Things to know about Melbourne
- What is there to do in Melbourne?
- What is the speed limit in Victoria?
- What is the population of Melbourne?
- Where is good for eating out in Melbourne?
Car Rental ‘Need to know’ in the state of Victoria, Australia
- Car hire in Melbourne is much the same as anywhere else with a passport, drivers license and a credit card required to get you started. Then there is the usual paper work to be prepared and signed with of course the need to be especially careful to document the existing condition of the car
- Once up and going remember everyone drives on the left hand side of the road with speed limits ranging from 40kms to 110kms per hour. 40kms is typically around schools and hospitals as well as the central city with 50kms and 60kms an hour more typical in suburban areas
- There are a lots of speed and red light cameras as well as very disciplined parking inspectors. For the former the costs are a minimum of $207 for being 3kph over then quickly ramp up to as high a $846 with red light fines being one amount only of $413
- Access from the airport to the city and beyond is connected via multi lane road networks including freeways and toll roads
- Drive time via toll roads to the city is approx. 30mins for non peak and 45 mins peak hour. There are non toll roads as well to the city so add a further 15mins travel time. Access to the out of town tourist destinations doesn’t require going through the city with access to the Great Ocean Road via Geelong is about 90 mins
- When in Melbourne city there are unique right hand turns call hook turns. This requires the driver to pull over to the left on a green light at a designated intersection usually where there are trams operating. The driver is to wait on the left until the lights go red then complete the hook turn
- Driving at night it is most unlikely to be any wild life in the city built up areas. However once in the outskirts or the countryside there is a need to keep an eye out especially for kangaroos which get easily dazzled by the car headlights and freeze in the middle of the road or are otherwise attracted to the lights and just jump in front. Kangaroos can get reasonable large and usually make a large amount of damage to the front and side panels. The other one is the wombat which is slow moving and like running over a small boulder and can take out the car exhaust and sump all at once
- Day time driving is less hazardous with only the need to be aware of cyclists and pedestrians especially the ones with a phone in hand
Guide to Melbourne
Melbourne is a major Australian city of with a population of almost 5 million people and growing at about 1500 people a week and is considered one of the world’s most liveable places. Like most western cities there is a diversified make up of peoples from everywhere starting with the Wundjerri peoples particular to Melbourne. They were the first Australians from 40000 years ago and since the British settlement in the 1800s there have been a steady stream of other ethnicities. Notably the convicts and free settlers arriving from parts of the UK especially Ireland then the Chinese coming here during the gold rush of the 1850s through to major immigration post WW2. Since then there have been Greeks, Italians, Ten pound poms, Vietnamese refugees, Pacific Islanders, Kiwis, Asians from all over then most recently Indians and middle eastern people.
The CBD itself has loads of major international businesses, a large retail precinct as well as substantial residential high rise collectively with many buildings in excess of 40 storeys high all mostly centred around the Yarra River which flows into nearby Port Phillip Bay. Near to the city are old style markets with an offering of fresh fruit and vegetables, a fresh seafood area along with other household goods.
Apart from commerce and retail Melbourne is a major port and hub providing a gateway to the nations south east for imported goods. Melbourne is also known for its huge sporting culture with international events for tennis, the grand prix, cricket and horse racing with the local Aussie Rules football pulling crowds of 90000 plus some weekends.
With so much going on there is an extensive public transport network of mainly trains and trams with the latter being free for travel around the CBD. The tram network is the largest in the world and the train system prompt and reliable with considerable funds being allocated to infrastructure to deliver this as congestion buster.
Things to do in Melbourne
While the city is large and sprawling there are many green areas around the Yarra. There is the nearby Botanic Gardens in South Yarra and a working city farm in Collingwood to provide a sample of rural Australian life with both easily accessible by car, train or tram. If its beach visit then again cars, trains, and trams can get you there to St Kilda, Port Melbourne and/or Brighton Beach. Should the weather be warm take your bathers and have a swim. Similarly a trip to the zoo is a great day out.
The city also has a vibrant live theatre culture with many international shows being screened most of the year and all are well attended. March in every year Melbourne hosts an international comedy festival with a large spread of international acts with massive support from the general public.
Further afield there are wildlife sanctuaries within one to two hours drive as well as the surf beaches with huge waves. Either at or nearby to these locales there are vineyards and associated wineries offering a variety of local produce.
Getting around Melbourne couldn’t be easier than hiring a car and self-driving around the city. At Melbourne Tullamarine airport you can choose from a range of car hire providers by booking on Enjoy including Aerodrive, Alamo and Europcar.
Eating out in Melbourne
Like most sophisticated cities these days there are loads of different cuisines with much fusion and contemporary influences. The city itself has:
Chin Chin frequented by the young and busy where cost doesn’t have a baring and atmosphere everything.
Vue de Monde is a high end multi award winning fine dinning restaurant with the rich and famous heading there most nights Japanese Teppanyaki Inn delivers a traditional Japanese experience with nothing but the finest ingredients and typically a calm and welcoming atmosphere.
Out of town there is:
Attica that delivers a degustation in the finest French fashion with multiple Michelin awards.
Hellenic Republic with a contemporary approach to the Greek cuisine with much seafood as fresh as the day along with barbequed lamb then saganaki with dates then spanakopita.