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Melbourne - Listings

 
 
Airlines (domestic) Air New Zealand (tel 13 2476); Ansett (tel 13 1300); Qantas (tel 13 1313); Virgin Blue (tel 13 6789).

 

Airlines (international) Alitalia (tel 1300/653 747, fax 03/9602 3802); British Airways (tel 03/9603 1133, fax 9258 3251); Canadian Airlines (tel 1300/655 767, fax 03/9602 2041); Garuda Indonesia (tel 1300/365 330, fax 03/9650 1731); Japan Airlines (tel 03/9654 2733, fax 9650 6820); KLM (tel 03/9654 5222 or free call 1800 500 747, fax 9650 6771); Lauda Air (free call tel 1800 642 438, fax 03/9602 2331); Malaysia Airlines (tel 13 2627, fax 02/9650 9296); Olympic (tel 03/9629 5022, fax 9629 2220); Qantas (tel 13 1313); Singapore Airlines (tel 13 1011, fax 02/9350 0262); Thai International (tel 1300/651 960, fax 03/9650 7003); United (tel 13 1777, fax 02/9292 4551).

Airport bus Skybus (tel 03/9662 9275) departs roughly every 30min from bay 30 at Spencer Street Bus Terminal.

American Express , 233-239 Collins St (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-noon).

Banks and foreign exchange All major banks can be found on Collins St. Standard banking hours are generally Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm (Fri until 5pm), although some branches of the Bank of Melbourne, including the one at 142 Elizabeth St, are open on Saturday (9am-noon). Most banks have 24-hour automatic teller machines (ATMs), which accept a variety of cash, credit and debit cards. Thomas Cook is at 257 Collins St (Mon-Fri 8.45am-5.15pm, Sat 9am-5pm); other branches are at 330 Collins St and 261 Bourke St. The Thomas Cook desks at the international and domestic terminals of Tullamarine Airport are open 24hr.

Bike rental Hire a Bicycle, a stall at Princes Bridge (tel 03/9758 7811 or 019 429 000; weather permitting Mon-Fri from 11am, Sat & Sun from 10am) has basic bicycles, geared bikes, mountain bikes and tandems; prices for 1hr range from $8 for a standard bike to $11 for a geared bike, and helmets, locks, maps and backpacks are provided. You can also rent bikes at Fitzroy Cycles Bike Hire, 224 Swanston St, near Little Bourke St (tel 03/9419 4397; full day $35). In St Kilda, try the helpful, long-established St Kilda Cycles, 11 Carlisle St (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm; tel 03/9534 3074; full day $20), or the stand next to the cycle path near St Kilda Pier, which rents out bicycles on weekends, and daily during the summer holidays.

Buses Buy last-minute tickets at the bus company offices in the Spencer Street and Franklin Street terminals (V/Line reservations daily 7am-9pm; tel 13 6196, www.vlinepassenger.com.au ). Operators include Greyhound Pioneer (tel 13 2030; Franklin St terminal reservation desk daily 6.30am-10.30pm; tel 03/9663 3299); McCafferty's, Spencer St Coach Terminal (tel 13 1499, reservations daily 5am-11.30pm); Firefly, Spencer St Coach Terminal (tel 03/9670 7500, reservations daily 7am-8.30pm). For advance bookings, it's easier to go to the Bus Booking Centre (BBC), 24 Grey St, St Kilda (Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, tel 03/9534 2003), or Backpackers Travel Centre, Shop 1, 250 Flinders St (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm; tel 03/9654 8477). They will shop around for you to find the cheapest deals, and they also sell bus passes, and make bookings for tours around Melbourne and one-way to Sydney or Adelaide. City bus information is available from the Met Transport Information Centre (tel 13 1638).

