Melbourne is a bobby dazzler who hides her demure light firmly under her bushel. Relaxed and chilled, she’s all about food and fashion, but most of it is hidden away in lanes and arcades. Probe deep, and Mellie is all yours.
The City is the CBD, laid out in a nifty grid. To the south is Southbank with brill restos and bogan casino in the swank Crown complex, village-chic South Melbourne, yuppie South Yarra, grungy-funky Albert Park and seaside St. Kilda. Gentrifying Richmond is east, and northeast are hipsters Carlton and Fitzroy. So, go on, you big galah, get flapping.
Weather. Melbourne has spring, summer, autumn and winter almost every day. Three words: learn to layer. To be safe, pack a brolly, hat, sunscreen and shades; if in doubt, don the city’s default black Tullamarine Int’l Airport to CBD by cab: 30-40 mins / AUD$54, take the Citylink freeway (toll applies) At times it can seem as if there are only three taxis in the whole of this vast city, so you’ll need to book well ahead at peak times (see Very Useful) If you’re lucky enough to hail a taxi, make sure that you know the street and area you are heading for, unless you wish to end up in Fiji via the Gold Coast The tram system is convenient in the CBD, but can be slow elsewhere, where cabs/driving is more efficient Events. What a busy, busy dolly. Jan: Australian Open; Mar: Melbourne Grand Prix; Mar & Aug/Sep: Melbourne Fashion Weeks; Mar-Sep: AFL (footy) Premiership season; Oct: Melbourne Int’l Arts Fest; 1st Tue in Nov: Melbourne Cup; 26-30 Dec: Cricket Int’l Boxing Day Test. Phew! In peak summer season (Dec-Jan) and during the many events hosted by the city (see above),, it is essential to book way ahead for everything Smoking is not allowed at indoor restaurants and bars Goods and services tax (GST) is 10%, tip an extra 10% Beer. If you are keen on a tankard, remember: a ‘glass’ is 200ml, a ‘pot’ is 285ml and pints are for Guinness Coffee. Discussed more heatedly than politics, sports or religion. Any person proclaiming the city’s best coffee risks public humiliation and being garroted Coffee etiquette: strong means two shots; skinny is skim. Don’t be surprised if a café doesn’t serve skinny/soy International code for Australia is +61 and 3 for Melbourne; neither need to be dialled locally Emergency no. is 000 for fire, ambulance or police
Here are three Australian phrases that may endear you to Melburnians... How ya going? : Hello / How are you? Good on ya, mate : Thanks, pet / Well done Strewth, look at the muffin-top on that! : That young lady has a large amount of excess flesh above the waistband of her low-rise jeans and is doing herself no favours
Alrighty, let’s get this Turkish on the grill...