Blog / Travel
Melbourne Visas, travel insurance and much more
Singaporeans love Melbourne and for good reason. This city has one of the world’s greatest street art scenes, is well-known as a UNESCO City of Literature and hosts major cultural events and festivals like music performances, comedy, art, architecture and theatre. It boasts beautiful beaches, an iconic skyline and most importantly, an unsurpassed food and coffee culture. If you haven’t been to Melbourne, it’s time. This is your first-time guide.
Visas for Singaporeans travelling to Melbourne.
First of all let’s get the important but boring information out of the way for Singaporeans travelling to Australia.
You need a visa before travelling to Australia. Most should be able to get an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) online before your trip. For more information about the types of visas you can get, visit the website of the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Singapore.
Safety matters and travel insurance
While Australia is generally safe, there are reports of pickpocketing, apartment break-ins or vehicle break-ins. So, do take extra care. Vehicle break-ins are particularly common in tourist spots, so don’t leave belongings unattended in your rental car to avoid the loss of your passport, wallet, bag and other valuable items. Plus there will be fees for a damaged rental vehicle.
For this reason, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises Singaporeans to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance to ensure you’re fully protected should the worst happen. Make sure your travel insurance plan covers you for lost or stolen luggage and valuables.
Local Emergency Contacts
Call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency to contact the Police, Fire or Ambulance.
For police assistance that is not an emergency or urgent, call Police at 13 14 44.
Click here for the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Australia.
And don’t forget to e-register your trip with the Singapore MFA. For more details on why you should e-register, check out our blog.
Cheap flights from Singapore to Melbourne
The average flight time from Singapore to Melbourne is about 7 hours 20 mins.
Scoot, has some of the cheapest direct flights from Singapore to Melbourne. But there are lots of flights to choose from including Qantas, Jetstar and AirAsia X. Check for promos or book as far as you can in advance for the best deals.
Best times to fly to Melbourne
The annual average temperature in Melbourne may range from 10 degrees to 21 degrees Celsius. Although Melbourne is pleasant in any season, try to avoid the peak season that mostly occurs in December and January. Melbourne flights during those months are quite expensive.
March, April, May, September, October, and November are the best months to visit Melbourne. The weather is more pleasant and milder. But, to get the cheaper flights, it is recommended to visit Melbourne in February.
What can you take into Australia?
Australia has strict biosecurity policies to protect its unique environment and its human, animal and plant health. Before you arrive in Australia, you’ll be given an Incoming Passenger Card. Mark “YES” on your card if you are carrying goods that may pose a biosecurity risk, such as plant material, animal products, certain food, traditional medicine or herbs and wooden articles. You must declare honestly as false or misleading declaration is a serious offence in Australia. For more information on biosecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.
Finding accommodation in Melbourne
Instead of a hotel, there are cheaper options with the same facilities such as serviced apartments. Punthill apartments is located in the CBD, which makes it easy for travellers to access tourist attractions. Another option is Airbnb, which is good for travellers looking for cheaper, quirkier places to stay.
You can download an app called PTV . It’s a great journey planner and will give you options for buses, trams and trains in Melbourne. Trains in Melbourne run for 24 hours over weekends. If you do not wish to take public transport, use Uber. Uber prices are affordable even for long distance journeys.
If you are hiring a car find out more here. Singapore drivers shouldn’t need an International Driving Permit IDP or International Driver’s Licence for Australia. For more information click here. And get expert advice on the dangers of driving in Australia.
Our top must-see places in and around Melbourne
- Great Ocean Road is where the 12 apostles reside. It is a beautiful place to take photos, experience a stunning sunset and listen to the waves crashing on the rocks below.
- National Gallery of Victoria is the oldest gallery in Australia. Its international art collection includes thousands of pieces. And admission is free.
- Hosier Lane is a street filled with intriguing graffiti work. It is extremely insta-cool!
- Queen Victoria Market is a large open-air market, which sells everything from local wines to delicious street food. This is an amazing place to buy cheap Australian souvenirs to bring home.
Other places to see – Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne Zoo, Yarra Valley, Eureka Tower, Puffing Billy and Crown Melbourne, the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Eating well in Melbourne
If you like delicious, awe inspiring, not too pricey breakfast, lunch or dinner, and what Singaporean doesn’t? - you will love Melbourne.
The thing is, it’s all very well knowing a city has great food, but your experience as a tourist can be very hit and miss. Unless you know someone who has lived there, and knows how to eat really well without sending the bank balance spiraling.
