More text to ome.
Melbourne public transport is ticketless and individual tickets cannot be purchased on board trams and buses and many rail stations (can be purchased at so-called premium stations). In order to travel you must have a MYKI card which contains stored money - 'tap on' card on the platform or on board when arriving and 'tap off' when trip finished. Seems quite easy BUT in the opinion of many it is a rip off for visitors who are forced to pay $6 for the card ($3 concession, child or seniors).
The myki Visitor Pack is available from the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station (near entrance at Collins and Spencer streets), the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square, SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station and Station Pier (when cruise ships are docked).
This 'tip' is really a bit of black humour.
At a suburban East Doncaster local shopping centre can be found an odd ball duo of businesses side by side and I've wondered how the planning department would allow 2 businesses to operate next to each other.
Not sure if I want to visit the medical clinic with White Lady funerals as their neighbour. Is there a back door where the clinics mistakes get quietly sent onto the next stage?
Another odd ball duo is in Clifton Hill where a McDonalds restaurant is right next door to a legal brothel - do you want fries with that!!!!!
Jackson Court Shopping Centre
Melbourne has has had so many changes to it's public transport ticketing system recently that lots of locals choose not to pay. The visitor should be wary of following this lead. The fine is steep, and the enforcers neanderthal.
If you spy a group of 4 or 4 blue uniformed knuckledraggers boarding a train or tram beware. These guys need to travel in groups, so they won't be intimidated by a 1.5m tall asian student.
Remember that they are folk with a Hitler complex who have failed to meet the standard of the police force or the army. Use words of one syllable so as not to confuse them, and have your valid ticket ready to minimise the length of your interaction with them.
We arrived from our Great Ocean Road adventure to record temperatures in Melbourne. Our first full day in Melbourne was 103 degrees Fahrenheit with sweltering sun. We had our hats, we had our sunblock but we were beat by the elements. We both were sweating up a storm and the pavement became so hot it was buring my wife's feet through the soles of her sandals. We had to get inside and cool down until the heat passed.
Just today 22 November 2012 a group of French girls were subjected to a vicious verbal attack on a city bus
I am truly ashamed to live here in Australia
No this is NOT a tip about the famous Collingwood football club, but rather about the bird.
Here in Australia we have a very aggressive black and white bird – the magpies. From August to November the “kids” are being raised and the parent birds are very protective and liable to swoop and attach anyone they see as a threat – and that could mean you who is just enjoying a walk in a park or even ambling along a street.
It is mainly the male birds who attach and they are a more brilliant black and white as distinct to the females who are more 2 tones of gray. The males will attack without any warning squawk and then quickly line you up in their sights for another attach. Pedestrians and cyclists are the most common targets for these aggressive birds and they can draw blood with their sharp beaks.
The main photo is a close up of a tame magpie at Puffing Billy's Lakeside Station and he is always on the look out for a free hand out of food, but by the looks of the beak he's been doing a bit of worm hunting. The bird shown in photo 2 has just been fed meat and is quite tame. He and his girlfriend and often in our back garden looking for a free hand out – and in late spring and early summer will bring their off spring for a free feed – an entertaining sight. Photo 3 is the current (2012) 'Maggie' and as shown comes right up to our back door hoping we'll see her (yes it is a 'her') and give a free feed of minced meat. Photo 4 is 'Bubby 1 or 2' and for the first time we've been feeding 2 'kids'. With all 4 - Mum (Maggie), Dad (Nervous Ned) and Bubby 1 and 2 it is a busy place and the ration of raw minced meat does not go that far - but they are fun to have around.
There are many who would have me charged with heresy for daring to criticise Crown Casino. but in my opinion the place is over rated and tacky. Not to mention the throngs of drunks and gamblers and it is a place that I do not want to re-visit. Besides all that, the place cost around 2 BILLION dollars and the owners and investors would not have spent that money to loose money. Like nearly all casinos they have an almost bottomless pit of money for when 'the house' is on a loosing streak. What chance does the average 'mug punter' have - nil, zero, none etc. I just hope you get the message!!
In my opinion the place was wrongly named and should be called CLOWN Casino.
I used to drive taxis here in Melbourne and after a few bad experiences with passengers, totally refused to pick up from CLOWN - and I was not alone in my own personal 'ban' on the establishment. One evening I dropped off another drunken passenger at the Clarendon Street entrance and a security guard asked me if I was going to pick up a passenger - "Not on your life," I replied. "I don't blame you," was the whispered reply.
