Category Archives: Travel

How to get to Melbourne’s city centre from Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is located 19 kilometres north-west of Melbourne‘s central business district.  Once your flight lands at the airport, there are a number of transport options for getting to the city centre.

By bus:

SkyBus
SkyBus

SkyBus operates a fleet of clean and comfortable airport buses which travel express from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station in the city centre.

The SkyBus service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Departures are every 10 minutes from 6am to midnight. Between midnight and 6am, departures are either every 15 or 20 minutes.

On average, the journey on SkyBus takes 20 minutes. During morning and afternoon peak times, the average journey time is 30 minutes due to the extra traffic.

Reservations are not required on SkyBus. Simply buy your tickets online or at the SkyBus ticket booth located at Melbourne Airport or Southern Cross Station. Tickets are valid for 3 months from the date of purchase. The Myki smart card cannot be used on SkyBus.

SkyBus also operates a fleet of mini buses which can transport ticket holders from Southern Cross Station to a number of hotels in the city, free of charge.

Star Bus
Star Bus

Alternatively, Star Bus operates a door to door service from Melbourne Airport to the city centre and its immediately surrounding inner suburbs from 6am to 6pm, 7 days a week. Unlike SkyBus, you won’t need to change buses if you need to be dropped off somewhere specific.

By train:

There is currently no direct train or tram line between Melbourne Airport at the city centre. As such, SkyBus is the quickest and easiest way to travel between the airport and city by public transport.

If you really do want to use the train, catch the Craigieburn line train from Melbourne and get off at Broadmeadows station. Transfer to bus number 901 which is a SmartBus service that operates frequently between Broadmeadows Station and Melbourne Airport. Allow least one hour for this entire journey, keeping in mind that there are no train or bus services between Melbourne and Broadmeadows from just after midnight to about 5am during weekdays.

By taxi:

Designated taxi ranks are located at Melbourne Airport, on the ground floor in front of each terminal. The taxi fare from the airport to Melbourne’s city centre is approximately $60.

You can pre-book a taxi to pick you up from the airport. The driver will park in the short term car park and will meet you at the baggage carousel, where you will be then escorted to the waiting taxi.

By chauffeur:

Travel in style between Melbourne AiAirport chauffeurrport and the city, with the option of being dropped off directly at your city hotel.

Let Royale Limousines take the hassle out of getting to and from Melbourne Airport in one of their chauffeur driven standard or luxury vehicles.

Once you experience a chauffeur service, you’ll never want to drive yourself to the airport again!

Airport chauffeur - standard car Airport chauffeur - luxury car

By hire car:

Six major car rental companies operate at Melbourne Airport. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot have information desks at the domestic terminals with car pick-ups available from their offices located in the short term car park at the front of the airport.

Melbourne Airport is located 20 kilometres by road from the heart of Melbourne.

The most direct route, which avoids toll roads, will take 25 minutes if there are minimal traffic delays. Travel via the Tullamarine Freeway (M2), exit at Bulla Road (metro route 37) which then becomes Mt Alexander Road and Flemington Road as it heads into the city centre.

Alternatively, take the Tullamarine Freeway (M2) and travel along the western section of the CityLink toll road. This will take less than 20 minutes assuming there is no significant congestion. Hire car companies have procedures in place whereby you can be automatically billed for using the vehicle on any toll roads.

Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD
Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD

By air:

Heli-Express
Heli-Express

Heli-Express offers a helicopter service from Melbourne Airport to the city.

Passengers are greeted at Melbourne Airport and are chauffeur-driven for 2 minutes to the nearby heliport where they board a luxury twin-engine Agusta helicopter. The flight time is just 4 minutes, with passengers being dropped off at a Yarra River heliport. Complimentary refreshments are served in the passenger lounge, where connecting transport can be arranged.

The helicopter service operates during daylight hours with between 2 and 6 passengers per flight.