So, here’s a list of our own road-tested places and, oh my, they are good!
- Chin Chin, 125 Flinders Lane
They have this dried red curry with crab dish that won’t change your life, but you’ll talk about it for days. The beef spare ribs are also amazing. Actually, everything on the menu is. Buy the cookbook as it will make you look fancy, but it’s too hard to cook from. Better just to go back ,and back, and back. I always stop in here whenever I’m back in Melbourne. Always. Cocktails are great. Wine prices are reasonable. Best time to get there is Sunday 11.45am to be guaranteed a table for lunch. Great way to spend a lazy Sunday.
- The City Wine Shop, Spring Street
Tried & true. Never fails to deliver. European style bistro that does a mean chicken schnitzel, partnered with a great Italian coleslaw. Always get the polenta chips to start with and ask for an extra bowl of sauce. Great place to sit outside on the street at all times of the year and quaff, plus limited seating available in the bar and down the back. Ask the staff for help picking wine because they know their stuff. Wine prices shown are takeaway and it’s about another $20 to drink in. Note, a surcharge applies on Sundays.
- Ichi Nee, St Kilda beach
Good Japanese. Again, something I crossed town for often. Book as it can be crazy, especially if you want an outdoor seat on a late summer’s evening. Sashimi was always fresh and gyoza that are almost singing love songs to you as you bite in. Smashing.
- Mamasita, top of Collins Street up some stairs
This place is well deserved of its reputation as a good time. Interesting take on Mexican food, great margaritas (try the jalapeno one and the cucumber one – word) and their corn ice cream is surprising, in a good way. This place is always popular and queues after work are a bit ridiculous. Go in the afternoon at about 2.30pm to be seated straight away. After a few of Mamasita’s finest margaritas, a nap is usually in order.
- Degraves, Degraves street
Finest coffee in town. Nuff said. Oh, and the omelette is pretty darn good too!
- David Jones food court. Bourke Street Mall – downstairs
In my humble opinion, it’s worth mentioning two places to eat here. The sandwich bar is awesome and I always get sucker punched into a roast pork roll with crackling. Just so good. They’ll put the crackling on the sandwich or on the side. The other is the big food station between the sandwich bar and the stairs. Once a month I used to prop myself up at the bar, order a great meal and a glass of wine. Quiet time out with lots of others doing exactly the same thing. Magic.
- Journal, Little Collins Street, I think – but best to Bing it to be sure
Lets start with a reminder that this is a cash only venue. Or at least used to be. Food is simple, and simple in the way that it is marvelous. These guys do the best bruschetta of all time.
- Ying Thai, Carlton
For some reason, good Thai food is near impossible to find in Melbourne. And when you arrive here, you’ll think it still eludes you. The décor looks like it was flung together by a dozen six year olds who have eaten far too many gum drops and ice cream. It’s hilarious. But trust us, Ying Thai is the best Thai you’ll eat in Melbourne. Hands down. It’s cheap. And they do takeaway. Boom. You’re welcome.
- Non Solo Pasta, Docklands alongside the entrance to the Myer building
This place is filled with hunky men who are friendly, a little sassy and speak Italian. But make no mistake, they’re there for the food and the coffee. The pizza is also awesome. So is the coffee. Good for drinks too.
- Grace café, Avoca Street South Yarra
Simple breakfasts. Good quality ingredients. Quality bread with free-range eggs that are properly yellow and not layered with hormones, vitamins and other supplements.
- Da Noi, Toorak Road, South Yarra.
A special date night kind of place. For proposals, anniversaries, getting out of the dogbox and so on. Melbourne’s answer to Sean’s of North Bondi. They farm almost everything they sell at their little patch of Sardinian heaven about 90 minutes out of the city. There’s a degustation style menu. The four course option, which comes with a fifth bite for free, plus a bottle of wine, comes in at around 300 AUD
- Pure Pie, 383 Bay Road in Port Melbourne.
Disclaimer: We know the owners.
Disclaimer: We know pies.
Disclaimer: These pies are amazing. Pastry is incredible and the filling more so. Try the sausage rolls too. Magic.
- St Ali, South + their second location on Nicholson Street, Brunswick East.
Ever had a 63/63 egg? Cooked for 63 minutes at 63 degrees in its own shell, the egg takes on a cool new form. It’s as much science as it is cuisine. All the food here is outstanding. Rumour has it the barista makes a six figure salary because he is that good and valuable to the business.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good Travel cover.