Alive and buzzing, Melbourne presents visitors with only one problem: an overwhelming reluctance to go back home. Hailed as the World's Most Livable City by The Economist, Melbourne captivates both visitors who come to work and those who come to play. With 7.5 million domestic visitors and 1.9 million international visitors per year, Melbourne is clearly a popular and gracious host. The city has hosted numerous international events including the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2006 G20 Summit.
Melbourne's main conference facility, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, is located in the heart the city on the banks of the River Yarra, close to the city's 23,000 hotel rooms and well connected to public transportation. The new AU$1.4 billion international convention center, the existing facilities, including two state-of-the art theaters and over 320,000 square feet of floor space, are fully integrated with the new centre to create the best conference facilities in the country. Additionally, the centre will utilize a range of features to achieve a 6 Green Star environmental rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Planners can expect not only the best, but also the most sensible Australian venue when planning a meeting or event in Melbourne.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre finds its home within walking distance of over 17,000 hotel rooms, though this number is set to grow as more and more hotels develop across the city. Recently opened are the 658-room Citadines Melbourne and the 396-room Hilton Melbourne South Wharf; the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, the Grand Hyatt and the Hilton on the Park have recently undergone renovations.
Looking for a really special venue? Melbourne is home to over 40 museums, performing arts facilities and other unique venues available for private functions including the beautiful and historic UNESCO World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building. Drawing inspiration from Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance styles, the Royal Exhibition Building astounds guests with its grand architecture and depth of history.
As Australia's garden state, Melbourne has many outdoor venues as well. Guests will be delighted as they wander the lawns and ornamental fountains of Fitzroy Gardens or the Royal Botanical Gardens. For a venue central to both the physical and spiritual heart of the city, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is pivotal to Melbourne's claim of "World's Ultimate Sports City." With spectacular views of the skyline and elegant event rooms for up to 500 guests, what better way to capture guests' imaginations than a function on such revered and hallowed ground?
Melbourne is constantly updating and revitalizing what it has to offer. Recent major infrastructure projects include the redevelopment of Southern Cross Station, which services Sydney and Adelaide through connections at the city's main train station at Flinders Street, and the AU$434 million upgrade of the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground now features 10 new function spaces, striking views of the city, state-of-the-art audio-visual services and on-site catering by Epicure. Another sports venue, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, which hosts soccer, rugby league and rugby union matches, can seat over 31,000 people.
Another major development is taking place at the Docklands precinct. Encompassing nearly 500 acres, including the Waterfront City, are undergoing an AU$12 billion growth and improvement. Home to state-of-the-art marinas, gourmet restaurants, glitzy bars and a trail of eccentric urban art galleries, the Docklands are Melbourne's largest urban redevelopment project.
Melbourne is an important business, finance and manufacturing center and is also home to Australia's busiest seaport, which handles more than $75 billion in trade every year. Much of Australia's automotive industry is located in Melbourne including Ford, Toyota and Holden, and the headquarters of some of the biggest banks and largest corporations are located in the city including NAB, ANZ, BHP, Rio Tinto and Telstra. Melbourne also has eight universities including the largest in the country, Monash University, which attracts thousands of international students every year.
Located in southeast Australia and nestled against the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is the state capital of Victoria. Often referred to as Australia's sporting, music, cultural and fashion capital, Melbourne is an exciting cosmopolitan city that effortlessly combines a welcoming, laid back atmosphere with a thriving arts, sports and business focus.
Originally founded in 1835 as a pastoral settlement, Melbourne only narrowly avoided the moniker "Batmania," suggested by John Batman, one of the founding settlers. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s caused the city's population to soar, so much so that by 1865, "Marvelous Melbourne" was Australia's largest and most important city, soon followed by the title of richest city in the world by the 1880s.
Open immigration policies after World War II resulted in a flood of immigrants that today create a dynamic and multicultural city home to people from all over the world including Italians, Macedonians, Indians, Sri Lankans, Greeks, Vietnamese, Spaniards and Africans, to name just a few. With a current population of 3.8 million, Melbourne is growing at such a rate that, by current estimates, it will overtake Sydney as Australia's most populous city by 2028.
Bisected by the Yarra River, Melbourne is a charming and exquisite city built on a grid with an extensive tram network radiating from the centre like the spokes of a wheel. Much of Melbourne's construction occurred during the Victorian Age from 1837 to 1901. Although the impressive new skyline is dominated by daring modern skyscrapers such as the Eureka Tower, the city's roots are still apparent in many of the city's buildings, grand boulevards and gardens. Stroll through Fitzroy Gardens, a wonderful example of Victorian era landscape gardening. Stop by the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Town Hall and Parliament House, which are some of the few still-standing buildings from this age.
