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LATAM Airlines 

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International Airlines

Melbourne Airport is serviced by 27 international airlines. The airport is approximately 22 kilometres from the city – approximately 25 minutes drive. Peak times for airfares are in the summer months – between November and January – and especially around Christmas. If you are planning a summer trip, book well in advance. From London, you can fly direct to Melbourne – the journey takes around 20 hours. There are also indirect flights, making the journey longer but considerably less expensive. From North America, you can catch a direct flight to Melbourne, as well as a number of single-stop services. Excluding stopovers, flying time to Melbourne is around 20 hours from New York or Toronto, 18 hours from Vancouver, or 15 hours from Los Angeles. From New Zealand, there is a range of flights available to Melbourne, with those from Auckland taking approximately three-and-a-half hours. Customs and immigration queues are generally short. The airport, which affords easy access to connecting interstate and international flights, has baggage lockers in the international terminal, around-the-clock foreign exchange counters, restaurants, bars, a children’s playground, information desks, major car rental companies and, for departing travellers, a refund booth to reclaim the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on some goods. There is also ample parking for private vehicles. A departure tax of AUD$38 is charged on leaving the country but it is usually incorporated in your airline ticket. If in doubt, ask at the information desk.

Domestic Airlines

Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger are the major domestic carriers and are housed within the main terminal at Melbourne Airport. Jetstar also flies from Avalon Airport near Geelong. The airlines operate regular services throughout the day from Australia’s major cities, with flights leaving every 15 minutes in busy periods. For airline travel within Victoria you can choose from several regional airlines, such as Qantas Link and REX (Regional Express), which fly to Melbourne and larger regional centres including Mildura, Portland, Traralgon and Mount Hotham. Smaller airlines also operate out of these regional centres.

Quarantine & customs

Australia’s quarantine and customs regulations restrict travellers from bringing some items, including many plant and animal products, into Australia. Regulations are also in place for domestic travel, and travellers should be wary of carrying plant and food items – especially fresh fruit – from region to region and interstate.

Domestic quarantine

When travelling in regional Victoria, please heed local advice about carrying food, as quarantine regulations restrict travellers from carrying plants and fruit into some regional areas. Affected areas are signposted, have roadside quarantine fruit disposal bins in place, and may stage quarantine roadblocks. For details about domestic quarantine regulations, visit quarantinedomestic.gov.au

 Fruit fly

Victoria is currently experiencing a Queensland Fruit Fly outbreak. Fruit flies lay eggs in fruit and vegetables, rendering produce inedible and devastating crops. Fruit fly can be spread by travellers carrying infested fruit into or between horticultural regions of Victoria. Please help protect Victoria’s horticulture by heeding all local advice about travelling with fruit, and by disposing of fruit in quarantine bins as necessary. For further information, visit the Department of Primary Industries website.

 International quarantine

Australia’s quarantine regulations require incoming travellers to declare any food, plant material and animal products they are bringing to Australia. If you are in doubt about whether or not you can bring an item into Australia, declare it on your Incoming Passenger Card, or dispose of it in the quarantine disposal bins at the airport. For details about what you can and can’t bring to Australia, visit the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

 Customs

Without a specific permit, travellers are restricted from bringing certain items into Australia, including heritage-listed goods, protected wildlife, and some medications and veterinary products. All restricted items should be declared on travellers’ Incoming Passenger Card. Please note that volume limits apply to duty free goods and sums of money. For further information about restricted items and customs regulations, visit the Australian Customs website.

 

Self-drive

 

Victoria’s compact size and diversity of landscapes makes it ideal for touring. As well, the major roads between cities and country towns are well signposted and generally of a high standard. If you’re planning to drive to Melbourne, allow at least nine hours from Adelaide, 10 hours from Sydney, 20 hours from Brisbane and up to two days from Perth. But if you’ve got a little extra time, the coastal roads are highly recommended for their scenic beauty and quaint towns.

Road rules

The most important rule for travellers in Australia is that you drive on the left-hand side of the road. You must also wear a seatbelt and have your licence with you when you’re driving (you’ll be fined if you don’t). A driver’s licence from home will suffice for up to three months in Australia, as long as it has photo ID and it’s for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive. If you’re staying more than three months, you’ll need to get a Victorian licence. In Victoria, the speed limit on the open road rises to 100km/hr and, in some sections of freeway, 110km/hr. For more information on licences and Victorian road rules, visit the Vicroads website

Car rental

Melbourne and larger regional centres have plenty of local and international car rental firms, offering a variety of vehicles and deals. The minimum age to rent a car in Victoria is generally 25 years old, however some outlets will hire cars to under 25s, although surcharges and restrictions may apply. The main rental companies are Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty.

Mobile phones

Please be aware that in Victoria, using a mobile phone to make or receive a phone call while driving is prohibited except if the phone is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone. All other functions, including video calls, text and email, are prohibited.