Caravan parks close to Spirit of Tasmania

Caravan park
Caravan park

When travelling within Australia with your caravan, you need not let the waters of Bass Strait constrain your journey.

Spirit of Tasmania, a passenger and vehicular ferry which traverses Bass Strait and links mainland Victoria with Tasmania, welcomes aboard those travelling with caravans, campervans and motorhomes.

Between late September and Easter, Spirit of Tasmania operates a number of day sailing services which depart from both Melbourne (Station Pier at Port Melbourne) and Devonport at 9am. Check-in for those services is between 6:30am and 8:15am.  Due to the early morning check-in, those with caravans or motorhomes may find it convenient to stay in a caravan park close to the ferry terminal the night before, so that first thing in the morning they only have a short drive to board the boat.

Caravan Parks close to Port Melbourne

1. Discovery Parks Melbourne

Ashley Gardens BIG4 Holiday Village
Discovery Park Melbourne (formerly Ashley Gardens Holiday Village)
  • 13 kilometres by road north-west of ferry terminal entrance
  • The quickest driving route does not use any toll roads
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites (paved and grassed)
  • Recreation room, playground, pool, tennis court, indoor spa & sauna, camp kitchen
  • Van storage available
  • Woolworths supermarket is next door
  • Official website – www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au/caravan-parks/victoria/melbourne-melbourne
  • Location – 129 Ashley Street, Braybrook
  • Phone – (03) 9318 6866

2. Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park

Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park
  • 16 kilometres by road north of ferry terminal entrance
  • Ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered camp sites
  • Solar heated pool, adventure playground, games room, movie room, camp kitchen
  • Secure luggage storage available
  • Official website – www.melbournebig4.com.au
  • Location – 265 Elizabeth Street, Coburg
  • Phone – (03) 9353 8222

3. Honey Hush Caravan Park

Honey Hush Caravan Park
Honey Hush Caravan Park
  • 17 kilometres by road west of ferry terminal entrance
  • The quickest driving route does not use any toll roads
  • Powered sites, unpowered tent sites
  • Official website – www.honeyhush.com.au
  • Location – 6 Leakes Road, Laverton North
  • Phone – (03) 9369 2253

Caravan parks close to East Devonport

1. Abel Tasman Caravan Park

Abel Tasman Caravan Park
Abel Tasman Caravan Park
  • 900 metres by road from  ferry terminal entrance
  • Cabins, powered sites, unpowered sites
  • BBQ area, childrens playground, newly renovated amenities
  • Official website – www.abeltasmancaravanpark.com.au
  • Location – 6 Wright Street, East Devonport
  • Phone – (03) 6427 8794

2. Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport

Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport
Discovery Holiday Parks Devonport
    • 1.3 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
    • Cottages, cabins, ensuite sites, powered sites
    • BBQs, kiosk, playground, movie room, waterfront location
    • Official website – www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au
    • Location – 13 Tarleton Street, East Devonport
    • Phone – (03) 6427 8418

 3. Devonport Holiday Village

Devonport Holiday Village
Devonport Holiday Village
    • 1.8 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
    • Cabins, ensuite sites, powered sites, unpowered sites
    • BBQs, mini-supermarket, 3 hectares of gardens and trees
    • Official website – www.devonportholidayvillage.com.au
    • Location – 20 North Caroline Street, East Devonport
    • Phone – (03) 6427 8886

4. Bay View Holiday Village

Bay View Holiday Village
Bay View Holiday Village
    • 2.1 kilometres by road from ferry terminal entrance
    • Cabins, powered ensuite sites
    • BBQ area, waterfront location
    • Official website – bookings.goldenchain.com.au
    • Location – 2 North Caroline Street, East Devonport
    • Phone – (03) 6427 0499
Tasmania
Caravan parks close to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal in East Devonport

How to get to Phillip Island from Melbourne

Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island
Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island

Phillip Island is one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations. It is well-known for its famous penguin parade, large fur seal colony,  native wildlife, exciting racing at the island’s Grand Prix circuit, its scenic coastline, quaint fishing villages, beautiful beaches, outdoor dining, and so much more.

