Getting around Melbourne
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) (tel: +61 3 9662 2505; www.ptv.vic.gov.au) integrates rail, tram and bus services. With one of the largest tram networks in the world, over 300 bus routes and a comprehensive rail network including a metro ring route, travelling across the city is straightforward.
Myki is Melbourne's ticket to travel on the city's trains, trams and buses. It's a smartcard that can be topped up and re-used. It’s available online (www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki) or at main train stations and retail outlets displaying the myki sign.
Melbourne buses run frequently to major hubs and for travelling further afield, Victoria's V/Line service provides access to regional towns.
Melbourne's metro trains run between the outer suburbs and Flinders Street Station in the city. The city loop, which is Melbourne's underground system, has five stations across the CBD including Southern Cross Station, Flagstaff, Melbourne Central, Parliament and Flinders Street.
Tram travel is a pleasant way to explore the city and the inner suburbs of Richmond, St Kilda and South Yarra. Trams share road space on most Melbourne thoroughfares.
The new Night Network (tel: +61 3 9658 9658; www.ptv.vic.gov.au) provides 24-hour transport (trains, trams and buses) on weekends, and a 2am coach service along certain routes.
Yellow taxis can be hired if the rooftop light is illuminated. Book by telephone, or hail one on the street or at train and bus stations. Recommended taxi firms include Silver Top (tel: +61 3 8413 8111) and 13 CABS (tel: +61 3 9329 6377).
Fare meters should be easily visible and additional charges may apply for phone bookings, airport pick-ups or late night fares. Expect to pre-pay part of your estimated fare between 1000-1700. Tipping is not expected.
Driving around Melbourne is fairly straightforward with wide two- or three-lane roads. Note that trams will often share the road and special road rules exist to accommodate them. Tolls are charged on some Melbourne roads, including the CityLink freeways and Eastlink. The peak hours on weekdays are: 0700-0930 and 1630-1900.
The minimum age for car hire is 21 years, but the majority of car hire companies require drivers to be aged over 25 in order to hire a car. Generally, you must use a credit card. Compulsory third-party insurance is required in Victoria and this is often included in the hire price.
Major car hire companies include Avis (tel: +61 3 9204 3933; www.avis.com.au), Budget (tel: +61 3 9203 3933; www.budget.com.au) and Hertz (tel: +61 3 9663 6244; www.hertz.com.au).
Melbourne’s terrain is relatively flat and bicycle paths wind through the city and suburbs. For maps of rides and trails, contact Bicycle Network (tel: +61 3 8376 8888; www.bicyclenetwork.com.au).
Melbourne Bike Share (tel: 1300 711 590, in Australia only; www.melbournebikeshare.com.au) lets you borrow and return bikes at docking stations across the city. Check the website’s bike share map for details including paths, docking stations and helmet outlets.
Bike operators include Rentabike, Federation Square (tel: +61 3 9654 2762;www.rentabike.net.au) and BikeNow, 240 Kings Way, South Melbourne (tel: +61 3 9696 8588; www.bikenow.com.au).