Car rental Avis, 20 Franklin St (tel 03/9663 6366); Budget, 398 Elizabeth St (tel 13 2727); Delta, cnr Franklin and Elizabeth streets (tel 03/9600 9025 or 13 1390); Hertz, 97 Franklin St (tel 03/9663 6244 or 13 3039); National, cnr Queensberry and Peel streets (tel 03/9329 5000); Thrifty, 390 Elizabeth St (tel 03/9663 5200); all do one-way rentals, subject to availability. Used-car companies with cheaper rates include Rent-A-Bomb, 507 Bridge Rd, Richmond (tel 03/9428 0088); and Ugly Duckling, 197 Inkerman St, St Kilda (tel 03/9525 4010). Campervans are available from Britz Australia (tel 03/9483 1888); Koala Campervan Rentals (tel 03/9415 8140); and NQ Australia Campervan Rentals (free call 1800/079 529).

Consulates Canada, 1st Floor, 123 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East (tel 03/9811 9999); France, 492 St Kilda Rd (tel 03/9820 0921); Germany, 480 Punt Rd, South Yarra (tel 03/9828 6888); Italy, 509 St Kilda Rd (tel 03/9867 5744); Norway, Suite 2, 416 High St, Kew (tel 03/9853 3122); Sweden, 61 Riggall St, Broadmeadows (tel 03/9301 1888); Switzerland, 420 St Kilda Rd (tel 03/9867 2266); Thailand, 277 Flinders Lane (tel 03/9650 1714); UK, 17th Floor, 90 Collins St (tel 03/9650 4155); USA, 553 St Kilda Rd (tel 03/9526 5900).

Disabled travellers Disability Information Victoria, 454 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong (tel 1300/650 865); Paraquad Victoria, 208 Wellington St, Collingwood (tel 03/9415 1200, www.paraquad.asn.au ). Assistance is available at metropolitan, suburban, country and interstate stations, while relevant information for people with disabilities can be obtained by calling the Met Transport Information Centre (tel 13 1638). Buses are progressively being replaced with low-floor wheelchair accessible models; however passengers in wheelchairs still need to contact local bus operators for information. The Melbourne City Council produces a free mobility map of the CBD showing accessible routes and toilets in the city centre, available from the front desk of the Melbourne Town Hall. For wheelchair-accessible taxis, call Central Booking Service (tel 1300/364 050).

Diving Underwater Victoria - Dive Industry Victoria Association (free call 1800 816 151, inquires@diva.asn.au ) has a list of members in the Greater Melbourne area who hire equipment, organize diving trips and offer dive courses.

Emergency Dial 000 for fire, police or ambulance.

Employment Backpackers Resource Centre, at Hotel Bakpak (tel 03/9329 7525, fax 9326 7667, www.bakpak.com ). Traveller's Contact Point on the ground floor of 29-31 Somerset Place, a lane off Little Bourke St between Elizabeth and Queen streets (tel 03/9642 2911; Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.15pm, Sat 10am-4pm).

Environment and conservation Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers (tel 03/9686 5554); NRE Information Centre, 8 Nicholson St, East Melbourne, run by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; tel 03/9637 8080); Parks Victoria (telephone information service tel 13 1963); Wilderness Society Shop, 247 Flinders Lane (tel 03/9639 5455). The Victoria Visitor Information Centre at the Town Hall also has a range of brochures on national parks.

Ferries If you're heading for Tasmania on the Bass Strait there's a choice between Spirit of Tasmania (3 per week; 14hr 30min; $131 one-way) and Devil Cat (during peak season & Dec 21-January 28, 3 per week; 6hr; $175 one-way); reservations for both tel 13 2010. To get to Station Pier in Port Melbourne take the #109 tram from Collins St in the city. The airport bus Skybus also runs to the pier.

Flat-hunting and sharing Check the Saturday edition of The Age , as well as the notice boards of hostels, cafés along Brunswick St in Fitzroy, the Galleon Café at 9 Carlisle St, St Kilda, and Readings bookshop, 309 Lygon St, Carlton.

