Where to stay in Melbourne during INFO 2017
INFO 2017 falls within the Australian Football League (AFL) finals frenzy week. The AFL grand final, also known as ‘Aussie rules’ or ‘footy’, is scheduled to be played Saturday 30 September at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The sport is so popular, a holiday is declared the Friday prior (Friday 29 September) so that everyone can gather in the Central Business District to celebrate before the game and enjoy the ‘AFL Grand Final Parade’.
City accommodation is hard to find during AFL finals week. To ensure you don’t miss out, we highly recommend you book your accommodation as early as possible to take advantage of the fantastic rate the Langham is holding for INFO 2017 attendees.
The Langham, Melbourne (the conference venue)
As the hosts of the INFO 2017, we recommend staying at the conference venue, The Langham. The Langham is offering INFO 2017 attendees a fantastic rate for their superior room. This 5 star hotel prides itself on genuine and personalised service, with additional facilities including a day spa. The Langham is located in Southbank, Melbourne’s arts and leisure precinct, with outstanding views overlooking the Yarra River, the historic Flinders Street Station and a stones throw away from many of Melbourne’s cultural icons.
The conference rate offered to INFO 2017 attendees is $270.00 AUD per night and includes:
- stay in the Langham superior room
- 1 x breakfast per day
- Standard internet access
This rate is guaranteed for INFO 2017 guests until 60 days prior to the conference or until sold out, and includes room bookings from Saturday 23 September 2017 – Thursday 28 September 2017.
Click here to take advantage of the special rate for INFO2017 attendees – Promo/corporate code: INFONET
Other rooms available at the Langham, at additional cost, include their deluxe river room ($300.00 AUD available on the above link), deluxe river corner room, deluxe balcony, executive rooms and suites.
Other places to stay in Melbourne
Quay West Suites
An apartment-style hotel, Quay West is less than a five minute walk from the conference venue. It has one, two and three bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and all the services and facilities of a 5 star hotel.
Located just metres from The Langham, the Travelodge is a hotel without all the extras. A practical and comfortable place to stay; rooms include a kitchenette.
Getting to Australia
Most major airlines fly to Australia, and many fly directly into Melbourne Tullamarine.
A list of international airlines that use Melbourne Airport is available here, they include Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qantas, Air Asia, Etihad, Malaysia Airlines, United, Virgin Australia and many more.
We will keep you informed through the events updates page, with airfare specials. Or you can check out these Aussie travel sites for the latest specials:
Australia has a universal visa system, which means that all travellers must have a valid visa to enter the country.
It can sometimes take a while to be granted a visa, so we recommend starting the visa application process soon after you register for the conference. However, it is important to remember that you must enter Australia within six months of the visa being granted.
The Department of Immigration may take your conference registration into account when assessing your application, so you should attach your conference registration confirmation to your visa application.
Please contact the conference organiser if you require a personalised, formal letter of invitation to attach to your conference registration and VISA application.
The online Visa Finder provided by the Australian Government can help you find a suitable visa to apply for.
What VISA do I need to visit Australia?
As a conference attendee, it is most likely you will be eligible for one of these business visitor visas:
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601)
- eVisitor (subclass 651)
- Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the Business Visitor stream.
Some visa applications can be lodged online, and others must be lodged at an overseas Australian Visa Office. For more information, please visit: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Appl/Visitor
New Zealand passport holders and permanent residents of Norfolk Island will generally be granted a visa on arrival.
Tips and tricks for travelling to and around Melbourne
To and from the airport
Taxis are available from designated taxi ranks just outside the international terminal. The cost will depend on the time of travel, weekday or weekend travel, and traffic conditions. As a guide, you should expect a fee of around $70 AUD for a taxi from the airport to the centre of Melbourne.
If you travel in a taxi between 10pm and 5am, you may be asked to pre-pay an estimate of your fare as a deposit. At the end of your trip the taxi meter will show the actual cost of your fare, and you will either have to pay more to the driver or receive a refund.
