The Quiet Tram
Especially so on Collins & Bourke streets, Trams can be a major danger when crossing the road as they seem to fly down the street not making a noise. There are special crossing spots that you should use though just checking before you cross the road is a must. As there are few cars on some stretches it appears that all is safe, this is not the case. We saw two near misses in a day and a half though I have not heard of any fatalities of late.
- Road Trip
I was a bit taken back by your comments regarding the Possums in Fitzroy Gardens. It is not a monument but a sign giving users of the garden information about Possums. Possums sleep during the day and are active at night that's why you didn't see any during your day walk. Because Possums are a native animal and are living in the man made gardens which is not there natural habitat they have breed to alarming numbers. No natural predators, plenty of trees to live in and food from plants and people feeding them. In the natural bush, maybe 1 Possum per ht, in the gardens about 8 to 10 per ht. Which then brings the problem of over population, over grazing of foliage on trees and plants, this has led to the death of mature trees.
If you walk the gardens in the early evening beware of the Possums. You will see many Possums looking for food. Possums will not attack but people who hand feed them can be scratched. We hope the numbers will decline over a few years by natural causes. We need a balance, other wise the gardens suffer and then the Possums will not have a home.
Whilst it probably doesn't occur too frequently, drink spiking is known to happen in bars, clubs, and pubs.
People can unknowingly slip drugs into drinks, which can lead to dire consequences.
However, this doesn't make Melbourne any more a dangerous place as the next one, but please be aware that it can occur.
Use common sense and never leave your drinks unattended!!
Queen Victoria Market - Videotaping
Was there sometime in 2005. Just bought a video cam, so thought of recording the wonders of the market. As i was taping inside the market, one Chinese guy selling a circular foot reflexology plate got very pissed, and shouted at me. The ass**** said I have violated copyright laws and was threatening to call the police. In the end, he insisted i erase the part the has his products. Not wanting to make a scene, i complied.
I still wonder if I violated any copyright laws by recording scenery and happens to record products.
Was there in 2006 a couple of times, and this ass**** is still there, selling some other foot reflexology stuff now.
Look after your luggages esp if they are expensive
On our last day in Melbourne, we hailed a taxi driven by a white Australian. He was friendly and he told us that he had worked as a helper to old folks buying their daily necessities. Soon we arrived at our hotel and he was asked to wait while I went to take out our luggages, a samsonite and a Delsey, packed with newly purchased clothings and gifts. They were quite heavy and the taxi-driver helped us to carry onto the boot of the taxi. I thought that he was a kind man indeed. I told him to wait a little while longer as I went into the hotel again to help my wife take out her hand-carried bags and things. When we came out, the taxi was gone with our luggages! Of course, it was our mistake. Hopefully you'll be more careful than us.
BTW, we reported to the Australian Police, easily done if you asked to write out your own report and to contact you on the outcome of the investigation.
Four Seasons in One Day!
Let me warn you about Melbourne's mysterious weather as described by the Crowded House song:
"Four Seasons In One Day"
Expect the unexpected! It is quite possible to have a 40+ degree sunshine day in the summer, followed by an evening of 15 degrees and rain.
I remember new years eve 2005. My car temperature gage read 45 degrees at 5pm, and almost at the switch of a button in the early hours of the morning, the temperature didnt reach past 16 degrees and the rain bolted down for entire New Years Day.
My advice to you would be to pack/wear the following, every day, because you just don't know what the day will bring:
Factor 30+ sunscreen
Thongs (flip flops/sandals)
Socks (worn with thongs for that hip look .. not!)
You just never know, you might use all of the above in less than 24 hours .. I KID YOU NOT!!
But I guess thats what makes Melbourne famous for its weather.
Dodgy Areas of Melbourne
As someone said previously Melbourne is a relatively safe city and as a local i have to say the streets are pretty safe however there are a few places tourists should be aware of....
1. Corner of Bourke Street and Russell Street city. (Hungry jacks, Amusement parlour etc) This block has had problems with Heroin Deals etc.... Most problems occur after 10pm at night and it's safe to walk down this block during the day.
2. Flinders St Station after 10pm, All the weirdos seem to come out and you might be asked for money, cigarettes etc Just pretend you don't have anything and they should leave you alone.
