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Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, and has snagged the title of “Australia’s Cultural Capital” from under the noses of Sydney and Brisbane.

It’s the birthplace of Australian film and television, Aussie-rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement, and several Australian dance styles.

As if that weren’t enough, it’s also been ranked as the world’s most liveable city.

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Why visit Melbourne

  • This vibrant city is filled with colourful, graffiti-lined laneways to the majestic National Gallery of Victoria where you can always find a show, exhibition or performance going on!
  • Eau De Vie should be on your list of places to visit, from hidden laneway bars and nightspots nearby, it would be a shame if you did not give it a try!
  • Melbourne was voted the most liveable city in the world, with great outdoor experiences from Phillip Island Nature Park to the Grampians National Park, there are plenty of attractions that make this city so intriguing!
Australian Dollar
Exchnage Rate:
~1 ZAR: ~0.09 AUD
Time Zone:
Standard time, UTC +10 (eight hours ahead of South Africa); summer, UTC +11 (daylight savings time, nine hours ahead of South Africa).
Dialing Code:
00 + 61 + Local Number
Drives on the left
Type I (Frequency 50Hz: Voltage 230V)
Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

The best time to visit Melbourne would be between March, May, September and November.

During these months the temperatures are pleasant enough to have the best days out sightseeing and exploring this beautiful place.

Summer months which fall between December and February become extremely full with tourists, and prices tend to be slightly higher over this time to accommodate the high demand.

Arabic is the sixth-most spoken language in Melbourne besides English.

The other languages that are spoken in this city consist of Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Cantonese.

  • Melbourne has unpredictable weather, and it's often possible to experience "four seasons in one day".
  • Melbourne was the capital city of Australia for 26 years between 1901 and 1927 before the capital shifted to Canberra.
  • Melbourne is home to the highest Italian and Greek populations in the world outside their own countries.

Don’t be swayed by stories of Melbourne’s temperamental weather.

They’re all true, but when there’s so much to do both indoors and out, a bit of unpredictable rain won’t be ruining any parades.

When the weather is good, take a birds-eye view look over Melbourne’s gorgeous greenery from the Eureka Skydeck – the Southern Hemisphere’s highest manmade viewing platform.

You’ll also want to visit the Melbourne Zoo, the Healesville Sanctuary and the penguins of Phillip Island.

The Great Ocean Road is another must-see, as is the Queen Victoria Market, where you’ll find everything under the sun, including great souvenirs for great prices.

Much like Cape Town, if it’s looking like rain in Melbourne there are plenty of museums, galleries and exhibits to check out.

The National Gallery of Victoria is worth a trip, as is the Australian Centre for the Moving Images, located in Federation Square.

The Melbourne Aquarium is also a great option, and DFO South Wharf will satisfy the most avid shopper.

Melbourne is known for its abundance of bespoke fashion outlets, so consider a made-to-order item as a unique and personal trip souvenir.

Getting around Melbourne is simple with its impressive network of trains, trams and buses.

Trams are the most convenient within the inner city. The City Circle tram is free, and does a full circuit of Melbourne.

There’s also a free Tourist Shuttle coach, which visits 15 popular attractions.

Don’t ignore the value of good old foot-power, though.

Walking tours are a great way to get in touch with the city, and Melbourne is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

Melbourne is considered to be a culinary hotspot, with everything from juicy burger joints to swish eateries and not forgetting their thriving bar scene.

From salted chocolate and peanut butter slices which have been described as slices of heaven, to the traditional Aussie beef patties served with mac and cheese, prosciutto, maple bacon and secret sauce, Melbourne is a place where your taste buds can roam free

The best restaurants to try out in this city include:

  • The Press Club
  • The Hardware Societe Melbourne
  • Vue de monde
  • FlowerDrum Restaurant Melbourne
  • Ezard
  • Pastuso

The most followed religion in Melbourne is Christianity with the majority of the locals affiliating themselves with the Roman Catholic faith.

The churches in this city are massive and absolutely breathe-taking, even if you do not believe in the faith it is worth the visit.

All religions are welcomed and accepted by locals.

Australians are renowned for the laid back approach to life.

There is a diverse range of cultures and a real sense of community that can be felt in this city, locals generally make an effort to embrace visitors to make sure you have the best time possible.

Melbourne is a safe city when you take its size into account.

It is advised to keep any valuables hidden and avoid solo night travel as it can be dangerous, especially if you are not too familiar with the area.

Melbourne City Council has established all-night "Safe City" taxi ranks with security guards on King Street, outside Flinders Street Station and on Bourke Street.

South Africans need a visa in order to visit Melbourne, or any other city in the Australia.

Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and remember to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.

Contact the Embassy of Australia (Telephone:012 423 6000) for more information, in addition to visa applications.

Address:Victoria. Como Towers, Level 16, 644 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141.

Telephone:+ 61 3 8825 4114

Fax:(+61) 3 8825 5799


Item Cape Town Johannesburg Melbourne
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R 90.00 R 100.00 R 163.53
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) R 22.00 R 20.00 R 87.21
Cappuccino (regular) R 19.00 R 20.00 R 42.52
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 12.00 R 17.68
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35.00 R 35.00 R 272.54

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport – MEL

Food and beverages:Café Arome, Café Ton, Café Vue, and Hudsons Coffee.

Currency Exchange:Travelex and ANZ Bank both offer currency exchange at Melbourne Airport. Travelex also offers online pre-purchased foreign exchange to save you time at the airport.

Lost luggage:Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Items lost within the airport can be reported to Travellers’ Services within Terminals 2, 3 and 4, or at security checkpoints.

Car hire:Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar and Redspot.

Airport hotels:Parkroyal Hotel and Holiday Inn are both located on the airport grounds.

Airport hub:Melbourne Airport is a hub for: Jetstar Airways, Qantas, Regional Express Airlines, Tiger Airways Australia, and Virgin Australia.

The information on this page is correct as of August 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.

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