Why go to Melbourne?
Although Sydney and Melbourne may battle it out over who is Australia's unofficial capital city (after the actual capital Canberra), Melbourne certainly wins out as nation's cultural centre. With its beautiful architecture, rich cultural heritage and lively art and music scenes, Melbourne attracts visitor not only from across Australia but from around the world.
Tourists in Melbourne can visit the famous Melbourne Museum, the southern hemisphere's largest. Other cultural destinations in the city include the historic Royal Exhibition Building, the Victorian architecture of the University of Melbourne and the Parliament House of Victoria. No trip to Melbourne would be complete without a visit to Flinders Street Railway Station, arguably the city's most famous landmark.
The Yarra river flows through the centre of Melbourne, and its banks are home to some of the city's most beautiful views, although the distinctive brown colour of the water can be startling at first. Boat trips leave from the new Docklands development, while the more traditional Southgate promenade on the south bank is home to shops, bars and restaurants. Visitors who go to Southgate on Sunday can also enjoy the weekly art and craft market.
The bayside area, particularly around Brighton, is popular both with locals and travellers. Brighton Beach is famous for the colourful, old-fashioned “bathing boxes” that dot the water's edge. The St Kilda region is famous for its piers and amusement parks, together with the lush and relaxing St Kilda Botanical Gardens.
How far is the airport from city centre and which major airlines fly to Melbourne from UK?
Melbourne Airport, located about 14 miles (23 km) from the city centre in the suburb of Tullamarine, is Australia's second-busiest airport. Australia's main air carrier, Qantas, flies to Melbourne from London Heathrow; other carriers may require travellers to change planes at other airports.
How to get to Melbourne from the airport?
Reaching Melbourne from the airport is relatively simple. In addition to car rentals and taxis, a shuttle bus service links the airport and Melbourne's Southern Cross Station, which connects travellers to local rail and bus services. Local bus services also run to and from the airport. Although a rail link has often been debated, there is currently no direct train service to and from Melbourne Airport.
What are the visa requirements for British nationals?
British citizens do need visas to visit Australia. Electronic visas can be acquired through travel agents or directly from the Australian government. If a travel agent applies for the visa, a small processing fee will apply. New arrivals may be asked to display their return ticket when arriving in Australia. In most cases, the visa process is very simple.
How to get around Melbourne?
Although Melbourne is very spread out, most of the sights visitors will want to see are in the city centre, connected by a network of trams. Locations further out are connected to the centre by trains and buses. As a result, it's relatively easy to get around Melbourne despite its large size.
When is the best time to visit Melbourne?
In the summer, Melbourne temperatures can reach 40°C or higher. Spring and autumn weather is highly changeable. Spring is the best time to visit – but remember, Melbourne's spring is from September to November.