At first glance, visitors would think the city of Melbourne runs on coffee, and on second glance, they'd realize they are right. Melbournians claim to make the best coffee in Australia, and not only are they fastidious about their caffeine fix, they are also discerning crowd when it comes to food. Eating is serious business in Melbourne, and visitors won't forget the gastronomic experience that awaits them in the city. From Chinatown on Little Bourke Street, with its incredible selection of mouthwatering Cantonese cuisine such as that of the Flower Drum, to Lygon Street in the Italian influenced suburb of Carlton, Melbourne's culinary offerings do not disappoint.
After dark, this spirited city really heats up. Join the locals for a cocktail at a hot nightspot such as the famous science lab-themed Croft Institute, or sink into a sofa to be entertained at the Butterfly Cabaret Club. From art and music to sport and leisure, Melbourne is a passionate city, driven by an unstoppable vitality that lives up to and exceeds expectations. It's a guarantee: visitors will love this city.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
With a moderate oceanic climate, Melbourne is known for its unpredictable weather conditions. Due to its flat topography, its location on Port Philip Bay and the city's proximity to the Dandenong Ranges, weather systems often circle the bay. Summers in Melbourne are relatively hot and dry. December, January and February are the hottest months with an average temperature range of 26°C to 30°C. Summer heatwaves are relatively common, though humidity is generally low. Spring and autumn are pleasant with long periods of mild weather, clear skies and a daytime temperature range of 8°C to 19°C. July is the coldest month with an average temperature of -12°C.
Though frosts and fog are common in the winter months of June, July and August, snowfall is rare. Rainfall is evenly spread throughout the year, although October is usually the wettest month and mid-January to mid-March tends to be the driest period. The average annual rainfall is 65 cm, seen over an average of 147 days a year. The best time to visit is during autumn or spring when daytime highs are usually mild in the 70s.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Located in the heart of Melbourne, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre spans two sides of the River Yarra. This stunning venue is a jewel in Melbourne's crown, attracting over two million visitors every year including delegates from many international conventions. Thanks to the recent completion of the new Melbourne Convention Centre, the complex is largest combined exhibition and convention venue in the country.
The new Melbourne Convention Centre boasts a 5,000-seat plenary hall, capable of being divided into three halls, one for 2,507 guests and two for 1,508 guests. It also features 32 meeting rooms of various sizes, as well as a grand ballroom for up to 1,800 people.
The Melbourne Convention Centres stunning design, including its glass facade that affords breathtaking views across the River Yarra and city skyline, is not just for looks. It is the only convention facility in the world to hold a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Among its many environmental programs, the Melbourne Convention Centre utilizes displacement ventilation, solar hot water systems, and the use of carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
The Melbourne Exhibition Centre, which spans half a kilometer along the River Yarra, features 30,000 square meters of clear span floor space. Its four movable walls can be placed in 13 different locations, allowing for maximum flexibility in size and space. The Melbourne Exhibition Centre's 20 meeting rooms, various hospitality suites and 493-seat auditorium round out the options for events of all kinds.
Just across the waterfront, the original Melbourne Convention Centre features a number of room options. Spaces include two state-of-the-art theaters, banquet space for up to 2,000 guests, an exhibition area and several meeting rooms.
Designed with conference organizers in mind, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's range of amenities for both organizers and attendees are superb. A convenient location places the venue only 20 minutes from the airport and within walking distance of 17,000 hotel rooms. A new 396-room Hilton hotel and 60,000 square meters of shopping space are also set to be developed nearby as part of the AU$1.4 billion South Wharf project.
In addition to its location, the facility features computer networking to all meeting rooms, theaters and exhibition spaces along with comprehensive and professional audio-visual services. Further services and amenities include in-house catering for any type of function, security services and a total of 1,640 parking spaces.
Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Approximate taxi fare: $42.47 AUD
Located about a 20-minute drive northwest of the city, Melbourne Airport is the city's main international and domestic airport. Often referred to as Tullamarine, the city in which it is located, the airport has two runways and four terminals. Handling over 21 million passengers and 180,500 aircraft movements from 2006 to 2007 has made it the 2nd busiest airport in Australia. Over 450 international flights run every week and 390 flights run daily to major cities in Australia. Melbourne Airport has been ranked as one of the top 5 worldwide airports many times and has been the recipient of accolades including the International Air Transport Association Eagle Award and two national tourism awards.
