Below is some helpful information for planning your trip to Melbourne. Click on the links to go to a specific section.


 Banking and Currency
Business Hours
Climate and Clothing
Electricity
 Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Tourist Refund Scheme (RTS)
Host City - Melbourne
  Quarantine  Shopping  Tipping  Vaccination
Banking & Currency

Decimal currency is used in Australia with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents = $1). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations. Currency exchange facilities are available in most banks, hotels and airports and operate normal business hours. Credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops, the most widely used being Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.


Business Hours

Banks and post offices generally open from 0930 - 1600 hours from Monday to Friday. Business office hours are 0900  - 1700 hours from Monday to Friday.


Climate and Clothing

September to November is Spring in Australia with temperatures ranging from 10 - 20º C  (50 - 68º F). Generally Australians are informal dressers. We suggest you bring a jacket and tie with you for special occasions. A light jacket is recommended for evenings.


Electricity

Electrical current is 240/250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adapter. If your appliances are 110V, check if there is a 110/240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.


Goods and Services Tax (GST) / Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services, and items sold or consumed in Australia.


The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is administered by the Australian Customs Department and enables travellers departing Australia to claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australia. For detailed information on the TRS visit the website of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services of the Australian Government.


Host City - Melbourne

Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is situated on the picturesque tree-lined banks of the Yarra River. Melbourne is located on the south-east coast and is the 2nd largest city in Australia. Over 3.5 million people live in the city, which has been voted The World's Most Liveable City on a number of occasions. It is a thriving and cosmopolitan city with a unique balance of graceful old buildings and stunning new architecture surrounded by parks and gardens. Melbourne is Australia's leader in the arts, sport and fashion, and has some of the finest restaurants in the country.


Melbourne is renowned for its festival and sporting events, staging an exciting variety of entertainment each year including the Formula One Australia Grand Prix, the Australian Open tennis tournament, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Film Festival, the Boxing Day Test Cricket, the AFL Grand Final, the Heineken Golf Classic, and the Spring Racing Carnival.


The recent Docklands development has seen Melbourne city embrace the beauty of the Bay, converting old port authority sheds west of the city into a vibrant residential, business, sporting and entertainment precinct by the water. For the night cats, Melbourne has the move live music venues in Australia and a burgeoning number of chic and groovy inner city bars for every level and style of socializing imaginable. Melbournians are also spoiled by the quality and range of gastronomic delights available to them. And for the shop-a-holics Melbourne fashion is the envy of many, from the Paris end of town in ritzy Collins Street to the urban cool of Chapel Street in South Yarra.


For more information on Melbourne, including maps and guides, please visit www.thatsmelbourne.com.au. You can also get tailored advice once you have arrived by going to the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square, open 0900 to 1800, 7 days a week.


Quarantine

Australia is free from many plant and animal diseases prevalent in other countries. Very strict quarantine rules apply to the import of animals and plants, which cannot be brought into the country without prior application. Animal and plant products are also restricted. For more information see the "Information for International Travelers" on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website.


Shopping

Melbourne Shops operate from 0900 to 1900 during the week with late night shopping on Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, most shops are open from 0900 to 1900.


Tipping

Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. Tipping is your prerogative, a reward for service. It is customary to tip hotel porters, and a gratuity of about 10% is usual in restaurants if good service is received. Tips for taxis are regarded as optional.


Vaccination

There is no vaccination required for entering Australia. However, if you enter Australia from a yellow fever declared country but do not hold a vaccination certification, you will receive a Yellow Fever Action Card for further information. More information can be found on the Department of Health of the Australian Government website.


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