Hospitals and medical centres Alfred Hospital, Commercial Rd, Prahran (tel 03/9276 2000); Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Rd, Parkville (tel 03/9345 5522); Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan St, Parkville (tel 03/9342 7000); and St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria Parade, Fitzroy (tel 03/9807 2211). For vaccinations, anti-malaria tablets and first-aid kits contact the Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre (TMVC), 2nd Floor, 393 Little Bourke St (tel 03/9602 5788, www.tmvc.com.au ).

Internet access Some backpacker hostels have internet access for reading email, and some even have an internet café for surfing, such as Backpackers World at Hotel Bakpak (daily 8am-9pm; about $3 for 30min, $5 per hour). Traveller's Contact Point provides internet access among many other services including mail forwarding, voicemail, luggage storage and travel bookings. There are plenty of cybercafés throughout Melbourne. Most charge around $6-10 per hour online and there's usually an extra charge for printing out emails (around 25˘ for a laser printout). Cafe Wired , 363 Clarendon St, South Melbourne (tel 03/9686 9911) has internet and computer-related services (Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat noon-6pm); Outlook Internet Café & Cyber Lounge , 196 Commercial Rd, Prahran (tel 03/9521 4227) is a good café opposite Prahran Market, that also offers services such as scanning and photocopying (Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat & Sun 10am-6pm).

Laundries Most hostels and hotels have their own laundry. Commercial laundries include City Edge Laundrette, 39 Errol St, North Melbourne (daily 6am-11pm); The Soap Opera Laundry & Cafe , 128 Bridport St, Albert Park (Mon-Fri 7.30am-9.30pm, Sat & Sun 8am-9pm), and Blessington Street Launderette, 22 Blessington St, St Kilda (daily 7.30am-9pm).

Left luggage Spencer Street Station has lockers (daily 6am-10pm; $2; emptied nightly); luggage can be left overnight at the cloakroom ($3.50 per item). Flinders Street Station has lockers (8am-8pm; $2). The lockers at the Melbourne Transit Centre on Franklin St are accessible 24hr ($6-10). Travellers Contact Point also stores luggage.

Library The General Reference and Information Centre at the State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, keeps popular Australian and overseas magazines; the Newspaper Room has foreign papers (Mon-Thurs 10am-9pm, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm).

Motorbikes The northern end of Elizabeth St in the city centre has a string of motorbike shops. Garner's Motorcycles, 179 Peel St, North Melbourne (tel 03/9326 7326), and Victorian Motorcycles, 606 High St, East Kew (tel 03/9817 3206), do rentals and may sell secondhand machines with buy-back deals.

Newspapers Melbourne's The Age is one of Australia's better papers; the pulpy Sun-Herald is the city's only other daily. Foreign newspapers can be perused at the State Library or bought from McGill's Newsagency, 187 Elizabeth St.

Pharmacies Henry Francis Chemists, 286 Little Bourke St, next to Myer department store (Mon-Wed 9am-5.45pm, Thurs 9am-6.30pm, Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm); Leonard Long, cnr of Williams Rd and High St, Prahran (daily 9am-midnight); Mulqueeny's Pharmacy, cnr Swanston and Collins streets, opposite the Town Hall (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm).

Police Melbourne City Police Station, 637 Flinders St; tel 03/9247 5347; for emergency dial 000.

Post office The General Post Office at the cnr of Bourke and Elizabeth streets is set to become a hotel. At the time of writing, the new GPO retail shop is moving to 250 Elizabeth St (Mon-Fri 8.15am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-3pm (including the poste restante counter). Other post offices are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. For voicemail and mail forwarding, contact Travellers Contact Point.

RACV The two RACV outlets in the city are at 360 Bourke St (cnr of Elizabeth St) and 123 Queen St; they have good maps on Melbourne, Victoria and the rest of Australia (free for RACV members and members of affiliated overseas motoring associations; www.racv.com.au ). They also book accommodation listed in their guides and package holidays; members get special rates.

Rape and sexual assault CASA House (Centre Against Sexual Assault), 270 Cardigan St, Carlton (tel 03/9344 2210, after hours tel 03/9349 1766, free call 1800 806 292), provides medical care, support and counselling.