In the writing of all my other tips I have included web site and phone numbers when available - I'm not doing that for Clown and if you take my advise you too will stay away.
BTW - some years ago I won a $100 dining voucher to be used at one of the restaurants attached to the gaming area. My wife and I dined well that night and then for 3 days afterwards, suffered from food poisoning. My doctor will verify this if required.
Photo taken from the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant tram stop in Normanby Road.
When you ride a tram, buying tickets are on an honour system. If you see people dressed in blue uniforms with hats on, they are coming to validate your ticket. If you get caught without a ticket, you will be reported to the government and the fine can be steep, so I would recommend following the rules.
If you don't have a ticket or change to buy one, just get off the tram. Just remember that people who don't buy tickets are a main factor for inflation of ticket prices, so it does no good for anybody to steal a ride.
Drug use is a big problem in Melbourne. Heroin is a very popular drug and there are needle syringe collection bins in many public bathrooms and other locations in the city. They exist for everyone's safety, so do not be alarmed if you see one.
Melbourne tries to educate people about the effects of drug use, but they're attitude is that if they can't discourage people from using drugs, the people should do it responsibly.
If you decide to dine in Hardware Lane in the city, be perpared to be besieged by touts in front of every single restaurant drumming up business. It can become quite invasive. You need to be strong and smile and say that you intend to read all the menus before making your decision. As a rule of thumb most of them will offer you a free drink or a free starter to get you in. Be sure to take them up on their offer if you do go in and remind them if you have to as sometimes they seem to forget.
Th bottom line is however, that although you need to be aware of these touts awaiting you, don't let it put you off dining in Hardware Lane as there are some very good restaurants there.
You will find touts at many restaurants in Melbourne especially in Chinatown and in some places on Lygon Street for instance, but nowhere are they as prominent as in Hardware Lane.
Traffic in melbourne city can get quite crazy. Don't bother driving. You are better off walking and parking can be really expensive. Walking is definitely faster. If you are lazy. They have a really efficient public transport system of buses and trains.
If you insist on driving. here's another word of caution - they have some unusual traffic rules there because of the tram lines. In particular, they have a what is called the hook turn, whereby to turn right at a junction , you actually have to keep left and wait at the left corner of the yellow box so that you don't block the trams going straight. You only go when the traffic light changes, so that you actually go with the traffic which was in the perpendicular road. Confused?
Travellers from overseas (and especially the US) will be pleasantly surprised at how safe Melbourne is.
While the big US cities have entire suburbs that are 'no go' zones (LA - South Central, Watts, Compton Carson etc.....New York - Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn....I could go on).......There is not a single area in Melbourne that you could possibly call unsafe! Not bad for a city of over 3 million people........
Any mugging, rape etc (eg in King st recently) becomes front page news, purely because they are so infrequent....A local TV station even made a mini-series (called Underbelly), on the so called 'gang wars' in Melbourne....and do you know what? It covered a dozen or so underworld murders over a 7 or 8 year period!!! Most major US cities would have these many in 7 or 8 days.....
Don't get me wrong, I love the US (and I'm heading back there in May/June for my 5th trip), but it does have its own issues with some VERY nasty neighbourhoods......us locals in Melbourne simply don't have that kind of problem!!!!!!
I went down to melbourne recently for abit of work and site seeing its such a great place, ended up rolling my rental car on the Great Ocean Road. My warning is if your driving a 4X4 or a people mover along the Great Ocean Road be careful, cuz its very possible you can roll the car on the endless curves while looking at the amazing veiw, thankfully i was ok and the people at Sixt rental cars were really awesome throughout the whole process.
The main grouse with Melbourne has to be the temperamental weather as it could swing from chirpy bright morning to grumpy grey afternoon in the split of a second. The city is not above having fits of violent flatulence (windiness) as well.
So come and enjoy Melbourne, but brace yourself for weird weather swings.
Always be prepared is the motto. (A raincoat for summer and warmer clothes for the cooler months)
This can be a real pain if you accidently leave an item on your aircraft. This can be especially restrictive of credit cards & money are in your bag!!
At Melbourne Airport you can retrieve your item from the desk at International arrivals or from the lost luggage desk between carousal 2 & 3 in the Qantas domestic area on the ground floor.
If you don't realise until it's too late, the number at Melbourne Airport for lost luggage is 8336 4100. This line is open between 9am and 2.30pm so you only have a small window of opportunity if you leave your bag on the plane.