With Eagles fans descending on Melbourne this week for the Grand Final, here’s a helpful guide to the home of the world-famous Art Centre Spire.
Melbourne is a great city. It’s definitely in the top ten in Australia in my opinion, top five on a good day.
The people are sporadically friendly, the food expensive and we welcome your mining dollars with open arms.
There’s a saying in Melbourne, ‘if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes.’ Of course there is no guarantee you’d like the next set of weather.
This week looks good with what people are referring to as ‘Perth like weather’. I assume that means it’s not going to be like the cold dark nuclear winter we just went through.
It’s hard to convey how cold and miserable it’s been in Melbourne this winter to someone from Perth. We’ve just been in survival mode. Let’s just say reports of cannibalism aren’t just stories.
It’s going to be 25 degrees on Friday, 28 on the Grand Final and 30 on Sunday.
Melbourne is well serviced by public transport. Not that Melburnians think that. They act like they’re living in a third world country.
Melbourne’s iconic trams are fun to ride on for literally minutes.
Taxis are ok but will be hard to get on Grand Final night. Whatever you do don’t wait in a taxi rank. You’ll be there till the end of time. A taxi driver will know less about Melbourne’s geography than you.
Go to the edge of the city and hail one. You can use Uber too. All the kids are doing it and you get cheaper fares because they are completely unregulated and contribute nothing to infrastructure costs like Taxis do. That means big savings to you! Viva the internet revolution.
Trains are frequent and work fairly well by international standards if you don’t count a lot of countries.
There are lots of buses which Melburnians never use. They act like a bus is an unfashionable café, queuing instead for a train for hours, as several empty buses go past.
Yeah, Melburnians queue for cafes. They’re the worst.
Actually, MYKI is the worst.
It is the ticketing system for Melbourne’s public transport system. It is complex and works poorly. The good news is it was astoundingly expensive to put in place.
There are no single trip passes because why would you want to make things easy for tourists?
You’ll have to buy a card and top it up. This should only take you six or seven days to complete at one of the dozens of inconveniently located machines.
Don’t worry, Metro’s helpful ticket inspectors will menace you accordingly if you don’t have one.
Hating MYKI will make you feel like a real Melburnian.
Best bet is to go to Flinders Street station in the heart of the city and get them to sort you out there.
Melburnians are a cultured lot. We like coffee, cafés, cafés that serve coffee, cafés in alleyways and coffee.
We also have lots of alleys in Melbourne which are world famous apparently. We have amazing graffiti in them which we tell people it’s art because that’s way cheaper than cleaning them all the time.
Tourists actually come and photograph it. Alleys are not just for junkies and homeless people any more. Yay!
We have a real art gallery but why go there when you can look at something a 14-year-old private schoolboy has done?
The good news is that your failure to secede from the Federation means you can use the same currency in Melbourne as you do at home.
I wouldn’t recommend bring raw iron ore as currency. Melburnians haven’t been near a mine since the Gold Rush and don’t really like manual labour.
Melbourne is known as being very expensive but you come from Perth, which is so insanely expensive, you won’t really notice.
Melbourne has a thriving restaurant scene and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Many restaurants in Melbourne have done away with bookings because convenience for the customer is a secondary consideration. If you can book early and book often.
Some restaurants actually laugh when you try to book with them, as if wanting to eat there somehow makes you some sort of idiot.
Seriously, you work in a restaurant, keep a lid on your superiority complex.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The MCG is affectionately known as ‘The People’s Ground’. This is true if those people are the corporate elite.
During the game expect no phone coverage and long lines for food, drinks and the ATMs. Get cash before you go as it will be a nightmare to get it there. Also, get lots of cash. Rumours that food prices have been reduced are true but they’ve only been reduced to 2026 prices.
The MCG is near Jolimont station and Richmond station and a tram from the City will get you there too. It’s also just a ten to fifteen-minute walk from the city.
It is a great stadium and the crowd on Grand Final Day is amazing, so enjoy.
Melbourne has a wide range of places to be assaulted at night. It’s not as dangerous as a Fremantle game at Subiaco but it’s close in parts.
For convenience, Crown Casino has hired professional bouncers to assault you, which is thoughtful of them.
Melbourne’s lackadaisical alcohol laws mean getting a drink has never been easier. From small bars hidden behind dumpsters in alleys to the ‘my kids are locked in the car and this is my last $100’ glamour of the Casino, Melbourne has it all.
While overall it’s a safe city, best to be in a group late at night. Melbourne’s police while fairly ineffectual at reducing inner city assaults, recently changed their uniforms from blue to black. Focus on what you can change guys not on what you can’t.
Melbourne has a diverse range of people, from hipsters in the inner north, the beautiful people in the inner south, rich people in the eastern suburbs, poor people in the west and whoever lives in the outer suburbs.
One thing binds all these people together, apart from a deep hatred of MYKI, AFL football.
Melburnians are as crazy for it as they say. Not supporting AFL make you as popular as a terrorist sympathiser in the US.
As a visiting AFL fan, you will be greeted with a great deal of affection. This will also be boosted by the fact many Melburnians hate Hawthorn and will be supporting Eagles.
So welcome to Melbourne, the city near the home of Patrick Dangerfield.