This express bus service runs between the airport and Southern Cross railway station in the city 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From Southern Cross station, SkyBus offers a shuttle service to city hotels (including The Langham, Quay West and Travelodge Southbank) for no extra charge.
Adult ticket prices are $19 one way or $38 return. Tickets can be purchased at the airport bus stop when you arrive, or online before you travel at www.skybus.com.au/fares.
For more information and timetables visit www.skybus.com.au
Melbourne has an extensive tram network that will get you almost anywhere you need to go – and the best thing is that within the city area it’s free! For more information on the area covered by the Free Tram Zone and a downloadable map, visit the Public Transport Victoria website.
If you need to travel outside the free tram network or you’d like to travel on a train or bus, you’ll need a myki card. A myki is a plastic smartcard ticket which can be topped up and used again. Standard mykis can be purchased from stations and shops displaying the myki logo, and need money uploaded before use. Visitor myki packs are available from the Melbourne Visitor Centre in Federation Square, the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station, SkyBus terminals and some hotels. Visitor packs include a pre-loaded myki card with enough value for one day of travel, instructions on how to use myki, a Melbourne tram map and discount entry to Melbourne attractions.
Late September is springtime for us. Temperatures at this time of year average from 10°C – 20°C (50-68°F), but it’s not unusual for it to be much warmer.
Melbourne is well known for its unpredictable weather, and residents joke about always being prepared for the possibility of experiencing four seasons in one day! We recommend you check the weather forecast before heading outdoors, and consider bringing or buying a small umbrella just in case. To cope with the possibility or temperature fluctuations, you could consider the stylish Melbourne habit of dressing in layers, so you can add or remove layers of clothing as needed. It is recommended you pack all seasons when visiting Melbourne.
Read more about Melbourne’s weather and climate.
Our local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in $1 and $2, and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Please note that our $1 coin is bigger than the $2!
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels, international airports and money exchange outlets. Cash withdrawal machines (ATMs) are also widely available, though you may be charged fees for transactions involving overseas bank accounts.
Credit and debit cards
Almost all shops, restaurants and cafes have EFTPOS facilities, which means that you can pay using your credit card (American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa) or debit card (your own bank card if it is linked to the international Cirrus or PLUS network).
Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards and you can use them in most shops. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains and many tourist destinations. JCB is only accepted at very limited tourist destinations, and Discover is not usually accepted at all.
Though you can probably pay for most things using a credit or debit card, it’s still a good idea to have some cash with you as well. Some shops will not accept card payments for small purchases (under a certain dollar amount) and some will charge you a small surcharge for using a card. If you’re unsure, it’s not considered rude to ask.
You will need a 4-digit PIN (access code) to use your credit or debit card if the amount is over $100, or if you choose to. If the amount is under $100, most shops offer PayWave/PayPass which means that if your card has the necessary technology, you can pay without your card ever leaving your hand.
Traveller’s cheques are not as widely accepted in Australia as they are in other countries. If you do decide to use them, make sure you buy them in Australian dollars.
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. This amount is automatically added to the listed price of any item that attracts the tax, so what you see on the price tag is the final price you need to pay. Tax is not added afterwards.
You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought here if you have spent $300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. For more information see the Australian government information on the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Emergency phone numbers
The emergency phone number in Australia is 000. Call this number if you require urgent assistance from police, fire, or ambulance.
Making phone calls
To call outside Australia, you need to dial 0011 before the country code and number of the line you’re trying to reach.
The country code for calling into Australia is +61.
Australia is a safe country, and Melbourne – as a 24 hour cosmopolitan metropolis – is a safe city. However, we do recommend taking the usual simple precautions to ensure your personal safety:
- avoid walking down dark laneways alone at night
- don’t carry large amounts of cash or your passport with you – use your hotel safe for these items
- trust your instincts – if you think something, someone or somewhere isn’t safe, avoid it.