The island’s reasonably close proximity to Melbourne makes it a popular choice for visitors, be it a day trip or longer stay.

As the crow flies, Phillip Island is only 75 kilometres from Melbourne.  There are a number of ways to get there.

By car

Phillip Island map
Driving from Melbourne to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is linked to the Victorian mainland by a bridge at San Remo. The distance to drive from the heart of Melbourne to the bridge is just over 120 kilometres.

Head south-east along the Monash Freeway (M1), taking either the South Gippsland Freeway (M420), Clyde Road (C407) or Koo Wee Rup Road (C422) exit.  Follow the M420 and B420 signs as you travel along the South Gippsland Highway, Bass Highway and Phillip Island Road.

The journey time is usually around 90 minutes.

Note that there is no car ferry to Phillip Island, so if you wish to bring your vehicle onto the island, you must use the bridge at San Remo.

Driving directions from Melbourne to Phillip Island

By bus

A number of V/Line bus services run between Southern Cross Station in Melbourne and several towns on Phillip Island including Newhaven, Cape Woolamai, Surf Beach, Sunderland Bay and Cowes.  The journey from Melbourne requires a change of bus at Koo Wee Rup and takes around 2 hours to get to the bridge and a further 20 to 25 minutes to Cowes.

Refer to the V/Line timetable for Melbourne to Cowes.

By train and bus

Another option is to catch a suburban train service to Dandenong. From there, catch a V/Line bus that travels direct to Phillip Island. The train journey to Dandenong takes between 40 to 50 minutes, depending from which station in Melbourne’s city centre is used. The bus journey from Dandenong to the Phillip Island bridge takes around one hour and 45 minutes, and a further 20 to 25 minutes to Cowes.

Refer to timetable for Melbourne to Cowes which also includes details of the train service to Dandenong.

By train and ferry

Passenger ferry service from Stony Point to Cowes
Passenger ferry service from Stony Point to Cowes

For something a little different, you can catch a suburban train from Melbourne to Frankston (1 hour), then switch onto a diesel service which runs from Frankston to Stony Point (35 minutes).

From Stony Point Jetty, board the Inter Island Ferries passenger catamaran which docks at the Cowes Jetty.  The boat trip takes around 45 minutes, usually with a stop at French Island.

By car and ferry

Driving from Melbourne to Stony Point
Driving from Melbourne to Stony Point

If you have a vehicle but don’t want to drive all the way around the eastern side of Western Port to the Phillip Island bridge at San Remo, you can instead drive to Stony Point and catch a passenger ferry from there.

Head south-east along the Monash Freeway (M1), take the South Gippsland Freeway (M420) exit and continue along that road which becomes the Western Port Highway (M780/A780) and ends up at Hastings.  Alternatively, take the EastLink (M3) exit off the Monash Freeway, then the Peninsula Link (M11) exit and follow that freeway to the Frankston-Flinders Road (C777) exit which takes you to Hastings.

Once in Hastings, follow the Frankston-Flinders Road (C777) to Bittern where there is a turn-off to Stony Point Road (C786) which ends up at the Stony Point railway station and jetty.

There is a public car park in the vicinity of the railway station and jetty. Alternatively, secure parking is available for a nominal daily fee at the Stony Point Caravan Park.

From Stony Point Jetty, board the Inter Island Ferries passenger catamaran which docks at the Cowes Jetty.  The boat trip takes around 45 minutes, usually with a stop at French Island.

By air

Phillip Island Helicopters
Phillip Island Helicopters

Did you know that Phillip Island has its own airfield?  So you can get to the island by air!

Fronting Phillip Island Road at Newhaven are Phillip Island Helicopters who not only conduct scenic flights, but also offer charter services.  In just 30 minutes, you can be flown from suitable landing locations in Melbourne, such as Essendon Airport or Moorabbin Airport, directly to Phillip Island. Avoid the traffic and save time! See  www.phillipislandhelicopters.com.au for further details.

