Melbourne Practical Information

Practical%

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Ambulance

Call 000 for an ambulance.

Banks

Banks and ATM machines are everywhere. Banking hours are 9.30 – 4.00 on Monday to Thursday and until 5pm on Friday.

Melbourne’s banking sector is dominated by the big four Australian banks: ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and Westpac. The international banks that make up the rest of Melbourne’s banking sector are HSBC, Citibank, and Hong Kong Shanghai Bank.

ATM’S will take all cards, but to save cash if you are using an overseas banking card you should find the banking partner for your bank. For example, Westpac is partnered with Barclays, and so there are reduced or no fees for Barclays members when they use Westpac ATM’s.

Numbers and addresses of the main banks in Melbourne are:

HSBC Bank Australia Commonwealth Bank
271 Collins Street, Tel. 1300 308 008

Commonwealth Bank
385 Bourke Street Tel. +61 13 2221

Westpac
383 Chapel Street, +61 3 9257 6666

Citibank Australia
350 Collins Street Tel. (03) 8643 9110

St George Bank
325 Collins Street, +61 3 9222 5000

National Australia Bank
800 Bourke Street, +61 13 22 65

ANZ
283 Victoria +61 3 9201 0310

Opening times of banks are – 9.30am till 4.30pm Mon – Thurs and 9.30am till 5pm Fridays.

ANZ has banks in Melbourne airport in case visitors want to set up their bank account upon arrival. They have two branches inside the airport. ANZ also offers three foreign exchange outlets at the airport.

TravelEx has exchange outlets dotted around the terminals; they have two in terminal two and one in terminal three. Both TravelEx and ANZ will cash traveller’s cheques for you upon arrival in Melbourne airport. They can also provide you with phone cards, to call home, and travel insurance.

You should really cash your traveller’s cheques at the airports as banks tend to charge a fee. There are more TravelEx and ANZ exchange shops in the city in case you can’t cash them at the airport. These two foreign exchange shops aren’t the only ones in Melbourne; there are smaller, private firms that will give you competitive value. Hotels will also do the same.

Business hours

Most shops open from 9 – 5.30pm. However, on Thursdays and Fridays there are extended shopping hours and Melbourne shops close around 9pm. On Sundays shops generally open at 10am.

City Ambassadors

Melbourne has very helpful City Ambassadors who wear red uniforms and move around streets helping visitors. They will provide directions and ideas for things to do.

City Link

CityLink is the Melbourne road toll system. No cash is taken, so you need to purchase a pass, which can be bought after the Melbourne toll road is used. (13 26 29)

Consulates

Melbourne has a number of consulates, but the main Embassies are in Canberra.

America
Level 6, 553 St Kilda Road (03 9526 5900)

China
03 9822 1600

German
03 9864 6888

Italy
03 9867 5744

New Zealand
Level 10, 454 Collins Street, Melbourne ( 03 9642 1279)

United Kingdom
Level 17, 90 Collins Street, Melbourne ( 03 9652 1600)

Dentists

The emergency dental service is 03 9341 1040

Drinking laws

The legal age for drinking is 18.

Electricity

The current is 240V and uses a three pin plug (not the same three pin plug as the UK).

Hook turns

Be careful of the hook turns where you turn right from the left lane but indicate right. There are clear Hook turn signs that make it clear. This strange rule is due to the Melbourne trams!

Hospitals

The main casualty department is at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (03 9342 7000)

Royal Children’s Hospital
03 9345 5522

Royal Women’s Hospital
03 9344 2000

St Vincents Hospital
03 9288 2211

Internet

There are lots of internet places; many as parts of small convenience stores. A good area to find them is Elizabeth Street, near Flinders Lane, Chinatown and opposite Flinders Street Station.

Lost property

Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street (03 9658 9658)

Money

The currency is the Australian dollar, which uses the standard “$” sign. However, due to confusion with the US dollar, the abbreviation AUD is often used, or sometimes A$.

Police

The emergency number is 000.

Post Office

The main post office is at 250 Elizabeth Street (13 13 18). It is closed on Sundays.

Public Holidays

Everything closes on Christmas Day. Other public holidays are New Years Day; Boxing Day; Australia Day (26 January); Good Friday; Easter Sunday; Easter Monday; Anzac Day (25 April); Queen’s Birthday (12 June); 1st Monday in August (banks only) and the 1st Monday in October (Labour day).

Melbourne Time

Melbourne is on Australian Eastern Time zone. Melbourne is 10 hours ahead of GMT and when daylight saving is on is 11 hours ahead of GMT. Melbourne’s Latitude is 37° 49’ S. and Melbourne’s Longitude is 144° 50’ E.

Tipping

Tipping is not expected in Australia. However, due to the large number of visitors, tipping does occur and, like in most places in the world, is appreciated.

Tourist Refund Scheme

Visitors to Australia can reclaim any GST on goods purchased over $300 from a single store no more than 30 days prior to departure. Refunds are payable at the designated refund facility located past Customs up to 30 minutes before flight departure. You will need your tax invoice and goods to obtain a refund.

Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre

For full vaccinations and travel medical services. 393 Little Bourke Street, second floor (03 9935 8100)

Visitor Centre

The Melbourne visitor centre is in Federation Square (03 9658 9658).