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Alive and buzzing, Melbourne presents visitors with only one problem - an overwhelming reluctance to go back home. Melbourne captivates both visitors who come to work and those who come to play, and has hosted numerous international events including the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and the 2006 G20 Summit.
Visitors to Melbourne can fly into Melbourne Airport or Avalon Airport and from there easily access the city via public transportation. Once within the city, visitors can hop on Melbourne's expansive tram system (the largest in the world), or utilize its public bus and rail systems.
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, and well connected to public transportation. A frequent host of meetings, conventions, exhibitions, concerts, and trade shows, the center features pillarless floor space of nearly 323,000 square feet, making it the largest pillarless floor space in the southern hemisphere. Its Convention Centre features a 5,541-seat Plenary Hall, as well as dozens of meeting rooms of various sizes and a grand banquet room. The center is currently undergoing an expansion project that will bring its total space to more than 754,000 square feet.
Looking for a really special venue? Melbourne is home to over 40 museums, performing arts facilities, and other unique venues available for private functions. 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 Botanic Gardens. Melbourne also features a variety of celebrated restaurants featuring private dining space.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Melbourne's climate can be described as fickle, as visitors can experience a variety of weather conditions in one day, but the city can still be enjoyed year-round. Melbourne summers from December through February are typically dry, while autumn from March through May features cooler temperatures and light breeze. Winter from June through August is cold and cloudy, while spring from September through November features variable conditions and much rainfall. Typically, February features the warmest temperatures of the year, averaging a high of 78⁰F and low of 53⁰F, while July features the coolest temperatures of the year, averaging a high of 59⁰F and average low of 44⁰F.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
Meeting square feet: 323,000
Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Located about a 30-minute drive northwest of the city, Melbourne Airport is the city's main international and domestic airport, as well as Australia's second-busiest airport. Often referred to as Tullamarine, the city in which it is located, the airport spans four terminals. Over 450 international flights run every week and nearly 400 flights run daily to major cities in Australia. Melbourne Airport has been ranked as one of the top five worldwide airports many times and has been the recipient of many accolades, including the International Air Transport Association Eagle Award and two national tourism awards. The airport operates 24 hours a day and is not under curfew like other Australian airports. Passengers can utilize daily SkyBus express service to and from Melbourne, with buses running every 10 minutes. SmartBus also serves the airport and stops at the transport hub at Terminal A.
Avalon Airport (AVV)
Located about 50 miles southwest of Melbourne, Avalon Airport offers flights via Jetstar to and from other Australian destinations, including Sydney, Hobart, and Gold Coast. Passengers can hop aboard the Avalon City Express bus, operated by SkyBus, to transfer to Melbourne CBD and Werribee.
Melbourne's public transportation system is integrated so as to make the MYKI, the city's automated ticketing system, applicable on all train, tram, and bus services in the metropolitan region. Various MYKI types can be purchased. Fare is based on card type and the number of zones travelers visit: either Zone 1, Zone 2 or both. Reduced fares are available for students and seniors. Cards can be purchased online, by phone at various retail outlets, or at certain stations. 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. Normal service generally runs from 6 am to midnight.
Flinders Street Station is both a prominent Melbourne landmark and the main hub for Melbourne's Metro suburban train system. The train network in Melbourne is mostly electric and has 15 lines serving the 200+ stations of the Melbourne region. Trains run daily. Day, commuter, and leisure tickets are available and vary in price based on type and distance.
Yarra Trams operates Melbourne's entire tram network, which, with more than 155 miles of double track, is the largest operating network in the world. Trams stop at more than 1,700 stops within the network, operating along 24 tram routes and the free City Circle tourism tram. Trams operate daily, while night trams operate on Friday and Saturday night. The City Circle tram is a hop-on, hop-off service that transports passengers around the downtown area daily.
Rental car companies represented at Melbourne Airport include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, and Redspot, while rental car companies represented at Avalon Airport include Avis, Budget, Europcar, and Hertz.
Visitors traveling from Melbourne Airport to the city should expect to pay approximately $60 AUD in taxi fare, while those traveling from Avalon Airport to the city should expect to pay approximately $130 AUD in taxi fare.
Photo Credit : Melbourne CVB
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