Join a tour

Take the hassle out of getting to Phillip Island and finding your way around by joining one of the many guided day tours that departs from Melbourne.

Day tours include a range of activities such as a visit to the famous Penguin Parade and eco-tours that explore the island’s diverse flora and fauna. Tours may also include visits to Churchill Island, the Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies and the island’s beautiful coastline and beaches.

Phillip Island tours from Melbourne

Coming from Melbourne Airport?

If you are coming to Melbourne by air, see our guide to transport between Melbourne Airport and the city centre.  Once in Melbourne’s city centre, choose from the above options to get to Phillip Island.

Queensland Vs. Victoria for shopping hours

As highlighted in our post from last year, Queensland Vs. Victoria for Summer Holidays in the Sun, visitors enjoy several hours of extra daylight in the evening when choosing to holiday in Victoria during summer rather than in Queensland.

Extra daylight is not the only thing visitors to Victoria enjoy more of. Queensland has some of Australia’s most restricted trading hours. This means that when in Queensland, you do have to plan your holiday around shopping hours. In Victoria, you are set free from those restrictions.

Pelican Waters Shopping Village
Shopping in Queensland – restricted trading hours apply.

To illustrate the differences, let us consider the trading hours for the Woolworths chain of supermarkets in various locations across Queensland and Victoria.

First, let’s look at the major population centres in Queensland.

Area of Queensland Day Opening hours
  • Brisbane suburbs
  • Gold Coast (*)
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Major regional cities
Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm
Saturday 8am to 5 or 5:30pm
Sunday 9am to 6pm
(*) Extended trading hours apply to a small number of highly popular tourist areas along the Gold Coast which permits some supermarkets to open later on weekends.

 

Once you start going to smaller cities and towns in Queensland, both along the coast and inland, you will struggle to even find a supermarket open on a Sunday.

Area of Queensland Day Opening hours
  • Bowen
  • Charters Towers
  • Dalby
  • Roma
  • Mt Isa
  • Warwick
Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm
Saturday 8am to 5pm
Sunday closed

 

In Victoria, Woolworths trading hours are much simpler and longer than those in Queensland, particularly on weekends.  This is of great benefit for those who are enjoying a weekend getaway and are trying to fit as much into their schedule as possible.  Importantly, these longer trading hours not only apply just to Melbourne’s suburbs and regional cities, but also to smaller country towns throughout Victoria.

Trading hours in Victoria
Monday to Friday 6-7am to 10-midnight
Saturday 6-7am to 10-midnight
Sunday 6-7am to 10-midnight

 

Woolworths
A Woolworths supermaket in Victoria, open 7 days a week and long hours, for the convenience of locals and visitors.

Visiting Queensland on a Saturday? Chances are major supermarkets only open after breakfast and close before dinner time.  Needing to shop on a Sunday? Good luck in finding a major supermarket that is actually open in smaller regional areas of Queensland.

Visiting Victoria?  Enjoy our unrestricted trading hours and shop virtually whenever you want, every day of the week.

Tips when using Melbourne’s toll roads

For those using Melbourne’s toll roads, there are a couple of tips or tricks motorists should be aware of.

1. Some small parts of the toll roads are free to use

The operators of CityLink (parts of the Monash Freeway and Tullamarine Freeway) and EastLink don’t publicise this, but there are short stretches of their toll roads which are free to use, thus you won’t need an electronic tag or be charged for using those sections.

For a toll-free journey on part of CityLink, enter the M1 at Punt Road or Cremorne Street, head eastwards, then exit at Church Street.

CityLink
CityLink toll free route – Punt Road to Church Street

For EastLink, enter the M3 from Caribbean Park Drive at the service centre, head southwards and exit at Wellington Road for a toll-free journey.

