Melbourne

Eat, drink and experience your way through Australia’s culture capital.

Known for its live music, incredible arts scene, inspired restaurant culture, and secret laneways, Melbourne’s an Aussie hospitality hub with a quirky personality.

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The city’s skyline tells the story of the variety that lies beneath it, where gritty industrial buildings give way to lush public parks at almost every turn. You’ll be awestruck by the sheer quality of street and civic art on display too.

Culinary enthusiasts are sure to have their minds blown here.

Culinary enthusiasts are sure to have their minds blown here. International diners and chefs are drawn in by the experimental dining scene, while food trucks such as The Snag Society and Mama Van keep the locals munching on both classic Aussie and international barbecue options.

Spend a few minutes in this style capital and you’ll have your phone out, snapping photos of passing fashionistas for your newly-founded street style blog. A sea of black clothing is punctuated by fun, frivolous touches, evident in Melbourne’s many independent labels and boutiques. Curated stores like Smith Street’s Somebuddy Loves You will give you a fix of curated Australian and Kiwi designer wear, but you still have all the well known international stores if the local stuff isn’t cutting it.

Surrounded by beaches, edged by forests and mountains and brimming with creative energy, Melbourne is a city waiting to be discovered – so why not get started now?

Essential information

Best time to go

From December till March the city hums with summer activities, from cricket tests to the Australian Tennis Open. Days can be blazingly hot when a big high settles over the region. Autumn is a great time to hit town and check out the galleries, shops and restaurants. Don’t forget the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops Australia – on the first Tuesday in November.

How much will it cost

It’s a world-class city, with prices to match, so why not undo the purse strings and live a little? But not everything comes with a hefty price tag. A hop-on, hop-off city sightseeing bus, valid for 24 hours, is around 20 bucks. The City Circle Tram is free, complete with commentary.

Health

New Zealand has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, meaning New Zealanders are entitled to some subsidised health services. This covers free treatment as a public in-patient or out-patient in a public hospital. Regardless of this, comprehensive travel insurance cover is a good idea. Vaccinations are not generally required for travel to Melbourne.

Visas

New Zealand citizens can enter Australia without needing to apply for a visa. When you arrive in Australia you will be issued with a Special Category Visa (SCV), which is electronically assigned to your New Zealand passport. This entitles you to stay in Australia for as long as you need to. Note that foreign citizens who are New Zealand permanent residents cannot get an SCV – they may need to apply for a visa applicable to the passport they are travelling on.