April 10th, 2018

Australian Adaptation – First days in Melbourne 😀✌🏻

Did you arrive Australia? What did you think of the flight, a little long, too much? Did they treat you well? No problem at all? Great! YOU ARE WELCOME!

Transportation from the airport to Melbourne  ✈

Once at the Melbourne International Airport, ‘Tullamarine’ (https://www.melbourneairport.com.au/) you will have 30 minutes of free internet (take advantage of it!). Once you have collected all your bags and other things outside the airport, you can find mobilization for different points of the city (CBD), taxis, uber and the famous ‘SkyBus’ (https://www.skybus.com.au/). These buses are red with the logo of the same name. Tickets can be purchased at the same kiosk outside the airport and you can get them for a cost of $ 19 Australian dollars (a little expensive uh?!😮). If you buy online you can have a discount of $ 1 AUD (I know, it seems like a bad joke😓). The bus is comfortable, it has internet and it leaves with a frequency of every 10 minutes, it will not take you more than 30 minutes to get to the city (depending on the traffic). The destination of this bus is Southern Cross Station (only stop). This service works 24/7 365 days a year.

Skybus Stop at Southern Cross Station

[TIP! There is another alternative that can leave you at the door of your house. StarBus 🚌 (http://www.starbus.net.au/), from $ 19 AUD is a pretty good service, especially when you need to get beyond the city and the transfer is a bit cumbersome. Beware, this service can only be booked online!👌🏻].

Melbourne Transport 🚎

Once in the city, you will need the basics to be able to transport and communicate. For transport, you will need a prepaid card called “myki” (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki). The card can be found at any 7eleven and authorized locations throughout the city (the 7eleven are 24/7 stores located almost on each corner of Melbourne, so relax by the time of arrival you will always find one open). The value of each myki card is $ 6 AUD and they are not charged so I recommend you make a reload of $ 10 AUD minimum (which is basically one round trip). The cost of each ticket is just over $ 4 Australian dollars (I know, quite expensive, but the truth is efficient). The card is valid for trams, buses and trains.

Myki Card

Good news! Since January 1, 2015, the tram service within the city (CBD) is free. Yes, for short trips you do not need to pay (please look at the map below to know the ‘Free Tram Zone’😃.

Free Tram Zone Map


Important fact: Inspectors are constantly coming up on the three types of transport mentioned above to check whether you have paid your ticket, usually these people wear a uniform, however, many times they are civilians and when you ask for your card you will show their ID. If they have not paid their ticket, they will be fined at a value of around $ 250 AUD (nothing funny). Be careful, pay your passage and avoid a bad time unnecessarily, if they are short of money it can be a disaster.

 If your plan is to save money on transportation and do some exercise, I recommend buying bicycles, it can be new or second hand. In many of the pages of compatriots in Melbourne there are always people making offers for their bicycles, or if they want to buy a new one I recommend this store that lets you try them before buying them (https://www.reidcycles.com.au/). You can also find them in BigW and Kmart stores. The city is full of cycleway and people in their cars respect cyclists a lot. Do not forget to buy a helmet because it is mandatory here.

Cellphone 📲

To communicate it is important to have a cell phone, please, unlocked in your place of origin (here is very difficult to find a place to unlock cell phones). A recommended telephone company is “Amaysim” (https://www.amaysim.com.au/), prepaid plans are quite convenient, come armed and can also be combined. The cost of the SIM card is $ 2 AUD and you can find it in any 7eleven and authorized places. The other option is to subscribe to the website and ask for the card without cost, which will arrive from 2 to 5 working days at the door of your house.

Bank Account 💰

During the first week after arriving, it is advisable to open a bank account. A good bank is “Commonwealth“. To do it, you only must carry your passport, your visa and that’s it. After having completed the process in about a week you will receive the card by mail. It is important to mention that the download of the app to use on the cell phone is useful, easy and subdivided into:

👉🏻”Smart Access”: This is where they have easy access money. The money comes out of this account every time they use the card to make a debt payment.

👉🏻”NetBank Saver”: This is where they keep their money. From this account, they must spend their money to “smart access” to pay with the card or withdraw money from the ATM.

👉🏻”Essential Super”: Where you can save superannuation money.

Be cautious, learn to use your account and your bank app well. Now, if you lose your card, it is typical to call the bank and notify immediately, however it is not all lost, you can use the app from your cell phone to make all kinds of transactions including withdrawing money from the ATM! (#winwin!)

Given all this valuable information you are ready with the basics to start your life in Australia. Breathe, relax and live the experience, many go through the same without dying in the attempt.

Good luck and see you in the next post!🤗


By Adriana Quiñones Toloza

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