EastLink
EastLink toll free route – Carribean Park Drive to Wellington Road

2. Use each toll road’s trip cap to your advantage

Both CityLink and EastLink have trip caps.  This means that after accumulating a certain number of toll costs during an uninterrupted one-way journey, there are no additional costs to pay when driving in the same direction further along the toll road.

These trip caps can save you money as it may be more economical to use one toll road for longer journey (thus reaching the trip cap) rather than combining shorter journeys across multiple toll roads.

For example, consider the journey from Melbourne’s outer southern suburbs (Eg: Frankston) to the inner city.  There are two options:

  1. Travel north along the toll road EastLink (M3), then at Dandenong North enter the Monash Freeway (M1) which then becomes the toll road CityLink as it runs south of the city centre.
  2. Travel north along the toll road EastLink (M3) which then heads west and becomes the Eastern Freeway which takes you to the inner northern suburb of Collingwood.
CityLink and EastLink
Minimising toll costs – M1 vs M3 from Frankston to the city.

While the first option is of a shorter distance, it will cost more than the second option, because smaller sections of two separate toll roads are being used.

With the first option, you pay an EastLink toll of $4.37 plus a CityLink toll of either $4.24 to exit at Punt Road or $6.90 to Kings Way, taking the total toll cost to between $8.61 and $11.27.

With the second option, the EastLink trip cap is reached, so currently the journey will cost $5.69.  So this option saves you between $2.92 and $5.58.

In addition, EastLink offers a 20% discount on tolls for travel during weekends, so you can save even more by using EastLink instead of CityLink which offers no weekend travel discounts.

 

Experience the history and heritage of Victoria’s Gold Rush era

Melbourne and the state of Victoria boomed in the 1850s after an influx of people from around the world entered the region to try their hand at winning big in the gold rush. In fact, in 1852 more immigrants leaving Britain purchased tickets to Melbourne than to any other destination around the world. While the capital and its surrounds have changed dramatically since then, there are still remnants of the era existing in the state that visitors can explore. If you want to visit Victoria to experience sites of the gold rush past, then read on for some of the top tourist attractions on offer.

 

Arrive in Melbourne by ship

spirit of tasmania
Spirit of Tasmania – a trip to remember

You can start your journey like so many goldminers did in the 1850s – by ship. However, unlike the gold rush prospectors of the past who battled appalling conditions, scurvy and other diseases on the journey, today’s tourists can instead visit Victoria on the Spirit of Tasmania, a stylish and comfortable cruise liner operating twice daily between Tasmania and Victoria. You can put your car on board in Tasmania and then enjoy a pleasant journey across the Tasman to Melbourne. Once there you have your vehicle on hand to tour around the best historical sites in and near Melbourne.

 

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill
Sovereign Hill – it’s pure gold!

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Victoria is Sovereign Hill, an outdoor museum in Ballarat that tells the story of the region during the gold rush. Visitors to Sovereign Hill can enjoy feeling like they have stepped back in time on Main Street, where costumed actors parade up and down, or try their luck panning for gold. Children will love visiting the on-site theatre to watch a show or watching steam-driven machinery in action, as well as the multi-million dollar sound and light show that is presented at night. Adults are sure to enjoy the fully-guided gold mine tour, a horse-drawn coach tour of the town, or getting a glimpse of the many gold nuggets in the museum. Family tickets are available for around $117.

 

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Museum – explore life in Victoria

Located in inner-city Carlton, the Melbourne Museum provides an affordable day out for families. With tickets just $10 for adults and free for children, parents don’t need to spend a lot to take their family to this museum for an exploration of life in Victoria over the ages. The museum covers a wide array of subjects in its eight galleries, from the state’s culture and history to its natural environment. The Melbourne Story exhibition features over 1200 objects from Museum Victoria’s vast collection, including a Cobb & Co Coach and a gold mining model from 1858.