3. Gray Street St Kilda (Nighttime), If you're into prostitution then this is the place for you! Otherwise i'd say avoid it!
4. Various beggars around city: On the whole we have very few beggars and us locals actually tend to recognise them. Most of them are harmless and refuse to get help preferring to live on the streets but be aware that the people that sit outside various mcDonalds etc claiming they need to get to Sydney have been doing it for years! Just ignore them and again say you can't help them. As the problem is once you give them something they follow you around like a leech.
5. Footscray, Not really a tourist area so you wouldn't really have an excuse to go there anyway, this place has an elevated crime rate and is home to a lot of commission people.
If you have any more queries feel free to contact me
Keep safe and keep it real
Once you arrive in Austrailia Airport its is very important to have your keys of your suit cases at hand as they will check you , I think the ozzy airports was the most strick I`ve ever been to . You are not allowed to have any food in your bags of any sort or plants as they have this big rule about protecting thier own air, spieces .. Being that they have more different creatures up there :oP .
You will not joke around in their kind of airport and you will be given a list of questions to answer such as the obvoius but please dont every think of bending the rules there cause not even ( god can help you then )
Make sure you have proof of where you going to and your reason for stay as they are very suspicous .
Hook Turns - Be careful
On my first trip to Melbourne, I was in a taxicab on my way to my friend's apartment. In the middle of an intersection in the central business district, the taxicab pulled to the left, stood in the pedestrian crosswalk section, and when the stoplight turned yellow, the cabdriver made a wide right hand turn. I FREAKED OUT! What the heck was this guy doing?
It's called a "hook turn." It may scare you if 1) you are used to driving on the right hand side of the road and 2) you do not know about this driving custom, as it does not feel "logical."
After a few days, you get used to it. The reason why the cars "stand" to the left is to let the through traffic continue (as well as trams.) It actually works pretty well.
Fortunately, I didn't have the drive while I was there, but my friend (who was also from California) said it took her awhile to get used to.
Public Phone Scams
Public telephones are being removed from in and around Melbourne.
Be careful before you use a phone, as many have been internally manipulated to steal your money and not make a call. Buy a local phonecard (at newsagents, 7-Elevens) instead of using coins.
Break and entry at the zoo
We love Melbourne zoo but we are reluctant to go back due to bad experiences. The first time we went we had our car broken into and things stolen from our suitcases. We went again last year and about 20 cars had their windows smashed in. Thankfully we went on of the 20. The problem is that the zoo is surrounded by a very high brick wall. On the other side is park lands making the cars easy pickings. Be careful when taken your own car.
Take a good credit card!!!!
Melbourne is full of so many great resaurants that you will need heaps of money so that you can try them all out..Also Australian and New Zealand wines are plentiful..and you must try as many as you can!!!!
Shopping is a real treat in Melbourne. One of the best places in Australia for retail therapy!!!
strip clubs and more strip clubs .
I guess I would say king Street (city) would be one place you might find some Volience on any given friday or saturday night
The street is home to many gentleman's clubs and so often there are loads of bucks night sporting clubs and what ever large groups of mostly drunken people wanting to have some fun .
So often the fun tourns sour as the drinks go from just enough to more than enough .
Having said that in most cases while walking down king stret you will not meet with any thing more than some drunken Idiot yelling at you .
So if you don't respond most times thats as far as it ever goes .
If you want trouble and want to be the big man you have come tot he right place for fight or as we aussie's call it a blue
- Arts and Culture
The mentally disturbed
There really isn't too much to worry about in Melbourne. It IS a large city...so, it goes without saying that you have to use common sense, especially at night. One thing I noticed (which was more funny than anything) was the freaks that were randomly walking the streets...miscellaneous burnouts, disturbed, & full-blown wackaloons. This guy was having a cursing match with our tram driver for no apparent reason...just felt like it for the hell of it. It was actually quite comical.
Melbourne has some great beaches but also can be dangerous.. Please swim between the flags and obey the signs... they are there to protect the public.. Do not get caught talking on your phone whilst driving.. You will be fined quite a hefty amount and dont consider going over the alcohol limit when driving..
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