Knowing how to make a phone call, post a letter or buy a newspaper is important in any city. The following is a basic guide to day-to-day services and facilities in Melbourne. Airport connections / 'Skybus' shuttle
Melbourne Airport is about 22 kilometres from the central business district. Skybuses travel 24 hours a day to and from the airport to Southern Cross Station. They also pick up and drop off at city hotels. Between 6.30am and 6.30pm, buses leave every 15 minutes. The journey takes about 25 minutes. Please refer to the Skybus website for current pricing. To book, phone 9670 7992.
Taxi fares between the city and the airport are about $50. There are no train or tram links.Cruise ship connections
Cruise ships arrive at Port Melbourne's Station Pier, 5.5 kilometres from the central city. The easiest way to get from your ship at Station Pier to the city centre is by tram, using a Myki card. Follow these easy steps to take the tram into the city:
- Pre-purchase a Myki from the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) counter on the upper level foyer of the international terminal.
- Board the Route 109 (Box Hill) tram at the stop located at the end of the pier.
- Validate your ticket by touching your Myki on one of the green Myki readers on board the tram.
Trams normally run 5am to midnight, Monday to Thursday, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights. For timetables, visit the PTV website.Telephone
Local calls from public telephones in Australia cost a fixed 50 cents, regardless of the time spent on the call. Calls to interstate, international and mobile numbers are charged by time. Most public telephones accept coins and Telstra pre-paid phone cards, which can be purchased in post offices, newsagents, gift shops and other outlets. They can be used for local, interstate and international calls. Pre-paid cards are also produced by a range of other companies, offering competitive rates within Australia and overseas.
All payphones can call emergency services (000) without payment.Important numbers
Directory assistance 1223 International calls
Emergency services 000
Reverse-charge calls 12550
To phone out of Australia, dial the international access code 0011 and then the country code (Japan's, for example, is 81), followed by the relevant area code and the local number. For international directory assistance, phone 1225. Banks and currency exchange outlets
Banks are open Monday to Thursday from 9.30am to 4pm, and Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, although some branches in the central city are open longer hours. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are found throughout the city, and give cash advances on credit cards. Foreign currency and travellers' cheques can be exchanged at banks or dedicated exchanges such as Thomas Cook, American Express, Travelex and the Change Group.Post
The city's main post office, operated by Australia Post, can be found at 250 Elizabeth Street, on the corner of Little Bourke Street. It is open weekdays 8.30am to 5.30pm and Saturdays, 9am to 5pm. Closed Sundays.
Other Post Offices are located at: 246 Flinders Lane (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), 440 Collins Street (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), 111 Bourke Street (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5.30pm), 210 Lonsdale Street (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).Shopping hours
In the city centre, shops are generally open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm, extending to 9pm on Fridays. On Sunday, many city retailers are open 10am to 5pm.Internet access and wi-fi hotspots
There are a number of internet cafes in the city centre. Telstra provides wireless internet coverage across much of the central business district, and hotspots can also be found in various locations, including Federation Square, 2 Swanston Street; Collins Place, 45 Collins Street; Level 3, Melbourne Central; and the State Library, 328 Swanston Street.
For a full list of locations, view internet access, or visit the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square. Photography
Many photographic stores are located along Elizabeth Street between Little Bourke and Lonsdale streets. You can have your camera repaired, buy new memory cards and have images processed along this strip. View more photographic stores.Tipping
Tipping is not a custom in Australia, and is not expected. If you receive good service, however, you may choose to tip at cafes or restaurants; 10% of the bill would be reasonable. In taxis, you may also choose to round up the payment according to service received.Laundry
Melbourne City Dry Cleaners has a self-service laundry and dry cleaning operation at 244 Russell Street, and is open Monday to Friday 7am to 8.30pm, and Saturday 9am to 8.30pm. Closed Sunday.
There are other self-service laundries located in inner suburbs such as Carlton and North Melbourne.
In East Melbourne, you will find Bayside Dry Cleaners at 140 Wellington Parade. Open Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 6pm, and Saturday, 9am to noon.