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Planning your trip

Planning

Melbourne international airport is open 24 hours a day and has flights from many overseas destinations.
The most common are from Dubai, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. The quickest flight will be approx 24 hours however there are options to have a night stoppover in many places.
Booking tickets six months will get you the best prices.
Domestic flights within Australia can be cheap. You may want to fly into one city, do some site seeing and then fly to Melbourne or do it the opposite way.
Note: It is a 9 hour drive from Sydney to Melbourne and you will not see alot on the freeway. It will cost you almost as much in petrol so save your time and take a hour our flight.
Regardless of where you fly from, jet lag will be a factor when you arrive. Consider arriving earlier and having a holiday before the event.

Before leaving Australia
Make sure your passport has atleast six months remaining from the date you will depart Australia.
To enter Australia you will need to complete an online application for a visa that is free and takes just a few minutes. https://www.australia.com/en-gb/facts-and-planning/visa-and-customs/australia-visa-and-entry-requirements-faqs.html
Australia has good internet coverage across the majority of Victoria. Before leaving home check what the conditions on your own phone are when roaming.
It will most likely be cheaper to get an Australian sim. Telstra/Optus/Vodaphone are our major carriers, however Vodaphone coverage outside the suburban area can be poor.
You will find free wifi at many hotels and restaurants, however there will not be free wifi at WPNEC. So if you want to stay online you will need a sim. You can purchase a sim when you arrive at the airport.
When paying you can use your credit or debit card for almost everything. You will not need many Australia dollars. Check with your current card provider what their fees are on overseas transactions as well as the conversion rate. You dont want to pay $2 on every payment. There are many cards now available that provide free international transactions and good conversion rates. Consider getting one of these before you leave.
Organise travel insurance and ensure it covers horse riding. Australia has a good health care system, however as a non resident you will need to pay so ensure you are covered.

Leaving

Before leaving forAustralia

Make sure your passport has atleast six months remaining from the date you will depart Australia.
To enter Australia you will need to complete an online application for a visa that is free and takes just a few minutes. https://www.australia.com/en-gb/facts-and-planning/visa-and-customs/australia-visa-and-entry-requirements-faqs.html
Australia has good internet coverage across the majority of Victoria. Before leaving home check what the conditions on your own phone are when roaming.
It will most likly be cheaper to get an Australian sim. Telstra/Optus/Vodaphone are our major carriers, however Vodaphone coverage outside the suburban area can be poor.
You will find free wire at many hotels and restaurants, however there will not be free wifi at WPNEC. So if you want to stay online you will need a sim. You can purchase a sim when you arrive at the airport.
When paying you can use your credit or debit card for almost everything. You will not need many Australia dollars. Check with your current card provider what their fees are on overseas transactions as well as the conversion rate. You dont want to pay $2 on every payment. There are many cards now available that provide free international transactions and good conversion rates. Consider getting one of these before you leave.
Organise travel insurance and ensure it covers horse riding. Australia has a good health care system, however as a non resident you will need to pay so ensure you are covered.

Arriving

Arriving in Australia

Once you depart the plane you will need to go through immigration where your passport will be checked.
Don't worry if there are queues as most likely your luggage wont have arrived at the carousel.
Once you have picked up your luggage you will need to pass through quarantine.
As an island country, border controls are strict to stop the import of diseases that may effect our native animals and agriculture.
Before you leave the plane you will be provided with a customs card to fill in. Ensure you have taken a pen with you and that it is easily accessible. Ensure to fill it out honestly. There are random bag searches as well as sniffer dogs.
You may not bring most food products into Australia.
You will need to declare that you are carrying horse equipment, including saddle clothes, helmets, riding boots, stirrups. Ensure that all items are either new or have been very well cleaned.
Riding boots may be sprayed with disinfectant and returned to you a plastic bag.
You may be asked to show any of the items, so have them either in your hand luggage or on the top of your suit case.

Travelling

Getting Around

Transport from the airport and Public Transport

Transport from the airport and Public Transport

Taxis depart from immediately in front of the terminal. The meter will have an amount on it when you get in the taxi.
You will then be charged for the distance charged. The approximate cost to the city is $60. To catch a Taxis to WPNEC will cost approx $85.
Taxis are reliable, you will only be charged for what is on the meter and you may pay cash or card. There is no need to tip the driver.
You may catch a dedicated bus from the airport to the city, $19.95 one way or . Tickets for the bus may be purchased just outside the terminal, look for the SkyBus signs. The bus terminates at one location, Southern Cross Railway station. This station has both metro trains and country trains.

The metro network consists of trains, buses and trams. The one ticketing system is used for all three. There are no one trip tickets and you must purchase a travel card before travelling. 
The cards are available at major train stations and 7/11 convenience stores. If you have a phone with NFC then you may also purchase one online and then add it to Google Pay.
You may put money on the card either using the terminals at the major stations or online. see http://ptv.vic.gov.au.
You will pay either $4.60 for two hours or $9.20 for all day. You must touch on when boarding any train, bus or tram. You will only be required to touch off when exiting some of the
city stations.

The train system is layed out like a bike spokes with trains coming into the city from all suburbs, travelling around a small loop and then heading back out to the same location.
The WPNEC is located 8 mins from Werribee Station which is the last station on the metro. A trip from the city to Werribee will last approx 38 minutes.

