Sports-loving Melbourne is Australia's second largest city and the capital of the state of Victoria.
Travellers to Australia (other than those from New Zealand) need to apply for either an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or eVisitor for European visitors which is linked to your passport. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ or http://www.easyeta.com for discounted ETAs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Australia
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock at Station Pier in Port Melbourne sharing the busy pier with ferries to Tasmania. It is 2.5 miles southwest of the Central Business District (CBD). There is a tram stop close by.
Money and Tipping
Melbourne's extensive tram network, Yarra, takes you almost anywhere you want to go. Transit riders must use a contactless, prepaid card named Myki (pronounced my-key). With Myki, you need to purchase a card for $6 and then top it up. A two hour zone 1 ticket costs $3.90 capping at $7.80 daily ($6 cap on weekends and holidays, Feb 2016). You can also buy a Visitor Pack for $14 which includes $8 stored value (enough for the daily cap) and with a bonus of discounts at local attractions. The Visitor Pack is only sold in certain locations. Tapping off is not required on trams. Melbourne has decided not to offer short term tickets with this new system making it expensive for both visitors and infrequent users. Refunds on unused balances require a form and are only issued by a check in the mail. There is no refund on the card itself.
For cruise passengers, Myki can be purchased at the Beacon Cove IGA supermarket beside the Port Melbourne tram stop across from Station Pier. Visitor Packs may be available at a counter setup inside the cruise terminal. The 109 is the only route at Station Pier and takes you into the CBD. Take the 109 back from Collins St heading to Port Melbourne.
A taxi from Station Pier to Federation Square should cost approx $12. It should be cheaper for a couple to take a taxi than buying two Myki cards, and even less if they can share a ride.
Melbourne also offers a visitor's shuttle around the CBD (previously free but now $10 for two days - Feb 2016). http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/shuttle
As of Jan 1 2015, trams in the CBD are free. http://ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/zones/
Getting to/from the Airport
Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport is 12 miles northwest of the Melbourne CBD. To take public transit to the pier, take the Skybus to the CBD ($18, one way, July 2014) which drops you off by Southern Cross station. Walk a block south down Spencer St to Collins to take the 109 tram to the port. http://www.skybus.com.au/
Taxis should cost between $45-$50 to get to the CBD and a bit more to get to Port Melbourne.
Search hotels in Melbourne here
Shopping & Restaurants
Melbourne's main pedestrian street is Bourke St Mall with shopping centers and chain stores. For souvenirs, head to the large covered Queen Victoria market at the north end of Queen St. Head to Chinatown, centered around Little Bourke and Russell St, for authentic Chinese food and Yum Cha. Flinders Lane, parallel to Swanston St and across from Flinders station, contains hidden restaurants and cafes.
Hot-Star - This fried chicken cutlet chain has expanded from it's night market roots in Taipei to two stores in the CBD at 231 Swanston and 429 Elizabeth St.
Port Melbourne's main street, Bay St, is a couple blocks east of the pier. It has a few supermarkets including a Coles, and cafes.
There are several post offices in the CBD including one at 246 Flinders Lane a block north of Flinders station. In Port Melbourne, the post office is at 204 Bay St. Offices are typically closed weekends.
The Beacon Cove Food Store and Cafe by the pier has free internet for customers.
Maps (right-click to save)
Free Tram Zone Map
Tram Network Map
Melbourne Weather Forecast