By basing yourself in the city centre, you can get to many Melbourne attractions easily. Make your way around and tick off all of those desired locations. Wander around the local museum, check out the restaurant your friend recommended, see if the best bar in town really is that great.
The grid layout of the central city makes it easy to navigate your way on foot, with car rentals, trains, tram, buses and bikes other top options.
Driving your own car
Driving around Melbourne is wonderfully simple, making a self-drive holiday accessible and a great option. The city has wide thoroughfares and a simple grid plan with easy to read signs dotted throughout. The major freeways, the West Gate, the Monash and the Tullamarine and are linked by the non-stop expressway known as CityLink.
You're sure to already be familiar with all of the road rules – drive on the left-hand side of the road, wear your seatbelt, have your licence on you all the time. The one road rule that is specific to Melbourne is the hook turn. If it's necessary to make a hook turn, it'll be clearly marked. Wait in the far left-hand side of the road having moved up as far as possible. When the lights turn orange and there is no oncoming traffic, make a wide turn to the right. This rule was created to ensure trams have a clear path through intersections.
It's good to know that you will be sharing the road with trams, and need to take care. They stop often to let passengers off and on and in your car you must always stop behind them and wait.
When you're visiting Melbourne from a distant shore, your driver's licence will be fine for three months, as long as it has your photo and is for the same class of vehicle you're driving.
Parking is not a problem when you're in Melbourne. There are thousands of parking metres and lots. When you're using a parking metre, it pays to add a few extra coins as opposed to cutting it close – you'll have to pay a fine if the metre runs out of time and you're not back in your car. Some parking lots offer special savings for those who are heading off to a movie or hitting the shops, so keep an eye out for these!
Taking public transport
A myki smartcard will make it easy to get around via train, tram and bus. You can top up your card anywhere you see the sign, including convenience and retail stores, and simply swipe it when you hop on board. You'll be charged per zone travelled.
Taking a ferry could be a nice moment away from the busy city. As well as being a great mode of transport, it is a fun holiday activity in its own right. See the shoreline and breathe the fresh sea air as you make your way to the areas surrounding the hubbub of the CBD.
Ferries and water taxis run along the Yarra River and the Maribyrnong River. You can stop in at any of the hot spots, from the Southgate to Federation Wharf.
For a more scenic ride, take the ferry from Southbank all the way to Williamstown. At this end there is a lovely beach where you can spend a relaxing day.
If you've rented a car in Melbourne, you can take it along with you for the 40 minute ferry ride from Sorrento to Queenscliff. On this service, you'll see the stunning coast of the region and might even see dolphins and whales along the way!