Melbourne Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Melbourne
How safe is Melbourne?
The general travel advice for Melbourne is to remain vigilant. Whilst crime is low in Melbourne, like any popular tourist location, Melbourne experiences peaks of pickpocket-related crime during busy times. Tourist often represent an attractive target for pickpockets. It is advised you keep your valuable personal belongings close to your person and avoid busy public areas if you feel you are at risk of becoming a victim of pickpocketing.
Melbourne is a popular and favoured city amongst many tourists, especially young backpackers seeking temporary work. The city is full of culture and diversity filled with bars, restaurants and many more attractions.
The terrorist risk to the city is relatively low, however tourists are advised that there is a heightened risk to western tourists across the world.
On Friday the 9th of November (at around 16:20 local time), Police were called to an incident in Bourke Street, Melbourne, where an individual was carrying out a knife attack. The individual has since been identified as a Somali man who was shot by Police at the scene.
One person was killed and three persons were injured. There was also a vehicle on fire at the scene.
This is being treated as a terrorist incident. Police have closed off the area and ask that members of the public avoid the area of Bourke Street. More to follow.
On the evening of 5th June 2017, a 29-year-old Somalian, Yacqub Khayre, was shot dead by police following a shooting and a two-hour siege. Khayre had shot a man in the foyer of an apartement block in the beach suburb of Brighton and then took an escort girl hostage
Khayre was shot dead by police when he came out shooting at them, three officers were injured, the hostage escaped without injury. The Islamic State said it had inspired the attack.
2014 saw the worst bushfires to hit Victoria State with devastating effects. Although no one was injured or killed, 20,000 hectares of land was burned with at least 21 houses destroyed. Bush fires are frequent in Melbourne and tourists are advised to familiarise themselves with what to do if caught in a bush fire.
There have been some isolated incidents of lone backpackers being robbed at night in Melbourne. These incidents are not thought to represent a immediate threat to travellers. It is advised to take basic security precautions and avoid travelling alone at night.
It is prohibited to cross tram lines in Melbourne and breaching this could lead to a hefty fine. There are designated crossings along all the lines throughout the city, which you should use. There have been a large number of serious accidents between pedestrians and trams in recent years.
At times the weather in the city can be erratic, quickly changing from one extreme to another. If you are heading out for the day you should ensure you are adequately prepared for all types of weather.
Travelling around Melbourne
If you are planning to rent or drive a car during your stay in Melbourne, you will likely need to purchase a toll pass as there are two toll roads in the city: CityLink from Tullamarine Airport to the city and eastern suburbs or EastLink, which runs from Ringwood to Frankston. You can pay for it after crossing the toll but ensure that it is within 3 days or fines can occur.
Be careful when parking in the city as you will have to pay in most areas and overstaying your ticket can result in hefty parking fines.
There have been some reports of an unreliable bus company that provides services between Melbourne and the airport. Many have faced issues with JetBus not arriving on time or failing to collect arrivals from the airport. Whilst many trips with the company are without issues, you may want to consider an alternative method of transport to/from Melbourne Airport to avoid unnecessary stress or panic.
Melbourne boasts an extremely efficient tram and metro system that makes using public transport simple and easy. During the week, trams run approximately every 10 minutes and only a little less frequently at weekends (15-20 minutes).
The public transport system uses a travel pass system called Myki; this costs $6 to purchase and requires topping up before travel. The cards are touched on and off when entering and leaving the vehicle.
If you travel with your bike and wish to take it on public transport, be aware that only trains will allow them on board.
Emergency services in Melbourne:
Emergency services operator: 000
Currency: Australian dollar
Time now in Melbourne:
Useful websites for visiting Melbourne
Consular information for Melbourne
New Zealand Consulate-General Melbourne:
Street Address Level 4
45 William Street
Telephone: +61 3 9678 0201
British Consulate General Melbourne
90 Collins St
Telephone: +61 3 9652 1600
U.S Consulate Melbourne
553 St Kilda Road
Telephone: +61 3 9526 5900
Healthcare and Immunisations
Some foreign nationals including British, Irish, Kiwi and Italian citizens are entitled to some subsidised treatment if medical care is necessary, as there is a reciprocal healthcare arrangement. This can include things such as free access to public hospitals and subsidised medicines.
It is still advised that all foreign travellers take out insurance as not everyone is covered by the healthcare arrangement. All visitors will have to pay for services such as transportation in an ambulance, which can prove costly.
Both pharmacies and hospitals operate around the clock meaning that medical treatment is always available. Pharmacists will be able to provide you with basic medical advice and medication for minor injuries and illnesses, you should visit this before seeking further medical treatment if it is not urgent.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is a public hospital in the city that is able to provide emergency medical care 24 hours a day. The address for the emergency department is listed below:
300 Grattan Street (corner of Royal Parade)
Telephone: +61 3 9342 7000