Information for international visitors

On this page:

Banking and money



Emergency services

Goods and service tax

Health and medical services


Passport and visas


Post offices

Public transport

Telephone assistance

Time zones


Visitor information services

Banking and money

Banks: As a general guide, banks across the city are open for business Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm. Some banks in local shopping centres are also open Saturday and Sunday (with varying opening hours).

Automatic teller machines (ATMs): ATMs are located throughout the city and will recognise cards issued by most banks.

Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted across the city by most outlets.

Currency exchange: Licensed money change services are available at the Melbourne Airport and at numerous bureaux de change located throughout the city. Most banks also offer currency exchange services.

Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100

Coins: 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1 and $2

Pricing: Australian prices occasionally end in a variant of 1¢ or 2¢. Where this occurs, at the cash register the price is rounded to the nearest 5¢.


Victoria's climate is marked by a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry regions of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne has a reputation for its changeable weather, often referred to as having ‘four seasons in one day'. Generally the city enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers; mild, temperate springs and autumns; and cool winters. Temperatures average 25°C in summer and 14°C in winter. Rainfall is highest from May to October.


Mains supply in Australia is 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz with three-pin plugs used across the country. The Australian three-pin electrical socket differs from those found in most countries, and international travellers may require an adaptor socket. Standard outlets for 100-volt small appliances can be found in most hotel rooms.

Adaptors can be bought from the Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre in the Queen Street Mall and from all good travel stores, chemists and department stores.

Emergency services

In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, dial Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000). The Triple Zero service is an operator-assisted service that connects callers to the most relevant emergency service organisation (police, fire brigade or ambulance). Calls to Triple Zero are free and can be made from all telephones (landline, mobile phones and payphones). When you dial Triple Zero services, the most important thing to remember is to stay focused, stay relevant and stay on the line.

Goods and services tax

The goods and services tax (GST) is a broad-based 10 per cent tax included in the shelf price of most Australian goods and services. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows international travellers to claim a GST refund (subject to certain conditions) on some goods purchased in Australia. The refund applies only to items worn or goods taken on board as hand luggage when leaving the country.

Health and medical services

Australia has a high-standard healthcare system offering a mix of public and private services. Several public hospitals with accident, emergency and outpatient services are located close to inner-city Brisbane, while private medical practitioners can be easily located through the Yellow Pages website or telephone book. By international standards, Australian health services are not overly expensive, and many international travellers will find their country has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia. As a general guide, these agreements provide for any ill-health episode requiring prompt medical attention. Comprehensive travel insurance is always recommended.


English is the official language of Australia but many foreign languages are used by minorities in local communities, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Chinese dialects. Translation and interpreter services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling 13 14 50.

Passport and visas

All international travellers must present a valid and approved travel document (generally a passport) as evidence of their identity and nationality to allow entry into Australia. In addition, all international travellers (with the exception of most New Zealand passport holders) must also obtain a valid visa before travelling to Australia.

As a general guide, travellers are encouraged to apply for their Australian visa well in advance of their planned departure date.

Find the right visa for you here

eVisitor visa

Passport holders from certain countries can apply for a visa online through the Australian Government’s eVisitor system. The eVisitor allows visitors to travel to Australia for short-term business or tourism purposes for up to three months. eVisitor applications are free.

Find out more about the eVisitor visa here

Electronic Travel Authority

Passport holders from a range of other countries (including the US) can apply for a visa online through the Australian Government’s Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) system. Alternatively, passport holders outside of Australia can apply for ETA through a travel agent, airline office, specialist service provider or Australian visa office. The ETA allows people to visit Australia for short-term tourism or business purposes of up to three months. An ETA is available to passport holders from more than 30 countries, regions and locations.

Find out more about the ETA here

Note: The eVisitor and ETA systems provide the electronic equivalent of a visa for the short-term traveller, replacing the traditional passport visa label or stamp. Most applications are processed within a day.

For conference organisers and delegates, specialised visa advice is available through the Australian Government’s International Event Coordinator Network (IECN). Located across the country, IECN staff work with event organisers to provide free advice and visa- processing assistance for international travellers invited to speak at, perform in, or attend an event in Australia.

Check the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for eligibility requirements


Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, and the second-largest city of Australia. In June 2014, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 4.40 million. The demonym 'Melbournean' is used in reference to the city and its residents.

Post offices

The main Australia Post Office is located at 117 Queen St, just beyond Queen Street Mall. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-noon. Other Australia Post branches are located throughout the city and suburbs. In addition, stamps can often be bought at newsagents.

Public transport in Melbourne

Melbourne’s trams are legendary! Enjoy a free tram experience, and see the city sights on the ‘City Circle’ trams that run in and around the city. Jump off and on at places of interest.

From the AIEC Conference venue if you walk across the river you can access Melbourne’s ‘Free Tram Zone’.

The Free Tram Zone includes the area from the iconic Queen Victoria Market, across to Victoria Harbour in Docklands, up to Spring Street and over to Flinders Street Station and Federation Square.

If travelling outside of this zone you will need a Myki Card. Myki Cards can be purchased from selected outlets such as 7-Eleven and railway stations.

The closest public transport to the conference venue is the tram network.

Tram numbers 96, 112 and 109 travel down Spencer/Clarendon streets and stop opposite the Clarendon Street entrance of the MCEC. For information on transport routes and timetables, please visit


Telephone assistance

Most public telephones have International Direct Dialling and Subscriber Trunk Dialling. Phonecards for public phones and recharge cards for mobile phones can be bought from most newsagents, supermarkets and convenience stores. Many public phones also accept coins and credit cards. International dialling code: 0011 followed by the country code and number.

Directory assistance: 1223

The international dialling code for Victoria is +613.

Time zones

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is observed in Melbourne, Victoria, and on Sunday 2 October 2016 at 2am the time will be shifted forward by 1 hour, resulting in a 10 hour 30 minute difference ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+10:30).  

After the Southern hemisphere summer months the time will be shifted back by one (1) hour resulting in the normal standard time.


Service with a smile is the rule of thumb in Australia and tipping is always optional. If the service is worthy of a tip, it will be appreciated.


Visitor information services

Melbourne Visitor Centre (Federation Square)

The Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square is a one-stop shop for visitors offering free brochures, maps and event listings, along with souvenirs and a travel booking service.

The Melbourne Visitor Centre (MVC) is located at Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street Station.

Along with face to face visitor information on Melbourne and Victoria, the centre offers free brochures and maps, guides on events and what's on, public transport information and Myki Visitor Packs, Best of Victoria - accommodation and tour booking service, and Best of Souvenirs - quality Melbourne souvenirs and gifts.

Federation Square
2 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Tel: 03 9658 9658

Melbourne Visitor Booth (Bourke Street)

The Melbourne Visitor Booth, located in the Bourke Street Mall between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, is a great place to find information on shopping, attractions and events, as well as free brochures and maps of the city.

It is staffed by trained volunteers and conveniently located in the heart of Melbourne's retail precinct. These volunteers are friendly, approachable and willing to make your Melbourne experience a memorable one. Drop by for advice on where to shop, where to eat and what to do in Melbourne.


Key dates

1 June 2016 - Registration opens

19 August 2016- Early bird closes

18 October 2016 - Conference starts