Photo: Rafael Morles
Melbourne is a vibrant, multicultural city and for the fourth consecutive year has been named by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the world’s most livable city. The city centre is a revived commercial and residential hub supporting diverse cultural, culinary, entertainment and sporting offerings. Melbourne’s built form continues to evolve and the city is now an intriguing mix of heritage and contemporary structures, creating a striking skyline and providing a fascinating backdrop for daily activities and special events.
December is the start of summer in Melbourne and the warm, long days provide the perfect opportunity to explore and experience the city and its surrounds.
Decimal currency is used in Australia - dollars and cents. Current exchange rates can be obtained from your bank and on-line at www.xe.com
Banks in Australia are open Monday to Thursday 0930 to 1600, and 0930 to 1700 on Fridays. Some banks are open on Saturday. Exchange facilities are available at airports and most major hotels. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available at a wide variety of outlets. All major credit cards are widely accepted in Australia.
Travel and Health Insurance
It is strongly recommended that you take out insurance policies to cover medical and travel expenses. If necessary, consult your travel agent.
Electricity in Australia is 220-240V AC 50Hz. The sockets are three pin and you may need an adaptor. Universal outlets for 240V or 100V shavers are found in most leading hotels. Multi-voltage appliances as well as adaptors are readily available in department stores and luggage shops.
Most stores in Melbourne open Monday to Saturday until around 1700 to 1800. Some retailers may remain open until 2100 week nights, and between 0900 to 1800 Sundays. Grocery and department stores generally open seven days a week, with late night trading until 2100 on week nights.
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% applies to all consumer goods and is included in retail prices. Overseas visitors may be able to claim a refund of the GST through the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). Further information
Tipping is acceptable in Australia, however it is not compulsory. Generally tips are only given for good service but even then it is not mandatory. If you do want to leave a tip, ten percent of the bill is customary.
The water in Australia exceeds the standards for safe drinking water set by the World Health Organisation. It is safe to drink water straight from the tap.