Depending on the time of day and the day of the week trains will depart from 10 to 30 mins.

Buses and Trams run in many different directions. Trams within the central business district (CBD) are free. You may get on and get off, but look for the signs that say end of travel free zone.
If in the CBD, look for the number 35 tram that just does a circle around the city, it is completely free.




 

Touring

What to see in Melbourne

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the home of cricket and Australian Rules football. You can visit the Australian Sports Museum and do a tour of the massive 100,000 seat stadium. The ground is short walk from Flinders St station. You can see the ground from the station just follow along next to the river until you come to the raised walk way.On your way you will pass Melbourne Park, the home of the Australian Tennis Open. 

 

The shrine of remembrance is a 10 min walk from Flinders St Station. It is directly south on Swanston St. You will see it as soon as you come out of the station. You can catch a tram but enjoy a walk along the boulevard. On the left you will have the royal botanical gardens, and the Governors residents. On the right you will have the Melbourne Concert hall and the National Gallery of Victoria. The shrine was built after the first world war. It has two unique features.Firstly the sides of the walls actually curve in. This provides an illusions that the walls a straight. Secondly, a shaft of line shines onto a stone only at 11 am on the 11 of November.

 

Shopping for Fashion

Bourke St Mall is the center of all shopping. On the mall you will find major department stores. Myers is multiple stories and sells good quality products. You can walk through Myers to the Myer emporium which has 5 floors of shops. Within the CBD you will find many smaller shops. Many will be in small laneways of the larger streets. If you are into the outdoors then visit Hardware Lane. If looking for a place for lunch then find Degraves lane for many small cafes and restaurants.

 

Shopping for the essentials

Woolworths and Coles are national supermarkets that sell fresh food, canned food, bath room products and much more. You will find that alcohol is not sold inside the supermarket.At most supermarkets there will be a shop on the side that you must enter seprately. Dan Murphys is a chain store with a huge range of wine, beer, and spirits and is definitely worth a visit.

 

Shopping for house stuff

Big W, Target and Kmart sell almost everything except food.

 

Shopping for camping and hardware items

Bunnings is a hardware warehouse that sells almost everything. BCF sell everything to do with Boating, Camping and Fishing. Both a located in the Werribee area and are worth a visit if you are into that sort of thing.

 

Shopping for Horse Tack

Horseland is a chain store that stocks most items.  Ascot Saddelery is just near the Flemington race course and stocks a wide range of items.

 

Crown Casino

Whether you are into gambling or not the casino is worth venturing into. The grand entrance is stunning. Children may enter the casino building, just not the gambling areas. There are many restaurants within the casino. The casino is located on the south bank of the river just opposite Flinders St Station. Also along south bank there are many more restaurants. If you continue along south bank you can view the Polly Woodside, a wooden sailing ship from the 1800s. For a small fee you can go onto the boat.

 

Gardens

The CBD is surrounded by gardens in all directions. The Fitzroy garden has many walking paths and in the middle you will find Captain Cooks cottage and the hothouse. On the south side of the river the Royal Botanical Gardens has many unique specimen trees and plants.

 

River Cruise

You may take several river cruises and ferries. One ferry will take you from near Flinders St Station down stream under the massive Bolte and West Gate bridges, past the large ships and to the town of Williamstown. From here you will get a great view of the city and can walk around many small shops and cafes in this small beach side town. Then return to the city by the ferry.

 

Zoos

There are three zoos in Melbourne. The Werribee Park open range zoo, right next to WPNEC, has animals walking around and you can take a tour in a safari vehicle. The Healsville Sanctuary has all the Australian native animals. You can get up close with Kangaroos and Koalas. The Melbourne Zoo is a "general zoo" but has many animals presented in their natural habitat.

 

Neighbours

Whilst the production of new episodes may have finished it is still possible to do a driving tour of the streets of Melbourne were Neighbours was filmed.

 

Eating Out

Melbourne has all of the fast food chains, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks (Burger King), KFC, Red Rooster, Subway. You will also find multiple Fish and Chip shops in every shopping area. But you dont come to Melbourne for the fast food. You will find restaurants everywhere. Some areas around Melbourne will provide restaurants of a specific culture. For example, Lygon St Carlton boasts up to two kilometers of predominately Italian restaurants. Before entering a restaurant walk along the street and check them all out. The owner will be out the front spruking your business. See what they will offer you for free.

 

Horse Racing

The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November and it has a public holiday in its honour. Leading up to this day there are group 1 races at either Flemington or Caulfield race courses almost every weekend. Both are easily accessible by Trains. For a unique experience attend a country race meeting.

 

Alcohol

Australia has very strict rules on the purchasing and serving of Alcohol. Alcohol may not be purchased by any one under 18 and any one who looks under 25 will be asked for identification. It may also not be purchased by a person over 18 for a person under 18.Where a minor is accompanied by an adult they may only consume Alcohol on private property. The WPNEC is public property and Under 18s may not consume alcohol at any time.You may be randomly breath tested on the road at any time. Dont drink and drive.​

Drugs

Heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, speed, cannabis, ketamine, mephedrone and amphetamines are all illegal and their are harsh penalties for being found in possession of these drugs. You may also be tested for drugs whilst driving. 

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