 

The Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol
Old Melbourne Gaol – a crime & justice experience

Built in the mid-1800s, the Old Melbourne Gaol housed criminals, petty offenders, the mentally ill and the homeless during the peak Gold Rush period. At the oldest prison in Melbourne families can explore the three levels of the gaol and see Ned Kelly’s death mask; take a tour of the cells and visit the Police City Watch House; take part in a trial recreation at the old Magistrate’s Court; or take an evening tour of the facilities…if they dare! Family passes cost around $55 for the day.

 

Melbourne Walks

Goldrush cottage
Visit Melbourne’s oldest residence on a Melbourne Walks tour

Melbourne Walks is a company that operates walking tours throughout Melbourne. For tourists who would like to learn some more about the Gold Rush period, they can embark on a cottage tour of the city’s oldest residence and its surrounds. The gold rush cottage is owned by George and Lola Russell and was built in 1850. Tours cost around $70 per person, last for approximately 2 and a half hours and include morning or afternoon tea.

Queensland Vs. Victoria for summer holidays in the sun

Sunset in Melbourne
Sunset in Melbourne.

Many have the impression that the perfect example of an Australian summer beach holiday is spending time in Queensland with family or friends. However, for those that love the daylight, your number one choice during summer should really be Victoria.

With Queensland not observing daylight saving time, and being closer to the equator which ensures its summer days don’t get too long, both those factors ensure that sun lovers should consider Victoria for that summer beach holiday.

Let’s compare the summer sunrise and sunset times for an iconic beach location in those two states:

21st December 21st January
Location Sunrise Sunset Sunrise Sunset
Sorrento
(Mornington Peninsula, Victoria)
5:54am 8:44pm 6:21am 8:43pm
Surfers Paradise
(Gold Coast, Queensland)
4:47am 6:42pm 5:09am 6:46pm

If you’re planning to get the first rays of the morning sun on Queensland’s Gold Coast, you’ll need to ensure you’re up at the unearthly hour of 4:47am on 21st December. However, you can almost forget that evening BBQ in the sun, with darkness falling from 6:42pm.

Compare that to a summer beach holiday at Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Sunrise is at the more reasonable time of just before 6am on 21st December.  And you can still feel the warmth of the sun until just before 9pm at night – perfect for those evening meals, walks and swims.  Fast forward one month, and while the days are half an hour shorter near the end of January, all that lost daylight time is taken out of the morning, so you can sleep in a bit longer and still enjoy those sunny evenings.

If your ideal summer holiday is evenings filled with daylight right up until quite late, then Victoria is a much better choice than Queensland…by 2 hours a night!

Environmentally friendly accommodation in Victoria

Environmentally friendly
We can all take steps to protect the environment when travelling or on holidays

It’s now becoming easier when staying or holidaying in Victoria to ensure that your activities impact as little as possible on the environment. By selecting environmentally friendly accommodation, you can do your bit to reduce waste and conserve the resources of our planet.

Ecotourism Australia provides certification for tourism operators that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. This assures travellers that the accommodation they are staying at, or the tour they are going on, is backed by a strong and well-managed commitment to sustainable practices.

Eco certified operator
The “eco certified” logo

Look out for the Eco Certified logo or visit www.ecotourism.org.au to search for certified operators.

There are several levels of certification, with the highest being Advanced Ecotourism. This is awarded to the country’s foremost and innovative operators.  In Victoria. only a small number of accommodation properties have achieved this certification, and one of them is the very special Venus Bay Eco Retreat.

Venus Bay Eco Retreat
Venus Bay Eco Retreat – a certified nature retreat

Venus Bay Eco Retreat offers a truly unique experience, nestled in secluded native bushland within the Gippsland coastal community of Venus Bay.  It’s well away from the tourist crowds, yet within each reach of panoramic beaches and tranquil wetlands.

The retreat can sleep up to 5 people and is decorated with colours which are inspired by the surrounding forest. It is well-equipped and features a kitchenette, sound system, quality linen, certified organic bathroom products, certified organic breakfast provisions stocked up on arrival, and the use of The Cobb – an eco-friendly outdoor roasting oven and BBQ.  The retreat is ideal for couples, families and small groups.

