Newest Review: ... scarce. Generally the summers are hot and the winters cool and rainy. But the summer season is great and the city very safe for on... more
Nothing lair about this place cobber!
Member Name: thedevilinme
Date: 21/09/12, updated on 21/09/12 (60 review reads)
Advantages: Sun, sea and safe!
Disadvantages: Bit boring in the winter
If the beach is not your thing then sport rages throughout the year, be it in the magnificent Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Grand Prix in Albert Park, the tennis at Flinders and Australian rules footy and rugby union and league in all of those locations. They even play baseball! If you're a football fan then the news is not so good and you will have to do with English Premiership games on TV as their soccer standard is not great. In fact it is so poor that yours truly played a few games in the equivalent of the Championship over there on my year out as the youth hostel cook was the manager!
The weather is the main attraction to live Down Under and Melbourne the most diverse when it comes to climate. It is known as the city of all season as the weather comes in from all directions. I recall one day the temp dropped from 39 degrees (104f) to 16 degrees (61f) in about ten minutes. The city also gets hit by big sand storms as the famous Morning Glory weather system roles across the Continent. And it snows there to, the near by Flinders Ranges often having a sprinkling of snow on top in their winter between June and August. Winter in Australia is not great as the TV is awful and Aussies don't go out much to the pub then, in Victoria English style bars and clubs surprisingly scarce. Generally the summers are hot and the winters cool and rainy.
But the summer season is great and the city very safe for one so big, nearing five million populous now. There are not many areas of the city that feel off limits and the warring ethnic gangs we have in Europe and America are confined to three or four suburbs where the Old Italian and Balkan families run the drug trade going up against the Aussies and Lebanese bad boys. Just after I left in 1996 a gang war raged for 12 years between noted crime families, similar to what we are seeing in Manchester. In London, Birmingham and cities like Manchester its well defined where you mustn't go where as in Australia the criminals often live in middle-class areas as there are no class barriers like you have here. You don't see any African - Caribbean or big Muslim populations in Melbourne and Australia and most immigration is from the more gentile South Asian areas of Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, some say why the country has a very low crime rate because of its no nonsense immigration policy. Aussie simply don't like too many outsiders, even though they are exactly that.
SO the city is relatively safe, uncomfortably white and has a healthy lifestyle in the sunshine but what about employment? Well Australia breezed through the world recession as they have always kept lending under control, Aussies investing in the outdoor lifestyle and fresh air and very proud of that fitness thing, big screen TVs and expensive mortgages not their thing. Thousands of people power walk in the city and you just don't see fat people. Shopping is good to girls with one huge modern arcade purely for women.
Melbourne is a port city built on the Victorian gold rush of the 1800s and strategically placed. For a land as baron and remote as the Africa Continent, Australia does remarkably well in the world economy. They are a resourceful and proud nation and Melbourne did the best of the Aussie cities after the 2008 crash. They work hard but you would never know the place is that laid back.
Accommodation and transport is excellent for holidaymakers and brilliant for backpackers, Australia the best country in the world for travelers. Hostels are cheap and clean at around $20 Aus dollars a night (£7.00) and you can stay in the more cultured International Youth Hostel Association range for a quieter life or the backpackers for more of a party atmosphere. Melbourne official hostel near Victoria Market is one of the best in the world and has a stunning view of the Melbourne city bowl skyline from the hostel roof that is equal to anything Manhattan has now. It's a great place to start your trip off and even worth going there as bed & breakfast accommodation on shorter stays as they do singles and doubles.
As I say all the major hotel chains and car rental firms are present and the city has the best airports transfers in the world. Because the city is so safe you don't have to worry about driving into the wrong area and can take any bus into the city. The local trains and buses are very good, as are the cross country versions, big distances between the major cities on those 24 hours coach journeys always an experience. If you are not on a budget I would recommend the trains although you get great views from the coach windows with plenty more stop off options available on the more costal routes.
Flights are still fairly cheap, considering, and well under £1,000 return from London if you are flexible. If you fly from Paris it's actually cheaper after British airport taxes on top. A tenner on the ferry and then the bus to Charles De Galle can save you a fair whack.
Living costs vary with the country still dependent on imports and so brands like Lynx deodorant can cost you $10 per can, for example, yet the country is self sufficient in meat and most vedge and so beef and lamb very cheap, the BBQ culture built on that pricing. And you have to have a 'barbie' on the beach when you are over there. Beer is also cheap and drinking out at friends houses or at restaurant is far more popular than the English pub culture so be prepared to be sociable. As I say they have none of that class crap and so bankers chat with litter pickers over a brew and a burger. I stayed for a week with Aussie cricketer Greg Mathew's family (I was pen friends with his sister) and had the best time. The internet is a great place to make friends before you go and you can save big on accommodation if you are outgoing and flexible. But most important you must learn the Melbourne lingo:
Blue..... row, fight.
Crook..... Mad. Also sick.
Dunny...... A more primitive type of toilet, usually located outdoors.
Fair Dinkum..... Genuine, real, really.
Fair go..... Fair chance.
Grog....... Beer, liquor.
Half your luck....... Congratulations.
Lair...... One of brash or vulgar behavior, usually flashily dressed as well.
Middy........ Middle-sized glass.
Rack off....... Scram, get lost.
Ripper.......Great, something great.
Schooner........ A larger glass for beer, larger than a middy.
Sport..........Something like mate, but sometimes said with some belligerence.
Strine........ Australian as she's spoke.
Summary: My dream home city!