4 seasons in one day, not just 3Even the weather is bigger in Melbourne. Expect temperatures of 35 degrees, 14 degrees, showers, hail, wind, humidity and arid dryness - all before lunchtime. Melbournians and Australians in general complain about the weather here, but only because they've never been to Wellington.
Please do not bait the hipsters, although let's face it, the worst they'll do is fling their decaf tofu salad at you.
A cosmopolitan cityMelbourne is a global and cosmopolitan city, much like Wellington. However, Melbourne's ethnic mix is more European than Pacific, which means you are 17x more likely to be surrounded by smokers on the street.
TramsThe best way to get around the city is by tram. With fixed routes, maps, and identifying numbers for each stop, it's like a bus system which can be used by anyone, even newcomers. In fact tram use is often mandatory - walking to neighbouring suburbs is expressly forbidden. Like local Melbournians, you must catch trams into the city and back out again rather than just walking for 10 minutes.
Myki card: like Oyster and Snapper, but more confusing and completely differentThe local transport card is Myki ("Mikey"), which is used in the following manner:
- Your first tram trip is $3.28
- Your second tram trip is $4,782.00
- Your third and all subsequent tram trips are free
- You don't need to tag off! Unless:
- you are making a trip only in Zone 2, which is for some reason completely different
- it's your last trip of the day. You must decide before boarding the tram that it will be your last trip of the day. If you change your mind, each further tram trip will cause 1 kitten to die.
no brown people in Australia whatsoever and there never have been. All evidence to the contrary is bleeding-heart hippie propaganda. There certainly wasn't any violence against these made-up brown people either.
The State of VictoriaAustralia is a federal country divided into 6 states. As a visitor, you may be unaware that Australians swear allegiance to their home state every day, and are committed to a lifelong tribal war against all other 5 states. This is a strategy of the national government to ensure healthy market competition and survival of the fittest, and helps explain Australians' psychological dependence on sporting success.
Melbourne is in the state of Victoria, which is of course the best state, despite the dubious practice of bottling and marketing criminals' urine as the state beer.
BeerMelbourne's culture and lifestyle is top quality, but the same cannot be said of the beer. Melbourne's many impressive bars and pubs boast "craft" beer, but it seems that all Australian beer is designed to be drunk at ice cold temperatures in the glaring summer sun - even local and craft "ales" resemble lager, and appear to favour a crisp, light texture at the expense of flavour or character.
There are indeed some venues with outstanding Australian and international beers, such as the Taphouse in St. Kilda, but for a city of Melbourne's size and reputation it's sad that the excellent bar scene is not equipped with excellent beers.
LanguageAs everyone knows, Australian "English" is simply a more terrifying version of New Zealand "English". It resembles a cross between Cockney London and a drunken angry wasp, spoken directly through the nose or the side of the mouth.
Like NZ "English", Australian boasts its own bewildering array of slang, of which "bluey" (redhead/ginger), "pot" (half pint) and "thongs" (flip flops/jandals) are only the beginning. However, while most strong Kiwi accents are limited to rural areas (e.g. Waikato, Hawke's Bay, the entire South Island), you may encounter indecipherable Australian accents in any part of urban Melbourne.
Top tip - don't be afraid to get stuck in to a discussion you barely understand. This is actually an integral part of Australian culture and locals will respect you more.
infected, mauled, poisoned or otherwise injured, the flora and fauna are very pretty indeed, so take your camera. (It'll help the emergency services identify which anti-venom you need.)
GraffitiMelbourne has some excellent graffiti, and a surprisingly comfortable and creative attitude towards street art. Fitzroy boasts some excellent street art, along with the laneways down in the CBD - just go walking about and you're sure to see something cool.
WaterRemember that Australia will run out of water in 2021, and preparations to turn the continent into a desert-themed amusement park are already underway. For the time being however, both visitors and residents are limited to showers no longer than 5 minutes, even in private homes. Of course none of this stops the city of Melbourne operating water sculptures or spraying flower beds in the most inefficient way possible, at all times of day.
ImmigrationAustralia is pretty serious about migration, despite being a welcoming country to other cultures and refugees. Be careful not to bring in any fruit or vegetables, or mud on your shoes, or you may be given a cheeky taser blast by friendly Immigration officials.
Always allow extra time when catching your flight out of Melbourne - with long lines for check-in, security, and multiple passport checks, it takes longer to leave Australia than enter whichever country you're going to.
Enjoy your trip to Melbourne!