Not just a travel hub, Melbourne Airport is a shopping and dining experience. Guests can browse over 50 specialty stores providing a huge selection of tax free music, clothes, Australian produce, surf wear, jewelry and much more. Nine restaurants and bars and 12 cafes offer a range of international and local beer selections, coffee, snacks and heavier fare for long layovers. For a fresh pizza and glass of wine, the Fly bar in T3 Departures offers a pleasant retro-style atmosphere.
Recognizing the need to expand, Melbourne Airport started work in January 2008 to upgrade its international terminal. At a total cost of over AU$330 million, the terminal will be expanded over the next five years to include a further 269,000 square feet of space. Works were also undertaken in late 2007 to prepare for the arrival of the Airbus A380, which has been bought by a number of airlines servicing Melbourne.
The airport operates 24 hours a day and is not under curfew like other Australian airports such as that of Sydney. Five parking options operate 24/7 including short-term, multilevel long-term, long-term, business and express lots.
Airline carriers serving Melbourne Airport
Flinders Street Station is both a prominent Melbourne landmark and the main hub for suburban trains. The train network in Melbourne, run by Connex, is mostly electric and has 15 lines serving the 200 stations of the Melbourne region. Within the city, an underground loop travels to and from Parliament, Melbourne Central, Flagstaff and Southern Cross stops.
Trains generally run Monday through Saturday from 5 AM to midnight, making stops every 10 minutes during peak hours, and Sunday from 8 AM to 11 PM. Day, commuter and leisure tickets are available and vary in price based on type and distance.
Melbourne's public transportation system is integrated so as to make the Metcard, the city's automated ticketing system, applicable on all train, tram and bus services in the metropolitan region. Various Metcard types can be purchased, including two-hour, daily and weekly passes. Fare is based on card type and the number of zones travelers visit - either Zone 1, Zone 2 or both.
Two-hour fare is AU$3.50 for Zone 1, AU$2.70 for Zone 2 or AU$5.50 for both. Daily fare is AU$6.50 for Zone 1, AU$4.60 for Zone 2 or AU$10.10 for both. Reduced fares are available for students and seniors. Cards can be purchased online, by phone at various retail outlets or at certain stations.
Yarra Tram's extensive system covers 152 miles of track, with 500 trams and 1,813 stops, making it the largest tram network in the world. Trams service multiple stops in the downtown area as well as inner suburbs including Richmond and St Kilda. Trams run Monday through Saturday from 5 AM to midnight and Sunday from 7 AM to 11 PM. Trams run every six to eight minutes during peak hours and every 12 minutes during off-peak hours.
The City Circle tourist tram is a hop-on, hop-off service that provides visitors with a free mode of transport for getting around downtown to Melbourne's biggest attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House, Princess Theatre and the newly revitalized Docklands precinct. The tram runs every 12 minutes Thursday through Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM and Sunday through Wednesday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Fare is free.
Melbourne's bus network services the same routes as trams as well as a few destinations not serviced by other transportation methods. Almost 300 bus routes run either directly or with train and tram connections to shopping centers, sporting venues, tourist attractions, parks, hospitals and schools. Night buses service nine major routes from the city to Melbourne's outer suburbs. Normal service generally runs from 6 AM to midnight.
The NightRider buses provide transportation to those travelling between the city and the suburbs during the early morning hours. Buses travel from Swanston Street to Bayswater, Belgrave, Craigieburn, Croydon, Lilydale and Dandenong. NightRider buses run every hour Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30 AM.
Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle Bus
The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle is a free bus service that complements the free City Circle Tram. Audio commentary and a brochure provide information on the key attractions that make up the 15 stops made around the edge of the central business district. The service runs daily every 15 minutes between 10 AM and 4 PM. Fare is free.
Rental car companies Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty operate at Melbourne Airport. Rental offices are located on the ground floor of the Short Term Car Park, and information desks are in the Melbourne Airport domestic terminals.
Taxis are numerous in Melbourne so guests should have no difficulty in flagging one down. Fares start at AU$3.20 and increase at a rate of AU$1.53 per kilometer. Guests should expect surcharges for road tolls. Taxi fare for a trip to the city from the airport is about AU$30.
Photo Credit : Melbourne CVB
There are no current promotions in Melbourne, Australia.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.