Melbourne’s Chinatown, and Swanston Street in the CBD or Victoria Street in North Richmond are Little Vietnams. There’s no shortage of celeb chefs in this town too, but you’ll need to book well ahead to sample Frank Camorra’s Spanish tapas and raciones at his popular MoVida and MoVida Next Door CBD venues, or try Italian salumi at Guy Grossi’s Ombra. A meat pie at the footy is a must, as is snacking on fish and chips at the beach and bayside ‘burbs.
Melbourne is known for its thriving inner-city small bar scene where the CBD plays host to a number of secret petite venues down alleyways, lanes and on rooftops. Try Bar Americano, Madame Brussels and Cherry Bar for an unique night out or look for unassuming entrances for quirky hidden hangouts. Scenesters and Melbourne’s beautiful people can be found at the glam bars and clubs on Chapel Street and Toorak Road in South Yarra and Prahran, while hipsters and students head to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for the lively pub scene and boho bars. St Kilda is another popular nightlife destination renowned for live music at the Esplanade Hotel (Espy), Palais Theatre and Prince Bandroom. Club-wise, the ‘Melbourne sound’ has spawned its own Ministry of Sound compilation, and you can check out the electro house-style beats at Billboard in the CBD.