Why go to Melbourne?
Free trams allow easy exploration of city and laneways lined with quirky venues
During winter, the weather is often cold and rainy
A fun city to discover great dining, small bars, art galleries and boutiques
Melbourne Cruise Port Facilities?
Station Pier located in Port Melbourne is the home of the city's main cruise terminal and is becoming more common as a turnaround port with various cruise lines.
It is also the port for the Spirit of Tasmania, the overnight ferry that sails daily to Devonport, Tasmania.
There are porters to assist on cruise embarkation days and a baggage drop plus Waterfront Welcomers in blue shirts on hand to provide helpful information.
There's comfortable seating in the terminal hall, restrooms, ATMs, a small cafe and gift shop. There are no storage lockers or dedicated free Wi-Fi.
There's a lively atmosphere around Station Pier with cafes, pubs and restaurants within walking distance of the terminal. Head out along the palm-fringed walkways for a seaside stroll or hire a bike and discover the area's charm. For last-minute essentials, Coles Supermarket is located at 203 Bay St Port Melbourne. There are speciality shops in Bay Street and department stores in the city -- just a short taxi or tram ride away.
Good to Know?
Be sure to observe what is called a hook turn at intersections where cars wanting to make a right turn across the tram tracks must move into the far-left lane when entering the intersection and then proceed with the green light of the cross street. Also, watch for the vertical white signal light that gives trams priority at intersections while car traffic may be stopped.
On Foot: Melbourne Greeter Service matches visitors with a local resident and volunteer guide for free two- to four-hour walking orientations; 24 hours' notice is required, and tours leave at 9:30 a.m. from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall.
By Tram: One of Melbourne's famous city tram routes has a terminal at Port Melbourne, a five-minute walk from Station Pier. Myki cards (a debit card that you can replenish as needed) for tram and bus travel need to be purchased before embarking. Melbourne's many trams cover the city and suburbs and, if not, buses and trains are available. The ride from Port Melbourne to the city centre takes 20 minutes, and once there, lots of the best sites are within walking distance. The central district also has a free City Circle tram, route No. 35, which operates daily in both directions every 12 minutes. It makes a large loop along the perimeter, bounded by Flinders, Spring and Latrobe streets and the Harbour Esplanade at Docklands. A complete circuit takes about an hour. These vintage trams provide commentary, are maroon in colour, marked "City Centre" and provide a good overview.
By Taxi: Melbourne taxis can be found in designated spots outside hotels and at the two railways stations -- Flinders Street and Southern Cross. If you see a taxi with the rooftop light illuminated, it's empty, and you can hail it from the street. Taxis are metered, and drivers do not expect a tip, though sometimes rounding up the fare to the next dollar is appropriate. Surcharges only apply between midnight and 5 a.m. A ride to the central business district from the cruise terminal at Station Pier will cost about $20. To and from the airport, it will be about $60. Ubers are also available.
By Train: For trips into the suburbs and outlying cities, trains leave from Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station, both located in the city centre. Flinders Street Station, completed in 1911, is a fabulous mustard-coloured pile of Edwardian Baroque architecture, decorated with arches, domes and a clock tower facing Federation Square. Southern Cross, with its soaring train shed, handles the V-Line country trains, long-distance trains and coaches, and the Skybus to and from the airport.
By Bus: The red Skybus links Melbourne's airport (international and domestic terminals) with Southern Cross Station every 10 to 15 minutes, and the journey takes about a half hour. A free shuttle links most hotels with the Skybus at Southern Cross Station. For information on public transportation by train, tram or bus, visit ptv.vic.gov.au/.