Skiing Skiman, 295 Clarendon St (tel 03/9696 4955), and AUSKI Ski Hiring & Information Centre, 9-11 Hardware Lane (tel 03/9670 1412), can advise on skiing conditions at Baw Baw, Buffalo, Mount Hotham, Buller, Falls Creek and at Thredbo in NSW.

Swimming pools City Baths, in a Victorian red-brick building on the cnr of Swanston and Franklin streets (Mon-Fri 6am-10pm, Sat & Sun 8am-6pm; $3.30 for a swim plus $4.40 for use of sauna and spa; tel 03/9663 5888), has a 30-metre heated indoor pool for swimming, plus a pool for water-aerobics and a gym. In the state-of-the-art Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, Aughtie Drive, off Albert Park Rd in Albert Park there's a choice between a wave pool, a 50-metre pool, a dive pool, a 25-metre lap pool and a 20-metre multipurpose pool; there are also 10 squash courts (Mon-Fri 6-10pm, 50-metre pool Mon-Fri 5.30-8pm, Sat & Sun 7am-8pm; admission $4.90; tel 03/9926 1555). Take tram #96 from Bourke St in the city.

Taxis Taxi rank on Swanston St outside Flinders Street Station, and plenty to flag down. Call Black Cabs Combined (tel 13 2227); Embassy Taxis (tel 13 1755); or Silver Top (tel 13 1008).

Telephones Melbourne is well stocked with public telephones. Some backpacker hostels and shops in the city sell discount phonecards (such as Phoneaway, Unidial, EZI Great Rate Card, One Card and AAPT) which can be used in any payphone for cheap international calls. The official Telstra rate for a call from a public phone to the UK is $2 per minute Mon-Fri, $1.20 Sat & Sun. With one of the phonecards mentioned above, expect to pay about 39-55˘ per minute, plus a small connecting fee (less than $1).

Trains Spencer Street Station has a staffed information desk where you can get hold of all V/Line train (and bus) timetables; buy your ticket at the V/Line Travel Centre opposite or on 13 6196 (6am-midnight). If you're travelling with a bicycle, come at least thirty minutes earlier to book it on the train. Suburban train information is available from the Met Transport Information Centre.

Travel agents Backpackers Travel Centre, Shop 19, Centre Place, 258 Flinders Lane (tel 03/9654 8477, info@backpackerstravel.net.au ); Flight Centre, 19 Bourke St, 53 Elizabeth St and many other branches (tel 13 1600); STA Travel, 273 Little Collins St, 142 Acland St, St Kilda, and other branches (book and pay over the phone 1300/360 960; or for nearest branch tel 13 1776); Student Uni Travel, Shop 4, 440 Elizabeth St (tel 03/9662 4666); YHA Travel, 83 Hardware Lane (tel 03/9670 9611).

Travellers aid centres Lower ground floor, Spencer Street Station (Mon-Fri 7.30am-7.30pm, Sat & Sun 7.30am-11.30am; tel 03/9670 2873), and 2nd Floor, 169 Swanston St (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat & Sun 11am-4pm; tel 03/9654 2600): both provide nappy-changing facilities, showers (for a fee), toilets, lounge rooms, wheelchairs for rent, assistance for disabled and frail persons, and information. There are also tearooms and lockers ($1) at the Swanston St centre.

Women Queen Victoria's Women's Centre Trust, is in the former Queen Victoria Women's Hospital at Level 1, 210 Lonsdale St (tel 03/9663 8799). The beautifully restored, 1890s building houses a Women's Health Library, an Aboriginal Resource Centre, an art gallery, seminar rooms as well as a café and restaurant. Services include classes and seminars, professional consulting (on topics such as health and finance) and notice boards (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm). The Women's Information and Referral Service (WIRE; Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm; tel 1300/134 130) is a telephone information service run by women for women.

 
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