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Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

Singapore, Singapore
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Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

I will be going to Australia on end April - mid May. Will be staying at Melbourne at the start of the trip for 3 days and at the end for about 4 1/2 days). Will be going to Tassie and Sydney in between.

Will be staying with relatives in Cairnlea. So I want to check how long is the trip to town from that area? And what time is the first and last train?

As I will be getting a sim card for my iphone 4s (require micro sim card), which service provider is better? I will need pre paid sim card with data cause I will need to surf for maps, etc. Have to find service provider that has good coverage to use in Tassie too.

Basically I like photography, so like to visit those places that can take nice photos. So far plan to visit twelve apostles (somewhere around the end of my trip), brighton beach, st kilda for the weekend market, and eureka skydeck. Is it very crowded to visit eureka skydeck around sunset time on a weekeday?

Can anyone suggest other places to go?

I was looking at puffing billy, is it worth to visit and is it difficult if I go there by public transport? My relatives are quite old so most of the time I will be out on my own using public transport. I also cancel my hot air balloon trip because of this matter.

Looking forward for the answers

Thanks :)

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

In terms of staying in Cairnlea, there isn't a train station in Cairnlea but Ginifer station is not too far away depending on what part of Cairnlea you are in. It's probably about 5 minutes on the bus or you could get your relatives to drop you off at Ginifer station. From Ginifer to the City on the train is just under 30 minutes. Trains run on the Watergardens/Sydenham line all day from about 5am to midnight (Mon-Sat) 7am on Sunday, although this is probably not the safest train line in Melbourne so i wouldn't really recommend tourists travel on it alone too late at night and try to avoid openly showing you are a tourist eg. dont carry your camera around your neck, put it in a backpack or something. Be especially careful around Sunshine train station.

L H
Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

In terms if SIM card, you can buy an Amaysim one when you arrive in Australia. The website provides useful information on where to buy one - post office, supermarket, 7 eleven etc. They use Optus network which is second largest telco company in Australia and good coverage across the country so you should be fine in Tasmania (unless you go to a very small town in the middle of nowhere). SIM card also allows you to recharge online or at number of places. I've just looked into this for a friend who is visiting from overseas and it seems to have the cheapest phone call and data charges.

http://www.amaysim.com.au/

In terms of iPhone apps - download Tramtracker and Metlink apps. These are Melbourne public transport apps. Tramtracker is particularly good when you're around the city and using the trams. Metlink provides buses/trams/train info

You may also want to download Whereis app - very similar to googlemaps and provides same info but there's more Australian specific details.

Melbourne also has a bike schemewhere you can pick up a bicycle at one location and then drop if off at another location. Very convenient and can be a nice ride if you're in the city and want to ride along the river

http://www.melbournebikeshare.com.au/

Other good places to visit in Melbourne:

Melbourne Botanical Gardens or Fitzroy Gardens

Federation Square (it divides opinions on whether architecture is good/bad)

Sydney/Melbourne
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3. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

Be careful with Melbourne bike share. It's designed as an alternative form of public transport. As such, hires of an hour or less are cheap but it gets quite expensive if you take it out for a few hours. Also, you will need to purchase a bike helmet as they are mandatory here.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

I have to echo rognrikki's post about being careful around Sunshine train station and not showing you're a tourist. I would be careful anywhere on that train line, and I would not for a moment let my guard down at any time of day or night. I would certainly feel a lot safer in Singapore, so just be wary and perhaps sit in the front carriage on the train. Cairnlea is a newer area, but is in the Western suburbs of Melbourne, which are not as well served by public transport as they should be.

Puffing Billy is a well-known Melbourne icon, and is a picturesque and fun trip. You should allow at least half a day, and it is easy to get there by just catching a train to Belgrave, then walking through the town to the separate Puffing Billy station where you buy your tickets etc. It may be quite cold up in that part of Melbourne at the time you are planning to go, so make sure you take some jumpers/sweaters and a raincoat just in case, and be sure to familiarise yourself with the timetables as there are only 3-4 departures per day.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

Hi all, thanks for the answers. Just found out from my aunt that the nearest station is Albion, I think it is the same line with Ginifer.

Will take a look at the website for the sim card and the suggestion on the apps is very useful. Thanks to L H.

I think the sharebike can be useful as I won't use it the whole day :)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines
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6. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

The websites for train times are www.metrotrains.com.au or www.ptv.vic.gov.au The last train from Albion to Flinders Street is just prior to 2330 on a weeknight but slightly after that time on Saturday and Sunday nights. There is a Nightrider bus for the same fare (Metcards and myki accepted) on saturday and Sunday early mornings (i.e. 'Friday and Saturday night continuations).

The PTV site has a Journey Planner.

Stock up on Metcards from one of the Metro booking offices at either Sunshine or Southern Cross station (among other choices) as this will avid having to waste $6 (non refundable) on a myki smartcard (the latter ticketing system is being phased in). You can buy Sunday Saver 2 Zone all day Metcards and a range of other types such as Zone 1 plus 2 daily or two hour tickets for use on Mondays to Saturdays. The PTV website has the full range of Metcards.

Edited: 15 April 2012, 11:20
Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

Oh so they still have Met cards? I heard now changing to myki. I have a question, is myki works the same like ezlink in Singapore? What we do is we purchase the card with deposit inside then top it up.

My reason of asking because there are possibilities of me coming back to Melbourne, so if myki works like SIngapore ezlink, then it will be easier for me since I don't have to buy the card everytime I am at Melbourne.

Melbourne
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for Melbourne
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8. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

Yes Sandarwis it does. Buy the card, put money on it and then travel. The one big difference between MYKI and EZLINK and other transport ticketing systems is that your system works!

Melbourne
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9. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

If you are in the city, head down Brunswick street Fitzroy for a look at the great cafes, quirky shops, bars etc

10. Re: Need some advice. Visiting Melbourne in April-May

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