As the Venus Bay Eco Retreat is a climate-action certified business, guests are encouraged to reduce landfill waste. Vegetable scraps can be composted and recyclable waste is collected.

Yoga mats are provided in the retreat, while massages and organic hair and beauty treatments are available nearby and can be booked in advance for guests.

Blue Wren
A blue wren – one of many varieties of birds you may spy at Venus Bay Eco Retreat

Discover nature when staying at Venus Bay Eco Retreat.  The property is home to kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, abundant bird life, echidnas, lizards and ringtail possums. You may be lucky enough to spot some unusual native creatures including as micro bats, native bees and pygmy possums.

Live simply with respect for nature and stay at eco-friendly accommodation!

Discover more environmentally-friendly accommodation options when staying in Victoria.

Chasing the sun in Victoria

Sunset
Sunset at the beach

Despite the small size of Victoria compared to other states in Australia, there can be significant variations between the lengths of days, sunrise and sunset times, and actual periods of sunshine.

Do you like things early?  Then Mallacoota is the place to be. Of all the towns in Victoria, it has the earliest sunrise at 5:36am around the 21st of December.  Mallacoota is also known for its early sunsets in winter – the sun will dip below the horizon at just 4:50pm on the 21st of June.

Perhaps you like things late? Then head to Portland, in the far west of the state. Sleep in during those chilly winter mornings, with sunrise at a leisurely 7:51am on the 21st of June. Fast-forward 6 months, and you’ll definitely make the most of those balmy summer nights with sunset not occurring until 8:57pm.

If you want to minimise or maximise the actual hours of daylight you experience, then it’s a toss up between the remote southern coastal extremes of Cape Otway and Wilsons Promontory.  For those craving light, visit Cape Otway and enjoy the longest day in the state on the 21st of December – 15 hours and 4 minutes. For those that love the nocturnal way of life, then Wilsons Promontory comes in with just 9 hours and 25 minutes of daylight on the 21st of June, resulting in a really long night of around 14½ hours.

Mildura
Mildura on the Murray River – the sunniest area in Victoria

Of course, daylight hours for sun lovers means little if there’s cloud cover. The best places in Victoria to maximum your sun exposure are the towns along the Murray River from Wodonga westwards. The pick of the crop is Mildura which typically enjoys more sunshine that any other area in Victoria during those short winter days.

Station patronage on Melbourne’s rail network

Each financial year, passenger numbers at each of Melbourne’s railway stations is collated and published by Public Transport Victoria.

Public Transport Victoria

 

The table below shows the top 20 most used Melbourne railway stations in the 2011/2012 financial year (1st July 2011 to 30th June 2012), with a comparison on how each of those stations fared from last year.

Rank Change
this year
Station Millions of
passengers
1   Flinders Street 26.187
2   Southern Cross 16.828
3   Melbourne Central 14.333
4   Parliament 10.734
5   Flagstaff 4.982
6 +1 Footscray 4.199
7 -1 Caulfield 4.065
8   Box Hill 2.743
9 +3 Dandenong 2.658
10 -1 Frankston 2.472
11   South Yarra 2.399
12 -2 Glenferrie 2.356
13 +1 Richmond 2.070
14 -1 Camberwell 2.052
15   Sunshine 1.981
16   Glen Waverley 1.801
17   Oakleigh 1,760
18 +3 Clayton 1.721
19 +4 Laverton 1.716
20 +2 Essendon 1.671

The top 5 busiest stations are all the ones that immediately service the Melbourne CBD. They are the above-ground stations of Flinders Street and Southern Cross, plus the City Loop underground stations of Parliament, Melbourne Central and Flagstaff.

Of all the stations that were open for the entire 12 months of last financial year, Wattle Glen (on the Hurstbridge line) and Officer (on the Pakenham line) were the least used.

For the full patronage data for every single railway station over the last four financial years, see Melbourne metropolitan station by station patronage data.